The 6 Best Protein Powders in 2023

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Protein powders are an effective way so as to add useful dietary supplements to your weight loss program, particularly for those who’re aiming to enhance your health efficiency. Ideally, you wish to intention for 0.36 grams of protein per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of physique weight, and that is the place the most effective protein powders might help for those who’re not getting sufficient in your common weight loss program. Whereas it is true that some dietary supplements in the marketplace are sketchy at greatest, there are protected and dependable choices obtainable. 

If you happen to’re new to protein powders, it is useful to know that there are two widespread sorts to suit your wants: whey-based and plant-based. Although protein powders aren’t required, having the choice might help you add protein simply into your weight loss program. We examined many protein powders in the marketplace and narrowed it right down to the most effective whey and plant-based protein powders that you will take pleasure in. Try our high picks under. 

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/ ClassyBuzz


Huel is a brand that I spotted in a social media ad and it piqued my interest because of the variety it has to offer. The company has several product lines, including protein shakes and powders as well as meal replacement shakes. Each product includes 27 essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, carbs and other nutrients. It’s low-sugar and dairy-free.

Huel’s protein powder is made up of pea, faba and hemp powder. Even though the brand says its plant protein has a neutral flavor, I’d disagree because there is a distinct difference upon tasting it that makes it stand out compared to other plant-based proteins. After trying flavors from both the Black Edition and Complete Protein lines, I established that my favorite Huel flavor was the vanilla caramel flavor from the Complete Protein line. I blended it with iced coffee and oat milk and it tasted like a delicious specialty flavored iced latte you would order from your local coffee shop. I’m not even a fan of caramel, but I was impressed by the flavor profile and smooth consistency of the beverage. I also had no negative side effects and the aftertaste was minimal with this one.

One serving of Huel’s Complete Protein contains 20 grams of protein and 110 calories. This makes it an ideal drink to have post-workout or as a snack, but if you’re looking for something to hold you over a little longer, Huel’s Black Edition, Huel Powder and Ready-to-Drink options are considered complete meals, with 400 calories and extra protein.


Vanilla Caramel flavor blends well with coffee and milkWell thought-out, plant-based formula across all Huel’s productsIncludes probiotics, which is important for gut health


Expensive; it has to be acquired as part of a subscription or one-time purchase bundleFlavor isn’t as consistent across the Complete Protein and Black Edition lineHemp and faba may not be a favored plant-based ingredient for everyone

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/ ClassyBuzz

I’m particularly sensitive when it comes to whey-based protein powders, but was pleasantly surprised by Ascent’s take on protein powder. I’ve used this whey protein isolate powder consistently over the past year and have found no negative side effects. Whey protein isolate powder is a refined form of protein powder, making it ideal if you are just looking for a powder in its purest form. Ascent’s vanilla and chocolate flavors are delicious, stomach-friendly and have no weird aftertaste. They also blend well with other ingredients, such as fruits and leafy greens if you’re looking to boost your protein shakes. 

Ascent’s whey-based powders have 25 grams of protein per serving, consisting of 12 grams of essential amino acids (necessary for muscle health) and 2.7 grams of leucine (important to stimulate muscle growth). They’re gluten-free and use stevia as a sweetener instead of sugar. If you’re looking for a low-carb, no-added-sugar and easy-to-mix whey-based powder (with water or milk) then you’ll love this product. 


Blends well with different milks and waterNo negative gastrointestinal side effects during my testsGood flavored whey protein isolate option


Expensive ($42) for a two-pound bag and requires a subscription or one-time purchase on websiteNo price difference through third-party sellers Flavor variety is slightly lacking


Giselle Castro-Sloboda/ ClassyBuzz

I like the option of having an unflavored protein powder because you can build your own flavor around it, without sacrificing the protein component. Myprotein’s Impact Whey Isolate powder has the ideal profile to do just that. 

