Which mass gainer is best for beginners? Our Top 5 Picks

Beginner lifters generally need to boost their daily calorie intake in the first four to six months of weight training and disciplined dieting. Your body will need the extra calories to boost muscle strength during this period.

But, not everyone is comfortable with overstuffing themselves, especially if it’s done every day. This is where mass gainers enter the picture.

There are a lot of different mass gainers out there, and it may overwhelm you. So, which mass gainer is best for beginners?

In this post, I will be showing you the 5 Best Mass Gainers for beginners that can help you gain muscle mass optimally and quickly so that you can go and grow, my bro!

5 Best Mass Gainers for Beginners:

  1. Best Overall: Mutant Mass Gainer
  2. Best Clean Gainer: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer
  3. Best Mega Mass Gainer: Muscletech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 
  4. Best Budget Mass Gainer: Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass 
  5. Best Vegan Gainer: IronVegan Athlete’s Gainer

Comparison Chart

Mutant Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder – Build Muscle Size and Strength with 1100 Calories – 56 g Protein – 26.1 g EAAs – 12.2 g of BCAAs – 15 lbs – Triple Chocolate
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer, Colossal Chocolate, 5 Pound
Mass Gainer Protein Powder | MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 | Muscle Builder Whey Protein Powder | Protein + Creatine + Carbs | Max-Protein Weight Gainer for Women & Men | Chocolate, 22 lbs
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder, Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin D for Immune Support, Chocolate, 12 Pound (Packaging May Vary)
IRONVEGAN Gainer Chocolate Protein Powder, 2500 GR
Mutant Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder – Build Muscle Size and Strength with 1100 Calories – 56 g Protein – 26.1 g EAAs – 12.2 g of BCAAs – 15 lbs – Triple Chocolate
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer, Colossal Chocolate, 5 Pound
Mass Gainer Protein Powder | MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 | Muscle Builder Whey Protein Powder | Protein + Creatine + Carbs | Max-Protein Weight Gainer for Women & Men | Chocolate, 22 lbs
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder, Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin D for Immune Support, Chocolate, 12 Pound (Packaging May Vary)
IRONVEGAN Gainer Chocolate Protein Powder, 2500 GR
$74.97
Price not available
$78.94
$47.48
$59.82
-
Mutant Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder – Build Muscle Size and Strength with 1100 Calories – 56 g Protein – 26.1 g EAAs – 12.2 g of BCAAs – 15 lbs – Triple Chocolate
Mutant Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder – Build Muscle Size and Strength with 1100 Calories – 56 g Protein – 26.1 g EAAs – 12.2 g of BCAAs – 15 lbs – Triple Chocolate
$74.97
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer, Colossal Chocolate, 5 Pound
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer, Colossal Chocolate, 5 Pound
Price not available
-
Mass Gainer Protein Powder | MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 | Muscle Builder Whey Protein Powder | Protein + Creatine + Carbs | Max-Protein Weight Gainer for Women & Men | Chocolate, 22 lbs
Mass Gainer Protein Powder | MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 | Muscle Builder Whey Protein Powder | Protein + Creatine + Carbs | Max-Protein Weight Gainer for Women & Men | Chocolate, 22 lbs
$78.94
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder, Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin D for Immune Support, Chocolate, 12 Pound (Packaging May Vary)
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer Protein Powder, Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin D for Immune Support, Chocolate, 12 Pound (Packaging May Vary)
$47.48
IRONVEGAN Gainer Chocolate Protein Powder, 2500 GR
IRONVEGAN Gainer Chocolate Protein Powder, 2500 GR
$59.82

1- BEST OVERALL: Mutant Mass Gainer   

  • Nutrition per serving:
    1100 calories
    56 g protein
    192 g carbohydrates
    12 g fat
  • Top 3 Ingredients: Waxy maize starch, maltodextrin, mutant mass 10- protein matrix (whey protein concentrate, nitroserum whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, milk protein concntrate
  • Allergen: Milk, Soy, Tree Nuts
  • Type: Powder
  • Size: 15 LBS (6.8Kg)
WHAT WE LIKE +WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
✅ Real-food sources❌ Only available in bulk 5 and 15-pound bags
✅ Full-spectrum protein blend❌ Advertised servings do not match actual servings
6 flavor options
✅ Great taste and texture

Mutant Mass is a widely popular mass gainer and deservedly so. 

