Best Protein Powders for Weight Loss, Muscle Gain, and More

Whether your goal is to gain muscle, get ridiculously strong, or just to lose a few pounds, consuming enough protein is a must in order to be successful. Protein powders provide an easy and effective way to boost your daily intake to keep you on track. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know which shakes are worth picking up and which ones aren’t worth shaking a stick at (see what we did there?). 

There is a bit more to choosing the right protein powder than just taking the advice of the jacked person in the locker room. You should be looking for the product that has the right macronutrients, isn’t loaded up with useless additives, and also tastes good. Keeping track of all this may seem like a massive job, but we’ve done most of the heavy lifting to make it easy for you. Here’s our list of best protein powders.

Best Protein Powders

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for the diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. 

Índice
  1. Best Protein Powders
  • Best Protein Powders Video
  • Best Protein Powder Overall
    1. Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate
    2. Who Should Buy Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate
  • Best Protein Powder for Muscle Gain
    1. Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate
    2. Who Should Buy Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate
  • Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss
    1. Onnit Whey Protein
    2. Who Should Buy Onnit Whey Protein
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Onnit Whey Protein
  • Best Vegan Protein Powder (Plant Based)
    1. Huge Supplements Vegan Protein
    2. Who Should Buy Huge Supplements Vegan Protein
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Huge Supplements Vegan Protein
  • Best Tasting Protein Powder
    1. Onnit Whey Protein
    2. Who Should Buy Onnit Whey Protein
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Onnit Whey Protein
  • Best Organic Protein Powder
    1. Kaged Plantein
  • Best Protein Powders Video

    You can also check out this video from BarBend, where former Nutrition Editor Nick English goes over a variety of protein powders and their benefits. 

    Best Protein Powder Overall

    What makes a great protein powder? Well, the answer to this is subjective, but we think a clean and effective ingredients list should do the trick. This pick combines highly anabolic whey protein isolate with a blend of digestive enzymes, so you can get the most out of every scoop.

    Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    This protein powder from Swolverine features an ultra-pure whey protein isolate sourced from grass-fed cows. Swolverine states that the cows are free from rBGH, which is a synthetic version of the growth hormone found in cows. Each scoop contains a massive 26g of protein and only 110 calories — that’s about 87 percent protein per serving, which is higher than most other powders. It only has half a gram of fat and one gram of carbohydrates —meaning only about ten of the calories come from sources other than protein. Swolverine also includes the digestive enzymes papain and protease to potentially help with digestion and to maximize absorption. 

    This powder is sweetened with stevia leaf extract and monk fruit extract, leaving it free of artificial sweeteners. A heads up if you’re on a budget, you will pay a bit more for this protein powder than other whey isolates at $2.09 per serving. Swolverine’s Whey Protein Isolate comes in four flavors. The classics like Vanilla and Chocolate, as well as Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate Chip.

    Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    This whey protein formula delivers 26 grams of protein with just 0.5 grams of fat, and one gram of carbs. You’ll also find 10mg of digestive enzymes, and a decent number of micronutrients.

    Shop Swolverine

    Who Should Buy Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    • Anyone who wants a product with digestive support that may help maximize absorption will appreciate the ProHydrolase in this formula.
    • Customers looking for a high protein product that’s low in calories. This supp only has 110 calories, but still contains 26g of protein per scoop.
    • Athletes looking for natural sweetening. This product is sweetened with stevia and monk fruit extract. 

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    • Anyone who may want a 100 percent plant-based protein powder. This product does contain whey protein, which is animal-based. 
    • Athletes looking for a high-calorie formula that can help fuel performance may want to look elsewhere. 
    • This protein is priced higher than other whey isolates on the market at $2.09 per serving, or $62.99 per 30 serving tub.

    Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate is potentially easier on the stomach thanks to the inclusion of digestive enzymes. The high amount of whey protein isolate (26g per scoop) combined with natural sweetening makes this a solid, clean protein powder that we think is well worth the price.

    Best Protein Powder for Muscle Gain

    Protein is king when it comes to building muscle. You need to get enough of it to support the repair of muscles that are broken down, and the creation of new muscle tissue. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense formula that may help pack on the gains, this pick is for you.

    Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    When it comes to gaining muscle, protein is considered the most important macronutrient, but if you’re eating a lot of protein you know it can take a toll on your stomach. Swolverine knows this too, and they included some digestive enzymes in their protein blend that can help you get the most out of their powder. 

    Each scoop of this product contains 26g of whey protein isolate (an above average dose) sourced from grass-fed cows that can help aid in muscle recovery and growth. Swolverine’s Whey Protein Isolate clocks only half a gram of fat and just one gram of carbohydrates per scoop, making this protein very lean indeed. Their blend also has 5mg of papain and 5mg of protease per serving, which may help with breaking down the protein to avoid bloating. Swolverine sweetens their protein naturally with stevia and monk fruit extract to help it taste great, too. They finish off the formula with a modest dose of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, which can help with hydration.

    Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    This whey protein formula delivers 26 grams of protein with just 0.5 grams of fat, and one gram of carbs. You’ll also find 10mg of digestive enzymes, and a decent number of micronutrients.

    Shop Swolverine

    Who Should Buy Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    • Athletes looking for a high protein product without a ton of added calories will enjoy the 110-calorie serving size here — 104 of those calories are from protein.
    • Anyone looking for a protein powder that uses natural sweeteners. This protein is sweetened with stevia leaf extract and monk fruit extract.
    • People who want to add muscle, but stay lean while doing so will appreciate the low-carb nature of this product.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate

    • Customers who are more budget-conscious may want to check other products on this list. One tub costs $62.99 or $2.09 per serving ($53.54 per tub and $1.78 per serving if you subscribe to regular deliveries).
    • Anyone looking for a variety of flavors. This product does come in four different flavors, but Vanilla and Chocolate are the only two consistently in stock.
    • Folks interested in meal replacement shakes for muscle gain should look elsewhere. This is strictly a protein powder.

    Swolverine’s Whey Protein Isolate is a great example of "getting what you pay for." This protein is more on the expensive side, but this formula’s clean ingredient list and high protein content can help fuel muscle growth and recovery. 

    Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss

    If your goal is to lose weight, it’s important to ensure you’re not consuming unnecessary calories. Some protein powders can add a ton of extra calories from carbs and sugars that you don’t want when trying to maintain a caloric deficit. That’s why we like Onnit’s Whey Protein when we’re cutting. 

    Onnit Whey Protein

    Onnit designed their protein powder to be easily digestible and taste great. They use whey isolate from grass-fed New Zealand cows with non-GMO ingredients. You also won’t find gluten, lactose, or sugar in this protein powder. The macro split is great with each scoop doling out 20g of protein and either 1.5g or 2g of fat (depending on flavor), as well as 3g or 5g of carbs (depending on flavor).

    Onnit uses only natural sweeteners and flavors in their protein, and the MCT oil powder included can help to provide a smooth mix. Onnit has included digestive enzymes, as well as some probiotics that can help aid in digestion and absorption, as well as prevent bloating. Each scoop is only 110 calories for Vanilla or 120 calories for Mexican Chocolate, minimizing calories to potentially help with fat loss. They even offer some helpful recipes, so you don’t get bored of the same shake over and over. 

    Onnit$0027s Grass-Fed Whey Isolate

    Onnit$0027s Grass-Fed Whey Isolate

    Onnit$0027s Grass-Fed Whey Isolate

    A grass-fed whey isolate includes added ingredients for digestion like seven digestive enzymes and a probiotic (lactobacillus acidophilus). It$0027s also gluten-free, sugar-free, and soy-free.

    Shop Onnit

    Who Should Buy Onnit Whey Protein

    • Anyone looking for some help with digestion and absorption will like the addition of digestive enzymes to this protein powder. 
    • Athletes looking for a product they can trust to not have banned ingredients. This is Informed Sport certified, meaning it has been rigorously tested for banned ingredients.
    • Anyone who is looking to lose some weight while maintaining or building lean muscle. This provides protein to help recover without the added calories some other products have. 

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Onnit Whey Protein

    • People who are looking for a more budget-friendly powder may want to check elsewhere. This is $59.95 per tub, or $1.99 per serving.
    • Anyone looking for different or exciting flavors. While most people seem to enjoy these flavors, it only comes in Vanilla and Mexican Chocolate.

    The macro split here is great thanks to this product’s natural sweeteners, like stevia. This product is lactose, gluten, and soy-free to accommodate most allergies, too. If you’re looking for a protein powder to take during your weight loss journey, the low calorie count here is ideal.

    Best Vegan Protein Powder (Plant Based)

    Getting enough protein in your diet can be challenging in general, but even more so when you’re trying to do so from strictly vegan sources. Oftentimes, people supplement vegan diets with protein from sources other than whole foods. This protein powder combines different plant-based, whole-food ingredients to build a complete amino profile.

    Huge Supplements Vegan Protein

    Huge Supplements Vegan Protein powder combines pea, brown rice, fave beans, and mung beans to ensure each scoop gives you a complete amino acid profile — similar to whey-based proteins. Many plant-based proteins only use one source for their protein, which can leave out certain important amino acids, especially leucine and lysine. Leucine and lysine can be essential in building muscle, so their inclusion in a protein powder formula is important. 

    The macro split on this protein is great with 110 calories per serving coming from 20g of protein, 1.5g of fat, and 3.5g of carbs. Huge’s vegan protein comes in some fun flavors too, like Birthday Cake (with sprinkles), Cookies & Cream, Cinnamon Crunch, Graham Cracker, and Marshmallow Madness. This protein is on the more affordable side at $39.95 per tub, and $1.33 per serving. 

