15 Best Protein Powders for Muscle Gain 

Protein powders have long been a recommended supplement for gym-goers and people looking to build muscle. Taking protein powder either before or after a workout has been proven to help with muscle gains and fat loss, but it has a variety of other benefits for overall health.

Some of the most popular protein powders contain whey, a byproduct of dairy milk that contains all nine essential amino acids. These protein-building blocks are necessary for individuals that want to see extraordinary gains at the gym. 

The article below highlights the best whey protein for muscle gain, the best protein powder for men, the best whey isolate, the healthiest protein powder, and more. Read on to discover the best whey protein powders on the market, their benefits, side effects, and usage. 

1. Ghost Whey Protein Powder for Muscle Gain

Ghost Whey Protein Powder is a popular whey protein for men and women looking to gain muscle. It is a good whey protein powder that utilizes 100% whey and leaves out sneaky and unnecessary added ingredients. 

Ghost Whey Protein Powder is a top whey protein containing 25g of protein per serving, 4g of carbohydrates, and 1-2g of fat. It includes naturally occurring branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and digestive enzymes, there are a variety of fun flavors including cereal milk, coffee, and blueberry pastry 

Ghost Whey Protein Powder can help athletes and bodybuilders as it improves athletic performance, aids in muscle recovery, helps to build muscle, decreases overall body fat, and reduces inflammation.

Using this best whey isolate protein offers benefits such as fast post-workout absorption and no amino acid spiking. Some common side effects of Ghost Whey Protein are bloating, gassiness, cramps, nausea, and fatigue. These side effects usually occur when more than the recommended amount of protein powder is consumed. 

In addition to a pre or post-workout shake, Ghost Whey Protein Powder can be used to make pancakes, milkshakes, cereal, or even ice cream. 

This is a top-rated protein powder because Ghost Whey Protein Powder includes a full disclosure label on its packaging. Athletes have access to a complete list of the ingredients in the protein powder. If you are interested, a 2.2-lb Ghost Whey Protein Powder container contains 26 single servings and costs $44.99. 

2. Naked Whey for Muscle Strength

Naked Whey for Muscle Strength is the best protein powder for building muscle. Naked Whey is a U.S.-based company that sources its protein straight from small California dairy farms. The cows are grass-fed all year long and do not receive growth hormones like rBST or rBGH. 

In addition to being a clean product, these are the other features of Naked Whey for Muscle Strength.

  1. 25g of protein per 2 scoops serving
  2. 5.9g of BCAAs, 3g of carbs, and 120 calories
  3. It also has 2g of sugar and 2g of fat 
  4. Each container has approximately 76 servings
  5. Around 82% of the whey used in Naked Whey is protein. The rest of the protein powder consists of amino acids and healthy fats 
  6. Flavors are strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate flavors 

Naked Whey for Muscle Strength is designed to help those who take it build lean muscle and increase muscle strength. It is considered one of the top protein powders for building muscle because of its amazing benefits.

  1. Grass-fed 
  2. Hormone-free 
  3. Additive-free
  4. Zero artificial sweeteners or dyes
  5. Gluten-free
  6. Soy-free 

While there are many benefits to taking Naked Whey, it does come with a couple of common side effects. Below are a couple of the reported side effects of taking Naked Whey for Muscle Strength.

  1. Cramping
  2. Bloating 
  3. Nausea
  4. Diarrhea

Individuals who are lactose intolerant may experience these side effects more than those without lactose sensitivities. You may want to source another protein option if you suffer from lactose intolerance.

Naked Whey for Muscle Strength recommends using their product first thing in the morning, before or after a workout. Simply add two scoops of the purest whey protein to 6 to 10 ounces of milk, or water, and shake to combine. You can also use it to make protein bars, smoothie bowls, or add it to a homemade protein pizza.

Naked Whey for Muscle Strength is not for individuals with lactose sensitivities or who practice a vegan lifestyle. However, the company does offer vegan-friendly protein products. A 5-lb container of Naked Whey for Muscle Strength costs $109.99. 

3. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard for Muscle Building 

Another beloved high-quality protein powder on the list is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard for Muscle Building. This protein powder is truly one of the top protein powders available for muscle building. 

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard for Muscle Building consists of several unique flavors. Some basic information about this blend is listed below. 

  1. About 120 calories per serving
  2. 24 grams of protein 
  3. 5.5g of BCAAs 

Using the award-winning whey protein isolate powder, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard for Muscle Building, as a supplement offers many beneficial benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited, to these listed below.

