Top 10 Best Protein Powders For Muscle Gains, Weight Loss & More (Sponsored)

* Please consult your primary care provider before starting any new supplement, to ensure if…

* Please consult your primary care provider before starting any new supplement, to ensure if they are right for you. 

(Ad) If you’ve never hit the protein powder display at your local gym—or navigated the hundreds of formulas and brands on offer online—you’re in for a treat.

Or a struggle, depending on how you feel about shopping.

But the struggle is worth it when you find the right protein powder for you.

A good protein powder can help you level up your health and move closer to your fitness goals for 2022.

The Top 10 Best Protein Powders Currently on the Market

Protein powder has a pretty simple job: to supplement your protein intake. Whether it’s to increase muscle mass, enhance athletic performance, or help you in your weight loss journey—everyone’s got their reasons.

The job of protein powders might be simple, but the selection process most definitely is not. There are a million and one protein powders on the market (with the 2022 releases hitting shelves nationwide as we speak).

How do you know which one is right for your needs?

And how do you know you need one at all?

Our panel of experts―seriously, we’re talking nutritionists, fitness gurus, and gym junkies―have put the top performing protein powder lines to the test.

For cost, protein per serving, overall nutritional value, taste, and benefits, these are the ones that made the cut.

Huge Whey – Best Protein Powder for Muscle Gains

SHOP HUGE WHEY

Type: Whey protein

Calories per serving: 130

Protein: 25 g

Carbs: 2.5 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fat: 2 g

Why We Love Huge Whey

Coming in first is Huge Supplements’ Whey protein powder. What makes this such an excellent option is that each scoop packs a whopping 25 grams of protein.

That’s a lot compared to the other protein powders out there. It’s very beneficial to have a high protein content, as it’s the building block for your muscles. Add it to your daily routine, and you’ll quickly notice the impact this product has.

Despite packing a large amount of protein, Huge Whey barely contains any carbohydrates or fats, making it the perfect product for those seeking muscle gains.

Right now, you’re able to buy Huge Whey directly from the Huge Supplements website. It’s very cost-effective as well, as a massive 30-serving tub of Huge Whey will only set you back roughly $40.

It comes in four different mouth-watering flavors: Cookies & Cream, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Vanilla Milkshake.

These flavors are much more exciting than the traditional flavor routes. Trust us when we say you won’t be disappointed by how this product tastes!

Huge Vegan Protein – Best Plant-Based Protein Powder

SHOP HUGE VEGAN

Type: Plant-based protein

Calories per serving: 109

Protein: 20 g

Carbs: 3 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fat: 1.5 g

Why We Love Huge Vegan Protein

If you’re looking for the best plant-based protein on the market, it’s time for you to meet Huge Vegan Protein. Each serving is roughly 110 calories and provides you with an enormous 20 grams of protein.

But what makes this a top-notch option is that it combines multiple vegan protein sources. That’s right―you’re getting a blend of mung bean, fava bean, rice, and pea.

Because this product combines these different sources, you’re getting a complete protein profile. That means you’re getting all the nine essential amino acids from this product, giving you plenty of benefits.

That’s exactly what you should be after when looking for a plant-based protein powder.

On top of that, it tastes beyond impressive for a plant-based product. Huge Vegan protein is available in five amazing flavors:

·         Birthday Cake

·         Cookies & Cream

·         Marshmallow Madness

·         Graham Cracker

·         Cinnamon Crunch

Having tried all these flavors, you can’t go wrong with any of them. With that said, Marshmallow Madness is our favorite―it’s delicious!

Huge Whey – Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss

SHOP HUGE WHEY

Type: Whey protein

Calories per serving: 120

Protein: 23 g

Carbs: 2.5 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fat: 2 g

Why We Love Huge Whey

Sure, we’ve already mentioned this one, but it’s worth another mention if you’re specifically in the market for a weight loss protein supplement.

Each flavor packs roughly 23 to 25 grams of protein and only about 130 calories, meaning you’re getting the majority of your calories from protein. This is perfect for weight loss, as it’ll help you stay full and prevent cravings.

Huge Whey protein powder is a convenient and delicious way to increase your protein intake—satisfying your appetite and shaving down those calories to get you trimmer, faster.

With one serving delivering roughly 130 calories and more than 5 grams of essential amino acids, it takes a little time to adjust to how decadent this stuff tastes.

As we’ve said earlier in the article, you can only buy Huge Whey from Huge Supplements or Amazon―whichever is your preference. Click here to visit the official product page.

Transparent Labs Whey Isolate – Best Grass-Fed Protein Powder

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Type: Whey isolate

Calories per serving: 120

Protein: 28 g

Carbs: 1 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fat: 0 g

Why We Love Transparent Labs Whey Isolate

Next up, we have Transparent Labs’ grass-fed whey isolate. First of all, it’s a good quality product, as Transparent Labs―the brains behind PreSeries Bulk Pre-Workout―takes a lot of care with their manufacturing. US-born and bred, the lab is certified FDA GMP-compliant.

