My Cheapest Mass Gainer Protein Powders Review for 2024

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In this fitness supplement review article I share my top seven picks for the cheapest mass gainers, based on current prices here in 2023.

I will also evaluate each of these weight gain powders in terms of their ingredients, macronutrient profiles, protein & carb sources, cost per serving & more, as well as discuss a few things unique to mass gainers that are worth knowing if you’re considering adding one to your diet plan.

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Science resources included

As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science and medical resources, clinical studies, & nutritional data used in this article.

 

What’s next

Before we get into the individual product reviews I’ll give you the list of the seven mass gainer powders I’m covering here, ranked from the most inexpensive one on up.

I based their ranking on their cost per ounce which in turn is based on what prices I’m seeing today while putting this article together.

But since online prices of supplements change all the time, you might see something a little different at the time you read this.

 

In all of their cases I’m going with the largest size they’re being sold in, since as you’d expect they’re cheaper per ounce that way compared to their smaller versions.

You can click on their names or product image to open a separate tab that’ll be their Amazon product page, if you want to check its current price or read buyer reviews.

 

Why gainers exist & who specifically they’re for

After I list the products featured in the article, I also want to briefly touch on why mass gainer powders have different nutrient profiles compared to “regular” protein powders and what kind of situation they’re intended for, in case you didn’t know.

This is because I’ve read many reviews where the buyer seems surprised or critical of the fact that their mass gainer has a lot more sugar & carbohydrates than the usual whey protein products on the market.

Well…

…the truth of the matter is, this is how all the big fitness supplement companies make their weight gain powders: heavy on the high glycemic carbs that are very cheap for them to produce like maltodextrin, dextrose, & sometimes glucose.

 

Top 7 cheap weight gainers

Ranked in this section by cheapest price per ounce on up.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Later on in the review I’ll show you a ranking of these cheap gainers in terms of their buyers’ ratings.

 

What mass gainers are for

Obviously weight gain powders exist to help someone…um, gain weight.

More specifically they can come in handy if you have a hard time maintaining a caloric surplus while training, which simply means you’re successfully consuming more calories than you’re burning.

If part of your fitness goals include gaining muscle weight, you’ll need to keep some kind of calorie surplus going on a daily basis to accomplish that. (1)

This state of being in turn leads to weight gain be it fat or muscle, depending on what kind of exercise program you’re on.

 

Convenient calories

Mass gainer powders can also help someone who simply can’t wolf down X amount of calories per day in “real food” form, whether due to a busy schedule or a digestive system that just doesn’t tolerate a ton of solid food on a daily basis.

So the mass gainer can provide a bit of convenience in both of those situations since you’re drinking the calories instead of having to eat them, calories that are also easy to store or carry around until they’re needed for use.

 

Who mass gainers are for

When you see the word mass on the weight gainer’s product label, the assumption is that it’s a supplement to assist you with packing on lean muscle mass.

And to that end the manufacturers are figuring you are doing some kind of resistance training, which in most cases is weightlifting.

 

Here are a few quotes from the makers of the leading weight gaining supplements that are also among my “cheap mass gainer” picks chosen for this article.

From Optimum Nutrition, makers of Serious Mass:

“High-Calorie Formula Supports Muscle Building and Weight Gain Goals.”

 

Here’s Dymatize, regarding their Super Mass Gainer powder:

“Super Mass Gainer is the perfect support for the most intense resistance training goals.”

 

And this from MuscleTech who have two two mass gainers in this article, Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 and their advanced formula Mass-Tech Elite:

“Reap the rewards of all your hard work in the gym. MASS TECH EXTREME 2000 has everything you need to bulk up, pack on muscle, smash through strength plateaus…”

 

Supplement facts labels tell you mass gainers are for lifters & athletes

You also can tell that this is who these types of products are intended for by looking at both the macronutrient numbers (AKA “macros”) and some of the individual ingredients typically found in mass gainer powders.

High calories for the weight gains, high protein for the muscle building, high insulin-spiking carbs like maltodextrin, dextrose, or glucose to promote post-workout recovery & increased athletic performance. (2)

 

Given the high amount of calories & carbs a mass gainer has, my humble opinion is that the person taking it better be working out consistently with a decent amount of training volume.

(“Training volume” to me means the number of sets & reps performed over time, say a week for example.)

This level of intensity is the best way to make sure most of the weight gain’s in the form of muscle and not fat.

