10 Best Mass Gainers For Skinny Guys in 2020

If you’re a skinny guy trying to add lean muscle, it might seem like you already eat enough food to stimulate gains. More than likely you still need to eat more. 

The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re eating 3 whole food meals per day. Next, try a mass gainer.

A good mass gainer will add quality calories and help you gain lean muscle. Many mass gainers feature multiple protein sources, lots of high quality carbs and may include extras like creatine.

What are the best mass gainers for skinny guys? Let’s find out!

In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:

Quick Answer – Top 10 Best Mass Gainers For Skinny Guys

  1. Beyond Raw Re-Built Mass XP – Best Overall Mass Gainer
  2. Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer – Best For Convenience
  3. NutraBio Extreme Mass – Best For Full Label Transparency
  4. Naked Nutrition Naked Mass – Best Clean Mass Gainer
  5. Muscle Milk Gainer – Best For Endurance Athletes
  6. Jacked Factory Authentic Mass Gainer – Best For Older Athletes
  7. CytoSport Cyto Gainer – Best Protein To Carb Ratio
  8. Universal Nutrition Real Gains – Best Tasting Mass Gainer
  9. Muscle Feast Ultimate Gainer – Best Low Sodium Mass Gainer
  10. G6 Sports Mass Pro – Best Post-Workout Mass Gainer

Reviews – The Best Mass Gainers For Skinny Guys

1. Beyond Raw Re-Built Mass XP – Best Overall Mass Gainer

Beyond Raw Re-Built Mass XP is one of the very few mass gainers that does not use maltodextrin as the primary carb source. 

There’s 880 calories, 9g of fat, and 60g of protein to 140g of carbohydrates. 

Re-Built Mass XP uses a blend consisting of Carb10® pea starch, potato starch, waxy maize, maltodextrin, and ModCarb® grain blend (consisting of oat bran, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and chia, all organic). 

The protein sources are whey and casein, plus there’s an impressive “hyper anabolic” complex, and a creatine complex. 

This is hands down the best mass gainer I have seen, period. This is a serious formula that’s pushing gains instead of pushing fat. It’s well dosed, and most of the label is open. 

Can you guess the downside? There are two partial prop blends, and it’s the hyper anabolic complex and creatine complex.

Still, despite that one big drawback, it is almost perfect. That’s enough to make Beyond Raw Re-Built XP the best overall mass gainer.

PROS

  • Comprehensive Carb Blend – Low & High Glycemic
  • Good Protein To Carb Ratio
  • Hyper-Anabolic Complex & Creatine Complex

CONS

  • High Cost Per Serving
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

2. Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer – Best For Convenience

Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer provides 650 calories per serving with a good protein to carb ratio.

The protein blend provides 60g of whey, casein, and egg proteins for different digestion speeds. There’s only 85g of carbs, with 5g sugar. There’s also 8g fat and 4g of fiber.

This means Pro Gainer has a good macronutrient balance as opposed to an overload of carbs. However, the sole carb source is maltodextrin, a high glycemic carb that can cause an insulin spike. Combined with protein and fat (in this case from MCT’s and sunflower oil), the absorption of carbs will be slowed, thereby lowering the negative effects of insulin.

The downsides are that Pro Gainer is a little high in sodium and relies on maltodextrin as its sole carb source. Still, Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer offers one impressive benefit that’s unusual for a mass gainer. You only need 1 scoop.

That’s it! Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer the most convenient mass gainer on the market.

PROS 

  • Fast, Medium & Slow Digesting Protein Blend
  • Good Protein To Carb Ratio
  • Low Sugar
  • 1 Scoop = 1 Serving

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Flavors & Sweeteners
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

3. NutraBio Extreme Mass – Best For Full Label Transparency

NutraBio Extreme Mass is almost everything you would expect it to be.

It features an extremely open-label that discloses every ingredient right down to the flavoring. One serving of this gainer provides 650 calories with a solid ratio of 52g protein to 100g carbs.

You’re getting whey and micellar casein as well as maltodextrin and MCT powder. Of course, the exact grams of each is clearly listed. Extreme Mass also includes 5g of a “digestive resistant” maltodextrin to help offset the high glycemic nature of regular maltodextrin.

There’s only 6g of sugar, offset by 6g of fiber as well as just 182mg of sodium. Also, there’s only 6g of fat. Compared to many of the gainers you’ll see, these are good numbers.

You can have a good mass gainer without tons of sugar and sodium and a good protein to carb balance. That’s exactly what NutraBio Extreme Mass is. It’s one of the better mass gainers but it’s not the best.

