So you want to add muscle and are thinking of supplementing with a vegan weight gainer, but you’re not sure which one suits you best?
We’ve got you covered on that.
In this post, we’ll talk about the top vegan weight gainers in the market, compare them to each other, and help you decide which one to buy to help you achieve your desired physique.
Let’s start with…
What is a weight gainer, and how can it help a vegan gain weight fast?
Imagine putting a banana, a cup of mangoes, strawberries, an apple, and two to three handfuls of kale or spinach on a plate. How long would it take you to finish it?
Now imagine blending them into a green smoothie and pouring it into a glass. That makes it easier to consume, right?
That’s similar to how a mass gainer works, although they contain more macronutrients (and less fiber) than a green smoothie.
A weight gainer is a high-calorie mixture consisting of carbs, proteins, fats, and amino acids that help you meet your daily calorie requirements by making it easy to consume them: by drinking your calories instead of chewing them.
To gain weight, vegan or not, you have to be around 300-500 caloric surplus (Here’s a Vegan Calorie Calculator to identify your caloric requirement to reach your goal weight). The excess calories will help you put on fat and muscle. If you lift heavy weights and train for hypertrophy, you’ll be able to put on muscle while minimizing fat gain.
When do you need a mass gainer to gain weight?
It’s possible to gain weight on a plant-based diet without supplements; however, there are some scenarios where taking a supplement, such as a weight gainer, makes sense.
If you find it hard to put on weight naturally even while eating like a horse, drinking your calories instead will make life easier because you can consume more calories with less effort.
The same if you’re busy at work. If you’re a hotel receptionist, bus driver, ER nurse, or work in any other profession where it’s hard to eat while working or traveling, drinking a weight gainer is a convenient way to consume calories.
What are the ingredients of a vegan weight gainer?
When buying a weight gainer, it’s essential to check the list of ingredients to make sure it’s vegan and has no ingredients that might potentially cause you harm or an allergic reaction. Most signs of allergic reaction to ingredients include headache, bloating, cramping, nausea, and increased flatulence.
The primary ingredients of vegan weight gainers include
- Protein source – most vegan weight gainers use a blend of pea, brown rice, quinoa powder, white bean powder, and other plant-based protein sources as the primary source of protein. A good weight gainer contains nine essential amino acids to promote cellular repair and muscle growth.
- Carbohydrate source – some carbohydrates for weight gainers include millet, yam, sweet potato powder, and carbohydrate blend (maltodextrin, pure fine oats), while some contain organic vegetables in their list.
- Fat source – fats are essential for various biological processes, including testosterone production, and directly impact muscle mass. Some fat sources come from seeds such as flaxseed, sunflower seed, and coconut oil.
Best vegan weight gainers
Naked mass contains only three ingredients: Organic tapioca maltodextrin, yellow pea protein, and brown rice protein. That’s it. This is a good option if you’re looking for a pure supplement with zero added sugar or additives, GMO-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.
Quality products and ingredients. Easy to mix. Customer service at Naked nutrition is excellent. Put three stars on cost because I still wished it was cheaper.
A little chalky to eat 4 scoops/serving
I was shocked that a scoop was over ⅓ of a cup. It’s way too chalky to intake that much. Also, 4 scoops per serving!
Iron vegan contains added greens, sea vegetables, plant oils, and sprouted whole grains. It has an impressive 2.85: 1 carb to protein ratio, 12 gms of fiber, and only 1 gram of sugar per serving.
The proteins are derived from fermented pea isolate and organic sprouted brown rice protein concentrate.
Great product, strange taste
There’s a ton of good stuff, but the earth and sea green’s taste is strong.
Great gainer, strange product design
I gained close to 10lbs in a few weeks without exercise. My only gripe is the choice to go with a bag and zipper.
Vegun Nutrition: Veganmass
It is a complete meal replacement containing organic protein, whole food carbohydrate sources, healthy fats, and digestive enzymes. The 1:1 ratio of premium protein to carbohydrate ratio supports lean mass gains while minimizing fat gain.
Bad taste, thick clumpy consistency
The ingredients seem okay, but I can’t stand the taste and clumpiness of the protein shake.
Decent flavor, mostly organic, pretty good overall
I can say that I’m happy to put two scoops in my breakfast shake every day.
GNC Earth Genius
GNC Pure edge provides a complete source of protein from seven plant-based sources and all nine essential amino acids. It contains 70 g of carbs and 8 g of fiber for a feeling of fullness. It has Beta power (made from beetroot), which supports power and is clinically studied to enhance athletic performance.
