Protein

9 Best Protein Powders 2020 – Review and Buyer’s Guide

Are you in the middle of the quest to find yourself the best protein powder that serves all your needs and gives you the desired results? Fortunately, you have landed on the right place.

I have done all the extensive and exhausting research on your part to get you the Best Protein Powders available, so you can choose the one that suits your needs and save all the time in the world. Yes, you can thank me well at the end of the article.

You will also find in this article great knowledge on how to choose the best protein powder if you are a newbie or want to figure out all the nitty-gritty of the protein powders. So, without any further delay go ahead and find the best choice to please yourself.

But before that check out these Best Whey protein Powders if pure whey protein is all that you want.


Best Protein Powders 2019 – Overview

 

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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein PowderProteins: 24 g | Carbs: 3 g | Fat: 1 g | Calories: 120 | Flavors: 20+ |
Rating: 4.6

You probably would have heard about the Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey protein powder. As a matter of fact, it is worth the hype as it is a premium brand in the nutrition industry for decades.

It’s been voted ‘’the best protein of the year’’ 10 years in a row. Part of its success depends upon every step of the manufacturing process that is owned by Optimum Nutrition itself.

It has been the best-known protein powder for years and is widely known for its quality, customer satisfaction and best results all over the globe.

ON Gold Standard Whey is a blend of whey protein isolates, whey protein concentrates, and whey peptides, each one of these come with its own benefits, making it a perfect recipe for achieving best results in muscle recovery and growth.

A single serving of ON Gold Standard Whey contains 24g of proteins, 1g of fat, 3g carbs, 1g of sugar and 120 calories. In addition, it also contains 5.5grams of BCAAs and 4g of Glutamine. Ingredients like Aminogen and Lactase help improves digestion.

Whey protein is considered to be the best type of protein due to its balanced levels of essential amino acids. It contains the nine essential amino acids which cannot be produced by your body and must be taken through diet. These are required to perform functions like nutrient absorption, tissue growth, energy production, and immune function.

The great part of this product is, it allows you to choose from over 20 different flavors. The most favorite of its flavors is delicious strawberry and double rich chocolate. Despite being dealing with a variety of flavors, ON succeeds in providing the best in each of them by not overdoing the contents.

It mixes well with water and milk both. A glass and a spoon are enough to give it a mix.

Talking about the price, considering the whey isolates it contain, great taste, incredible effectiveness, easy mix-ability, and excellent nutritional profile, it’s the best value for money.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Great in taste
  • Easy to Mix
  • Effective results
  • Easy digestion
  • Safe ingredient

Cons:

  • Contains artificial sweetener
  • Complaints regarding the change in formula

MuscleTech Nitro Tech Pure Whey Protein

MuscleTech Nitro Tech Pure Whey Protein PowderProteins: 30 g | Carbs: 4 g | Fat: 3 | Calories: 160 |Flavors: 6 |
Rating: 4.4

MuscleTech is a trusted brand in the nutrition industry operating since 1998, focusing on sports nutrition supplements.

Nitro Tech Pure Whey protein powder is primarily designed for athletes or bodybuilders to gain more muscle and strength. This formula is a game changer in the world of muscle building. It helps gain more muscle and build more strength than regular whey protein.

It contains 30 grams of protein, 4grams carbs, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar and 160 calories. In addition, BCAAs ratio in the protein powder is 6.8g, 3g of Creatine and 5g of Glutamine and precursors.

Nitro Tech is a combination of whey protein isolates and whey peptides which are the purest sources of protein available, are rapidly absorbed by the body and are proven to give effective results.

Nitro Tech boosts your energy and helps you with better performance effectively. It is formulated to increase muscle growth and to amplify the recovery. There are no added enzymes for quick digestion.

MuscleTech’s Nitro Tech mixes well with milk or water and is great to be taken pre or post workout or between meals.

Whey protein in Nitro tech undergoes a filtration process using a multi-phase filtration technology that breaks down the fat and lactose content considerably. Nitro Tech is manufactured according to cGMP standards to deliver a high-quality product.

Lactose intolerant people should remain careful while consuming this product for you might get nausea, gastric distress, bloating and stomach pain as side effects.

Pros:

  • Builds 70% more lean muscle than regular whey
  • Great for athletes and bodybuilders
  • Amplifies muscle growth and recovery
  • Boosts energy
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Better performance

Cons:

  • High price
  • No digestive enzymes

Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder

Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein PowderProteins: 25 g | Carbs: 1 g | Fat: 0 g | Calories: 110 |Flavors: 12 |
Rating: 4.5

Dymatize ISO 100 is known worldwide for its quality, taste, and purity. Dymatize is a well-known name in the supplement industry. Despite producing several products including protein powders, protein bars, and mass gainers, ISO 100 protein powder is their flagship product, stated by Dymatize.