Still, the fully disclosed label makes NutraBio Extreme Mass the best mass gainer for full label transparency.

PROS

  • Extreme Open Label
  • Contains Slow Digesting Carbs
  • Good Protein To Carb Ratio

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Sweeteners
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

4. Naked Nutrition Naked Mass – Best Clean Mass Gainer

Naked Nutrition Naked Mass contains only 3 ingredients (unflavored version only) and features a huge 1250 calories per serving.

This is a clean formula with 50g of whey and micellar casein protein, 2.5g fat as well as a huge 252g of carbs.

Naked Mass uses organic tapioca maltodextrin as its only carb source. There’s just 5g of sugar but Mass Gainer is overloaded in high glycemic carbs.

A mass gainer with this much of an unbalanced protein to carb ratio means you’ll need to be active to avoid gaining fat with this product. Remember the goal is muscle, not fat.

Still, for the heavy endurance athlete that needs to gain some mass, Naked Nutrition Naked Mass is a good choice.

What really sets Naked Mass apart is the ultra-simple, clean formula. That makes Naked Nutrition Naked Mass the best clean mass gainer.

PROS

  • Only 3 Ingredients
  • Features Fast & Slow Digesting Proteins
  • Low Sugar – Low Fat – Low Sodium

CONS

  • 252g Carbs – Poor Protein To Carb Ratio
  • Taste May Not Appeal To All Users
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

5. Muscle Milk Gainer – Best For Endurance Athletes

Muscle Milk Gainer provides 650 calories, only 32g of milk protein isolate and calcium caseinate to a huge 109g of carbs from maltodextrin. 

It contains just 9g of fat from, of all things, non-dairy creamer. Yep, the stuff you put in your coffee. If you consider that regular Muscle Milk features 12g of fat to 19g carbs and the same 32g protein, their Gainer is a little too carb-heavy. 

Still, the amount of carbs makes Muscle Milk Gainer a good choice for endurance athletes or anyone who wants extra carbohydrates in their diet.

You’re not getting an overload of carbs, but at 109g it’s still a decent amount for those that need them. That makes Muscle Milk Gainer the best mass gainer for endurance athletes.

PROS

  • Muscle Milk Is Known For Taste
  • Blend Of Milk Protein Isolate & Casein
  • Low Sugar

CONS

  • Low-Quality Nutrient Profile – Contains Non-Dairy Creamer
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

6. Jacked Factory Authentic Mass Gainer – Best For Older Athletes

Most mass gainers feature maltodextrin as their primary carb source, but Jacked Factory Authentic Mass Gainer is different. 

What sets it apart? The carb source starts with pea starch, then includes maltodextrin, sweet potato, and oat. This creates a carbohydrate blend that features both low and high glycemic carbs. 

Then there is the fact that it contains 4g of fat, zero sugar and features a ratio of 32g of protein to 52g of carbs. That’s a good balance! 

A major difference is that it’s also only 380 calories. Not much for a serious Mass Gainer. 

Still, if you’re an older bodybuilder or athlete and your metabolism is not as fast as it used to be, this is the mass gainer for you.

The lower calories and lower glycemic carbs make Jacked Factory Authentic Mass Gainer the best choice for the older athletes.

PROS

  • Contains Low & High Glycemic Carbs – One Of The Few To Feature A Carb Blend
  • Very Good Protein To Carb Ratio
  • Only 380 Calories – Perfect For Slow Metabolisms

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Ingredients
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

7. CytoSport Cyto Gainer – Best Protein To Carb Ratio

While it’s true that CytoSport owns Muscle Milk, CytoSport Cyto Gainer is not the same thing as Muscle Milk Gainer. 

For starters, the ratio of protein to carbs is much better, 54g to 76g. That’s with 560 calories, and the protein blend is whey first followed by milk. 

Also, there’s just 4g of sugar and 5g of fat. Unfortunately, the first ingredient is maltodextrin, which we know is not the best carb source. 

Cyto Gainer contains creatine dosed at the low end of the clinical range. It also has a high leucine content and a modest dose of glutamine. 

Even so, CytoSport Cyto Gainer is the mass gainer with the best protein to carb ratio. 4 Stars.

PROS

  • Excellent Protein To Carb Ratio
  • Low Sugar
  • Includes Creatine

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Ingredients
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

8. Universal Nutrition Real Gains – Best Tasting Mass Gainer

Universal Nutrition Real Gains features one of the best protein to carb ratios on this list. How’s 53g whey and casein protein to 84g carbs sound? You’re getting 602 calories, 7g sugar, 6g of fat, and 277mg of sodium. 

