For those who don’t have time to read the full review, we picked IRONVEGAN Gainer as the Best Vegan Mass Gainer.
Chances are that if you’re here then you’ve faced the same thing most of us have: intense workout sessions with no size increase.
Especially as a vegan, this is a common concern and complaint.
You’ve tried protein supplements and still nothing. Now you’re onto the holy grail of weight gain, mass gainers.
We’re here to show you what to look for when picking up a vegan mass gainer powder, from purity to functionality. Well even show you which ones we found as the best ones currently on the market.
We will be reviewing the following vegan mass gainers:
- IRONVEGAN Gainer
- GNC Earth Genius PurEdge Plant-Based Gainer
- Naked Vegan Mass
- Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Hemp Seed Protein Powder
- Vegun Nutrition – VEGANMASS
Do you need a Mass Gainer?
You should be aiming for a surplus of around 400 extra calories per day to gain the weight needed to build muscle. Especially as a vegan, this can be difficult.
As you know a plant-based diet isn’t the most dense in calories. It is much easier to put on weight eating a fatty burger compared to a plant-based burger. This is why drinking those extra calories you want to put on, is so much easier than eating an immense amount of food.
Most mass gainers offer a good balance of vitamins and minerals for a great meal replacement.
What’s in it?
Most mass gainers share these staple ingredients:
The building block of your muscles. You need it to grow and maintain your muscles. It is a necessity in mass gainers for a clean bulk. Most vegan mass gainers use pea or even soy protein for their protein source. You need around 2g of protein per kg body weight to unlock the benefits of your muscle growth.
The main staple of most people’s diets around the world. It is the fuel for your body to operate. Although many people fear it and try to avoid it, it is very helpful and shouldn’t be. It won’t make you gain fat any more than another macronutrient, like fat. It is the main component of mass gainers because it provides you with energy for your workout. It also helps to bring you to that caloric surplus to further promote muscle growth in your body.
Vegan mass gainers don’t contain high amounts of fat because they want you to have a clean bulk. The few grams of fat added in are usually for a small boost in the calorie count. Even sometimes to promote hormonal function, like testosterone.
When to Take It
There have often been debates on when to take mass gainers. Some people say pre-workout and some people say post. But, taking mass gainer post-workout is the most agreed upon method.
You should try and take it around a half-hour to an hour after your workout, but not immediately. Post-workout, your muscles are destroyed and you can then rebuild them with a large amount of protein and carbs. This will then give your muscles everything necessary to grow at the right time.
One thing we don’t recommend doing is taking mass gainer before you go to sleep. This is because you want to consume this large amount of calories while your body is active so it can digest it. This is if the reason you are taking it is for your muscle growth. If you are looking to put on weight then it shouldn’t matter when you consume it.
Try it Out
Coffee is one of the most drank and enjoyed beverages around the world. It is most people’s start to their day.
This shake is a great way to enjoy both your daily coffee and fit in your vegan mass gainer powder. It is a cold-brewed, high protein, and low sugar coffee to add to your routine.
- ½ ripe banana
- 1 scoop of vanilla mass gainer
- ½ cup of room temp or cold-brewed coffee
- ½ cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 ½ cups of cubed ice
- Sprinkle of cacao nibs
- 1-3 drops of stevia extract
- Place all the ingredients together in your blender and blend until mixed well
- Add ice into blender slowly and blend until creamy
- Finish it off with the topping of cacao nibs and stevia extract
This protein shake offers a little bit for everyone. It offers a birthday cake taste for vegans, who can’t normally indulge themselves with. Even a sweet taste missed for those trying to achieve a clean bulk.
We would still try and keep this protein shake as more of a treat rather than an everyday shake though.
- ½ cup of banana slices
- 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 scoop of vanilla mass gainer
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. rainbow sprinkles
- Whipped coconut cream
- Place all the ingredients in the blender, but the sprinkles
- Blend until well mixed and then add the sprinkles
- Pulse to mix in the sprinkles
- Pour into a glass and top it off with whipped coconut cream
The Best Vegan Mass Gainers
#1 – IRONVEGAN Gainer
The IRONVEGAN Gainer might be the strongest vegan mass gainer on the market. First off it offers a great blend of ingredients.
It contains a unique blend of sea vegetables, whole grains, organic brown rice protein, and non-GMO pea protein. 2 scoops offer 720 calories, 42g of protein, 120g of carbohydrates, and 8g of fats. In comparison to other vegan mass gainers, we found this one had a high-fat content, but not too much to worry. With a 2.85:1 carb to protein ratio, you are receiving a good amount of carbohydrates to fuel your body. It has a high amount of fiber at 12g and a good blend of vitamins and minerals makes it also good for your digestion.
It is GMO-free, has no banned substances, and no fillers or unnatural ingredients. A clean experience.
