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Best Mass Gainers for 2018

Best Mass Gainers for 2018

If you're interested in working out to build up your muscle mass, then you know how difficult that can be. Lifting weights and working out is important, but so is eating right and getting enough of the right nutrients. Mass gainers can help you supplement your diet with critical vitamins and minerals, plus additional protein and carbs. In this post we'll review seven top mass gainer products and talk about what sets different brands apart.

Our Top Best Mass Gainer Picks for 2018

Product

Optimum Nutrition 
Serious Mass Weight Gainer

Info


Best Protein Selection

  • 5 flavors
  • About 16 servings per 12-pound pack
  • Two heaping scoops, or 334 grams contains:
    • 50 g protein from protein blend
    • 4 g fat
    • 21 g sugar
    • 630 mg calcium
    • 1g of creatine monohydrate
    • 500mg of L-Glutamine
    • 500mg of glutamine peptides
    • 250mg of choline
    • 250mg of inositol
    • 5mg of para-aminobenzoic acid
    • Assorted vitamins and minerals

Rating


#1 Rated in Protein Selection


MusclePharm
Combat XL Mass Gainer Powder

Best Value Mass Gainer

  • 10 flavors
  • 54 servings per 4-pound bag
  • One 34g scoop contains:
    • 50 g protein from Combat XL™ Protein Blend
    • 7 g fat
    • 16 g sugar
    • 319 mg calcium
    • plus flavorings, vitamins, and minerals


#1 Rated in Value Mass Gainers


Optimum Nutrition
Pro Gainer Weight Gainer Protein Powder

Best Premium Mass Gainer

  • 8 flavors
  • 28 servings per 10lb pack
  • Once 165g serving contains:
    • 60 g protein from Whey Protein Isolate /Concentrate
    • 8 g fat
    • 6 g sugar
    • 540 mg calcium
    • 4.8 mg iron
    • Other vitamins and minerals


#1 Rated in Premium Mass Gainers


BSN
TRUE-MASS Weight Gainer

Best Tasting Mass Gainer

  • 4 flavors
  • A 5.82lb pack has about 18 servings
  • 145 g or three scoops contains:
    • 46 g protein from protein matrix
    • 17 g fat
    • 14 g sugar
    • Vitamins and minerals


#1 Rated in Best Tasting Mass Gainers


NAKED MASS
Natural Weight Gainer Protein Powder

Best All-Natural Mass Gainer

  • 3 flavors
  • 11 servings per 8lb tub
  • 321 g serving contains:
    • 50 g protein
    • 2.5 g fat
    • 489 mg calcium
    • Other vitamins and minerals


#1 Rated in All-Natural Mass Gainers


Dymatize
Super Mass Gainer

Best NCAA-Tested Mass Gainer

  • 6 flavors
  • About 8 servings per 6 lb tub
  • 336 g serving contains:
    • 52 g protein from protein blend
    • 10 g fat
    • 23 g sugar
    • 1093 mg calcium
    • 10.9g BCAAs
    • 5.2g of Leucine
    • 1g of Creatine Monohydrate
    • Plus various vitamins and minerals


#1 Rated in NCAA-Tested Mass Gainers


Muscle Milk
Gainer Protein Powder

Best Mid-Range Mass Gainer

  • 3 Flavors
  • 14 servings per 5lb tub
  • 162g serving contains:
    • 32 g protein
    • 9 g fat
    • 6 g sugar
    • 500 mg calcium
    • 6.3 mg iron
    • Vitamins and minerals
    • Flavoring


#1 Rated in Mid-Range Mass Gainers




Benefits of Mass Gainers and How to Pick The Best One

What are mass gainers?

A mass gainer is a powder supplement that you take in order to increase your rate of gaining mass, particularly muscle mass. Building up muscle takes a lot of protein and carbs, plus the right vitamins and minerals. It can be fairly difficult to get enough calories and nutrients through regular meals. The balanced and healthy diet you practice now might be suitable for gains.
 
By taking mass gainers, you can add more of the right nutrients for growth, plus add enough calories to fuel that growth. Mass gainers are not appropriate for people who want to lose weight through exercise. In fact, it's the opposite: a mass gainer is the ideal supplement for someone who wants to put on some weight. Combine mass gainers with a good workout regimen, and you'll see more muscle and more overall strength.

When should you take mass gainers?

