What Is The Best Protein Powder? Our Top 10


Protein powders/shakes are used by hundreds and thousands of bodybuilders, weight trainers and athletes around the world and with advertising campaigns that promise vast increases in muscle growth and strength, it is easy to see why they are so popular. The problem is that there must be hundreds, if not thousands of different protein powders on the market as every major health and fitness brand has jumped on the protein shake bandwagon over the past few years. Because of this, determining exactly what is the best protein powder from the huge choice available is now harder than ever but luckily, we’re here to help.


How Do We Determine What Is The Best Protein Powder?

There are a number of factors that we can analyse to help determine which is the best protein powder on the market but to some extent, the best protein powder is always going to be subjective. This is because it will often come down to taste. There are a lot of different flavours on the market from a variety of brands so it comes as no surprise that all of these protein shakes are going to vary slightly when it comes to taste.

However, taste is just one of the factors we take into account when trying to establish what is the best protein powder as there are a number of technical factors such as price, protein content and even digestibility to take into account. Here are a few of the factors we looked at to create our best protein powder list.

- Taste
- Protein Content
- Digestibility
- Price
- Ergogenic Nutrient Inclusion (e.g. Creatine)
- Amino Acid Profile
- Protein Powder Composition


What Is The Best Protein Powder?

As we said, it is very difficult to establish whether or not there is one particular protein powder that is the absolute best as there are just so many on the market. However, there are a handful of contenders out there which is why we have created our top 10 best protein powders list (in no particular order).


#1 – MyoFusion Probiotic Protein Powder


Gaspari; the company behind MyoFusion Probiotic sell a range of protein powders and other nutritional supplements and over the past few years, they have established a good reputation in the nutritional supplement market. MyoFusion Probiotic has to be one of the best, if not the best protein powder on the market today.

Each serving is packed with a massive 24 grams of protein,  9 grams of essential Amino Acids to aid in muscle recovery and absolutely no Gluten or Aspartame. It tastes great, mixes easily (you just need cold water and a spoon) and is composed from six Amino Acid packed sources of protein including Whey Protein Concentrate, Casein Milk Protein Isolate and Egg Albumin.

It also contains absolutely no artificial colouring and comes in a range of interesting flavours including Milk Chocolate, Cookies & Cream, Strawberries & Cream, Cinnamon Roll and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Of course, you can get it in a regular Vanilla flavour too.

Price: $54.99 (5lb tub)
Price Per Serving:
$0.87 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: Gaspari Nutrition (Official) or Amazon.


#2 – ON 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder


Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Gold Standard protein powder has been created using Whey Protein Isolates as the primary protein source. Whey Protein Isolates are 90% pure protein in terms of their weight which makes them the most pure and costly form of Whey protein on the market. Because these Isolates are so densely populated with protein, 100% Whey Gold Standard contains 24 grams of pure, muscle building protein with every serving.

Not only this, but due to the purity of the protein, there is a lot less fat, lactose and cholesterol than a lot of the other protein powders on the market. It also contains over 5 grams of essential muscle building Amino Acids and over 4 grams of Glutamine and Precursors. Whey protein is extremely fast-acting, allowing you to get your protein fix almost instantaneously; there is only 1 gram of fat per serving too.

100% Whey Gold Standard has also been designed to instantly mix with only a spoon and comes in more than 15 great tasting flavours including Cake Batter, Cookies & Cream, Rocky Road, Double Rich Chocolate, Coffee, Tropical Punch and even Mocha Cappuccino.

Price: $53.99 (5lb tub)
Price Per Serving:
$0.68 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: Optimum Nutrition Store (Official) or Amazon.


#3 – USN Muscle Fuel STS


USN Muscle Fuel STS supplies the body with quality protein that has been obtained from five different protein sources, allowing muscle recovery time to be sped up and muscle stiffness to be eased. The formula also ensures that the body properly absorbs the quality protein using an advanced time release system making it perfect for accelerating the rebuilding of muscle tissue following an intense workout.

USN Muscle Fuel STS is also marketed by the company as a meal replacement shake that is highly suited to those with limited time to prepare meals or those with poor nutrition habits.

Unlike many other protein shakes on the market, USN Muscle Fuel STS is a relatively well-balanced meal replacement shake containing 44 grams of protein, 49 grams of carbohydrates and just 4 grams of fat per serving (2 scoops). It is also naturally high in BCAA’s and Glutamine as well as Biotin and a range of vitamins.

Although we would never recommend replacing a nutritious, healthy meal with any form of high protein shake (you can find out more about why a protein shake might be bad for you as a meal replacement here), if you really do insist on doing so, this is probably one of the best protein powders to opt for due to its high protein, carbohydrate, amino acid and vitamin content. It is also low in sugar and is great for increasing your metabolism. It’s pretty filling too.

USN Muscle Fuel STS comes in a few flavours including Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla. Unfortunately, it is currently quite hard to get hold of outside the UK (you can get it shipped to the US from LangtonInfo.com though). USN Muscle Fuel STS is one of the more expensive protein powders on our list.

Price: £82.99 UK (5kg tub)
Price Per Serving:
£1.74 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: USN.co.uk Store (Official) or Amazon.


#4 – Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder


If you’re looking for a high quality, anti-catabolic protein powder with a slow-absorption rate then look no further than Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Casein Protein Powder. Unlike whey protein, casein proteins are much slower in terms of their digestion rate which allows protein to be released slowly. Casein protein powders are perfect for those looking for a night-time protein source that will aid in muscle recovery and muscle protection.

Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Casein Protein Powder has to be one of the best casein protein powders on the market due to its high protein content (24g per serving) and anti-catabolic properties. It also contains over 9 grams of BCAA’s, Glutamine and Glutamine Precursors per serving.

