Best Protein Powder: The Top 5 Protein Powders in 2018 (Men & Women)

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Uncovering the Best Protein Powder in 2018

Protein is one of three broad categories of nutrients, also including carbohydrates and fats, which are produced by the body, and are vital for building, repairing, and growing the cellular system within our bodies.

In simple terms, protein is necessary to build and maintain various tissues and muscle mass within our bodies.

Protein is comprised of chains of amino acids, 22 of which are produced by the human body and are called non-essential amino acids.

A few of the more commonly known non-essential amino acids include alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid.

Alternatively, essential amino acids cannot be generated by the body, and must be obtained through food sources or supplements.

The 9 essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Many protein powders will add essential amino acids to their ingredients and often stress the 3 branch chain amino acids or BCAA’s, which include leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

The 3 main functions of BCAA’s include:

  1. 30-40% of muscle make up
  2. Prevent catabolism or muscle bread down
  3. Energy source while working out

Article at a glance

Protein Powders: An Overview

Protein powders are supplements which are extracted from a variety if different plant and animal sources which are packaged and sold in powder form.

Proteins are vital to the proper functioning of our bodies and can be obtained through eating the right foods.

However, with the growth of the fast food industry, processed foods, and busy lifestyles in most first world countries, proper eating has taken a back seat resulting in the need to obtain nutrients such as proteins from other sources.

Protein powders have been around for many years, with some supplement manufacturers starting operations as early as the 1960’s.

When they were first introduced into the market, they were designed specifically for body builders and other athletes looking to add muscle mass and increase performance.

As protein powder supplements entered the main stream, their popularity exploded and a whole new industry was born.

Universities, government organizations, and supplement manufacturers were allocated funds for research and studies, most of which supporting the benefits of protein powder as a supplement.

Today, protein powders have proven to be beneficial for everything from weight loss to diabetes, giving rise to a highly competitive multi-billion industry.

In addition, the market has become highly segmented, targeting very specific demographics like women, men, paleo dieters, keto dieters, body builders, vegans, vegetarians, and more.

For that reason, choosing the right protein powder has become a confusing task, and we hope the information in his article will help you make the right decision.

What Are The Benefits Of Protein?

With the growth of the protein powder industry comes the need to perform studies and scientifically look deeper into the benefits of protein.

Over the last 30 – 40 years, major strides have been made in proving some of the theories surrounding the benefits of using protein as a supplement to regular diet.

The body requires protein to function properly, and protein powders has become a great way of ensuring that minimum daily requirements are met.

Following is a list of the most common benefits of protein:

  1. Increases Muscle Mass
  2. Promotes Weight Loss
  3. Controls Blood Sugar
  4. Reduces Anxiety
  5. Stimulates Brain Function
  6. Supports Heart Health
  7. Promotes Healthy Bones, Skin, and Hair
  8. Proven To Slow Down Aging

As research and studies continue, there are sure to many other benefits of proteins uncovered, and as new uses are uncovered, new market segments will be created.

Do I Need A Protein Powder Supplement?

The average person can get the recommended daily allowance of protein through diet by eating the right foods.

Based on information listed in the Dietary Reference Intake, (DRI), a group of references used to determine recommended nutrient amounts for average healthy individuals, the recommended required daily amount of protein is approximately 55 grams of protein for men, and 45 grams of protein for women.

Following are a few examples foods which are high in protein:

  • Eggs: 6 grams of protein per egg
  • Chicken Breast: 53 grams of protein per breast
  • Oats: 13 grams of protein per ½ cup serving
  • 2% Cottage cheese: 27 grams of protein per cup
  • Greek Yogurt: 17 grams of protein per 6 oz serving
  • Lean Beef: 22 grams of protein per 3 oz serving
  • Tuna: 39 grams per cup
  • Lentils: 18 grams of protein per cup

This is only a snapshot, however, you can see that it is not difficult to reach the recommended daily amount of protein.

To check the amount of protein content in other foods, check out the United States Department Of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient guide.

The reality is that most people do not consistently eat a balanced diet which contains enough protein to support the proper support for maintain and building tissues in the body.

For this reason alone, daily use of protein powders is a convenient and easy way of ensuring that the body receives the proper amount of protein daily.