Secondly, it tastes good. Not too sweet, but not bland. It blends well, with superior mixability even if you don’t have a blender to hand. We’ve test-driven this one in ye olde faithful shaker bottle with decent results—and no powdery dregs in the bottom of the bottle when we’re done.

Where Transparent Labs’ protein powder falls short is in the cost rating. This is one expensive tub, but with good reason.

Grass-fed whey isolate is expensive to start with, so when you factor in a stateside manufacturing facility and the high quality of the end product, it’s easy to see why you’re paying the extra few dollars.

Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass – Best Mass Gainer Protein Powder

SHOP SERIOUS MASS

Type: Whey protein & calcium caseinate blend

Calories per serving: 1,250

Protein: 50 g

Carbs: 250 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fat: < 5 g

Why We Love Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass

This is a beast of a mass gainer protein powder. Optimum Nutrition has crafted a powder to deliver serious bulk that stays true to its name. With a staggering 1,250 calories and 50 grams of protein per serving, you’ll stack on some serious pounds in minimal time.

Optimum Nutrition has used a combination of protein sources to deliver both fast and slow digesting benefits and packed in enough of a carb injection to support the most grueling workouts in your routine.

This protein powder is enhanced with creatine and glutamine to aid in muscle recovery, while the carb support can aid in replenishing your body’s glycogen stores.

Did we mention it tastes awesome?

With thousands of online reviews and a devoted following in the fitness community, this one is known to be easy to mix, smooth to drink, and without the bloat that comes with some mass gainers.

  

Dymatize Elite Casein – Best Casein Protein Powder

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Type: Casein protein

Calories per serving: 130

Protein: 25 g

Carbs: 3 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fat: 2 g

Why We Love Dymatize Elite Casein

Excellent macros and a competitive price for the experienced body builder. New to the game? That’s okay too—Dymatize Elite has factored in everything you need for a supremely balanced, tasty protein powder.

A full 25 grams of 100% micellar casein aids in prolonged muscle recovery, while 2.3 grams of L-leucine back up that muscle support. Sustained release amino acids help with muscle growth, making Dymatize Elite Casein a solid choice post-workout for overnight sustained muscle repair.

Dymatize also offers up their casein protein powder in a few different flavors. Rich Chocolate and Smooth Vanilla make ideal staples for a simple shake, a pudding, or a couple of pancakes, while Cinnamon Roll is best reserved for those with a serious sweet tooth.

The brand copped some heat early last year when some savvy buyers noted that the 4-pound container actually held less than 3 pounds of actual protein powder, but it looks like the issue was resolved by the end of 2021—our last purchase was pretty much spot on 4 pounds.

Naked Pea – Best Pea Protein Powder

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Type: Plant-based protein

Calories per serving: 120

Protein: 27 g

Carbs: 2 g

Sugar: 2 g

Fat: 0.5 g

Why We Love Naked Pea

True to its name, there’s only one ingredient in Naked Pea: pea protein. Essentially an extract of protein from US- and Canadian-grown yellow split peas, this is a protein source that’s easily utilized within the body—meaning it’s ideal as a vegan alternative to whey protein.

Zero additives, zero sweeteners, and independently tested for heavy metals, this is the king of pea protein offerings for the conscientious fitness enthusiast.

Not only is it minimal and nutritionally sound, but it’s got a perfect protein content for those looking to streamline their physique.

It might not be the best tasting protein powder on the market right now, but it’s virtually unbeatable as a plant-based muscle-building supplement.

 

Vital Proteins Original Collagen – Best Collagen Protein Powder

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Type: Collagen

Calories per serving: 70

Protein: 18 g

Carbs: 0 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fat: 0 g

Why We Love Vital Collagen

A bioavailable collagen peptides powder might not look like it belongs on this list, but hear us out. Loaded with beneficial ingredients to strengthen hair, nails, skin, joints, and ligaments, Vital Proteins has also managed to enhance their supplement with 18 grams of protein in a sugar-free, fat-free, carb-free form.

Being a collagen peptides powder, this is also flavorless, odorless, and free from dairy, gluten, and heavy metals. There’s no need to disguise it with fruit or milk—just dissolve it in your morning cup of joe and you’re ready to start your day.

If you’re looking for a reasonable boost to your protein intake but can be sensitive to weird tastes and textures, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides powder is the ultimate intro protein powder to enhance your fitness journey.

 

Naked Whey – Best Unflavored Protein Powder

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Type: Grass-fed whey protein

Calories per serving: 120

Protein: 25 g

Carbs: 3 g

Sugar: 2 g

Fat: 2 g

Why We Love Naked Whey

It’s rare to find a 100% grass-fed whey protein powder with no preservatives, no sweeteners, and no genetically modified additives. To really double down on their unique offering, NAKED has embraced cold processing for this whey protein powder to eliminate contaminants and heavy metals.

What does this mean for you?

In simple terms, a totally unflavored, genuinely naked whey protein source for muscle recovery and improved resilience.

NAKED Nutrition has always had a focus on high-performance protein powders, and this NAKED Whey really stays true to brand.

