Indeed every athlete needs some whey protein at the end of their workout. In general, whey protein promotes lean muscle growth, recovery, and fat loss.
Read on to learn about our 10 best whey protein powders.
Whey protein is a staple for athletes everywhere. Another key point is it promotes lean muscle growth, fat loss, and muscle recovery. Consequently, many fitness enthusiasts consider it to be the best form of protein on the market.
Then again, finding the right whey protein for your needs can be tough. Thus, to help you along, we’ve compiled a list of the best whey protein powders we’ve seen, as well as a buyer’s guide to help you find the whey protein powder that’s right for you.
How We Choose Our Ratings
By all means, finding the best protein powder can be difficult. Hence, a lot of brand loyalty goes into choosing a protein powder, and some people will swear by a product they’ve been using for years.
We used quite a few factors while compiling these ratings, including prioritizing clean ingredients and user experience. Thus, here are a few other aspects we considered to determine our rankings.
Taste, in general, is a fundamental part of any protein powder. If you dread the end of every workout because you know you have to choke down your protein powder then, it doesn’t matter how nutritious it is.
Since the flavor is largely subjective, we’ve taken a look at what the users have had to say about our protein selections. If the majority of users love a particular flavor, then in that case, it’s safe to assume you’ll like it too.
Most of these protein powders come in multiple flavors, and we consider this as well. Some users might claim, for instance, that the chocolate flavor is top-notch while the strawberry flavor is disgusting. Thus, we’re trying to find the all-around tastiest protein powders we can.
Protein Per Serving
While the amount of protein per serving isn’t always indicative of the best whey protein, it’s still a determining factor. Thus, those who are looking for a whey protein option usually gravitate towards the powder that gives them the most protein in a single serving.
We’ll delve deeper into the protein percentage in the “Buyer’s Guide” section, meanwhile, we’ll say that more protein content is usually preferable.
In addition, you don’t want to have to drink three servings of powder to get enough protein. Powders that are low in protein are often high in carbohydrates and calories, and therefore drinking multiple servings could start to cause negative effects.
Price Per Pound
The best protein powder isn’t always the most expensive. Since you’ll likely consume a protein shake at least four times in a given week, you need a product that’s as easy on your wallet as it is your stomach.
Comparison of the 7 Best Whey Protein Powders (Reviews On Each Below Chart)
What is the Best Whey Protein Powder
Here is a breakdown of the best whey protein powders on the market today, with the pros and cons of each:
1. Six Star Pro Nutrition Whey Protein Plus
Six Star kicks off this list with their Pro Nutrition Whey Protein Plus. It is one of the leading supplement brands for a reason. Indeed, they deliver consistent products that offer powerful results for bodybuilders.
Also, the primary reason Six Star leads this list is their protein per serving. Each scoop is packed with 32g of protein, therefore, you’ll get the most out of your post-workout powder.
If you’re worried about the taste of this product; don’t. They offer multiple flavors, so you’ll likely find one that suits you. In addition, user reviews are overwhelmingly positive, especially in regard to the flavor of this powder.
Optimum Nutrition calls their whey protein isolate the “Gold Standard” for a reason. Certainly, it’s one of the best protein isolates you’ll find on Amazon.
The protein powder comes in a variety of flavors, so there’s little chance you won’t find something you like. Also, we recommend buying smaller sizes until you find the flavor that you like the best.
With 24g of protein in a serving, 90% of the calories in the drink are coming from protein. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better protein powder for a comparable price, especially when you consider the number of flavors available.
3. MuscleTech Premium Gold Whey Protein
The MuscleTech Premium Gold is another affordable whey protein isolate with fantastic flavors. The delicious taste is part of the allure of this protein powder, as the rest of the specifications are relatively boilerplate.
At 24g of protein in a serving, the MuscleTech protein powder falls on the lower side of average as far as protein content. It mixes well and gives you a couple of flavors to choose from, though, and most people will likely be satisfied with their purchase.
4. Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein
Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein provides more protein in a scoop than most of the other products on this list. It will give you 30g per scoop, and 60g in a two scoop serving.
While most people prefer more protein per scoop, some people will want a bit less so they can regulate it better.
As far as flavor goes, this product provides vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, cinnamon swirl, and cookies and creme. While there’s a wide variety, some may find that this powder is a bit too sweet.
Although the sugar content isn’t out of the ordinary, most of these flavors aren’t on the same level of other protein powders we’ve seen.
5. Naked Whey Protein Powder
If you prioritize having an organic protein powder over everything else, Naked Whey Protein is a fantastic selection. It isn’t going to turn many heads with its flavor, but it’s one of the best all-natural protein powders on the market.
Naked Whey Protein is free of GMOs, growth hormones, soy, and gluten. It comes from a group of grass-fed dairy farms in California and provides a solid 25 grams of protein in every serving.
The downside of the protein comes in its flavor, but that’s often the tradeoff for clean ingredients. There’s no flavoring in this protein, so we advise mixing it with flavoring or juice to make it taste a little better. If the flavor isn’t important to you, though, it’s a fantastic selection.
