Skinny guys and girls often have this misconception that they won’t ever be able to put on any substantial muscle mass. Labelled as “hard gainers”, they blame their lack of results on genetics.
Yet time and again people have proven these sceptics wrong. I’m living proof that, with possibly the worst genetics for building mass, yet I was able to build head turning muscle and become one of the most respected go-to guys at my local gym.
Sure, being a skinny weakling (ectomorph) with a fast metabolism might mean you can’t put on mass as fast as other genetically gifted guys (mesomorph), naturally at least. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put on a good amount of lean muscle mass in a reasonable time!
To help accelerate your progress, you need plenty of protein and a calorie surplus. Now, getting all your calorie requirements from food alone is not always easy – that’s where weight gainer protein shakes can help.
Weight gainers are designed to help those who struggle to put on weight, to put on weight. They provide a deliberate high number of calories alongside a wide range of macronutrients to further assist with the growth of muscle mass, but what is the best weight gainer for us skinny guys and girls looking to increase mass?
Here’s Our Top 5 Picks…
1. Reflex Nutrition Instant Mass Heavyweight
You might have noticed that we’re big fans of Reflex Nutrition, that’s because they intelligently design all of their products to the highest standards from their own state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the UK, and only use the best ingredients.
We recently reviewed some of the best all in one protein powders, and ranked Reflex in the top spot. Again, Reflex Nutrition leads the way with their nutrient packed weight gainer – Instant Mass Heavyweight.
Let’s explore what this special supplement has to offer.
- Per 300g Serving:
- Kcal: 1,089
- Protein: 60g
- Carbs: 195g
- Fat: 5.7g
- Also Includes: 18 Vitamins and Minerals, including A, B6, B12, D, and C. Contains Zinc, Iron, and DeltaGold tocotrienols, Creatine and Lactospore for gut health.
The primary reason to use a weight gainer is for the extra calories they provide. Reflex Instant Mass Heavyweight provides a monster >1,000 calories per serving, the bulk of which coming from around 200g of complex carbohydrates, in the form of Wheat, Oat Flour, and Maltodextrin.
You get a hefty portion of mixed proteins from grass-fed cows. As you may know, whey starts its life as milk before it goes through a process to produce various types of whey powder. One of the things I love about
Reflex Nutrition, is that they only use milk sourced from grass-fed cows, over corn-fed cows.
Further, Reflex never use cheap and inferior soy protein, only the finest whey protein, so you’re always getting the healthiest protein containing the most muscle building branch chain amino acids.
Designed to help hard gainers, the foundation of Reflex Instant Mass Heavyweight is built on quality proteins and carbohydrates to give a high-calorie, high-carb, protein packed shake to boost muscle mass. A blend of vitamins, minerals, and creatine are added to support training and recover, and is topped-off with digestive enzymes to ensure maximum absorption.
And of course, it’s available in a range of 5 great tasting flavours, and mixes beautifully into a great tasting shake. It’s also perfectly suitable for vegetarians and is Aspartame free.
Now this, is what you want from a weight gainer protein powder – no corners cut, just the best ingredient in the perfect quantity, formulated into a delicious shake designed for the hard gainer.
2. PhD Advanced Mass Weight Gainer
- Per 300g (3 scoops) Serving:
- Kcal: 1,145
- Protein: 49g
- Carbs: 188g
- Fat: 17g
- Also Includes: 5g of creatine monohydrate, MCT oil and Flaxseed. L-Leucine and essential amino acids. Minerals Zinc and Magnesium.
Like Reflex Nutrition, PhD is also a very well-known supplement brand in the UK, and one of my personal favourites. They specialise in protein supplements, and various others to assist gym-goers and athletes with building muscle mass and improving performance. Their products are not only found and purchased directly from their website, but you may also find their products in your local supermarkets as they are a strong, trustworthy brand.
PhD has formulated and delivered to us one of the planets most fantastic weight gainers – Advanced Mass! There’s a reason this product has become one of their best-selling products, let’s take a look at some!
Advanced mass is very calorically dense. As a hard gainer, consuming enough food to put on some real size can be difficult, and preparing many meals to accommodate this can be a chore in itself. PhD Advanced Mass delivers more than 1,100 calories per shake to give you that large hit of calories with ease.
This weight gainer powder packs a punch with 50g of quality proteins coming from four premium sources – whey concentrate, whey isolate,
Micellar Casein, and whole egg – means you’re getting plenty of amino acids to maximize muscle growth.
PhD selected three great carb sources for this high calorie weight gainer, which are Oat flour, Maltodextrin, and Waxy Maize. Some of the cheaper weight gainers will use dextrose and sugar which would result in a less than ideal high sugar profile. But you’re in good hands with PhD, as their carb blend is low in sugar, coming in at just 6g per serving.
With an excellent blend of proteins and carbs at its core, and enhanced with Creatine, MTC and Flaxseed, this high calorie weight gainer shake is perfecting for struggling hard gainers who want the best.
3. The Protein Works Total Mass Matrix Extreme (…Sounds like Serious Stuff)
- Per Serving of 265g:
- Kcal: 965
- Protein: 55g
- Carbs: 161g
- Fat: 13g
- Also Includes: Blend of vitamins and minerals, creatine Mono, and MCT. Available in a monster 8.48kg bag.
