Best Protein Powders: The Definitive Must Have List

Top 10 Protein Powders and Best Protein Powder

The muscles we all work so hard to strengthen and build every time we step in the gym are literally made of protein – so what it is it exactly?

Protein is an essential nutrient found in every part of your body from your biceps to your blood. Next to water, it’s the most abundant (and probably most important) substance in your body. Proteins are made up of amino acids arranged in specific orders. There’s no end to the possible combinations, so there lots of different types of protein out there.

Endless combinations means that not all proteins are created equal, especially when it comes to bodybuilding. Protein’s basic job is to build, maintain, and repair body tissues. Does that sound like something that might be of help in the gym?

What to look for in Protein Powders

Since there are thousands of protein powder products out in the market, determining which protein powders to use can be tricky because it largely depends on a person’s goals which may be to gain weight, get ripped, or build lean mass.

There are a nearly endless variety of protein powders available for the consumer. They come in many flavors including Vanilla, Chocolate, Banana, Cookies and Cream, Strawberries and Cream, and many more. Price is also a key factor in choosing a good protein powder as there are many similar products at varying price points. You don’t want to pay more for the same thing just because of a brand name. Either way, protein powder is a good investment on your path to your fitness goals, be it mass and muscle or getting ripped!

Be careful because certain less-than-reputable brands of Protein Powder have been known to contain as little as 10% of the advertised protein, and have upwards of 1800% more sugar than it says on the label. What a nightmare. Stick to legit brands.

Benefits of Protein Powder

Protein powders are used by individuals who strive to build muscle and body mass, as well as maintain body mass, or lose fat. A protein shake is not a perfect substitute for the vitamins, nutrients, and proteins found in a full meal, but it’s pretty close. It also acts as a muscle enhancer especially after workouts, wherein it will provide the building blocks to regenerate the muscle and help repair the stressed tendons and muscle fibres.

Mmm protein shakes

Protein shakes are an efficient way to provide the body with additional protein, vitamins, and amino acids. Using protein shakes combined with a well-balanced diet which includes healthy foods will ensure optimal muscular growth in size and mass. It also enhances the body’s capacity to partake in long and strenuous activities which can be beneficial for endurance athletes as well as bodybuilders. Protein also helps to restore muscle glycogen which provides the muscle’s ability to tolerate painful stretching when used in weight repetitions and endurance training.

The muscle’s ability to heal or recuperate is also enhanced by protein shake supplementation. The enhance regenerative properties of consuming protein shakes might allow bodybuilders to workout more frequently.

Even people who do not aim to build mass and who are just interested in general fitness can greatly benefit from protein shake supplementation.

Research of Protein Powders

Previous research studies have demonstrated on how people who have a well-balanced diet as well as supplementation of 10 grams of protein a day, showed improved resistance to infections and viruses. This together with less frequent bouts of exhaustion and soreness after enduring long strenuous workouts were conclusive findings from intensive research studies. Protein shakes can also help overweight individuals lose weight faster.

Whey is the king of all proteins, and number one on our official list for good reason. One of the two proteins that come from milk (casein is the other), whey is a very high-quality protein that does wonders for muscle growth, recovery, and health in general.

One of the reasons why whey is so celebrated in fitness and bodybuilding communities is because it has an absurdly high Biological Value (BV). BV is a number that measures how efficiently a protein can be absorbed and used by the body for growth. Whey protein isolate can have a biological value rating of 120+, while other proteins like fish and beef top out at a mere 75. This means your body gets more for its money every time you ingest whey, as it is easily digested and used by the body to build and repair muscle (among other great things, like reducing disease risks).

Whey protein also received a perfect Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid score, which is the standard measurement of protein quality used by the FDA and World Health Organization. These people know what they are talking about.

How much Protein is Required?

 

The amount of protein a person needs varies pretty widely. Depending on your age, sex, diet, and goals, you could need anywhere from 20 to 200 grams per day. For bodybuilders, a common guideline is to aim for 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Every protein powder varies in protein content and concentration.

Protein shakes may also contain carbohydrates. If the goal is to lose weight then a person should select a protein shake that contains minimal carbohydrates. For those looking to gain weight, they might want to consider a protein powder product that has the greatest overall calories. These types of protein products may contain additional carbohydrates and other nutrients, and are known as “gainers“. Those who are looking to maintain their weight should seek the aid of a protein powder product that features just the right amount of carbs, normally the same type of product that can also be effective for weight loss.

