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The 5 Best Vegan Mass Gainers: Top Weight Gainers to Put on Muscle

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For vegan (and all) bodybuilders, gaining weight and more specifically muscle mass is key to becoming stronger and build a robust physique.

However, for reasons like genetics, lifestyle or even appetite, consuming the number of calories necessary to gain weight and muscle mass can be a struggle whether you are vegan or not.

In the case of vegans, plant-based mass gainer supplements are an effective and simple solution to achieve weight gain.

Its goal is to make it easier to get all the calories and protein you need by drinking them as an addition to your diet, rather than trying to get them simply through food.

Unlike protein supplements, mass gainers are not only rich in protein but also carbs and sometimes other ingredients like amino acids that help you gain muscle and maintain lean muscle mass.

The variety of vegan mass gainers available is limited and hopefully, will continue to grow with the demand. However, there are some great vegan mass gainers out there made with whole wholesome plant-based so you don’t need to compromise on anything.

Nutrition per serving (315 g)
Calories: 1230, Protein: 50g
Carbohydrates: 248g, Fats: 4g

Great nutritional profile and calorie-to-protein ratio.

Free of additives, soy, and GMO.

✓ complete amino acid profile thanks to its blend of pea protein and organic brown rice protein.

✓ Uses organic tapioca maltodextrin instead of inferior wheat-based maltodextrins.

✓ No artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors.


Best Vegan Mass Gainers

1. Our Top Choice: Naked Mass Vegan Weight Gainer

2. Best Added Benefits: GNC Earth Genius Plant-Based Gainer

3. Best for Healthy Fats: Iron Vegan Athlete's Gainer

4. Best Low Calorie: Vegun Nutrition VeganMass Plant-Based Gainer

5. Best Of Europe and The UK: The protein Works Vegan Mass Gainer

How can vegans gain weight?

Gaining weight in the form of muscle comes down to two key factors:

  1. Training in a way that promotes muscle growth (hypertrophy).
  2. Eating in a caloric surplus (eat more calories than you burn) and a macronutrient split that supports it.

Consuming enough calories and proteins can be more challenging for vegans since they tend to follow a whole food plant-based diet with foods that have a lower calorie-per-volume ratio.

Non-vegans bodybuilders have it a bit easier in this aspect since they rely on meat and animal-based product that are usually on the higher caloric spectrum.

For example, to obtain 1000 kcal from beans, you’d have to eat 2.5 cups. On the other hand, 1000 kcal from cheese, would be about 250 grams which is a lot less in volume. 

Having to eat more might sound like a good problem to have but bodybuilders need to make up for the calories burned during training and also increase their calories as their muscle mass grows which can get harder over time.

While it is totally possible to gain weight and muscle on a plant-based diet without the need for supplements, mass gainers make it easier and convenient to get the caloric surplus needed to gain weight.


Check out this video from Plant-Based News on How to Gain Weight on a vegan Diet!


When do you need a mass gainer to gain weight?

A mass gainer is not essential to gain weight, it is just an aid to make it easier to consume more calories and the needed macronutrients.

If you are steadily gaining weight from your diet alone then you probably don’t need a mass gainer.

However, there are some scenarios where you should consider a weight gainer:

1. You struggle to consume enough calories

If you are trying to put on muscle mass, you need to be eating with a consistent caloric surplus of 300-500 calories a day. If you have been trying to add mass and killing yourself at the gym for a while with no results, you’re most likely not in a caloric surplus.

2. You have a hard time consuming the right macronutrients 

Gaining weight is not the same as gaining muscle, and is probably the later which you are trying to achieve.

They both require you to be in a caloric surplus, however, while you can easily put on fat by eating an excess of junk food, it is necessary to eat the right type of macronutrient if you want your gains to be mostly muscle.

3. You sacrifice micronutrients when bulking

It can be difficult to consume the macronutrients you need to put on mass while making room for fruits and vegetables which are essential to provide enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Neglecting to consume these can put a strain on your immune system and produce significant inflammation.