ISO 100 protein is made up of whey protein isolates and whey protein hydrolysate. It is formulated by using a microfiltration process, that reserves important muscle building proteins and reduces excess levels of fat, carbs, lactose, and cholesterol.

The formula contains 25g of proteins, 1g carbs, 0g fat, and 110 calories. Consisting of literally 0g of fat and sugar, it’s a perfect choice for people seeking proteins on the restricted diets. Other important ingredients contain 5.5g BCAAs, 4.4g of Glutamine and 2.7g of Leucine.

It serves less than half a gram of lactose per serving which makes it convenient for lactose sensitive people.

Hydrolyzed whey is at least partially broken down by enzymes into peptides (amino acids) making it easier for quick digestion, for this reason, it is also considered as a pre-digested form of protein.

Before the hydrolysis process, whey protein is in isolated form. Hydrolyzed whey protein is pricier and worse in taste than protein isolates.

To get the best results it is important to take a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and good quality fats and carbs along with the proteins.

All in all, Dymatize ISO 100 Whey protein contains all essential elements needed for recovery and muscle building. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to mix it with water or milk. It comes with 12 delicious flavors and all tastes great with no compromise on quality.

Dymatize ISO 100 does contain genetically modified soy oil, so if GMO foods are your concern then, unfortunately, it’s a no-go for you.

Pros:

  • Fast absorbing
  • Supports muscle growth
  • Good taste and quality
  • Low carbs
  • No fat
  • Lactose-free

Cons:

  • Contains genetically modified soy oil
  • Contains Sodium
  • Contains artificial sweetener

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass Protein PowderProteins: 50 g | Carbs: 254 g | Fat: 4 g | Calories: 1250 | Flavors: 6 |
Rating: 4.5

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass is the most popular choice among people wanting to build serious muscle mass and gain weight.

Serious Mass is a high-calorie weight gainer designed to gain ultimate weight and muscle. It helps develop the muscles and physique you have always wanted.

ON Serious Mass is loaded with 50g of blended proteins, 254g of carbs, 4g of fat and total of 1250 calories per serving with no added sugar. This combination of rich nutrients makes it a perfect recipe for weight gainers and bodybuilders.

Other ingredients include 25 vitamins and minerals, 1g of Creatine, Glutamine and Glutamic acid which helps in quick muscle recovery after a workout. Each ingredient is added to optimize strength training workout while vitamins and minerals are added to provide your body the balanced nutrition.

Serious Mass is the ultimate weight gain formula. When combined with a healthy, balanced diet and intense workouts, this supplement provides the basis for serious weight gain and building your body to the fullest.

You can suffer from side effects like bloating and gastric distress. Excess weight gain could be a problem if Serious Mass is not taken seriously.

Pros:

  • Great for bodybuilders
  • No added sugar
  • Low fat
  • Helps build muscle size
  • Weight gainer

Cons:

  • Bad solubility
  • Unsatisfying taste
  • Might cause bloating and gastric distress

Syntha-6 BSN

Syntha-6 BSN Protein PowderProteins: 22 g | Carbs: 15 g | Fat: 6 g | Calories: 200 | Flavors: 10+ |
Rating:4.4

BSN Syntha-6 is the go-to protein for any exercise or workout routine and is intended to suit a variety of different lifestyles and diet plans.

Most protein powders are a blend of whey protein concentrates or whey isolates. BSN has succeeded to introduce a protein powder with a blend of 6 different proteins including the fast and slow digesting proteins hence provide sustained levels of amino acids in the blood for a longer period.

Syntha-6 formula contains 22g of proteins, 15g of carbs, 6g of fat, 200 calories, and 10g of essential amino acids per serving. It is high in fat and carbs thus would not be the best option for you if weight loss is your goal.

It contains digestive enzymes and due to the fact, it is easy on the stomach. Synth-6 comes with a variety of mouth-watering flavors and is great in taste. Some of its ingredients cause poor solubility in a shaker bottle but it blends well in a blender.

BSN Syntha-6 is a great meal replacement product. The high carb count is formulated to use it as a meal replacement. It contains lactose as well that might cause bloating and gastrointestinal problems if you are lactose intolerant.

