Protein powder is arguably the most popular nutritional supplement for aiding in muscle gain, fat loss, and performance.
And for good reason… you see, protein is vital for muscle growth but it’s also a necessary nutrient for bone, hair, nail, skin, and blood tissue development. (1)
But, sometimes we can’t get enough of this macronutrient and this is where protein shakes come in handy.
However, nobody wants to drink gross protein as it’s no fun trying to chug down multiple times a day. And so people who rely on protein shakes between meals want to know what the best-tasting protein shake is so they can make the process a little more bearable.
Let’s talk about the most common types of protein powder on the market… as there’s something for everyone!
Best Tasting Protein Powders Ranked:
Now… let’s get into our top 10 best tasting protein powder picks for 2021!
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So, whey protein is definitely the most popular form out of all the protein supplements.
But, what’s all the hype about? The hype is real but so are the results! Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein and studies show it’s consumption to aid in muscle gains. But, whey is also more effective for initial protein synthesis when compared to casein; which is more beneficial for prolonged protein synthesis. (2, 3)
Now, during a workout, we create micro-tears in our muscle fibers. So, since protein is the building block of muscle tissue, we need to feed our muscles in order to repair them so that they can grow bigger and stronger. (4, 5)
But the great thing about whey is it’s a cheap form of protein made from the leftovers of the cheese making process. So, in general, whey is cheaper than isolate.
Casein (Micellar) is a slower-digesting (Time release) form of protein found in milk and it’s a less popular product than the other protein powders. This form of protein is from 80% of milk protein compared to whey at just 20%. (6)
But casein contains all of the amino acids so it’s very complete and a lot of people drink casein protein shakes before bed since the slow release helps to feed the muscles throughout your sleep. And it’s a great option as casein is very effective for muscle growth due to the quality and anti-catabolic properties.
Whey Isolate is the product of additional filtering and processing which decreases carb and fat content while increasing the protein to about 90%.
And this makes it easier on the stomach which is why a lot of people prefer it over whey concentrate. But, isolate is generally a little pricier due to the additional processes.
A vegan/plant-based powder is made from plant protein.
Now, the different types are pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp protein, and soy protein. Some people just can’t handle the milk-based powder as the dairy can cause a lot of stomach discomfort. But, some plant-based proteins can cause this as well depending on the product.
However, the majority of the time, plant-based is a better alternative for a lot of people and seems to have gotten more popular with many great products being available on the market.
A study of 15 participants concluded that pea and whey protein yielded the same results over 8 weeks of high-intensity training. This is good news for those who follow the vegan lifestyle but also weight train for the goals of achieving aesthetics and performance improvements. (8)
But, vegan protein has already shown lots of great benefits and it has become a staple for many.
Best Tasting Vegan/Plant-Based Protein – KOS Organic Plant Based Protein (Chocolate)
Vegan or plant-based protein powders do not contain any animal protein or byproducts, so we’re talking strictly plant-based powder. Well, KOS churned out a pretty good chocolate flavor, which plant-based protein users will surely appreciate.
But, the protein powder is also made from pure ingredients, which means they left out a lot of the bad stuff and most of the ingredients are all-natural.
There are 20 grams of protein per serving (Pea, flax seed, Quinoa, pumpkin seed, chia seed), and the protein powder is flavored with stevia, and monk fruit extract.
But, KOS is also infused with pink Himalayan salt and Peruvian cacao.
Price: $42 for 30 servings
Best Tasting Whey Protein – Bare Performance Nutrition
A veteran-owned company out of Austin Texas, BPN makes incredible tasting protein with 25 grams of protein per serving and you can’t go wrong with any of their flavors.
Their milk N’ Cookies actually comes with cookie pieces so you can really have a tasty protein snack to look forward to any time of the day. But cinnamon roll and chocolate peanut butter will also please your taste buds!
And the great thing about BPN is that if you’re not pleased with a product they’ll make it right either way.
Price: $37 for 27 servings
Best Tasting Isolate Protein – Dymatize ISO 100 (Dreamsicle)
Dymatize ISO 100 is a crowd favorite and their Dreamsicle flavor tastes like the real thing according to a high percentage of users. But, ISO 100 should be easy on your stomach since it’s an isolate (Less lactose) which provides a pure form of protein.
Each serving of ISO 100 supplies 25 grams of hydrolyzed protein, 2.5g of the amino acid leucine, 4.4g of glutamine, 1g of sugar, and less than 1g of fat.
Price: $30 for 23 servings
Best Tasting Vanilla Protein – Syntha 6 Vanilla Ice Cream
Vanilla may very well be the most popular flavor when it comes to nutritional supplementation. It’s a neutral flavor and you can pretty much create any combination with vanilla.
