Are you having difficulty putting on weight? I’ve been skinny my whole life. I’ve heard the term ‘hard-gainer’ before (fast metabolism, skinny body), but I’d fall more into the ‘impossible-gainer’ category!
A lot of it comes down to diet. How much energy does your body burn, and how much are you taking in each day?
When three square meals isn’t enough to make a dent, sometimes finding a good quality food supplement to gain weight can put you over the top.
There are tons of weight gain supplements vying for your dollar lately. Some are amazing, healthy and cheap, while others are expensive, disgusting and will stop you up like a cork! But how can you tell?
This article is written to review 5 of the best supplements for gaining weight.
I’ll review each one, giving my thoughts, and breaking down the nutritional makeup so you know what to expect. Hopefully this helps you get rolling with a tasty meal supplement to put on more pounds. Ideally I’d like to include products that fit easily into your lifestyle.
Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom. Let me know what supplement you’re using, and how you like it!
1) Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass: Calorie dense supplement for adding weight quickly
There are a few supplements out there that include a truly massive amount of supplementary energy. How does an extra 1250 calories per day sound? You can bet that you’ll gain weight quickly if you add that to your daily diet!
This is a great nutritional weight gain supplement for anyone who has a weaker appetite, or trouble with larger meals. Personally, I can’t really eat a huge plate without feeling bloated all night.
This supplement essentially contains a full meal in each serving. with 50 grams of protein, 250 grams of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and creatine for muscle development.
I mean, I wouldn’t rely on this solely, but it’s a wonderful choice for adding a lot of energy to your diet if you wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
It’s definitely best when paired with an active lifestyle or workout regimen, otherwise those extra calories will have nowhere to go, and the extra protein will go to waste. It’s an awesome supplement for an athlete to use.
Now let’s be clear, the scoop size is really huge! You may not actually want to use their suggested ‘serving size’ because it can be overwhelming. Try using a half serving, or splitting it up over the course of the day. A full serving comes out quite thick anyway.
I definitely recommend blending it in with something, as it’s a lot to mix. On the whole, Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass is affordable and very effective!
2) Up Your Mass by MHP
If you’re after an affordable and effective weight gain supplement, MHP has one of the best options with Up Your Mass. Unlike a lot of powders, you don’t have to take very much to increase your caloric intake in a big way.
This supplement for gaining weight comes in 5 pound tubs, and each serving is 130 grams (four small scoops). That means that there is less powder to consume and it’s a lot more pleasant.
In those four scoops, you get a lot of supplementary nutrition. You have over 500 calories per serving, and 46 grams of protein. What’s more, it’s a very healthy supplement, including a good amount of dietary fibre and a good amount of essential vitamins and minerals.
It’s also meant to be mixed with either milk or water. If you opt for whole milk, it ups the calories per serving to over 800. It’s delicious either way, but this is definitely one of the tastiest supplements for gaining weight around, with flavours that you’ll actually enjoy. Fudge brownie stands out for me!
One thing I really like about Up Your Mass is the avoidance of maltodextrin, which is a cheap but low quality source of energy. The majority of the carbohydrate energy is sourced from oats and barley, and the result is an energy dense and healthy supplement for gaining weight that also includes a lot of natural fibre to help you keep cholesterol low.
It also doesn’t make you feel super bloated after you drink it, which is a huge bonus. Up Your Mass by MHP is an excellent choice for most people!
3) BSN Syntha-6 Protein Powder: A great post workout supplement for weight gain
Part of gaining healthy weight is increasing your energy intake combined with exercise to make sure it’s put to good use. For anyone with difficulty putting on mass, I’d definitely recommend adding a protein supplement to your diet.
That doesn’t mean you should be bingeing on red meat! A good quality protein supplement will make sure your muscles can rebuild themselves adequately.
It also means you don’t have to fret about the nutritional balance of your meal so much (which can get unhealthy and obsessive).
This is one of my favourite protein powders, for a few reasons. It has a good balance of protein sources, including milk, egg and soy. That’s a better choice than some other powders that focus on one source (like whey). That means your body has some nutritional variety, and you’re less likely to build up a resistance or gastrointestinal irritation against a particular protein.