  1. Aids in the building and maintenance of muscle development
  2. Supports muscle recovery
  3. Increases endurance

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard for Muscle Building’s strong base of amino acids is ideal for helping build muscle during regular exercise. These are some additional benefits of the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard when compared to other competitors

  1. Over 20 unique flavors 
  2. No unpleasant aftertaste 
  3. No artificial growth hormones
  4. Gluten-free 

Some people experience these side effects after taking more Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard for Muscle Building than recommended. So, it is important to only take the recommended amount per serving/per day and to consult with your doctor if you experience any of the following.

  1. Headaches 
  2. Thirst
  3. Reduced appetite 
  4. Mild digestive issues 

It should also be noted that some of the sweeter flavors contain sucralose. If you want to avoid sucralose, avoid their Banana, Ice Cream, and Cake Batter flavors. For many, sucralose can cause unwanted headaches.

To take Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard for Muscle Building, combine one rounded scoop of protein powder with 6-8 ounces of cold water, or milk. Stir, blend, or shake for 30 seconds. A 2-lb container of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard for Muscle Building costs $33.24. 

4. Redcon1 Isotope for Muscle Mass

Redcon1 Isotope for Muscle Mass creates high-quality protein powders designed to help people get the most out of their workouts. It is an international brand found in major sports retailers and military commissaries and exchanges. 

Redcon1 Isotope for Muscle Mass is a 100% whey isolate protein powder. It is one of the best protein powders for men and women over 18. Here are some features that make it stand out.

  1. Keto-friendly protein powder designed to isolate gains and increase muscle mass
  2. 30 servings per container
  3. 110 calories and 25g of protein per serving 
  4. 0g of sugar and 2g of carbohydrates 

The main focus of Redcon1 Isotope for Muscle Mass is building muscle. Athletes looking to see serious muscle gains and growth should consider taking Redcon1 Isotope. Redcon1 Isotope for Muscle Mass consists of several different flavors for a great-tasting drink. 

The protein powder has other benefits as well that make it stand out against its competitors.

  1. Easy to digest 
  2. Minimal foaming 
  3. Lactose-free 
  4. Ingredient transparency 

While Redcon1 is an effective supplement, some people who use Redcon1 Isotope for Muscle Mass may experience the following side effects. If you happen to fall into this category, be sure to consult with a doctor after ensuring that you are following the recommended dosage.

  1. Nausea
  2. Jitters
  3. Shakes
  4. Rapid heartbeat
  5. Headaches

To make Redcon1 Isotope for Muscle Mass, combine 1 full scoop with 4-6 ounces of water, or milk, and blend immediately after a workout for best results. Individuals under 150 lbs should only use 1 scoop. Individuals above 150lbs may want to use 2 scoops to ensure that they hit their daily macros. 

Redcon1 Isotope for Muscle Mass is a premium protein powder safe for both men and women looking to build muscle. However, the powder does not have additional ingredients that support weight loss. 

A standard 2-lb container of Redcon1 Isotope for Muscle Mass costs $44.99. A subscription to the protein powder can help frequent users save up to 30%. 

5. Legion Whey Plus for Faster Muscle Recovery

Legion Whey Plus is the go-to protein powder for athletes in need of a muscle recovery supplement. Legion Whey Plus has many positive benefits that make it a standout amongst other supplements. These include, but are not limited to, the following.

  1. 100% natural, grass-fed whey isolate protein powder 
  2. 21 to 23 grams of protein and 5.6g of BCAAs 
  3. Only 100 to 130 calories per serving  
  4. High in iron and calcium

The company prides itself on using clinically effective doses backed by peer-reviewed scientific research. Legion Whey Plus is tested by third-party labs to meet FDA purity standards, ensuring it is free of allergens, heavy metals, and other harmful contaminants. 

Legion Whey Plus has a higher BCAAs content, which helps athletes and weightlifters experience faster muscle recovery. 

Legion Whey Plus is the best protein powder for people watching sugar intake. It is also ideal for people with stomach or digestive issues. These are some other benefits of Legion Whey Plus. 

  1. Lactose-free 
  2. Made with zero artificial food dyes or chemicals
  3. Naturally sweetened with plant-based sweeteners 
  4. No GMOs

Legion Whey Plus is lactose-free, which means those who take it are unlikely to experience digestive issues such as bloating. It does contain xanthan gum and soy lecithin which can cause gas in people who are sensitive to them. 

