Whey protein isone of the most commonly used proteins and is best for day-to-day use. Itcontains all of the essential amino acids and is easily digested. It helpsboost energy and can reduce stress levels.
Protein powders are most definitely not created equal, and trying to find the best one for your needs can be beyond complicated. With so many brands, flavors and protein sources on the market, deciphering the label can feel overwhelming. We did the leg work for you and asked a registered dietitian and certified athletic trainer, and these powders earned top honors.
NSF certified and used by a wide range of athletes, whey protein is the most easily digestible form for most people. Despite being made from milk, whey protein isolate (the most plentiful type in this product), is virtually lactose free. This form is also lower in carbs and fat than other forms of whey protein making it a great all around choice for athletes and exercise enthusiasts alike.
A great value and easy to find at several retailers. This balanced blend of whey protein comes in a wide (like, super wide) variety of flavors, including Banana Creme and Rocky Road. Prices may vary and it often goes on sale, but you can typically find this tried and true brand for around $0.75 per ounce, which is nearly 50% less than some of its competitors.
Complete with a reasonable jolt of caffeine (60 mg per serving), this plant-based protein blend made from pea, chia and brown rice and sweetened with stevia, is flavorful and a fun detour from your typical flavored protein powder.
This plant protein made from pea, pumpkin and sunflower seeds also features tart cherry for muscle recovery, probiotics and antioxidants from bromelain and turmeric. You will find 30 grams of protein per scoop and it comes in 5 flavors.
Loved by athletes, this brand offers a wide range of performance nutrition products. Their NSF certified whey and plant-based protein powders (made from pea protein) also include tart cherry extract to assist with post exercise recovery.
All of the protein powders in this guide have been tried and tested by the Live Science team. Firstly, we disregarded any products that had excessive levels of artificial sweeteners, additives or preservatives. We also looked at the texture of the powder, including how well it mixed into water, milk, and foods such as oatmeal or smoothie bowls. Finally, came the taste test, where we determined whether the taste was reflective of the flavor, unusually bitter or particularly sweet. Packaging was also noted, based on sustainability and convenience, as well as value for money.
If you've not included protein powder in your diet before it can be a little tricky to know where to start. To work out which protein powder is the best option for you, begin by looking at how much exercise you do and what type. If you're a powerlifter your needs will be different from that of a committed runner, pounding away on a treadmill every day. Do you train in a gym or do you like to mix it up with your own home workout ideas
If your main goal is to gain large amounts of muscle, perhaps as a weightlifter, body builder or other power-focused athlete, then you will likely want to maximize your protein intake, but it's important not to overdo it.
If you're looking to lose body fat, then you may want to choose a protein powder lower in carbohydrates and calories. Not all protein powders are equal in terms of the macronutrients and calories they provide, so make sure you read the nutritional information on the label carefully, as a single serving can vary between 70 kcal and 1,000 kcal.
Stefanski says it's important to know what your aims are and how protein powder genuinely contributes to them. She adds \\\"The macronutrient content [the amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats] depends on why you're using the product, such as for a meal or post-workout, and your individual protein and energy needs.\\\"
When choosing your protein sources, it's worth knowing that different proteins affect the body in different ways. \\\"Protein sources are ranked by how well they are absorbed by the intestine and utilized by the body,\\\" Stefanski explains. \\\"This ranking is known as protein digestibility. Whey protein and other cow's milk sources rank highest. Animal protein sources such as egg [and] beef rank higher than plant protein sources such as soy, pea, oat and rice. While collagen has grown in popularity, it lacks some of the amino acids you'd find in the same amount of whey protein.\\\"
The amount of protein in whey powder can vary dramatically, from 29% to 90%, depending on how it has been processed. The highest concentration powders may contain very little fat, lactose (milk sugar) and cholesterol, while the powders with lower protein levels will have these components in higher concentration. So, you will find whey isolate powders, which have been filtered several times, will have much higher protein percentages, but will be more expensive as well.