It has about 22 grams of protein per serving, along with about 200 calories. The huge 5 pound tub will last you quite a while, even if you’re using multiple scoops per day.
It also tastes pretty good! Most protein powder takes some getting used to, but this one doesn’t have that cloying, artificial taste many seem to.
It also doesn’t clump up! I definitely recommend the chocolate or chocolate peanut butter, they’re pretty great. Strawberry goes well with smoothies. Syntha-6 by BSN is a great protein powder for anyone wanting to pack on some pounds.
4) MET-Rx Meal Replacement Bars
Sometimes a big tub of powder isn’t the most practical solution for you, and you just need something you can grab and go. These meal replacement bars by MET-Rx are an excellent solution for anyone looking for a quick, simple meal replacement weight gain solution that’s inexpensive and efficient.
This is a pack containing 12 bars, which is under $2 per bar. Each one is jam packed with healthy nutrients, and can serve as a supplement or a good stopgap between meals. They contain a good balance of energy, fibre and (in particular) protein.
Each bar has a whopping 32 grams of protein, which is really good considering the size and cost of each bar. They also contain over 400 calories and 41 grams of carbohydrates. They’re also packed with vitamins and essential nutrients.
They make an amazing post-workout snack, and they taste pretty good! They’re definitely a satisfying thing to fit in between lunch and dinner, and they go great with milk. They’re a bit on the dry side, which is why they’re best eaten with a drink of some kind, but don’t associate that dryness with them tasting ‘stale’… they’re not.
I’d recommend this as a snack with something else, preferably a drink and a veggie of some kind. The 20 pack is definitely the best value since they cost a lot more when purchased individually. MET-Rx meal supplement bars are a quick and convenient food supplement for putting on extra weight.
5) Ensure Plus: A convenient weight gain shake supplement, ready to use
You’ve probably heard of Ensure before. They are a nutritional supplement drink that’s well known due to extensive advertisement and product placement by the company. Hype aside, it’s a marvelous and simple food supplement to gain weight that’s ready made.
The Ensure Plus shakes are specifically created to help people who have difficulty maintaining or gaining a healthy body weight. It’s not the most calorie dense pre-made shake out there, but it’s by far one of the most palatable. These shakes taste really good and they’re no problem to fit into your routine!
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Each bottle of Ensure Plus has around 350 calories, and that includes a healthy 13 grams of protein. There are also a lot of vitamins, including a large percentage of your daily vitamin C, vitamin D and calcium requirements.
These nutritional drinks aren’t enough to constitute a meal replacement, but they’re great when eaten with a lunch or dinner, or they serve very well as a snack replacement between meals.
They’re also lactose free, which is a nice bonus for anyone who is allergic to milk products, and they won’t make you feel bloated or overly full, so it’s a good way to gain weight quickly without too much stress on your stomach. Ensure Plus nutritional drinks are definitely worth your time to check out, but be sure to recycle those bottles!
What About Non-Supplement Foods?
There are a bunch of tasty, healthy and inexpensive foods for putting on extra weight out there, and I’d encourage you to read up on them. In my opinion, supplements should be exactly what they sound like: an auxiliary source of nutrition.
If you’re really wanting to put on weight quickly and keep it on, you’ll have to change the way you live and eat. That involves adding foods to your diet that contain a good degree of extra energy in order to ensure your body has a surplus of calories at the end of the day.
Here are a couple of food choices for adding mass that won’t break your bank account:
- Avocados have a ton of healthy fat, and that’s good for both your body and your brain. Each average ripe avocado has around 340 calories, and they’re really easy to add to your routine. They’re great on sandwiches, salads and guacamole.
- Granola is a breakfast cereal that’s packed with energy, calories and fibre. With over 400 calories per 100 gram serving, they’re easy to add to yogurt or whatever for a tasty snack. The energy is long lasting and keeps you alert and sharp all day.
- Soybeans are an energy dense bean that’s also one of the richest sources of protein in the world. Most of the supplements I’ve reviewed here have some level of soy in them. That’s because soy is a complete protein that’s also extremely healthy, low fat and remarkably cheap to buy.
I’ve written a few articles on delicious foods that also have loads of energy and can help in your weight increase goals, I’d encourage you to browse and check them out. Thanks for reading!