Best Protein Powder Supplements For Strength & Size (Updated 2022)

8 Best Protein Powders Generation Iron Review

These protein supplements will enhance growth and recovery so you maximize training and performance.

Protein plays a vital role in maintaining, growing and repairing body tissue. Whey protein powder can be used as an emergency energy source and are also essential for the production of a number of key hormones which promote growth and maturation from a protein powder.

Considering the indispensable role that it plays, we must recognize the importance of consuming an adequate serving of protein every day for muscle growth and two types of whey protein can help. Failing to do so can result in the development of chronic diseases and ailments such as muscle wastage, anemia (low blood iron), decreased immunity and fatigue and vitamins and minerals and branch chain amino acids can help you lose weight and aid in muscle repair from protein powders.

To allow you to select a whey protein powder or protein blend that fits your goals, our team have tried and tested a vast number of premium protein powders. Furthermore, the article will also break down the science behind muscle building and help you understand why whey protein concentrate and isolate supplementation is so effective for the best protein powder for bodybuilding.

The Best Whey Protein Powder Supplements on the Market

When selecting the best protein powder for bodybuilding, it is important to study the ingredients closely as many protein powders that appear to be of good quality often contain fillers and bulking agents which have no purpose other than increasing the quantity of the two types of whey protein, being whey protein concentrate and isolate powder, or a protein blend. A good quality powder will be high in protein and low in filler ingredients, calories, and sugars. Additionally, from a practical viewpoint, you want a shake that performs well in terms of taste, price, digestibility, and mixability for the best protein powders.

As stated, there are so many options for the best protein powder for bodybuilding available in whey protein concentrate or isolate that it can become convoluted, as well as plant based protein which can provide for the best vegan protein powder benefits. To allow you to pick the powder that matches your goal, we have reviewed 9 of the best supplements on the market.

Best Whey Protein Powder Supplements of 2022


Best Protein Powder Overall

Finding an all-around great protein powder can be challenging but it is possible. With the right ingredients and formula, all of those protein wants and needs can be achieved either with the best whey protein or a plant based protein powder.

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Calories 120
Protein 28g
Carbs 1g
Fat 0.5g
Sugar Less than 1g
Flavors Cinnamon Pastry, Mocha, French Vanilla, Cookies ‘N Cream, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cereal Splash, Strawberry, Salted Caramel
Number Of Servings 30

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey boasts an impressive array of eco-friendly accomplishments. It’s organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. There are no artificial sweeteners — a rarity in a world full of whey protein powder, which are almost always filled with chemical flavorings to disguise the chalkiness of protein. There are also no artificial colorings or preservatives added. If you have a sensitive stomach, allergies, or just care about the environment, this is an excellent whey isolate for you and your body weight goals and is easy to digest compared to a whey concentrate.

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Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free, boasting a great formula for a top protein powder. With nothing artificial added, this is a clean protein that is easier on your stomach.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • No artificial ingredients and a transparent label ensure honesty from one of the best whey protein powders.
  • Third party tested for accuracy to ensure nothing you don’t want in your supplement is included.
  • Organic and non-GMO for optimal health benefits.
  • Good choice for those who tend to be sensitive to certain protein supplements.
  • Contains essential amino acids perfect for building muscle.
  • Right amount of protein per scoop per serving so you get the most for your dollar.

This protein is awesome for anyone looking for a high-quality whey that is labeled accurately with awesome benefits and is definitely up there as the best protein powder for bodybuilding. It tastes great and contains no artificial ingredients.

Cons & Who Shouldn’t Buy

  • Slightly high in carbs and cholesterol for those looking out for these.
  • Despite lactose, their are no digestive enzymes to aid in gut health and digestion
  • Premium priced product for those looking save some money.

Whey can be tough for some peoples’ stomachs and it is a premium priced option that is only available on their website. Something to consider for those looking for digestive help.

Price: $59.00

Use the promo code GENIRON10 for 10% off! Check out our individual review for Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate here!


Best Whey Protein For Muscle Gain

For those looking to gain muscle, your protein product should absolutely reflect that goal. With the right ingredients dosed out perfectly, that is absolutely possible from the best protein for strength.