 

Additional supplements & performance enhancers

And several mass gainer brands also add other workout supplements like creatine & glutamine to their formulas, and some (like Serious Mass) have a boatload of vitamins & minerals added to boost the nutrients up to “well-rounded meal” status.

Using ON’s (Optimum Nutrition’s) Serious Mass as an example, we see it packs a whopping 1,250 calories per serving — made up of 50 grams of protein, 252 grams of carbs, & very little (4.5 grams) of fat.

Below, take a look at the comparison of its macros to their worldwide best-selling Gold Standard Whey protein powder:

Macronutrient comparison Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass vs Gold Standard Whey powders - heydayDo image

So you see that the massive (ouch 😜) dose of high-glycemic carbs makes a mass gainer anything but a pure protein product, since it’s not supposed to be one — its intended use is a lot different than “get more clean protein in my diet”.

 

Bottom line: Mass gainers are made for athletes & weightlifters who are trying to get bigger & stronger than they are right now, including those who are considered hard gainers that have a tough time gaining quality muscle weight.

 

(Whether or not you actually need them to accomplish those goals is a topic best saved for its own article.)

We’ll be going over the Supplement Facts labels for all seven of these inexpensive gainer powders up next when we get into the product reviews.

 

Cheapest Mass Gainer Reviews

Okie dokie, here are the individual overviews of the seven weight gain powders featured in this article, this time listed from the one with the highest percentage of 4&5-star ratings on down.

A few of the categories I’ll be covering include:

  • Calories & macronutrients per serving
  • Ingredients used for the carbs & protein
  • Ingredients: any other fitness supplements?
  • Online buyer ratings

Program notes

A couple of things to be aware of regarding these mass gainer powders…

 

All sorts of serving sizes

Serving sizes — meaning those suggested by the manufacturers on their Supplement Facts labels — are all over the board, what with the powders having different numbers of scoops per serving & the scoops themselves coming in all kinds of sizes.

So there is a lot more ‘per serving’ variation here among these mass gainer powders than you’d find comparing typical protein powder products.

This makes doing my usual head-to-head “bang for our bucks” cost-to-value comparison a bit more difficult, as does the fact that there are variations in the manufacturers’ choices of ingredients as well.

 

Secret recipes too

You’ll see on the mass gainers’ ingredients labels that the manufacturers all use proprietary blends too, whether with their protein formula, carbohydrate formula, or supplement formula.

The FDA allows supplement makers to keep the quantities of each ingredient in these unique blends of theirs private.

So we don’t know (for example) how much of BSN True-Mass “Protein Blend” is made up of its egg whites or how much of each of the various milk proteins it has in a single serving.

All we’re told is that there’s 50 grams of protein per serving.

 

Given all this, I’ll share what I think are the main points to know for each of these mass gainers, and I’ll cobble together a few head-to-head comparisons using their various numbers & some rough (approximate) math. 😉

 

Taste

I’m not going to go into much (if any) detail on how I think each of these mass gainer powders taste.

And that decision is based on a few subjective, possibly jaded, & at least slightly informed reasons of mine.

A more thorough explanation on why I think that how something tastes to me doesn’t provide much value to you is in my article The Hunt for the Best Optimum Nutrition Flavor, and here’s a link to the section it’s in:

The Truth About Taste-Testing

That said, I can pass along a wee bit of info I gathered after reading dozens of reviews for each of these 7 cheap weight gain powders:

* Buyer opinions on the tastes of these 7 mass gainers fall neatly into these 3 categories —> some love ’em, some tolerate ’em, & some absolutely hate ’em.

 

Mass gainer online buyer reviews

The numbers in this category — which include the star rating and the percentage of 4&5-star ratings — I calculated after gathering buyer feedback data from as many different online retail sites selling each of these weight gain products.

For all of these mass gainers — and it’s no big surprise — most of a product’s buyer reviews come from Amazon shoppers.

Other sources of buyer feedback for these types of products can be found on the popular weightlifting & supplement sites Bodybuilding.com and Muscle&Strength.com, and on a few of the manufacturers’ sites too (not all of them post reviews).

Here’s how they currently rank according to their buyers across the online marketplace.

Click on their name or pic to check price & buyer reviews on ol’ Amazon.