To make Legion Whey Plus, mix 1 scoop of protein powder with 8-10 ounces of milk or water 30-60 minutes pre-workout or within 60 minutes after a workout for the best effects.

Legion Whey Plus is made in a facility where fish, nuts, wheat, and eggs are also processed. Thus, those with significant food allergies may not want to take this supplement. 

Legion Whey Plus is a low-carb, low-fat, and low-calorie protein powder. It is also a sustainable product made from grass-fed, hormone-free cows. A container of Legion Whey Plus costs $40. 

6. Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration 

Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration is one of the best protein powders for muscle gain and regeneration. This unique protein powder is a high-quality mixture of cold-processed protein concentrate. It contains a higher amount of amino acids which help repair muscles better and faster than other lesser-made protein powders. 

Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration is made with 80g of whole-food, low-GI carbohydrates. Their “Bro-Carb Blend” is made with quinoa flour, sweet potato flour, and oatmeal flour. These high-quality carbs contain higher quantities of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that aid in digestion and physical wellbeing. 

Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration is also made with these ingredients. 

  1. 10g of high-quality fat from MCT oil powder, coconut oil, and avocado powder 
  2. One serving of this powder is 3 scoops
  3. 570 calories and 40g of protein per serving

People who take Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration will receive all of the macronutrients necessary for lean muscle growth. It also eliminates body fat to help with body composition goals. 

These are the benefits of Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration.

  1. Versatile usage for cooking and baking
  2. Additional vitamins and antioxidants
  3. Added digestive enzymes

High doses of whey protein such as those found in Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration have the potential to cause acne. 

To make Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration, mix 3 scoops of protein powder with 16-20oz of water and shake thoroughly to combine. 

It is important to know that Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration is not a good choice for individuals following a low-carb diet such as paleo or keto. However, the unique and powerful combination of whole-food carbs, and saturated and unsaturated fats, makes this powder excellent for maintaining a healthy weight and hormone production for muscle-building purposes. 

Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration is made with milk, peanuts, coconuts, soy, and wheat. It is also produced in a facility that processes eggs. A container of Core Nutritionals Grow for Muscle Regeneration costs $49.99. 

7. NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate

NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate is an incredible protein powder that provides fast digestion, tasty flavors, and an extensive amino acid profile. NutriCost is a well known and trusted brand within the fitness industry.

NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate contains the following features.

  1. 25g of protein per serving, 3g of carbs, and 1g of sugar 
  2. 29 servings in a 2 lbs container, each at 140 calories
  3. Contains 14% of the daily recommended value of calcium
  4. Comes in unflavored, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry milkshake, and chocolate peanut butter

Those who take NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate protein powder can expect a boost in muscle growth and an increase in performance and muscle recovery. In addition to the typical benefits of protein powders, these are the benefits of NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate benefits. 

  1. Gluten-free
  2. Contains zero GMOs. 
  3. Has a comprehensive amino acid profile 
  4. Has a smooth, palatable texture and pleasant taste 

Digestive issues are common after consumption of NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate. Some other side effects may include nausea and bloating. If you are struggling with these side effects, you may want to explore other options on the list to help prevent this.

To make NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate, mix 1 scoop in 6-8oz of milk or water within 60 minutes of a workout for the best results. 

NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate is made in a GMP-compliant, FDA-registered facility. However, the packaging claims the product could potentially expose users to chemicals such as lead.

Several NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate flavors contain common allergens such as milk and peanuts. Those with food allergies should consult the nutrition facts panel of the chosen flavor to ensure it complies with their dietary requirements. 

A 2-lb NutriCost Whey Protein Concentrate container costs $38.95, while the 5-lb container costs $79.95. 

8. Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein

Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein protein powder is a unique take on the traditional sports performance supplement. Rather than typical whey, Ascent uses something called Micellar casein.

Micellar casein is a less common protein source. Like whey, it is a byproduct of dairy milk. It is a complete protein made up of all nine essential amino acids, 2.2 grams of Leucine, and 4.9 grams of BCAAs. However, it takes between 6-8 hours to digest, much slower than whey protein. 

Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein also has these additional features.

  1. Comes in 2 lbs bags with 25 servings 
  2. 4 lbs bags with 50 servings 
  3. A single scoop contains 120 calories, 25 grams of protein, and 4 grams of carbs 

The presence of all nine essential amino acids and BCAAs in Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein makes this protein powder an ideal choice for aiding muscle growth and recovery. Due to its slow-digesting nature, Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein will help with recovery during periods of inactivity like sleep. 