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey Protein Powder

Calories 120
Protein 24g
Carbs 1g
Fat 2g
Sugar 1g
Flavors Vanilla, Chocolate, Fruity Cereal Splash, Salted Chocolate Caramel, Orange Ice Cream
Number Of Servings 30

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey Protein Powder is a great tasting and fast absorbing protein powder that is easily digestible for ease on your stomach. A great mix of whey isolate and whey concentrate, this protein supplement is great for those looking to increase muscle growth for lean muscle mass and enhance recovery. Produced through a state-of-the-art filtration process, this whey protein is low in fat and carbs while being high in protein. Although it is low in sugar as well, no taste is sacrificed.

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey Protein Powder is a fast absorbing and easily digestible protein powder great for muscle growth and recovery.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • Mix of whey isolate and concentrate great for muscle growth and recovery for the best benefits.
  • Fast absorbing and easy to digest so you get those nutrients quickly and don’t suffer digestive issues.
  • Honest and clean process for the best product possible and optimal effectiveness.
  • Low in sugar while not sacrificing taste but keeping your health at an all time high.

This protein powder is great for those looking to enhance their muscle growth and recovery with a nice blend of isolate and concentrate while also having something that tastes great.

Cons & Who Shouldn’t Buy

  • Does contain artificial sweeteners for those looking for an all-natural product.
  • May lack certain digestive enzymes to make digestion even more smooth, especially those sensitive to dairy.

Price: $29.99

Check out our individual review for Jacked Factory Authentic Whey here!


Best Whey Protein For Men

For men looking to perform their best, having a great protein powder to tackle growth and recovery needs is imperative. With clean ingredients and tons of protein, the right protein powder is out there for those male athletes.

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Calories 120
Protein 28g
Carbs 1g
Fat 0.5g
Sugar Less than 1g
Flavors Cinnamon Pastry, Mocha, French Vanilla, Cookies ‘N Cream, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cereal Splash, Strawberry, Salted Caramel
Number Of Servings 30

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey boasts an impressive array of eco-friendly accomplishments. It’s organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. There are no artificial sweeteners — a rarity in a world full of whey protein powder, which are almost always filled with chemical flavorings to disguise the chalkiness of protein. There are also no artificial colorings or preservatives added. If you have a sensitive stomach, allergies, or just care about the environment, this is an excellent whey isolate for you and your body weight goals and is easy to digest compared to a whey concentrate.

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Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free, boasting a great formula for a top protein powder. With nothing artificial added, this is a clean protein that is easier on your stomach.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • No artificial ingredients and a transparent label ensure honesty from one of the best whey protein powders.
  • Third party tested for accuracy to ensure nothing you don’t want in your supplement is included.
  • Organic and non-GMO for optimal health benefits.
  • Good choice for those who tend to be sensitive to certain protein supplements.
  • Contains essential amino acids perfect for building muscle.
  • Right amount of protein per scoop per serving so you get the most for your dollar.

This protein is awesome for anyone looking for a high-quality whey that is labeled accurately with awesome benefits. It tastes great and contains no artificial ingredients.

Cons & Who Shouldn’t Buy

  • Slightly high in carbs and cholesterol for those looking out for these.
  • Despite lactose, their are no digestive enzymes to aid in gut health and digestion
  • Premium priced product for those looking save some money.

Whey can be tough for some peoples’ stomachs and it is a premium priced option that is only available on their website. Something to consider for those looking for digestive help.

Price: $59.00

Use the promo code GENIRON10 for 10% off! Check out our individual review for Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate here!


Best Whey Protein Meal Replacement

Whey is a common protein source to be used as a meal replacement for its ability to keep you full and aid in valuable growth and repair. Kaged Muscle has this great meal replacement option with whey as the primary protein source, similar to those other products that make up a whey protein powder.

Kaged Muscle Clean Meal

Calories 240
Protein 28g
Carbs 18g
Fat 4.5g
Sugar 1g
Flavors Snickerdoodle, Vanilla Cake
Number Of Servings 20

Kaged Muscle Clean Meal is for those active individuals who want to prioritize nutrition while still getting a complete and convenient meal for those on-the-go needs. With whole food ingredients and 21 organic vitamins and minerals, this meal replacement has 123% better amino absorption to help build muscle and strength while also keeping you full throughout the day. Fueled with a formula including whey protein isolate, clean carbs, BCAAs, MCT oil, and zero added sugar, this meal replacement is perfect for fueling athletic performance while providing for a protein rich option for digestion and other nutritional needs.

