I recommend protein powders to almost every personal training client that I work with, so naturally one of the most common questions I get is , “What protein powder do you recommend?”
Which Type of Protein Powder Should You Use?
My answer all depends on the person, their goal/body type and their preferences (usually women who want to lose weight, sometimes men who want to lose weight and gain size), but generally I like and recommend the protein supplements below. These include a variety of whey-based, vegan, and organic. These are all around 150 calories, which makes them great for losing or maintaining weight. But anyone wanting to gain size can easily take them in double doses for great results.
As a disclaimer before listing my faves, I always recommend whey protein isolate first due to its high quality, fast-digesting nature that’s loaded with amino acids. This makes it ideal for post-workout to build muscle. Whey protein concentrate is not as high quality, and lately I’ve been reading some research about cancer dangers associated with casein protein, which is another popular protein. For that reason, I have stopped using some really yummy, great protein powders that contain casein, otherwise they would have been listed here as well. 🙁
I use a mixture of brands and types to 1) Meet a particular need based on when I’m drinking it 2) To keep my taste buds happy and life interesting, and 3) To keep a variety in my diet which includes healthier organic options.
THE BEST PROTEIN POWDERS
Based on my personal preference, health profile, tastes, and needs…not in any particular order. Note: this post has been updated since the video included below. One protein has been removed and replaced with one I much more prefer now for health reasons.
Cinnamon Bun goodness got me hooked on this protein powder. Not just because it tastes great and works in oatmeal, baked goods, and as a post-workout refuel, but because it’s completely whey protein isolate. No blends, fillers, or cheap junk. Just whey protein isolate and a few other flavors like stevia for sweetness. I usually tell people to look for products that have as few ingredients as possible. Of course, many of those simple options taste like dirt, but not this one, which also mixes easily. This has less than 5 carbs, which I like for early morning pre-workouts or any time I’m trying to keep carbs low. You can get it from Amazon for about $30.
This is one of my newest faves due to the high quality contents and that it’s not just protein, but bone broth and collagen! Bone broth is a superfood, amazing for healing the gut. Collagen is also great for gut health as well as healing joints and good for your skin, hair, etc. The ingredients are super clean and good for you and it’s low calorie. As gross as bone broth might sound, the taste is actually great, at least the vanilla flavor I’ve used is, and they offer it in tons of flavors. I usually add some cocoa powder, cinnamon, stevia, and whatever else sounds good at the moment and blend it all together for a richer flavor. I’ll often add chia seeds as well for some extra nutrients. It mixes very easily and well. It’s the most expensive of any on this list, but well worth it for the quality.
This is my favorite of the all of these, which is saying a lot because all other vegan/vegetarian protein powders I’ve tried are thick and grainy and fairly bland. Orgain is the only plant-based protein I’ve tried that I genuinely love the flavor of, even more than many whey flavors. It tastes much more natural – not the fake, synthetic aftertaste that comes with most other proteins, because it’s only sweetened with stevia and monkfruit extract. That’s one big reason I like this is it doesn’t have sucralose or any other artificial sweetener. It also doesn’t have dairy, gluten, soy, or any GMOs. I prefer this for its all-organic, natural profile. I also prefer it for post-workout because it has 13 grams of carbs along with 20 grams of protein, since it’s important to get in both protein and carbs in after a weight-lifting workout. This is also under $30 at Amazon (which is much more affordable than most decent plant-based proteins).
This is a great option for those who want whey and all of its muscle-building benefits without the artificial stuff. It’s all organic from grass-fed cows, sweetened with Stevia and non-GMO. I like the Vanilla Bourbon (which basically just tastes like vanilla). Nothing to fancy, but has a nice, clean taste that you don’t get from artificially sweetened powders.
One other note about protein shakes is that I typically mix these powder with coconut, cashew, or almond milk. Almost all protein powders taste much better with milk rather than water. (I recommend avoiding cow’s milk, just a side note, since most people don’t digest it well, especially if it’s not organic).
Hope that’s helpful. Drop a comment if you have questions or need other ideas since quite often one size does not fit all!
This post contains affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. These bars are chosen my personal preference, not due to paid advertising.