There are so many protein powders on the market these days, it’s hard to know which ones to buy, especially since they can be kinda pricey (about $1-2 per serving). I’m going to list an unbiased review here of my favorites, and not so favorites. Just know, that when I originally wrote this review, I was eating dairy and whey. We have since stopped, so I am not consuming anything on this list with whey, however, my feelings about them haven’t changed.
Straight up Egg White Powder. Yep- that’s it. I like the plain because the only ingredient is egg whites. NOW brand is what I use. I use this in my famous cauliflower crust pizza. If you want a little flavor, Jay Robb has several. There are a few other ingredients in it though, so check to make sure you’re ok with them. But I do like it and the flavored ones are way better for smoothies.
Quest Nutrition makes powders that bake fabulously. They’re hands down the best for recipes. They make good shakes too; they get very thick, so if you like that, these are for you. Salted Caramel is my favorite. The protein/calorie ratios are better than nearly everything on he market.
NutriForce Sports: www.nutriforcesports.com
This brand is one of the very first all-natural powders I have found that I like. All-natural companies are hard to come by in the workout-world (and the ones that are don’t always taste great).
What I Love: There are 4 flavors. Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry and Coffee. The chocolate and vanilla have little tiny curls of white and dark chocolate in the powder which is super fun if you like texture, which I do. (I dare you to not try picking out a few with your fingers!) I bake often with my powders, and the curls stay in tact, just like chocolate chips, when baked. The strawberry has tiny freeze-dried strawberry pieces and the coffee has real coffee flakes. One scoop has between 140-170 calories, 25 protein, 4-8 carbs and 2-4 fat (depending on the flavor).
- Improved recovery from exercise†
- Rapid digestion time compared to other leading sources of protein†
- Promotes signaling for muscle repair†
- A higher absorption rate compared to food and other leading forms of protein powders†
- High in BCAA’s (5.4g) and Glutamine (3.8)
WFit Nutrition. www.wfitnutrition.com
I stumbled upon this brand by accident while looking for a tasty coconut protein powder. I ordered off Amazon, and to my surprise, it was one of the best tasting powders I’d ever had.
What I love: The Vanilla Coconut flavor is so good! I sometimes use it in place of vanilla powders in my baking (which tend to taste fake to me) and it’s good every single time. They also have a Chocolate Mocha flavor that is good, but I’m a bigger fan of the vanilla coconut. It clocks in around 140-150 calories per serving with 25 protein, 7 carbs and 1.5 fat.
This was pretty much the only brand I used for 6 months, until I longed to mix things up and use more natural powders. Flavor-wise, Cellucor rocks. With flavors such as Cinnamon Swirl (my favorite), Cookie Dough, Cookies and Cream, Red Velvet and Mint Chip, it’s hard to beat their creativity. But- they are not natural, so I no longer use them.
What I love: The Cinnamon Swirl bakes very nicely. It isn’t overly cinnamon-y, and quite frankly, it is better than most vanilla powders, so I use it in place of vanilla sometimes. Cellucor is not all natural (it contains sucralose), but if you don’t mind that, it is always a solid choice. My favorite flavors, in order, are: Cinnamon Swirl, Molton Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Cor-Fetti, Peanut Butter Marshmallow, Mint Chocolate Chip, Whipped Vanilla and S’Mores (which actually did not blow my socks off at all). I haven’t tried Cookie Dough, Red Velvet or the Raspberry.
Grass Fed Whey. www.reserveage.com
Huge fan of this brand.
What I love: Grass fed is best for cows (who make the whey powder), and this brand does just that while offering a truly wonderful flavor with just the right sweetness. I adore the chocolate! More natural than most, and lower in calories (120 per servings with 21 protein, 4 carbs and 2 fat), it’s quite appealing if you like to make shakes or treats where you add other things, like flax, nut butter or fruit.
Proto Whey. www.powercrunch.com
I’ve been a fan of this hydrolyzed whey for a long time. I love how quickly it dissolves. It’s got a lighter, more fluffy consistency than the more dense regular powders on the market. When my nutrition clients ditch their yucky Coffee-Mate creamer, I encourage them to stir in 1 tablespoon of chocolate or cafe mocha Proto Whey instead. It dissolves right away and adds a nice flavor with a touch of protein.
What I love: “Hydrolysis is the natural intestinal process of breaking down whole proteins found in food and supplements into smaller proteins, called peptides (Micro Peptides™), and amino acids. DH is the Degree of Hydrolysis, which indicates the extent to which the protein has been broken down. Higher DH means more rapid and complete absorption. In order to be absorbed, protein must be hydrolyzed down to amino acids or to the smallest peptides, called di and tripeptides,” and that’s what Proto Whey does.