Casein protein in its very nature is more expensive than whey protein as the cost of extraction is much higher. Casein protein powders are also notoriously poor tasting but Optimum Nutrition has done a great job with their 100% Casein Protein Powder as it tastes particularly great when mixed with a low-fat milk.

Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Casein Protein Powder comes in a variety of flavours including Banana Cream, Chocolate Cake Batter, Chocolate Supreme and Creamy Vanilla.

Price: $99.49 (4lb tub)
Price Per Serving:
$1.77 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: Optimum Nutrition Store (Official) or Amazon.


#5 – Boditronics Express Whey Protein Powder


Boditronics Express Whey offers a blend of some of the best quality Bio-available proteins as well as high levels of L-Glutamine and BCAA’s, which are essential for overall muscle growth and mass gains. One of the main differentiating factors between Boditronics Express Whey and many of the other protein powders currently available on the market is the inclusion of Prebiotics to ensure that healthy digestion is actively promoted.

Although primarily a whey protein powder, Boditronics Express Whey also includes an optimum amount of Misceller Casein protein to ensure that many muscle-building amino acids are released slowly after the Whey digestion window. It is this that makes Boditronics Express Whey one of the best protein powders for consumption both post-workout and at almost any other time of the day.

High Glutamine levels in the Boditronics Express Whey formula ensure that muscle growth and recovery are promoted and that valuable muscle tissue does not succumb to the catabolic process that can often occur after intense resistance training. It also has a huge 34g of protein per 45g serving.

Boditronics Express Whey comes in Rich Chocolate, Strawberries and Cream, Banana Split, Peanut Toffee, Raspberry Ripple and a range of other mouth-watering flavours.

Price: $31.98 (2lb tub)
Price Per Serving:
$1.60 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: Boditronics Store (Official) or Amazon.


#6 – Gaspari IntraPro Protein Powder


Here we have another great protein powder; IntraPro. Created by Gaspari, this protein shake offers one of the highest protein per scoop rations of any protein powder on the market today with a massive 25g per scoop. IntraPro has been designed to offer bodybuilders and athletes exactly what they want; a high protein, high quality, slow dispersing whey protein supplement that tastes great.

IntraPro has been designed to be anti-catabolic in its nature meaning that it is great for use at any time of the day; before/after a workout or even as a meal replacement if needed. IntraPro is packed to the brim with vitamins and minerals while still being low in carbohydrates and sugar. It has been designed to be used by both male and females, athletes and bodybuilders or anyone else with an active lifestyle with a requirement for a recovery-promoting protein powder.

Gaspari IntraPro is available in a number of flavours including Strawberries and Cream, Double Chocolate and Delicious Vanilla.

Price: $57.99 (5lb tub)
Price Per Serving:
$0.92 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: Gaspari Nutrition (Official) or Amazon.


#7 – BSN Syntha 6 Protein Powder


BSN Syntha 6 is one of the leading protein powders currently on the market and it is easy to see why. Syntha 6 is created from 6 different sources of protein, each with individual digestion rates and amino acid profiles. One of the great things about this combination is that it ensures your muscles have a great source of protein for up to 8 hours, making Syntha 6 a great protein powder for any time of the day; morning or night.

Syntha 6 is also rich in BCAA’s, Glutamine peptides and Aminogen which allows for increased digestion. It is also packed with essential fatty acids and contains 5 grams of fibre per serving for even greater digestion. With just 200 calories and 6 grams of fat per serving, Syntha 6 is great for anyone on a low-calorie, high-protein diet. Syntha 6 contains 22 grams of protein per 47.2 gram serving as well as 14 grams of carbohydrates, meaning that it can be used as a well-balanced meal replacement if you are really short of time.

Syntha 6 is also a great tasting protein shake and comes in a variety of flavours including Banana, Orange Smoothie, Chocolate, Caramel Latte and of course, regular Vanilla.

Price: $48.99 (5lb tub)
Price Per Serving:
$1.02 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: BSN Online (Official) or Amazon.


#8 – CytoSport Cyto Gainer Protein Powder


CytoSport is yet another well-known brand in the world of protein shakes and sports supplements and their Cyto Gainer protein powder is one of the few protein shakes suited to those hardgainers out there. Cyto Gainer is an extremely high calorie protein powder with 570 calories per serving, making it perfect for those that need to get their extra calories from the most high quality source they possibly can. It also contains a staggering 54 grams of protein per serving with 75 grams of carbohydrate too.

Cyto Gainer is made up of the most high quality Whey protein sources and complex-carbs whilst being extremely low in fat and sugar. Cyto Gainer is perfect for consuming after those high intensity workout sessions as it contains rapidly digestible protein and slow-release carbohydrates. Having said this, it is also a great choice for a high protein supplement with any meal, especially breakfast.

Cyto Gainer comes in Strawberries and Cream, Chocolate Malt, Vanilla Cream, Banana, Chocolate Malt and Cookies ‘n’ Cream.

Price: $42.03 (6lb tub)
Price Per Serving:
$1.16 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: CytoSport Store (Official) or Amazon.


#9 – Met-Rx 100% Natural Whey Protein Powder


One of the interesting things about protein powders and shakes is that they are not regulated. In fact, a lot of protein powders have been found to include traces of anabolics or prohormones which if used, can often lead to the failure of drug tests for the consumer. However, one protein powder that is NCAA compliant and is extremely pure in terms of ingredients is Met-Rx 100% Natural Whey Protein Powder.

Met-Rx 100% Natural Whey Protein offers a quality source of whey protein whilst also being 100% natural. The protein powder offers 23 grams of protein per serving as well as 5 grams of BCAA’s; great for consuming post-workout. It is also low in sodium and goes through a specialised filtration process that lowers total cholesterol, saturated fat, lactose and carbohydrates whilst maintaining the presence of natural proteins.