Anything over the recommended daily amount is a bonus.

On the other hand, individuals who are highly athletic, or looking to add huge amounts of lean muscle mass, must use protein powders to achieve their goals.

In addition, the protein powder industry has become extremely specialized giving rise to products such as protein powders for weight loss, protein powders for women, paleo protein powders, keto protein powders, and many more.

So, the answer to the question “Do I need a protein powder supplement?”, is “It depends”, but “Probably Yes”. No very definitive but the best we could do.

What To Look For In A Protein Powder

In order to choose the right protein, you must first determine the reason you are taking the protein powder, and what your limitations are with respect to diet, medical disorders, and lifestyle.

Everyone has a different for taking protein powder, and as a result, the protein powder industry has segmented the market, and developed a specific protein for just about anyone.

Following is a list some of the more common reasons people use protein powders, and a brief description of what they should look for:

  • Muscle Builders

Look for protein powders which absorb rapidly, and contain whey protein powder, casein protein powder, or a combination of both.

In addition, they look for high dosages of branch chain amino acids.

  • Dieters / Weight Loss

Choose a protein powder which is low in sugar and carbohydrates.

Although proteins by nature have a satiating effect, look for the hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin which have proven to create that fullness feeling.

A good starting point is to look for protein powders which are marketed as protein powders for weight loss.

  • Paleo Dieters

Those on a paleo diet eat foods such as Meats, Fish, Eggs, Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts and Seeds, commonly defined as foods which the cavemen ate.

Alternatively they stay away from processed and packaged foods, grains including flour, pasta, and breads, dairy products, sugars, potatoes, beans, lentils, soy, and peas.

Therefore, Paleo’s should look for ingredients such as beef or bone broth protein, egg protein, lactose free protein and most plant-based proteins.

They should avoid soy protein powders, and whey protein powders as whey is a derivative of milk.

  • Keto Dieters

Those on a keto diet look to put themselves into a state of ketosis where the reduction of carbohydrates and the increase in fats, generates ketones which are burned instead of glucose.

The net effect being loss of fat and in turn weight loss.

The Keto population should look for protein powders which are glucose and lactose free, low in carbohydrates, and are naturally sweetened with something like stevia leaves.

Again, there are a great number of keto protein powders which include the necessary ingredient to make them keto friendly.

  • Other Segments

Vegetarians and vegans should focus on plant-based proteins, and stay away from whey, milk, or any meat-based protein such as beef, bone broth, or chicken.

Diabetics live a life where they constantly monitor their sugar levels, and as a result should choose lactose free protein powders, low carb protein powders, and one which does not use any sugar as a sweetener.

Those with gastrointestinal issues such as lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome should avoid any protein derived from dairy such as whey protein powder.

In addition, it is important to read and understand the label and ensure that the powder is lactose free.

Types Of Protein Powders

Protein powders are defined as either plant based or animal based, however, within each category, the proteins are derived from different animal sources and different plant sources.

Here we will identify the most common types of protein powders and provide a brief description of each.

Animal Based Proteins

  1. Whey Protein

Whey protein is one of two proteins found in cow’s milk, the other being casein protein which we will discuss later in this article and is a bi-product of the cheese making process.

Whey protein is considered a “complete protein” which by definition, means that it contains the 9 essential amino acids.

Essential amino acids must be obtained through foods or supplements and support growth, muscular and tissue repair, digestion, and organ function, and cannot be made by the body.

The 9 essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Whey protein can be broken down into 3 additional sub-categories:

  • Whey protein concentrate

Generally contain fairly low levels of carbohydrates and fats but do contain lactose.

Depending on concentration level, WPC can contain between 30% and 90% protein by weight.

  • Whey protein isolate

WPI is considered the purest form of whey with all fat removed and containing extremely small traces of lactose.

In fact, many consider whey protein isolate powders protein to fit with lactose free diets.

The protein content in WPI is typically 90% by weight.

  • Whey protein hydrolysate

WPH is the easiest whey protein to digest as it has been hydrolysed or pre-digested.

It is uncommon to see a protein powder made solely from WPH, however, there appear to be benefits when combined with one or both of the whey proteins mentioned above.

