Whey protein is a staple for many when it comes to performance nutrition supplementation.
It’s fast-digesting which makes it ideal for post-workout but you can use it anytime to promote muscle growth and weight loss. The market literally has hundreds of options but anyone who knows anything about protein; would agree that the quality varies.
So, when looking for a good protein powder, it’s probably best to stick with the brands that have a good track record. And remember that a good whey product won’t offer you much else other than quality protein and maybe some amino acids which are building blocks of body tissue.
You have to train hard and consume enough protein through foods and supplementation to see the results you’re hoping for. So, with that being said, we’ve put together a list of awesome whey protein powders for your viewing pleasure…
Read also: Our Top Paleo Protein Powders Picks
Our top Whey Products picks for 2021
Short On Time?
Here’s the Editor’s Pick: Muscle Feast Grass-Fed Whey Isolate
Muscle Feast Grass-Fed Whey Isolate is ranked number 1 on Labdoor for quality so we chose it as our top pick. But that’s not the only reason… it’s a fantastic, quality product with very minimal ingredients, and it’s also keto-friendly, very low calorie, and contains a whey isolate.
Muscle Feast definitely lives up to its reputation with a very impressive and health-conscious label that consists of whey protein isolate, cocoa, sunflower lecithin, and stevia.
This means there’s no junk ingredients and everything you want in a whey product.
But if you’re watching your macros, this product is very ideal as there are 0 percent fat and carbohydrates in a serving. So, you only have to plug in the amount of protein per each serving into your diet and this whey is also great for keto (fat used as energy rather than carbs) since there are no carbs.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 88 calories, 20.5g protein, .2g fat, .2g carbs, and .1g sugar.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein
Optimum Nutrition is a brand which many swear by due to their quality products that won’t make you gag and which are pretty reasonably priced if we might add. The Gold Standard whey comes in a large selection of flavors, and it’s just an overall good value for what you get.
The protein is a blend of isolate and concentrate; so stomach issues should not be a concern for most people. And the powder is instantized, which means it mixes very well without all the clumps.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 120 calories, 24g protein, 1g fat (0.5 saturated), 3g carbs, and 1g sugar. There are also over 5g of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) which contribute to muscle growth and recovery.
Legion Whey+ Grass-Fed Protein (100% Isolate)
Legion Whey is a very high-quality protein that is actually 100% isolate. So, it’s a great option for people with dairy sensitivities as it contains no lactose. Each batch is made from the milk produced by small Irish dairy farms; which apparently results in very clean, high-quality dairy.
There’s no artificial anything in Legion Whey+ and this is very reassuring for those who want the best in quality!
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 100 calories, 22g protein, 0 fat, 3g carbs, and 0g sugar.
Dymatize ISO-100 Whey Protein Isolate
Dymatize ISO 100 is a mixture of hydrolyzed whey isolate and whey isolate for really fast digestion after your intense workouts. It’s another protein that’s made from quality ingredients, and there are 5.5g amino acids per serving.
Now, if you want an all-natural protein then you might want to look elsewhere as it does contain some artificial flavoring. Sucralose is also another ingredient but the flavors are great if you don’t mind it.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 120 calories, 25g protein, 0.5g fat, 2g carbs, and 1g sugar.
OPTIMUM NUTRITION Platinum Hydrowhey Protein Powder
Another product from Optimum Nutrition (It’s hard to go wrong), their Hydrolyzed whey protein isolate with micronized branched-chain amino acids (Leucine, isoleucine, and valine) is ideal for feeding your muscles after an intense session.
This version of whey is what ON claims to be there most advanced and we’d have to say it was true.
Additional ingredients include sucralose and acesulfame potassium.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 140 calories, 30g protein, 1g fat, 3g carbs, and 1g sugar.
Thorne Research Whey Protein Isolate
Thorne is a premium brand which produces highly-researched supplements and their whey protein isolate is NSF certified for high-sports performance. There’s no artificial anything in this product and the powder is sweetened with cane juice sugar and stevia.
When you buy Thorne, you know you’re getting the best quality available.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 100 calories, 21g protein, 0.5g fat, 3g carbs, and 3g sugar.
BSN Syntha-6 Whey Protein (Cold Stone Creamery)
BSN has some of the best tasting protein powder supplements overall. And their Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery flavors are definitely at the top. However, every blessing has its burden because although the flavors and texture are quite delectable; there are more calories, fats, and sugars per serving too.
Now, this protein blend contains several different forms which will give you both fast and slow-digesting protein to cover all your bases. And the blend includes whey concentrate, isolate, micellar casein, milk protein isolate, and egg albumen.
Syntha-6 is not your all-natural, minimal-ingredient protein powder but you can definitely make some serious gains due to the diverse protein blend.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 200 calories, 22g protein, 6g fat, 15g carbs, and 4g sugar (2 added).