One serving of Myprotein Impact Whey Isolate has 23 grams of protein and is made up of 90 percent protein with less than one gram of carbohydrates. Myprotein’s unflavored Impact Whey Isolate Powder is undetectable if you mix it with other ingredients, which is a good option if you typically don’t like the aftertaste of some protein powders. 

You can also have it on its own by mixing it with water if you are simply taking the supplement to get extra protein into your diet. Another plus was that it didn’t upset my stomach, which, for me, is always a risk with any whey-related products. For the more adventurous, Myprotein also offers many different flavors of its Impact Whey Isolate Powder. 


Ideal for whoever wants protein in its purest formNo negative gastrointestinal side effects for the writerUnflavored variety allows you to blend different flavor profiles


Can only be purchased through official siteExpensive


If you want a protein powder that is plant-based, reliable and can be bought in bulk, Orgain Organic Protein is your best bet. I’ve used this protein powder for over two years now and have only had a positive experience. The plant-based powder provides 21 grams of protein that’s made up of pea, brown rice and chia seeds and contains 150 calories per serving. 

This protein powder can be found at Costco and is sold in bulk in about a three-pound tub. This tub usually lasts me several months. The standard flavor I go with is Orgain’s Creamy Chocolate Fudge because it tastes good as a blend on its own and mixes easily into oatmeal or yogurt. If you’re a chocolate lover and follow a plant-based diet, you can’t go wrong with this protein powder option. 


AffordableExcellent tasteEasy to mix in milk, water or other bases


Limited flavors available in bulkSome people might find chocolate too sweet

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/ ClassyBuzz

Ghost’s protein powder flavor variety brought me back to my childhood — without all the extra sugar. Ghost is a lifestyle nutrition brand that’s figured out how to turn popular cookie brands such as Chips Ahoy, Oreos and Nutter Butter into protein powders. Ghost’s flavors are all whey-based and have a taste reminiscent of the real cookies. The Chips Ahoy flavor consists of real chocolate chips, the Nutter Butter version will appease any peanut butter lover, and the Oreo variety has actual pieces of the cookie in the powder. 

When I tried these, I kept it simple and mixed the powder with dairy-free milk and was delighted at how the flavors reminded me of my favorite cookies. Despite having 25 grams of protein a serving (and less than 6 grams of sugar), it doesn’t remind me of a standard protein shake; instead it tastes like a milkshake. This product does include artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, so be mindful if your stomach tends to be sensitive when you consume these types of additives. 

I was also impressed by Ghost’s vegan options like Chocolate Cereal Milk, which reminded me of the sweetened leftover milk created by Cocoa Puffs cereal. Ghost’s vegan proteins have 20 grams of protein per serving and are made up of pea, organic pumpkin and watermelon seed protein. 

I’d recommend Ghost’s protein powders to someone who is bored with the traditional protein powder flavors. Compared to the other brands on the list, Ghost is the most creative with its flavors and also adds a nostalgic element by letting you relive your childhood breakfasts. 


Unique flavor varietyHas whey and vegan optionsCreamy and full of flavorCan be found at third-party retailers for less


Some selections may be too sweet for some peopleArtificial sweeteners may cause gastrointestinal issues 

Giselle Castro-Sloboda/ ClassyBuzz

Myprotein’s latest protein powder line, Whey Forward, has a unique twist. It created a whey-based protein that has animal-free dairy protein. To achieve this it fermented tiny organisms called microflora to convert them into dairy-identical protein. This makes the protein more sustainable and environmentally friendly since it was developed without the use of cows. 

So far Whey Forward has only three flavors: Decadent Chocolate Brownie, Creamy Mint Chocolate Chip and Rich Salted Caramel. It has 20 grams of protein per serving, and I was pleased with the flavor selections. Normally I gravitate toward chocolate-flavored powders, but among this line my favorites were the Creamy Mint Chocolate Chip and Rich Salted Caramel. I especially liked that the former had pieces of chocolate chip in the mixture. 