  1. Casein Protein

The second in the animal-based protein category which again is the second protein derived from cow’s milk.

As opposed to its whey counterpart, casein protein forms a gel in the stomach and delivers amino acids into the blood stream over a period of 12 hours.

The main benefit of fast absorbing casein protein is that it supports the building and repair of muscles during down times such as during sleep and between meals.

At these times, the muscles are not receiving nutrients, and can experience deterioration called catabolism.

Casein protein powder has an anti-catabolic effect and is often combined with whey to enhance the benefits of protein powder.

Casein protein powder is often referred to as the “bedtime protein” as it supports lean muscle growth and promotes muscle recovery by delivering amino acids and proteins to the muscles while sleeping.

  1. Egg White Protein Powder

Egg white protein powder is a tremendous option for those who are averse to plant-based protein proteins and are looking for a lactose free alternative.

One egg will generally contain 6 grams of protein while one scoop of egg white protein powder can contain as much as 30 grams of protein.

Therefore, it is a much more efficient and effective way of getting proteins from eggs.

There are 2 types of protein powders derived from egg.

The first is whole egg protein powder which uses the entire egg including the yolk.

Whole proteins are generally higher in calories and higher in cholesterol.

The second, is egg white protein powder which is the most common and low in calories, carbs, and cholesterol.

Both use a drying process to create a powder which can be used in smoothies, shakes, and cooking.

Following are 4 main benefits of egg white proteins:

  • Lactose Free

Egg white proteins do not contain any lactose making it ideal for lactose free diets, or others looking for a great protein powder for weight loss

  • Complete Protein

Contains the essential amino acids as previously discussed which can only be obtained through diet

  • Low Fat, Carb, and Caloric Content

Great for those watching calories, on a diet, or looking for a low carb protein powder

  • High Satiety Score

Satiety is a measure of feeling full.

In other words, a food with a high satiety score will create the feeling of fullness for a long period of time.

Proteins inherently have a high satiation, however, egg white proteins are one of the highest

  1. Beef Protein Powder

Beef protein powder is a great animal protein alternative to its dairy counterparts, whey and casein protein powder.

Beef protein powder is geared toward the body builder or high-performance athlete who is looking to add lean muscle mass and increase strength and endurance.

Because it is generally in isolate form, it contains upwards of 97% pure protein per serving.

In addition, beef protein is a complete protein having a tremendous amino acid profile.

Unfortunately, it is not the best tasting protein powder, however, it will generally come in an unflavored version allowing it to be mixed with your favorite beverage.

In addition to athletes who are looking at building muscle, beef protein powder is ideal for those on a paleo diet regime and looking for a true paleo protein powder.

  1. Bone Broth Protein Powder

Every industry undergoes periods where certain products rise to the surface and become very popular and trendy.

Bone both protein powder is one such product, however, this rich protein powder is definitely not a fad or short term trend.

It is here to stay.

Its origin dates back many centuries, when no part of an animal went to waste.

Bones from animals, including beef, fish, chicken, turkey, and more, were boiled then simmered for long periods of time, then used to make soups, stews, as well as a wide array of other dishes.

Today, bone broth is looked upon as being a nutrient rich ingredient, which is incorporated into recipes, and is used by many high end restaurants.

The popularity of bone broth protein powder can be primarily attributed to its high level of collagen, the most abundant protein found in our bodies, which supports the health of muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair, blood vessels, and the digestive system.

There are 3 types of collagen, all of which are found in bone broth powders.

Types 1 and 3, promote skin, hair, nail, and bone health, while Type 2 promotes cartilage, tendon, joint, and bone health.

You may recall seeing creams and lotions containing collagen, promoting smooth, healthy, and younger looking skin.

In addition, to its protein levels which can range from 20 grams to 30 grams per serving, bone broth protein powder has a great amino acid profile, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Following is a list of benefits this tremendous protein powder provides:

  • Promotes skin, hair, and nail health
  • Keeps joint lubricated and moving freely
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Promotes building of muscles
  • Speeds up muscular recovery
  • Better sleep
  • Supports cardiovascular health
  • Promotes gut health
  • Great to include in detox
  • Enhances weight loss

Bone broth protein powder provides an easy and convenient way to improve overall health and is definitely a protein powder which is here to stay.