An all-around, beneficial protein source
I already gained 4 lbs.
Super clean and feel great
I can already see some muscle definition after drinking it and working out.
The Protein Works Vegan Mass Gainer
Based in the UK and deliver to over 200 countries, Protein works main protein source is derived from soy isolate, pea isolate, and brown rice concentrate to ensure a perfectly smooth shake. It has dense micronutrient ingredients such as oats which contain zinc, iron, folic acid, vitamin E, and fiber for digestion support.
Flaxseed has been added to increase alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) intake and essential dietary fats for blood cholesterol maintenance.
I tried it for a week, and I feel genuinely transformed! It’s a bit sweet due to the added sweetener but tastes delicious.
Sickly sweet taste
Using it for fruit smoothies, but ridiculously sweet. Cut the measurement in half but still sweet.
How to make a vegan weight gainer at home
And if you still have not found what you’re looking for in a vegan weight gainer, you can make one at home. The fantastic thing about making your vegan weight gainer is that you can put the ingredients you like and have complete control over the taste. You could potentially save money too.
Pick any vegan protein powder you want (we recommend Sun warrior or Garden of life vegan protein powder), and throw in some additional carb, fat source, and liquid of choice. You can even throw in some vegetables to supercharge your drink!
300-700 ml of sugar-free Almond milk,
60 grams of plant-based protein powder (two servings),
One frozen banana,
1 cup frozen strawberries,
1 cup frozen mangoes,
50-100 grams of spinach
1 tbsp chia seeds (fat source)
Optional carb source: Sweet potato or yam
Note: Use frozen fruits and spinach, so your drink comes out cold without using additional ice cubes. You can even freeze the spinach, so it lasts longer.
Throw them in a blender and blend away! The only downside to making your vegan weight gainer is that you need a blender, and it’s not as convenient to make compared to mixing water and powder in a shaker bottle.
When is the best time to take a weight gainer?
Most personal trainers suggest taking a weight gainer after a workout to help replenish the glycogen supply depleted during training and provide the body with much-needed protein to help build muscle. It’s also an awesome in-between-meal “snack.”
Is it okay to take a weight gainer during non-training days?
A weight gainer is supposed to help you meet the caloric requirements to build muscle but keep in mind that most weight gainers are full of calories, so if you’re skipping training days, it’s possible to gain fat and not muscle.
Can I take a weight gainer before going to sleep?
People are concerned about gaining fat by drinking a weight gainer before bed, but there is little evidence to suggest that is the case. However, consuming a weight gainer, especially those with more calories and sugar, before bed can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, making it hard to fall asleep.
What vegan weight gainers are dairy-free?
Every weight gainer listed in this post is dairy-free.
What should I look for when buying a vegan weight gainer?
- Ingredients – make sure it’s vegan and doesn’t have anything you’re allergic to
- Value for your money. Some weight gainers might cost more than others, but they have more servings and, more importantly, calories to help you put on weight.
- Calorie count – Some weight gainers have a lower calorie count per serving than others. Check if they will help you reach your daily caloric needs.
- Taste – It’s best to get something you like since you’ll often drink this.
Are vegan weight gainers healthy?
Some companies that sell vegan weight gainers have been around a long time and have a good reputation. Most of the vegan weight gainers in the market use organic ingredients and reduce the number of additives and artificial ingredients.
However, if you have a medical condition and allergies to certain ingredients, please check with a professional if it’s safe to consume a weight gainer.
Are there any side effects of taking vegan weight gainers?
Several report gas, bloating, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea; others report a reaction to specific ingredients and some gain fat. Keep in mind that you’re consuming a massive amount of calories when drinking a weight gainer, so if you’re not training as hard in the gym, you’ll put on the wrong kind of weight coming from fat.
Should I make a weight gainer or buy one?
The answer depends on you.
If you have the time and enjoy creating a weight gainer with the ingredients you like, go ahead and make your own.
But if you prefer one with more calories and easier to make, pick any of these weight gainers we suggest.
A vegan weight gainer won’t work if you don’t
Lastly, a vegan weight gainer is a supplement supposed to help you consume enough calories to meet your needs, but it is not meant to replace a balanced diet.
And assuming you want to put on muscle weight instead of fat, you have to complement your nutrition with training for hypertrophy to add the muscle you’ve always dreamed of.
So go ahead, pick a vegan weight gainer, eat a balanced vegan diet, train your butt off in the gym, and watch the scale go up as you put on muscle.