If you're weighing up the benefits of different protein powders it's worth thinking about how easy they are to digest, as some are kinder on the body than others. Stefanski advises: \\\"If you're looking for the best quality protein, you can see if the protein powder offers a digestibility score called PDCAAS.\\\" She added: \\\"The higher the value, the better the amino acids will be absorbed and used by your body.\\\"
How to achieve the best results Stefanski says that, although it can be eaten whenever you like, for optimum results, make sure you consume your extra protein within an hour of training: \\\"For maximal muscle repair and growth, protein should be accompanied by carbohydrates within one to two hours. The amount of protein and carbohydrates is dependent on overall energy needs as a person. If total calories aren't met, amino acids will be used as an energy source rather than a building block of structures in the body.\\\"
Protein is an important macronutrient that keeps our bodies running as they should, aiding with muscle growth and repair, with the added benefit of helping us feel fuller for longer, according to evidence from the British Journal of Nutrition (opens in new tab), making a protein-rich diet helpful for those wanting to lose weight. Protein also helps to support a healthy metabolism, immune system and hormonal balance.
While the first port of call for a healthy protein intake should be to consume enough dietary protein, it may not always be easy. People who follow restrictive diets or have specific dietary requirements may particularly struggle to get enough protein, which is where the best protein powder can help to fill in any deficit.
The flavor is good without the temple-aching sweetness you get in some protein powders. We tried the birthday cake flavor, which can be notoriously sweet, and even this was pleasantly tasty but not overly synthetic. It mixes pretty easily too, although it's worth noting that whilst some protein powders mimic the action of thickening agents when stirred into porridge, we found Dymatize actually had the opposite effect, making the porridge slightly runnier.
This protein powder scores 4.2 stars out of 5 on Amazon, with enthusiasts praising it for its value, range of flavors and ease of mixing, and many feeling reassured by its ranking in independent tests, \"I like this brand because you know what you're getting, based off independent lab testing\". The main criticisms revolve around taste, particularly in the more unusual flavors which some find too sweet.
The protein comes from whey concentrate, which some people find causes bloating. There are few ingredients, although some of the flavor options include artificial flavors. It comes in more than 40 flavors and a range of sizes. We found the 250g bag really useful for a weekend away or bringing into the office, but you can also purchase a 5kg bag to store at home.
Made with just whey isolate, with no whey concentrate, and sweetened only with stevia, which is a natural substance made from the leaves of the stevia plant, this is the best protein powder for anyone who suffers from a sensitive stomach.
In common with most protein powders, it has added soy lecithin as an emulsifier, which is the only added ingredient beyond the whey products (which are a mixture of whey isolate, hydrolyzed whey isolate and whey concentrate). It mixes well, without too many lumps.
This protein powder scores an overall rating of 4.6 stars. Enthusiasts praise it for its taste and texture and find it easy to digest. \"I have tried a LOT of different plant-based protein powders and this one wins, hands-down\", reports one happy customer. Not everyone likes the flavors and the distinctive sweetness and aftertaste of stevia divide opinion. There are a handful of reports of stomach pains and even, alarmingly, of bugs found in the tub, though these are a tiny minority of reviews.
Founded by a cancer survivor and integrative specialist who wanted to create a product with natural, food-based ingredients, Orgain makes products with ingredients that, whilst perhaps not exactly familiar, are at least recognizable foodstuffs, and the powder is certified organic and non-GMO.
It is true that part of the reason for the huge number of calories and mighty helping of protein is down to the serving size, which is large (two big scoops). Even allowing for this, though, it still makes for good value for money.
Although it still produces the same meal replacement powders (although with an improved texture), it has branched out into flavored products and nutritionally balanced snacks, including this impressive protein powder.
One serving of MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Ripped protein powder contains a whopping 30g of whey protein, and it is enriched with vitamin C, calcium, iron, iodine, sodium and potassium. It also provides 500mg of l-carnitine. According to the Pharmacological Research journal, this compound has been shown to significantly decrease the body weight and fat mass in overweight individuals. One scoop of Nitro-Tech Ripped protein powder also delivers 250mg CLA. However, it is worth noting that there is no convincing evidence that CLA can notably change your body composition, as stated in the European Journal of Nutrition. 59ce067264