If you’re looking for some high-quality supplements to bulk up with, you’re in the right place.
Getting enough calories in can be tough, which is why you might be able to benefit from some high-quality supplements. Whether you’re after a mass gainer or a high-quality protein powder, check out this list of the best bulking supplements available to help you reach your goals.
In a hurry?
In a hurry?
In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Transparent Labs Mass Gainer.
Mass Gainer by Transparent Labs, part of their top-tier supplement line, provides a balanced blend of approximately 730-750 calories per serving, making it a suitable choice for those seeking a high-quality mass gainer with a moderate calorie content.
Top 7 Best Bulking Supplements Reviewed
- Mass Gainer by Transparent Labs – Top Pick
- NutraBio Extreme Mass – Budget Pick
- Allmax Quickmass – Best High-Protein Gainer
- Huge Isolate – Best Protein-Based Supplement
- BSN True-Mass – Best Tasting Mass Gainer
- Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass – Best High-Carb Gainer
- Future Kind Vegan Protein Powder – Best Vegan Protein Supplement
1. Mass Gainer by Transparent Labs – Top Pick
Starting our list of the best supplements for bulking is Mass Gainer by Transparent Labs. Along with their long line of proteins and other workout supplements, Transparent Labs’ mass gainer is exceptionally high-quality.
You can expect 730-750 calories per serving depending on the flavor. This is around the average for the weight gainer supplements on our list. While ultra-high-calorie supplements may be good for some, a more moderate supplement like this with under 1000 calories will be better suited to most people’s needs.
The calories are mainly broken down between 106-110g of carbs and 51-53g of protein. This is also one of the higher fat supplements on our list with 14g of fats per serving.
Photo by @paulsklarxfit
It’s worth noting that you do get 3g of creatine in each serving, which is a solid daily dose. Creatine is an excellent supplement for bulking because of its effects on increasing lean body mass. However, it needs to be taken every day, so we recommend taking it on its own instead so you’re not relying on a mass gainer for your daily dose.
Like all Transparent Labs products, their mass gainer is made with a high-quality formula that exclusively uses all-natural ingredients. They only offer the supplement in 2 flavors which is fairly limited. Finally, this is one of the more expensive supplements on our list costing about $5.33 per serving.
Transparent Labs' Mass Gainer offers a balanced combination of macronutrients, with a notable amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fats in each serving, while also including creatine and maintaining the brand's commitment to all-natural ingredients.
Solid calorie content for bulking
Made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients
Good ratio of protein to carbs for most people’s needs
Could be better:
Limited micronutrient content
Limited flavor variety
2. NutraBio Extreme Mass – Budget Pick
Next, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to Transparent Labs’ Mass Gainer, consider the runner-up on our list: NutraBio’s extreme mass supplement. Let’s take a closer look.
For calories, you can expect 650 per serving. This makes it a slightly more moderate supplement with ~100 fewer calories per serving than the top pick on our list. While this won’t be ideal for those looking for an ultra-high-calorie shake, this will be around the sweet spot for most people looking for a bulking supplement.
NutraBio has very similar carb and protein content to Transparent Labs. There’s 99-100g of carbs and 53g of protein per serving. The main difference in their calorie content comes from fat, as this supplement only features 6g of fat compared to Transparent Labs’ 14g.
Photo by @miguelrodriguez_ifbbpro
While NutraBio doesn’t have any additional active ingredients, it does have an exceptional micronutrient breakdown featuring high amounts of many different vitamins and minerals.
It’s worth noting this supplement is formulated with artificial sweetener sucralose if this is important to you. However, NutraBio does have slightly more flavor variety than Transparent Labs with 3 different options. Finally, as mentioned it is a great budget pick for a mass gainer at only ~$3.67 per serving.
NutraBio's Extreme Mass supplement offers an economical alternative to Transparent Labs' Mass Gainer, delivering a balanced blend of calories, macronutrients, and essential micronutrients while maintaining a budget-friendly price point.
Best budget mass gainer on our list
Excellent micronutrient breakdown
Carb to protein ratio will be perfect for most people’s needs
Could be better:
Made with some artificial ingredients
Limited flavor variety
3. ALLMAX QuickMass – Best High-Protein Gainer
- Suitable for Vegans: No
- Flavors: Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream, Strawberry Banana, Vanilla
- Calories: 1010
- Carbs per Serving: 172g
- Protein per Serving: 64g
- Number of Servings: ~6
- Serving Size: 265g
- Price Per Serving: ~$5.87
- Company Founded: 2001
- Recommended by Athletes: Gezary Matuda, Marcus Perry, Johnnie Otis Jackson
Taking the third spot on our list of bulk-up supplements, and the best high-protein mass gainer we’ll be covering is ALLMAX’s Quickmass. This is also one of the higher-calorie supplements on our list, so let's take a closer look.