What are vegan weight gainers made of?

1. Protein

Protein is made of amino acids which are the building block of muscle fiber. Your body needs adequate protein to support the growth and repair of new muscle tissue.

When it comes to gaining muscle, studies recommend 0.7 – 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, or 1.6 to 2.2 grams of protein per kg.

2. Carbohydrates

Vegan mass gainers also contain a big percentage or carbs which will provide the necessary energy for a high-intensity workout (which means more gains), and moreover, contribute to create the caloric surplus required to promotes an anabolic, or muscle-building, state.

3. Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are essential for healthy hormonal functions such as testosterone which increases the rate of muscle growth. They also boost your total calories supporting your gains as an important aspect of your post-workout shake.

Best Vegan Weight Gainers To Help You Increase Your Muscle Mass

vegan mass weight gainer

Nutrition per serving
(315 g)

Calories: 1230
Protein: 50g
Carbohydrates: 248g
Fats: 4g

Our choice for the best vegan mass gainer goes for Naked Mass Vegan Weight Gainer.

The company is committed to offering the purest supplements and it comes through with Naked Mass which has only 3 ingredients and is free of additives, soy, and GMO.

It combines pea protein, organic brown rice protein in a 2:1 ratio to ensure a complete amino acid profile. It also uses organic tapioca maltodextrin which is naturally gluten-free instead of inferior wheat-based maltodextrins.

Vegan Naked Mass has no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors and can be drunk between meals or before bed to maintain a high protein and calorie diet

.

PRO

  • Only 3 Ingredients: Organic Maltodextrin, Pea, and Rice Proteins
  • No additives
  • 50g of Protein and 10.3g of BCAA’s.
  • Great value for money
  • Customers report good results.

CONS

  • Only one tube size available

Customer Review

“The product has a very neutral taste and mixes well in smoothies, almond milk, etc. You won’t even know its there as it has no grit or aftertaste. I haven’t been using it for that long yet so it’s too soon to speak on whether or not it helps with weight gain. But this is definitely the best gainer I’ve tried for taste and blendability.”


vegan mass weight gainer

Nutrition per serving
(145g)

Calories: 570g
Protein: 50g
Carbohydrates: 70g
Fats: 11g

Besides being GMO and Soy-free, GNC Earth Genius PurEdge Plant-Based Gainer contains Betapower, a beetroot-derived ingredient with performance-enhancing properties that can benefit you during your workouts, and even in recovery.

It also comes with digestive enzymes extracted from fruits such as Pineapple and Papaya which improve your digestion so your body can use the ingredients more effectively.

It offers 50g of complete protein and 70g of carbohydrates per serving. It combines 7 plant-based sources that include all 9 essential amino acids.

Although it can be on the higher price end, GNC Earth Genius Plant-Based Gainer comes with many benefits we don’t find in other vegan mass gainers.

PRO

  • Contains beetroot, which helps fuel power and performance
  • Includes enzymes to help digestion
  • Contains no artificial sweeteners
  • Reputable brand.

CONS

  • Mixed reviews on the taste and texture

Customer Review

“I first tried this a few months back after switching from Whey to Vegan protein. I changed my diet but didn’t want to lose mass. I was able to put on good size with this product without all the bloat you get from Whey Mass Gainers. What really surprised me was the taste. I was expecting it to be bad but the Vanilla was really good for a Gainer. Adding almond milk with ice and banana gave it a Vanilla Pudding kind of flavor. I enjoyed it. If it was a little less expensive I would buy it again.


vegan mass weight gainer

Nutrition per serving
(190g)

Calories: 720
Protein: 42g
Carbohydrates: 120g
Fats: 8g

Iron Vegan Athlete’s Gainer was one of the first plant-based gainers in the market. It has a 2.85:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio and its ingredients include organic greens, fruit concentrates, organic sea vegetables, plant oils, and sprouted whole grains.

It offers 42 grams of non-GMO plant-based protein with 13 grams of fiber and only 1 g of sugar.