But when it comes to taste, a good vanilla protein shake will hit the spot after a hard workout and Syntha 6 deliver. But, their flavors have always been excellent and therefore they’ve earned a spot on our list.
Now, each serving gives you 22 grams of a protein blend (When concentrate, whey isolate, and micellar casein) to supply your active lifestyle and repair your muscles after an intense workout. Plus, you get 5 grams of fiber which is beneficial for digestion and blood sugar control, while you get 10 essential amino acids which are in fact the building blocks of life. (9, 10)
Price: $40 for 48 servings
Best Tasting Chocolate Protein – Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard Extreme Chocolate
Optimum Nutrition boasts a pretty packed lineup of acceptable tasting protein powders (As they should being a premier supplement company) but the extreme chocolate seems to be a favorite.
A serving contains 24 grams of whey concentrate and an isolate blend perfect for making gains. Plus, it has 3-4g of carbs, 1-3g of sugar, and 1-1.5g of fat.
Now, ON has been around for a while and so the ingredients and quality of their products are good to go! But, when it comes to the 20+ flavors, the chocolate ones seem to have the highest satisfaction.
The extreme chocolate is a good flavor to start with though…
Price: $47 for 71 servings
Best Tasting Protein For Women – Her Natural Whey
So, women tend to weigh less than men on average and they also carry less muscle mass, which means their overall protein intake should be less.
But, it doesn’t necessarily matter what product you take. However, there are protein powders made specifically for the female athlete, gym-goer, and/or just the health-conscious individual.
Her Natural Whey contains the perfect dose of grass-fed protein (20 grams), with 3 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fat. There are no artificial sweeteners so you don’t have to palate the fake chemical taste if many other protein powders.
Price: $25 for 16 servings
Best Tasting Keto-Friendly Protein – Perfect Keto with Collagen Peptides
So, keto/low carb is all the craze right now and, of course, there’s a market for such products everywhere!
So, if you didn’t know about the ketogenic lifestyle… it’s basically when you substitute most of the carbs you’d usually use for energy, with fat. And so the perfect keto protein shake will be very low, or no carb with a good source of fat and a moderate dose of protein. (11)
When we cut out carbs and make fats our primary macronutrient for energy, we create ketones in our bloodstream rather than glucose, and this welcomes a state of ketosis. And so the desired result here is to shed weight and utilize the protein for muscle gains. (12)
Each serving contains 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and 1g of carbs. The fats are from MCT’s (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) which may have weight loss, muscle-building benefits, which may also increase performance. Perfect Keto also contains collagen powder which is good for muscle, bone, and skin health. (13, 14)
Price: $37 for 20 servings
Best Tasting Protein Blend – BSN Syntha 6
Syntha 6 protein is made from whey, isolate and micellar casein. It’s delicious and you can never go wrong with it.
If you want a milkshake then look no further. With 22 grams of protein and just 2-3 grams of sugar per serving, it’s hard to find something which tastes as delicious. And the price isn’t bad either…
Price: $40 for 48 servings
Best Tasting Natural Protein – Orgain Organic Protein (Vanilla)
So, of course, we had to include a protein powder that is all-natural with no junk and all good stuff. And Orgain has a very pleasant taste too. You get 21 grams of organic, plant-based protein (Pea, brown rice, and chia seed), plus 5g of fiber for digestion, and there’s no added sugar.
The vanilla bean is a great flavor and we recommend it but if you like to expand your palate then feel free to try the other flavor offerings.
Price: $20 for 20 servings
Best Bang For Your Buck – Pure Protein 100% Whey (Vanilla Cream)
Who doesn’t like to save a little coin and still get quality protein?… Pure Protein not only saves you some green but you get a good 25 grams of protein per scoop and over 5 grams of BCAA’s per serving.
The taste is great and with vanilla, you can add in anything to spice it up a bit! So, next time you need some protein and have no desire to break the bank, go with Pure Protein’s 100% whey.
Price: $17 for 20 servings
Our list of best-tasting protein powders should not disappoint but everyone has a different preference when it comes to how palatable something is. But, for the majority of people, our picks will taste better on average than the competitors and/or other flavors within a brand.
So, take our recommendations and try out samples before buying a full jug if you have to but we just wanted to make the process a little easier for you. Now, where the ingredients are concerned, our picks are safe based on user feedback but it’s always best to check the ingredients and even check with your doctor before starting a supplementation routine.
Also read our review of the best Green Superfood powders!
Have fun with the flavors but most importantly… just make sure to get in your protein so you can keep making those gains!