The Benefits of Protein Shake Supplementation

People use protein powder or protein shakes and include them in their respective diet regimen. It provides the body with the necessary energy and vitamins to be able to last through strenuous workouts as well as providing them with the right nutrients and vitamins while safely reducing food intake.

1. Adding protein to a diet increases a person’s chances of building muscle. Protein powders also enhance the muscle’s ability to regenerate quicker no matter how strenuous the workout. Protein shakes are ideally taken with meals for maximum effect. Adding protein shakes to a healthy diet is beneficial for a person to reap excellent overall health.

2. Protein shakes benefit those trying to lose weight as they curb the body’s craving for food. In taking a protein shake, a person tends to lose the desire to eat as most of the nutrients needed are already packed in one glass of protein shake.

3. Studies have shown that protein shakes have bioactives which aid the body as it lowers cholesterol levels. In taking protein shakes, a person has reduced likelihood of suffering from high blood pressure which greatly affects the performance and integrity of the heart.

4. Protein shakes also improve the function and overall performance of the immune system. You are less likely to get sick or contract an infection if you possess adequate levels of amino acids in your system.

5. Athletes, as well as bodybuilders, take protein shakes even when they have already reached their goal of developing muscles and increasing their mass. This is for the reason that a steady and healthy supply of amino acids reduces the risk of injury. In the case of injuries, protein energy supplementation is known to hasten the recovery period as amino acids helps in rebuilding the muscle fibers at a faster and more efficient rate.

Our Score Value Quick Summary
100% Grass Fed Whey Protein $$$$ Zero Carbs, No Sugar, Gluten Free
100% Whey Gold Standard $$$$ The #1 best-selling protein powder
Pro JYM $$$$ Consists of 4 different forms of protein
SYNTHA-6 $$$$ Milkshake-like taste and ridiculously delicious
RSP Whey $$$ Maximized purity, solubility and bioavailabilty
Combat Powder $$$ 5 powerful roteins: fast, medium, and slow releasing
COR-Performance Whey $$$$ Great as a snack, meal replacement and ingredient in recipes
PHASE8 $$ 97% whey protein isolate
100% Casein Protein Powder $$$ Best-selling micellar casein
CytoGainer $$$ Contains partially pre-digested whey peptides and milk protein concentrates

The Top 10 Protein Powders

Protein is the catalyst of muscle building. This is where muscles begin and without it, muscles end. In body building, protein is converted to muscle tissue. The muscle grows as the more protein is digested by the body. In a sense, it is like yeast to bread, wherein without it, bread does not rise. It supplements the muscle in terms of tissue healing and expanding as each exercise repetition is done.

There are many forms of protein shakes that body builders use in their quest to morph their bodies into muscular form. Most prefer to use protein powder as it is the fastest way to ingest and digest protein into their system. Whey and casein are the primary proteins found in milk and are quickly broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream. This makes it very potent and effective after a person works out. There are thousands of different protein powders in the market and most of them provide the same benefits. However only a handful of these proteins can produce superior protein, fast results with minimal to no side effects/ Here is a list of the top ten protein powders that will greatly enhance body building, increase health, and improve overall wellness.

1. 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate by Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate by Transparent Labs

 

transparent labs protein

#1 Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

To receive the highest recommendation, a protein powder must be truly exceptional on all levels. Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is by definition, a truly exceptional whey protein powder. Loaded with 30 servings per bag, and 28 grams of high-quality protein per scoop – this product is second to none.

Just Look at the Stats:

28 Grams of Protein per Serving

100% Grass-Fed Cattle Sourced

Naturally Sweetened with Stevia

Zero Carbs, No Sugar, Gluten Free

Guilt-Free Delicious Whey Isolate

For those that hold their bodies and physiques to the ultimate standard, 100% Grass-Fed Whey Isolate is the only option for additional protein supplementation. This Whey Isolate protein comes in two delicious and naturally sweetened flavors: French Vanilla and Milk Chocolate. You wanted the best, and here it is.

2. 100% Whey Gold Standard by Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard by Optimum Nutrition

100% Whey Gold Standard

A true fan favorite, this has to be most highly recommended protein in the world. This product contains 24 grams of pure protein per serving. Beneficial for muscle building and regeneration. This protein powder is also known for containing low concentrations of fat, lactose, and carbohydrates. The building blocks of Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard include Glutamine and Glutamic Acid, Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCCAs, valine, isoleucine, and Leucine. This product has also has been approved and recognized by the Public Health and Safety Company, NSF International, and the Good Manufacturing Practices Program standards.