It comes in vanilla and chocolate flavour but most customers (and myself) prefer the chocolate one although they are both sweetened with stevia so if you are looking for an unsweetened or stevia free option, this might not be ideal for you.

Some comments mention not enjoying the packaging but I had no issues with it and find it more environmentally friendly than a jar.

PRO

  • Contains healthy fats which support hormone health and muscle gain.
  •  12 g of fibre and only 1 g of sugar.
  • No additives

CONS

  • Fiber can cause digestive issues at first.
  • Sweetened with stevia which some don’t like

Customer Review

This stuff is great. I was skeptical I couldn’t find that much online, but I’ve gained close to 10 pounds in a few weeks with exercise. The chocolate versions taste is just fine, comparable to the better chocolate-flavored powders you’d find anywhere.
My only gripe is the choice to go with a bag and zipper. Perhaps as a way to stand out? I can, at best, get 1/4 of the bag to fully close. This has been an issue from day one of getting the bag. A small flaw that’s easily overlooked for what you get.


To learn more about Iron Vegan Athelte’s Gainer, check out this review video:


vegan mass weight gainer

Nutrition per serving
(152g)

Calories: 560
Protein: 60g
Carbohydrates: 62g
Fats: 12g

Vegun Nutrition VeganMass Plant-Based Gainer offers a lower caloric profile versus other mass gainers. It can be ideal for those with a slow metabolism or vegans who rather use some fruits in their shakes for flavor.

It offers an impressive 60 grams of protein in a 1:1 protein to carb ratio and only 560 calories which supports lean muscle gains while lessening the potential to increase body fat.

They use a trademarked carbohydrate blend that supports glycogen replenishment and extended performance.

On top of that, it also offers a digestive enzyme blend so your digestive health is supported, as well as a complete profile of all the essential amino acids.

It also contains certified organic coconut water that may support the natural pH levels of the body.

Customer Review

PRO

  • 1:1 protein to carb ratio ideal to support lean bulking.
  • Contains Digestive Enzyme Blend.
  • Coconut water promotes hydration which is essential for performance and recovery.

CONS

  • Mixed reviews on the taste.

Customer Review

I have been searching for a mass gainer for vegans and it is really hard to find one especially when it’s hard to gain mass not only with the animal-free life but for someone with a high metabolic rate. This tastes really good. Not too sweet, well perfect sweetness for me. And it’s very smooth tasting. I highly recommend it. It already comes with bcaas to maintain the mass that you’re looking for. I personally use 2 servings a day

To learn more about Vegun Nutrition Veganmass check out this review video:




vegan mass weight gainer

Nutrition per serving
(150g)

Calories: 540
Protein: 39g
Carbohydrates: 90g
Fats: 4.2g

The Protein Works Vegan Mass Gainer contains a tri-protein blend, made from soy isolate, pea isolate and brown rice concentrate ensuring each shake is perfectly smooth.

By using various sources of protein, it delivers the complete amino acids profile necessary for muscle growth.

it also contains 79g of carbohydrate per serving derived from fine oats and rapidly digesting maltodextrin which results in an smooth and great tasting shake.

They have also added flaxseed to increase alpha-linolenic acid intake; essential dietary fats that contribute to the maintenance of blood cholesterol.

The Protein Works is based in the UK but they also ship to Europe, the USA, and Canada.

PRO

  • Sustainably sourced.
  • Available in five flavors.
  • Good reviews on taste and texture.
  • High in carbs ideal for those who have a hard time getting calories in.
  • Great value for money
  • Available in 3 sizes.

CONS

  • Delivery outside the UK takes longer.

Customer Review

“I am a vegetarian bodybuilder and I’m so glad that my choice for this mass gainer was on point. My main concern about other gainers was the bloating effect and the grainy mix texture that don’t mix at all. With this vegan gainer is like a new dimension has open for me. Good taste, naturally filled and very happy with the chocolate flavor. Job well done TPW team


Make your own Vegan Mass Gainer

vegan mass weight gainer

If you don’t think any of the vegan mass gainer products available that have everything you are looking for, then you could consider making your own.

