weight gain supplements

3 Affordable Weight Gain Supplements for Skinny Guys to Bulk Up

Gaining weight can sometimes be even more difficult than losing weight. If you’re a skinny guy trying to pack some muscle, you need to eat in a calorie surplus.

This means eating more calories than our body needs to maintain weight. 

Most of us know to eat in a caloric surplus by now, but are we actually doing it?

If you struggle to gain weight (increase muscle mass), then the problem comes down to the following:


Maybe you’re on your feet all day moving around, doing a lot of cardio, exercising aggressively, etc.


You’re not eating nearly as many calories as you should be, but you think you are

The problem either comes down to output, input, or both.

This is where weight gain supplements like mass gainers, protein powders, etc., can benefit muscle growth and overall weight gain.

However, you must choose the right supplements that have the macro and micronutrients, are tested for heavy metals, are easy on the digestive system, and are highly researched.

Every individual’s body and fitness goals will differ, so let’s break down the different weight gain supplements, affordability, and recommendations.

Affordable Weight Gain Supplements

You may have already started window shopping for different weight gain supplements and have noticed the price…

Supplements can be expensive, especially if you stock up every 4-6 weeks. This can add up.

A fair price range for supplements from a reputable brand is anywhere from $49.99-$70.00

I know that may sound like a lot in some cases, but that’s actually pretty standard, especially compared to some of the other brands that are selling protein powders for around $120

And if you’re making these weight gain supplements last 4-6 weeks (with consumption 6-7 days per week), that breaks down to $16-$17 per week (taking the above price range example above for every four weeks)

Difference Between Protein Powder and Mass Gainers

The difference between the standard protein powders and mass gainers (besides pricing) is what each is meant for.

Mass Gainers

Are meant to help those who have difficulty getting their calories in, and when I say difficult, I mean you’re 1,200-1,500 calories behind for the day.

The right mass gainers have very high carbs (usually around 250 grams) and an adequate amount of protein (usually about 50 grams), and a low amount of fat (usually about 4-6 grams).

It all depends on the brand, of course.

They are meant to help you gain weight. So if you are trying to build muscle and are struggling to gain weight overall because you are under-eating, a mass gainer might be more up your alley.

Protein Powders

As I refer to them, are typically lower in calories and macro-nutrients (carbs and fats) but high in protein.

If you’re eating a lot of calories (to gain weight and build muscle) but struggle to reach your protein intake, then a standard protein powder will be the better choice.

Mass Gainers 

weight gain supplements

We always want to get our food from whole food sources first, but some weight gain supplements like mass gainers can be a great supplemental option to our overall daily diet if you struggle to get that extra 1,000 calories in.

Let’s also say you have very minimal time in your day. You work, work out, have other life obligations to get done, and spend some time taking care of lunch, dinner, and eating in between.

This is where mass gainers can be very helpful because they come with higher calories.

(Average calories per serving are around 1,200).

You want to find a mass gainer that is high carb and high protein but low in fat.

It’s best to get your fats in from whole foods such as eggs, nuts, avocados, fish, etc.

It’s also best to look for a mass gainer from a trusted brand source (more on brand trustworthiness below).

Any mass gainer that can add some micronutrient value in vitamins, zinc, etc., to support your overall immunity is essential because supplements will be more deficient in micronutrients than whole foods.

Optimum Nutrition is one of the most recommended mass gainers on the market from multiple trustworthy sources in the fitness space.

They even contain vitamin A, vitamin D, Zinc, and immune support with Vitamin E. 

I know many people who’ve had success with their Serious Mass Weight Gainer.

Protein Powders

weight gain supplements

It’s important to understand that mass gainers are only for those who struggle to get the extra 1,200-1,500 calories each day for muscle gain.

Let’s say you’re getting enough calories, but your protein intake is much lower than you’d like it to be; it’s better to go the regular protein powder route instead of getting something like a mass gainer because a mass gainer is meant to fill in everything, (calories, carbs, protein, some fats)

Protein powders are lower in calories but high in protein. Carbs and fats are typically much lower depending on the brand you go with.

So, if you need help with reaching your protein intake daily while keeping your surplus calories under control to avoid excess fat gain, then go with a protein powder.

It’s best to choose powders with the following protein sources:

  • Milk Protein (Whey or Casein)
  • Pea Protein
  • Hemp Seeds


Vivo Life Protein Powder

This is my favorite weight gain supplement.

Vivo Life is a vegan protein supplement that sources pea protein.