It packs 1100 calories in one serving, which significantly augments your caloric intake to help you reach mutant-like gains.

Its macronutrient content is sourced from healthy and high-quality ingredients from whole foods such as barley, sweet potato, rolled oats, avocado, coconut oil, flaxseed, pumpkin seed, and sunflower oil. 

Despite its high calorie content, this supplement does not use fillers. Which is one of the reasons why it tops the list!

The protein content is also a winner. 

The Mutant Mass 10-Protein Matrix gives you slow, medium, and fast-digesting proteins. 

So, you not only have whey to kickstart recovery, but you also have milk and egg protein to saturate your muscles, and casein to experience anti-catabolic and sustained muscle-building effects.

Despite its wider-than-usual array of flavors, all of it tastes surprisingly amazing, especially the Coconut Cream variant.

The only thing I can complain about is that you can only purchase it in bulk. 

There’s no 2-pound tub or at least a 10-pound bag. 

Although, with its fairly cheap price, buying the Mutant Mass won’t leave a dent in your wallet.

It is a clean gainer in terms of ingredients, but it is one of the mega mass gainers in terms of calorie content. 

These are the reasons why Mutant Mass is the best mass gainer for beginners.

VERDICT

Its macronutrient ratio and significantly high calories make it the most ideal mass gainer for beginners. With its premium real-food ingredients, you will build a solid muscular foundation while also boosting your overall health.

Mutant Mass might not be the right mass gainer for all kinds of lifters, but it is the best for beginners.

As I’ve said, you must take advantage of the higher need you have for calories as well as your high growth potential as a gym newbie. And, Mutant Mass helps you maximize that.

2- BEST CLEAN GAINER: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer

  • Nutrition per serving:
    760 calories
    55 g protein
    112 g carbohydrates
    10 g fat
  • Top 3 Ingredients: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Milk Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate), Carbohydrate Blend (Oat Flour, Pea Starch [Carb10 ], Potato Starch), Maltodextrin
  • Allergen: Oat
  • Type: Powder
  • Size: 10.29 LBS (4.67Kg)
WHAT WE LIKE +WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
✅ Fast-acting whey blend❌ Only 2 flavor options
✅ Full-spectrum carb blend❌ No added vitamins and minerals
Added calories through healthy fats

Clean bulking is the ideal way to gain mass. 

But, as a beginner, you should take advantage of how quickly and easily you can grow, as compared to the later stages of muscle-building.

So, even though you plan on doing a lean bulk, I suggest you still pick a clean gainer with a high-calorie count per serving. 

This is why the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer would be a great pick if you want to gain lean mass and still maximize your growth potential.

It has a blend of all the whey sources along with milk protein. 

This fast-digesting combo will immediately jumpstart muscle recovery. 

It also has enough carbs to replenish your glycogen stores quickly through the maltodextrin, and a sustained energy supply through the complex carbs. 

Thus, I recommend using this post-workout.

Its best feature is its zero empty calories from protein, carbs, to fats. One serving of ON Gold Standard Gainer is packed with 760 high-quality calories, no fillers.

This will be best for lifters who like to start their mass-gaining journey with detail and precision from the get-go. 

With only 760 calories, you won’t need to sacrifice real food to fit this mass gainer into your nutrition plan.

Given its premium ingredients and being at the high end of “low calorie” mass gainers, it’ll help keep your diet clean and your gains lean.

VERDICT

Go for the ON Gold Standard Gainer if you are not a fan of getting flabby during a bulk. It’ll help you gain mass, but the conservative calorie count won’t breathe life into your fat cells and give you a muffin top.