Pros:

  • Blend of 6 different proteins
  • Contains digestive enzymes
  • Appetite suppressor
  • Great taste
  • Effective
  • High price

Cons:

  • Bad solubility
  • High in fat, carbs, and sodium
  • Contains artificial sweetener and flavor
  • Contains soy, wheat, and corn
  • Contains lactose

Pro JYM

Pro JYM Protein PowderProteins: 24 g | Carbs: 4 g | Fat: 3 g | Calories: 140 | Flavors: 10 |
Rating: 4.4

Dr. Jim Stoppani, Ph.D. in exercise physiology, is the founder of Pro JYM. He introduced a supplement line known as JYM back in 2013, which includes fat loss pills, pre-workouts, multivitamins, etc. but the royal crown of his creations is Pro JYM protein powder.

Pro JYM is a blend of 3 different high-quality proteins (Whey protein isolate, Micellar Casein, Milk protein isolate, Egg protein) which maximizes growth, improve recovery and supports repair.

These all are different proteins dividing into slow, moderate and fast digesting. This combination allows fast digesting proteins to help elevate muscle protein synthesis and the slow digesting proteins promote growth and recovery of muscles by providing essential amino acids.

Each scoop of Pro JYM contains 24g of proteins, 4g carbs, 3g of fat, 140 calories and 1g of sugar. The protein blend contains 7.5g of whey protein isolate, 7g of micellar casein, 2.5 of egg albumin, 7g of milk protein isolates.

Pro protein does not contain any digestive enzymes. Stomach problems are less likely with a blend and this protein contains under a gram of lactose, so it should not cause issues, said Dr. Stoppani.

Pros:

  • 3 different types of proteins
  • No Soy
  • Gluten free
  • Good label accuracy

Cons:

  • Contains lactose
  • High price
  • Unsatisfying taste
  • Contains artificial sweetener

Combat Protein Powder Muscle Pharm

Muscle Pharm Combat Protein PowderProteins: 25 g | Carbs: 5 g | Fat: 1.5 g | Calories: 130 |Flavors: 5 |
Rating: 4.3

Muscle Pharm Combat Protein Powder is a premium blend that offers a variety of Whey proteins to fuel your muscles for a longer period of time that contributes to muscle repair and growth.

Combat protein is a great blend of different Whey proteins including whey protein isolates, whey protein concentrates, whey protein hydrolysate, micellar casein, and egg albumin. The exact percentage of each type of whey protein is not mentioned in the nutrition label which makes it a drawback since you cannot identify what amount of lactose are you taking in each serving.

Each serving of Combat protein powder contains 25g of proteins, 5g carbs, 1.5g of fat, 2g of sugar and 130 calories. It contains a long ingredients list compared to most protein powders in the market which might become an off-side for many of you. Due to the fact, you might suffer some side effects such as bloating, gastric distress, loss of appetite, diarrhea, headaches, etc.

All the flavors available are great in taste and mixes well in a shaker bottle. You may find its sweetness a little overpowering and that might because it contains artificial flavors. It could be taken at any time of the day and it’s a great night time protein source.

Pros:

  • 5 protein sources
  • Enhances performance
  • No artificial dyes or colors
  • Great taste
  • Gluten free

Cons:

  • Contains artificial flavors
  • Contains lactose
  • Difficult to mix
  • Very sweet

Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate Protein

Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate Protein PowderProteins: 21 g | Carbs: 1 g | Fat: 0 g | Calories: 90 | Flavors: 10+ |
Rating: 4.2

Impact Whey Isolate Protein Powder is manufactured by Myprotein. The main ingredient used is whey protein isolates which is a fast digesting form of protein, it helps in gaining lean muscle and supports fast recovery.

Impact Whey Isolate contains 21g of proteins, 1g of carbs, 0g fat and 90 calories in a single serving. This makes it a good choice if you are on a low-fat or low-calorie diet. Other ingredients include 3.6g of Glutamine and 4.5g of BCAAs per serving.

Amount of protein varies in different flavors of Impact Whey Isolate, it’s usually 21-22 grams per serving in flavored protein powder.

Impact Whey comes in various flavors and is great in taste. It offers unflavored protein powder as well which does not taste good at all. The powder might cause a little trouble getting mixed in a shaker, you would probably have to mix a little longer than usual.

Pros:

  • Low carbs
  • No fat
  • Safe ingredients
  • Low in sodium

Cons:

  • Contains artificial sweetener
  • Low amount of protein
  • Quality control concerns

Legion Athletics Whey+ Isolate Protein Powder

Legion Athletics Whey+ Isolate Protein PowderProteins: 22 g | Carbs: 3 g | Fat: 0 g | Calories: 100 | Flavors: 10 |
Rating: 4.5

If you are looking for a protein powder that is high in quality and pure with ingredients, then this is the right choice for you.