There are benefits to using a micellar casein protein source rather than whey. Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein offers these benefits. 

  1. A sustainable release of amino acids for better quality recovery
  2. Three tasty flavors 
  3. Pure, high-quality ingredients
  4. Third-party tested for banned substances 
  5. Soy-free, gluten-free, and no growth hormones or fillers 

The slower digestion of casein in Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein eliminates common side effects like shakiness and jitters. It is also less likely to cause digestive issues like bloating or gas. 

Ascent produces its micellar casein protein powder in a site that also processes peanuts and tree nuts. It is also sweetened with Stevia. Some people who use Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein complain about the grittiness of this powder when made into a quick shake. 

To make Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein, mix 1 scoop with 8 ounces of water, almond milk, or oat milk. A 2-lb bag of Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein costs $41.99.

9. Thorne Whey Protein Isolate

Thorne Whey Protein Isolate is a lighter protein option from a company that focuses on personalized, healthy aging. You may have heard of Thorne if you listened to Doctor Andrew Huberman, as they are a manufacturer that cares about top quality, especially when it comes to their NSF-certified protein.

Thorne Whey Protein Isolate protein powder contains Bromelain and Papain Blend. These protease enzymes are thought to help break down proteins in food in papaya and pineapple fruits. They are also thought to help manage allergies and possibly reduce pain and inflammation. Thorne also lists several natural sweeteners on the ingredients list, including Cane Juice Sugar and Stevia Extract. 

Key ingredients in Thorne Whey Protein Isolate include the following.

  1. A variety of vitamins and micronutrients 
  2. Each serving contains 25g of protein, 2.3g of leucine, and 2g of sugar

Adding in Thorne Whey Protein Isolate as a part of a balanced diet can help increase protein intake, assist with weight management and it is good for overall sports performance. The benefits of Thorne Whey Protein Isolate over others are listed below.

  1. NSF certified
  2. Soy-free
  3. A full amino acid profile 

Digestion issues from ingesting too much protein powder can occur with Thorne Whey Protein Isolate. Pregnant women, as well as individuals with high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, and bleeding disorders, are not recommended to take bromelain in any form. Below are some of the common side effects of taking Thorne.

  1. Stomach upset 
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Heavy menstrual periods 

To make Thorne Whey Protein Isolate, mix 1 scoop of powder with a minimum of 8 ounces of water, milk, or milk alternative daily for best results. Thorne Whey Protein Isolate protein powder costs $53 for 30 servings. 

10. NOW Sports Egg White Protein

NOW Sports Egg White Protein is the best whey protein powder for those that like high-quality, unflavored powders.  NOW Sports Egg White Protein protein comes from pasteurized egg white powder. 

Here are some other features of the Now Sports Egg White Protein blend.

  1. 16g of high-quality protein per serving
  2. 80 calories and 2g of carbs 
  3. Calcium, potassium, and a full amino acid profile

NOW Sports Egg White Protein is ideal for athletes who want to build lean muscle mass. It also aids in the repair of muscle, expedites muscle repair post-workout, and helps to satiate hunger. In addition to supporting lean muscle mass and weight management, NOW Sports Egg White Protein has these benefits.

  1. Keto-friendly
  2. Gluten-free
  3. Corn-free
  4. Soy-free
  5. Steroid tested

Due to its pure ingredients and strict processing, NOW Sports Egg White Protein is unlikely to affect people with non-egg food allergies. Some other common side effects to be aware of with egg-white protein powder include. 

  1. Allergies 
  2. Salmonella poisoning
  3. Biotin deficiencies 

To make NOW Sports Egg White Protein, mix ¼ cup of powder into 12oz of water or milk and stir to combine. If using as an egg white replacement in baking, mix at least 2tbs of powder with 6oz of water. A 2-lb container of NOW Sports Egg White Protein costs $27.99. 

11. Gnarly Whey

Gnarly Whey is a grass-fed protein concentrate derived from hormone-free, antibiotic-free cows. Gnarly Whey is a supplement designed to support immune health and muscle synthesis. Below is a breakdown of what Gnarly Whey has to offer.

  1. 160 calories and 25g of protein per serving
  2. 4g of fat, 12g of carbs, and 4g of fiber 
  3. Contains omega-3 acids and healthy fats from MCT oil powder 
  4. Sweetened with Stevia Leaf Extract 

Taking Gnarly Whey may help athletes replenish their bodies after a tough workout and repair muscles. It can also help with supporting a healthy immune system through pure, nourishing macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. 