This is especially great if you are a beginner who can easily move the scale without much effort or if you are starting with a skinny-fat physique; scrawny with fats around the abdomen or chest areas.

3- BEST MEGA MASS GAINER: Muscletech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000

  • Nutrition per serving:
    2050 calories
    60 g protein
    440 g carbohydrates
    6 g fat
  • Top 3 Ingredients: Multi-Phase Carb Complex (Glucose Polymers, Oat Bran (as Avena sativa), Isomaltulose), Multi-Phase Protein System (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate 97%, Whey Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali).
  • Type: Powder
  • Size: 22 LBS (10Kg)
WHAT WE LIKE +WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
✅ Multi-phase carb complex❌ Lacks a slow-digesting protein source
✅ Multi-phase protein system (all whey)❌ Limited flavor options
✅ Added vitamins and minerals❌ Overly thick and sweet

This may be the best beginner mass gainer for true hard-gainers who need ridiculous amounts of calories to grow. 

It has 2050 mass-building calories that will surely help you go from skinny to jacked in a few months.

Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 has all the macros you need plus added vitamins and minerals. 

You get a complete macro and micronutrient supplement to put your body in the best condition to build mass.

It has 10 grams of added creatine to help with force production during heavy training sessions. 

Creatine helps you train harder so you can create a bigger stimulus and, hence, force a bigger response aka mass gain.

The carb content is very high. 

So, I recommend you take it early in the day or before a workout to fully utilize its energy-giving compounds. 

Combined with its pure whey protein content, you have a quick-absorbing combo for producing energy and kickstarting muscle recovery.

If 440 grams of carbs seem too high, you can play around with the number of scoops you put in one drink. 

Half a serving still delivers an astounding 1000+ calories. Split one serving into two shakes for any given day.

Although very high in calories, its carbs are from complex sources, unlike most that are chock full of sugars or maltodextrin. 

Thus, it is safer and healthier than some mass gainers on the market.

VERDICT

This mass gainer is best for beginners who struggle with putting on mass. 2000+ calories would be too high for someone who just needs help going over their basic daily caloric intake.

Most beginners, especially those starting scrawny and thin, weigh around 150-170 pounds. And if you do the math, one serving of the Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 could already contain enough calories for one whole day. Remember, this is a supplement not a replacement for food!

4- BEST BUDGET MASS GAINER – Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

  • Nutrition per serving:
    1250 calories
    50 g protein
    252 g carbohydrates
    4.5 g fat
  • Top 3 Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Protein Blend (Whey Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate, Egg Albumen, Sweet Dairy Whey), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Natural and Artificial Flavors.
  • Type: Powder
  • Size: 12LBS (5.44Kg)
WHAT WE LIKE +WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
 Relatively cheap❌ All carbs from maltodextrin
Added vitamin-mineral blend

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass is the best-selling mass gainer on Amazon for a good reason. 

It contains 1250 calories per serving, providing you with an optimal protein content, high-carb content, and added vitamins and minerals to drastically augment your food intake for better and faster gains.

At just about $3 per serving, it is one of the cheapest mass gainers best for beginners. 

While there are cheaper ones available, the quality and results that Optimum Nutrition is known for sets it apart from the rest.

This mass gainer can be taken first thing in the morning but is best used pre-workout. 

As its carbs are from quick-absorbing and quick-acting maltodextrin, it may cause a sharp insulin spike. Using it before your sweat sesh helps avoid that.

The most notable among the added micronutrients are Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, which all help boost the immune system. 

ON Serious Mass also has creatine to help you lift harder, and glutamine to help you recover better.

VERDICT

This budget-friendly mass gainer is a frugal choice if you are a college dude with a not-so-nice selection of food available in your food halls or a professional barely making ends meet. The Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass will help you effectively build your physique without having to compromise on quality.

5- BEST VEGAN GAINER  – IronVegan Athlete’s Gainer

  • Nutrition per serving:
    720 calories
    42 g protein
    120 g carbohydrates
    8 g fat
  • Allergen: Gluten free
  • Type: Powder
  • Size: 2.5Kg
WHAT WE LIKE +WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
 Contains complete proteins❌ Flavor could be better
 High-protein content per serving

Vegans often have a hard time gaining weight since their diet is usually low in calories and protein. 

