Gaining weight as a vegan can be tough! Luckily, there are a ton of high-quality plant-based mass gainer supplements available to help with this! If you’re unfamiliar with what makes a mass gainer, it’s a type of protein powder with high calories meant to help you put on weight.
If you’re interested in finding the best vegan mass gainers, check out our list of the best products available. We recommend Naked Vegan Mass as our top pick!
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In this list, we’ll be covering the best vegan gainers available. Our top pick is Naked Vegan Mass , but check out our full list to decide which supplement is right for you!
Top 3 Best Vegan Mass Gainers Reviewed
1. Naked Vegan Mass — Top-Pick
- Suitable for Vegans: Yes
- Flavors: Unflavored, Chocolate, Vanilla
- Calories: 1230-1280
- Carbs per Serving: 237-248g
- Protein per Serving: 50g
- Carb-to-Protein Ratio: ~5:1
- Number of Servings: 11
- Serving Size: 315g
- Price per Serving: ~$4.72
- Company Founded: 2014
- Recommended by Athletes: Kenzie Mariano, Daniel Victor
Starting our list, the overall best vegan weight gainer is from Naked Nutrition. While they also offer this product in a dairy-based form, they still deliver an exceptionally high-quality vegan supplement.
First, let’s take a look at the macros. With over 1200 calories per serving, Naked is easily the highest-calorie option on our list. While this is great for those who need to eat in a high caloric surplus, you could also easily split it into 2 or 3 servings if you’re ok with getting less protein at once.
For protein, you can expect 50g in each serving, alongside 237-248g of carbs. Each serving contains 4g of fiber and 24-56g of sugar. This also gives Naked the highest carb-to-protein ratio on our list by far. This makes it better suited for those already getting a decent protein intake through their everyday diet.
Photo by @nakednutrition
Naked’s protein is sourced from a blend made up of pea and brown rice protein. These combine to make a complete protein source. Meanwhile, the carbs are sourced from organic tapioca maltodextrin. Additional sweetness comes in the form of organic coconut sugar. There are also no artificial sweeteners or colors whatsoever.
It’s worth noting that Naked doesn’t offer many micronutrients. Considering the calorie count, some more vitamins and minerals would be beneficial to make this a more complete meal replacement supplement. With that being said, there is decent Calcium, Potassium, and Iron content here.
Naked comes in 3 flavors, including an unflavored option. It’s also narrowly the most expensive product on our list at ~$4.72 per serving, although the other 2 supplements on our list come at a comparable price. However, considering the high calories it still offers exceptional value for the money.
Naked is easily the highest-calorie option on our list. It comes in 3 flavors, including an unflavored option.
Highest calorie option on our list
Made from all-natural ingredients
Perfect for splitting into multiple servings
High carb-to-protein ratio won’t be suitable for everyone
Most expensive option on our list
2. Vegan Mass Gainer by Gorilla Gulps — Best with Micros
Next up is a significantly lower-calorie plant-based weight gainer when compared to the top spot on our list. The Vegan Mass Gainer by Gorilla Gulps is a more moderate option that also delivers a solid micronutrient breakdown. Let’s take a closer look.
As mentioned, this is a much lower-calorie option than Naked. Each serving is 530 calories, which is less than half the calories you’re getting from the top spot on our list. While you could still split this into multiple servings, you wouldn’t be getting very many total calories.
Each single serving has 42g of protein and 64g of carbohydrates. You can also expect 5g of fiber and 13g of sugar per serving. This easily gives Gorilla Gulps the lowest protein-to-carbs ratio on our list at only about 1.5:1. This makes it ideal for those who struggle to get enough total protein throughout the day.
Photo by @gorillagulps
The protein from Gorilla Gulps is sourced from Pea, Hemp, and Rice protein. This also makes it a complete protein. Similar to Naked, its carbs come from Tapioca Maltodextrin. This is a lower-sugar option, with much of the sweetening appearing to come from stevia instead of sugar.
This does have a slightly more complete micro breakdown, although not quite at the level of a complete meal replacement shake. Some of the vitamins and minerals it contains in high doses include Vitamin D, Iron, and Vitamin B12.
Gorilla Gulps only comes in 2 flavors, chocolate and mocha. It’s worth noting that these are very similar flavors so there’s really not much variety at all. It comes at a similar price to Naked at ~$4.44 per serving. However, because of the significantly lower calories, it has slightly worse value for money.
The Vegan Mass Gainer by Gorilla Gulps is a more moderate option that also delivers a solid micronutrient breakdown. This is a lower-sugar option, with much of the sweetening appearing to come from stevia instead of sugar.
Solid micronutrient breakdown
Lower total calorie content will be suitable for those looking for a moderate amount of additional daily calories
Low carb-to-protein ratio is good for those who struggle to get enough protein
Limited flavor variety
Low calories won’t be ideal for everyone
3. Athlete's Gainer by Iron Vegan — Best for Pro Athletes
The third and final product on our list comes from Iron Vegan and is our top pick for pro athletes because it's the only product on our list that has an Informed Sport certification. Let’s take a closer look at its macro breakdown.