    Huge Supplements Vegan Protein

    Huge Supplements Vegan Protein

    Huge Supplements Vegan Protein

    Huge Supplements Vegan Protein features a complete amino acid profile thanks to multiple sources of plant-based protein. The flavors are varied and fun with five options to choose from, like Marshmallow Madness and Graham Cracker, and the macros are just right.

    Shop Huge Supplements

    Who Should Buy Huge Supplements Vegan Protein

    • Customers looking for a vegan alternative to whey protein will like this product’s plant-based formula. Thanks to the multiple forms of plant protein, this product offers a full amino acid profile. 
    • Anyone who prefers to have only non-GMO products will appreciate that this product is made from 100 percent non-GMO ingredients. 
    • People interested in trying flavors outside of the basic Chocolate and Vanilla. Huge offers flavors like Cinnamon Crunch, Marshmallow Madness, and Birthday Cake.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Huge Supplements Vegan Protein

    • Anyone whose favorite flavors are classic flavors, like vanilla and chocolate. You won’t find those with this product 
    • Lifters who prefer to have whey protein over plant-based products should look at another option on this list.

    Huge Supplements Vegan Protein isn’t just a solid vegan protein powder — it’s a solid protein powder in general. The complete amino acid profile and friendly macros make this a great choice to help support your goals, regardless of if you’re vegan or not.

    Best Tasting Protein Powder

    There are a lot of important things to consider when choosing a protein powder to support your goals. You can look at the macro split, the type of protein, the amino acid profile, and more. But none of those things matter if the stuff tastes so bad you can’t stomach it. No matter how good a protein powder is on paper, if you don’t like the taste and don’t drink it — it’s useless. Here’s our pick for best tasting protein powder. 

    Onnit Whey Protein

    Onnit is a whey protein isolate sourced from grass-fed New Zealand cows with a high leucine content. There are also a few extras included, like MCT oil powder, which can help it mix more smoothly. Onnit includes 20g of whey isolate and only 1.5g of fat and 3g of carbs per serving, along with some digestive enzymes and probiotics that can aid in digestion and absorption. That macro profile will net you either 110 calories for the Vanilla flavor, or 120 calories for the Mexican Chocolate flavor. The one downside is that it does pack less protein per serving than most other options on this list at 20g. If you’ve got allergies or intolerances, it’s worth noting that this product is free of gluten, soy, and lactose. 

    Onnit$0027s Grass-Fed Whey Isolate

    Onnit$0027s Grass-Fed Whey Isolate

    Onnit$0027s Grass-Fed Whey Isolate

    A grass-fed whey isolate includes added ingredients for digestion like seven digestive enzymes and a probiotic (lactobacillus acidophilus). It$0027s also gluten-free, sugar-free, and soy-free.

    Shop Onnit

    Who Should Buy Onnit Whey Protein

    • Customers looking for a great tasting, easy-to-mix protein powder will like this formula. The MCT oil powder can help it mix smoothly, and we think the Mexican Chocolate flavor, in particular, is a crowd pleaser. 
    • Anyone who wants a protein powder that’s made in the classic flavors. Vanilla and chocolate may seem boring, but these are some of the best we’ve tried. 
    • Athletes who like to be sure a product they’re taking is free of banned substances. This product is Informed Sport Certified.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Onnit Whey Protein

    • Lifters looking for a lot of calories to fuel their training — this powder has only 110 or 120 calories per serving, depending on flavor.
    • Individuals who follow a vegan diet and would prefer a plant-based protein source.

    Onnit didn’t make just another protein shake you’ll try to get down as quickly as possible and may need to chase. This protein mixes smoothly and tastes great. That, combined with the effective macro split, makes this a great option for those looking for great flavor and effectiveness.

    Best Organic Protein Powder

    If you’ve ever found yourself walking down the protein aisle, you may have noticed that finding a protein with an organic designation isn’t the easiest. In case you’ve been struggling to find a high quality organic protein powder, we’ve got you covered.

    Kaged Plantein

    Kaged Muscle’s Plantein is our selection for best organic protein powder — it’s vegan-friendly and fully loaded with key organic ingredients. Its plant-based protein formula packs 26 grams of plant-based protein in every scoop, and is soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. This organic blend of pea protein, quinoa, and peanut flour also provides a high-protein, low-carb, low-fat macronutrient breakdown, similar to whey isolate.

    Also similar to whey, Plantein delivers a potent dose of all nine essential amino acids including 2.1 grams of leucine, which can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis. (3) The Ingredient Optimized® Technology can help improve digestibility to ensure you get the most out of every scoop. It’s available in three unique flavors, Peanut Butter Cookie, Banana Bread, and Cinnamon Roll.

    10% Off

    Kaged Muscle Plantein

    Kaged Muscle Plantein

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