Below are the benefits of Gnarly Whey that it has over some of its competitors.

  1. Addition of pre and probiotics 
  2. Digestive enzymes for better absorption 
  3. NSF Content Certified
  4. NSF Sport Certified 

Gnarly Whey’s digestive blend and addition of pre and probiotics help eliminate common digestion side effects like gas and bloating. 

To make Gnarly Whey, mix 2 scoops of powder with no more than 12oz of water or milk and take directly after lifting or doing other heavy exercises. Gnarly Whey can be taken on the go. In addition to standard containers, it comes in packs of 5 45g sticks which fit conveniently in a gym bag or locker. A container of Gnarly Whey has 20 servings and costs $62.45. 

12. CrazyBulk Tri-Protein

CrazyBulk Tri-Protein helps serious weightlifters obtain the protein they need to lift heavy while also satisfying their sweet tooth. CrazyBulk Tri-Protein powder contains six different protein sources. 

  1. Whey Protein Concentrate
  2. Whey Protein Isolate
  3. Micellar Casein
  4. Milk Protein Concentrate
  5. Whey Protein Hydrolysate
  6. Calcium Caseinate

This combination of proteins is released in three phases allowing the body to efficiently absorb the protein it needs to feed muscles properly. It is made up of proteins that digest quickly and proteins that digest slowly.

There are 21 grams of protein, per serving, of CrazyBulk Tri-Protein. Below is a list of some of the positive effects of CrazyBulk Tri-Protein.

  1. Muscle maintenance support
  2. Muscle growth
  3. Reduces sore muscles and pain
  4. Post-workout recovery
  5. Suppresses appetite 

CrazyBulk is trusted by professional bodybuilders for its signature muscle growth and recovery capabilities. These are some other benefits.

  1. Great chocolate flavor 
  2. Increases metabolic rate 
  3. Supports muscle tissue growth by helping the body burn fat 
  4. It may also improve cognitive function 

Tri-Protein contains a patented enzyme called DigeZyme which is designed to reduce common gastrointestinal side effects like gas, nausea, and bloating. 

It takes up to 8 hours for your body to absorb CrazyBulk Tri-Protein powder. This slow absorption time can help those who are on fasting diets and need the fuel to remain energized and satiated for their workouts. 

To make CrazyBulk Tri-Protein, combine a 30 grams scoop of powder with 8-10 ounces of water or milk and shake well to combine. A container of CrazyBulk Tri-Protein costs $49.99. 

13. Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey

Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey is a premium protein powder and an ideal choice for student-athletes. Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey is a clean, organic protein powder made from antibiotic and hormone-free cows. 

Some additional features that Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey contains are listed below.

  1. A superb blend of probiotics
  2. 6g of BCAAs
  3. 24g of whey protein
  4. 120 calories per serving 
  5. A standard amino acid profile containing Glutamic Acid and Leucine 

Taking Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey will help fuel muscles during intense workouts and repair them post-workout. Some additional benefits of Garden of Life’s protein powder include the following.

  1. NSF Certified for Sport
  2. Informed-Choice for Sport Certified
  3. Non-GMO 
  4. Gluten-free
  5. Soy-free

Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey contains an unknown quantity of sugar alcohols which are known to cause GI issues. The majority of the protein in Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey derives from whey protein isolate. However, 9% comes from milk protein. Thus, people with lactose intolerance may experience stomach issues. Below are the commonly reported negative effects.

  1. Bloating, gas, and nausea when taken in large amounts 
  2. Jitters and shakes 

To take Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey, simply mix 1 level scoop of Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey with 8oz of water and stir or shake until blended. A 2-lb container of Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey costs $56.99. 

14. PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder

PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder is the best protein powder for vegans and vegetarians who want to bulk up. While it may be difficult to get your daily recommended macros in as a vegetarian, especially protein, the PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder makes it simple to achieve your protein requirements.

The 21 grams of protein in PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder comes from peas, algae, artichokes, and other organic superfoods. They source real ingredients from around the world to maintain a pure, healthy product that supports all kinds of lifestyles and diets. These are some other features found within the PlantFusion blend.

  1. 2g of carbs
  2. 3g of fat
  3. 120 calories per serving
  4. Several flavors 

As a plant-based protein powder, PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder can help build and repair muscle and maintain energy levels throughout the day. PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder dissolves quickly and does not have any unpleasant aftertastes. These are some other benefits of the blend.