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Kaged Muscle Clean Meal is a great meal replacement for those looking to prioritize nutrition while still getting a solid on-the-go meal. With whole food ingredients and 21 organic vitamins and minerals, all of the essentials are covered.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • Whole food ingredients to provide great nutrients for the best in terms of growth and repair.
  • 21 organic vitamins and minerals to give you the best benefits.
  • Quick and nutritious meal replacement for those always on the go.
  • $2.25 per meal to make this an affordable option.

A clean source of nutrients to offer the best meal replacement around, you can’t beat this formula. Anyone on the go and constantly dealing with a busy schedule will benefit greatly.

Cons & Who Shouldn’t Buy

  • Slightly low on number of servings and it would be nice to see more included.

Low in servings does hurt the price point, for others do exist at a lower cost with more servings. Also, for those sensitive to whey, it is the main protein source.

Price: $44.99

Use code GENIRON10 for 10% off! Also, check out our individual review for Kaged Muscle Clean Meal here!


Best Clean Organic Grass-Fed Whey Protein

When it comes to quality of your protein, having something that is organic can prove worthwhile for your overall health. A clean source of protein can really enhance all of your goals and a whey protein powder is what you need.

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Calories 120
Protein 28g
Carbs 1g
Fat 0.5g
Sugar Less than 1g
Flavors Cinnamon Pastry, Mocha, French Vanilla, Cookies ‘N Cream, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cereal Splash, Strawberry, Salted Caramel
Number Of Servings 30

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey boasts an impressive array of eco-friendly accomplishments. It’s organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. There are no artificial sweeteners — a rarity in a world full of whey protein powder, which are almost always filled with chemical flavorings to disguise the chalkiness of protein. There are also no artificial colorings or preservatives added. If you have a sensitive stomach, allergies, or just care about the environment, this is an excellent whey isolate for you and your body weight goals and is easy to digest compared to a whey concentrate.

Code GENIRON10 For 10% Off

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free, boasting a great formula for a top protein powder. With nothing artificial added, this is a clean protein that is easier on your stomach.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • No artificial ingredients and a transparent label ensure honesty from one of the best whey protein powders.
  • Third party tested for accuracy to ensure nothing you don’t want in your supplement is included.
  • Organic and non-GMO for optimal health benefits.
  • Good choice for those who tend to be sensitive to certain protein supplements.
  • Contains essential amino acids perfect for building muscle.
  • Right amount of protein per scoop per serving so you get the most for your dollar.

This protein is awesome for anyone looking for a high-quality whey that is labeled accurately with awesome benefits. It tastes great and contains no artificial ingredients.

Cons & Who Shouldn’t Buy

  • Slightly high in carbs and cholesterol for those looking out for these.
  • Despite lactose, their are no digestive enzymes to aid in gut health and digestion
  • Premium priced product for those looking save some money.

Whey can be tough for some peoples’ stomachs and it is a premium priced option that is only available on their website. Something to consider for those looking for digestive help.

Price: $59.00

Use the promo code GENIRON10 for 10% off! Check out our individual review for Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate here!


Best Vegan Whey Alternative

For those sensitive to dairy or who just want to live a vegan lifestyle, vegan protein powders exist and are great options aside from whey protein powder. They can offer the same benefits as whey without all the dairy.

National Bodybuilding Co. Full Prep Vegan

Calories 117
Protein 20.5g
Carbs 2g
Fat 3g
Sugar 0g
Flavors Chocolate
Number Of Servings 20

National Bodybuilding Co. Full Prep Vegan Protein is designed to help bodybuilders progress faster in the gym and with their vegan goals. A 100% natural and organic plant-based protein, this works to increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis, optimize nutrient utilization, boost metabolic efficiency, and enhance athletic performance. Using organic rice and pea protein, this supplement does not produce inflammation and is more bioavailable than dairy. With 117 calories and 20.5 grams of protein, this powder will work for your overall protein benefit as it helps you adopt a healthy lifestyle while building muscle and providing amino acids from a protein shake.

