Best Protein Powders
If you are truly looking to get fit and build muscle, it’s not just about working out. You have to look at your diet, and also have to follow up with the right supplements.
I like to end my workouts with a nice protein shake, because protein is used by the muscles to not only help with recovery, but to also help strengthen muscles.
Therefore, if I want to get stronger, you know I’m going to be drinking a protein shake every day.
With that being said, you now have to ask: what are the best protein powders out there?
I’ll be honest with all of you, there's thousands of protein powders out there and it can be rather confusing to find the right one to buy.
Even someone like myself has to spend time reading all the labels to make sure that I’m getting one that I know is going to get the job done.
Before I even start talking about some of the best protein powders, I want to mention what I look for in a good protein powder.
If you want to get the most out of your money, you should also be looking for these five things:
- Taste - At the end of the day I want to drink something I will enjoy. I understand that not everything has to taste sweet and delicious, but I don’t want to be gagging or dreading the protein shake I’m going to drink.
- Mixability - This is about how well the protein powder mixes and dissolves with the liquid I’m mixing it with. If I’m trying to go ultra clean I’ll mix it with water, if I’m looking to enjoy it a little more, I’ll mix it with milk. In either case, I don’t want it to be chunky or have trouble mixing with my liquid.
- Shelf Life - I’m a guy who buys in bulk because you get more bang for your buck that way. That being said, if my protein powder has a shelf life of only a month, there’s a good chance I’m not going to be able to use it up in time. An extremely long shelf life can be slightly concerning because it’s stuffed with preservatives and chemicals, while a rather short shelf life is a definite waste of money.
- Nutrient Profile - I need to know what’s going into my protein powder and what the macronutrients are going to be. If you are reading this article about protein powder, it means you’re looking to make a change in your life and get healthy and stronger. If you aren’t paying attention to what’s in your protein powder, you’re making a big mistake.
- Brand Trust - Now this one is a little tough to talk about, but what I mean when I mention brand trust is that it is a brand I know is reputable and is going to deliver on their promise. If I see a protein powder that’s interesting, I do a quick search of the company and spend a few minutes reading about them. A good company will produce good products and that’s something I’m going to be looking for.
You might be looking at that list and saying “Denver, where’s the part about you mentioning results?”.
If a protein powder has a good nutrient profile and they are a reputable company, you are going to be getting the results that you are looking for from that protein powder.
That’s why buying from a reputable brand that lists their nutrient profile is important.
Now that I’ve mentioned these five categories, it’s now time to talk about some of my favorite protein powders that I use.
The best part about some of these is that they are vegan, meaning anyone can take them.
I’ll be sure to mention if they’re vegan or not when discussing each product, but I thought I’d mention this now to keep all of you vegan lifters interested.
Let’s get on with things and start discussing some of these protein powders.
Our Top 7 Best Protein Powders
#1. Optimum Nutrition - Best All Around Protein Powder
When it comes to whey protein, Optimum Nutrition is the go to. It’s the number one seller on Amazon and it’s for a reason.
With each scoop of the powder, you’re getting 24g of protein, 3g of carbs, 1g of sugar, and 1g of fat.
After some studies and analysis were done on the powder itself, it was concluded that the label was in fact accurate and that they were delivering on their promises with a high degree of accuracy.
As for taste, you are getting 20 different flavors to choose from.
I love the standard chocolate flavor (Optimum calls theirs Double Rich Chocolate) but you can definitely get more adventurous if you are looking for something more extreme.
As for stirring, it mixes quite well with both milk and water and I have never had any issues when using this powder.
It’s priced quite fairly as well costing $30.99 for a 2lb tub or $59.99 for a 5lb tub, two of the most common size options.
If you get the smaller tub, you of course are going to be paying a little more money per serving, but it’s still cheap when compared to other powders.
If you are looking for a reputable company that produces a solid protein powder, you can’t go wrong with Optimum Nutrition.
#2. Vega Organic Protein & Greens - Best Vegan Protein Option
Vega have gone and created a fantastic organic protein powder that is great for vegans to enjoy.
They are known for their vegan powders so the brand trust is definitely there when looking at the product.
