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Best Protein Powders of 2023

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proProtein powders are powdered supplements that are designed to provide a concentrated source of protein. They are commonly used by individuals who need higher protein requirements, such as athletes, bodybuilders or those looking to supplement their diet with additional protein.

When used as part of a balanced diet and fitness routine, the best protein powders can provide a convenient and effective way to supplement protein intake.

To pick the best protein powders, you must consider factors like protein quality, taste, ingredient transparency and customer reviews. Whether you want to build muscle, support weight loss or increase your protein intake, the list below is comprehensive enough for everyone. From whey protein to plant-based options, these protein powders offer a range of flavours and formulations to suit various dietary needs and preferences.

Let’s take a look at how to pick the best protein powders before the best protein powders.

How to pick the best protein powder

If you want to invest in a protein powder, it is important to be well-informed about the differences between the protein powders. There are also things to look out for and things to avoid when you compare different brands.

Below are tips for picking the best protein powder.

  • Determine your goals:

Consider why you want to use protein powder. Do you intend to build muscle, lose weight, support post-workout recovery or supplement your protein intake due to dietary restrictions? Knowing your goals will help you choose the right type and brand of protein powder.

  • Identify protein types:

Protein powders are in various forms, including whey, casein, soy, pea, hemp, and rice protein. Each type of powder is formulated with its unique characteristics and benefits. Whey protein is used for muscle building and post-workout recovery, while plant-based options like pea and soy protein are suitable for vegetarians.

  • Check protein quality:

Look for protein powders with a complete amino acid profile, because these are considered high-quality proteins. They contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. Whey protein, particularly whey protein isolate, is known for its high biological value and complete amino acid profile.

  • Consider additional ingredients:

Some protein powders include added ingredients like vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes or flavourings. Check if these additives align with your body’s goals and dietary preferences. For example, if you prefer natural options, look for protein powders with minimal additives and sweeteners.

  • Evaluate allergens and dietary restrictions:

If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, ensure to check the product label to know if protein powder is free from any ingredients that may cause an adverse reaction. Common allergens include dairy, soy, gluten, and nuts.

  • Read reviews and certifications:

Scout for reputable brands with good customer reviews and consider certifications like NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Choice. These certifications verify the quality and purity of the product.

  • Taste and texture:

Consider your flavour preferences and whether you prefer a protein powder that mixes well or has a specific texture. Some protein powders may be more grainy, while others mix smoothly with water, milk or other liquids.

  • Price and value:

Compare the cost per serving of different protein powders to ensure you get a product that fits your budget while providing good value for money.

Best Protein Powders of 2023

1. Optimum Nutrition Gold standard whey protein

whey Protein

This is a premium protein powder which has been described as the best in its class. Priced at $92.90, it offers excellent value for its quality and effectiveness. The packaging has been rebranded but the quality has remained unchanged. It has 24 grams of protein per serving, and it helps in building and maintaining muscles, especially when combined with regular resistance training.

It also contains 5.5g of naturally occurring BCAA, amino acid and 11g of essential amino acid which supports muscle recovery after an intense workout. This versatile protein powder can be taken at any time of the day. However, it is perfect before or after exercise, between meals and with a meal.

Optimum Nutrition Gold standard whey protein is the world’s best-selling protein powder if you require a protein boost. This product has undergone several ban testing and it is subject to quality control measures.

  • Calories: Around 120-130 calories
  • Protein: Approximately 24 grams
  • Fat: Typically 1.5-2 grams, with around 1 gram of saturated fat
  • Carbohydrates: Roughly 3-5 grams, with about 1-2 grams of sugar
  • Cholesterol: Usually around 30-50 milligrams

2. Best unflavored whey protein

Naked Whey:

Naked Whey is a highly regarded unflavored whey protein powder. It is made from grass-fed cows’ milk and contains only one ingredient: whey protein concentrate. It is free from additives, artificial sweeteners, and flavours. Naked Whey is known for its simplicity and quality.

Best unflavored why protein is good for muscle growth and it is best used after exercise.

Formulation of unflavored naked whey protein

  • Calories: 120
  • Carbs: 3 g
  • Added sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 25 g

3. Best casein protein powder

Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein

It contains micellar casein as its primary protein source.

Micellar casein is derived from milk and is a slow-digesting protein. It forms micelles, which are small globules that allow for a sustained release of amino acids into the bloodstream over an extended period. This slow-release property makes micellar casein an ideal protein for providing a steady supply of amino acids to muscles, especially during periods of rest, such as overnight or between meals.

Micellar casein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids necessary for muscle protein synthesis and overall health. It is particularly rich in amino acids like glutamine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

1 scoop (about 39 grams) of the Chocolate flavour:

  • Calories: Around 150-160 calories
  • Protein: Approximately 25 grams
  • Fat: Typically 2-3 grams, with around 1-2 grams of saturated fat
  • Carbohydrates: Roughly 6-8 grams, with about 3-4 grams of sugar
  • Cholesterol: Usually around 40-50 milligrams

4. Best vegetarian

TrueNutrition RBGH/Soy-Free Whey Protein Isolate

TrueNutrition RBGH/Soy-Free Whey Protein Isolate is a protein powder that is free from recombinant bovine growth hormone (RBGH) and soy. It is made from whey protein isolate, which is a high-quality and fast-absorbing form of protein. This product is suitable for individuals who want to avoid RBGH and soy in their protein supplements.

TrueNutrition allows customers to customize their protein powder by selecting their desired flavour, sweetness level and additional ingredients. This customization feature allows you to tailor the product to your preferences and dietary needs.