National Bodybuilding Co. Full Prep Vegan is designed for bodybuilders to hit their goals faster. A 100% natural and organic powder, this will work for a number of benefits like muscle growth and recovery, as well as enhancing overall performance.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • 100% organic and naturally flavored with stevia to avoid any artificial sweeteners.
  • Low in calories to aid in weight loss and management for that desired physique.
  • Designed for cleaner and faster absorption so those nutrients hit you much harder.
  • Manufactured to FDA standards and produced by a reputable company.
  • Helps you lose weight and keep muscle while being easy to digest so you don’t sacrifice any gains.

This is perfect for the best protein powder for bodybuilding for those looking for a vegan protein that is easy to absorb and 100% organic. Being lower in calories, this is also perfect for those looking to lose weight with great ingredients per serving.

Cons & Who Shouldn’t Buy

  • Only 20 servings per container and it would be nice to have more for the price.
  • Can only get it from their website directly so it limits where you can buy from.
  • Chocolate is the only flavor and more flavors would be nice for variety.

It is an expensive option only available on their website. One flavor does hurt this product as many others offer a lot more, so for those looking for variety, you won’t get it here.

Price: $40.00

Check out our individual review for National Bodybuilding Co. Full Prep here!


Best Fat Free Whey Protein

While a whey protein powder with fat is beneficial for you, for those looking to cut weight, fat free options do exist. Cellucor has a great fat free supplement that will work wonders for your performance goals.

Cellucor COR-Performance Whey

Calories 120
Protein 24g
Carbs 3g
Fat 1.5g
Sugar 2g
Flavors Molten Chocolate, Whipped Vanilla
Number Of Servings 70

Cellucor COR-Performance Whey Protein Powder is an optimal source of protein for those looking to maintain and grow lean muscle, replenish and restore those lost nutrients from working out, and offering a great tasting, guilt-free option. Packed with protein and loaded with digestive enzymes, this is a great low carb-low fat supplement while also being low in calories and sugar.

Cellucor COR-Performance Whey Protein Powder is an optimal source of protein for those looking to maintain lean muscle, replenish lost nutrients, and have a great tasting protein powder.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • Optimal source of protein to maintain lean muscle and replenish lost nutrients to maximize training and health.
  • Packed with 24g protein and only 120 calories for a great protein option to help with all gains.
  • Fast acting whey and digesting enzymes for better absorption and less discomfort.
  • From a reputable company in Cellucor so you know exactly what you’re getting.

This protein is great for the amount of protein while being low in calories. The fast digesting enzymes work well so these nutrients hit you hard for the best gains post-workout.

Cons & Who Should Buy

  • Does contain artificial sweeteners for those looking for an all-natural route this may be something to consider.
  • A few more flavor options would be nice to add even more variety for this protein powder.

This is a great protein powder but for those who want some more flavors, it would be nice if this had more to add even more variety.

Price: $59.99

Check out our individual review for Cellucor COR-Performance Whey here!


Best Whey Protein For Weight Loss

While some want to bulk up, others use protein powders as weight loss tools. Able to keep you full and curb hunger, these supplements are perfect for assisting with those weight loss and management goals.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Isolate

Calories 100
Protein 25g
Carbs 1g
Fat 0g
Sugar 1g
Flavors Caramel Ice Cream, Chocolate Bliss, Chocolate Mint Brownie, Rich Vanilla
Number Of Servings 24

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Isolate is a high-quality whey isolate powder perfect for fast digesting with 1g of carbs and less than 1g of fat. With 25g of protein in each serving, this works well for building muscle, enhancing recovery, and working towards your weight loss and management goals. With 5.5g of naturally occurring BCAAs, you get all the benefits of a top tier protein powder without any banned substances.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Isolate is a high-quality whey isolate powder with 25g of protein and 5.5g of naturally occurring BCAAs perfect for growth and recovery.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • 25g of protein perfect for muscle building and recovery by giving you adequate amounts of protein per serving.
  • Great flavors to provide for an awesome taste so you never grow bored and resort to the wrong snacks.
  • 5g of BCAAs ensures you see results when it comes to muscle growth as BCAAs are a great way to stimulate this growth.
  • Low in sugar, carbs, and fat for your bodybuilding goals to only give you a pure protein source.