As mentioned, this is the highest-calorie supplement we’ve covered so far at 1010 calories per serving. This also makes QuickMass great for splitting into several servings in case you don’t want 1000+ calories at once.
Photo by @suppgiantcolorado
There are 172g of carbs and 64g of protein in each serving. This high protein content also makes QuickMass perfect for splitting into multiple servings, even though it has a higher carb-to-protein ratio than the top 2 spots on our list.
Similar to NutraBio, you can expect an exceptional micronutrient breakdown making this an ideal meal replacement supplement.
Also like NutraBio, Allmax is formulated with the artificial sweetener sucralose. It does come with the most flavor variety on our list so far with 5 different options. However, it’s also the most expensive supplement we’ve covered so far at ~$5.87 per serving.
ALLMAX's QuickMass stands out as a high-protein mass gainer, offering a substantial calorie content, well-balanced macronutrients, and a variety of flavors, albeit at a relatively higher price point.
Highest protein content on our list
High calories and protein content make it ideal for splitting into multiple servings
Excellent micro breakdown
Could be better:
Made with several artificial ingredients
High calories won’t be suited to everyone’s needs
4. Huge Isolate – Best Protein-Based Supplement
While the first 3 supplements we’ve covered on our list have been mass gainers, Huge Isolate offers the first protein powder ideal for bulking. If you’re looking to lean bulk, supplements with lower calories like this will be ideal.
Because this isn’t a mass gainer, it has a much lower calorie count than the last 3 supplements. Each serving only has 145 calories, so it’s perfect if you want to make your own high-calorie smoothies, or just want a pure protein supplement.
This is a great high-protein option for a whey isolate, with 30.5g of protein per serving. Keep in mind that it is fairly limited in carbs with only 3.5g per serving.
Photo by @stefania_totolo
Because it is a whey isolate and not a mass gainer, there isn’t too dense of a micronutrient profile on offer here.
Also, like the previous 2 supplements, Huge Isolate is made with artificial sweetener sucralose. It also comes with limited flavor variety with only 2 different options. Finally, because it’s a basic protein supplement it’s also the cheapest option on our list so far at only $2.00 per serving.
Huge Isolate offers a lean protein powder tailored for bulking with lower calorie content, making it an excellent choice for those seeking to create their own high-calorie shakes or prefer a pure protein supplement.
Very high protein content for a whey isolate
Great budget alternative to a mass gainer
Ideal for those looking to limit their carb intake on a bulk
Could be better:
Won’t be as useful for bulking because of low calorie content
Limited flavor variety
5. BSN True-Mass – Best Tasting Mass Gainer
Returning to the mass gainers, the next option on our list of bulking supplements for muscle growth is a great choice if you want to prioritize flavor. Let’s take a closer look at BSN’s True Mass.
This has a similar calorie breakdown to Transparent Labs’ Gainer and NutraBio’s Extreme Mass at 700 calories per serving. Like those supplements, this makes it ideal for use as a more moderate mass gainer supplement.
Each serving has 87g of carbs and 46g of protein. It’s worth noting that this macro breakdown makes this the lowest protein mass gainer on our list. There are also quite a few calories from fat with 18g per serving.
Photo by @paragon_minds_fitness_
The micronutrient breakdown is decent here, although it's not nearly as extensive as Allmax or Nutrabio.
While reviews suggest an outstanding taste, it does only come in chocolate. Like most of the other products on our list, it’s also formulated with artificial sweeteners. This is a decent budget option being significantly cheaper than both Transparent Labs and Allmax at ~$4.58 per serving.
BSN's True-Mass stands out as a flavorful option, providing a moderate calorie content, balanced macronutrients, and a cost-effective choice compared to some other products on the list.
Great option for a moderate calorie gainer
Decent micronutrient breakdown
Could be better:
Lowest protein mass gainer on our list
Very limited flavor variety
6. Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass – Best High-Carb Gainer
- Suitable for Vegans: No
- Flavors: Banana, Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Vanilla
- Calories: 1250-1260
- Carbs per Serving: 253-254g
- Protein per Serving: 50g
- Number of Servings: 8
- Serving Size: 338g
- Price Per Serving: ~$6.26
- Company Founded: 1986
- Recommended by Athletes: Taylor Fritz, Justin “Jets” Jefferson, Morgan Willett
The final mass gainer supplement we’ll be covering on our list of bulking products is Optimum Nutrition’s Serious Mass. Coming from one of the most iconic supplement brands around, this is also the highest-calorie supplement on our list. Let’s take a closer look.
