What Is The Best Protein Powder? Our Top 10

For many of you bodybuilders, weight trainers and Arnold Schwarzenneger-wannabes, protein powders will be a staple part of your diet. It can be difficult (and rather inconvenient, at times) to consume enough high quality protein from a regular diet alone, which is why many of you will likely turn towards protein powders to supply you with the extra protein you need.

There’s a problem though: the protein powders market is saturated, and deciding which one of the hundreds (if not thousands) of choices will be the best protein powder for you can be a tough call, especially when just about every supplements company under the sun is bombarding you with million-dollar marketing campaigns and seemingly miraculous health claims on an almost daily basis.

No worries though, help is at hand. We’ve tested, tasted (and spat out), analyzed and judged the offerings to create a refined list of the ten best protein powders on the market.

Here they are (click on the links to jump straight to each one):

  1. [geot country=”United States”] ON 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder [/geot][geot country=”United Kingdom”] ON 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder [/geot][geot exclude_country=”United States,United Kingdom”] ON 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder [/geot]
  2. MyoFusion Probiotic Protein Powder
  3. [geot country=”United States”] BSN Syntha 6 Protein Powder [/geot][geot country=”United Kingdom”] BSN Syntha 6 Protein Powder [/geot][geot exclude_country=”United States,United Kingdom”] BSN Syntha 6 Protein Powder [/geot]
  4. [geot country=”United States”] Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder [/geot][geot country=”United Kingdom”] Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder [/geot][geot exclude_country=”United States,United Kingdom”] Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder [/geot]
  5. [geot country=”United States”] Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate [/geot][geot country=”United Kingdom”] Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate [/geot][geot exclude_country=”United States,United Kingdom”] Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate [/geot]
  6. [geot country=”United States”] Dymatize Nutrition ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder [/geot][geot country=”United Kingdom”] Dymatize Nutrition ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder [/geot][geot exclude_country=”United States,United Kingdom”] Dymatize Nutrition ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder [/geot]
  7. [geot country=”United States”] Natures Best Zero Carb Isopure [/geot][geot country=”United Kingdom”] Natures Best Zero Carb Isopure [/geot][geot exclude_country=”United States,United Kingdom”] Natures Best Zero Carb Isopure [/geot]
  8. [geot country=”United States”] Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey [/geot][geot country=”United Kingdom”] Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey [/geot][geot exclude_country=”United States,United Kingdom”] Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey [/geot]
  9. [geot country=”United States”] Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder [/geot][geot country=”United Kingdom”] Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder [/geot][geot exclude_country=”United States,United Kingdom”] Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder [/geot]
  10. [geot country=”United States”] CytoSport Cyto Gainer Protein Powder [/geot][geot country=”United Kingdom”] CytoSport Cyto Gainer Protein Powder [/geot][geot exclude_country=”United States,United Kingdom”] CytoSport Cyto Gainer Protein Powder [/geot]


#1 – ON 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder

Optimum-Nutrition-100-Whey-Gold-Standard-Protein-Powder

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 scoop)
Calories: 120
Protein 24g
Carbohydrates 3g
Fat 1g
EAA’s 11g
BCAA’s 5g+

Overview

Formulated from a unique blend of high quality whey protein (isolate and concentrate), ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder packs 24g of protein per serving with virtually no carbs (3g) or fat (1g) to speak of.

This isn’t your cheap run-of-the-mill protein powder either; whey protein isolate is the purest (in terms of protein quantity by weight) form of whey protein available, with whey protein concentrate following closely behind.

Because of this, roughly 80% of the total calorific value (96/120 calories) is derived from protein, making ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard one of the best protein powders available for anyone seeking a low carb and/or fat solution.

It’s packed with 11g of EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids) and 5g+ of BCAA’s (Branched-Chain Amino Acids). Without getting too technical, these help to prevent muscle soreness and stimulate muscle growth/repair, effectively helping you to recover faster and experience less discomfort post-workout.