 

Features:

  • Best Quality + Best Value
  • The #1 Selling Protein Powder on Bodybuilding.com
  • Loaded with Whey Protein Isolates
  • Over 5 Grams of BCAAs
  • 24G Protein – 120 Calories – 1G Fat – 3G Carbs
  • Provides Whey Protein Microfractions
  • More than 4 Grams of Glutamine & Glutamic Acid
  • 100% Whey Protein
3. Pro JYM by JYM Pro JYM by JYM

Pro JYM

While a high-quality protein powder should be at the top of everyone’s supplement shopping list, don’t make the common mistake of buying a pure whey protein powder right off the bat. Yes, whey protein is a critical staple for muscle growth, but to truly maximize growth, you need more than just whey. You need a precise blend of performance proteins.

Each scoop of Pro JYM delivers 24 grams of pure, quality protein. It’s not “spiked” with single amino acids to artificially increase the protein content or made with cheap and inferior whey protein concentrate or caseinates. To make Pro JYM, I selected only the highest quality whey protein isolate, micellar casein, milk protein isolate, and egg white protein (egg albumin).

 

Features:

  • Whey Protein Isolate: 7.5g
  • Micellar Casein: 7g
  • Egg Albumin: 2.5g
  • Milk Protein Isolate: 7g (5.5g Casein, 1.5g Whey)

 

4. SYNTHA-6 by BSN SYNTHA-6 by BSN

SYNTHA-6

BSN Syntha-6 is one of the rare whey protein supplements that actually tastes pretty damn good. This product is one of the most effective protein powders on the market, and they really did a great job in the formulation. Mixes well and tastes exceptionally creamy. Used by many athletes it assists in building strength and endurance as BSN Syntha-6 Protein Powder contains healthy fat and fiber required by the body to endure long strenuous exercises.

Due to the taste of this product it also makes a viable replacement to eating a full meal. It contains essential amino acids, BCAAs, Glutamine, fiber, MCTs, EFAs, and Peptides. The Multi-Functional Micellar Protein Matrix, and Bioactive Protein Utilization AZORB are also crucial in muscle development, building endurance, and decreasing the risk of injuries especially during physical exertion activities.

 

Features:

  • Supports Muscle Growth
  • Supports Muscle Protein Synthesis
  • Helps Kick-start The Recovery
    Process
  • Milkshake-Like Taste Ridiculously
    Delicious

 

5. RSP Whey by RSP RSP Whey by RSP

RSP Whey

RSP Whey is scientifically formulated to support muscle growth and recovery. It consists of four premium protein sources arranged to optimize muscle protein synthesis (MPS) jumpstarting and sustaining lean muscle growth and recovery. RSP Whey is the nutritional cornerstone for your active lifestyle, making it easy to achieve your muscle-building goals and meet your daily protein intake requirements.

The cold ultrafiltration manufacturing process maximizes purity, solubility and bioavailabilty without denaturing or comprising the quality of the protein in RSP Whey. This process ensures it is easy to mix and digest while it feeds your muscles with premium quality protein. RSP Whey tastes amazing while still being low in carbs and fat. You can use it anytime – in everything from pre- and post-workout shakes or mixing it in meal replacements.

 

Features:

  • 25g of Protein from 4 Sources
  • 5.4g of BCAAs
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Low Fat
  • Low Carbs

 

6. Combat Powder by MusclePharm Combat Powder by MusclePharm

Combat Powder

People who train hard demand a superior and more effective protein. To maximize muscle growth and ensure proper protein utilization, MusclePharm scientists fortified Combat Powder with a variety of protein blends that digest at varying rates, for up to 8 hours. The great-tasting, easy-mixing digestive blend is fine tuned for true nutrient utilization—a step ahead in protein powder technology.

 

Features:

  • 25 Grams of Delicious-Tasting & Easy-to-Mix Protein
  • 5 Powerful Proteins: Fast, Medium & Slow Releasing
  • Take it Anytime: Morning, Pre/Post Wworkout & Night
  • Gluten Free

 

7. COR-Performance Whey by Cellucor COR-Performance Whey by Cellucor

COR-Performance Whey

COR-Performance Whey is an optimal source of protein when you’re looking to maintain lean muscle, replenish nutrients after a workout, and indulge your sweet tooth–guilt-free.

Every scoop of COR-Performance Whey is packed with 25g of fast-acting Whey protein and digestive enzymes so that you can satisfy your protein needs any time of the day.