Legion sells multiple products including BCAAs, multivitamins and mass gainers. Legion’s Athletics Whey+ Isolate is the best grass-fed protein powder you can find in the market.

Whey+ stands out in its quality as they source their whey protein from the cows of Ireland, raised without injecting hormones and antibiotics, and are fed with grass for most time of the year. These cows are raised in small farms run by families and the milk produced is healthier than most cows in the USA.

Each serving of Whey+ contains 22g of proteins, 3g carbs, 2g of sugar, 0g of fat, and 100 calories. It does not contain any artificial sweetener or artificial flavors. It guarantees to use non-GMO whey protein isolates. On top of everything else, it is gluten-free, lactose-free and has no soy protein with no added hormones.

It proves to be an outstanding choice for people looking for grass-fed, non-GMO, protein-rich, low carbs, gluten-free and lactose-free product. Needless to say, this combination is not the one to be found easily. Moreover, considering the high quality of the product whey protein is cold processed and has all its nutrients intact.

Some other qualities of Whey+ include easy and quick digestion, rapid absorption, delicious taste, and it’s easy to mix.

Pros:

  • No artificial sweetener or flavors
  • Low carbs
  • No fat
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose-free

Cons:

  • Contains Soy
  • No digestive enzymes

Protein Powder and Protein Shakes?

Protein powders are basically the powdered form of proteins extracted from different plants, milk or eggs. Other ingredients including sugar, minerals, vitamins, and artificial flavors may also be added in protein powders.

Protein powder is used as the main component in making Protein shakes. Protein shakes are made by mixing protein powder with water while other ingredients can also be added according to taste and needs. They are also made with milk and by adding a scoop in smoothies, just as how it comforts you.

Protein is the essential nutrient for the body and protein powders are a convenient way to add more protein in your diet.

Why You Need Protein?

Protein is a significant component of every cell in the human body.

Proteins are responsible for building and repairing muscles in the body and are required to maintain the structure and function of the organs. It helps heal the muscle tear caused by strength workout or any other damage.

Protein is the main building block of your body; your hair and nails are mostly made of protein. It is also used in making enzymes, hormones and other chemicals in the body. Being a “macro-nutrient” in the body and held responsible for a number of functions, your body needs a good amount of protein.

One of the main dilemmas of protein is, unlike fat and carbohydrates your body does not store protein and thus has no reservoir to draw on in times of need. Now, if you are thinking to eat protein all day long that would not be the solution to anything.

The truth is, your body only needs a modest amount of protein to function well. Eating extra proteins will not gain you extra muscles.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Protein powder in shaker bottle

More protein, more muscles. If you are under the influence of any such myth, then you are getting it completely wrong.

As said earlier, your body needs an adequate amount of protein to function. If you don’t get enough of it, your health and body composition may suffer.

Talking about the grams of protein needed per day, the numbers and opinions vary among different people. As per DRI (Dietary Reference Intake), the recommended protein intake per day is:

  • 56 grams per day for an average man
  • 46 grams per day for an average woman

These numbers might be enough to prevent deficiency but might not be sufficient if you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle. Protein requirements also vary on some other factors including age, physical activity, and weight lifting, etc.

Protein bars and Protein shakes are a great and convenient way to increase your protein intake and to ensure you are taking a good amount of protein.

Is It Safe to Use Protein Powder?

If you ever doubt about protein powders and whether they are safe or not. All your concerns will be addressed in a moment.

Consumption of protein and protein powder have always been a debatable topic. Many people like to believe in consuming more protein to be an unhealthy act. High protein intake is often related to the problems of osteoporosis and kidney damage but studies conducted on the subject present contrary results.

A study published in 2017 proved there are no adverse effects of higher protein intake on bones, the study founded improvement in bone health due to higher protein intake. Consuming more protein does not contribute to bone or muscle damage but rather it makes them strong.

Shedding light to the kidney problem, a study conducted on 14 males for the period of one year taking high protein diet, found no harmful effects on the measures of blood lipids as well as liver and kidney functions.

Studies found no harmful effects on the kidney by taking a high protein diet in people who do not already have kidney disease.

Benefits of Protein Powder

Protein powder scoop with shaker bottle in backgroundThere are many benefits associated with a high protein diet. Including protein shakes in your diet help you in many different aspects. The best thing about protein shakes is, these are easy to make, do not require any extra effort of blending machine unless of course you want them and are ridiculously loaded with nutritional stuff needed to keep you healthy and strong.

Amazing benefits of protein shakes include but are not limited to:

Help loses weight and belly fat: Taking high protein diet and replacing carbs or fat with protein helps reduce weight and belly fat.

Boosts metabolism: High protein intake may boost your metabolism, which leads to burning some extra calories each day.