6. MusclePharm Combat Whey Protein Powder
MusclePharm’s Combat Whey Protein is another solid protein powder option that comes in multiple flavors. There are 25 grams of protein in a scoop, so it sits around the average for most proteins you’ll find.
It’s low in carbohydrates, so you don’t have to worry too much about this protein powder if you’re in a cutting phase. The flavors are a bit limited, but people seem to like what they’ve tried.
The one knock on the Combat Whey powder is its mixability. It’s a bit harder to mix than some of the other products we’ve reviewed, which can be a huge deterrent for some people. Even in a blender, the MusclePharm whey still had some chunks in it.
7. Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate
If you’re looking for a stripped-down whey protein for a low price, look no further than the Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate. It’s a pure whey concentrate that provides 25g of protein per scoop.
Unfortunately, Nutricost’s price and protein content don’t justify its taste. While organic protein powders like the Naked Whey Protein are bearable, this one is downright bad without additional flavoring.
You should also keep in mind that this is a whey protein concentrate. It will be higher in carbohydrates, which some people see as a negative.
The best whey protein powder is difficult to determine, which is why we offered you a list from which to choose. Elements like taste, texture, and noticeable “pump” are relatively subjective, and it’s hard to give blanket advice that will apply to everyone.
Ahead are some of the elements you should consider before deciding on the protein for your needs. We’ll detail why whey protein is so popular, and outline the different kinds of whey protein powders available on the market.
Why is whey protein popular?
If you’re on the market for a protein supplement and don’t have any dietary restrictions, whey protein is always the best choice. On the other hand, you might be wondering what makes whey protein so much better than the other options?
Indeed, whey protein is the most versatile of all proteins. The body absorbs whey far quicker than any of the alternatives, thus athletes choose to drink it right before or immediately following an intense workout.
Also, whey is also high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which promote muscle recovery after exercise. Therefore, if you’ve ever seen someone walking around your gym with a colored water bottle, they’re likely drinking BCAA supplements throughout their workout.
The final benefit of whey over other proteins is its thermogenic properties. While other proteins can cause you to pack on the weight, whey protein promotes fat loss. In addition, drinking a whey protein powder will temporarily speed-up your metabolism and allow you to burn more calories following your workout.
While other proteins work well for building muscle, whey protein is still the favorite of many weightlifters and bodybuilders. It helps your body recover, burn fat, and gain lean muscle after a tiring session at the gym.
Different Forms of Whey Protein
Certainly, whey protein isn’t created equal. There are three different forms of whey you’ll find in the store, and none is inherently better than the other. Ultimately, you’ll have to make a decision based on your personal needs as to which form you should choose.
The three forms that whey protein takes are:
Concentrates are the “least pure” form of whey protein. They typically have around 70-80% protein contents. Also, the rest of the powder will include additives like minerals and carbohydrates.
You might initially think that this would be the worst option of proteins, but it could be the best whey protein for some people. Thus, athletes who compete in regular, strenuous activity might need a lot of carbohydrates to recover.
If you need a replenishing of carbohydrates or are looking for a protein powder that will sustain you for a period, whey concentrates are probably the best option.
When manufacturers remove more non-protein content from their mixture, the result is called protein isolates. These powders will be closer to 90% protein, and many consider them to be more “pure.”
These proteins are often around the same price as protein concentrates. If you want a protein powder with the highest level of whey protein, you’ll want to choose a whey protein isolate over a concentrate. Isolates are better for people who are focusing on losing weight rather than gaining mass.
The final form of protein you’ll find in the store is protein hydrolysate. This is another “pure” form of protein, with around 90% of the calories coming from protein rather than carbs or minerals. Hydrolysis is the process of breaking down protein molecules into peptides and amino acids.
This process allows our bodies to absorb the protein much quicker than some of the other options. It also helps to lessen the possibility that you might have an allergic reaction to ingesting the whey protein.
The downside of hydrolyzed protein is the price. They’re usually considerably more expensive than the other forms of protein, which leads many to believe that the benefits of hydrolyzed protein aren’t worth the price. Still, if you’ve suffered allergic reactions to protein in the past or have digestive issues, hydrolyzed protein is the best choice.
Budget / Amount
Certainly, deciding on how much protein you need is another tricky element, especially if you’re buying online. Ultimately, you won’t want to buy a massive jug of protein that you don’t like, likewise, buying small amounts can add up quickly.
Therefore we suggest that you utilize samples when you can. Most supplement stores offer single-serving samples of their protein selection. Buy one of these, try it out, then go back for more.
With this in mind, once you find a protein powder that tastes good and provides adequate results, always buy in bulk. Thus, buy the largest jar they offer and save some money in the long-run.
Also, if you’re on a budget, don’t be afraid of store-brand options. Your local supplement shop will likely have a protein powder that is comparable to big-name brands. Therefore give it a try and see if it works for you. Overall, there’s no need to spend extra money for the name on the front of the label.