Nutritional Profile (per standard serving size of approximately 30 grams):

  • Calories: Approximately 110-130 calories.
  • Protein: Typically around 25-27 grams of protein, depending on the flavour and formulation.
  • Fat: Generally less than 1 gram of fat, with minimal amounts of saturated fat.
  • Carbohydrates: Typically less than 1 gram of carbohydrates, with little to no sugar.
  • Cholesterol: Usually less than 5 milligrams

5. Best vegan protein powder

Momentous Essential Plant-Based Protein

Momentous Essential Plant-Based Protein is sourced from a blend of high-quality plant-based protein sources. These typically include pea protein, brown rice protein, and pumpkin seed protein. These protein sources offer a balanced amino acid profile and are easily digestible.

It is free from artificial flavours, colours and sweeteners. This product is non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free. It is designed to provide a clean and high-quality protein source for individuals following a vegan or plant-based lifestyle.

Nutritional Profile (per standard serving size of approximately 30 grams):

  • Calories: Approximately 110-140 calories.
  • Protein: Typically around 20-25 grams of protein, depending on the flavour and formulation.
  • Fat: Generally less than 3 grams of fat, with minimal saturated fat.
  • Carbohydrates: Usually around 3-5 grams of carbohydrates, with varying amounts of dietary fibre.
  • Sugar: Typically less than 3 grams of sugar.

6. Best grass-fed protein powder

Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Organic Whey Protein

This is a protein powder designed to support athletic performance and recovery. Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Organic Whey Protein derives its protein from whey protein concentrate sourced from grass-fed cows. Farmers raise grass-fed cows on pasture, and the cows consume a diet primarily consisting of grass. This is believed to result in a higher-quality protein.

Garden of Life Sports Grass-Fed Organic Whey Protein may contain natural flavours, stevia extract (a natural sweetener) and possibly some additional ingredients to enhance mixability and texture.

Nutritional Profile (per standard serving size of approximately 30 grams):

  • Calories: The calorie content can vary, but it is typically around 110-130 calories per serving.
  • Protein: Generally provides around 20-24 grams of protein per serving.
  • Fat: The fat content is typically low, with around 1-2 grams per serving.
  • Carbohydrates: The carbohydrate content can vary, usually ranging from 2-5 grams per serving, including dietary fibre.
  • Sugar: The sugar content is usually minimal, with less than 2 grams per serving.

7. Best-tasting protein powder

Ghost Whey Protein

Ghost Whey Protein is a popular protein powder known for its unique flavours and branding. It features a blend of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate as its primary protein sources. Each serving typically provides around 25 grams of protein, with minimal fat and carbohydrates.

It is gluten-free, and soy-free and contains digestive enzymes to support digestion and absorption. It comes in a variety of creative flavours, such as cereal milk, peanut butter cereal milk and fruity cereal milk.  People looking for a more indulgent protein supplement can use this. Ghost Whey Protein is widely used to support muscle recovery and growth in fitness enthusiasts.

Nutrition facts per 1 scoop (34.5 g) of the Cereal Milk flavour:

  • Calories: 130
  • Carbs: 4 g
  • Added sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 25 g

8. Best protein option for weight gain

Transparent Labs Mass Gainer

Transparent Labs designed their Mass Gainer supplement to support muscle growth and weight gain. It typically contains a blend of high-quality protein sources, such as whey protein concentrate and casein protein, along with carbohydrates, healthy fats, and additional ingredients.
Each serving provides a significant amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients to promote muscle recovery and fuel gains. Transparent Labs focuses on transparency and aims to provide clean and effective products, free from artificial sweeteners, colours, or unnecessary fillers. It’s important to follow the recommended serving size and consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating any mass gainer into your diet.
Nutrition facts per 2 scoops (189.2 g) of the Sweet Vanilla flavour.
  • Calories: 760
  • Carbs: 109 g
  • Added sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 53 g

9. Best personalized

Gainful

Gainful is a personalized protein powder supplement brand that tailors its formulations to meet individual needs. Customers begin by taking an online quiz that considers factors such as fitness goals, dietary preferences, and lifestyle. Based on the responses, Gainful creates a unique protein powder blend that addresses the specific requirements of each customer.

The protein powder typically contains a blend of high-quality protein sources such as whey, plant-based proteins or a combination of both. Gainful protein powders are also customizable in terms of flavours and additional ingredients. This personalized approach aims to provide a protein supplement that aligns with each person’s unique nutritional needs and preferences.

10. Best for dietary restrictions

BiPro BOLD Whey + Milk Protein Isolate

BiPro BOLD Whey + Milk Protein Isolate is a protein powder that combines whey protein isolate and milk protein isolates to provide a blend of high-quality proteins. Here’s some information about this product:

  1. Protein Sources: BiPro BOLD Whey + Milk Protein Isolate uses a combination of whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate. The body quickly absorbs whey protein isolate, while milk protein isolate provides a sustained release of amino acids.
  2. Clean Ingredients: BiPro BOLD is known for its commitment to clean ingredients. It is free from artificial flavours, sweeteners and colours. It also does not contain gluten or soy.
  3. Nutritional Profile: Each serving typically provides around 20-25 grams of protein, minimal fat, and carbohydrates. The exact nutritional values may vary depending on the specific flavour and serving size.
  4. Many people use BiPro BOLD Whey + Milk Protein Isolate as a post-workout recovery shake or as a protein supplement throughout the day to aid muscle repair and growth.
Summary
Protein powders are not a replacement for a balanced diet. Integrate these supplements into a healthy eating plan and incorporate them alongside a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of whole foods.

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