In terms of water-solubility, ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard is definitely one of the best protein powders by far as it mixes effortlessly with nothing more than a spoon. It’s also one of the best tasting powders we’ve come across and works well with either water or low-fat milk.

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate, Concentrate)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

Flavors

Cake Batter, Banana Cream, Chocolate Malt, Cookies & Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Mint, Strawberry Banana, French Vanilla Crème, Chocolate Coconut, Double Rich Chocolate, Rocky Road, Tropical Punch, Extreme Milk Chocolate, Delicious Strawberry, Mocha Cappuccino, White Chocolate, Coffee, Caramel Toffee Fudge and Vanilla Cream.

Price

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#2 – MyoFusion Probiotic Protein Powder

Gaspari-MyoFusion-Probiotic-Protein-Powder

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 scoop)
Calories: 150
Protein 24g
Carbohydrates 9g
Fat 2g
EAA’s 9g
BCAA’s 4.4g+

 

Overview

MyoFusion Probiotic is formulated from a unique blend of high-quality protein sources including whey protein concentrate, brown rice protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and (partially) hydrolyzed whey protein.

It’s packed with 24g of protein per serving/scoop along with 9g of carbs and 2g of fat, resulting in a total of 150 calories per serving. It’s certainly not a mass gainer or meal replacement shake by any stretch of the imagination (so don’t use it as one!), but the carbs will help to replenish some energy post-workout.

It’s also packed with EAA’s (9g), which help to improve recovery times and eliminate muscle stiffness/soreness.

One unique aspect of this protein powder is the addition of a powerful probiotic; this aims to improve digestion and ‘deliver beneficial bacteria to your digestive system’. If you often experience ‘bloating’ or an upset stomach following the consumption of protein powders, MyoFusion Probiotic might well be the best protein powder for you.

Taste-wise, MyoFusion Probiotic is definitely one of the best protein powders on the market, as it tastes much like a regular milkshake. It also mixes easily in water, milk or just about any other substance.

Type: Whey Protein (Concentrate, Isolate, Partially Hydrolyzed), Milk Protein (Isolate), Brown Rice Protein (Concentrate)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

 

Flavors

Milk Chocolate, Strawberries & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Delicious Vanilla, Cinnamon Roll, Banana Perfection and Cookies & Cream.

 

Price

Click here to check the current price

 

 

#3 – BSN Syntha 6 Protein Powder

BSN-Syntha-6-Protein-Powder

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 scoop)
Calories: 200
Protein 22g
Carbohydrates 15g
Fat 6g
EAA’s 10g
BCAA’s Unknown

 

Overview

BSN Syntha 6 consists of a mixture of whey protein (concentrate and isolate) and casein protein (calcium caseinate and micellar casein), making it somewhat unique among the other best protein powders on our top 10 list.

Whey protein is (relatively) fast-absorbing whereas casein protein is (relatively) slow-absorbing; this makes BSN Syntha 6 perfect for consumption at almost any point throughout the day; pre or post-workout. It’s even a good choice for breakfast (when consumed in conjunction with another healthy source of carbs, such as oatmeal).

Calorie-wise, it’s quite high (200kcal per serving) compared with many other protein powders, with just less than 50% of those calories deriving from protein. The remaining 100+ calories are derived from the carbs (15g) and fat (6g). This ratio puts BSN Syntha 6 partway between a standalone protein powder and mass gainer.

It’s packed with EAA’s, which help with recovery and muscle soreness. It’s by-far one of the best protein powders on the market in terms of taste and works equally great when mixed with water or milk (or both). It also mixes easily, despite the inclusion of casein, and doesn’t ‘clump together’.

Type: Whey Protein (Concentrate, Isolate), Casein Protein (Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein), Milk Protein (Isolate)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals, Before Bed.

 

Flavors

Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry Milkshake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Milkshake, Chocolate Cake Batter, and Cookies & Cream.