Met-Rx 100% Natural Whey Protein is available in two flavours, Chocolate and Vanilla.

Price: $63.99 (5lb tub)
Price Per Serving:
$0.94 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: MetRX Store (Official) or Amazon.


#10 – Dorian Yates Formass Protein Powder


Dorian Yates has previously held the title of Mr. Olympia a total of six times and is a highly respected, well-known name around the world. His knowledge of nutrition and training is second to none and he now has his own range of nutritional supplements, one of which is the Formass protein powder.

The name Formass pretty much explains itself; it has been created for anyone looking to increase their intake of high quality protein and carbohydrate in order to gain muscle mass, maintain their current body weight, improve recovery times or any combination of the three. Formass is packed with six, high-quality carbohydrates and contains a massive 50 grams of protein per serving as well as 88 grams of carbohydrate and a total of 680 calories.

Formass is designed for those looking for a high-calorie, high-protein and high-carb supplement for consumption after intense workouts. It is available in Chocolate, Vanilla, Banana and Strawberry.

Price: $59.99 (5lb tub)
Price Per Serving:
$2.00 (approx. per serving)
Where to Buy: Dorian Yates Nutrition (Official) or Amazon.

  • http://www.jordanspacejams2u.com/ Jordan

    The article is worth reading,Thank you very much! I will keep your new articles

    • admin

      Thanks Jordan, much appreciated and thanks for reading. Good luck on your muscle gaining quest!

  • http://www.muska-posla.com Bodybuilder

    I was just wondering your take on my supplement regiment
    Right now I’m taking Myofusion (by Gaspari) for my morning shake
    Pure isolate whey protein (by muscle gauge nutrition) for my post workout shake and gold standard 100% casein (by optimum nutrition)…
    Also I was wondering if it would be beneficial to switch out the myofusion for premium protein blend (by muscle gauge nutrition) so I could have some spare money to add a Creatine Monohydrate like the one Dymatize makes (top seller) and possibly a Micronized L-Glutamine Powder such as the one Dymatize makes (again a top seller)
    Or if you think something would be beneficial for me to tale instead please let me know
    Thank you very much for your time.
    Sinserly a bodybuilder in training

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368 amazinjosh

      Hi there,

      Thanks for the question. Regarding the answers, it’s difficult to tell. It’s hard to recommend protein shakes for others as it really depends what works for you. If your current arrangement is working, then don’t bother switching! If not, give a few others a shot, there are plenty of great ones on the market out there (such as the ones on my top 10 list!).

      The only other thing I would say is don’t focus too much on protein powders. One in the morning and post-workout is great but I’d probably limit it to that (or at least no more than one more each day!). Remember that protein shakes aren’t a magic formula, you still need to eat well (i.e. food that’s high in protein and carbs, low in fat and no processed cr*p!).

      If you continue to eat well, drink a couple of supplements a day and exercise regularly, you should see results!

      Hope that helps.

  • http://non dddd

    I an looking for a supplement that will help to get lean body mass and also to loss body fat please help me..

    • admin

      Hi, thanks for your comment.

      Almost all supplements on our list will help with this as they will provide protein which will aid in repairing your muscles after a workout. However, you must remember that losing body fat and building muscle isn’t as simple as taking a supplement, it requires hard work and dedication (i.e. a lot of time at the gym and a good diet). Basically, don’t rely on supplements too much. Protein shakes are great for helping but they are by no means absolutely necessary.


  • Juan C


    i just read your blog and i decided on buying your number two suggestion. i do cross fit everyday and i also lift weights or run.so i pretty much work out twice a day. i just started taking supplements. i take vitamins from vitamin world and was taking nitrotech protein. since i haven’t seen any website recommend them, i am going to switch to another brand. my question is: should i also take Creatine Monohydrate, which one do you recommend? will it help me recover faster. basically my concern is to build more muscle and to help my body recover faster so that i dont get injured. any suggestions? thank you!

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368 amazinjosh

      Hi Juan,

      I’m glad you enjoy the blog! :)

      First of all, I’d have to say you shouldn’t be lifting weights every day, especially not combined with cross fit! You don’t want to overtrain you need to remember that muscle is actually built during the rest period, not during the workout.

      Also, vitamins are good, but if possible, try and get them from natural sources rather than supplements. It’s much better to have a piece of fruit or a smoothie than a vitamin supplement; the same goes with protein (i.e. get it from chicken, eggs etc).

      In regards to Creatine, I wouldn’t like to make a recommendation as I personally don’t use it, although it can be good for increasing performance. Essentially, it may help with recovery times and give you a bit of an energy boost but I’d say you’re working out too much as it is. I’d cut it down a little and make sure your ordinary diet is as good as it can possibly be before pumping more supplements in to your body.

      Remember, real food always wins.

      I hope that helps,

  • Angelo

    Have you tried MAXPRO ALL-NATURAL VANILLA CREAM by Max Muscle? I ask because I have been using Now Foods Isolate and walked into a Max Muscle store and they seem to have a few good products such as ARM but I’m not totally convinced as their products are pricey. Are you familiar with this company?

    • admin

      Hi Angelo,

      Personally, I haven’t tried this, so I wouldn’t really like to make a recommendation to you. However, I did have a brief look online and it looks pretty promising. If you give it a shot, I’d love to hear the results (good or bad) so feel free to comment or contact me! I did stumble across this article which tells you a bit more about the product too: http://www.livestrong.com/article/479066-the-ingredients-in-maxpro-whey/


  • http://www.bodybuilding365.net/ helmuth

    i think 40 grams of protein is ok … i eat vegan and i do very well eating less than 40 grams of protein a day from vegetables sources

    • admin


      I’ll be honest, 40 grams of protein doesn’t sound like much at all. Are you a bodybuilder? What are your measurements? I guess some people’s bodies build muscle without much effort so you might be one of the lucky ones!