For calories, this is a good midpoint between the top 2 options on our list. Each serving has 720 calories, making a single serving ideal for most. However, it could still be split in 2 if you want fewer calories!
Each serving has 42g of protein and 120g of carbs. There’s 12g of fiber and only 1g of sugar in each serving. This gives it a carb-to-protein ratio of ~3:1, which is also directly in between the top 2 products on our list! This ratio makes it decently high-calorie without going overboard on the carbs.
Photo by @vegan_diesel
Its protein is sourced from pea and brown rice protein, similar to Naked. Its carbs appear to be sourced mainly from pea starch and brown rice flour. This is also the lowest sugar option on our list, with most of its sweetness coming from stevia.
Iron Vegan has an even more limited micro breakdown compared to Naked. It has a decent amount of Iron, but not much else.
The 2 flavors on offer here are Chocolate and Vanilla which are both pretty standard. This is also the cheapest option on our list, costing only ~$3.54 per serving.
Iron Vegan and is our top pick for pro athletes. For calories, this is a good midpoint between the top 2 options on our list. It has a decent amount of Iron, but not much else.
Cheapest option on our list
Informed Sports Certified
Solid carb-to-protein ratio for multiple purposes
Limited flavor variety
Limited micro breakdown
How to Choose The Best Vegan Mass Gainer?
1. Look At The Calorie Content of The Portion
The first thing you’ll want to consider when buying a vegan mass gainer is how many calories you want to get in each serving. This will largely depend on how many calories per day you need to reach a moderate surplus, and how many calories you regularly get from your diet.
If you’re unsure of how to reach a surplus, figure out your maintenance calories with an online calorie calculator. From there, add an extra 250-500 calories on top of that to find your bulking calories. Try not to eat much more than this to avoid rapid weight gain which may lead to obesity.
Be sure to consistently monitor your weight so you can make adjustments to this number as necessary. Also, make sure you’re practicing strength training regularly so you’re putting on muscle and not fat.
Also, you’ll want to consider how many calories you’re able to eat regularly without a mass gainer. From there, you can decide how much mass gainer you need to reach your calorie intake.
For example, if you need to eat 4000 calories a day to gain weight, and you can regularly eat 3500 calories, then you would only need about 500 extra calories from mass gainers.
The 3 products on our list have wide-ranging calories from 530-1280 per serving. Your daily calorie needs can help guide your decision on which supplement is right for you.
2. Look at The Amount of Protein
Once you’ve decided how many calories you need per serving, consider your protein needs next. The recommended amount of protein for building muscle is 0.5-0.8g of protein per pound of body weight per day.
Consider how much extra protein you need to get in compared to the calories you need to make up. This can help you decide whether or not a higher protein mass gainer is necessary for you.
It’s worth noting that the protein content of the 3 products listed above is fairly similar, ranging from 42-50g. However, because of the wide-ranging calorie contents, you can see that their protein count won’t be broken down into smaller serving sizes.
For example, if you only need 100-200 extra calories, but you need to get 30g+ of protein, you may be better off choosing a shake with a higher protein-to-calorie ratio like Gorilla Gulps over a less dense shake like Naked.
3. Look at The Amount of Carbohydrates
Finally, this relates to the previous point, but you’ll want to consider the carbohydrate content as well. As you can see from the products on our list, most mass gainers are largely made up of carbohydrates.
A higher-carb shake will be ideal for those who already get adequate protein intake, and who struggle to eat nearly enough calories. The higher the carb count a shake has, the better it is for those looking to maximize their calorie intake.
The products on our list range all the way from 64-248g of carbs per serving, so you should be able to find a product that suits your carbohydrate intake needs!
What Should You Know About Vegan Gainers?
1. It May Be Better To Use a Smaller Portion Than Indicated By The Manufacturer
Because there isn’t much variety available for vegan weight gain supplements, it may be more difficult to find a product with the exact calorie and macro content you’re looking for. So, feel free to use a smaller portion than recommended by the supplement company. Especially with an ultra-high-calorie shake like Naked, an entire serving of 1200+ calories will be downright excessive for most.
Instead, only use as much mass gainer as you absolutely need to hit your daily calorie goals. Ideally, you’ll be able to get the majority of your calories in through whole foods and you’ll only use mass gainers as necessary to hit your daily totals. This will ensure you’re not relying on mass gainers to bulk, and treating them more as an additional strategy for getting calories in.
If you’re planning on splitting your mass gainer in multiple servings, be sure to pay close attention to the amount of protein you’ll be getting. If you’re splitting up a protein with a high carb-to-protein ratio, just keep in mind you may not be getting very much protein in each smaller portion.
Some other pros for this strategy include lessening the risk of digestive issues, as well as saving some money. Taking in more than 1000 calories may very well cause digestive issues, making splitting the serving up better for digestion. Also, mass gainers are rather expensive so splitting up the serving is a good way to get more value for your money as well.