 

Price

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#4 – Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder

Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 scoop)
Calories: 170
Protein 30g
Carbohydrates 7g
Fat 2.5g
EAA’s 10g+
BCAA’s 4g+

 

Overview

Formulated from a blend of whey protein (concentrate and isolate), Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder is one of the most protein-dense protein powders on our list (and one of the most low-cost too).

It contains 30g of protein (predominantly whey protein concentrate), with just 7g of carbohydrates and 2.5g of fat per serving. It is also packed with BCAA’s and other ‘recovery agents’ (4g+ per scoop) including Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine; all of which help to maintain muscle tissue and aid in the muscle recovery process.

It also contains just 170 calories per scoop, with roughly 70% of the calories deriving from protein.

Taste-wise, it’s not as great as some and flavors are somewhat limited, but it’s certainly not terrible, especially when mixed with low-fat milk. It mixes relatively easily in water or milk (or both) and there’s no major clumping.

It’s a great post-workout (or even pre-workout) shake, but wouldn’t be suitable for consumption before bed due to its fast-absorbing nature. It’s gluten-free too.

Type: Whey Protein (Concentrate, Isolate)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

 

Flavors

Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Vanilla, and Cookies & Cream.

 

Price

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#5 – Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate

Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 scoop)
Calories: 110
Protein 25g
Carbohydrates <1g
Fat 0.5g
EAA’s 11g+
BCAA’s 5.5g+

 

Overview

Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate is arguably one of the purest and most natural protein powders on the market. It’s created entirely from whey protein (isolate), which has been micro-filtered to ensure an unparalleled level of purity. It contains no other forms of whey protein whatsoever (e.g. concentrate etc)

It’s packed with 25g of protein per serving/scoop and virtually no carbohydrates (<1g) or fat (0.5g). This is thanks to the micro-filtration process which results in an extremely pure form of whey protein isolate. Roughly 90% of the calorific value is derived from protein.

It’s also naturally unflavored and doesn’t come in any other flavor variations. The micro-filtration process ensures that this is one of the best protein powders in terms of solubility, and mixes instantly in water, milk or virtually any other liquid (apart from hot drinks, which will curdle the mixture!).

It’s packed with EAA’s (11g+ per serving), BCAA’s and other non-essential amino acids. It contains no aspartame, sucralose or acesulfame-K and is manufactured without whey, gluten, egg, fish, shellfish or tree-nut ingredients.

If you’re looking for a pure and natural protein powder, this is undoubtedly the best protein powder for you.

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

 

Flavors

Unflavored.

 

Price

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#6 – Dymatize Nutrition ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder

Dymatize Nutrition ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 scoop)
Calories: 106
Protein 25g
Carbohydrates 0g
Fat 0g
EAA’s 11g
BCAA’s 6.5g

 

Overview

Dymatize Nutrition’s ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder derives its name from the nature of its ingredients (100% whey protein isolate – or ISO 100). Because the whey protein is hydrolyzed, it is extremely water-soluble and is one of the best protein powders around in terms of ‘mixability’.

It contains 25g of protein per 28g serving, meaning that it has a protein density of 90% by weight. It contains no carbohydrates or fat (apart from a miniscule trace) and derives around 94% of its calorific value from protein. To put it simply, this is as pure as you’re going to get in terms of a protein to carbs/fat ratio.

It’s packed with EAA’s (11g), BCAA’s (6.5g+) including Isoleucine, and non-essential amino acids too. It’s lactose-free which makes it perfect for anyone who happens to be lactose intolerant.

When it comes to taste, it’s certainly one of the best protein powders out there. It has no unpleasant aftertaste and works well with water or low-fat milk. You can mix it easily with nothing more than a spoon in just a few seconds.

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

 

Flavors

Gourmet Vanilla, Gourmet Pina Colada, Gourmet Berry, Cookies & Cream, Gourmet Chocolate, and Smooth Banana.