  • Angelo

    Hey Josh, went down and bought the all natural vanilla MaxPro, VBX(Pre-workout),ARM(Post) yesterday. I am 36 and have been working out for most of my adulthood with no intended goal. That has changed and now my goal is to have a more natural bodybuilding physique resembling a fitness model. I have tried No-Shotgun, NO and some others for Pre-workout without much success other than getting itchy skin, gitters and lack of focus. The VBX got me threw a very intense workout without side effects. The ARM seems to be good “hard to say” but I don’t feel like I’m starving after drinking it. The Max Pro tastes pretty good but I can chug any protein drink. What I like about this is the fact it’s not loaded with garbage found in most proteins. Getting 20% on these products helps make the high price a little more palatable. None of this stuff works if you don’t put in the Max effort. ;)

    -40grams of protein per day will not help maintain quality muscle.

    • admin

      Hi Angelo,

      Thanks for the update. And I agree that it’s all pointless if you aren’t putting in “Max effort” as you point out. So many people think that supplements are the answer to everything when really, they won’t make the slightest bit of difference if you don’t have an already healthy/high-protein diet and a great workout routine.

      And I agree that 40 grams of protein is not going to be much use for building or maintaining muscle either, at least not for guys.


  • Stark


    I used to workout when I was younger but stopped after a sports injury and never had the motivation to go back. Now I’ve gotten over that hump, and I plan on going back soon and getting really serious about it. I’ve been reading up on protein supplements and peoples regimes. One conclusion that I’ve come to is that a lot of people are in a bit of a protein supplement “frenzy”, and disregarding the value of real food and proper dieting. For example, they have a supplement in the morning, something pre-workout, something post work-out, casein at night, and maybe something miscellaneous every so often during the day if they can’t make a meal. Isn’t this kind of overkill? I mean, wouldn’t it be better to have a healthy diet and stick to it, along with having a protein supplement immediately after your workout to maximize muscle building? That’s on top of being 100% consistent with your workout regime.

    Based on my observations and research, I have come up with the following plan – I’d like to run it by you to see what you think. It will be pretty simple – basically adopting a healthy 7-day diet, and using Jack3d pre-workout to maximize performance and taking Gold Standard 100% Whey immediately after. Since I’m incredibly out of shape, I plan on doing a full body workout to cut down on fat (I’m probably 20/30 lbs overweight) and build up all around strength since I’m not strong at all right now. Once I’ve built a solid foundation, I plan on switching to splits. I’ve also been thinking about doing cardio a couple of times a day until I get back to the “fit” category. Then cutting it down to once a day just to maintain and not end up looking like a skeletal cardio maniac.

    How does that all sound to you? On the right track? Any recommendations? Thank you very much in advance.

    And sorry for the long post! :)

    • admin


      No problem with the long post!

      It’s great that you’re getting back into working out. I completely agree with you about the whole “supplement” thing; people are far too reliant on them and many people view them as a magic solution to getting the body they want. This isn’t the case. Protein shakes and supplements are great if you’re looking to “supplement” an already existing, healthy diet. I wouldn’t recommend that people drink more than a couple of protein shakes a day and if a proper, high-protein diet isn’t in place, it’s pretty pointless anyway.

      I don’t have any experience using Jack3d, so I couldn’t possibly recommend either way regarding that but I have read about potential dangers with it, so make sure to properly research it and be careful. My only advice would be that if you have a good workout routine, healthy diet and take a protein shake here and there, it might not be necessary anyway.

      Your healthy diet and workout routine sound fine; these are the most important aspects anyway. I personally use Gold Standard 100% Whey (the Chocolate one) and I find that it not only works well (hence making it to my top 10 list), but also tastes pretty good.

      Remember, make sure you’re eating plenty (especially protein) even if you’re trying to lose weight at the same time as bulking up. Don’t overdo it with the cardio as you’ll naturally lose fat as you become leaner anyway as your metabolic rate will increase.

      I hope that helps.


  • Stark

    Helped me a lot, thank you. :)

    • admin

      No problem mate! Glad I could help!

  • Stark

    Oh one more question: I read somewhere that your body can make use of only 50g of protein at a time, but you should be taking 1g of protein for every 2lb of weight…? I’m a bit confused on this. What’s the truth behind this? What exactly is that “time”? 4 hours? less, more? And since there are 24g of protein in each scoop of gold standard, does that mean I should be taking 2 scoops at a time?

    So basically I’m confused on the stats part of protein intake and how many scoops I should be taking. If the 50g thing is true then taking more than 2 is a waste, but if it isn’t and the 1g per 2lb thing is, then I should be taking almost 100g, but that sounds excessive.

    Thanks again. :)

    • admin

      I’ve seen articles that say 50g of protein at a time and some that say as high as 100g an hour. To be honest, even I’m not sure what the answer is but personally, I only have one scoop of the Gold Standard Whey Protein powder at a time (although I am pretty light).

      I’d personally recommend no more than a couple of scoops of this at a time as you have to remember that it’s also whey protein, which is absorbed very quickly by the body. It might be best if you also have a different source of protein at the protein shake.

      You also need to think about your macros; how much protein do you need per day? If you only needed 200g of protein per day, it would be crazy to consume 100g in one go, so take this into account.


  • randy

    I am 60, walk at 4 mph every day and work out every day for 45 minutes. I am 6’4 235 and although I did a lot of lifting when younger, I haven’t been in the gym a lot until recently. So, how much protein do I need. I’d like to keep my muscle mass but lose about 10 pounds. At 60, my muscles don’t respond the way they used to so I don’t want to be unrealistic. thanks

    • admin

      Hi Randy,

      Thanks for your comment. It’s difficult to say as there’s no exact formula, everyone is different but you have to remember, you’re body will need a certain amount of calories per day. Protein should account for a good portion of these calories if you’re looking to maintain/build muscle. It’s going to depend how much you workout as to how many calories you need every day.