The timing of using mass gainers is similar to that of other protein-heavy supplements. If you are not familiar with the basics, it is simple. There are different kinds of protein that metabolize into your body at different rates, from fast protein that is available right away to slow protein that can take many hours. The benefits of taking a mass gainer are largest when you can time your intake to maximize muscle growth.

The best way to do that is to make sure your body has an infusion of protein available right after you work out, plus a baseline background of slower-digesting nutrients. What most people do is split their daily serving into two or three parts. At least one of those parts should come right after your workout. Then take the rest at other times in the day. For example, you could have a shake in the morning, then one after your workout. See this video for more detail:

What should I look for in mass gainer ingredients?

Mass gainers are not like standard protein powders. In a regular protein supplement, all you want is protein. Anything else makes the supplement less pure, especially sugars. In a mass gainer, you actually want some sugar and flavor to add carbs. It's fuel for your workout routine. You want some sugar for flavor and carbs, but not too much. You also want good sources of protein, like the kinds derived from eggs or milk. Many mass gainers add vitamins and minerals to the mix.

Read the nutritional information carefully, especially the amount of carbs, fat, and protein per serving. It doesn't need to be completely protein, but most of the serving should be protein. Low-quality mass gainers tend to pack in a lot of sugar to make it taste good, but this winds up making the powder into the nutritional equivalent of eating several candy bars each day.

How should I take a mass gainer?

Like other supplements, mass gainers come in powder form. You take them by mixing in part or all of a serving with water or milk. Mix until it is dissolved and you can then drink the shake. If you are using water, then the amount is up to you. More water will thin out the drink, so just find a consistency that you like and stick to it. If you use milk, then things are a little more complicated.

First of all, milk is a great source of healthy proteins and fats. You just need to remember to account for the extra calories. You should also know that milk can affect the flavor of the powder- some of the heavily-flavored types taste significantly better in milk. Additionally, powders can sometimes mix a little differently in milk and water. Do some trial and error to find out what approach balances speed, taste, and health. Watch this video to learn more about milk and water:

Who should use mass gainers?

The mass gainer concept might seem odd, because most health and wellness is aimed at losing weight, not gaining it. However, there are some categories of people for whom mass gainers are beneficial:

  • Ectomorphs- An ectomorph is a person with a fast metabolism who is prone to being thin. They need mass gainers because it's hard for them to gain weight otherwise.
  • Hard gainers- A hard gainer is a person who finds it difficult to put on muscle mass. Unlike the ectomorph body type, this is not a scientific term, but a way of describing a category of people who need dietary supplements for gaining muscle.
     
  • Illness- One example of a potential hard gainer is a person who has a chronic illness like muscular dystrophy or who has recently recovered from an acute illness that caused them to lose weight. Mass gainers can help them attain a healthy weight level.
  • Time- Preparing healthy meals takes a lot of time. Mass gainers can save time by allowing you to consume more calories and nutrients just by making a smoothie.

Quick Review of the Best Mass Gainers

Best Protein Selection

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer 

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Mixability

The Serious Mass Weight Gainer from Optimum boasts one of the best prices on a mass gainer. The five flavors are banana, strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate peanut butter. You can combine flavors as well. The powder has an appealing protein mix, using plenty of creatine and adding on some crucial amino acids. However, take note that each serving contains about 20 grams of sugar, which is rather high. On the plus side, all of that flavoring and sweetness makes the Serious Gainer easy to mix and to drink. Due to the high sugar content, be careful about the serving size. The combination of protein and price make the Serious Gainer a standout in the market. The chocolate flavors taste especially good in milk, and a mix of banana and strawberry is also popular.

Pros

Cons

  • check

    Best price value

  • check
    Good flavor diversity
  • Somewhat high in sugar

Best Value Mass Gainer

MusclePharm Combat XL Mass Gainer Powder 

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Mixability

MusclePharm is also an inexpensive powder like the Serious Gainer. It tones down the sugar to 17 grams per serving, which is an improvement. The powder comes in 10 flavors- chocolate milk, chocolate peanut butter, vanilla, banana cream, cookies and cream, triple berry, cappuccino, strawberry, blue raspberry, and fruit punch. The formula uses flax and chia seeds for natural carbs and grain-derived proteins. A few of the flavors, especially banana cream and cookies and cream, have a bad reputation for being too sweet and tasting artificial. Overall, the Combat XL stands out by cutting a little sugar and adding seeds without increasing the price by much, and also by offering many different flavors.