(I’m not vegan) but I do love having non-animal-related protein as part of my entire daily diet

Furthermore, they are heavy metal tested, which is extremely important to consider before buying any supplement.

They focus on their 3-STEP APPROACH.

This is what separates Vivo Life from the competition.

STEP 1 – They only partner with trusted suppliers

Heavy metals can find their way into protein powders when supplied from substantial industrial farms with poor soil quality and heavy reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

This step is often skipped due to the major focus on sales and maintaining healthy profit margins.

Vivo Life sources the highest quality ingredients and will batch-test their products to ensure they are 100% heavy metal free.


Before the ingredients enter their manufacturing facility, they are tested at the source for heavy metals and other potential contaminants.


All their products are third-party tested for heavy metals, other potential pollutants, etc. You can even download their latest batch testing report from their website. Pretty transparent if you ask me!

You can read more about these three steps and their protocols on their website.

Variety of Flavors

They have a variety of 6 different protein powder flavors PLUS a seasonal Gingerbread flavor which is good and gets you into the holiday spirit (while getting them protein gains!)


Remember what I said about going with a brand you trust back in the mass gainer section?

Another reason why I’ve stuck with Vivo Life for three years now is because of its core values.

Not just for their weight gain supplements but all of their products and the company as a whole

They believe in bettering the earth; their products come in compostable packaging and are plastic FREE.

And I don’t support KETO, but if you are on that diet (don’t be), they are Keto friendly.

In addition, they plant 1 Tree for every order on their website for reforestation, agroforestry, and reducing extreme poverty for local villagers.

So why not get gains + help keep our earth clean and healing 

Muscle Milk

Muscle Milk is another protein powder brand that’s been around in the fitness industry for over 20 years.

Because it’s a protein powder and not a mass gainer, calories will generally be lower, as we’ve already discussed over protein powders, but they have a mass gainer option.

Depending on the product you get, their protein sources either come from

  • Casein (primary protein source present in milk & cheese)
  • Whey
  • A combination of both Casein and Whey in some of their products

Like Vivo Life’s testing protocols, Muscle Milk is also tested for banned substances to ensure their products are NSF Certified for Sports, testing for more than 270 substances banned by most major athletic organizations.

Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder and similar products can be conveniently bought on Amazon here.

Creatine Monohydrate

I recommend you consult your doctor to see if this product is right for you before taking creatine monohydrate if you have any deity/underlying health complications.

This may not be news to you, but whether it is or isn’t, creatine monohydrate is the #1 most researched supplement on the market and is entirely safe to use.

Creatine is third-party tested for heavy metals and the overall purity of the ingredients carried inside this product.

Creatine is also a fantastic weight gain supplement for increasing muscle mass.

Some of the benefits of creatine monohydrate include

  • Increase muscle mass
  • Improve performance
  • Enhance recovery of muscles during high intense exercise (which is essential when you are training for hypertrophy to increase muscle mass)

Another unique benefit mentioned by Vivo Life is that it can improve brain function and reduce tiredness and fatigue.

It’s also never advised to stay on this product for 12 months / 365 days of the year.

It’s recommended to take creatine in cycles of 6-8 weeks and then give yourself a couple of weeks off, 2-4 weeks, before starting the supplement again.

Creatine monohydrate, along with heavy resistance training, can improve physical activity, assist in fat loss, and muscle shaping (1).

Taking this supplement has helped some particular individuals increase their 1RM (one rep max) while it’s helped others improve endurance strength (a percentage of 1RM that goes for maximal repetitions) (2).

Although there haven’t been any studies on strength performance alone, creatine is best for increasing muscle mass while maintaining fat-free mass.

Loading phases are not necessary. Instead, take 3-5 grams of creatine daily before or after training.

Choosing the best weight gain supplements for muscle growth

Finding the right weight gain supplements can be overwhelming, but remember the basics first…

The most effective way to build muscle quickly and efficiently comes down to being in a calorie surplus and utilizing an effective training program.

A calorie Surplus of 100-400 above maintenance is recommended. 

Maintenance = the calories you need to maintain your current weight 

And my number one recommendation is always going to be eating whole that is satiating and high in protein.

But it’s not always easy to ONLY consume whole foods NOR cheap.

We’re also busy working and trying to better ourselves with the work we put into the gym.

That’s why I am an advocate for weight gain supplements.

I keep it supplemental to my daily caloric intake (between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner).

But if you cannot prepare meals or cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a weight gain supplement would help you.

And choosing something with clean ingredients will help you save time and build muscle.

What weight gain supplements are you curious to know more about?

Much Love,