Vegan Mass Gainer: Get Big on a Vegan Diet

By Ire | Supplement Review

Feb 16

In life of an ectomorph, bulking presents a huge challenge. Especially if you are a vegan. Plant based food consists of much fibers which make you feel fuller quicker. That is why vegan mass gainer can be a huge benefit to all vegans struggling to add muscle mass.

Do I need supplements?

The truth is, it is not impossible to eat enough calories only through food.. However, since you are reading this article, you are probably aware that it isn’t easy on a plant based diet.

1. Supplements save time
Being a vegan can sometimes feel like you spend your entire day in the kitchen. I love cooking myself, however I don’t mind having more time to watch Family Guy.

2. Supplements save money
You heard it right! Cost per gram of protein in supplements is always going to be cheaper when you compare it to quality plant-based food. I know, what about fibers, vitamins, minerals and all the other great things you get while eating real food? I agree with you, that is why vegan mass gainer should ONLY act as addition to your diet and NOT a substitution. 

athletic woman yoga pose

3. Supplements help you avoid harmful chemicals
Chances are, as a vegan you already spend much research on food you consume daily. You are aware of the chemicals that large corporations put in our food. However, there is no way to always know what has been done to our food.  Drinking mass gainer supplements will require you to eat less food which will eventually reduce the risk of consuming harmful chemicals. (AS LONG AS YOU DO YOUR RESEARCH ON SUPPLEMENTS YOU TAKE)

4. Supplements help you avoid crap food
Since you will feel less hungry after a mass gainer, there is a lesser of a chance you will feel the need to eat junk food while you binge watch a Netflix series every night.

5. Drinking calories makes you less full
This one is for everybody who claims that you can’t eat enough because you feel full. There has been studies (STUDY) done which indicate that consuming liquid produces weaker appetite response as opposed to eating solid foods. That means that drinking your calories instead of eating it makes you feel less full. Sounds like a dream for hardgainers, doesn’t it?

vegan female exercising in the nature surrounder by plants

WHAT IS IN A VEGAN MASS GAINER?

Vegan mass gainer usually consists of two basic ingredients.

1. Protein

Your muscle consists of tiny strings called muscle fibers. Those muscle fibers are made from protein. Whenever you work out, you create micro-tears in those fibers. If your diet consists of adequate amount of protein, those micro-tears will be filled out little bit extra during recovery. Therefore, protein is an absolute MUST in your diet. Otherwise, all your working out can literally result in burn your own muscles, making you even skinnier. In order to maximize muscle growth, we should consume roughly 2-2.2g protein per body weight (kg). Many newbies in the gym usually go way over the recommended amount. That leaves them with not much more but disgusting protein farts. However, vegans often have a problem reaching this level of protein on a daily. The reason is that many vegan protein foods make you too full, too quickly.

2. Carbohydrates

Every mass gainer consists of carbohydrates. Extra carbs in your vegan bulking diet will provide you with energy to go through your workouts in a beast mode. What is more, you will have a higher caloric intake which equals weight gain. But, won’t carbs make me fat? That all depends on how much caloric surplus you have. You should stay around 300-500 kcal above your Maintenance Level. If you are gaining more than 3lbs of body weight per month, you are bulking faster than muscles can grow and are therefore gaining fat. Have no idea what I am talking about? Read this.

vegan mass gainer. Guy exercising in the gym

RESEARCH IS CRUCIAL

1. Supplement industry is poorly regulated

FDA, which stands for Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements. That means that supplements brands have its own responsibility to vouch for accuracy of ingredients. That role is often used for profit gains, which has been seen in the past many times.

2. Banned Substances

There are many examples when athletes got banned from competing due to positive drug tests. Some of those athletes were getting doped without them knowing about it. Most often, it was through taking nutritional supplements which were advertised as safe.

American bobsledder Pavle Jovanovich tested positive for anabolic steroids. He got marked as a cheater which affected his personal life so much, he started drinking heavily. Ultimately, he won a lawsuit against very known company called MuscleTech, proving that they did not disclose their ingredients correctly.

3. Toxic Metals

Study done by Clean Label Project found out that staggering number of protein brands contain dangerous heavy metals alongside with BPA and pesticide. What is more, supplements that were marked organic, were found to contain twice as amount of metals. Garden of life is a popular organic powder which scored within worst five.