The IronVegan mass gainer helps solve that problem.

The Athlete’s Gainer contains pea and brown rice protein. 

Pea protein is a complete protein. On the other hand, brown rice protein contains all the nine essential amino acids, but is too low on lysine to be considered “complete”.

However, this particular gainer contains “sprouted” brown rice protein. 

This means that submerging it in water increases its lysine content, and makes it a complete protein. 

Thus, this supplement gives you pure complete proteins that your body can utilize for muscle growth.

Besides being vegan, it is also kosher, non-GMO, and gluten-free

So, it’s a great mass gainer for beginners with dietary restrictions, including being dairy-free.

The factor that gets the most negative reviews is its flavor. 

However, I think this already tastes good compared to other mass gainers I’ve tried. 

It’s really hard to find a vegan gainer that tastes as good as its non-vegan counterparts. 

There is no doubt that you can taste the “greenness” of Athlete’s Gainer.

VERDICT

This was my best pick for a beginner vegan option because of the 720 calories it delivers per serving, which is higher than most vegan mass gainers.

I’ve compared reviews and while other gainers have the same or higher calories, there’s no beating IronVegan’s mass gainer in terms of quality and flavor.

FAQs

Which mass gainer is best for beginners?

The best mass gainer would be Mutant Mass. It can deliver more than a thousand calories in two servings. But, unlike other mass gainers within the same calorie range, its ingredients are real-food based and of high quality.

How should beginners use a mass gainer?

Like with any mass gainer, it would be best to follow the instructions on the label regarding serving size. Keep in mind that these products are to be used as supplements, and not replacements for the food that you should be eating. They are meant to simply aid your mass gain.

Should a beginner take whey protein?

Most people should take whey protein. It is the cheapest and most abundant protein supplement out there. Also, it is a high-quality protein that has proved its worth in a plethora of studies on muscle building.

Is whey protein good for beginners?

Yes, it is great for beginners. Whey protein supplements are easy to find and relatively cheap compared to other protein products. Most of the mass gainers featured in this article contain whey protein.

Do beginners need protein powder?

Beginners do not necessarily need protein powder. But, if you struggle with eating enough food to complete your macronutrient needs for muscle growth, then I strongly recommend using a protein powder. It can be in the form of a pure protein supplement or a mass gainer.

When should a beginner start taking supplements?

There is no hard-and-fast rule as to when should anybody use a dietary supplement. Since they are meant to aid you by reinforcing your dietary intake, you should use them when your current nutrition regimen necessitates it such as when you stomach a lot of food aka overeating.

What supplements should I take as a beginner?

First, make sure that you are eating as much “real” food as you can. It is best to get your nutrition intake primarily from meats, eggs, rice, potatoes, veggies, and the like. Supplements should only be incorporated to fill the holes you may have in your diet as a result of factors like meal prep time, a busy schedule, etc.

CONCLUSION

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

Now it’s up to you to decide which mass gainer is best suited for your beginner level.

For the best of the best, Mutant Mass will help you achieve your physique goal regardless if you’re a true hard-gainer or clean-bulker. 

If you are a size-zero, pencil-neck having newbie, the Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 will shoot your calories high up into the sky.

If you’re weight and fat-conscious, the Gold Standard Gainer will help you keep your body composition in check while helping you get jacked. 

The ON Serious Mass is the best pick for the budget-conscious. 

And lastly, for vegan, non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free dietary restrictions, choose the IronVegan Athlete’s Gainer

Now I’d like to hear from you:

After taking a look at the best beginner mass gainers above, do you think you’ve found the perfect match for your fitness goals and nutrition needs?

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Imad Deryan

My name is Imad, and I struggled to gain mass in the past due to my metabolism and being very skinny. In this blog, I share the best reviews and advice when it comes to gaining weight and mass, for all the people that are struggling like I was.

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