In this guide we look at the best mass gainer on the market, covering the best and worst gainers and also pointing out the dangers and risks of using these products.
As always we try to be honest here on You-Reviews, but that means that this may not be altogether comfortable reading if you’re here to look for the best mass gainers.
Do Weight Gainers Work?
Yes, in the sense that they help you to gain weight, but that shouldn’t be the only qualifier. After all, a lifetime supply of Dunkin’ Donuts has the same results. Simply put, there are good and bad products here, but the best mass gainer is often just the best mass gainer for you. It will all come down to your current weight, your workout regime and your diet, among others things.
Typically though, mass gainers are just overkill protein powders. We’re not saying that mass gainers are useless, but that you shouldn’t overdo it and you should always pay close attention to the nutrition profile. That applies whether you’re using popular brands like Dymatize Super Mass Gainer or CB1 Weight Gainer. Don’t assume that a big brand means you’re getting something that will only aid you with your goal.
Why Mass Gains Can be Bad
Too much protein is not good for anyone. It is certainly needed in high doses if you are training hard and it can be beneficial, but there is a limit. The problem with weight gainers is that they are designed for hard-working athletes looking to bulk-up, but they are also taken by skinny teens who lift weights for 10 minutes three times a week and just want to pile on the mass.
Those non-athletes will not need so many calories. Most of it will turn to fat and all the extra protein will just leave the kidneys needing to work harder to pass it out. Regular use of such a product by someone in that position can lead to a number of serious issues.
To show you what we mean, let’s take a look at a popular product. We won’t say the name, because it’s irrelevant as they are all similar. It offers 1250 calories in a single service, with nerdy 250 grams of carbs and 50+ grams of protein.
Firstly, to any non-athlete, that’s too much protein for one sitting and most will not be absorbed. Secondly, those are not healthy carbs and what you are essentially getting is a hefty dose of sugar and starch. In other word, it’s akin to a large pizza, and probably just as unhealthy. Professional athletes and bodybuilders consume 6 to 8 meals a day and can eat as much as 10,000 calories. For them, the best weight gainers offer them a quick solution to reach their target. For everyone else, it’s a quick solution to becoming fat and unhealthy.
Best Lean Mass Gain
There is no such thing as a “best lean mass gainer” because really there is no such thing as a “lean mass gainer”. It’s all down to marketing. They stick the word “lean” on there because they know that consumers are worried about piling on too much fat. They know that the goal is to add muscle and not fat, so with one word they convince many consumers that that’s what will happen.
But it’s not true. The only way to convert a mass gainer to a lean mass gainer is to hit the gym hard and burn up those calories. If you can convert all of those extra calories to energy then you can avoid piling on too much fat. But for an average person, it’s just not possible to train that hard without causing yourself harm.
Of course, there are also “lean mass gainers” that have reduced calories, but these are basically just protein powders with extra sugar. In other words, they are useless. (In the next segment we will discuss something that comes close to a true lean mass gainer for non-athletes and athletes alike).
Okay, so we understand we just began an article with the promise of finding you the “best mass gainer” only to warn you away. But we’re about to change tact. Let’s suppose that you are an athlete and you do need all of those extra calories. If thats the case, then what is the best mass gainer on th market right now?
Best Mass Gainer for Weight Gainer
There are a few things that makes a top weight gainer. Firstly, you need a ready supply of protein. You don’t want to go overboard, but anywhere from 30 to 40 grams per serving will suffice, ensuring you can digest all of it.
You also want a mixture of proteins, allowing for both fast and slow absorption, as well as plenty of amino acids. You also want some vitamins and minerals, but not too much. After all, most athletes will already be getting a dose of essential vitamins from elsewhere, so they really just need enough to ensure that they don’t have to take their multivitamin with their mass gainer shaker.
Many mass gainers will include things like creatine, but we advise against that. You’re either taking creatine or you’re not. If you’re not, then a single dose in a mass gainer, even the very best mass gainer, won’t be enough. If you are, then that dose could mess up your regime. Carbs are also important, as you need fast-acting sugars but also want some slow-releasing carbs as well.
For all of that, one of the best mass gainers is Arnold Iron Mass. This comes in at under 500 calories, with 40 grams of protein, quality carbs, BCAAs and other top ingredients. There is no filler, which means this is good even if you’re not an athlete. And if you are, then you can just bulk it up with oats, dextrose or more of your own added ingredients.
Or you could try something like Hard Mass Gainer, which has over 1200 calories, minimal fat, 50g of protein and plenty of BCAAs, vitamins and minerals. We are also big fans of Dymatize Super Mass Gainer, our review of which is linked above. Just make sure you need it before you buy it.