 

Price

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#7 – Natures Best Zero Carb Isopure Protein Powder

Natures Best Zero Carb Isopure Protein Powder

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving (2 scoops)
Calories: 210
Protein 50g
Carbohydrates 0g
Fat 1g
EAA’s Unknown
BCAA’s 10.9g

 

Overview

Natures Best Zero Carb Isopure is a ‘pure’ whey protein (isolate) powder that offers exactly what it says on the tin (well, tub); a zero carb protein powder with 50g of protein per serving.

Unlike most of the other protein powders on our list, Natures Best Zero Carb Isopure requires two scoops per serving (although you can just have one), hence the rather high amount of protein listed on the label. It is produced solely from whey protein isolate (ion exchanged and micro-filtered), which results in a pure, high-density protein powder.

It contains roughly 80% protein by weight and approximately 95% of its calorific value is derived from protein. There are zero carbs (and therefore zero sugar) and just 1g of fat per serving. It’s lactose-free and is packed with 10g+ of BCAA’s per serving.

The filtration process ensures that the protein powder is extremely water-soluble and mixes easily in water, milk or almost any other liquid. It’s one of the best protein powders out there in terms of taste and comes in a number of interesting and exotic flavors (you can’t beat Creamy Vanilla, though!).

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

 

Flavors

Banana Cream, Creamy Vanilla, Apple Melon, Mango Peach, Strawberries & Cream, Cookies & Cream, Espresso, Colombian, and Mint Chocolate Chip.

 

Price

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#8 – Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey

Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey Protein Powder

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 scoop)
Calories: 140
Protein 30g
Carbohydrates 2g
Fat 1g
EAA’s 15.5g
BCAA’s 8.8g

 

Overview

Optimum Nutrition’s Platinum Hydro Whey is produced solely using hydrolyzed whey protein isolate, which makes for an extremely fast-absorbing, water-soluble and protein-dense powder.

It contains 30g of protein, 2g of carbohydrates and 1g of fat per serving, meaning that roughly 85% of the powders calorific value is derived from protein, with a total calorific value of 140 calories. By weight, approximately 77% of protein powder is derived from protein.

ON’s Platinum Hydro Whey Protein Powder is packed with EAA’s (15.5g) and BCAA’s (8.8g), making it the best protein powder on our list from a Branched-chain amino-acid profile perspective. The BCAA’s are also micronized, which helps to decrease the absorption time and ensures that the whole protein powder is more water-soluble.

Taste-wise, ON’s Platinum Hydro Whey has a pleasant yet rather milky taste. If you’re a fan of milkshakes in general, this is probably one of the best protein powders for you in terms of taste. It mixes well in water, milk or just about anything else. The consistency does tend to be rather thin when mixed with water, so consider mixing with milk if you like a bit of thickness to your protein shake.

It’s lactose and cholesterol-free, too.

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

 

Flavors

Supercharged Strawberry, Velocity Vanilla, Chocolate Mint, Turbo Chocolate, Cookies & Cream Overdrive, and Chocolate Peanut Butter.

 

Price

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#9 – Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 scoop)
Calories: 120
Protein 24g
Carbohydrates 3g
Fat 1g
EAA’s 9.6g
BCAA’s 4g+

 

Overview

Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Casein Protein Powder is the first solely casein-based powder to feature on our list. It’s been created from 100% casein (micellar) and contains absolutely no whey protein whatsoever, making this a relatively slow-absorbing protein powder (around twice as slow as whey).

It contains 120 calories, 24g of protein, 3g of carbohydrates and just 1g of fat per serving. Roughly 80% of the calorific value is derived from protein, making this a relatively low-calorie, low-carb and low-fat protein powder.

It’s packed with EAA’s (9.6g) and BCAA’s (4g+); it has a particularly high amount of Glutamine, which helps to minimize the breakdown of muscle tissue (due to it’s anti-catabolic properties) and also helps to improve protein metabolism. This makes it one of the best protein powders for consumption before bed when your body will be going hours without food (energy).

