Have you experienced difficulty putting on weight?
While genetics certainly play a part in how quickly we can gain or lose weight, diet is often equally as important.
Technically speaking, the easiest way to gain weight is to simply eat more. However, not everybody has the appetite or time to cook extra meals every day.
This is where one of the best vegan weight gainer supplements below can help you pack on pounds with ease.
Below, I’ll share some of my favorite plant-based vegan weight gainer supplements as well as my personal experiences, so you can figure out which is best for you!
Weight gainers are nutritional supplements that are designed to help you increase your caloric intake without the effort of having to buy extra groceries or cook extra meals. Weight gainers are specially formulated with a balanced blend of carbs, protein, and fat designed to help your body pack on the pounds.
Weight gainers are most often used by vegan athletes and bodybuilders who are trying to “bulk up.” Consuming more calories is one of the easiest ways to build muscle and get the most out of your training.
After the bulking process is finished, the weight gainer can be cut out of the athlete’s diet, allowing them to cut the fat they gained, while retaining the majority of their muscle gains.
Unfortunately, most of the popular weight gainers on the market are not vegan-friendly. They often contain animal-derived ingredients, such as:
- Egg yolks
- Egg whites
- Powdered milk
- Whey protein
Vegan weight gainers, on the other hand, don’t contain any of these animal-derived additives. Instead, they’re made with high-quality plant-based protein derived from nuts, vegetables, and legumes.
They may also include simple carbs and starches such as maltodextrin or potato starch, which can trigger an insulin response, allowing your body to gain weight faster.
There are several different approaches to vegan weight gainer supplements. For example, some are simple, one-ingredient weight gainers, while others feature a complex blend of proteins, carbs, fats, and amino acids, along with artificial flavoring to make for a great-tasting shake.
Throughout my own fitness journey, I’ve experimented with several different brands. Below, I’ll share the vegan weight gainer supplements that stood out to me the most!
1. KATE FARMS Organic Vegan Plant Based 1.4 Sole-Source Nutrition Shake (link)
● Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate
Most of the vegan weight gainers I’ve tried in the past come in powder form. These are convenient, as they can be easily mixed into a smoothie, juice, or a tall glass of almond milk.
The shelf life is also quite long, so the tub can sit on the shelf for months at a time without me having to worry about it going bad.
However, they’re not always the most efficient option.
I recently discovered Kate Farms Organic Vegan Nutrition Shake. Unlike the tubs of powdered weight gainers that I’m used to, these shakes come premixed in recycled cardboard containers. All I have to do is pop the top open, chug my shake, and I’m good to go!
This is incredibly convenient if I’m traveling, in a rush, or just need something to throw in my bag to drink at work or after my morning workout.
Each carton contains 455 calories and is designed to be a complete meal replacement shake. The macronutrient breakdown per serving is:
- 19 grams of fat
- 51 grams of carbs
- 20 grams of protein
This is, quite literally, the perfect balance of macros to encourage weight gain and muscle gain.
The macros primarily come from pea protein, MCT oil, brown rice syrup, and agave syrup.
In addition to macros, Kate Farms Vegan Nutrition Shake is packed full of phytonutrients, including:
- … and a lot more
Lastly, this vegan weight gainer includes a complete blend of vitamins and minerals (both essential and trace minerals).
The only downside is that this is not exactly a budget-friendly product. A 12-pack costs over $60, which is a good bit more expensive than purchasing a powdered vegan weight gainer and making your own shakes.
Then again, they say that time is money – and these have saved me a lot of time.
2. IRONVEGAN Gainer Chocolate Protein Powder (link)
● Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla
IRONGVEGAN’s Athlete’s Gainer is a high-quality vegan weight gainer that uses a blend of organic fermented pea protein powder and organic sprouted rice protein powder as its primary source of protein.
Instead of the maltodextrin used by cheaper mass gainers I’ve tried, this product uses brown rice flour as a source of complex carbs.
The mass gainer is also loaded with healthy superfoods, including organic spirulina, kale, spinach, pumpkin seeds, ancient grains, papaya, cinnamon, pineapple, beetroot, and ginger.
Each serving contains 120 grams of carbs, of which only 1 gram comes from added sugar. Instead, the mass gainer is sweetened with all-natural stevia leaf extract.
Some mass gainers are loaded with low-quality simple sugars. While these can help you gain weight, they can also be very unhealthy, so I appreciate that IRONVEGAN’s weight gainer uses higher-quality carbs.
Each serving contains 740 calories, and the macronutrient breakdown is as follows:
- 8 grams fat
- 120 grams carbs
- 42 grams protein
However, it is high in sodium, with each serving containing 550 mg. This may cause bloating in people who are sensitive to salt and may contribute to high blood pressure if consumed in excess.