      I recommend you plug your info into a calculator like this one: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-metabolism-calculator – you can fill in how active you are too and it’ll give you a rough guide as to how many calories you need per day to maintain current weight. If you try and consume around that many calories (or slightly less if you want to lose weight) but get a good chunk of them from high quality sources of protein (such as these: http://www.iwantasixpack.com/81-high-protein-foods-for-a-high-protein-diet/) then you should be able to build muscle and also, lose that last bit of body fat if you’re doing the right things in the gym.

      I hope that helps!


  • http://www.topbrandfitness.com Gman

    Great article. The word best is very broad. It has to replaced with beneficial according to you. I have tried almost all of these an it really depends on your goals and what you like taste wise. BSN and ON are good. These are all top brands. Check us out for more options and best of luck to all.

    • admin

      Hi Gman,

      Thanks for your kind words! I agree with your comment; it’s very difficult to define the actual “best” protein powder as it can vary on so many aspects. I personally use ON Gold Standard Whey as I think it tastes great and works well.


  • Tarek

    Please could you inform me if there is any side effects of using protein powders and amino acids related to blood pressure.

    Many thanks

    • admin

      Hi Tarek,

      Good question! Whey protein is generally considered to lower blood pressure slightly for most people, so if you have high blood pressure it can (in certain cases) be a beneficial natural treatment. However, it doesn’t have this effect on everyone. My personal thoughts would be that in terms of side effects, unless you already have low blood pressure, whey protein isn’t going to cause any kind of negative effect; it would be positive if anything.

      I’d also suggest that so long as you don’t go overboard with protein powders, amino acids or other supplements, you’ll be fine. 1 – 2 protein shakes a day is plenty if you’re working out, you should get the rest of your required protein from high quality food sources (e.g. eggs, meat, fish etc).

      I did write a post on the side effects of protein powder, which you can see here: http://www.iwantasixpack.com/whey-protein-powder-side-effects/

      By the way, I should note that I’m not a qualified doctor or nutritionist, so please don’t take my advice as absolute medical advice. You should consult your doctor if you’re concerned about introducing protein shakes/supplements into your diet.

      I hope that helps,

  • Nikki

    Hello, just wondering will these aid me in building muscle while doing insanity. I do not want to lose more than 15 pounds, my real goal is to turn all my fat into muscle….I know it doesn’t work that way. I just want to know what would be the best shake to give me the calories, proteins, fat, and nutrients i need to bulk up during insanity.

    • admin

      Hi Nikki,

      Almost any of the protein shakes I’ve mentioned on this list will help you to build muscle whilst doing Insanity or any other workout program, as they’re all pretty high quality.

      All you need to do is figure out your daily macronutrient + calorie requirements and look at how much of that you’re getting from your regular diet. If you aren’t getting enough protein, opt for a protein shake but don’t overdo it. You have to remember that a protein shake should serve only as a supplement to your regular diet, which is why you need to know your macro requirements.

      Most of the shakes on this list contain around the same amount of protein per serving and the same amount of calories (unless you opt for a high carb one such as the Dorian Yates Formass one) so they’re all good choices. Personally, I like the taste of the Gold Standard Whey powder as this is what I personally use, but that’s just personal preference.

      I hope that helps.

      Stay lean,

  • david

    hello…I want to start using protein powder. which one would you recommend ? Myotein or nito-tech ?

    • admin

      Hi David,

      I have to be honest, I haven’t tried either of these shakes personally, so I wouldn’t like to make a personal recommendation to you.

      However, from looking at both of the powders online, they look very similar. I think the Nitro-tech one has a few more grams of protein per serving but overall, they’re both primarily obtained from whey protein isolate I believe (with other forms of protein such as casein to help them along) so they both look decent on paper.

      I have seen a lot of people complaining about the taste of the Nitro-tech one though, and many people have noted that it’s an overpriced powder that doesn’t offer the results it promises. I’m always sceptical of these types of reviews personally as a lot of people expect to take a protein shake and magically become Mr. Universe within a week. I’m going to stress as I always do that you shouldn’t rely on protein shakes, they’re just a supplement. You MUST figure out your macros and calorie requirements (I’m sure you know this though).

      So, judging by what I’ve seen online, I’d probably go for the Myotein, although like I said, I haven’t actually tried either.

      I hope that helps.

      Stay Lean,

  • Mike

    Hi Josh,
    Thanks for the excellent blog and articles…I am concerned about my weight and fitness level and how much whey protein I’m consuming. I have to say that I’m curious as to why there was no mention of “GNC Wheybolic 60″?? I’m 50,6’3″, 264lbs. and (I think) between moderate and active. I do serious strength training twice a week (Tues & Thurs) for 45 minutes and about an hour of cardio every morning before breakfast. I have been eating healthy for the last four months and working out for the last three…would you mind looking at my food diary totals and letting me know if I am eating the right nutrition to…A) Lose weight B) Gain Lean Muscle? http://flic.kr/p/ehWP7Y any advice or suggestions are welcome and appreciated…thanks again.

    • admin

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your comment. In regards to “GNC Wheybolic 60″, I haven’t personally tried it and to be honest, there are a lot of great protein powders out there, I just had to narrow it down for my “top 10″ list.

      I just had a quick look at your food diary and although your diet looks pretty “healthy”, I’m a bit concerned about your daily calorie intake. Do you really only consume around 1575 calories a day!? How much weight are you trying to lose? At 6’3 and 254, you’re classed as overweight (when using a BMI calculator) but is that weight mainly fat or muscle? I find that a BMI calculator is an extremely poor judge in most cases.