This protein covers all the bases in terms of macronutrient balance and amount of sugar. It tastes great and you know what you are getting with an honest label.

Cons & Who Shouldn’t Buy

  • Could have more servings per container for the price and since supplements can get expensive, you should get the most bang for your buck.

While everything is great, supplements can get expensive so for those looking to get a better deal, there may be similar powders with more servings for the same or even lower of price.

Price: $35.99


Best Whey Protein For Weight Gain

Some people use whey in order to gain weight and a mass gainer can work wonders for your bulking needs. Loaded with a great balance of macronutrients is exactly what you need most to see those gains out of a great whey protein powder or mass gainer.

Transparent Labs Protein Mass Gainer

Calories 790
Protein 53g
Carbs 114g
Fat 14g
Sugar 17g
Flavors Chocolate, Cookies ‘N Cream, Sweet Vanilla, Chocolate Glaze
Number Of Servings 15

ProteinSeries Mass Gainer is loaded with everything you need to enhance lean muscle growth to safely and efficiently pack on muscle and healthy weight. This supplement is great for the perfect meal replacement, or a great weight gainer supplement to pair with a workout. The pure formulas included with this supplement provide amazing benefits for not only growth, but your overall health and wellness.

Mass Gainer offers 53 grams of protein per serving, which is derived from 100% Grass-Fed Whey Concentrate. At 750 calories for two scoops, you get 12 grams of fat and 109 grams of clean and natural carbs derived from organic tapioca, oat, and sweet potato sources. With no artificial sweeteners, food dyes, or harmful additives, you know exactly what you are getting with this mass gainer to ensure high-quality and healthy muscle growth.

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Transparent Labs ProteinSeries Mass Gainer is great for packing on muscle and healthy weight. Perfect as a meal replacement or a mass gaining supplement, this product is pumped with protein and no added artificial substances.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • Great for lean muscle growth and bulking so you see that increase in strength and size.
  • Perfect for a meal replacement or paired with a protein product to maximize gains.
  • Great ingredients and no artificial additives to ensure only natural and clean ingredients hit your body.
  • Transparent label for honesty and accuracy so you know exactly what you are getting.
  • From a reputable company in Transparent Labs who understands the need of consumers everywhere.

Anyone looking to bulk and seriously increase their strength and size will benefit greatly. For those into supplement pairing to see gains, this goes well with any protein powder.

Cons & Who Shouldn’t Buy

  • A premium priced option so for those on a budget, this may not be one of those protein powders for you.
  • Only available directly through their site so it limits where you can buy from.

If money is a concern, this is a premium priced option only on their website. For those who can bulk with just one supplement, this mass gainer may also not be necessary.

Price: $65.00

Use the promo code GENIRON10 for 10% off! Check out our individual review for Transparent Labs Mass Gainer here!


Best Whey Protein For Women

Women may need certain ingredients to benefit from a protein powder. Having one geared to their specific needs is amazing and will allow women to see the gains they want most.

Cira Nutrition Bright Whey Protein

Calories 120
Protein 25g
Carbs 2g
Fat 1.5g
Sugar 1g
Flavors Cookies ‘N Cream, Cinnamon Swirl
Number Of Servings 30

Cira Nutrition Bright Whey Protein is a great whey supplement to boost all areas of your training, performance, health, and wellness. With great tastes and no added sugar, it feels like dessert without the guilt attached. With 25g of protein and only 2g of carbs and 1.5g of fat, this supplement is a great ratio to fuel all your growth and recovery needs while also keeping you full. A fully disclosed label and pure honesty makes this supplement the a choice for women.

Cira Nutrition Bright Whey Protein is a great whey supplement for women. With 25g protein and a great ratio of macronutrients, this can help power growth and recovery to the next level.

Pros & Who Should Buy

  • Great ratio of macronutrients for optimal benefits to ensure your overall health is covered.
  • Awesome flavors with no added sugar to maximize health and still taste great.
  • Fully disclosed and honest label for the utmost accuracy so you know exactly what you are getting.

Women looking for a protein packed and well-balanced powder will benefit from this. No added sugar is great for those looking to lose weight and an honest label is perfect for those conscious about knowing every ingredient.

Cons & Who Shouldn’t Buy

  • Premium priced option and for those on a budget, maybe look elsewhere.
  • Only available directly from their website so it limits where you can buy this from.

