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The Best Protein Powder - 2022

Last updated on August 27, 2021

We looked at the top 18 and dug through the reviews from 84 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best .

Best Organic Protein

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Our Picks For The Top

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Our Take
  Best Overall

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Protein Powder

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Vital Proteins

Collagen Peptides Protein Powder

Overall Take

Gluten- and Dairy-FreeNot only is this protein powder gluten- and dairy-free, but it's also made without the addition of sugar.

  Easy on Stomach

PlantFusion Gluten-Free Plant Based Protein Powder

PlantFusion

Gluten-Free Plant Based Protein Powder

Overall Take

Vegan FormulaThis protein powder is free of GMOs and contains no gluten, dairy or sugar.

  For Gym Rats

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition

Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder

Overall Take

Top PickWith its ease of use and tasty flavors, this protein powder is a great pick for gym rats and newbies alike.

  Gluten-Free Option

Body Fortress Super Advanced Gluten Free Whey Protein Powder

Body Fortress

Super Advanced Gluten Free Whey Protein Powder

Overall Take

Tasty Chocolate FlavorThis protein powder is free of gluten and doesn't use any aspartame, which is harmful to the body.

  We Also Like

Vega Sport Premium Plant-Based Protein Powder, Vanilla

Vega

Sport Premium Plant-Based Protein Powder, Vanilla

Overall Take

Sweet and SmoothThis protein powder boasts four flavors and a smooth texture.

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84

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

279,360

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The Best Overall

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Protein Powder

Our Expert Score

9.3

Our Take

Support your hair, skin and nails by adding this protein powder to your diet. The powder dissolves quickly in both cold and hot liquids, so you can mix it with everything from a fruit smoothie to a cup of coffee. It works with a variety of diets, including gluten-free, Paleo, dairy-free and Whole30.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Body Fortress Super Advanced Gluten Free Whey Protein Powder

Our Total Score

9.3

Our Take

If you're looking for a protein powder that tastes good, go with this protein powder. This powder comes in a chocolate flavor and is designed to stir, mix and blend with ease. Users who add this supplement to their daily routine will experience leaner muscles and a quicker recovery time after each workout.

Our Buying Guide

Protein is a key part of any healthy eating plan. It helps you gain muscle and lose fat as well as provide essential nutrients every body needs. Unfortunately, getting enough lean protein throughout the day can be difficult. Oftentimes you’re on the run and there simply isn’t time for grilling up some chicken or fish. A busy schedule isn’t an excuse for skimping on nutrition, though. Protein powders are a convenient solution to keep you satisfied and on track with your goals.

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There are whole aisles devoted to protein powders, including whey, casein, soy and pea to name a few. But not all protein powders are created equal. The nutritional quality, as well as the source of the protein and additional ingredients, varies widely between different manufacturers.

Whey has long been considered the gold standard of protein powders. It comes from cow’s milk and is the watery liquid extracted during cheesemaking. Its claim to fame is that it contains all of the amino acids (or building blocks of protein) that you need for muscle repair after workouts. Similarly,  casein protein is also derived from cow’s milk. However, it takes longer to absorb and digest. It provides excellent overnight fuel for muscles.

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There are also several plant-based and vegan protein sources. While many do not contain the full array of amino acids your muscles need, soy is a complete protein. Soy protein isolate tends to be a better option than concentrate because it contains higher levels of protein.

Rice, pea and hemp proteins are good options for anyone with a soy allergy. Unlike soy, these do not contain the full array of amino acids your muscles need on their own. That means manufacturers mix and match a few different plant-based proteins to form a complete protein and include all the amino acids. Additionally, plant-based proteins tend to have an earthy flavor to them.

In addition to unique protein sources, each brand offers a wide variety of flavor options, from minimally unflavored to outrageous combinations like birthday cake or peppermint mocha.

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Then, there is texture and price to compare and factor into your protein powder decisions. You should also be prepared for sticker shock when you first venture into the protein powder aisle. The prices for single tubs of protein powder may seem exorbitant, but it’s helpful to look at the high number of servings each one contains. In fact, one tub can last for months and supplement or replace many meals.

With so many options on the market, picking the right protein powder for you can be difficult and overwhelming. The best way to decipher which protein powder is right for you is to look at your goals and how you want to incorporate the supplement into your diet. Certain types of protein are better for muscle gain while others excel at curbing appetite. Once you know what your goals are, then you can stroll confidently into the protein aisle.

In recent years, there has been an overall shift toward cleaner protein. Now, manufacturers are paying more attention to and promoting what’s not in their product as much as what is in the recipe. For example, some powders have just one ingredient. When it comes to supplements, less is more. The added ingredients can counteract the good work of the protein. In fact, adding sugar and processed ingredients can skew otherwise healthy foods into the junk food category quickly.

Simplemost Fun Fact

Long ago, ancient civilizations realized the importance of protein, generally in the form of meat, for athletes and strength. However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that bodybuilders buoyed the first protein supplements. As bodybuilding became more popular in the 1970s and 1980s, so too did the protein powder and supplement market.

 

The Tips and Advice

  • Do your own research and read the ingredient labels and nutrition facts to see exactly what is and isn’t in each product.
  • Whey protein is the most common protein source in protein powders, and it comes from cow’s milk. Anyone with a dairy allergy or sensitivity will want to steer clear of whey.
  • Protein powder should contain all the essential amino acids muscles need to repair and grow. That makes it a “complete protein.” Manufacturers generally include this information prominently on the label.
  • There are many plant-based protein options, including pea, rice, hemp and soy. These are great options for vegetarians, vegans and anyone with allergies.
  • Don’t just focus on the protein source. Additives and other ingredients make a big difference in taste, nutrition quality and texture.
  • Some protein powders mix evenly when stirred, but most work better in a shaker bottle or a blender.
  • Protein powders containing casein, whey isolate or soy are better for weight loss and curbing appetite than other sources. They are satiating and low in calories, as long as the formula includes no added sugars.

About The Author

Jennifer Nied 

Jennifer Nied is a professional writer based in New York City. She studied journalism at Northwestern University. Jennifer has more than 10 years of experience writing, researching and editing stories for national publications about health and wellness topics. Health and wellness is also a lifelong passion, and Jennifer loves learning about the latest trends as well as putting them into practice in her own life. She is a marathoner and fitness fanatic who’s tested out a wide variety of workouts around the country.