IRONVEGAN Athlete’s Gainer is flavored (available in vanilla or chocolate), which helps to improve its taste, but it is more expensive than some other vegan mass gainers because of its higher-quality ingredients.
3. Naked Vegan Mass – Natural Vegan Weight Gainer (link)
● Flavors: Unflavored (tastes like peas and rice)
I’ve always enjoyed Naked’s products, as they’re so simple. In a world where most supplements have a long list of 10 to 20 ingredients, I appreciate the fact that Naked Vegan Mass is made with just three simple ingredients (all of which are organic):
- Tapioca-derived maltodextrin
- Pea protein
- Brown rice protein
No extra sugar, no added preservatives, or any other common allergens, such as soy, dairy, or gluten.
Pea protein and rice protein are both high-quality plant-based protein sources that can help you build muscle and strength. Pea protein is, by far, one of the most versatile plant proteins, as it’s also used as the primary ingredient in many plant-based burgers.
Maltodextrin is a type of simple sugar that is quickly absorbed by the body, which can help increase energy levels, elevate blood sugar, and promote weight gain. Although it’s not the healthiest ingredient, it’s great for short-term bulking as your body can quickly absorb it as a simple carb.
The only downside of this vegan weight gainer is that it really doesn’t taste that great. It’s like eating a handful of flour and powdered vegetables. If you mix it down with some fruit, oat milk, and a bit of stevia, though, it goes down just fine.
Each serving of this mass gainer contains 1,230 calories, making it a substantial meal.
However, your caloric needs may vary and you may not need to consume this much at once. Based on the number of extra calories you’re trying to consume each day, feel free to adjust your dosage and consume as much (or little) as you need.
4. Naked PB – Pure Peanut Butter Powder (link)
● Flavors: Peanut Butter
Do you like peanut butter?
Not everybody does, but I sure do!
If you’re a fellow peanut butter lover, then Naked PB is probably one of the most straightforward vegan weight gainers on the market. Like Naked’s original Vegan Mass powder, Naked PB is made with pure, simple, ingredients – specifically one ingredient.
That’s right, this weight gainer is just pure, powdered peanut butter. No added sugar, no added flavors, no preservatives, no aminos, or anything else. Just pressed and dried peanut butter.
Each one-scoop serving contains 50 calories, and the following macros:
- 1 gram fat
- 3 grams carbs
- 8 grams protein
If you’re looking to really pack on weight, then you’ll probably want to consume 7 to 10 scoops at a time to ensure that you’re taking in an extra 350 to 500 calories.
Or, conversely, you could just use Naked PB as a flavor additive to another vegan weight gainer to give it a healthy, peanut buttery kick. The choice is yours. I’ve done both.
Naked PB is made exclusively with non-GMO peanuts that are grown in the US, so you’re only getting the best.
Overall, it’s a fairly affordable vegan weight gainer too, and it’s cheaper than other powdered peanut butter supplements I’ve found in stores (many of which contain a host of extra additives).
5. Ka’Chava Meal Replacement Shake (link)
● Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Coconut Acai, Chai, Matcha,
Looking for one of the best-tasting meal replacement shakes on the market? You can’t go wrong with Ka’Chava. This product has become massively popular over the past couple of years, and you may have already seen ads for it on social media and YouTube.
While it’s one of the more expensive nutrition shakes that I’ve tried, the flavors are absolutely out of this world. So far, the best flavor I’ve tried is the Chai (although Matcha is a close second).
Ka’Chava is 100% vegan and all of the flavors are made using plant-based ingredients, including:
- Pea protein
- Sacha inchi protein
- Brown rice protein
- Adaptogenic mushrooms
- Antioxidant berries
- Fiber and omega-3-containing grains
- Super greens
All-in-all, Ka’Chava contains over 85 ingredients, and they’re all natural.
It’s also packed full of healthy prebiotics and probiotics, which help improve your overall digestive health and can reduce stomach inflammation. This was a big help for me, as some of the weight gainers I’ve tried in the past caused me to feel bloated or gassy.
Each serving contains 240 calories, which can be doubled up for weight gaining purposes. The macro breakdown is:
- 7 grams fat
- 24 grams carbs
- 25 grams protein
Ka’Chava isn’t just a “weight gainer.” While it can certainly be used as a weight gainer or meal replacement shake, it’s also a great overall health supplement. The superfoods and adaptogens in this blend contribute to whole-body health and can benefit your joints, brain health, focus, and energy levels.