      You mention that you’ve been eating healthily and working out for the last 3 – 4 months; what has happened during that time? Have you lost weight and gained muscle, or have you not noticed any impact? Personally, I think your calorie intake is far too low, even for trying to lose weight! I eat more than 1500 calories a day and I’m 5’3 and 140lbs!

      P.S. It’s always better to consume high protein food rather than whey protein shakes, it’s just not always possible with people’s busy lives these days. You do seem to be consuming quite a lot so if possible, I’d try and add more high quality, high protein foods to your diet (you can find a good list here: http://www.iwantasixpack.com/81-high-protein-foods-for-a-high-protein-diet/).

      I hope that helps a little. Feel free to get comment back with any answers.

      Stay lean,

  • Mike

    Thanks for the tips & protein list Josh…another well-written article that I will surely utilize.

    As I said…I just started training 3 months ago…I was 272 lbs. and have lost 8 lbs., but I look and feel fit/thinner (My goal is 225 lbs.). So based on my numbers…I should consume 2572 calories per day for a reasonable weight loss average of 1.5 lbs. per week – well if that were true…at 1575 cal. per day for 12 weeks…I should have lost MORE than 18 lbs. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong or if my metabolism is different or what…not sure what else to add to my diet as I’m not hungry and thought I was eating well already and not losing a lot of weight! Here are my numbers:
    Age = 50
    Weight = 264 lbs.
    Height= 75 inches
    Waist (Navel) = 48 inches
    Neck = 18 inches
    Body Fat % = 32.6%
    BMI = 33.07 (Obese)

    Just had blood work done and everything (cholesterol, HDL, LDLs etc.) are above average! So this is all kind of a mystery to me…maybe you can help figure it out. Thanks…

    • admin

      Hi Mike,

      I have to say that does seem a little strange, especially as you aren’t feeling hungry. It’s possible that you could have slow metabolism; it does tend to slow as you get that bit older. You might find this article quite interesting: http://www.blogher.com/why-it-harder-lose-weight-we-get-older

      I guess there’s also a slight chance your body could be in starvation mode from not consuming enough, but to be honest, this is probably unlikely as your calorie intake isn’t low enough for that. You could try upping your calorie intake and see how it goes though; bodies can do strange things sometimes!

      What did your doctor say about your high cholesterol? I wouldn’t like to give advice on combating that as I’m not a doctor, but I understand there can be a few different causes for that, one of which is consuming too much saturated fat (although you don’t seem to be doing this judging by your diet plan).

      Have you tried HIIT training rather than standard aerobic training? I personally use interval training as I find it gives me better results, maybe it’s worth a shot?

      My personal advice would probably be to mix things up a little bit. What you’re doing at the moment clearly doesn’t seem to be working as intended, so I’d try a few different things. You might try changing your diet a bit (perhaps eating more and seeing how it affects you?) or trying HIIT training.

      Unfortunately, everyone’s body is different and although there are constantly scientific studies proving what works in theory, it’s never going to work for everyone. You need to find what works for you personally.


      • http://www.bodybuildingstore.in/protein-powders Amit kumar

        I love this article , protein powders help to weight gain.
        I purchased 100% Whey Gold Standard protein powders for muscle gain from http://www.bodybuildingstore.in/protein-powders. Its is good supplements supplier , provides fast and free home delivery in India.

        • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

          Hi Amit,

          A pretty biased and blatantly advertorial comment there, but thanks for the comment nonetheless.

          Stay lean,

          • Amit kumar

            Hi Joshua Hardwick have just used supplements from this supplier and believe me they provided me best product, incredible service at affordable price.

  • http://ehardknight97m.tumblr.com/ http://ehardknight97m.tumblr.com

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    • admin

      Hi there,

      Thanks for your kind words and thanks for sharing.

      Stay lean,

  • http://Stjohnchangelives.net/optimal-stack-muscle-building-supplement/ Stjohnchangelives.net

    Excellent blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find good quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

      Cheers mate, really appreciate your comments.

      Stay lean,

  • levan

    Hey i just read your blog and I am impresed with your knowladge.(I am not from english speaking countries so if i make a mistake dont judge me :) ) I play rugby so i train 5 times a week,i also go to gym 3 times a week and in the monings I go for jogging if I have time.i want to start takin gaspari nutrotion myofusion.i really need your opinion shoud i take it or not? and shoud i get something else with it? i also want to get higher,now i am 1metre and 81 santimetres and also want your opinion on that. Thanks for reading this :)

  • levan

    Oh i forgot to say i am 17.

  • http://workoutinfoguru.com Workout Routines

    I think protein shakes are must for the bodybuilding freaks.
    Excellent writing. Cheers mate :-)

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

      No worries, I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      Stay lean,

  • Ashutosh

    hi i got new body supplement And i gain weight but now i have to go back in hostel can’t continue supplement So my question is there is any side effect After leaving supplement ….

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

      Hi Ashutosh,

      There would only be a negative side effect if you’ve previously been relying heavily on your protein shake/supplement for a vast proportion of your daily required protein intake. In which case, you need to ensure that you’re still consuming an adequate amount of protein from your regular diet, even after getting rid of the supplement from your diet, especially if you still plan to workout (and/or don’t want to lose muscle mass).

      A supplement should only ever be used to supplement your proper diet anyway, so it’s best not to rely on them too much.