The downside is the use of maltodextrin as the only carb source but that’s the drawback of most mass gainers. 

The other downside to Real Gains is the use of artificial sweeteners and flavors. 

Still, Real Gains contains inulin, a type of fiber that rates zero on the glycemic index. That means the high glycemic rating of maltodextrin will be somewhat offset by inulin. 

Also, many users claim that Real Gains tastes great. In fact, to many users, the taste is what sets Real Gains apart. That makes Universal Nutrition Real Gains the best-tasting mass gainer. 4 Stars.

PROS

  • Good Protein To Carb Ratio
  • Mixes Easily – Thick, Rich Taste
  • Low Sugar

CONS

  • Uses Artificial Sweeteners
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

9. Muscle Feast Ultimate Gainer – Best Low Sodium Mass Gainer

Muscle Feast Ultimate Gainer is not just another maltodextrin-loaded mass gainer. 

In this case, Ultimate Gainer features 47g of whey isolate and micellar casein protein, and the protein blend is the first ingredient listed. 

Why does that matter? It’s the only Mass Gainer we’ve seen that does not list maltodextrin as the first ingredient. 

Ultimate Gainer contains 103g of carbs with 5.5g of sugar and 1g of fat, all in 603 calories. The carbs come from waxy maize, a slower digesting carb source, and maltodextrin. 

This product comes in an unflavored version so there are no sweeteners of any kind. 

The other standout benefit of this product is that it only contains 76mg of sodium. That’s for a 5 scoop serving! Why use a high sodium mass gainer that promotes water retention? You want your weight gain to be muscle, not water. Muscle Feast Ultimate Gainer is the best low sodium mass gainer. 5 Stars.

PROS

  • Only 76mg Sodium Per 5-Scoops
  • Only 4 Ingredients
  • Good Protein To Carb Ratio
  • Low Sugar – Low Fat

CONS

  • The Texture May Be Gritty
  • Some Users May Not Like The Taste
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

10. G6 Sports Mass Pro – Best Post-Workout Mass Gainer

G6 Sports Mass Pro features 64g of whey protein to 126g of carbs. 

Yes, Mass Pro relies on maltodextrin. However, Mass Pro also contains a high level of bcaa’s and 5g creatine. 

It has a unique fat blend that sets it apart and will help slow digestion speed, partially offsetting the carbs. 

There’s 9g of fat from avocado oil, coconut oil, and MCT oil. This also helps balance out the macronutrient profile and add to the 838 calories per serving. 

Other than the use of maltodextrin, the only drawback is the use of artificial sweeteners. 

While some mass gainers rely on an advanced protein blend featuring slower digesting proteins, Mass Pro uses fast-digesting whey. That makes G6 Sports Mass Pro the best post-workout/recovery Mass Gainer. 4 Stars.

PROS

  • 64g Fast Digesting Whey Protein
  • Balanced Protein To Carb Ratio
  • Low Sugar

CONS

  • Uses Artificial Ingredients
CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Mass Gainer For Skinny Guys?

What Is A Mass Gainer?

A mass gainer is a concentrated source of calories primarily from protein and carbohydrates with a minimal amount of fat and sugar. 

The best mass gainers feature fast and slow-digesting proteins. (1,2, 3) While a few feature a quality lower glycemic carb blend, most mass gainers contain maltodextrin. 

Made from corn, maltodextrin has a high glycemic effect on the body. Not the best choice for quality muscle gains. Still, the protein and fat content does have a glycemic load effect. 

What is the glycemic load? Like the glycemic index, it measures the absorption time of a carbohydrate. The difference it measures carbohydrate absorption as it occurs in the real world: as part of a meal. This makes sense. Therefore, despite the sometimes high amount of carbs in a mass gainer, the digestion speed is slowed a little by the protein and fat content. (4)

Advantages 

  • Concentrated Source Of Nutrient-Dense Calories
  • Support Muscle Growth & Recovery – Many Mass Gainers Contain Creatine & High Concentrations Of BCAAs
  • Can Act As A Meal Replacement – Provides A High-Calorie Meal For Busy Lifestyles
  • Often Contains Other Performance-Enhancing Ingredients – Besides High Calories, Many Mass Gainers Provide Ingredients That Improve Performance

Disadvantages

  • Some Mass Gainers May Be Too High In Sugar 
  • Some Mass Gainers May Be Too High In Sodium
  • Most Mass Gainers Rely On Maltodextrin – A Carbohydrate That’s High Glycemic
  • Some Mass Gainers May Have A Chalky Taste

What To Look For In a Mass Gainer

A good mass gainer should contain at least 600 calories per serving. 