Ronnie Coleman King Mass XL  4.5⭐  89%

BSN TRUE-MASS 1200 Weight Gainer  4.5⭐  87%

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass  4.5⭐  86%

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer  4.5⭐  86%

Rivalus Clean Gainer     4.5⭐  85%

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000  4.3⭐  83%

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Elite  4.3⭐  82%

 

Interesting note on mass gainer ratings

These are the most popular & biggest-selling products in the muscle weight gain supplement category, maybe with the exception of the powder from Rivalus…though I see they’ve been selling more product in the last couple of years.

And yet compared to the most popular “regular” whey-based protein powders, these mass gainers’ buyer ratings are definitely lower.

I’m guessing taste is the culprit, since that’s a much more common complaint about these supplements than someone saying they didn’t gain any weight. 

 

Ronnie Coleman King Mass XL

Ronnie Coleman King Mass XL

King Mass XL supplement facts

Serving size: 188 grams

Calories per serving: 750

Carbs per serving: 134 grams

Protein per serving: 45 grams

 

Other stuff

Sodium: 120 mg

Sugars: 18 grams

 

Here’s its Supplement Facts info off of the Ronnie Coleman website:

Ronnie Coleman King Mass XL - heydayDo image

 

Main carbohydrate source(s):

Maltodextrin

 

Main protein source(s):

Whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, & casein

 

Here are the ingredients:

Ronnie Coleman King Mass XL ingredients - heydayDo image

Notes

* You can see the 3 serving size options on the Supplement Facts panel, & for my numbers I used the 3-scoop one in the middle.

* Info is based on the Dark Chocolate flavor.

* Good to note that the sodium content in this is very low compared to its competitors, if that’s something you’re keeping an eye on in your diet.

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BSN TRUE-MASS 1200 Weight Gainer

BSN True-Mass 1200 Weight Gainer

BSN True Mass 1200 supplement facts

Serving size: 310 grams

Calories per serving: 1,228

Carbs per serving: 222 grams

Protein per serving: 50 grams

 

Other stuff

Sodium: 530 mg

Sugars: 16 grams

 

Here’s its Supplement Facts info:

BSN True Mass 1200 supplement facts - heydayDo image

Main carbohydrate source(s):

Maltodextrin

 

Main protein source(s):

Whey, milk protein, & casein

 

Here are the ingredients:

BSN True Mass 1200 ingredients - heydayDo image

Notes

* Numbers are based on the 10.38 lb. bag of the Chocolate Milkshake flavor.

Check Today's Price

 

 

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Weight Gainer

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

Serious Mass supplement facts

Serving size: 336 grams

Calories per serving: 1,250

Carbs per serving: 252 grams

Protein per serving: 50 grams

 

Other stuff

Sodium: 570 mg

Sugars: 20 grams

 

Additional supplements

  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Glutamine
  • Vitamins & minerals

 

Here’s its Supplement Facts info:

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass supplement facts - heydayDo image

 

Main carbohydrate source(s):

Maltodextrin

 

Main protein source(s):

Whey, casein, & egg whites

 

Here are the ingredients, followed by the list of vitamins, minerals, & supplements they’ve added:

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass ingredients - heydayDo image

Notes

* Numbers are based on the 12 lb. bag of the Chocolate flavor.

* 2nd highest buyer rating in this review, tied with BSN True Mass 1200.

* Most popular mass gainer product in the world — 38,000 reviews & counting.

* 2nd highest sodium of the bunch.

Check Today's Price

 

 

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer

Super Mass Gainer supplement facts

Serving size: 336 grams

Calories per serving: 1,280

Carbs per serving: 245 grams

Protein per serving: 52 grams

 

Other stuff

Sodium: 580 mg

Sugars: 21 grams

 

Additional supplements

  • Vitamins & minerals

 

Here’s its Supplement Facts info:

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer supplement facts - heydayDo image

Main carbohydrate source(s):

Maltodextrin

 

Main protein source(s):

Whey & casein

 

Here are the ingredients including the vitamin & mineral additives:

Dymatize Super Mass Gainer ingredients - heydayDo image

Notes

* Numbers are based on the 12 lb. bag of the Rich Chocolate flavor.

* One of the three expensive gainers in this review, with a per serving cost @ $3.50.

* Very similar macros to ON’s Serious Mass, though over 20% more expensive ($3.50 vs. $2.90 per serving).

* Highest sodium of the powders in this review.