Plant Based Protein Powders

  1. Soy Protein Powder

Soy protein powder is by far the most popular of all the plant-based proteins.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a perception that it is not as effective as its animal based counterparts.

In fact, the entire plant based protein category of protein powders are considered inferior by many.

This is absolutely not true as soy protein powder packs the same punch as most of the animal based protein powders and many additional benefits unique to soy.

Before we get to the benefits, lets discuss exactly what soy protein powder is and who can benefit the most.

Soy protein powder is derived for the soybean using two processes called dehulling and defatting.

The end result is the formation a high protein powder which can be mixed to form shakes, smoothies, or used for baking or cooking.

The basic flavor of soy protein is quite neutral, and most manufacturers provided an unflavored protein powder option.

The main benefits of soy protein powder are:

  • Enhances Athletic Performance

Soy protein contains isoflavones which are proven to expedite muscle recovery and boost performance.

  • Reduces Bad Cholesterol

Study after study has proven that soy has a positive effect on the reduction of LDL Cholesterol.

In fact, drinking a glass of soy milk is all it takes.

  • Reduce Risk Of Some Cancers

Isoflavones mimic estrogen, having the effect of reducing cancers such as colon, breast, and prostate.

  • Complete Protein

Contains the 9 essential amino acids which aid in the overall function of the body.

  • Lower Price Point

Due to lower manufacturing and processing costs, soy protein powder is typically lower than its animal based counterparts

  • Specific Female Benefits

The isoflavones and complete amino acid profile have some specific benefits unique to women, making it a perfect protein powder for women.

It has proven to ease some of the effects related to menopause, improve bone, skin, and health of hair, and reduced risk of breast cancer.

  1. Pea Protein

Pea protein powder is relatively new to the protein powder industry and is often used in a blend of plant based protein powders.

It is an ideal choice for those who lead a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, or those who are reluctant to use dairy or eggs.

Although the pea protein powder can be extracted from a variety of different types of peas, the most common is the yellow split pea as it contains the 9 essential amino acids discussed preciously, as well as naturally occurring branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s).

Although research is limited, there are some studies which suggest that pea protein powder can reduce blood pressure and is absorbed faster than whey protein powder.

  1. Brown Rice Protein Powder

Brow rice protein powder has been on the market for quite some time, however, it is most commonly found within a plant based protein powder complex or blend.

It is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids, however, it is often considered an inferior protein as it is very low in lysine.

Lysine is the essential amino acid responsible for hair, skin, and bone health.

Its whey protein counterpart contains more lysine but is considered a dairy product.

There are many other plant-based protein powders on the market, however, soy protein powder is by far the most popular, and provides the best overall benefits.

We have included links within the article which direct you to more detailed information and suggest you follow those links should you wish to explore a topic further.

  1. Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein powder is a bit of a sleeper within the protein powder world, however, it is one of the best all inclusive plant-based protein sources available.

Because it is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, the same source from which marijuana is obtained, some are skeptical to use it due to its potential mind altering effects.

These concerns are unfounded as these effects are caused by a substance called tetrahydrocannabinol or (THC), of which only small traces can be found in hemp.

This natural vegan protein is loaded with 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids which the body cannot produce on its own.

Each serving contains 12 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 11 grams carbohydrates, 120 calories, 5 grams fiber, making it a tremendous protein powder for low carb or low fat diets, and a great protein powder for weight loss.

Unlike its plant protein counterparts, hemp protein powder contains high amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and gamma linolenic acid which has proven to help individuals with medical conditions ranging from ADHD to multiple sclerosis.

Some of the common benefits of hemp protein powder are:

  • Supports the Immune System
  • Sugar Craving Reduction
  • Flushes the Colon
  • Reduces Osteoporosis Effects
  • Increases Heart Health

Hemp protein powder is a tremendous alternative to many of its plant based protein powders, and although it does not contain as much protein per serving, has a number of additional benefits.

  1. Vegan Protein Powder

Plant based protein powders have typically been perceived as being inferior to their animal based counterparts in terms of not delivering a substantial amount of proteins.

Most of these supplements, and vegan protein powders in particular, have come a long way, and for the most part, as a result of the addition of amino acids, can compete with virtually any protein powder in terms of effectiveness.