PROBLEM WITH VEGAN MASS GAINERS

You have probably looked for vegan mass gainer supplement yourself and have found that there really aren’t too many choices out there. I figured maybe I should instead look for “Meal Replacement” supplements. My researched showed that ratio in between carbs: protein is on average 1:1 when searching for “vegan meal replacement” supplements. Normally, mass gainers have at least 3x more carbohydrates as opposed to protein. Therefore, Vegan Meal Replacement supplements do NOT equal mass gainers. For some reason, there is a big market for vegan Protein Powders but not for Vegan Mass Gainers.

Women performing rowing exercises for muscle gain

VEGAN MASS GAINER (DIY)

Easiest thing to do now is to get two separate supplements. Vegan Protein Powder and Vegan Carbohydrate Powders.  

-STEP 1: PICK CARBOHYDRATE SOURCE
-STEP 2: PROTEIN SOURCE
-STEP 3: MIX AND ENJOY THE GAINS

STEP 1: Vegan Carbohydrate Powder

Maltodextrin is complex sugar, which means body will take time to break it down into simple sugar in order to process it. Therefore, it is slower digesting and a great option for our vegan mass gainer.

1. NOWSPORTS CARBOGAIN POWDER

NOW Sport’s Carbo Gain Powder consists of only maltodextrin, which is a complex carb made from corn starch. It is unflavored, but it will make your shake way thicker. That thickness is a price to pay in order to add much needed carbohydrates to your diet.

STEP 2: Vegan Protein Source

After much research, I have only picked one protein supplement. In the process of eliminating suppelements, 22 out of 23 did not pass the test. (read more about how I picked supplements below). Therefore, I present you:

1. SUNWARRIOR- WARRIOR BLEND, RAW PLANT BASED PROTEIN

Sunwarrior Raw Plan Based Protein scored a whooping 81 on Labdoor research. What is more, Protein sources like legumes, hemp seeds and goji berries add to 27g of protein per serving. It is certified organic, soy-free, dairy-free and definitely vegan.

  • PROTEIN PER 1 DOLLAR: 22g

PROS:

  • Cheap
  • Mild taste
  • Great mixability
  • Easy on your stomach

CONS:

  • Bad aftertaste (with vanilla flavor)
  • Chalky
Male doing dips in the gym for increasing muscle mass

TESTED BY MUSCLEBULKERS

1. Third Party

All the product above had to be tested by third party. Most of the supplements that I have researched have already failed at this point. I used the bottom two parties as a resource. 

2. Labdoor

Labdoor is an independent company that evaluates different supplements. It gives each supplement a score based on its label accuracy and safety. I started with rating the supplements on Labdoor. I only picked supplements with a score higher than 70.

3. Clean Label Project

CLP is a nonprofit organization that focuses on transparency of product labeling. In on of their studies, they tested 134 protein powders for different toxins. Therefore, after my selection from Labdoor, I went to Clean Label Project website to check how much we can trust the label. This study only accepted product that had at least 3/5 stars.

Guy working out outdoors

WORKOUTS

As already talked previously, muscle growth does not happen without muscle fibers microtears. That is why just eating in order to gain weight will not bring you the results that you want. Weight training is crucial component to bulking. Take some time to learn about different training styles.

For beginners, I always recommend 3-day split. Combine vegan diet with training examples from below. Staying with it consistently will get you very far.

WORKOUT 1: Chest & Arms
WORKOUT 2: Back & Abdominals
WORKOUT 3: Legs & Shoulders

SUMMARY:

This article should help when selecting your new vegan mass gainer supplement. While it isn’t necessary to add supplements into your diet, it will make things way easier. However, remember to always do your research before buying anything out there. You should know, your daily caloric intake (LINK) so you will always know how many scoops to take. Combine diet with weight training and you will be just fine. Therefore, LIFT, EAT, SLEEP, REPEAT!


About the Author

Hey, my name is Ire.I am a Personal Trainer/ Strength Coach based in Stockholm, Sweden.When you don't find me in the gym, I will most likely be on a Track and Field stadium throwing around a discus.

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