Check Today's Price

 

 

Rivalus Clean Gainer

Rivalus Clean Gainer

Rizalus Clean Gainer supplement facts

Serving size: 136 grams

Calories per serving: 560

Carbs per serving: 90 grams

Protein per serving: 30 grams

 

Other stuff

Sodium: 350 mg

Sugars: 8 grams

 

Here’s its Supplement Facts info:

Rivalus Clean Gainer supplement facts - heydayDo image

Main carbohydrate source(s):

Maltodextrin, fructose, & quinoa

 

Main protein source(s):

Whey, milk protein, & casein

 

Here are the ingredients:

Rivalus Clean Gainer ingredients - heydayDo image

Notes

* Numbers are based on the 10 lb. bag of the Chocolate flavor.

* Highest buyer-rated mass gainer in this review.

* It’s important to note that the serving size is around half what the other gainers are, so adjust calories, macros, & cost accordingly.

* *** Cost/serving: For example, cost per serving looks the cheapest, but again, the amount of carbs & protein you get is a lot smaller — so it’s actually one of the three most expensive products in this review.

* Least amount of sugar.

Check Today's Price

 

 

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000

Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 supplement facts

Note: I’m going with their 1/2 serving size numbers here, because I think it’s nuts to suggest a serving size of over 2,000 calories, like MuscleTech does with this mass gainer.

That’s almost cruel & unusual punishment, if not to the poor person trying to down all that then to all the people within 15 feet of that person over the next 4 hours.

 

Serving size: 285 grams

Calories per serving: 1,030

Carbs per serving: 220 grams

Protein per serving: 30 grams

 

Other stuff

Sodium: 315 mg

Sugars: 10 grams

 

Additional supplements

  • BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids)
  • Vitamins & minerals
  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Glutamine

 

Here’s its Supplement Facts info:

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 supplement facts - heydayDo image

(Sorry for the blurriness, it was the only copy they had showing the 1/2 serving size.)

 

Main carbohydrate source(s):

Glucose, oat bran

 

Main protein source(s):

Whey – concentrate, isolate, & hydrolyzed

 

Here are the ingredients:

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 ingredients - heydayDo image

Notes

* Numbers are based on their gigantic 22 lb. tub of Triple Chocolate Brownie.

* This product is not listed on their website any longer, so it may be in “Getting Phased Out” mode, but it’s still listed on Amazon as well as on those bodybuilding sites I mentioned earlier.

* Lowest buyer rating among the seven mass gainers in this article.

Check Today's Price

 

 

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Elite

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Elite

Note that MuscleTech overhauled the packaging of this Mass-Tech Elite gainer a year or two ago, and both versions are out on the market now.

If you come across one with the old label, I’d advise you to avoid it since it’s old & probably a stale product. Here’s what the new one looks like:

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Elite new packaging - heydayDo image

Mass-Tech Elite supplement facts

Serving size: 231 grams

Calories per serving: 830

Carbs per serving: 132 grams

Protein per serving: 63 grams

 

Other stuff

Sodium: 500 mg

Sugars: 10 grams

 

Additional supplements

  • BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids)
  • Glutamine
  • Creatine
  • Digestive enzymes

 

Here’s its Supplement Facts info:

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Elite supplement facts - heydayDo image

Main carbohydrate source(s):

Maltodextrin, oat bran, quinoa

 

Main protein source(s):

Whey, casein, & egg whites

 

Here are the ingredients:

MuscleTech Mass-Tech Elite ingredients - heydayDo image

Notes

* Numbers are based on the 7 lb. tub of the Milk Chocolate flavor.

* Big extra dose of BCAAs, even though whey & eggs have a lot in them already.

* Two days’ worth (10g) of creatine added too, which is more than you need on a regular basis in my humble opinion. If you were doing a creatine loading phase it’d be OK, but a daily maintenance dose? Nah…

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FAQ

I understand you’re interested in getting the best results from your mass gainer supplements, and I’m here to help you make that happen. Let’s start by breaking down some important points.

Here are answers to several commonly asked questions about being a hardgainer, how to be smart about trying to bulk up your muscle mass, etc.

(Inspired by articles on Jeremy Ethier’s great site, BuiltWithScience.com)

What does it take for someone with a hardgainer body type to achieve muscle growth?

To increase muscle mass, hardgainers should focus on three key areas. First, their training should consist of the appropriate exercises, the right number of reps, and sufficient volume.

Second, their nutritional intake needs to support muscle growth adequately too.