Protein powders do tend to work for both men and women, and with this being a premium priced option and only available on their site, other powders can give you the same benefits. This is something to consider for those on a budget.

Price: $39.99


Best Whey Protein Isolate

A whey protein isolate is perfect for your muscle building goals and can pump you with a ton of protein with minimal carbs and fat. This is great for not only muscle growth and recovery, but also those weight loss goals you seek most.

Kaged Muscle Micropure Whey Protein Isolate

Calories 120
Protein 25g
Carbs 3g
Fat 0.5g
Sugar 1g
Flavors Cinnamon French Toast, Chocolate Peanut Butter, S’mores, Chocolate, Vanilla
Best Way To Take Mix 1 scoop with 5-8oz. of cold water or your favorite beverage.

Kaged Muscle Micropure Whey Protein Isolate is perfect for anyone looking to build muscle with a fast-digesting, pure, whey protein isolate. With 25g of 100% whey protein isolate, this powder has increased protein absorption thanks to a digestive enzyme technology used to enhance all of these nutrients so they hit you better. This protein is perfect for those looking to amplify muscle recovery and lean muscle growth and is naturally flavored with an amazing taste. A premium quality and well formulated whey isolate, this is a great protein powder for men for those fast-digesting needs.

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Kaged Muscle Micropure Whey Protein Isolate is great for those looking to build muscle from a fast-digesting and pure protein. With an enhanced digestive enzyme technology, all those nutrients hit you harder to amplify muscle growth and recovery.

Pros

  • Fast-digesting with increased absorption for better bulking post workout
  • 25g of 100% whey isolate and other nutrients
  • Naturally flavored whey protein powder

Cons

  • Premium priced whey protein powder

Price: $54.99

Use code GENIRON10 for 10% off!

rope hammer curls

The Benefits of Whey Protein Powder

Taking whey protein powder, either as whey protein concentrate, isolate or other types of protein, can have a number of powerful effects on the body. Whey protein powder is highly accessible, affordable and is a useful tool for promoting a high-protein diet and the best protein for strength can increase your performance goals.

Whey protein has been studied rigorously and has been found to promote muscle growth, facilitate recovery, and may assist in fat loss by increasing satiety.

Benefits: Protein Synthesis

If you are involved in regular training, there should be an even greater emphasis on ingesting ample protein from all types of protein. During physical training, the muscles are exposed to a great deal of mechanical load which causes small muscle fiber tears. To allow the tears to be repaired and to efficiently build muscle, a process known as muscle protein synthesis (MPS) must occur with the help of essential amino acids along with fat and carbs.

To optimize MPS, a high amount of protein is required. Failing to consume enough will hinder MPS thus potentially stunting recovery and leading to restricted movement, prolonged soreness, and muscular weakness. On the other hand, hitting your daily protein target will facilitate efficient recovery and cause these tears to be repaired rapidly and protein powder can really help. As a result of this process, the muscles fibers will increase in size and strength.

The research is clear, protein supplementation is an effective method of increasing one’s daily protein intake, enhancing MPS and therefore contributes to an increase in muscular strength and size (1). Based on this research, a number of health and fitness businesses have created protein powders. Protein shakes are undoubtedly quick, easy and effective but due to the vast number of products available, it can often be confusing and challenging to pick the right supplement for your needs and goals as you look to build muscle.

strong man

Protein Dosage Recommendations for Optimizing MPS

The amount of protein one should consume daily depends on their physical characteristics and goals. The recommendation for an adult is to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (2).  However, if you are aiming to build significant muscle, it may be necessary to consume more – the recommendation is between 1.0 – 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. The purpose of this, as mentioned previously, is to advance the rate of MPS and therefore a protein powder can assist with.

Types Of Powder

The Difference Between Whey Isolate, Concentrate, Casein & Plant Protein

Furthermore, you may come across terms such as whey “isolate” and “concentrate”. These terms simply refer to a specific stage in the processing of protein. In order to create protein powders, milk is heated to separate curds and whey. The whey protein concentrate is simply whey in its truest form. To create the isolate form, the whey must then be heavily filtered. This is done for one of two sole purposes – to increase the protein percentage of the powder and also lower the carbohydrate and fat content, as well as increasing branch chain amino acids.