As mentioned, this is an ultra-high-calorie supplement with 1250-1260 calories per serving. This is one of only 2 supplements on our list with over 1000 calories per serving. This makes it ideal for those with high-calorie needs, or for splitting into multiple servings.
The macros are largely broken down between 253-254g of carbs and 50g of protein. It’s worth noting that the protein content could be higher here considering the super high calories. This makes Optimum ideal for those who want to maximize their carbohydrate intake.
Photo by @jacktaylorr
One of the major pros of Optimum’s Serious Mass is the micro breakdown. There’s a long list of vitamins and minerals that puts this supplement in contention for the best micronutrient breakdown on our list.
As you may expect from such an established brand, this supplement has solid flavor variety with 5 different options to choose from. Keep in mind that like most of the products on our list, it is made with artificial ingredients. Also, considering the high-calorie count, it should come as no surprise that this is the most expensive product on our list at ~$6.26 per serving.
Optimum Nutrition's Serious Mass, from the highly reputable supplement brand, delivers the highest-calorie mass gainer, emphasizing carbohydrates, offering an impressive micronutrient profile, diverse flavors, albeit at a premium price.
Highest calorie option on our list
Ideal for those looking for as many carbs as possible
Outstanding micro breakdown
Could be better:
Most expensive option on our list
Relatively low protein-to-calorie ratio
7. Future Kind Vegan Protein Powder – Best Vegan Protein Supplement
Closing off our list is the first and only vegan-friendly supplement we’ll be covering. Similar to Huge’s Isolate, this is also the second protein-based supplement we’re looking at. Let’s see why Future Kind’s Vegan Protein Powder earned its spot on our list.
Of course, because this is a protein-based supplement, there aren’t too many calories per serving available here. Each scoop only contains 120 calories making this easily the lowest-calorie supplement on our list.
Photo by @wearefuturekind
This is also the lowest protein supplement on our list with only 20g of protein per serving. However, for a plant-based protein powder, this is a fairly solid amount. This protein would make an excellent addition to a multi-ingredient, high-calorie vegan protein shake.
You can expect a decent amount of iron in each serving, although there aren’t many other micros in each serving.
There’s a fairly basic assortment of flavors with Future Kind’s protein only coming in chocolate and vanilla. This is one of the few supplements on our list that is made with all-natural ingredients. Finally, because it's a protein supplement it’s also tied with Huge Isolate for the cheapest product on our list at only ~$2.00 per serving.
Future Kind's Vegan Protein Powder brings a plant-based protein solution to our list, delivering a lower calorie content, a reasonable protein offering, an emphasis on natural ingredients, and affordability.
Only vegan-friendly supplement we’ve covered
One of the most budget-friendly options on our list
Made with all-natural ingredients
Could be better:
Will be less useful as a standalone bulking supplement
Limited micro breakdown
What Are the Best Bulking Supplements?
1. Mass Gainers
First, as you can tell from the majority of our list, the best supplements for bulking are mass gainers. These are protein supplements characterized by high-calorie counts and large amounts of carbohydrates.
These are great standalone supplements for bulking, as they will help you maximize your calorie intake with one simple shake. Especially if they have a solid micro breakdown, they act well as complete meal replacement supplements.
Just keep in mind that you should aim to use these supplements in moderation. Try to get as many calories as possible with whole foods, and only use mass gainers to reach your total calorie count for the day. This will help prevent rapid weight gain which may lead to obesity, as well as making sure you don’t become reliant on mass gainers while bulking.
2. Protein Supplements
While mass gainers are convenient, they may not be for everyone. Whether they’re too expensive, or you want to get your calories through whole foods instead, basic protein supplements are a great alternative.
These will usually have between 20-30g of protein per serving, and will not contain many carbs. This is beneficial if you’re bulking on a low-carb diet. It’s worth noting that these products are much lower-calorie than mass gainers, often only being around 100 calories. However, they’re still great for bulking if you want to make your own mass gainer with a multi-ingredient, high-calorie shake.
3. Creatine Monohydrate
Finally, although we didn’t include any standalone creatine supplements on our list, it can be very useful as a bulking supplement. This is because one of the main effects of creatine is increased water retention which leads to a moderate increase in lean body mass.
On top of this, daily supplementation with creatine has a ton of other benefits including increased high-intensity exercise performance, reduced fatigue, and improved recovery.
While creatine is occasionally included in some mass gainers like Transparent Labs, it can be difficult to get an optimal dose through these supplements alone. Instead, we recommend taking it on its own for consistency and convenience.
Also note that we always recommend taking creatine monohydrate instead of any other forms as it is the most affordable, effective, and well-researched form of creatine available.
