13 Best Protein Powders

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On the market, there are many types of protein powders for consumers to choose from.  We will examine some of the best available on the market today along with their pros and cons.  

By understanding what you are looking at when reading the label on a protein powder can help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Nitrogen balance is a calculation that is used to determine your success with the product.  This number represents the ratio of amino acids which are being synthesized as opposed to those being broken down by the body.  

If this number is positive, then your body has plenty of amino acids available for tissue repair and growth.  If this number is negative, then you are losing protein.  

Protein powders can be used to improve body composition, build muscle mass and help with recovery after a workout.  It is important to take the time to research your options so that you pick one based on your individual needs.

We have chosen 13 of the best protein powders available on the market based on our research.

Protein Type: Whey Isolate Protein Powder

1 Scoop Contains: 25 grams of 100% whey isolate protein

Pros: All natural contains no artificial flavors or colors

Cons: Some report feeling bloated after taking it

Bottom Line: This is one of the best protein powders available on the market for those who are concerned with getting a 100% whey isolate product.  The all-natural ingredients are appealing to some but may be annoying for others.

Protein Type: Collagen Protein Powder

1 Scoop Contains: 15 grams of high-quality collagen protein

Pros: Helps improve skin, nails, hair, and joints

Cons: No whey protein which may cause stomach discomfort to some

Bottom Line: Collagen is a newer product on the market but has been shown to have many benefits for your skin, nails, hair, and joint health.  It would be beneficial to incorporate into your diet if these are areas that you struggle with.

Protein Type: Whey Protein Powder

1 Scoop Contains: 24 grams of protein

Pros: No artificial ingredients, sweetened with stevia, and is gluten-free

Cons: It May be expensive for some people and has a thick consistency that some may not like

Bottom Line: This product uses Stevia as its sugar substitute which makes it ideal for those looking to cut sugar out of their diet.  The product is also gluten free which could be appealing to some buyers.

Protein Type: Egg White Protein Powder

1 Scoop Contains: 24 grams of protein, along with less than 1 gram of fat and carbs

Pros: High-quality source of protein without the fat or carbs

Cons: Contains egg whites which may not appeal to all consumers

Bottom Line: This is one of the purest protein powders on the market, using 100% egg white powder.  If you are looking for something that is going to be a good source of high-quality protein without any other ingredients then this product is ideal for you.

13 Best Protein Powders

Now that we got that out of the way, it’s time to get specific with the following best options for protein powder on the market today. 

  1. Elm & Rye 
  2. Nutrex Research Outlift
  3. Citadel Nutrition Tier 1
  4. Dymatize PreWO
  5. NutraBio PRE
  6. GNC Pro Performance 100 Whey Protein
  7. The Genius Brand Genius Pre
  8. Rari Nutrition Infinity
  9. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder
  10. BodyTech 100 Pure Creatine Monohydrate
  11. Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA Capsules
  12. Life Extension Carnosine Vegetarian Capsules
  13. Cellucor NO3 Chrome Nitric Oxide Supplement

Possible Side Effects from Protein Powder

One of the most important things to look out for is any potential side effects that may be associated with these products.  Most are safe to use but there are some that should be used with caution.

  • Talk to your doctor before using if you have any preexisting medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease.
  • Most are safe to use but some have been known to cause upset stomach, gas, bloating, nausea, dizziness.  There are ways to maximize your results while minimizing possible side effects.
  • Look out for products that contain artificial sugars or flavors that may cause cramping or diarrhea.  
  • If you have an allergy to whey then you may want to find a different source of protein powder.
  • If you are lactose intolerant then some powders may cause discomfort after consumption, but most companies now offer products that utilize either whey isolate or plant-based sources like soy or pea.  These are usually well-tolerated if you don’t have an allergy to soy or any other ingredients in the product.
  • There are several companies that do utilize artificial sweeteners, so if you have an allergy to aspartame or sucralose then be sure to read the label.

How to Choose the Best Protein Powder

Below we’ve featured the top questions and things to consider before you choose one of the best protein powder options in our list above. 

Are your goals weight loss or bodybuilding?

If you are looking to lose weight then there are other things that should be incorporated into your diet, like low-calorie vegetables and lean sources of protein.  You don’t want to decrease the amount of food you eat while adding in a supplement with unnecessary calories.

If you are looking to increase muscle mass then a great option would be one that contains more calories from carbohydrates and fat, not just protein.  These sources of carbs and fat can also help sustain your energy levels throughout the day.

Is it easy on your stomach?

When you get a product that is pure whey protein there have been lots of reports of bloating and uncomfortable digestion after ingestion.  This can lead to stopping your supplements which ultimately slows down your progress.

Adding in ingredients like digestive enzymes, probiotics, or fiber can help you avoid these side effects and maximize your results.

Do I want a simple product that only has the main ingredient?

Maybe you are looking for the best bang for your buck and want something that is very simple with tons of protein.  If so then you may be interested in one of the pure versions on our list above.

Or, do you want a product that contains more ingredients to help maximize muscle gain, recovery, or focus?

If so, there are options that have been combined to incorporate more ingredients into one product, for example, you may see pre-workout, recovery, and focus all in the same supplement.

How individualized are your needs?

If you can find a product that fulfills your specific needs then it is the best option because it will make hitting your goals much easier. 

In conclusion, the best protein powder is the one that you will use!  Don’t end up putting it in your cupboard and forgetting about it.  Figure out what works for you by considering the uses, value, and needs before picking one of our product options on this list.

This article has been supplied by Verma Media, a paid advertiser. Content has not been independently verified by Los Angeles magazine.