  1. Dairy-free
  2. Gluten-free
  3. Non-GMO
  4. Kosher
  5. Allergen-free
  6. Keto-friendly

People with severe food allergies to nuts, eggs, and shellfish as well as people with diabetes can also enjoy PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder. There are limited side effects associated with PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder when taken as instructed. 

Since PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder is a plant-based protein supplement, it is sweetened with natural sweeteners like monk fruit extract, silica and guar gum, lucuma powder, and yacon powder. 

It is recommended to combine a scoop of PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder with plant-based milk such as almond milk to eliminate any potential chalkiness. 

A 30-serving container of PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder costs $45.99.

15. Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate

Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate allows those on low-carb diets, such as keto, to enjoy a large volume of protein. While most sources of protein are naturally low in carbs, some protein powders contain many added ingredients that raise the amount of carbs per serving. Here are some features found within Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate protein.

  1. 25 grams of pure whey protein isolate 
  2. 0 grams of sugar
  3. A 32 gram serving contains 110 calories 
  4. An extensive list of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids

Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate is designed to help with weight management support, aging muscle support, and muscle building and recovery support. Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate also has these added benefits. 

  1. Gluten, lactose, and filler-free formula 
  2. Wide range of unique flavors 

While Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate is a great product, it does contain a few negatives. For starters, this supplement is sweetened with sucralose and citric acid. It also contains artificial dyes like Red 40. Here are some common side effects of the Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate protein powder blend.

  1. Digestive issues
  2. Fatigue
  3. Headache
  4. Thirst 
  5. Suppressed appetite 

Mix 1 scoop of Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate with 6oz of water in a shaker or blender. Then, consume it between meals, as a meal replacement, or before or after a workout. A 3-lb container of Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate costs $52.99. 

What Are the Best Protein Powders According to Protein Types? 

The best protein powder overall is CrazyBulk Tri-Protein because of its superior muscle growth capabilities and low-carb, low-sugar formula. It is also a great option for bodybuilders, athletes, or weight lifters who need a boost of clarity and focused energy during their workouts. 

Best Whey Protein PowderOptimum Nutritional Gold Standard
Best Casein Protein PowderAscent Native Fuel Micellar Casein
Best Collagen Protein PowderNOW Sports Egg White Protein
Best Pea Protein PowderPlantFusion Complete
Best Rice Protein PowderCore Nutritionals Grow
Best Hemp Protein PowderNutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder
Best Organic Plant-based Protein PowderOrgain Organic Protein
Best Superfood Plant-based Protein PowderKa’Chava
Best Vegan Protein PowderPlantFusion Complete
Best Personalized Protein PowdersGainful

1. Best Whey Protein Powders 

Whey protein powders derive their protein from whey, the part of milk that separates from curds during the cheese-making process. It is a complete protein that the body utilizes efficiently. It has a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that helps maintain tissues and breaks down for energy during exercise, which is good for people who want to lose weight. 

Some of the top manufacturers of whey protein powders are Optimum Nutrition, Thorne Research, and NAKED Nutrition. These are the best whey protein powders they offer.

  1. Optimum Nutritional Gold Standard – Contains 24 grams of protein, 4 grams of glutamine, and 5.5 grams of BCAAs to help build and maintain muscles.
  2. Thorne Whey Protein Isolate – Contains 21 grams of protein for women and others who aren’t nearly as focused on muscle-building.
  3. Naked Whey – Contains 25 grams of protein and 6 grams of BCAAs. More BCAAs decrease muscle fatigue while building muscle.

2. Best Casein Protein Powders

Like whey protein, casein protein powders come from milk. However, the body can digest casein protein more slowly for a sustained release of amino acids into the bloodstream, sometimes for hours, which can maximize muscle growth after exercise. 

Some of the best manufacturers of casein protein powders include Ascent, CrazyBulk, and Transparent Labs. These are the best casein protein powders they offer. 

  1. Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein – Each scoop contains 25 grams of protein, which take 6-8 hours to digest to help prevent muscle loss post-exercise.
  2. CrazyBulk Tri-Protein – Six protein sources (including casein) released in 3 phases, so your muscles will receive fuel longer for more bulk. 
  3. Transparent Labs Micellar Casein Protein – 25 grams of micellar casein protein digest slowly to improve strength through a longer period of muscle building.

3. Best Collagen Protein Powders 

Collagen protein powder is a type of protein supplement that contains an animal protein found in connective tissue, skin, tendon, bone, and cartilage. It provides structural support to tissue and supports healthy skin. 