And finally the concept of progression is crucial, meaning that over time, there should be consistent overloading of muscles to stimulate growth.

What are common hurdles hardgainers face when trying to build muscle?

Challenges often revolve around workout setup, progression, and nutrition. Hardgainers sometimes struggle to select the correct exercises, rep schemes, and volume for their workouts.

Other common mistakes are 1) not prioritizing the progressive overloading of workouts, and 2) not getting enough calories to support muscle recovery and growth.

What's the role of progressive overload for hardgainers?

Understanding progressive overload is fundamental for muscle growth. It involves a gradual increase in weight and workout intensity over time, placing higher demands on the muscles.

This forces muscles to recover and grow stronger. For hardgainers, consistent progression in the gym is pivotal for successful muscle growth.

How can hardgainers be sure they're fueling their bodies correctly for muscle growth?

One of the challenges for hardgainers is consuming enough calories to support muscle recovery and growth. To address this, they can track their calorie intake and incrementally increase it.

Choosing high-calorie, nutritious foods and snacks, opting for less satiating options, and avoiding protein overload can help increase daily calorie intake without reducing appetite.

What does 'bulking up' mean?

'Bulking up' refers to a period of eating at a calorie surplus with the goal of gaining weight and increasing size, primarily muscle mass.

This approach pairs a positive energy balance with resistance training to stimulate muscle growth.

Why is it better to start a bulk in a lean state?

Starting a bulk when you're lean, ideally under 15% body fat for men, is beneficial because as your body fat percentage climbs, your body's efficiency in building muscle decreases and it tends to store more fat per unit of weight gain. Plus if you start a bulk in a lean state, you'll likely spend less time dieting later to shed the excess fat gained during the bulking phase.

What's the issue about gaining too much fat versus muscle during bulking?

There's a misconception floating around that overeating while training hard will automatically lead to more muscle gains. Umm, not exactly. It's important to know that past a certain point, excess food mainly leads to adding fat, not muscle growth. For an effective bulking phase, a moderate calorie surplus of about 10-20% above maintenance calories, combined with a target rate of weight gain, is suggested by muscle gain experts.

How does training experience impact muscle gain during bulking?

Your rate of muscle gain tends to slow the longer you've been training. Beginners could aim to gain around 1 to 1.5% of their bodyweight per month in muscle, while intermediate or advanced trainers might want to ratchet expectations down from those numbers a little. Regularly monitoring your weight gain is a good idea to be sure you're progressing correctly and not gaining excessive fat or slowing muscle growth.

Why is patience wise during the bulking process?

Muscle building is a slow process. Some fat gain is inevitable, which can sometimes mask muscle gains and make it seem like progress is lacking.

This can lead people to switch back to dieting prematurely, halting muscle gain. It's important to realize that noticeable size gains can take months or even years, so patience, trusting the process, and committing to the bulking phase for a lengthy period is the smart way to be.

 

Related articles here on heydayDo

How to Use a Mass Gainer, How It Works, Side Effects, & More

My Best Plant-Based Vegan Mass Gainers

Effective Power Tower Workout: Benefits, How-To’s, Videos

Dynamic vs. Static Stretching: Best Uses & Benefits Explored

The Clock’s Ticking: How Long Does It Take To Lose Muscle?

Whey Protein Vs. Mass Gainer: 7 Important Differences

A Dive Into The Dietary Deep? Is Whey Vegan Or Not?

Serious Mass vs. Pro Gainer: Comparing 2 Weight Gain Powders

How To Build Muscle & Gain Weight If You’re An Ectomorph

Make Your Own Homemade Protein Shake Recipes for Weight Gain

Female & Male bodybuilders back posing in rain forest - heydayDo featured image cheapest mass gainer

Wrapping up

I hope that my review article on the cheapest mass gainer powders is useful to you, and I wish you well on your fitness journey.

– greg

About The Author

heydayDo author Greg Simon

Hi, I’m Greg Simon. Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) Pro Member. MBA, B.Sc.

Author. Surfer. Organic food grower. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far).

heydayDo.com is my wellness blog that’s about encouraging a healthy lifestyle as we age. 

I share my fitness training experience as well as the sports science research I’ve done on the many benefits strength building, exercise, & good eating habits offer us. 

I also write review articles after product testing home gym equipment & fitness supplements.

My hope is that you’ll find useful or encouraging information here on my website that will benefit your unique fitness journey.

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