When it came to the protein powder, there were a few things that it did extremely well, and a few things where I found they could improve a little.
I found the flavor was a little too sweet to my liking but that’s just me.
I can bet the large majority of people are going to enjoy the flavor that Vega has to offer with their protein.
As for blending and mixing, I found that it did a pretty good job. It worked extremely well with water and with milk I had to work a little harder to get it to mix properly, but still there were no red flags here. The texture was a little chalky, but that can be expected with powders at times.
The ingredients are where this vegan protein mix shines. Featuring peas, hemp, and brown rice in the protein base, this is a protein shake that is going to be packed with the nutrients and ingredients that you are looking for. It’s surprising that they are able to make it taste so sweet with those ingredients.
This is a great organic protein to consider if that is what you are looking for.
#3. BSN Syntha-6 Isolate Protein Matrix - Best All Around Performance Protein
BSN has been one of the staples of the supplement world, and their Syntha-6 Isolate Protein Matrix is no new kid on the block.
This protein powder comes from a purely isolate sourced matrix of whey isolate, casein isolate, and milk protein isolate.
That being said, it's for high-performance absorption.
With 25g of protein per serving, plus 10g of BCAAs and other amino acids, it's going to give you plenty of bang for your buck.
As for the mixing of this protein powder, it's pretty good because of the mix of protein sources. The only issue I had was that it was strawberry milkshake flavored, but that's just personal preference.
It can also be more expensive compared to some protein powders, but the cost is justified when you consider their matrix blend is designed in such a way to promote absorption and amino acid release.
#4. GHOST Whey Protein Powder - Best Flavor Options Protein
GHOST brand of supplements is one of the hottest on the market and it's not hard to see why when you try their whey protein powder.
When it comes to taste I love this protein powder and generally I have to stop myself from drinking too much of it for fun.
GHOST provides fun flavors like Chips Ahoy, coconut ice cream, coffee ice cream, and even fruity cereal milk.
With those flavors, it adds some fun to the process..
Aside from that, it's a very straightforward, yet effective supplement as well.
There are no amino acids in this protein, which can be a bit of bummer if you want added benefits for muscle repair and building, but its blend of whey sources is enough if you just need extra protein.
If you are looking for a great tasting protein powder but don't mind it being just that, then GHOST Whey Protein Powder is a worthy product.
#5. MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Elite Whey Protein Isolate - Best For Muscle Recovery
First off, this is one of my favorite protein products simply for the fact that it's not just designed to provide you with whey protein.
In MuscleTech's Nitro-Tech Elite Whey Protein Isolate, you’re getting 30g of protein per serving, which is great, but it also contains creatine monohydrate and calcium HMB for recovery.
You’ll find a lot of protein powders have sugars, and if you are looking to avoid them at all costs, this might be the product for you.
For everything you get on a nutritional basis, this is a very affordable protein powder too so you don't need a bodybuilders budget to get quality protein.
Like most of the protein powders on this list, it came in a variety of flavors and I was impressed with the taste of it.
There were only two options, Belgian chocolate ice cream and cookies and cream, but they're both incredibly tasty so the lack of options shouldn't throw you off too much.
When it came to mixing, I was extremely surprised at how well it mixed. When it comes to protein powders, if they don’t have lecithin in them, it often has trouble mixing.
There were no concerns with this at all and I was quite impressed with everything.
#6. NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder - Best For Alternative Sourced Protein
If you are looking for a great vegan protein powder that is different from all the rest, you might want to consider trying NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder.
The tagline of this protein is that it has nothing to hide and I have to say, it’s true when it comes to the product.
There is only one ingredient in this protein powder and that is yellow pea protein.
If you are looking for a clean diet, this is a great protein powder for you.
The taste isn’t as good as the others on the list because they aren’t using artificial flavoring or anything.
I highly recommend this protein powder for those who are looking to avoid additives and chemicals in their protein shakes.
I genuinely enjoyed taking this and it was much different than my standard protein powder, not to mention that the price is incredible for a 7lb tub.
Our #1 Recommended Best Protein Powder
The Best All Around Protein Powder