It’s not all-natural. It does contain sucralose. Boo.
- Requires less breakdown and digestive energy than whole proteins.
- Contains 10 grams of essential amino acids per serving. EAAs cannot be synthesized by the body and must be supplied by the diet.
- Employs DEM™ (digestive energy matrix), a unique combination of SoftPsil® micronized psyllium fiber and MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) to provide digestive energy and help maintain optimum intestinal health.
- High-DH reduces allergenicity.
- Low glycemic response.
- Mixes easily – no blender required.
- Industry-leading taste profile is rich and creamy.
I ADORE the Cafe Mocha and Chocolate flavors. A little of the cafe Mocha in your coffee is better than Starbucks. Seriously!
1 serving is 145 calories with 20 grams of protein, 7 carbs and 4 fat.
Vega One is the only vegan powder I really like, other than Shakeology’s vegan chocolate. Unlike Vega’s other brands, this one has a really good macronutrient profile and the flavor is great. No chalkiness at all. I have only bought the chocolate. My kids really love it and use a little of it daily to make pancakes or shakes. I love that it has probiotics (since we are dairy-free and don’t eat yogurt anymore), plus lots of antioxidants from kale, broccoli and more.
One scoop gives you:
- 20 grams premium plant-based protein
- 6 servings of greens
- 50% daily intake of food-based vitamins and minerals
- 25% DV fiber
- 1.5 grams of Omega-3s
- Probiotics (1 billion CFU)
- Only 160 calories.
Middle of the road vote:
About Time. www.tryabouttime.com
I love that this brand is all-natural too. For anyone looking for natural, this brand is definitely worth a peek. I was just underwhelmed by their flavors. They have several I have not tried, so I cannot speak to all of them. I’ve had the Birthday Cake, which didn’t have a strong flavor to me, and the Mocha Mint, which I actually preferred, although again, the flavor is quite light. I would add quite a bit to my Mocha Mint shake to get any flavor out of it (like lots of peppermint stevia drops and organic cacao). I like the macronutrients on this brand though. The calories are very low: 100 per serving with 25 protein and no carbs or fat. So- if you’re training for a competition, this might be the brand for you.
- Cold processed, micro filtered 100% whey protein isolate
- 25 grams of protein, 100 calories
- Zero sugar
- No artificial sweeteners
- Lactose and gluten free
- No growth hormones
Available in 10 flavors, including Banana, Birthday Cake, Chocolate, Chocolate
Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Swirl, Mocha Mint, Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Vanilla and Unflavored
This brand has some pretty sensational flavors. PB Cookie, Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Cake… and several more. I used to bake with the vanilla cake one all the time. I did so because the powder was SO sweet, I didn’t really need any additional sweetener in my baked goods. Protizyme’s 10x ultra-microfiltered process preserves the essential protein-peptide structure which delivers greater concentrations of amino acids, glutamine and BCAA’s. It’s gluten-free, lactose-free and aspartame-free, but it is not all natural. I stopped buying it for that reason and because it actually became too sweet for my liking. If you like really strong flavors, however, it might be one for you.
This is one of the only vegan powders I actually like. I’ve had the chocolate and used it for a while when I went dairy-free and vegetarian. It’s less chalky than most and has a pleasant flavor. It is not overly chocolaty, so in shakes, I always added cacao powder. “Offering high quality, plant-based protein plus live probiotics and enzymes, fat-soluble vitamins and nutrient Code Factors™ such as Beta-glucans, SOD, glutathione and CoQ10 for overall health and vitality,† RAW Protein provides the following benefits:
- Provides RAW organic sprouted protein and live probiotics and enzymes
- Excellent source of protein – 17 grams and 33% Daily Value
- Contains Vitamin Code RAW Food-Created Nutrients™ with their unique Code Factors™ intact, enabling natural recognition by your body
- Increases the protein content of meals – just add to food or beverages
- Suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets
- Good for those on low carbohydrate diets
- Alternative to soy and animal protein powders
- Good for those with gastrointestinal sensitivities to milk, whey and other protein sources
- Easily digested – supports digestive health and function with live probiotics and protein-digesting enzymes†
- Mixes well – great in shakes, smoothies and other beverages
It’s not only what RAW Protein contains, it’s also about what it doesn’t contain – there are no fillers, no artificial flavors and no synthetic ingredients and it’s gluten-free and dairy-free.”