It is not uncommon to see vegans gain weight, and the biggest challenge of most vegan diets is how to get enough protein.

Unfortunately, many vegans down play the importance of proteins, and as a result of the high carb, low protein combination, can actually gain weight.

To maintain good health and maintain body weight, .7 grams of protein per 1 pound of body weight is ideal, meaning that a person weighing 150 pounds should ingest 105 grams of protein per day.

On the other hand, if the goal is to increase muscle mass, the amount should increase to 1 – 1.2 grams per pound.

Vegan protein powders are generally comprised of plant-based ingredients such as soy protein, brown rice protein, pea protein, and hemp protein.

In addition, many include the addition of branch chain amino acids, to enhance the effectiveness of the protein, and are sweetened with natural ingredients such as the stevia leaf or monk fruit.

Some vegan protein powders include whey protein in the ingredient listing, however, whey is a protein derived from cow’s milk and poses an issue for very staunch vegans.

The reality is that very small traces of milk residue are left after processing the powder, and some view whey as being vegan friendly.

When To Take Protein Powder

There is really no right or wrong answer to this question as it depends on the type of protein being taken, reason for taking the protein, and unique attributes of the individual taking the protein.

However, taking protein powders at inappropriate times can lead to less than optimum muscle building results, and in some cases can lead to weight gain.

Before we discuss the different types of proteins and when they should be taken, it is important to understand the process a protein goes through from mouth to muscle.

Once the protein is ingested via shake, smoothie, or food, it is broken down by the body into amino acids.

The amino acids enter the liver where they are broken down further and carried by the blood to the muscles, where they are converted to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy which is burned and converted to muscle mass.

Further, some proteins are released slowly, others are considered medium release, and other are fast release.

Knowing this should make it clear that proteins can be strategically taken to maximize their effect.

Below is are a few examples of different proteins and suggestions as to when they should be taken.

  • Whey Protein

Whey protein is a fast releasing protein and should be taken approximately 30 – 60 minutes prior to a workout or other physical activity.

In addition, it can be taken post workout as it contains a high amino acid profile which have the effect of repairing and rebuilding muscle.

  • Casein Protein

Casein protein on the other hand, also high in amino acids, is a slow releasing protein which can continue releasing over a 12 hour period.

This means that the protein is working to rebuild and repair muscle during down times such as between meals and during sleep.

Casein protein should be taken shortly after a workout, first thing in the morning, and just prior to bedtime.

It is important to read the label to ensure you do not exceed the maximum daily dosage.

  • Egg Protein

Egg protein is considered a medium release protein and should be used as a bridge between meals and workout.

It has a high satiety score, meaning that it will create a feeling of fullness and keep you away from the wrong foods between workouts.

  • Soy and Other Plant Based Proteins

Soy protein and most other plant-based proteins are considered medium release proteins, and can be taken pre workout, post workout, or virtually any time of the day to bring the level of protein intake up to the recommended daily amounts.

Soy protein in particular rates extremely high on the satiation scale, and as a result reduces hunger cravings by creating a feeling of being full.

In summary, every protein has different and unique properties, and every individual metabolizes proteins differently.

When determining when to take a protein powder, use the guidelines above, read the recommendations on the labels, and use trial and error to determine your best time to take protein powder.

Does Protein Powder Expire?

All protein powders have an expiration date listed on the bottle, however, the most common question is “Can a protein powder be used after the expiry date?”.

There is no clear cut answer to this question, however, in most cases t probably can.

Prior to making the decision, there are a few things to consider which we will discuss below.

  1. Physical Examination

Closely examine the powder and look specifically for lumps, clumping, or discoloration.

These are signs of contamination, and the product should not be used.

  1. Taste and Smell The Powder

First of all smell the powder, and if it has a skunky odour, discard it.

. Secondly, place a small amount on the tip of your tongue, and if the taste is sour or putrid, do not use it.

  1. Where Was It Stored

If the powder was stored in a cool dry place, the probability of safely using it after the expiration date is high.

Storage in a moist, warm environment will again increase the chance of contamination.

  1. Open or Closed

If the packaging was originally opened, and especially if it was stored in a warm place, the chance of bacteria contaminants is high.

