I was once a skinny guy. Weighing all of 63 kg (135 lbs) as a late teenager standing at 5’8”. Of course, I had the obligatory skinny guy 6 pack. But no one cares about your abs when you have a pencil neck. Like me, you are probably also a hard gainer since you’ve landed on this article.
I've been there. Stuffing my face at the dinner table until I feel too sick to stand up. Smashing huge meals and needing to do it again in a few hours. It can feel like torture. Weight gain supplements like mass gainers can be godsends for skinny guys like us so we can drink our calories instead of forcing more food into our mouths. So here are the ones I love!
Best Weight Gain Supplement For Skinny Guys
Best Animal-Based Weight Gain Supplement For Skinny Guys
Best Weight Gain Supplement For Skinny Guys Without Side Effects
Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer
Crazy Nutrition is a relatively new supplement brand on the market, but they've entered with a bang. They’ve done something that I haven’t seen any other company do with their mass gainer. That is, adding digestive enzymes.
The number one complaint with weight gain supplements is stomach discomfort and bloating, often caused by substantial serving sizes and low-quality ingredients. Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer does not cause these side effects; I can attest to that personally as I have felt these from other mass gainers.
Further, they don’t use cheap carbohydrate fillers like maltodextrin and instead, use whole food alternatives. Here’s a list:
This also means it makes an excellent meal replacement on days you aren’t training or when you’re in a rush and need to get a meal in. This weight gain supplement also has damn good macros.
They use a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio making it perfect for anyone tracking their macros on a high carbohydrate diet (you should be if you're a skinny guy trying to gain weight).
Here’s the macro breakdown of the Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer:
55 g (7.5 g from sugar)
As you can see, only 7.5 g of carbohydrates are from sugar with the rest from whole food sources. It tastes excellent, like a rich chocolate protein (always go with chocolate). You can tell it's made from quality ingredients, as when sitting after being mixed for too long, and you can see the whole food powder at the bottom of your shaker.
Overall, this is my go-to weight gain supplement I use personally. You can see my full Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer review here.
Best Animal-Based Weight Gain Supplement For Skinny Guys
MRE Whole Food Meal Replacement
If you're minimizing dairy consumption or after a weight gain supplement that is animal protein-based, then MRE Whole Food Meal Replacement is your choice. Here are the protein sources:
Further, the carbohydrate sources are also from whole foods:
While it doesn't contain digestive enzymes like Crazy Nutrition, you still don't get the bloating and uncomfortable feeling in your stomach because of the well-measured serving size. At 530 calories per serving, you get a perfectly sized meal.
Here is the macro breakdown:
75 g (5 g from sugar)
I love that you get a powdered meal, not a tub full of cheap filler ingredients. I advise taking ½ a serving initially as that will provide you with approximately 260 calories. Eating your regular daily meals provides enough extra calories to slowly gain weight and minimize fat gain.
If you struggle to get enough food daily, a full serving will get you to gain weight!
Weight Gain Supplements For Skinny Guys Worth Mentioning
BSN True Mass
A mass gainer that uses maltodextrin as its carbohydrate source isn’t all bad. While not as good as the above-mentioned weight gainers, quick digesting maltodextrin can be helpful when taking post-workout. Fast digesting whey protein and carbohydrates spike the muscle growth response.
It also means that you'll be hungrier sooner to fit another meal. 700 calorie servings are no joke, however. So start with ½ a serving size. Here’s the macro breakdown:
One of the main issues with BSN True Mass is the higher fat content per serving. If you eat lower fat meals or have a higher intake, this won't cause any issues. However, this will be problematic if you are on a lower-fat diet.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pro Gainer
Optimum Nutrition typically makes excellent quality supplements. While not using whole foods, their Gold Standard Pro Gainer is worth considering, especially if you struggle to hit your protein targets. It contains 60 g per serving which is the highest I’ve seen in a mass gainer. Here’s the macro breakdown:
The ingredients are similar to BSN True Mass, with more protein, fewer carbohydrates, and less fat. Overall, I'd call it a better-quality mass gainer. Even better is if you are a competitive athlete, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pro Gainer is banned substance tested. So you can be sure your mass gainer isn't tainted.
Avoid These Weight Gainers For Skinny Guys
Dymatize Super Mass Gainer
I say to avoid these mass gainers because of the ridiculous serving sizes. One serving is 2 & ½ cups of powder totaling 1280 calories which is unnecessary. This leaves only 8 servings in an entire tub, just over a week of use. You’d need 4 tubs per month if taking 1 serving.
Now, I never recommend following the serving guides on mass gainers. Usually, I'll recommend taking ½ a serving, so you're taking approximately 250-350 extra calories per day. But even half a serving is still over 600 calories, and you're getting 25 g of protein.