I found the flavors to be rich and creamy when blended, and they weren’t overwhelmingly sweet. Another plus is that there was no bad aftertaste or gastrointestinal discomfort. Myprotein may be onto something by creating a whey-based protein in a more sustainable way. 


Environmentally friendly formulaInexpensiveNo aftertaste


Lack of flavorsCan only be purchased through official retailerLess protein per serving than other whey-based protein powder

Other protein powders we tried

Ladder Whey Protein: I tried blending Ladder’s vanilla-flavored whey-based protein powder in my usual protein shake mix; unfortunately it was not my favorite. The ingredients left my drink grainy and the aftertaste overpowered the vanilla flavor of the powder. 

Ascent Plant-Based Protein Powder: I named Ascent’s whey-based protein powder as one of my favorites on the list so I was excited to try its newest plant-based addition. This version did not taste as good as its whey counterpart, and I think the formula could use some improvement starting with its texture, which was on the thicker and grainier side. 

How we picked

Flavor profile: We taste-tested to see if the flavor is reminiscent of the real deal, such as chocolate or vanilla. In addition, we made sure there wasn’t a bad aftertaste or negative texture to the beverage.

Ingredients: We looked at ingredients to see if they include additional minerals and nutrients to support the protein profile. We also checked for unnecessary or questionable additives.

Grams of protein: We made sure that the products had at least 20 grams of protein per serving.

Side effects: We observed whether gastrointestinal issues arose, because they can be a potential side effect to consuming supplements with whey or artificial sugars.

Factors to consider

Make sure to read the ingredient label on a bag of protein — especially if you have lactose intolerance, or a sensitivity to dairy or artificial sweeteners.Some protein powders can be expensive and come in big tubs and bags. Few brands offer sample sizes, which can be the downside to committing to a product you haven’t yet tried.If you plan on purchasing online, check the return policy in case the protein is not the right match for you.Whey concentrate and whey isolate commonly make up whey-based proteins. The difference is in the way they are processed, with whey isolate having more protein but less fat and carbs. Plant-based protein predominant elements are usually a mixture of pea, brown rice, hemp, pumpkin seeds or soy. 

Protein powder FAQs

What do you have to search for when looking for protein powders?

The FDA would not regulate dietary supplements, corresponding to protein shakes and powders, however a great way to be sure to’re getting a high quality protein powder is by checking which manufacturers are examined by third-party firms. These embody NSF International or Informed Choice certifications. 

Is whey-based protein powder higher than plant-based ones?

Whey-based protein powder is remoted from whey and comprises lactose. It’s thought-about the gold customary for muscle development as a result of it’s a full protein, that means it has all 9 important amino acids. Plant-based protein powder is just thought-about an entire protein whether it is made up of soy. Nonetheless there are lots of plant-based powders made up of peas, hemp and pumpkin that, when mixed, type an entire protein with all important amino acids and branched-chain amino acids. With plant-based powders, keep away from ones which have added sugars or fillers. Even be aware of any allergy symptoms or sensitivities to particular elements. 

Do you’ll want to drink protein powders?

It is essential to do not forget that dietary supplements are supposed to assist a balanced weight loss program and shouldn’t be used as an alternative to actual meals. You needn’t drink protein powders if you’re getting sufficient protein all through the day. Nonetheless, they’re useful for those who want an on-the-go possibility to satisfy your protein quota.

Are there any unfavourable unwanted side effects from taking protein powder?

If you happen to’re lactose illiberal or delicate to dairy, whey-based protein powders is probably not the only option as a result of they will upset your abdomen. Moreover, some protein powders might include synthetic sweeteners or elements which will additionally trigger bloating or different gastrointestinal points, so it is essential to learn the diet labels first. 

The info contained in this text is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as well being or medical recommendation. At all times seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you might have a couple of medical situation or well being goals.

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