COR-Performance Whey sets the bar high for protein. Cellucor’s team of flavor experts is passionate about delivering the best-tasting protein money can buy. With a full line of dessert-inspired flavors, you’ll have no problem satisfying your taste buds.

 

Features:

  • Packed with protein to help maintain and build lean muscle
  • Dessert inspired flavors
  • Great as a snack, meal replacement and ingredient in recipes

 

8. PHASE8 by MuscleTech PHASE8 by MuscleTech

PHASE8

PHASE8 is a premium blended protein formula that feeds your muscles for 8 hours. Each scoop contains an impressive 26-gram blend of milk-derived proteins that supplies a sustained-release of amino acids. PHASE8 has a superior, clean macronutrient profile with only half the carbs and fat of the leading competitor.
The main protein component in PHASE8 has the unique ability to release amino acids in your bloodstream for 8 hours after taking it. Because of these sustained-release properties, it’s a highly anabolic and anti-catabolic protein that helps create a muscle-building environment for longer periods of time.

Features:

  • 97% Whey Protein Isolate
  • Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Milk Protein Concentrate
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Micellar Casein

 

9. 100% Casein Protein Powder by Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder by Optimum Nutrition

100% Casein Protein Powder

This product comes in many flavors such as Banana Cream, Chocolate Cake Batter, Chocolate Supreme and Creamy Vanilla and has one of the highest protein content found in protein powders. It also contains over 9 grams of BCAA’s and Glutamine per scoop. Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder allows protein to be released slowly which is essential for body building, as the exercises take time and many repetitions to complete. The muscle builds as the protein gets released which in turn sculpts the muscles optimally through time.

 

Features:

  • Best-Selling Micellar Casein
  • 75% Protein by Weight (24G of Protein per 32G Serving Size)
  • 24 Grams of Slow-Digesting Micellar Casein per Serving
  • Over 5 Grams of BCAAs (Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine) per Serving
  • Nearly 5 Grams of Glutamine & Glutamic Acid in Every Scoop
  • Very Low Levels of Fat, Sugar & Carbohydrates
  • Ideal for Use Between Meals and Before Bed

 

10. CytoGainer by CytoSport CytoGainer by CytoSport

CytoGainer

If you’ve ever had trouble really growing, or had trouble maintaining your hard-earned size, CytoGainer product was designed specifically for you. CytoGainer delivers large portions of protein and carbohydrates, without the fat and sugar.

CytoGainer contains glutamine-rich whey, whey protein concentrate, and partially pre-digested whey peptides for improved protein synthesis support. Each serving also contains added Creatine and L-Glutamine to help promote muscle recovery.

 

Features:

  • Premium protein blend including partially pre-digested whey peptides, whey protein concentrates, and milk protein concentrate.
  • No simple sugars, fructose, or sucrose
  • Creatine Monodydrate to fuel muscles after intense training
  • L-Glutamine to help preserve muscle tissue
  • 97% fat free
  • Amazing taste!

 

11. 100% Natural Whey by MET-Rx 100% Natural Whey by MET-Rx

100% Natural Whey

We know your health means a lot to you, and the guys at MET-Rx strive to give you the products that meet your individual needs. They understand that you aren’t looking for artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors. They also understand you don’t want fillers in your proteins. That’s why it’s been removed and now MET-Rx has brought you a product unlike any other; They call it MET-Rx Natural Whey.

MET-Rx Natural Whey uses specialized filtration processes that reduce the total cholesterol, saturated fat, lactose and carbohydrates while concentrating the natural proteins.

 

Features:

  • MET-Rx® Natural Whey Protein provides gold standard Whey Protein sources including Ultrafiltered Whey Protein Concentrate. These specialized filtration processes reduce total cholesterol, saturated fat, lactose and carbohydrates while concentrating the natural proteins.
  • Naturally contains active Whey Protein Peptides and Microfractions including: Beta-lactoglobulin, Alpha-lactalbumin, Glycomacropeptides, Lactoferrin, and other bio-active components.
  • Instantized Whey Proteins for easy mixing and complete dispersion in liquid.
  • Quick absorbing Whey Protein Blend to speed amino acid delivery to muscles immediately after workouts, to help stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
  • Contains naturally occurring Branched Chain Amino Acids. Each serving contains approximately 5 g of the following Branched Chain Amino Acids from protein:
    Which typically provides: Isoleucine 1.4 g, Leucine 2.4 g, Valine 1.3 g