NAKED WHEY 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein
If you like your protein completely NAKED… then don’t bother looking elsewhere. NAKED WHEY only contains grass-fed whey protein concentrate… and that’s it! No additives or anything else. So, it’s hard to complain.
And that means you also get a nice serving of naturally-occurring amino acids in every scoop. But seeing as there is only one single ingredient, the powder is unflavored so feel free to add your own.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 120 calories, 25g protein, 2g fat, 3g carbs, and 2g sugar.
MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder
Each serving of Combat Whey protein supplies a blend of Hydrolysate, isolate, concentrate, egg albumin, and micellar casein to support muscle growth and repair for hours.
The ingredients are certified by informed-choice which means it has gone through appropriate testing for effectiveness. And you won’t mind the award-winning flavors either. It’s hard to go wrong with a quality protein that tastes amazing and does what it’s supposed too.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 130 calories, 25g protein, 1.5g fat (1g saturated), 4g carbs, 2g sugar, and 16% cholesterol.
MuscleTech NitroTech Whey Protein Plus Creatine
If you’re not content with just a plain ole “whey” product then give this one a try. It not only contains whey peptides and whey isolate but you also get 3g of creatine; which is one of the most proven substances that support muscle growth and performance. (7, 8)
And whey + creatine = Gains!!
Plus, each serving has a Nitro-Amino-Matrix which supplies your amino acids.
Now, MuscleTech claims this formula to be “The Most Powerful Formula Ever Developed,” but we can’t sure for sure whether or not that’s true. However, we do know you’ll see results and the protein content is definitely high-quality.
The label also claims that the active ingredients resulted in 70% more lean muscle for NitroTech than regular whey users in a 6-week study. Significant strength gains were also reported.
But, of course, the creatine was probably also a factor. However, creatine and whey are an effective combination.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 160 calories, 30g protein, 2.5g fat, 4g carbs, and 2g sugar.
MTS Nutrition Machine Whey Protein
You’d probably have a hard time finding a bad-tasting flavor from MTS Nutrition. However, it’s not an all-natural product but this is not a deal-breaker for some people. The purpose of this whey isolate and concentrate mix is to supply you with plenty of quality, muscle-building protein.
Each does also contains a hefty amount of amino acids (10,927mg) per serving.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 153 calories, 25g protein, 3.5g fat (1.5g saturated), 6g carbs, and 3g sugar.
Quest Nutrition Protein Powder
Quest makes some very popular protein bars and other tasty goodies to aid you in your fitness endeavors. But they also make protein powder which is also pretty popular among the fitness community.
Quest powder is high protein and low carb which is an ideal ratio when just trying to get in some extra protein without much of the additional macronutrients.
Basic nutrition facts: A dose contains 110 calories, 20g protein, 1.5g fat (Saturated), 5g carbs, less than 1g sugar, and 2g erythritol. You also get 20% calcium.
Whey Isolate vs. Whey Concentrate
Whey is made from milk and is the byproduct of the milk and cheese-making process. But it must go through processing to create a product that is about 80% protein.
But whey isolate results from an additional filtration process which rids even more fats and carbohydrates from the whey. This results in a 90% or more protein and that’s also why isolate is a more expensive protein. And it’s a preferred choice for people who tend to have a lactose sensitivity.
Then you have casein which is a slow-digesting, slow-release protein that provides similar but slightly different benefits. Research shows that whey is better for short-term muscle protein synthesis (MPS). And casein is more effective when it comes to protein synthesis for more prolonged periods. (3)
How Much Protein Do I need?
We’d like to kindly direct you to our protein calculator where you can determine your recommended protein intake. Everyone will have a different requirement since several factors must be taken into consideration.
However, 17-20 grams of protein per meal spread out over a few hours between each one, with 8-10 grams of essential amino acids and at least 2 grams of leucine; should elicit optimal muscular adaptations in individuals who weight train. (6)
Criteria For Our Whey Protein Selections
It’s rather simple actually!
We chose products based on average user feedback, value, taste, quality, and mixability. But we wanted to be sure you were still getting a quality product that tastes pleasant from each brand because some companies will change formulas and user satisfaction takes a large dip.
We really hope you find our options to be beneficial for your goals. Our selections are some of the best on the market currently and each provides a very good value for what it offers. You’ll get nothing short of quality protein with proven ingredients and a palatable taste to go along with it.
These whey protein powders vary in that some are made from a blend but you just have to choose one which best suits you. And there really is no one best protein as long as you choose one which limits a bunch of garbage ingredients.
Whey protein powder should be taken as a supplement only and should not replace the majority of your meals. It’s an aid for muscle growth, strength, and recovery but it’s also just a great option as a supplement to your already healthy diet.