Curb hunger: Protein boosts appetite-reducing hormones and thus helps increase levels of satiety, resulting in eating fewer calories every meal.

Burn more calories: A high protein intake may help burn 80-100 more calories per day which help in losing weight fast.

Build muscles: Taking plenty of protein helps build and maintain muscles, knowing that exercise is mandatory. Proving the best way to increase muscle and lose weight simultaneously.

Reduce muscle loss: Many people tend to lose muscle with fat while losing weight. High intake of protein may help prevent muscle loss during weight loss.

Buyers Guide – How to Choose the Best Protein Powder

Choosing the right protein powder could become no less than a mystery for you if you are not aware about the essentials.

Protein powders might be the best way to fulfill your protein requirements but there are things you need to check before getting your hands on it. There are some things you want in protein powder and other things that you don’t. And those other things are not beneficial for your health and body.

So, beware of these things and choose the best protein powder that serves you the best. Your hunt for choosing the best protein powder starts with the Nutrition label and pay attention to all the ingredients mentioned, it says everything you need to know about them.

Consider the following points and ingredients while choosing your protein powder.

Protein Count

The protein count is the most important in protein powders. Not all types of protein powders contain the same amount of protein in them. Aiming for 25 grams of protein per serving would be the best to go for.

You can then also add some extra carbs like oats, banana or berries to the shake as per your choice.

Low Fat, Low Sugar

If you are diabetic, go for a protein powder that contains low or no quantity of sugar. For carbohydrates, aim for no more than 5 grams of carbs and fat per serving (per scoop).

Gluten and Lactose

If you are gluten or lactose intolerant, you will find gluten-free and lactose-free options to choose your protein powder from. Problems like inflammation may get elevated in gluten intolerant people.

It’s good for people with irritable bowel syndrome to choose a protein powder without lactose, sugar, dextrin/maltodextrin or artificial sweeteners.

Artificial Sweeteners

You need to avoid harmful artificial sweeteners in the protein powder. Common sweeteners used in protein powders are Sucralose, Splenda (955), NutraSweet (951) or Saccharin (954), Equal, Xylitol, and Aspartame. Ingesting these ingredients might have some effects including headaches, migraines, acid reflux and bloating. These Sweeteners may harm beneficial gut bacteria as well.

The fewer ingredients, the better it is.

Bulking Agents

Vegetable oils and fats are often added in some protein powders. These are counted under trans fats which are responsible to raise the levels of bad cholesterol. These ingredients are usually added to increase the richness of protein powders and give them a creamy texture.

Ingredients like skim milk powders or milk solids are also added as a bulking agent in low-quality protein powders that may cause problems like bloating, constipation and gastric distress.

Quality over Quantity

Thickeners, gums, and fillers such as Xanthan gum, Coconut flour, and Psyllium are added in the protein powders to bulk up the quantity. These ingredients may cause bloating, constipation other gastrointestinal problems in people.

Take Away

Protein powders are the best and convenient way to ramp up your daily intake of proteins. These are some of the best protein powders available in the market with a good nutritional profile. And shaker bottles have made it even more convenient to take your protein shake.

To get yourself the best of the product, check the ingredients list as a must before deciding what product to go for. Look at the order in which ingredients are listed, check serving sizes and amounts of components (proteins, carbs, fat, sugar, BCAAs, etc) relative to the serving size. Meaning, total grams per scoop relative to individual grams of ingredients per scoop.

Vary the amount of water or milk in your protein powder to achieve desired consistency and taste.

The ratio of the ingredients mentioned per serving may vary for different flavors of different protein powders.

Consult a doctor before starting any of these products if you have a medical condition, are pregnant, breastfeeding or have recently become a mother.

What’s your choice of protein powder and how is it going for you? Let me know in the comments below.

2 Comments

  • Bilal Mustufa

    I like how everything has been covered over here related to the protein powders. I am amazed with all the info and am feeling ignorant about how I only used to buy protein powders without having any basic knowledge. I trust now I can filter only the ones suited to me – thank you for that.
    Could you also write something about other products that are available in the market related to bodybuilding like Creatine and Citrulline Malate? It would be helpful to see blogs like this (with all the evidences) in a single place

    • Maha

      Hi Bilal,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I am glad you liked it. My whole idea of reviews + buyer’s guide together is to let you guys know what you are buying and how good or bad is your investment in the product is. It is very important to know what type of protein powder you are taking because if it is not suitable for your body type and fitness goals you are not likely to get any results regardless how good the product is.
      And yes definitely I will write about other exercise related stuff as well. So just stay tuned and keep giving feedback.

      Cheers.

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