Some of the best manufacturers of collagen protein powders are NOW, Vital Proteins, and NativePath. These are the best collagen protein powders they provide.

  1. NOW Sports Egg White Protein – Egg white protein has one of the highest protein efficiency ratios at 3.9, and 16 grams of protein are perfect for building lean body mass.
  2. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides – 20 grams of collagen peptides make this collagen protein powder ideal for strengthening joints, ligaments, and tendons, reducing your chance of injury from exercise.
  3. NativePath Collagen Peptides – Type 1 and type 3 collagen peptides help revive collagen production to help manage weight, produce lean body mass, and provide more joint flexibility. 

4. Best Pea Protein Powders 

Protein from peas has gained popularity as a vegan alternative. However, The body tends to absorb less of the protein and utilize fewer of the amino acids in plant proteins. Peas are also missing at least one essential acid, so they are not a complete protein.

Some of the top manufacturers of pea protein are PlantFusion, Sunwarrior, and Live Conscious. These are the best pea protein powders they provide.

  1. PlantFusion Complete – 13 superfoods, 21 vitamins and minerals, and 4.4 grams of omega fatty acids combine sound nutrition with weight loss. 
  2. Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Protein Powder – With 28 grams of protein per serving and 6 grams of BCAAs, this pea protein powder has more muscle-growth potential than many non-vegan alternatives.
  3. Live Conscious Organic Protein – This pea protein contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. 15 grams of protein help with muscle recovery after exercise.

5. Best Rice Protein Powders 

Rice protein powder derives its protein from rice. The amino acids in rice protein may reduce blood sugar, blood pressure, and fats.

Some of the best manufacturers of rice protein powders are Core Nutritionals, Nutribiotic, and NAKED Nutrition. These are their best rice protein powders. 

  1. Core Nutritionals Grow – Each serving contains a staggering 40 grams of protein for maximum energy and muscle growth.
  2. Nutribiotic Rice Protein – Each serving contains 18 different types of amino acids, which helps the body build muscles.
  3. Naked Rice Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder – 25 grams of protein and 4.9 grams of BCAAs assist with lean muscle mass.

6. Best Hemp Protein Powders

Hemp protein powders derive their protein from hemp. While they’re lower in protein than non-vegan protein powders, they have more healthy fats, fiber, calcium, and iron.

Nutivia, Sunwarrior, and Just Hemp Foods are some of the best hemp protein manufacturers. These are their best hemp protein powders. 

  1. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder – Nutivia’s hemp protein powder contains 21% of the daily recommended value of fiber.
  2. Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Protein Powder – One of the protein sources for the Warrior Blend is hemp. 28 grams of protein and 10 types of amino acids help build lean muscle.
  3. Just Hemp Foods Hemp Protein Powder Plus Fiber – 19 types of amino acids helps provide energy during your workout.

7. Best Organic Plant-based Protein Powders 

Plant-based protein powders come from peas, hemp, or rice sources, making them ideal for vegans or people with allergies. Being organic can give you peace of mind that they weren’t grown with non-organic-approved pesticides.

Orgain, Garden of Life, and Purely Inspired are manufacturers of the best organic plant-based protein powders. These are their best organic plant-based protein powders.

  1. Orgain Organic Protein – 21 grams of plant proteins help build lean muscle mass.
  2. Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein – Contains 18 naturally-occurring amino acids to repair and grow new muscles.
  3. Purely Inspired Organic Protein – Contains 22 grams of plant-based protein to help with muscle recovery post-exercise.

8. Best Superfood Plant-based Protein Powders 

Superfood plant-based protein powders provide extra nutrition to supplement the protein in plant-based protein powders for added health benefits.

Orgain, Ka’Chava, and Vega manufacture some of the best superfood plant-based protein powders. These are their best superfood plant-based protein powders.

  1. Ka’Chava – Ka’Chava contains 85+ superfoods and 7 nutrients to support muscle growth and workout recovery.
  2. Orgain Organic Protein + Superfoods – With 50 superfoods and 21 grams of plant-based proteins, Orgain is excellent for weight management. 
  3. Organic Plant-Based Vega One All-in-One Shake – 20 grams of plant-based protein and nutrient-rich superfood ingredients help support lean muscle growth.

9. Best Vegan Protein Powders 

Vegan protein powders derive their protein from plant-based sources such as hemp, peas, seeds, and rice.

PlantFusion, Just Hemp, and Orgain are among the best manufacturers of vegan protein powders. These are their best vegan protein powders.