      Stay lean,

  • Anurag

    Nice work Josh!
    I have used a few of them and have got great results with especially ON products. I have also written an article on how to dodge the different marketing tricks and choosing the best protein on my blog.
    Do visit sometime – http://proteinandsupplements.blogspot.in/2013/06/lies-that-supplement-manufacturers-tell.html

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

      Hi Anurag,

      Good post, you make some good points. This is why it’s always better to obtain as much of your protein as possible from a regular healthy diet. Shakes/supplements should only be used as supplements, not as your main source.

      Stay lean,

  • http://google Navin

    i want to use suppliment wich is better for me. iam 23yrs, already i completed 6mnths workout at gym, iwant gain body.

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

      Hi Navin,

      Thanks for your comment. Honestly, it’s usually down to taste as any of the ones mentioned on the list above (along with a few others) are perfectly mine for most people.

      I personally use 100% Gold Whey Protein as I like the taste plus it mixes easily. It tastes great with milk but remember, adding milk will likely add a significant amount of calories and fat to your diet depending on the sort of milk you use. If you want to keep the calories/fat down, use skimmed milk or water.

      I hope that helps.

      Stay lean,

  • http://google Navin

    And also post that how to use it please iam eagerly waithng for your reply..

  • adam

    Hi I just wanted to ask I am on maxi muscle high protein at the minute is this any good or am I wasting my time and money

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for reading my blog. I’ve used MaxiMuscle shakes myself in the past (I think it was the ProMax one) and they taste pretty good don’t they? They worked well for me, although they’re a pretty expensive brand to be honest.

      In regards to how to use it, you should use it to supplement your existing high protein and healthy diet. Work out your macros and how much of that you’re getting from your regular diet, then figure out how much protein you need from protein shakes.

      Remember, the proof is in the pudding; if you’re getting bigger and noticing a positive impact through the consumption of your protein shake, everything is good. If you’re not getting bigger or if you’re noticing negative side effects, you need to rethink things.

      Stay lean,

  • Steven

    Hey :)
    Lately I’ve been trying to find the right protein powder and the Gold standard Whey and Casein keeps popping up everywhere for me and then I saw this blog which is great. I go to gym on monday, wednesday and friday to train hard with the weights and such while tuesday and thursday are just light cardio days or just relaxing days really. I was thinking of having Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder on monday, wednesday and friday immediately after the workout while having Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Gold Standard Protein Powder every night an hour before bed. Is that alright or is there a better option for me??
    I’m still new to all this stuff so I thought it’d be best to ask :)

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

      Hi Steven,

      To be entirely honest, the whole subject of protein supplements can get pretty complicated, but what you propose sounds relatively good and there’s certainly nothing wrong with it at all (aside from the fact that it may be expensive).

      A lot of people have a casein protein shake before bed, as this essentially helps to prevent muscle breakdown during the night to some extent (I won’t go into the details as to how it does that). It’s certainly not going to have a negative effect, although a lot of people tell me it makes no difference at all and is therefore a waste of money.

      It’s also important to remember that you could consume a casein-based meal/snack instead of a casein protein shake. For example, cottage cheese is packed with casein protein, as is milk (these may be higher in calories than a casein shake though). Either way, it’s all good, so long as you aren’t consuming too many calories.

      It can also help to consume a meal/snack at around the same time as you have your post-workout whey protein shake. This meal should ideally consist of a high quality source of protein and carbs (e.g. chicken, rice and veggies). It’s not absolutely paramount you do this and truthfully, most people only consume whey protein shakes post-workout as they’re convenient, but it can help prevent muscle breakdown a little too.

      In conclusion, what you proposed is perfectly fine to do. Just make sure you’re getting enough protein in your regular diet too (along with carbs and fats) and if you like, feel free to take any of the suggestions I made above on board.

      Stay lean,

  • UBN

    Hi there,
    I have started working out 2 months ago, i haven’t used any protein shakes and was relying only on natural diet yet so i didn’t get much results. I controlled my diet, balanced my workout-rest routine. My weight is 62 kg and height is 5 ft. 10 inch, i want to get lean muscle mass, which protein supplement would u recommend for me? I was thinking about 100% gold whey protein ( by optimum nutrtion) but Im not sure because i have no experience using these supplements.

    • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick


      Thanks for commenting. First of all, I’m guessing you’re pretty skinny? I’m only 5’3 (yeah, I’m a short arse!) and I weigh just about the same as you to be honest.

      I personally use 100% Gold Whey Protein (the chocolate one) and I find it works great, plus it tastes good (at least I think it does). I’d recommend it to anyone but obviously, everyone’s personal tastes are different.

      My guess is that you don’t really want to lose any weight but instead, increase your weight (I mean muscle, not fat). If this is the case, my advice would be to not only increase your protein intake, but also your overall calorie intake. You want to make sure that you’re consuming more calories than you actually need on a day-to-day basis otherwise you’ll struggle to gain weight. I don’t mean a crazy amount though. In fact, adding a couple of protein shakes a day to your current diet might be enough to really help you.

      I hope that helps.

      Stay lean,

  • http://www.bodybuildingstore.in/whey-protein-powder Amit kumar

    Great article
    I agree that there are many whey protein supplements available in market with different flavor and different rate, but as you said here that the best whey protein is recognize with its own test and flavor, i have order whey protein supplements from http://www.bodybuildingstore.in/whey-protein-powder is also best supplements supplier and gave me genuine supplements , result positive with my muscle size.

  • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

    Hi Pete,

    Thanks for your comment and also for reading my blog, I really do appreciate it.

    Your workout routine sounds great, especially considering your limitations. I admire your determination and motivation; even I struggle to find motivation some days and I don’t have any kids to contend with!

    I was wondering though, isn’t the bench press relatively easy at that weight? I usually lift 12kgs on each arm when doing bicep curls, but my bench press is usually around 50 – 60kg. I know that for most people their bench press is significantly higher than barbell curls etc.