Regarding taste, casein protein powders can often be chalky and somewhat bitter, but Optimum Nutrition have done a great job with 100% Casein and it tastes great. It’s a little thicker than most whey protein powders, but it’s just as easy to mix. It’s definitely one of the best-tasting casein protein powders out there.

Type: Casein Protein (Micellar)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Between Meals, Bedtime.

 

Flavors

Chocolate Supreme, Banana Cream, Creamy Vanilla, Raspberry Smoothie, Blueberries & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Cookies & Cream.

 

Price

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#10 – CytoSport Cyto Gainer Protein Powder

CytoSport Cyto Gainer Protein Powder

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving (2 scoops)
Calories: 280
Protein 27g
Carbohydrates 37g
Fat 2.5g
EAA’s 11.9g
BCAA’s 5.6g+

 

Overview

CytoSport Cyto Gainer is more of a mass/weight gainer than a standalone protein powder, meaning that it isn’t just focused on supplying muscles with protein, but also helping you to meet calorific requirements, supplying necessary dietary fats and helping with the recovery process.

It contains 27g of protein per serving, which is around the same as most protein powders on our list so far, but it also contains 37g of carbohydrates for a total of 280 calories per serving. Roughly 39% of the calorific value is derived from protein, with 53% deriving from carbs.

It’s packed full of EAA’s (11.9g) and BCAA’s (5.6g+) with a particular focus on Glutamine (roughly 5.7g per serving); this minimizes the breakdown of muscle tissue and helps to improve protein metabolism.

Protein-wise, Cyto Gainer is made entirely from whey protein (concentrate) and milk protein (isolate). Carbohydrate-wise, it contains predominantly complex carbs with only 5g of sugar per serving, ensuring you don’t get a sugar rush the moment you drink it.

It tastes great, mixes easily and is perfect for those looking to hit certain calorific or macronutrient requirements (or both).

Type: Whey Protein (Concentrate, Hydrolysate), Milk Protein (Isolate)

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

 

Flavors

Banana Crème, Chocolate Malt, Chocolate Mint, Cookies ‘N Crème, Strawberries ‘N Crème, and Vanilla Shake.

 

Price

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67 thoughts on “What Is The Best Protein Powder? Our Top 10”

  1. 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

    1. 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.
      Josh

    1. 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.

      Josh

  2. Hi,

    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!

    1. 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,
      Josh

  3. 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?

    1. 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/

      Cheers,
      Josh

    1. Hi,

      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!

      Josh

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

      Josh

  5. Hey,

    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! 🙂

    1. Hi,

      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.

      Josh

  6. 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. 🙂

    1. 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.

      Josh

  7. 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
    Randy

    1. 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!

      Josh

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

      Josh

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

    Many thanks

    1. 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,
      Josh

  10. 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.

    1. 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,
      Josh

    1. 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,
      Josh

  11. 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.

    1. 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,
      Josh

  12. 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…

    1. 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.

      Josh

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

  13. 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 🙂

    1. 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,
      Josh

    1. 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,
      Josh

    1. 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,
      Josh

  14. 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

    1. 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,
      Josh

  15. 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 🙂
    Thanks

    1. 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,
      Josh

  16. 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.

    1. Hi,

      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,
      Josh

  17. Hi
    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.

  18. Thank you, means a lot!

    ON’s Platinum Hydro Whey is probably one of the best if you’re lactose intolerant along with Muscle Milk from CytoSport. I’d probably go for the Hydro Whey myself as it’s got good reviews on Amazon from people specifically mentioning how great it is for lactose intolerance.

    Here’s the product links anyway:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QZN8JW?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B002QZN8JW&linkCode=xm2&tag=iwancom0a-20

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000087HF8?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B000087HF8&linkCode=xm2&tag=iwancom0a-20

    P.S. Sorry for the late response.

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