Do Mass Gainers Work? (Hint: They Do!)

July 20, 2022

If you’re skeptical about the mass gainer hype, it’s understandable. Supplement companies will make all sorts of wild claims to sell their products. Even with these claims, does mass gainer work, and is it viable for you?

Mass gainers work by providing a large sum of calories in an easy-to-drink powder that mixes with water or milk, allowing you to gain weight effortlessly.

Mass gainers aren’t exclusive to making you gain weight. They work for other purposes too.

Do Mass Gainers Work?

Mass gainers work by providing a large sum of calories in an easy-to-drink powder that mixes with water or milk. While I wouldn’t recommend taking 1000-calorie servings of mass gainer, the ease with which you can take in calories is how mass gainer works so well.

Thinking about eating 1000 calories of baked potatoes and chicken breast is nauseating. But as a chocolate protein shake, it becomes tolerable. They make great weight gainers for skinny guys when eating becomes a chore.

Do Mass Gainers Help Build Muscle?

Do Mass Gainers Help Build Muscle

Mass gainers help build muscle by making it easy to get into a daily caloric surplus. You can also do this with whole food sources, so there is no magical muscle-building property of mass gainer that food doesn’t contain.

However, mass gainers are easier and more convenient to ingest than a whole food meal. So, if you live a busy lifestyle or hit the gym in your lunch break, having a full meal with you and the time to eat it might be challenging.

Throwing water into a shake lets you sip on your mass gainer while driving home or back to work, giving you an instant meal replacement to gain weight.

Can You Get Big From Mass Gainer?

You can get big from mass gainer, especially if you take it consistently. Mass gainer will help supplement the calories needed to grow bigger and build muscle if you struggle to eat enough food.

Is Mass Gainer Good For Beginners?

Typically, I don’t recommend mass gainers to beginners. Why? Because beginners make rapid gains in body composition just from the new strength training stimulus. That means they build muscle and lose fat simultaneously without changing their diet.

As beginners find a routine with hitting the gym, they can start changing their diet. These are habits beginners will take with them throughout their fitness journey. Starting with mass gainer is not a habit you want to instill when you don’t need to use it.

Save the mass gainer for when you are stuck in a rut, and your newbie gains have ceased from years of lifting and eating.

Do Mass Gainers Work If You Don’t Workout?

Do Mass Gainers Work If You Don’t Workout

It depends on how you define mass gainers as “working.” If you want to gain muscle mass and take mass gainer without working out, it won’t work as you intend it to. Instead, you’ll gain predominantly fat mass if you exceed your daily caloric maintenance.

However, take mass gainer as a meal replacement while maintaining your regular calorie intake. You won’t gain weight. It’ll just be a food substitute.

How Fast Do Mass Gainers Work?

How many extra calories you consume daily will dictate how fast a mass gainer “works.” However, this short-term thinking is not good for body composition and will only lead to you adding a lot of body fat.

Instead, you should aim for 200-300 calories over your maintenance calories. So, if you usually eat in a day is maintaining your bodyweight, adding 200-300 calories worth of mass gainer is an easy way to start gaining weight.

You should aim to add no more than .25-.5% bodyweight per week to the scale. This percentage should decrease as you get further into your muscle-building journey. The slower, the better, as it will minimize fat gain.


Mass gainer works depending on your goals when using it. Mass gainer ticks that box if your goal is to have a convenient meal replacement. If your goal is to build muscle and gain weight, it can also tick that box if you consume more calories than your maintenance.

About the Author

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your training.

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