Updated August, 2019
Increasing your protein intake is one of the easiest ways to increase muscle (provided you pair it with exercise). Studies have consistently shown that protein can increase your metabolism, which helps lower body fat whilst preserving lean body mass. Protein powders, particularly whey and casein have been shown to be particularly good at doing this.
There are so many different protein powders on the market right now it can be hard to decide on which one to choose. Hopefully, this article will help you to make a decision.
Optimum Nutrition is one of the most well known and trusted supplement companies out there, and their whey protein is largely responsible for it. The protein powder is called “Gold Standard Whey” and that is essentially true, when it comes to whey protein Optimum Nutrition is the gold standard that other companies are measured against.
This whey protein is an isolate, meaning that 90% of it is pure protein. There are 24g of protein in each serving, and only 1g of fat, and 3g of carbohydrates. There are 5.5g of BCAAs and 4g of Glutamine contained in each serving. There are many different flavors to choose from, and a lot of them are pretty unique (for example Birthday cake flavor or caramel toffee fudge).
Another Isolate, this time from BPI sports. ISO HD contains both whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate making it incredibly easy to digest, and also making it easier to absorb BCAAs. The powder contains 25g of protein per serving, and only 1g fat, and 2g carbohydrates. There are no fillers in this powder and it comes in 5 different flavors: Chocolate Brownie, Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter Candy Bar, S’Mores, and Vanilla Cookie.
The winner of Bodybuilding.com’s “Isolate of the Year 2016” ISO-100 from Dymatize is clearly a great choice. Containing 25g of protein per serving, 0g fat, and 1g of carbohydrate, Dymatize have really kept the protein ratio as high as possible (each serving is only 110 calories). There are 5.5g of BCAAs and 2.7g of L-Leucine. There are over 10 flavors with Cinnamon Bun standing out as a pretty interesting choice.
Machine whey is a very solid protein powder, it contains 25g of protein per serving which comes from a mix of whey concentrate and whey isolate. Meaning that it isn’t the easiest to digest, but is still higher quality than most protein powders. There is 0g of fat in each serving but 6g of carbohydrates (3g sugar).
This is probably due to the fact that MTS Nutrition has made it Aspartame-free, but considering the thousands of studies that have shown Aspartame to be safe this seems a little crazy. The protein mixes very well with water and creates a very thick shake. There is a huge range of flavors with Key Lime Pie and Vanilla being particularly popular.
NutraBio has been around since 1996 and have always been a well respected company. They are the winners of the 2015 and 2016 STACK3D Protein Wars: People’s #1 Protein award. Their protein is 100% Whey Isolate. Each serving contains 25g of protein, 1g of carbohydrates and 0g of fat. There are 5.3g of BCAAs in each serving too, and there are no fillers or hidden ingredients. There is a large variety of flavors, with Dutch Chocolate and Wild Strawberry being the most intriguing.
In 2013 Cellucor won the award for Breakout Supplement of the Year for their Cor-Performance Whey Protein Powder. The protein powder contains 25g of protein per serving, 2g fat, and 4g carbohydrates. The powder has clearly been developed with cooking in mind and Cellucor provides a number of recipes that can use their protein powder in. There are 8 flavors available, with Peanut Butter Marshmallow being particularly popular with reviewers.
Most of the protein powders on this list are here due to their very high protein ratio (most are over 90%), Syntha-6 from BSN is not one of those. With 22g per serving this is on the lower end of the scale, it also contains 6g of fat and 13g of carbohydrates. Only 88 out of 190 calories come from protein meaning that it is only 46% of each serving is protein.
But this makes Syntha-6 a very good bulking protein powder, and it also helps make Syntha-6 one of the nicest tasting proteins on the market. It is also fantastic at mixing, and goes well with both milk and water. Using this in cooking, or as a meal replacement is probably your best bet.
Made from a blend of Whey, Casein, and Egg protein, Pro Jym is another product from the Jim Stoppani range. Each serving contains 24g of protein, 2.5g of fat, and 8g of carbohydrates. There is actually more casein protein in this (12.5g) than whey isolate (9g) making this a slower digesting protein powder. Nothing wrong with that, particularly if taking it as a pre-workout protein shake, but something you should be aware of.
Platinum 100% Iso-Whey from MuscleTech is a blend of Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Hydrolysate. This makes it a very fast absorbing protein powder. There is 25g of protein per serving, with 5g of fat, and 2g of carbohydrates. There is a shortage of available flavors, but those that are there are excellent.
What makes Impact Whey from MyProtein so special is not its protein content (21g per serving), nor is it the amount of BCAAs (4.5g) or Leucine (2g). It is simply the fact that MyProtein have made an insanely inexpensive protein powder that offers such a variety of flavors. There are 48 different flavors! The price is so good that you can get yourself a year’s supply for the cost of 2 months worth of most protein powders. If you are on a budget and need to get your protein intake up fast then Impact whey is an excellent choice.
Watch our MyProtein: Impact Whey review: