The individual fitness goals of each person can differ dramatically. In some instances, weight gain is the desired outcome, whether it is for achieving increased strength, combating eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, or maintaining one's weight during cancer treatments. However, achieving healthy weight gain may be difficult, causing some individuals to turn to weight gain supplements.
Therefore, we have reviewed the best weight-gaining supplements on the market and provided additional information to help you choose which supplement is right for you.
Weight gain supplements: product shortlist
- Transparent Labs — best overall weight gaining supplement
- Future Kind — best natural supplements for weight gain
- Power Blendz — best weight gaining supplement for smoothies
- Optimum Nutrition ON — best weight gain supplements with creatine
- BodyBuilding.com — best high calorie supplements for weight gain
Our criteria for choosing the best supplements for weight gain
When conducting our research regarding supplements to gain weight, we used the below key criteria to evaluate each product to develop a list of the top products on the market.
|Ingredients||Use of high-quality ingredients|
|Reputable manufacturer||Companies following current Good Manufacturing Practices|
|Price to value||Adequate number of servings per bottle|
|Third-party testing||Independent laboratory certification|
- Ingredients. Products that use high-quality ingredients such as whey or casein protein that help to promote weight gain and/or build muscle mass.
- Reputable manufacturer. Companies with a long track record of producing high-quality products and manufacturing products in FDA-certified facilities that use current Good Manufacturing Practices ensure the product's safety, quality, and consistency.
- Price to value. Products that are priced to provide adequate servings per bottle provide consumers with significant value at a reasonable cost.
- Third-party testing. Independent laboratory certification ensures the product contains the listed ingredients in the correct dosages and identifies any contaminants.
Best supplements for weight gain: an overview
Gaining weight can sometimes be a difficult task, especially in those with certain medical conditions. The use of supplements for gaining weight may aid in maintaining a healthy weight and adding some extra pounds to your body. But, it can be difficult to identify the best supplements for gaining weight as there are numerous products on the market.
To help guide you in your selection, we have developed this list of the top 5 brands available. By evaluating each product using the above criteria, we identified the best products to help you with your weight gain goals.
1. Transparent Labs Mass Gainer — best overall weight gaining supplement
Mass Gainer is a weight gain supplement manufactured by Transparent Labs is a calorie-dense powder specifically designed to help individuals gain weight. This product provides 750 calories, 53 grams of 100% grass-fed whey protein, and 110 grams of carbohydrates per serving. This product does contain milk and tree nuts making it not suitable for people with allergies to these ingredients. However, this product is free of any artificial coloring, sweeteners, and flavors.
Transparent Labs is a well-known name in the supplement world and produces high-quality products. Each product undergoes third-party testing to ensure its quality and confirm the dosages of all its ingredients.
The recommended dosing for Mass Gainer is two scoops in 16 ounces of nonfat or low-fat milk per day. Each container costs $79.99 and provides 15 servings of chocolate glaze donut or sweet vanilla flavors.
2. Future Kind+ Organic Vegan Protein Powder — best natural supplements for weight gain
Organic Vegan Protein powder is manufactured by future kind+ utilizing organic non-GMO yellow pea protein that meets the highest standards and provides a full spectrum of amino acids. This all-natural supplement provides 20 grams of protein and only 85 calories and is best suited for gaining lean muscle mass. This product is ideal for individuals with allergies as it is gluten, nuts, soy, and milk-free.
Future Kind uses FDA-certified manufacturing facilities that are compliant with current Good Manufacturing Practices. Additionally, this product undergoes third-party lab testing to ensure quality and safety.
A container of Organic Vegan Protein powder is available in vanilla flavor and provides 34 servings for $59.99, with additional savings available when you enroll in their subscribe and save program.
The recommended dosage is one scoop of powder mixed in 12 ounces of water or a non-dairy liquid (the manufacturer recommends unsweetened almond milk) once per day.
3. Power Blendz Muscle Builder — best weight gaining supplement for smoothies
Muscle Builder is manufactured by Power Blendz using high-quality ingredients carefully sourced for quality and freshness. This product contains 290–300 calories, 26–27 grams of whey protein, and 39–43 grams of carbohydrates per serving depending on flavor. It does contain milk and soy products that should be avoided by those with allergies.
Power Blendz does not indicate that they use any third-party laboratories or FDA-certified facilities. However, all their products are manufactured in the United States.
A container of Power Blendz costs $54.99 and is available in two flavors: chocolate and vanilla. One container has 30 servings, and when following the recommended dosing of 2 scoops in 8 ounces of water and ice and mixed in a blender or shaker, it can provide 30 smoothies.