Here we have a weight gainer from The Protein Works, an award-winning UK supplement brand that’s been growing from strength to strength since late 2012. Known for using the purest premium ingredients in their affordable products, their weight gainer is available in 12 amazing flavours and has much to offer the hard gainer looking to pack on muscle mass.
Slightly lower on the calories than others on the list, but still pushing a good 900. It’s quite easy to get more calories into each shake by adding heaped scoops, as opposed to levelling them.
Each shake provides around 55g of protein, more than enough to elevate protein synthesis to peak levels. The Protein Works have chosen a “tri-protein” blend of whey concentrate, Micellar Casein and plant-based Soy Protein. Now, they could have used just whey concentrate, and possibly some Micellar Casein and left out the Soy, but still, a good decent blend of proteins to help build that much needed muscle mass.
Carbs are topping out around 161g and come from a blend of Oat Flour, Dextrose, Maltodextrin Monohydrate, and Whey Permeate. Now, you might be wonder what Whey Permeate is – I’ve never seen this used as a carbs source in a supplement before.
Whey Permeate is left over when you remove proteins from whey in a filtration process. It’s cheap and high in lactose, which likely explains why this weight gainer is so high in sugar – 38g per serving. Not a big deal for hard gainers looking to pack in mass, and not too alarming for the health minded because lactose is a naturally accruing sugar.
A generous sprinkle of creatine, L-Glutamine, B Vitamins, and minerals are adding to formulate a great weight gainer shake that’s tasty and smooth to mix.
4. My Protein Extreme Weight Gainer Blend
- Per Serving of 125g:
- Kcal: 502
- Protein: 35g
- Carbs: 62g
- Fat: 7g
Over the years, My Protein has managed to earn themselves a well-earned place in the fitness industry. Their reliable range of well formulated products has allowed them to grow to the trusted brand they are today. Not only are their products good quality, but the deals and offers they put out are a steal.
This weight gainer protein powder offers around 500 calories per serving. Comparing this product to other weight gainers on this list and you’ll notice that the calorie count is certainly on the lower side.
Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. You see, this weight gainers slightly lower calorie count means this product will be perfect for those looking to increase lean gains, without going overboard and adding too much fat to their overall body weight.
One serving delivers you 60g of carbs. Which again, is quite low compared to other shakes in this category. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are an incredibly important fuel source, particularly for the hair gainer. Your brain needs them, your organs need them, and your muscle need them to move – all quite necessary for anyone hitting the gym.
During training, the muscles utilise glucose and ATP for energy. If there is a lack of glucose, your performance will surely suffer, well, unless you happen to be taking this product that is. Its carb content comes mainly from Modified Maize Starch, which is not great, but gets the job done at a good price point.
This product offers a low-fat content. Most poorly constructed weight gainers out there are typically filled with a wide array of detrimental ingredients. These ingredients may range from sugars, sweeteners, filler ingredients and or large amounts of fat! The utilisation of this product means you won’t ever have to worry about consuming high amounts of fat!
You thought I’d forgot about the protein, didn’t you? Well I’ve saved the best till last. Where this shake lacks in quality carbs, it makes up for it in the protein department with a nice 35g dose – more than enough to maximally stimulate protein synthesis – from Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, and Milk Protein Concentrate.
I think My Protein made a mistake in calling this an “Extreme” Gainer Blend, as most other leading weight gainers have double the calories and carbs, but still, it does have a more sensible nutrition profile for those looking to maximise muscle gain while minimising fat gain.
If you’re looking for a flavoursome low carb weight gainer with moderate calories and plenty of protein, then this is the supplement for you. It contains quality proteins and is supplemented with MTC, creatine, vitamins, and minerals, and is the most affordable, low priced weight gainer on our list.
5. CNP Pro Mass Gainer
- Per Serving of 50g (2 scoops):
- Kcal: 372
- Protein: 37g
- Carbs: 48g
- Fat: 3g
CNP – a proud UK supplement brand with an impressive line of protein powders. What sets this company apart is their focus on good quality ingredients, the products they formulate tend to be comprised of very healthy ingredients and offer great value for money.
This formulated weight gainer for a fast metabolism is a tasty no frills shake. Nothing fancy, just good old whey mixed with Maltodextrin, and some MTC, CNP have produced an excellent value weight gainer that gets the job done, with pride.
This product offers loads of servings! One of the biggest downsides most weight gainers possess is the annoyingly low serving count. This factor means you will have to buy in bulk or make consistent orders. On average, the lowest bag size may offer 5-12 servings. CNP broke the mould when they formulated this product as 25-50 servings can be utilised from this product!
Pro Mass is extremely affordable. If you’ve ever browsed around for weight gainers, you’ll notice that they can get expensive. Even with a significantly lower serving count, you can end up spending more than £50. I can happily state this CNP have changed the game in this area. They not only offer a significantly higher serving count but a much less expensive product.
The number of servings, the low expense rate and the presentation of incredibly healthy ingredients has made CNP one of the most trustworthy supplement companies to this day!
If you’ve been struggling to put on weight, maybe you’ve been eating non-stop and nothing seems to be working. You must take into account that there is always a solution. Regardless of how long you may have been struggling, there is always a strategy that will work, weight gainers might just be the solution for you. The top five mass gainers listed above are hand-picked for their quality, they’re successful brands that can be trusted.