6. Protein Works Mass Gainer (link)
● Flavors: Chocolate Hazelnut, Chocolate Silk, Salted Caramel, Strawberries n’ Cream, Vanilla Cream
Protein Works Mass Gainer is one of the most recent vegan weight gainers that I’ve tried. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but after tasting the Strawberries n’ Cream flavor, I was sold on it.
This complex mass gainer is made using maltodextrin and oats as the primary carb sources. Pea protein, brown rice protein, and soy protein provide plant-based protein. And flaxseed powder provides healthy fats and natural omega-3 fatty acids.
It’s sweetened with sucralose and artificial strawberry flavor.
Each serving contains 460 calories and the following macros:
- 3 grams fat
- 77 grams carbs
- 32 grams protein
Protein Works Mass Gainer contains a lot less fat than some of the other vegan weight gainers I’ve tried, but I’ve also found that this makes it a little bit easier for my stomach to digest. It’s very carb-heavy, which helps with easy weight gain.
In addition to the macros, Protein Works Mass Gainer also includes MCTs, amino acids, as well as vitamins and minerals, making it a complete meal replacement alternative.
If you’re really trying to pack on the pounds, Protein Works also offers an ‘Extreme’ version of their weight gainer, which has 740 calories per serving. I don’t need that much myself. However, if you’re over 180 pounds and serious about vegan bodybuilding, this could be a good option.
Now that you’ve had a chance to overview some of my favorite vegan weight gainers, here are some of the key considerations to keep in mind when trying to decide which one best meets your needs.
Ingredients are everything. If you’re going to be consuming a “meal replacement” shake, you want to make sure that it’s every bit as nutritious as a well-balanced meal. For example, the Ka’Chava shake I mentioned above is packed full of 85 superfoods and ingredients, making it healthier than most traditional meals!
Personally, I try to stay away from supplements that contain a bunch of added sugars, artificial flavors, and other fake ingredients. Lower-quality ingredients tend to make my stomach feel a bit off and can cause me to feel a bit gassy and acidic.
Before starting a mass-gaining routine, it’s important to outline your goals and create a plan. Simply consuming extra calories isn’t enough. You should have a set caloric goal that you’re trying to meet each day.
Other than your weight gainer shake, your diet should remain more or less the same.
The idea of a weight gainer supplement is to add a specific number of calories to your existing daily routine to facilitate weight gain and muscle growth.
You’ll also want to pick a weight gainer that aligns with your macronutrient goals and that has a balanced blend of carbs, protein, and fats. Each person differs here, depending on their own perspective fitness goals.
Some people don’t care much about flavor and have no trouble chugging down bland, powdery shakes.
Personally, I tend to go for sweeter-tasting flavors. The more you enjoy the taste of your vegan weight gainer, the more likely you are to follow through and stick to your diet – which is important if you want to see real gains.
While you should usually avoid the cheapest option on the market, the most expensive option isn’t always the best either. Personally, I look for a vegan weight gainer with a price point somewhere in the middle range.
The middle-range products typically are made with good-quality ingredients, which is why they cost more than the budget choices. In my experience, the high-end weight gainers mainly cost extra due to the company’s extensive marketing budget.
Occasionally, I’ll spend a bit extra on a fancier weight gainer like the Kate Farms shake I mentioned above. I’ll only spend extra if the product is really worth it, though, and has the nutrition content to justify the extra cost.
Don’t just take my word for it! I suggest browsing through Amazon reviews or Reddit to see how other people feel about these vegan weight gainers. Read various opinions about the taste, price, and ingredients and try to find reviews that align with your own personal situation.
Vegan weight gainers aren’t for everybody. If you’re hoping for a magic solution that will allow you to pack on muscle – weight gainers aren’t the right solution.
For a weight gainer to really work and help you bulk up, you’ll need to pair the weight gainer with a daily strength training routine and an otherwise healthy diet.
Otherwise, the weight gainer will just cause you to put on fat, without contributing to your muscle growth.
Some are, and some aren’t.
All of the vegan weight gainer supplements I mentioned above are healthy, made with some (or all) organic ingredients, and contain few artificial additives. However, I’ve also seen my fair share of low-quality weight gainers that are packed full of cheap sugar and artificial ingredients.
If you don’t end up buying one of the weight gainers I mentioned, make sure that you read the ingredients label before you make a final decision.
Of all the options I’ve tried over the years, I’d say that the Protein Works Mass Gainer is, by far, my favorite. That being said, I also really like Kate Farms Organic Vegan Mass Gainer, since the ready-to-go cartons are really useful when I’m on the go or on a road trip.
Protein and weight gainers are just part of a healthy vegan athlete’s life. It’s also important to consume vitamin and mineral supplements to help keep your bones, joints, heart, and organs functioning properly.
Keep on reading to see my list of the best vegan supplement brands!