It was sometimes clumpy and didn’t mix well, but you will see that in many mass gainers. You can try and blend it into a drink or smoothie to ensure it mixes. (BTW we also recommend the chocolate flavor!)
- Strong ingredient List
- Good Macronutrient Amounts
- Overall a Clean Option
- Contains Stevia for Flavor
- Might not Mix Well
One serving of this contains 570 calories, 50g of protein, 8g of BCAAs, 70g of carbohydrates, and 11g of fat. It without a doubt is one of the stronger blends of macronutrients we’ve seen. It uses ingredients from 7 different plants, like cinnamon bark extract.
Actually, the key feature from this vegan mass gainer is from the smaller ingredients. It contains 8g of fiber and digestive enzymes from papaya and pineapple to support your digestive system. It also has beta power, which is an ingredient derived from beetroot that can enhance athleticism. Extracts from monk fruit and stevia mean it has no artificial sweeteners either.
It is gluten, GMO, and soy-free too! One thing we did find with this mass gainer was that it was a little more expensive compared to others. This is because of the serving size being 2-4 scoops. Although, it is more expensive option that is because it has benefits others don’t.
- Unique Ingredients and Benefits
- Very clean and Organic
- Good amounts of Macronutrients
- Contains Beta Power
- Gluten, Soy, and GMO free
- A More Expensive Option
#3 – Naked Vegan Mass
We’ve talked about the Naked brand before and we’ve been nothing but impressed. With the Naked Vegan Mass we can say nothing has changed.
They have once again brought one of the purest mass gainers by using only 3 ingredients. Pea protein, organic brown rice protein, and organic tapioca maltodextrin. It has a 2:1 pea to rice protein ratio to ensure you receive a complete profile of amino acids too.
They guarantee no additives, sweeteners, flavors, colors, soy, or GMOs. Which we are glad to say is standard with their products.
One serving offers a massive 1230 calories, 50g of protein, 10.3g of BCAAs, 248g of carbohydrates, and 4g of fats.
As with most of their products, their level of purity comes at a cost. The powder due to a lack of emulsifiers or flavoring can taste chalky and might not mix well. We recommend you put it in a blender for a smoothie to ensure the best results.
- The Cleanest Vegan Mass Gainer
- High in Calories & Other Macros
- Known Brand
- Utilizes Two Types of Protein
- Can taste Chalky
- Might not Mix Well
One serving of this gainer offers 280 calories, 30g of protein, and 31g of carbs. Also, it offers a 1:1 carb to protein ratio to focus on a more balanced bulk rather than an abundance of carbs. The carb blend they also use supports glycogen replenishment for extended performance.
It contains coconut water to help your hydration and restore your natural pH levels. It also supports your digestive health through its use of digestive enzymes. It is free of any artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors. A strong option.
Some things we did find though was that the mass gainer wasn’t certified organic and is not gluten or GMO-free. The taste of the actual mass gainer was more of a hit or miss too. Some liked it and some didn’t, but most agreed it tasted better when mixed with other things. The low-calorie count compared to others alerted us, but it offers more servings to make up for it.
- Certified Coconut Water for Hydration
- Use of Digestive Enzymes
- No artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors
- Unique and beneficial Carbohydrate blend
- Higher Servings
- Not Certified Organic, Gluten Free, or GMO Free
- Taste isn’t for everyone
- Low calorie count per serving
Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Hemp Seed Protein Powder offers a unique twist for weight gain. It uses an alternative form of protein, hemp. They extract it using a cold-press extraction to ensure a clean protein powder. It offers 15g of protein, 9g of carbohydrates, and 3g of fats. Also, it offers a complete source of fatty acids, amino acids, omega 3, and antioxidants.
It contains no fillers or artificial ingredients and is high in fiber with 8g. It is USDA certified organic and sourced from Canadian farmers who grow organic, sustainably grown non-GMO hemp seeds. Even the packaging is BPA free and safe!
Talk about environmentally friendly!
This can provide you with a great detox while also providing you with the macronutrients you need to put on more weight. If you are unfamiliar with hemp, it could lead to nausea, stomach pain, or constipation.
- Hemp Protein is the Main Protein Source
- Detoxes your Body
- Sourced Organically and Sustainably
- Cold Press Extracted for cleaner protein powder
- Lacks a large amount of macronutrients per serving
- Can cause stomach pains, constipation, or nausea
Vegans like other lifestyles need to put on weight to grow their muscles. This is most times difficult in their diet, so a mass gainer could definitely always help. We chose the IRONVEGAN Gainer as the best vegan mass gainer because it offered what others didn’t.
It offered a good-tasting mass gainer with a great blend of macronutrients. It could have been better by using no sweeteners for a more clean approach or by being more functional. The latter wasn’t that big of a problem anyway because we usually blended it in the birthday cake recipe!