By making you own weight gainer you have full control of the ingredients, you can decide the protein to carbohydrate ratio, add creatine, superfoods, decide on your protein source, etc.

​Below, you will find an idea for a protein shake you can try at home if none of the options above satisfy you. Use this as a base an modify to your own needs.

Vegan Mass Gainer DIY Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1-2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup of soy milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 serving of fruits (e.g. banana, mango, dates) 
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed (aka white kidney beans)
  • Optional fat source (nuts, seeds, nut butter)
  • Cocoa powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

Place the ingredients in a blender, blend to the desired consistency.

Nutrition: (with one scoop protein powder and no fat source)

  • 974 calories, 125 g carbs, 68 g protein, 18.5 g fat, 43g fiber

Vegan Mass Gainer Benefits

Here are some benefits of weight gainers and why you should consider using one.

1.  Mass gainers help meeting extreme caloric needs

The first and most obvious benefit of weight gainers is that they help you meet your caloric needs with more ease, especially if you are what’s considered a ‘hard gainer’.

If you struggle with having to eat beyond the point of comfort in order to gain a minimum amount of muscle, mass gainers offer a more efficient and less uncomfortable solution than adding even more plates to your diet.

Considering that there are mass gainers with over a thousand calories per serving, you can easily reach a 3000-4000 calorie goal by having one or two.

2.  Weight Gainer Help You Stay Leaner

While gaining some percentage of fat during a bulk is inevitable, you want to minimize it as much as possible to be able to continue your bulk for as long as you planned.

Mass gainers contain a particular type of dietary fat that helps to keep you leaner while you go about the muscle-building process.

Keep an eye out for a weight gainer that contains medium-chain triglycerides and as little saturated fat as possible.

3. Meet Your Creatine Needs More Effectively

Another great benefit of weight gainers is that they help you get all your supplements at once.

If you were drinking a protein shakes before, you will no longer need one know unless you want a low-calorie one.

Most weight gainers also include complete creatine which eliminates the need to buy this product separately if you did before or were thinking about it.

Creatine in mass gainer is the perfect pairing since it needs a higher amount of quick-acting carbs to work effectively, which is abundant in weight gainers.

If you notice some water weight gain when first introducing your weight gainer, it might be from the high influx of carbohydrates (which carry extra water molecules into the body) as well as the creatine.

Give it a week or two and you should see this water retention leave the body.

4. Vegan Mass Gainers Promote Faster Recovery

Being able to recover fast is essential since you need to be in your best shape for you next workout.

Like creatine, most weight gainers have added l-glutamine, which is an amino acid that plays an important role in recovery.

Add that to the fact that a plant-based diet and supplementation have proven to be the best for recovery and reducing inflammation and you have a winning performance.

What are other supplements that help vegans gain weight?

1. Protein

Paired with a caloric surplus, protein is an essential macronutrient for muscle growth.

As a general recommendation, 20-25% of your daily calories should come from protein when aiming to build muscle.

While your total daily protein intake is more important than if it comes from foods or supplements, many people consider protein powders a convenient way to fit more protein into a busy schedule

 

 

 

.

Studies show slightly more muscle gain in exercising adults who consume protein supplements as part of their diet (1).

2. Creatine

Creatine is one of the few sports supplements with very strong research support (2).

A substantial amount of research has shown that creatine supplements can improve exercise performance and muscle gain over time (3).

While several different types of creatine are available, creatine monohydrate has the most research backing it as safe and effective (4).

3. Caffeine

Research shows that caffeine can help enhance exercise performance which over time could lead to better muscle gain

This would need to be linked, however, to an adequate caloric and protein intake.

Weight Gaining Supplements that are most likely ineffective

1. BCAAs

Despite the popularity of these supplements, research does not support the benefits of BCAA supplements for muscle gain (5).

There is no doubt that branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are critical for muscle growth (6).