Pros

Cons

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    Great selection of flavors

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    Good value
  • Some of the flavors have a bad taste

Best Premium Mass Gainer

Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer Weight Gainer Protein Powder 

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Mixability

The other offering on this list from Optimum Nutrition is their Pro Gainer line. The Pro Gainer, compared to the Serious Mass product, is more expensive but higher in quality. It is a true premium powder. The Pro Gainer formula is heavy on milk proteins like whey isolate and whey concentrate as well as egg proteins like egg albumin. Using biological sources makes the protein more bio-available, increasing its yield. The Pro Gainer has 8 flavors- banana, double rich chocolate, fruit punch, peach mango, raspberry lemonade, strawberry, vanilla, and plain. The Pro Gainer has half the calories and a third of the carbs as the Serious Mass does, showing that it is a leaner, cleaner growth supplement.

Pros

Cons

  • check

    High-quality ingredients

  • check
    Lower sugar content
  • Higher price means worse value

Best Tasting Mass Gainer

BSN TRUE-MASS Weight Gainer 

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Mixability

The TRUE-MASS from BSN has one thing that makes it unique right away- great flavors without loading up on sugar. Each serving is just 14 grams of sugar, but the flavor balance is appealing. The four available flavors are chocolate milkshake, cookies and cream, strawberry milkshake, and vanilla ice cream. They do taste better in milk than water, but both forms are flavorful. TRUE-MASS can be expensive, however. You should also know that it can be clumpy and hard to mix. It also tends to separate out if you leave it alone and it isn't cold. Consider using a blender and adding ice cubes to reach a good consistency. The taste is worth the extra effort.

Pros

Cons

  • check

    Four excellent flavors with very low sugar

  • check
    Uses mostly biological proteins
  • Mixes poorly
  • Expensive

Best All-Natural Mass Gainer

NAKED MASS Natural Weight Gainer Protein Powder 

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Mixability

NAKED MASS offers the most healthy and pure powder available. It is made with zero artificial ingredients and is free of GMOs, soy, or gluten. If you have an allergy to any of those or want to avoid them in your diet, the Natural Weight Gainer from NAKED MASS is your best bet. It's also pretty low in sugar at just 5 grams per serving. Flavor-wise, there are only three choices- chocolate, vanilla, and plain. This lack of flavors means the powder really needs to be taken with milk for it to taste good, and it still won't compare with several other products on this list.

Pros

Cons

  • check

    Free of GMOs, gluten, soy, and artificial ingredients

  • check
    Low in sugar
  • Rather expensive
  • Limited flavors

Best NCAA-Tested Mass Gainer

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer 

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Mixability

The Super Mass Gainer from Dymatize is a mass-market products that keeps its price low. Normally, low price means high sugar, but in this case, the sugar is an acceptable 22 grams per serving in a 1280-calorie shake. It's ideal for gains at a good price without sacrificing flavors or nutrition. The flavor profiles are strawberry, sugar cookie, cookies and cream, rich chocolate, gourmet vanilla, and chocolate cake batter. They taste good, although they all have a tendency to clump up in water. If you want to use milk, keep an eye on the calories- milk can add another 800 to the total, which makes the Super Mass Gainer a major intake.

Pros

Cons

  • check

    High calories with only moderate sugar

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    Low price
  • Clumpy

Best Mid-Range Mass Gainer

Muscle Milk Gainer Protein Powder 

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Mixability

Muscle Milk might be the most recognizable brand on this list. Their Milk Gainer is a medium-calorie shake at 650 calories with only 6 grams of sugar. That's a good ratio. The protein includes leucine, which comes from milk and is a high-quality source. There are just three flavors- chocolate, vanilla, and cookies and cream. Muscle Milk Gainer is targeted at hard gainers, who are people that struggle with increasing and maintaining mass. If the flavors don't appeal to you, try adding the powder to a batter or a smoothie with more ingredients to balance it out.

Pros

Cons

  • check

    Uses milk protein leucine

  • check
    Mix of fast and slow proteins
  • Only 3 flavors

Conclusion

Among all of the seven products on this list, the Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer is probably the best choice. It has the highest quality of ingredient, it has a good mix of both creamy and fruit flavors, it is low in sugar, and it's easy to mix. The one downside is its high price. If you want a cheaper option, then the Combat XL from MusclePharm is a good alternative. It has more sugar, but will save you more per month without making too large of a quality sacrifice.

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