Jam-packed with essential amino acids (5.9 grams of BCAAs per serving) and a pure, natural protein source, you can trust that your muscles are getting the best support available on the open market.

Novapro Whey Isolate – Best Lactose-Free Protein Powder

SHOP NOVAPRO

Type: Whey protein isolate

Calories per serving: 120

Protein: 26 g

Carbs: 3 g

Sugar: <1 g

Fat: 0.5 g

Why We Love Novapro

How does Novapro Whey Isolate taste this good? With less than a gram of sugar and fat per serving, it doesn’t make sense that it tastes this rich, creamy, and delicious. Not only does it taste great, but it’s also keto friendly, gluten free, and lactose free.

Factor in that it delivers less than 3 grams of carbs—ideal for fitness enthusiasts embracing that low-carb lifestyle—and you’re looking at the gold standard of protein powders.

Novapro’s newest protein powder supports muscle recovery and reduces oxidative stress thanks to leucine, cysteine, glutamine, and glutathione. It drives your metabolism and boosts your immune system with sunflower lecithin.

It’s also US-made, meaning it’s formulated and crafted to FDA GMP compliance.

And even if you forget all that, it’s packed with enough protein to stave off hunger and drive your metabolism higher.

Ranking the Best Protein Powders of 2022

Can you tell we take protein powder seriously? We take our annual protein powder rankings seriously too.

Our team of dedicated judges is made up of athletes, fitness editors, and nutritionists to make sure we’ve got all the bases covered. We curate a list of the best protein powders for every fitness goal.

We’ll be honest with you: a lot of really good protein supplements don’t make the cut.

If they do, it’s because they excel in these key areas:

Protein Content

This one might seem obvious, but there’s more to protein content than meets the eye. It’s not all about the number of grams of protein per serving.

It’s also about the type of protein on offer, how it’s produced and sourced, and the quality of the manufacturing process.

Product Quality

It doesn’t stop there either. We also need to look at the macronutrient profile and the manufacturer’s history.

We dig into things like the amino acid profile of the protein powder blend. We check out the sweeteners used—with two of the most popular being stevia and monk fruit extract, which add exactly zero additional calories.

We also look at thickeners—like guar gum—which are used to help the powder bind with water and emulsify. Because nobody wants to start their day with a watery protein shake.

Taste & Flavor Options

Let’s face it—if it doesn’t taste good, are you even going to drink it? Some of the best protein powders on the market right now are going to waste because they just aren’t palatable.

Chalky, overly sweet, overly bitter, powdery, gritty, or just plain “weird tasting”―unless you’re that guy at the gym chugging his protein shake like it’s water, this one is going to be a deal-breaker.

At the same time, we like options, right? We’re big fans of protein powder lines that offer more than one flavor option (like Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass, with four awesome flavor profiles!).

Price

Finally, you’ve got to look at value. The cheapest protein powder isn’t necessarily the best value—just like the most expensive protein powder isn’t the best.

It’s all about analyzing price per serving, in conjunction with everything else.

What Does Protein Powder Do?

To answer this question properly, we’ve got to break it down a little.

First up: What does protein do?

Dietary protein provides the building blocks our bodies need to maintain their own proteins—building blocks called amino acids.

While we can get dietary protein from many sources—like beans, legumes, red meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products like yogurt and cheese—those also come with calories and fats that might throw us off our fitness track.

Protein powder, on the other hand, is an easy way to consume dietary protein without a bunch of calories, saturated fats, or sugars.

If gaining mass is your goal, mass gainer protein powders can also help you pack in enough calories and protein without having to force-feed yourself.

Protein powder is also helpful to those who require more protein than their diet can provide. Anyone who is recovering from surgery or illness or is dealing with appetite loss or injury is likely to require more protein than they can consume. In that case, supplemental protein powder can help.

Aside from convenience and ease of use, researchers have gone on record to list two other key benefits to using protein powder.

It Promotes Weight Loss

According to dietitians, protein powder can be a useful tool for achieving fat loss—provided it’s used properly.

In conjunction with a caloric deficit and an active lifestyle, protein powders can make a highly nutritious, low-calorie meal replacement. Let’s say you blend your protein powder of choice with a glass of skim milk each morning. Essentially, you’re replacing your usual breakfast with a 250 calorie shake that leaves you satiated.

A 2018 study of obese and overweight adults backed this up—those who replaced one meal a day with a protein shake lost an average of 9.5 lbs. over 12 weeks.

The control group—who didn’t use a meal replacement shake—lost only 0.5 lbs. on average.

Some nutritionists might argue that replacing a meal with any shake will support your weight loss—but there’s evidence that this isn’t totally true.

One study in particular—this one from 2008—proved that high-protein, low-carb meal replacement shakes led to increased fat loss when compared to high-carb, low-protein meal replacement shakes.

It Speeds Up Muscle Growth & Recovery

There’s a reason protein powders are such a major part of gym life: they’re good for muscle growth and recovery.

Long the domain of athletes and body builders, protein shakes have been used consistently to support building muscle mass and improving physical performance. But how does it work?

When we exercise, we stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) within the body—the process of building muscle mass.

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