What is the best protein powder?
The supplement market is absolutely full to the brim of protein powders. It can be hard to choose which you should buy and use. Essentially, they all have similar ingredients, they all do similar things, but what is the best protein powder that you can buy? In this article we discuss what makes a great protein powder and give you our recommendations based on what we believe matters most.
- Protein profile
We’ll cover off all of these in our review of each and provide a score for them with an overall rating of our top 5 protein powders on the market.
There’s plenty of different types of protein, from plant based to isolates, protein powders without artificial sweeteners and good old fashioned whey. So to start with, we’ll cover off what the different types of protein powder are.
What is a plant based protein powder?
A plant based protein powder is a protein powder derived from plant based sources, often to accommodate those with dietary restrictions that could be found from a traditional whey protein, which are derived from Cow’s milk.
Plant based protein powders generally get their protein from things like Soy, Brown Rice, Peas and Hemp amongst others depending on the manufacturer.
If you’re lactose intolerant, vegan or just looking to make different choices with your protein but still want to supplement protein intake, then this is your go to!
What is whey protein?
Whey protein is a mixture of proteins isolated from whey, the liquid part of milk that is separated from the curd during cheese production. Whey protein contains a great range of amino acids with both complete essential amino acids and high BCAA contents make it a great supplement for those looking to take on extra protein.
There are essentially 3 different types of whey protein;
Most users generally opt for a concentrate, as isolate usually doesn’t taste as good due to the lower fat content and concentrate is the cheapest of the 3. If you’re trying to reduce fat levels within your diet and can’t tolerate whey concentrate then whey isolate is often used instead.
Now that’s the housekeeping out of the way, here’s our top picks for the best protein powders on the market. (We’ll follow with a best plant based and vegan protein powder list separately).
The best protein powders
(in our humble opinion)
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey – Our Choice
Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey has set the standard in whey protein for many years. With a great macro mix and 24g of protein in each 31g serving, you’re hard placed to find a better protein powder on the market.
It has a range of great flavours, (passing the taste test) and mixes well in both water and milk with minimal effort, meaning this protein does exactly what you want and need it to. There’s a reason why it’s been the top selling protein powder globally for over 20 years. There is a large BCAA and essential amino acid profile, low fat and carb content. The only downside vs others is the price, coming in at £49.99 for a 2.2kg tub.
MyProtein Impact Whey – Best bang for your buck
Highest price doesn’t always mean the best. And this is exactly where MyProtein’s Impact Whey Protein comes in. More flavour options than you can shake a stick at (some are better than others), it mixes incredibly well and price wise, you just cannot beat it! If you’re looking for an affordable, every day protein and in the market for something that just works, you don’t need to look any further. MyProtein constantly have deals in place, meaning you’ll never be paying full price and with 21g of protein per 25g serving, you’re not far off the best in market right there.
Downside wise, slightly higher fat content and a lower amino profile than that of ON, other than that, it’s very hard to pick between!
Reflex are a great brand that have always served us well. Having been one of the first we tried way back 10 years ago, they’re still at the forefront of the best available on the market. They’re slightly more expensive than MyProtein and slightly behind the quality of ON, but fit a good place in between the two.
Taste wise and mixability they’re just as good, and when we’re really looking to split and choose, they really don’t fall far behind.
Myprotein The Whey – Best Premium Mass Market Powder
Now this is a really great Protein powder. With 26g of protein from isolate and hydrolysed sources, the ingredients and technology are a cut above. But, with that, so is the price point. You’re looking at £1 per serving, almost double the others, but what you get in return is a better macro profile, a better amino profile (the ingredients list is second to none) and it mixes incredibly well.
Where it’s let down is the taste and the price, but that all depends on what you want from your whey.
XL Nutrition Xtra Whey – Best Tasting?
Discount supplements list XL Nutrition Xtra Whey as their best selling protein powder. Their reviews also list it as the best tasting, we find it hard to disagree.
It has an extremely compelling price point, and with a winning taste test, could definitely be an outside bet for breaking into the best of the bunch. Where it falls short is in the protein per serving and aminos profile, but nonetheless a great powder all around!
So there you have it, our list of the best protein powders on the market! What’s your favourite protein powder? Got anything you’d add onto the list? Or have a powder you’d like us to try out? Let us know and we can review it!