4. Optimum Nutrition ON Serious Mass — best weight gain supplements with creatine
Serious Mass Dietary Supplement by Optimum Nutrition is a calorie-dense powder that can provide 1,250 calories, 50 grams of protein, and 252 grams of carbohydrates per serving. In addition to the caloric support, Serious Mass contains 25 vitamins and minerals and 3 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving.
Optimum Nutrition uses certified state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to ensure consistent and quality products. In-house testing is also performed to ensure the quality of the supplements.
Serious Mass is available in five flavors: chocolate, vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, strawberry, and banana. Each flavor contains eggs, milk, and soy for those who have allergies.
A container of Serious Mass costs $74.69 for 8 servings and does have an auto-ship option that can provide additional savings. The manufacturer recommends 2 heaping scoops to be dissolved in 24 ounces of water or milk. It should be taken once a day.
5. BodyBuilding.com Signature Mass Gainer — best high-calorie supplements for weight gain
Mass Gainer belongs to the signature series developed by Bodybuilding.com and is a calorie-dense powder that provides 810 calories, 50 grams of protein, and 133 grams of carbohydrates per serving. This product also contains a probiotic, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086, and a prebiotic, organic inulin, to help support digestive health.
BodyBuilding.com is well-known in the fitness world for its wide variety of products and transparent labeling. However, it's unclear whether their signature products undergo any pre-market testing or use FDA-certified facilities.
Mass Gainer comes in 2 flavors: vanilla ice cream and chocolate ice cream. Both flavors contain egg and milk proteins that may need to be avoided in individuals with allergies.
A five-pound container of Mass Gainer contains 11 servings and costs $42.74. There is a Subscribe and Gain program that provides discounts on the product, as well as a BodyFit member program. The recommended dosage for Mass Gainer is three scoops dissolved in 16 ounces of water. It can also be added to smoothies and other beverages.
Comparing the best supplements to gain weight
|Brand||Product||Calories per serving||Carbs per serving||Protein per serving||Price per serving||Flavors|
|Transparent Labs||Mass Gainer||750||110||53||$5.33||Chocolate glaze donut, sweet vanilla|
|Future Kind||Organic Vegan Protein Powder||85||0||20||$1.76||Vanilla|
|Power Blendz||Muscle Builder||290–300||39–43||26–27||$1.83||Chocolate, vanilla|
|Optimum Nutrition ON||Serious Mass||1,250||252||50||$9.34||Chocolate, vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, strawberry, banana|
|BodyBuilding.com||Signature Mass Gainer||810||133||50||$3.89||Chocolate ice cream, Vanilla ice cream|
What to look for when choosing the best weight gaining supplements
When looking for the best supplements for weight gain there are a few important features of the product that should be considered. These include:
- Protein source. Evaluate each product for the use of high-quality sources of protein such as whey and casein.
- Carbohydrate source. Products containing complex carbohydrates, such as oat flour, provide quality sources and are less likely to spike blood glucose levels. Avoid products that have a high amount of simple sugars.
- Calories per serving. When it comes to gaining weight, the amount of calories consumed will have a direct effect on weight gain.
- Form (e.g. powder, pills). The type of product comes down to personal preference and reasons for use. Pills offer a quick and convenient dosing regimen but may not provide enough calories. Powders are often calorie-dense but require measuring and mixing and involve a larger volume of fluid that must be consumed.
Who should look into supplements for weight gain?
Individuals who have a hard time maintaining their goal weight may benefit from weight gaining supplements. These can aid in calorie support that promotes the gaining of pounds or maintaining one's ideal body weight.
For men and women, who feel they need to gain some weight to improve their physical appearances, may benefit from the calorie-dense properties of powder supplements for gaining weight. However, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any weight-gaining program.
Supplements for weight gain can also be beneficial for anyone looking to gain muscle mass. When combined with a strength training program, these supplements can provide the needed carbohydrates and proteins to promote muscle growth and recovery.
Common ingredients in supplements for weight gain
Despite the large selection of different weight gain supplements on the market, many will contain similar ingredients. The presence of these ingredients in many of the supplements is due to their important effects on healthy weight gain.
Creatine monohydrate is an organic compound used to regenerate ATP (the main form of energy in the body) within cells of various tissues. Creatine has shown benefit in improving muscle performance during high-intensity exercises and is considered generally safe when taken at recommended dosages.
However, if you have a history of kidney or liver disease, contact your healthcare provider before using.
Protein is essential for building muscle and recovering after workouts and the best weight-gaining supplements will usually contain a high-quality source of protein. Whey protein is easily absorbed by the body and provides all essential amino acids, while casein protein is a slower-release form that provides a sustained supply of amino acids. These make up two of the most commonly used proteins.
Healthy fats provide the body with an excellent energy source and support hormone production, among other functions. Many supplements for gaining weight utilize fats such as medium-chain triglycerides, flaxseed oil, and sunflower oil as the source of essential fatty acids.