  1. PlantFusion Complete Protein – Has 21 grams of protein from five unique plant sources for muscle energy and recovery.
  2. Just Hemp Foods Hemp Protein Powder Plus Fiber – Provides 15% of daily recommended fiber, which keeps the stomach full longer for weight loss. 
  3. Orgain Sport Protein – 30 grams of plant-based protein and five grams of BCAAs help build muscle while reducing muscle soreness and fatigue.

10. Best Personalized Protein Powders 

Personalized protein powders allow customers to choose a protein powder that works best for their gender, workout intensity, and health and fitness goals. 

Gainful, Trillion, and Truenutrition all have various protein powders customized to your preferences and goals. Customers take a quiz or choose their favorite options for a protein powder personalized to their needs and preferences.

  1. Gainful – Gainful uses quiz results to create a mix of personalized proteins and BCAAs. They also provide one-on-one support from a registered dietician to meet customers’ specific health and fitness goals. 
  2. Trillion – Based on quiz results, Trillion customizes a blend from among 100+ ingredients and custom manufacture a powder to meet each customer’s personal nutritional needs and health goals.
  3. True nutrition – Customers choose their own flavors, nutritional boosts, protein type, fats, and fibers to create a custom protein powder blend suited to their personal tastes and health goals.

What are the Main Features of the Best Protein Powders? 

These are the main features of the best whey protein brands and powders. 

  1. Taste and texture 
  2. Mixability 
  3. Clean ingredients 
  4. Transparent labeling with specific quantities of all nutrients
  5. Calorie content 

How To Choose the Best Protein Powder? 

It can be difficult to know how to choose the best protein powder. Thus, choosing a supplement that aligns with end-result goals is important. If the goal is to lose weight, it is important to avoid protein powders with added sugars and sweeteners. High-quality whey protein is an optimal choice if the goal is to build muscle. 

It is also important to learn how to read the labels on the packaging. The best whey protein brands are transparent about their ingredients and their testing practices. 

How To Choose the Best Protein Powder for Women? 

The best protein powder for women is Thorne Whey Protein Isolate. It is the best protein powder for women because it contains a wide range of ingredients that support full-body health. It also provides a significant amount of protein with minimal calories. 

NOW Sports Egg White Protein is also great for women who are looking for the best lean protein powder.

How To Choose the Best Protein Powder Shakes for Weight Loss? 

The best protein for weight loss is Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate. It provides the necessary amount of protein without adding in sugars and carbs that can mess with blood sugar levels over time. 

Another great weight loss protein powder is Redcon1 Isotope for muscle mass.

How To Choose the Best Protein Powder for Bulking? 

The best protein powder for bulking is CrazyBulk Tri-Protein for its incredible 6 protein blend. This blend combines fast and slow-digesting proteins that help fuel muscles, provide mental focus, increase energy, and help users push themselves at the gym. 

Alternatively, a good bulking protein powder is Core Nutritionals Grow due to its extremely high protein and carb content. 

How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for Diabetics? 

The best protein powder for diabetics is Isopure Low Carb Whey Isolate because it contains zero sugar and minimal carbs to affect blood sugar levels or insulin. 

Other good protein powders for diabetics include Core Nutritionals Grow because of its low-sugar formula. 

How To Use the Best Protein Powders? 

There are many ways to use protein powders. The most common way is to mix the recommended serving with a liquid like water, milk, or plant-based milk. Use a blender or a shaker bottle to combine and drink shortly before or after a workout, when it’s best to take protein.   

It is possible to bake or cook with protein powder as well. Many people enjoy adding protein powder to smoothies, pancakes, bread, and desserts. 

How To Read Protein Labels on Protein Supplements?

Protein powders are not regulated by the FDA, which is why they can contain different amounts of vitamins, fillers, or sweeteners. Reading the Nutrition Facts label on a protein powder package is important for a complete list of ingredients, macros, micros, and more. 

The best protein powders will also have protein labels that illustrate if they are certified, third-party tested, and the different allergens they possess or do not. Transparency is important to look for in the best protein powders. 

How to Understand Protein Supplement’s Role for Muscle? 

What is protein? Protein is a macronutrient made from 20 amino acids, 9 of which our bodies must acquire from food. They are necessary to feed muscles as well as repair and maintain them. 

Most protein powders are made with whey or casein which are watery liquid milk byproducts that occur during cheese production. These pure protein sources are separated and purified before being dried into a powder form. Other powders are derived from eggs or plants. 

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.