As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from amazon.com

Ranking the best protein powders of 2022


Protein powder is a highly concentrated and powderized supplement that’s derived from protein-rich foods like milk, peas, soybeans, and bone broth.

It’s widely used by athletes for better strength gain and muscle recovery following tough training sessions, but it’s also incredibly useful if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a lean physique.

Protein powder has a number of special biological properties that make it ideal for dropping fat and maintaining muscle mass. Our researchers have ranked the ten best protein powders for staying fit and healthy, whether that means adding muscle at the gym or fighting body fat.

Why You Should Trust Us

    Our advisory panel and our research team rank the best health products and supplements based on performance, label accuracy, and the efficacy of the ingredients in the products.

Rankings

Last updated: September 24, 2022
Protein powders considered: 31
Hours of research: 57
Experts reviewed: 8
Scientific papers referenced: 23













IMAGE PRODUCT

Best Overall

1. Ladder Whey Protein Powder

  • For rapid muscle repair with casein protein for sustained amino acid availability
  • Only uses natural sweeteners, without the use of fillers, additives, or coloring
  • Recommended for keto dieters
View Latest Price →

Best lactose-free

2. Ladder Plant Protein Powder

  • Provides a complete essential amino acid profile
  • Ensuring maximum nutrition for those who follow a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle
  • Perfect for lactose-intolerant people
View Latest Price →

Best organic

3. Natural Force Organic Whey Protein

  • Comes with clean, natural, and pure ingredients 
  • Their organic protein powder comes from grass-fed organic cows
  • Flavored only with vanilla extracts and stevia leaf extract
View on Amazon →

Best vegan

4. Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Rice and Pea Protein

  • Plant-based vegan protein powder
  • A combination of rice and pea protein, it delivers a complete amino acid profile without relying on animal products
  • Uses organic cocoa powder and stevia for all-natural, non-caloric flavoring
View Latest Price →

5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

  • It’s got a mixture of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey protein peptide
  • Flavored with natural and artificial flavors that don’t add any sugars to the ingredients
  • Comes in a huge five-pound tub
View on Amazon →

6. Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Isolate

  • An athlete-focused protein powder that uses only whey protein isolate
  • Flavored with cocoa powder, artificial flavoring, and sucralose
  • Blends up in a shaker bottle easily thanks to the soy lecithin included as an emulsifier
View on Amazon →

Best for weight loss

7. Left Coast Performance Bone Broth Protein Powder

  • A great protein powder that’s paleo, low carb, and keto diet friendly
  • Got less than one gram of sugar per serving
  • Great for both athletic performance and weight loss
View on Amazon →
  • A clean and simple protein powder without the taste of unflavored whey
  • Using just whey protein concentrate, coconut sugar, and cocoa powder for flavoring
  • Great tasting and simple protein powder without any unnatural ingredients
View on Amazon →

9. Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein

  • A plant-based protein powder
  • Includes sprouts, superfoods, and enzymes for digestion which makes it exceptionally healthy
  • Can compete with the best animal-based protein sources
View on Amazon →

10. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Organic Max Fiber Protein Powder

  • The best source of protein for weight loss purposes
  • The extremely high fiber content in a good hemp protein powder
  • A protein powder that feels like a full meal
View on Amazon →
  • Flavored with natural and artificial flavorings and uses a combination of sucralose and stevia 
  • Taste great and keeps the sugar content near zero
  • Has a lot of protein that’s easy to use and doesn’t taste chalky
View on Amazon →

12. Orgain Organic Protein

  • A vegan-friendly protein that’s made with certified organic ingredients
  • Its protein is derived from peas, chia seeds, and brown rice
  • USDA organic, vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy free, and Non-GMO
View on Amazon →

1. Ladder Whey Protein Powder

Check the lowest price

Ladder offers two types of protein: whey and plant-based. Their whey protein contains a mix of whey isolates and casein protein to consistently fuel your muscles with amino acids, ensuring maximum protein synthesis. 

Ladder whey only uses natural sweeteners, without the use of fillers, additives, or coloring. With its NSF-certified badge, you can be confident that every serving of Ladder whey is compliant with even the strictest Olympic standards. If you are going to buy any protein powder, this is BodyNutrition’s top choice.   

2. Ladder Plant Protein Powder

Check the lowest price

Ladder’s plant protein provides a complete essential amino acid profile (something almost all other plant-based protein powders don’t have), ensuring maximum bioavailability and nutrition for those who follow a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle.

The blend-ability is amazing, and the taste is completely smooth, without the use of artificial flavors and colors. If you are going to get a plant-based protein powder, this is the ultimate choice.

3. Natural Force Organic Whey Protein

Check price at Amazon

If clean, natural, and pure ingredients are important to you, Natural Force should be near the top of your list.

Their organic protein powder comes from grass-fed organic cows and is flavored only with vanilla extracts and stevia leaf extract.

The organic certification means it’s less likely to have contaminants, and healthier cows from a grass-fed diet means healthier protein in your protein powder.

4. Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Rice and Pea Protein

Click here for the lowest price

Transparent Labs makes purity and simplicity a priority, which really pays off in their plant-based vegan protein powder.

By using a combination of rice and pea protein, it delivers a complete amino acid profile without relying on animal products. On top of that, it uses organic cocoa powder and stevia for all-natural, non-caloric flavoring.

5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

Check price at Amazon

When it comes to straight whey protein, Optimum Nutrition is the best pick. It’s got a mixture of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey protein peptides, and is flavored with natural and artificial flavors that don’t add any sugars to the ingredients.

It comes in a huge five-pound tub and is well-suited for fitness enthusiasts who go through a lot of protein on a regular basis.

6. Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Isolate

Check price at Amazon

Myprotein makes an athlete-focused protein powder that uses only whey protein isolate (the purest form of whey protein), flavored with cocoa powder, artificial flavoring, and sucralose.

It blends up in a shaker bottle easily thanks to the soy lecithin included as an emulsifier, so if you don’t mind the artificial flavoring, it’s a top pick for athletes.

7. Left Coast Performance Bone Broth Protein Powder

Check price at Amazon

With a protein source that’s even more concentrated than whey protein, the usual standard-bearer, Left Coast Performance makes a great protein powder that’s paleo, low carb, and keto diet friendly.

It’s got less than one gram of sugar per serving, and the protein content is north of 90% by weight.

Vegans need not apply—this complete amino acid profile is derived from grass-fed beef bones, which makes it great for both athletic performance and for weight loss.

8. Less Naked Whey

Check price at Amazon

Want a clean and simple protein powder but hate the taste of unflavored whey? Less Naked Whey has got you covered. Using just whey protein concentrate, coconut sugar, and cocoa powder for flavoring, Less Naked Whey is a great tasting and simple protein powder without any unnatural ingredients.

The only downsides are that whey protein concentrate is not quite as pure as whey protein isolate, and the coconut sugar does push the sugar content up a bit, to 5 grams of sugar for every 25 grams of protein.

Not a deal-breakers for most people, but it does likely rule this protein powder out for strict low-carb dieters and people on a ketogenic diet.

9. Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein

Check price at Amazon

As far as plant-based protein protein powders go, Garden of Life is the very best. WIth a complete amino acid profile thanks to the variety of vegetable sources of protein, it can compete with the best animal-based protein sources.

The addition of sprouts, superfoods, and enzymes for digestion make it well-tolerated and exceptionally healthy.

10. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Organic Max Fiber Protein Powder

Check price at Amazon

Hemp protein is one of the best sources of protein if you are using it for weight loss purposes, thanks to the extremely high fiber content in a good hemp protein powder.

Manitoba Harvest makes the best hemp protein on the market, due to its organic certification and cold-milling process. While this protein powder is only 50% protein by weight, there’s an astounding 13 grams of fiber for every 11 grams of protein.

If you want a protein powder that really feels like a full meal, Manitoba Harvest is what you want. As with most single-source plant-based proteins, the amino acid profile isn’t as robust as an animal protein, but that’s not a problem if the rest of your diet has some additional sources of protein.

Category winners

Best protein powder overall: Ladder Whey Protein

Ladder’s flagship protein blends whey protein isolate for rapid muscle repair with casein protein for sustained amino acid availability. This combo, plus the NSF-certified purity, makes it an excellent choice for just about any purpose and garners our top overall spot. 

Best keto protein powder: Ladder Whey Protein

Ladder is our recommendation for keto dieters because it delivers high-quality protein without relying on sugary sweeteners for flavor. This prevents the kind of insulin spikes you can get with other protein powders.

Best protein powder for weight loss: Left Coast Performance Bone Broth Protein

Left Coast is super low in non-protein calories and delivers a super high quality animal-based protein, which makes it particularly effective at stimulating thermogenesis. Both of these properties make it a great choice for weight loss. 

Best organic protein powder: Natural Force Organic Whey

Natural Force provides a potent and 100% organic whey protein that’s sourced from grass-fed cows’ milk. With this level of commitment to quality it’s impossible to beat when it comes to 

Best vegan protein powder: Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Rice and Pea Protein

Transparent Labs has a firm commitment to purity and quality in its ingredients. Add to that the dual-ingredient strategy to ensure this protein powder has a complete amino acid profile and you’ve got a winner when it comes to vegan protein. 

Best lactose-free protein powder: Ladder Plant Protein Powder

Ladder’s focus on high-quality ingredients and great taste extends to its plant-based protein as well. Instead of dairy, this protein relies on pea protein and pumpkin protein to deliver a complete amino acid profile, making it perfect for people who are lactose-intolerant.  

Who should buy protein powder?

Protein powder is an incredibly versatile supplement, whether your goals are gaining muscle mass or losing weight. It’s particularly well-suited for people who fall into the following categories:

Athletes looking to improve their strength and gain muscle mass. Protein powder is the most important supplement for serious athletes, thanks to its ability to enhance strength gains, repair muscle damage, and solidify increases in lean body mass.