Vitamins and minerals
As many weight-gaining supplements contain vitamins and minerals, it begs the question, what vitamins help gain weight? While vitamins do not promote weight gain, a balanced blend of vitamins C and D and minerals such as calcium and iron are needed to support weight gain and muscle development.
How soon will I see results after weight gain supplements?
The timeline to see results depends on many factors, but the goal should be gaining 0.5 to 2 pounds per week. This progression allows for a healthy rate of weight gain and, thus, will take a couple of months to produce visible results. However, this depends on your beginning appearance, as some will show smaller weight gains sooner.
When discussing muscle growth, this typically occurs at a slower rate and may require three to six months before significant results become visual.
Setting smaller goals and monitoring your progress will aid in reaching your ultimate goal and prevent frustration as you wait for results to appear.
Possible side effects of weight gain supplements
The calorie-dense supplements for weight gain can place stress on the body, producing various side effects. Therefore, it is important to use these supplements as directed and to discuss usage with your healthcare provider. Possible side effects include:
- Weight gain. The excessive use of these supplements can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
- Gastrointestinal issues. Bloating, gas, stomach upset, and constipation may be experienced due to the high-calorie content.
- Kidney injury. The high-protein content may not be recommended for people with kidney disease.
- Hyperglycemia. Supplements with high sugar levels can result in spikes in blood glucose and may increase the risk of developing diabetes if consumed often.
Who shouldn't take weight gain supplements?
Individuals with milk, soy, egg, or wheat allergies should avoid taking supplements with these ingredients. Consuming these supplements when dealing with allergies can result in GI disturbances and significant allergic reactions.
Those with pre-existing kidney disease should avoid supplements with high protein amounts unless advised by their doctor. The excess protein load associated with these supplements can stress the kidneys and lead to further damage.
The high carbohydrate content of weight gain supplements can cause significant rises in blood sugar levels and should be avoided in individuals with diabetes, especially if their disease is not well controlled.
Other ways you can gain weight
By making a few changes to your lifestyle, you can gradually gain weight in a healthy manner. These lifestyle modifications can include:
- Diet. Eating a well-balanced diet will help to ensure that all the essential nutrients for your body to build muscle and gain weight are present.
- Increase calorie intake. Gradually adding an extra 300–500 calories per day to your recommended daily caloric intake can help you gain weight in a safe and healthy manner.
- Meal timing. Eating smaller, more frequent meals with healthy snacks, such as nuts, cheeses, and seeds, can help increase calorie counts.
- Exercise. Incorporating strengthening exercises can help build muscle and stimulate your appetite.
- Healthy protein. Consuming healthy protein options such as fish, beans, lean meats, and eggs can ensure the body has the building blocks to increase muscle mass.
Best supplements for weight gain — conclusion
Weight gain, like weight loss, can be difficult and requires a disciplined approach to help achieve your goals. Weight-gaining supplements are an option for those unable to consume enough calories through their diets. These supplements provide a calorie-dense boost to your diet but can cause side effects and should not be used by everyone. Therefore, it's important to discuss this with your healthcare provider before starting any of these supplements.
Further readings on weight management
Best supplements for building muscle might help you improve workout performance and gain muscle.
Best probiotics for weight loss might provide good and bad bacteria balance and aid weight loss.
Best CBD gummies for weight loss are a tasty way to achieve a slimmer waistline.
Best OTC weight loss pills for women might help boost a healthy weight loss.
Best BCAA supplements for women might help sustain the intake of essential amino acids
Why can't I gain weight no matter what I eat?
It is common for some to struggle to gain weight. This is often the result of genetics, as some individuals may burn more calories than others doing the same exercises. In addition, people involved in frequent physical activity, such as running, will have difficulty gaining weight.
What pills slow down metabolism to gain weight?
There are some prescription medications associated with a slowing down of the metabolism. Certain antidepressants and blood pressure medications, such as beta-blockers, can slow down metabolism and cause weight gain. However, these are side effects and these medications are not used for weight gain purposes.
What vitamins help gain weight?
Some animal studies have shown promising results for vitamins A and D, as well as supplementation of B vitamins. However, there is little support that taking vitamins can help with weight gain. However, obtaining the recommended daily doses of vitamins and minerals can help support weight gain and muscle growth.
- Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology. Novel metabolic and physiological functions of branched chain amino acids: a review.
- Current Sports Medicine Reports. Creatine Supplementation.
- Nutrients. No Association between Vitamin D and Weight Gain: A Prospective, Population-Based Study.
- Nutrients. Whey Protein Supplementation Enhances Whole Body Protein Metabolism and Performance Recovery after Resistance Exercise: A Double-Blind Crossover Study.