    To answer your question though, if things seem to be working then you’re doing the right thing. Do you know what your macros are or how much protein you’re obtaining each day from your regular diet? If you do, you can quite easily work out how many protein shakes you’ll ideally need. However, if things are working as they are, it’s likely you’ve stumbled on approximately the right amount so I’d stick with it. Just remember to keep pushing yourself in terms of your workout.

    It might be an idea to keep track of your weight and body fat percentage though, as well as any other measurements that are important to you. It’s easier to keep track of your progress that way and for most people, it’s also a good motivation tool to see that their efforts are actually paying off. It can see like things aren’t changing much without statistical or photographic evidence.

    P.S. I hope eating “normally” consists of healthy foods too! (and I don’t mean “low-fat” biscuits and snacks!).

    Stay lean,

  • Pete

    Hi Josh,
    Thanks for your reply and comments! Glad my workout routine sounds OK – I was wondering if I was getting the workout-to-rest balance right you see.
    Yes, I was aware that the bench press weight was lighter than you’d expect. I don’t change the weight over because the kids are very young and sleeping (hopefully!) in the next room but we are planning on moving to a bigger house so I’m hoping that the weights can go in a separate room and this won’t be an issue. However, at this light weight and at the end of the set 6 I can feel it in my chest/arms. I plan on making it a little heavier each time I feel I can to push this on a bit each time.
    I started at 20KG for all exercises, maybe 4 weeks ago and now I’m on 27KG. After this week I think I’ll up it to 30KG and see how it goes. Hmm, at this rate, +3KG a week, I should be Mr Universe soon, right? :D
    I am new to supplements, and only really want something to help make the muscle gains given as you know, my tight exercise schedule and limited equipment at this time. So the protein serving of around 30g I thought might help things grow/repair – I guessed that the right amount would be this magical 30g since it seems to be what the shakes/bars deliver as a serving. I usually make this serving up of either a half shake + protein flapjack if i’m hungry, or a full shake serving. I take the 30g serving every day now morning and evening (rest and workout days). Does that sound about right to you?
    With regard to macros I have to confess I had no idea what you meant at all. Macros are something to do with MS Excel, right? lol I just googled it all and it appears to the be carbs/protein/fat ratio that you consume in general each day, right? hmm. Well, typically I eat some weetabix/cereal in the morning, or a banana+yoghurt (and my shake now of course lol), cup of tea/coffee. 1 sugar in the coffee, not in tea or on anything else of course. Then usually lunch consists of a white roll, tuna/mayo or ham/beef/salami slice, salad leaves, tomato, maybe cheese it in (round roll small size nothing too bad) and water/squash. Evening meal might be anything really – usually something like potato/rice and some fish/meat etc and occasionally curry (make this myself from scratch so no ghee or too much fat in it) or pizza or something – remember the foods I prepare are for the family. My personal limitation with food is that I can’t eat chocolate (probably a good limitation then) and also poultry (so no chicken, duck, turkey etc) but I can eat eggs fine. Other than that I’ll eat pretty much anything. So I would say it’s a generally mixed ‘normal’ food diet, which I could probably do with lowering fats in as a general rule and upping the protein content I guess. I tend not to eat snacks and biscuits and stuff anyway, I usually have a tea if anything between meals.
    I guess the upshot is, everything we eat we make ourselves fresh (which is a good start), and there are no ready meals and stuff like that anyway. Apart from pizza which are usually frozen ones or from a supermarket chiller cabinet, although in the past I’ve made the bases and stuff from scratch too which tasted way better always…
    Anyway thanks for your tips and kind advice. I’ll keep up the workouts I promise.

  • https://plus.google.com/105251437170373647368?rel=author Joshua Hardwick

    Hi Pete,

    Rest is extremely important as you mention, a lot of people don’t take this into account and end up overtraining (which can be worse than not training at all).

    As I said, your progress seems to be very good. So long as you continually push yourself, it’s highly unlikely that you won’t notice vast improvements in strength and appearance. Just don’t go too crazy and injure yourself. I’m sure you won’t, but you’d be amazed at how common this is in the “show-off” culture that takes place at most gyms.

    In regards to macros, it is indeed the amount of protein/carbs/fat that you consume in your diet (although it is also an Excel thing as you point out). To be honest, so long as you’re eating a pretty healthy and diverse diet (which it seems like you are), your macros are probably going to be just about right. How much you need to worry about macros depends on your goals to be honest; if you’re just looking to get fitter, lose a little weight and build some muscle, you don’t need to be too obsessive about it. It’s basically just making sure that you’re getting enough protein, carbs and fat so your body can repair muscle, fuel itself (without the need to break down muscle tissue) and stay healthy.

    Where do you get most of your protein from if you don’t eat poultry? Do you eat red meat?

    Pizza in itself isn’t a particularly low-fat meal as it’s loaded with high-fat cheese and other toppings, but it’s fine from time to time (everything is in moderation). I actually make pizzas myself from time to time and they taste tonnes better than the supermarket pre-packed ones. It’s pretty quick and simple too. I usually make a big batch of sauce and keep it in the freezer, then I just have to spend 10 minutes making a dough (or less if you have a mixing machine). Fresh is always better and you can be sure it hasn’t got any of the crap that supermarket foods are usually stuffed with too. If you want to be extra healthy, you could try making the dough with brown flour, it’ll offer a bit more nutrition. Honestly though, I usually view pizza as a bit of a treat.

    Here’s a good recipe if you want one (it’s actually the one I use): http://cajunlicious.com/2012/05/10/guest-post-simple-and-delicious-pizza/

    Feel free to keep me posted on your progress and if there’s anything you’d like to see a blog post about, you can email me directly at josh (at) iwantasixpack (dotcom) – I’m sure you can figure it out from that, but hopefully it’ll be spam proof.

    Stay lean,