Tips for How to Gain Muscle Mass?
1. Gain Weight at a Low or Moderate Pace
A very common mistake people make when trying to put on weight is trying to put on a ton of weight all at once. You will experience better results over time by gaining weight moderately. This is because you will inevitably put on fat if you’re trying to gain weight too quickly, which will cause more harm than good in the long run.
We recommend eating in a moderate surplus of 250-500 calories a day to promote lean muscle growth with minimal fat gain. This should lead to around 0.5-1lb of mass added a week, which is ideal for consistent muscle gain with minimal fat.
2. Eat Enough Protein
If you want to gain muscle instead of fat, you must eat enough protein every day. Luckily, you don’t need an excessive amount of protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Anywhere from 0.5-0.8g of protein per pound of body weight daily should be sufficient for stimulating muscle growth.
Especially if you’re taking a mass gainer or protein supplement and eating in a caloric surplus, this number shouldn’t be too hard to hit! For reference, it’s about 75-96g of protein daily for someone who weighs 150lbs. Considering many of the mass gainers on our list have 50g+ of protein per serving, this number is well within reach.
3. Make Homemade Mass Gainers With Protein Powders
Especially if you choose to use a protein powder instead of a mass gainer, you can still maximize calorie intake by combining it with other high-calorie ingredients. Consider using nut butter for fat content, oats for carbs, and fruit for added micronutrients. You can easily make these shakes 1000+ calories, often for much cheaper than a standalone mass gainer supplement.
4. Add Creatine
As mentioned above, creatine is one of the best supplements anybody looking to put on weight can take. This is because consistent creatine supplementation will usually lead to several pounds of lean weight gain. Its performance-boosting effects will also help you consistently push yourself in the gym. While it’s not a magical powder for muscle gain, it’s beneficial for maximizing lean body mass gain while bulking.
5. Do Strength Training with Progressive Overload
Eating in a calorie surplus will only lead to fat gain if you aren’t doing resistance training with progressive overload. It’s necessary to give your muscles the proper stimulus to grow if you want to put on any muscle mass.
Find a program that hits every major muscle group 1-2 times weekly, to make sure you’re building a well-balanced physique. If you’re unfamiliar with the term progressive overload, it means increasing the weight or total volume of your workouts over time. This is necessary for giving your muscles the proper stimulus they need to grow!
6. Be Consistent
Finally, don’t give up if you don’t see significant progress in the first few weeks of bulking. Putting on muscle is a marathon, not a sprint. As long as you’re following all the steps outlined above, you will see progress eventually. Stay consistent, and your hard work will pay off.
Are Supplements Good for Bulking?
Yes, while it’s entirely possible to successfully bulk without any supplements whatsoever, they can be very beneficial for putting on extra muscle mass. Whether you’re using a mass gainer, protein powder, creatine, or pre-workout powder – any number of supplements can help you while bulking.
Can You Bulk Without Creatine?
Yes, while creatine is beneficial for boosting performance and putting on a bit of extra lean body mass, it’s not necessary for bulking. With this being said, because creatine is one of the most effective, well-researched, and affordable sports supplements available, we strongly recommend it for nearly all athletes.
What Is the Secret to Bulking?
The secret to bulking is simply eating in a caloric surplus, getting enough protein, and practicing consistent resistance training. While this is easier said than done, if you follow all these steps you will put on muscle. Luckily, there are plenty of supplements available to help with making bulking easier!
While supplements aren’t necessary for bulking, they can make it easier. We decided to mainly highlight mass gainers on this list, as they will be the best supplement for maximizing calorie intake. However, high-quality protein supplements can be just as beneficial for bulking, especially if you’re using them to make high-calorie, multi-ingredient protein shakes.
Do you have any tips for those looking to bulk? What supplements are your go-to for putting on size? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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2. "Health Risks" Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
3. Richard B Kreider, Douglas S Kalman, Jose Antonio "International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine" J Int Soc Sports Nutr. Jun 2017.
4. Guillermo Escalante, Adam M. Gonzalez, Dean St Mart "Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and cost of alternative forms of creatine available for purchase on Amazon.com: are label claims supported by science?" Heliyon December 2022
5. Donna Cataldo "PROTEIN INTAKE FOR OPTIMAL MUSCLE MAINTENANCE" American College of Sports Medicine
6. Ashley Green "Expert: Creatine’s Impact Goes Far Beyond The Weight Room" Texas A&M Today June 19, 2017
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During his formal education, Sasha has taken dozens of courses in biochemistry, nutrition, statistics and research methods which allows him to have a deep understanding of nutritional science. Since graduating he continues reading scientific literature to stay current on the latest evidence in all areas relating to his profession.
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