However, BCAAs are found in nearly all protein sources. If you are already consuming enough protein, BCAAs. are unnecessary for muscle gain

2. Testosterone Boosters

Testosterone boosters make up a broad category of supplements that claim to increase this hormone to promote muscle gain.

Some ingredients found in these supplements are Tribulus Terrestris, fenugreek, D-aspartic acid, ashwagandha, and DHEA.

A small number of studies have shown possible benefits to some of these ingredients (78) but most of the compounds haven’t proved to be cause weight or muscle gain.(910).

They could potentially be beneficial in those with low testosterone but typically, testosterone boosters don’t live up to their claims.

Vegan Mass Gainers Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to drink your vegan mass gainer?

There’s a lot of confusion around the best time to drink your weight gainer.
Although opinions are divided, most fitness professionals agree that post-workout is the best option.

This is when your body is craving protein and other nutrients and drinking your mass gainer at this moment helps provide your muscles with everything they need to grow after their exhausting gym session.

It can also prevent your body from entering a catabolic state which reduces your ability to gain muscle.

If post-workout is not an option, you can drink your weight gainer in-between meals. That way you can consume more calories without feeling bloated, and you avoid resorting to unhealthy snacks.

Is it bad to take mass gainer before bed?

Some bodybuilders claim that drinking your mass gainer right before bed can cause you to gain fat.

However, taking mass gainers before bed is common practice and athletes who do it report no adverse effects on their gains.

The only thing to consider is that most mass gainers are high on carbs and sugar so they might give you a sugar rush and make it harder for you to fall asleep.

Are mass gainers healthy?

For people who struggle to eat enough to gain weight, mass gainers can be an effective way to increase your calorie intake.

Nowadays, supplements (mass gainers included) aim for clean and organic ingredients and avoid fillers and additives so they are safe to drink.
As always, if you have an underlying condition please talk to your doctors before making any changes to your diet.

What are the side effects of mass gainers?

High doses can cause some side effects such as increased bowel movements, nausea, thirst, bloating, cramps, reduced appetite, tiredness (fatigue), and headache.
These are usually related to having an intolerance to some of the ingredients so make sure to check the labels before buying and stop if you have any unfavorable reaction.

Do mass gainers really work?

Weight gainers are supplement very high in carbohydrates and in protein that have the goal to help you increase your calories so you are eating more calories than you are burning.

These products can help you if you struggle to eat enough food or macronutrients but they are not better than eating more real food.

Should You Buy a Vegan Mass Gainer or Make One Myself?

There is no right answer for that one. A couple of years ago there were no good quality vegan mass gainers available so making one yourself was definitely the better solution.
Nowadays there are great high-quality options like the ones shown in this article which are as good as making one yourself and more convenient.
If you have access to a vegan mass gainer with all the ingredients that you want, then I would recommend buying it and saving you some time.
On the other hand, if you enjoy creating your own customized blend then by all means go ahead and make the best vegan weight gainer you could ever imagine.
You could add creatine, superfoods, vitamins, and your favorite protein powder.
Above there is an idea for a DIY vegan mass gainer you can use to inspire your won creations!


Nutrition per serving (315 g)
Calories: 1230, Protein: 50g
Carbohydrates: 248g, Fats: 4g

Great nutritional profile and calorie-to-protein ratio.

Free of additives, soy, and GMO.

✓ complete amino acid profile thanks to its blend of pea protein and organic brown rice protein.

✓ Uses organic tapioca maltodextrin instead of inferior wheat-based maltodextrins.

✓ No artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors.


Takeaway

Gaining weight on a vegan diet can be particularly challenging since most plant-based foods are less calorie-dense compared to animal foods.

This, added to the fact that bodybuilders burn a lot of calories during training that need to be replenished, can make vegan mass gainers supplements a be a good ally to help vegans gain weight and muscle mass.

There is not a huge variety of Vegan Mass Gainers in the market but the ones available are certainly of great quality and worth trying.


What do you think of Vegan Mass Gainers? Let us know in the comments if you are going to try one of these!


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