I know there’s 1300-1800 calorie shakes out there, but 2-3 smaller shakes spread over the day makes more sense than trying to digest one big one. Ever try and digest a 2000+ calorie shake? Trust me, it’s something less than fun. 

Protein can come from a variety of sources and most mass gainers will use a blend of whey and casein to take advantage of the unique digestion speeds of each. 

Unfortunately, maltodextrin is the carbohydrate of choice among most gainers. Derived from corn, the main argument is that maltodextrin absorbs too quickly, which may cause an insulin spike and lead to potential fat gain. 

There’s a handful of mass gainers that take steps to slow the digestion speed of maltodextrin by including other lower glycemic carb sources. 

Then we have the glycemic load. This is perhaps not as well known as the glycemic index. As mentioned above, it represents how quickly a carbohydrate is absorbed within the context of a meal. That makes it more real-life. 

Maltodextrin has a glycemic index of 90. Compare that to 100, the highest number and the rating for dextrose. With the glycemic index, higher numbers mean a carbohydrate is absorbed quickly. Usually, anything 70 or higher is considered high glycemic. 

The glycemic load uses a similar rating, with anything 20 or above considered high. Anything 10 or below is considered low. Maltodextrin is 9, putting it on the lower end. 

This means that when combined with proteins and fat as in a mass gainer, maltodextrin will be digested more slowly. As long as the amount of carbs is not out of hand compared to protein, it does not lead to a significant insulin spike. 

That’s one of the reasons I picked mass gainers with a good protein to carb ratio. For example, 20-30g of protein to 200-300g of carbs will not cut it. On the other hand, 40-50g of protein to 80-90g carbs makes more sense. 

How To Use A Mass Gainer

Here’s how to use a mass gainer for quality gains. 

The entire point of a mass gainer is to gain lean muscular weight. Therefore, you have to gradually increase your daily calories until you begin to gain. 

You’ll want to gain relatively slowly so you don’t gain fat. It’s important to be patient and take a methodical approach. 

Some users will take a serving a day for a week or so, not gain anything, and then claim that mass gainers don’t work. They’re calories, they can’t not work. 

The key to a mass gainer working is to find the number of daily calories you need to gain weight. 

Yes, there are calculations you can do, or you can simply begin with one serving per day for one week, mixed in water. Monitor your results. 

If you don’t gain, the answer is simple. Increase your calories! Do this by going up to two shakes a day. Follow this process until you start to gain. 

A mass gainer should never be used as your primary source of calories. Therefore, use a mass gainer like you would a protein shake. Consume in-between meals, post-workout, and make sure you are eating 3 whole-food meals a day. Not junk foods, but healthy foods.

Conclusion

There are quite a few good mass gainers for skinny guys to help them gain muscular weight. They don’t have to be overloaded in sugar and carbs. 

The mass gainers on this list have reasonable calorie totals, not insane totals. Calories in the 600-800 range are calories you can work with. It’s easy to gradually increase your daily total working with those kinds of numbers and you can focus on weight gain without fear of fat gain.

The best overall mass gainer for skinny guys is Beyond Raw Re-Built Mass XP. With 880 calories and an excellent whey/casein protein blend, the real strength of this product is the advanced Carb10 blend consisting of pea starch. Re-Built Mass XP is topped off with an exclusive hyper-anabolic blend and a creatine blend. 

Coming in at the opposite end of the mass gainer spectrum, Naked Nutrition Naked Mass contains just 3 ingredients: tapioca maltodextrin, whey protein, and casein protein. That’s it, and it’s perfect for skinny guys who want a clean, simple mass gainer. 

If the taste is what it’s all about, Universal Nutrition Real Gains is the mass gainer for you. Even the skinniest guys can gain easily when they’re drinking something that tastes amazing. The choice is yours but one thing is clear: It’s time to get ready to gain!

References:

  1. Boirie, Y., Dangin, M., Gachon, P., Vasson, M., Maubois, J. and Beaufrere, B., 2020. Slow And Fast Dietary Proteins Differently Modulate Postprandial Protein Accretion.
  2. G;, M. D. J. L. D. K. T. D. S. (n.d.). Protein Quality Assessment: Impact of Expanding Understanding of Protein and Amino Acid Needs for Optimal Health. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18469291/
  3. CM;, E. (n.d.). Carbohydrate Intake and Resistance-Based Exercise: Are Current Recommendations Reflective of Actual Need? Retrieved June 12, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27993175/
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-lowdown-on-glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load
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