With only 50 g of protein in a full serving, you’re paying $50+ for 245 g of flavored maltodextrin per serving. It’s not worth the price you’re paying and the protein to carbohydrate ratio shows this mass gainer is lower quality.
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass is often the first weight gainer that comes to mind when considering mass gainer supplements. But it comes with the same problems as Dymatize Super Mass Gainer.
The same serving size of 2 & ½ cups and 1250 calories with only 50 g of protein and a whopping 254 g of carbohydrates. Again, you’re paying for flavored maltodextrin.
If you had a full serving of this each day as a skinny guy, you wouldn’t have much room for other carbohydrate sources that can provide a better micronutrient profile and fiber.
Serious Mass also adds creatine which would normally be a bonus but it has only 1 g per serving. You need at least 3 g per day for creatine to be effective.
BodyTech Prime Mass
None of the mass gainers I’ve chosen to avoid have any substantial differences. BodyTech follows the same formula with 1210 calories per 2 & ½ cup of powder with 228 g of carbs, 55 g protein, and 8 g fat.
Again, you’re paying for a whole lot of maltodextrin and minimal protein compared to the number of calories within this mass gainer.
Best Weight Gain Pills For Men
There is no such thing as a weight gain pill for men. It defies all logic that a pill would help you gain weight and build muscle. You can't fit the calories you'd get from a weight gain supplement into a capsule unless you wanted to drink an entire bottle each sitting.
Gaining weight is a simple equation. Calories in vs. calories out. To consume more calories than you burn, mass gainers help by giving you easy to drink calories. Pills can't give you enough calories to gain weight.
How To Pick Weight Gainers For Skinny Guys
Picking a suitable weight gain supplement comes down to three simple rhetoric:
My two recommend mass gainers use predominately whole food sources for their ingredients. This is important as it helps with the nasty potential side effects when taking large quantities of weight gain supplements.
Further, you want to know if you can use your mass gainer as a meal replacement on off-days without simple sugars occupying the majority of your carbohydrate intake.
Serving size is another crucial factor to consider. As you see in my mass gainers to avoid, their serving sizes are all over 300 g of powder. 2 & ½ cups to be exact.
Take your measuring cup out of the cupboard and get a visual of how much powder that is. No way in hell does that fit in a shaker bottle with water to mix. You want weight gainers that are approximately 300-600 calories per serving.
The macronutrient breakdown is the last point to check. An approximately 2:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio works well. You don’t want the 5:1 ratio that some of these mass gainers have. It is nearly impossible to reduce the serving size and get adequate protein.
Further, having 5 times the carbohydrates than protein means you need to reduce your whole food carbohydrate intake leading to reduced fiber and micronutrient intake. Finally, the amount of fat is typically low in a mass gainer, so it is not something you need to worry about.
Mass Gainer For Skinny Guys Frequently Asked Questions
How Can A Skinny Guy Gain Weight?
Skinny guys gain weight by consuming more calories daily than they expend. The simple calories in vs. calories out formula. Do this long enough, and you have the recipe for gaining weight. However, there's a difference between gaining predominantly muscle or fat.
You should look to gain weight slowly. If you add 10 lbs of bodyweight in a month, that's too fast, and continuing at that pace means you're adding mainly fat mass instead of muscle. Secondly, you need to take adequate protein.
This ranges between 0.8-1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight. When bulking, you can get away with protein closer to 0.8 g per pound of bodyweight since the extra calories from carbs and fats are protein-sparing.
Should You Take Mass Gainer If You’re Skinny?
As a skinny guy, I'll preface this with mass gainer is not necessary to gain weight. However, it can help when you don't want to take another bite of the meal in front of you. Chewing becomes tiresome when you’re shoveling volumes of food in your mouth 2-3 hours apart.
When you’re feeling stuffed from the food you’ve eaten, you can sip on mass gainer to get the rest of your calories. Further, if you lead a busy life running between meetings or classes, a mass gainer serves as a high-calorie, high-protein meal replacement to keep you on track.
How Can A Skinny Guy Bulk Up Fast?
You don't want to bulk up fast as a skinny guy. You've been blessed with having low body fat and being lean. Keep it that way and bulk up slowly. If you minimize fat gain, you’ll keep a shredded look as you get bigger creating a tremendous physique.
It can be trial and error finding weight gain supplements with no side effects as a skinny guy. Luckily, I’ve done that for you and can vouch for the Crazy Nutrition Mass Gainer being an excellent weight gainer. The digestive enzymes make bloating and stomach discomfort non-existent, in my experience.