Whether you go for whey concentrate or isolate protein powder, it appears to make very little difference – both are effective as the best protein for strength. However, if you are looking to maintain muscle size while dropping body fat, whey isolate is one superb option as it has a higher protein content than and is lower in carbs and calories than concentrate. Additionally, if you are lactose intolerant, isolate may be digested more efficiently than concentrate for a post workout (3).

Whey and Casein’s Impact on Muscle Growth

There are different types of protein powder that can be purchased and the two most common types are whey and casein, both of which are animal proteins great to build muscle from complete protein. In simple terms, whey is a fast digesting protein which causes rapid protein synthesis whereas casein is a slow digesting protein which maintains steady protein synthesis (4). The general understanding is that whey is one of the most effective reasons for building muscle whereas casein is most useful for maintaining muscle size.

protein

Plant and Animal Proteins Impact Muscle Building

There are a number of plant-based protein powders available which are excellent choices for vegans and vegetarians however, be aware that they may not have as profound an impact on muscle building as animal proteins, although they are still a complete protein. This is because plant products have a smaller range of amino acids (the “building blocks” of protein) and will, therefore, fail to maximize muscle size and recovery in the same way animal proteins do (5).

Moreover, there has been a great deal of research completed on one of the essential amino acids and one of the key branch chain amino acids known as Leucine which has been found to have a major impact on muscular growth and is a key ingredient in a plant based protein powder. Whey protein naturally has a high amount of leucine with each serving whereas vegan protein tends to be much lower in leucine.

How Much Are These Protein Powders?

Finding the right protein powders can be challenging but it is absolutely possible. With those more premium options, you find them to be more expensive, however, the quality is much higher. We broke down our best protein powders so you could see just what you’re dealing with.

Category Product Price Why We Love It
Best Whey Protein Powder Overall Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Price: $59.00

Per Serving: $1.96

A fully transparent label with clean ingredients and amazing benefits.
Best Whey Protein For Muscle Gain Jacked Factory Authentic Whey Protein Powder Price: $29.99

Per Serving: $0.99

Quality mix of whey isolate and concentrate for great benefits and ease on your stomach.
Best Whey Protein For Men Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Price: $59.00

Per Serving: $1.96

A fully transparent label with clean ingredients and amazing benefits.
Best Whey Protein Meal Replacement Kaged Muscle Clean Meal Price: 44.99

Per Serving: $2.25

Contains 21 organic vitamins and minerals with 123% better amino absorption.
Best Clean Organic Grass-Fed Whey Protein Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Price: $59.00

Per Serving: $1.96

A fully transparent label with clean ingredients and amazing benefits.
Best Vegan Whey Alternative National Bodybuilding Co. Full Prep Vegan Price: $40.00

Per Serving: $2.00

Low in calories, high in protein, and a great plant-based protein option.
Best Fat Free Whey Protein Cellucor Cor-Performance Whey Price: $59.99

Per Serving: $1.16

An optimal source of protein for lean muscle with 24g of protein and digestive enzymes.
Best Whey Protein For Weight Loss Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Isolate Price: $35.99

Per Serving: $1.49

Packed with protein and 5g of BCAAs to assist with growth and recovery.
Best Whey Protein For Weight Gain Transparent Labs ProteinSeries Mass Gainer Price: $65.00

Per Serving: $4.30

Great for those looking to clean bulk with honest ingredients and a transparent label.
Best Whey Protein For Women Cira Nutrition Bright Whey Protein Price: $39.99

Per Serving: $1.30

Awesome flavors with a great ratio of macros for effective gains.
Best Whey Protein Isolate Kaged Muscle Micropure Whey Protein Isolate Price: $54.99

Per Serving: $1.34

Fast digesting with 25g of 100% whey protein isolate.

When choosing your protein powder, it is important to look for those products that will work for your benefit and your benefit only. Things to look for include:What To Look For

Type Of Protein

Depending on your goals and lifestyle, there are different types of protein to consider. Whey is a great option but it contains dairy, so for those insensitive or following a certain diet, plant-based products might be the best option for you.

Amount Of Protein

The point of you taking these supplements to maximize protein intake. Looking to the amount of protein in each product is very important as you seek to get the most protein to fill you up, see gains, and optimize recovery.