2. You Won’t Be Able To Experiment As Much With Different Flavors
It’s also worth noting that although there are high-quality vegan mass gainers available, they don’t come in nearly as many different flavors as dairy-based shakes.
Out of the 3 products on our list, you’re limited mainly to chocolate, vanilla, or unflavored. While Gorilla Gulps has a mocha flavor, if we’re being honest it’s too close to chocolate to be considered much of a different flavor.
So, if you’re interested in more unique flavors that are available with dairy-based shakes, you may be out of luck. With this being said, vegan protein has come a long way in the last couple of years, so it's possible more unique vegan mass gainer flavors will become common in due time. For the time being, however, you’re going to be limited to some very basic flavors.
3. Vegan Gainers Have a Grittier Texture
Finally, there’s a similar issue in terms of texture when buying any vegan protein supplements. Compared to the smooth texture of dairy-based shakes, vegan mass gainers will usually have a grittier texture.
As mentioned, vegan proteins have gotten much better in recent years. So, vegan mass gainers may have a more appealing texture than you think. Still, even though formulas have improved, it still likely won’t be able to rival the taste and texture of a dairy-based supplement.
This will also vary from brand to brand, so if the first mass gainer you buy has a texture you don’t like, consider trying a different brand to see if it's any better!
How To Use Mass Gainer Correctly?
There are a few things you’ll want to consider when making vegan weight-gain shakes for the first time. This includes how much to use at once, as well as how to mix it.
First, as we’ve mentioned throughout the article, you’ll only want to use as much mass gainer as you need to put yourself into a moderate caloric surplus. Ideally, you won’t be relying entirely on mass gainers to put on size. Instead, you should be eating a diet primarily based around whole foods, and only using mass gainers when you aren’t able to get enough calories otherwise. Therefore, you will usually have to split the supplement into multiple smaller servings, as one whole serving may be over 1000 additional calories.
While you can mix them with plain water, this will likely lead to a more unpleasant drink. As an alternative, we recommend using plant-based milk for a creamier texture. The serving sizes for the products on our list range from 131-315g, so keep in mind that you’ll have to use a lot of milk for a full serving.
If you’re looking to boost the caloric or nutritional value of a mass gainer, consider blending in some extra ingredients to your shake. You can add some frozen fruit for extra carbs and micronutrients, or nut butter for extra fat and protein. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients to see which works best for your needs and tastes!
It should also be noted that you can make your own vegan mass gainer at home using regular protein powder and carbohydrates. Consider blending oats with your protein powder to make a higher-calorie drink, and using additional ingredients to improve the flavor. This will help you better control the total calories you’re getting in each serving.
Are Plant-based Mass Gainers Good?
If you’re on a vegan diet struggling to put on weight, then a high-quality plant-based mass gainer may be just what you need. While it’s easier to get plant-based protein than you may think, maximizing caloric intake can be tough, which is why a plant-based mass gainer can be so helpful.
Is Mass Gainer Only For Skinny Guys?
While mass gainers are most commonly used by skinny guys looking to put on weight, they can be beneficial for anybody looking for a high-calorie supplement to help them put on quality mass. They can be especially beneficial for athletes with especially high caloric needs who will struggle to get enough calories in through whole foods alone.
Is Mass Gainer Just Protein?
No, while mass gainers often contain high amounts of protein, they usually contain an even higher portion of carbohydrates. These carbs are usually made up of quick-digesting maltodextrin, which helps to bring up the calorie count. While mass gainers are a form of protein supplement, they are more defined by their high carb content.
What’s the Best Vegan Protein Powder for Weight Gain?
While there are plenty of high-quality basic vegan protein powders out there, our recommendation for the best vegan mass gainer is Naked Vegan Mass because of its ultra-high-calorie content and excellent value for money.
While they aren’t necessary for anybody, a high-quality plant-based mass gainer can be helpful for vegans who struggle to get enough calories in. We recommend using these supplements in moderation to help you reach your daily calorie goals. Especially with higher-calorie shakes, consider splitting them into multiple serving sizes to better suit them to your needs.
If you’re looking for the best plant-based mass gainer, check out Naked Vegan Mass! Hopefully, our vegan weight gainer reviews were able to help you make an informed choice!
Do you have any tips for trying to put on weight as a vegan? Do you agree with the ranking of our vegan mass gainer reviews? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
- Calcium // Harvard T. H. Chan: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium/
- Potassium // Harvard T. H. Chan: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/
- Iron // Harvard T. H. Chan: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/iron/
- Vitamin D // Harvard T. H. Chan: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/
- Vitamin B12 // Harvard T. H. Chan: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-b12/
- Health Risks // Harvard T. H. Chan: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/health-effects/
- PROTEIN INTAKE FOR OPTIMAL MUSCLE MAINTENANCE // ACSM: https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/files-for-resource-library/protein-intake-for-optimal-muscle-maintenance.pdf
- Protein in Vegetarian and Vegan Diets // RD Resources for Consumers: https://students.dartmouth.edu/health-service/sites/students_health_service.prod/files/students_health_service/wysiwyg/
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