If the packaging was never opened, the integrity of the powder was most likely protected.

The best advice is to consider the points made above and use common sense.

Err on the side of caution as it is not worth getting sick in order to save a few dollars.

How To Mix Protein Powder

Mixability of protein powders has come a long way, however, as we read though customer reviews of various protein powders, a common theme seems to be poor mixability resulting in clumping and lumping.

Following are 4 steps to a perfect protein shake or smoothie every time:

  1. Read Instructions On The Label

Every protein is unique and may have different powder to liquid ratios, and suggested mixing techniques.

Read the instructions first and the manufacturer’s suggestions first.

If not satisfied, use trial and error until you find the ideal proportions.

  1. Choose Your Liquid

Be creative and consider liquids like coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, fruit juices, yogurt, or ice if you are making a smoothie.

Ensure that the composition of the liquid base is conducive to your diet.

  1. Choose Your Mixing Tool

The 3 primary ways to mix include stirring with a spoon or fork, an enclosed shaker cup, or a blender.

The first two are the most convenient, however, the most effective is the blender method.

  1. Use The Half Method

This is the critical step.

Start by adding half of the liquid to half of the protein powder.

Stir, shake, or blend until smooth.

Repeat the step again with the remainder of the powder and liquid.

If the drink is too thick, add more liquid until the desired consistency is reached.

 

Tips And Tricks For Purchasing A Protein Powder

If you are new to the protein supplement world, choosing a protein powder can be a very intimidating experience.

Unfamiliar words like amino acid, ketosis, whey, casein, paleo, vegan, and so many more will surface, and the process may seem endless.

Following is a simple strategy which we hope will cut through the confusion and simplify the process of finding the right protein powder for you.

  1. Determine Your Protein Goal

At this stage, you must be clear on your reason for incorporating a protein powder into your diet.

Are you looking to build lean muscle mass, lose weight, increase energy, or any number other reasons?

Understanding this will point you in the right direction from the outset.

  1. Identify Dietary Issues Or Medical Conditions

Write down any dietary issues you may have including lactose intolerance, vegan or vegetarian, paleo, keto, or any others.

In addition, identify medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, and food allergies.

  1. Begin Your Research

A great starting point is right here on AzHealthyFamilies.org and in particular this article.

Our intent here is to provide a comprehensive guide to protein powders.

In addition, we have provided links to other more specialized protein powder articles on this site as well as external sources which go into further detail.

In addition, speak to people at the gym who currently use protein powders, or venture into a health food store and ask questions.

Just because you ask, doesn’t mean you have to buy.

  1. Buy Online

Our research shows that the best pricing is obtained by purchasing online.

When you are first starting a protein powder, purchase the smallest quantity you can.

Use it, test it, and see how it works for you.

If you are satisfied, only then purchase in larger quantities.

Further, when we review specific protein powder products, the links provided direct you to the lowest price we could find at the time of writing.

  1. Try Different Types And Brands

Once you become accustomed to using protein powders, do not be afraid of experimenting with different types and brands.

 

Uncovering the Best Protein Powders in 2018

#1 BSN Syntha-6 Isolate Protein Powder

Editors Choise Editors Choice

Our pick

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating


BSN have built a tremendous reputation of providing top quality products at an affordable price.

As a result, it is no wonder that BSN Syntha-6 has also made our lists for Best Casein Protein Powder, Best Tasting Protein Powder, and Best Protein Powder For Women.

Syntha-6 is comprised of a unique blend of casein and whey protein powder which takes the building and reparation of muscle to a new level.

Each serving includes 22 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and a whopping 10 grams of amino acids.

In addition, it is available in 10 fabulous flavors.

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Pros

  • Special blend of whey and casein proteins to optimized muscle building, muscle recovery, and muscle repair
  • Available in 10 flavors, and one of the best tasting protein powders on the market
  • Can be taken pre or post workout, as a meal replacement, or as a snack

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Cons

  • Artificial sweeteners are used which do not agree with some people
  • Gas pains and bloat which are common with many protein drinks

Best Price: Click here to check the price on Amazon’s website

 

#2 Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein Powder

Our pick

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein Powder sits at #2 on our list of best protein powders and is a perfect fit for anyone on a no or low carb diet and looking for a keto protein powder.

