Best Gainer Powder That Isn't Full of Sugar?

What are current powders for hard gainers (I’m 57, btw) that actually will put on mass, but aren’t full of sugar?

I tried Naked Mass w/o sugar for a month, and it didn’t do too much.

Not expecting a miracle product to get me swole … but looking for something that will get my body (and face) fuller, while I keep up my weightlifting routine.

Build your own mass shakes over using the sugary pre made stuff. I like using 2 scoops of isopure dutch chocolate (zero carb), 1/4 cup oats (or more if mass gaining), and some natural peanut butter. Blend with ice and milk, its good.


Any particular reason you’re looking for a gaining powder vs a whole food source?

1 Like

Powder for post-workout shakes, for ease & convenience.

What are your suggestions for the best whole foods?

Rather than a gaining powder here, you could just opt for a protein powder. This very website offers some great options in that regard.

For whole food options, here are some great articles discussing just that

For some reason, the articles search just tapped out on me, but Berardi has some great stuff on massive eating.

I like dietary fats for gaining, since they are twice as dense, calorically as other macronutrients. Avocados, nuts, nut butters and sunflower seed butter are my go tos.


Body fat, inflammation, water retention, or an allergic reaction. That’s about your only hope for facial swoleness.

Or just grow a beard. That’s what I did.

As we age we lose facial fat and collagen. A weight gainer isn’t going to help unless you just want a fat, bloated face.

BTW, there are no real “powders for hard gainers” in the protein category. It’s just food. And most of those are cheapo, crappy “foods” in gainer powders. Or it’s the same protein in most products; they just provide a bigger scoop to make it a “gainer.” (Oldest scam in the books. We all fell for it as teenagers.)

Why not pick up a quality protein product and add a banana and some natural nut butter to it? I know a company who makes a good one. Or just use a Tide laundry detergent scooper? Abracadabra, it’s a gainer! :magic_wand:


Adding the extra calories involving a better periworkout drink (Plazma) made the difference to me. The carbs from cyclic dextrin is not “sugar”. Make sure you eat enough calories in order to gain (any) mass. I find too many trainees being too conservative when it comes to calories and carbs. Especially considering the expectations involving the term “hardgainer”. If you’re not satisfied, try something different. Hard training equals hard eating. But I’m digressing here.


Yep. Every day I think I’m eating enough calories and carbs. And then I realize, I’m not.

Right now I’m recovering from Covid (first and hopefully last time to get that) and I swear, my muscle mass is shrinking daily. I’m gonna have to eat a TON of food to get my game going again.

37 Tips and Tales from Dave Tate (

There was a time at the Old Westside gym where I couldn’t gain weight to save my fucking life.

There was this dude who trained there who could just put on weight like fucking magic. He’d go from 198 to 308 and then to 275 and back down to 198. And he was never fat. It was amazing.

I finally asked him one day how he did it.

“You mean I never told you the secret to gaining weight? Come outside and I’ll fill you in.”

Now remember, we’re at Westside Barbell. And this guy wants to go outside to talk so no one else can hear. Think about that for a minute. What the hell is he going to tell me? This must be some serious shit if we have to go outside, I thought.

So we get outside and he starts talking.

“For breakfast you need to eat four of those breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds. I don’t care which ones you get, but make sure to get four. Order four hash browns, too. Now grab two packs of mayonnaise and put them on the hash browns and then slip them into the sandwiches. Squish that shit down and eat. That’s your breakfast.”

At this point I’m thinking this guy is nuts. But he’s completely serious.

“For lunch you’re gonna eat Chinese food. Now I don’t want you eating that crappy stuff. You wanna get the stuff with MSG. None of that non-MSG bullshit. I don’t care what you eat but you have to sit down and eat for at least 45 minutes straight. You can’t let go of the fork.”

“For dinner you’re gonna order an extra-large pizza with everything on it. Literally everything. If you don’t like sardines, don’t put 'em on, but anything else that you like you have to load it on there. After you pay the delivery guy, I want you to take the pie to your coffee table, open that fucker up, and grab a bottle of oil. It can be olive oil, canola oil, whatever. Anything but motor oil. And I want you to pour that shit over the pie until half of the bottle is gone. Just soak the shit out of it.”

“Now before you lay into it, I want you to sit on your couch and just stare at that fucker. I want you to understand that that pizza right there is keeping you from your goals.”

This guy is in a zen-like state when he’s talking about this.

“Now you’re on the clock,” he continues. "After 20 minutes your brain is going to tell you you’re full. Don’t listen to that shit. You have to try and eat as much of the pizza as you can before that 20-minute mark. Double up pieces if you have to. I’m telling you now, you’re going to get three or four pieces in and you’re gonna want to quit. You fucking can’t quit. You have to sit on that couch until every piece is done.

And if you can’t finish it, don’t you ever come back to me and tell me you can’t gain weight. 'Cause I’m gonna tell you that you don’t give a fuck about getting bigger and you don’t care how much you lift!"

Did I do it? Hell yeah. Started the next day and did it for two months. Went from 260 pounds to 297 pounds. And I didn’t get much fatter. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, though.


That JM Blakely story is so great. I can’t remember if it’s in that same article or elsewhere where JM was advocating soft drinks instead of water too to hydrate and then a podcast about the revolutionary idea of eating a bag of frozen broccoli all day so your digestive system is forced to work all day long (that one may have been about weight loss though).

Ruthlessly pragmatic!

Edit: Jumbo Meatlovers pizza with olive oil sounds fantastic to me.

1 Like

Here are some random thoughts:

  1. Most gainers are simply low-quality protein + lots of cheap carbs. There is really nothing special about gainers. That’s probably why you rarely see them anymore. Unless you are severely malnourished or simply can’t eat food, gainers are a waste. It would be better to consume a high-quality protein (and likely at a higher dose than what is found in most gainers) along with some solid carb sources like fruits or rice.

  2. While you will absolutely build more muscle and get stronger faster if you are in a caloric surplus. The magnitude of the surplus doesn’t really lead to faster muscle growth (at least no in natural lifters). A recent study found no difference in muscle growth between a 250kcal and a 500kcals/day surplus.

  3. A large surplus (especially if it also contains lots of sodium and pro-inflammatory foods) can lead to much faster increases in bodyweight. But that’s due to water retention and fat gain. But most assume that it’s all muscle. And, to be fair, if you are over 15% body fat, gaining some water and fat doesn’t impact how “fat” you look, so it’s easy to believe that the weight gain is all muscle.

  4. “Bulking”, if it’s to be done, is a young man’s game. As we are getting older, big swings in body weight are more hazardous to our health. Plus, if you are an experienced lifter, you have much less growth left than when you were younger. In that situation, “bulking” will not lead to faster or more muscle growth.