Flavors

You want your powder to taste good and thankfully, these companies have put an emphasis on making great tasting products so you feel full and see the best gains.

Price & Price Per Serving

Supplements can get expensive and protein powders are no different. By looking at how much they cost and how much they cost per serving, you can better decide on what powder is right for you. It is possible to find a great product at an affordable price.

Best Time To Take A Protein Powder

While it is debated as to the best time to take a protein supplement, it is best to consume 15-60 minutes after you finish your workout. Some suggestions hint that you can take protein up to two hours after and still see benefits. It is best to take as close to after your workout as possible to get the most out of your training for proper protein intake from the right source of protein from the best bodybuilding protein.

How We Decide On The Best Whey Protein Powders

Differentiating the differences between protein powders is an arduous task. While certain characteristics of certain powders have been highlighted, it’s important to recognize that these are not necessarily positives or negatives. Rather, it’s a case of simply highlighting methods, ingredients and processes involved in case they cause a degree of difficulty for you.

To decide which protein powders made the list, and which is the best bodybuilding protein, we considered a number of areas. Firstly, we considered how the powder itself was manufactured to ensure it has been tested, is safe and is a product of premium quality. Secondly, we assessed the ingredients to ensure that each shake contained a high dosage of protein – whether that be whey, casein or a blend of both. Lastly, we considered the palatability and digestibility of each product.

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FAQ Section

What is the best protein powder?

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey. We felt this was the best bodybuilding protein for it boasts an impressive array of eco-friendly accomplishments. It’s organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

Which type of whey is better for my gains?

It all depends on what your goals are. In terms of bulking up, whey concentrate is a better option given that it has carbs and fat along with the high amount of protein. For those looking to lose weight, a whey isolate is a better option given that it is a more pure form of protein with minimal to no carbs and fats. It really all depends on your preference and what you want out of your goals.

How do vegan protein powders stack up against whey protein powders?

Vegan protein powders stack up well against whey by providing you with great amounts of protein and other ingredients to aid in training, performance, health, and wellness. For those sensitive to dairy, plant based protein powder options are great for your gains.

When is the best time to take a protein supplement?

It is best to take a protein supplement in the window of 15-60 minutes after you finish a workout. This will ensure your body has time to absorb all of those nutrients to aid in growth and recovery post workout with a protein shake, or even a couple protein shakes.

Final Word

While these products are of supreme quality, they will ultimately fail to cause changes if two other factors are not taken into account – consistent resistance training and a calorie surplus. You should not expect to see an increase in muscle by simply taking a protein powder. Muscle strength and size will only occur when this is combined with regular strength training and is one of the key reasons for the best whey protein powder for your post workout needs.

In addition to this, a calorie surplus is also required. This is simply where you consume more calories per day than your body requires. The additional energy is necessary to promote recovery from the stresses of strength training and consequently drive an increase in muscle. Only with a combination of proper training, a calorie surplus and a high-protein diet and whole foods, will you begin to see substantial change take place from a great protein source.

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References

  1. Pasiakos, Stefan M.; McLellan, Tom M.; Lieberman, Harris R. (2015-1). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.). 45 (1): 111–131. doi:10.1007/s40279-014-0242-2. ISSN 1179-2035. PMID 25169440.

2. Pendick, Daniel (June 18, 2015). “How much protein do you need every day?”. Harvard Health Blog.

3. Wilborn, Colin D.; Taylor, Lem W.; Outlaw, Jordan; Williams, Laura; Campbell, Bill; Foster, Cliffa A.; Smith-Ryan, Abbie; Urbina, Stacie; Hayward, Sara (March 1, 2013). “The Effects of Pre- and Post-Exercise Whey vs. Casein Protein Consumption on Body Composition and Performance Measures in Collegiate Female Athletes”. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 12 (1): 74–79. ISSN 1303-2968. PMC PMCPMC3761774. PMID 24149728.

4. Hoffman, Jay R.; Falvo, Michael J. (September 1, 2004). “Protein – Which is Best?”. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 3 (3): 118–130. ISSN 1303-2968. PMC PMCPMC3905294 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 24482589.

5. Australia, Healthdirect (February 19, 2019). “Vegetarian and vegan diets”. www.healthdirect.gov.au.

Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.