People looking to lose weight. Protein powder is surprisingly useful for shedding fat as well as gaining muscle. That’s because protein shakes induce a satiety effect, making you less hungry. On top of that, the amino acids in protein powder (especially animal-based proteins like whey and bone broth) induce a thermogenic effect that cranks up fat oxidation.

Older adults looking to maintain strength as they age. Declines in muscle mass and muscular strength are a leading cause of frailty in older adults, and research shows that taking protein on a regular basis can stave off these declines in muscle mass (especially when combined with exercise).

How we ranked

Protein powders can come from a variety of sources, and some are better than others. Given the popularity of protein powder, there are dozens upon dozens of protein supplements on the market. We used an evidence-based approach to rank these products and find the top ten. 

Broad range of amino acids. According to research, animal protein powders like whey and casein are a lot more beneficial to the body than plant-based sources since they provide a complete protein source. As such, we ranked animal protein products like Optimum Nutrition and Ladder Whey higher than plant-based proteins that used a single plant protein source.

Clean sourcing of raw ingredients. We took a close look at how each of the sources of protein were processed, rewarding products with clean sourcing.

For example, with whey protein products, we preferred whey isolate protein powder that was from grass-fed cows. This ensured no dangerous hormones or antibiotics found its way into the protein.

Products that used independent lab testing, like the NSF-certified Ladder products, garnered more points, again thanks to their clean sourcing.

Great taste with no artificial additives. While we did prefer delicious flavors, it was more important to us that products used natural sweeteners, as the long term research on article sweeteners is unclear.

We also opted for products that contained minimal fillers, carbs, and fat. Purity was king for us, and protein powders that weren’t pure were severely penalized.

Easy to incorporate into protein shakes and meal replacement shakes. Blend-ability was another crucial element, as no one wants a chunky protein shake. We opted for protein powders that blend up easily in water, milk, or milk substitutes, without leaving chunks. 

FAQ

When is the best time of day to consume protein powder? Protein powder can be consumed either before or after a workout to equally beneficial effects.

One study demonstrated that the myth of the “optimal window” for post-workout nutrient intake is actually much wider than previously thought (1), with the optimal time to take your protein being within a few hours of your workout.

Is protein powder suitable for vegetarians and vegans? The most common sources of protein, like whey and casein protein, are vegetarian but not vegan. Fortunately, there are plenty of great vegan protein powders on the market too.

These vegan proteins achieve a full range of amino acids by incorporating multiple different plant sources of protein in their formulation.

What are the common sources of protein for protein powder? The most popular protein powder sources include whey, casein, colostrum, soy, pea, rice protein, and carob germ powder protein.

What are the advantages of whey protein powder? Whey is the most commonly used protein powder.

This is because it contains all nine essential amino acids and is also water-soluble, which means that it helps to support lean muscle mass and strength development.

These factors make it an easy go-to for protein powder production. 

What are complete proteins, and why are they important for protein powder? Complete proteins are proteins that contain all essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for cellular growth.

Both whey and casein are considered complete proteins found in dairy products, which is why they’re often used in protein powders. 

Plant-based proteins can only be complete if they include multiple sources of protein: for example, pea protein is often paired with rice protein to achieve a complete amino acid profile.   

Should I add protein powder to my diet? Protein powder is useful for anyone to incorporate into their diet.

It’s particularly useful for busy athletes who want to make sure their bodies are getting all the essential amino acids and complete proteins they need in a day.

Having a dependable protein powder supplement can help you maximize your performance when you don’t have time to plan a meal, but you still want to stay on track with your fitness goals.

Is protein powder compatible with a paleo diet? Dairy- and plant-based proteins are compatible with a paleo diet.

While protein powders are inherently processed, they are sourced from natural ingredients and can help you keep your protein intake at a healthy level. 

Why do athletes take protein powder? Protein powder is a useful supplement when it comes to gaining muscular strength and mass, losing weight, and maintaining weight loss.

In addition to its widely-known ability to increase muscle repair and augment strength gains, protein powder also increases feelings of fullness and upregulates your body’s baseline metabolic rate, meaning it helps you burn more calories throughout the day.

Protein powder also appears to prioritize burning fat above burning muscle, meaning that your weight loss is more effective—you’ll drop more fat and maintain more muscle mass.

Related articles

Recap

Protein powder is an incredibly popular supplement with a wide range of uses, from boosting muscle mass gain in athletes to fighting frailty in older adults to maintaining lean body mass while dropping fat mass.

Many of these benefits are linked to protein powder’s ability to heal muscles, increase satiety, and turn up your body’s metabolism.

When taken at the right dose, protein powder is one of the best ways to gain strength, drop fat, and improve or maintain your physique.

For BodyNutrition’s #1 recommended protein powder, click here.





Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Lady in Rainbow
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0
Shopping cart