This 100% pure whey protein isolate boasts a complete protein profile and is loaded with 24 grams of protein in each serving.

Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein Powder is also ideal for those on a diet or looking at losing weight, as it contains only 120 calories, and less that 3 grams of carbs.

Additionally, Isopure is a great source of nutrients as additional minerals and vitamins have been added.

This gluten and lactose free protein powder is ideal for individuals who are prone to allergies, and its multitude of flavors including Molten Chocolate, Whipped Vanilla, Cinnamon Swirl, Peanut Butter Marshmallows, Cookies N’ Cream, Strawberry Milkshake, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, receive very positive reviews from most consumers.

Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein Powder has a 4 Star rating based on 9,112 verified customer reviews and is a great low carb keto protein powder.

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Pros

  • Low carbs, fat, and calories making it a perfect protein for weight loss and diets
  • Added minerals and vitamins giving it a fantastic nutrient profile
  • Pack with high quality protein to enhance muscle growth
  • Flavorful as verified by customer reviews

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Cons

  • Higher cholesterol and sodium than most of is direct competitors
  • Does not mix well and tends to clump

Best Price: Click here to check the price on Amazon’s website

 

#3 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein Powder

Our pick

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating


Optimum Nutrition has set some of the highest standards in the industry by owning their manufacturing facilities and controlling every aspect of the production process.

Gold Standard Casein Powder is ideal for those looking to shed some pounds, as it contains only 120 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 3 carbohydrates.

In addition, it contains approximately 5 grams of branch chain amino acids, which are in essence the building blocks for protein.

Casein by nature has a slow release effect meaning that amino acids are delivered to the muscles between meals, and during sleep, reducing the naturally occurring catabolic effect.

This slow absorption maximizes the muscle building, repair, and recovery process.

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Pros

  • Excellent for muscle and strength building, as it contains 24 grams of slow releasing micellar casein protein
  • Ideal protein powder for weight loss as it contains 120 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 3 carbohydrates
  • Includes 5 Grams of naturally occurring branch chain amino acids, the foundation of muscle building

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Cons

  • Numerous complaints about poor taste and mixability

Best Price: Click here to check the price on Amazon’s website


 

#4 Julian Bakery Paleo Protein Grass-Fed Beef Powder with Probiotics

Our pick

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Julian Bakery Paleo Protein Grass-Fed Beef Powder with Probiotics is #4 on our list of best protein powders in 2018, and also was our #1 choice for best paleo protein.

One of the major complaints about beef based protein powders, is the terrible after taste which it leaves behind.

Julian Bakery, has worked very hard to address this concern, resulting in a quality paleo protein powder which leaves no beef after taste whatsoever.

Julian Bakery’s Paleo Protein is perfect for muscle building and weight loss, as each serving contains 25g of protein, 2g of carbs, and only 108 calories.

Unlike many of its competitors, JB has added probiotics to the formula which protect the gut and aid in the digestive process.

The product is gluten free, contains no genetically modified organisms, and protects the quality of its ingredients by using a fast freezing process to produce the powder.

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Pros

  • Ideal for weight loss programs as it has an inherent effect of subduing hunger cravings
  • Probiotic addition is a great bonus as it protects the gut and supports digestion
  • High protein content maximizes muscle building
  • Mixes well and is available in a number of great flavors

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Cons

  • Taste is over the top sweet
  • Appears to have change the sweetening agent

Best Price: Click here to check the price on Amazon’s website

 

#5 Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

Our pick

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    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating


This plant based protein powder derives its proteins from organic pea, brown rice, chia seed, and hemp.

Not surprising, this product also made our lists of best protein powders for women as well as best lactose free protein powder.

Containing only 150 calories, 21 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and no sugar, Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder is great for those with active lifestyles as well as those looking to lose weight.

In addition, Origin Organic has a USDA certified organic designation, and is ideal for blending, baking, or cooking.

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Pros

  • Formulated for vegans while still containing 21 grams of plant-based proteins
  • Ideal protein powder for dieters, and those avoiding soy and dairy products
  • Contains no artificial ingredients and is free of glutes and GMO’s

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Cons

  • No branch chain amino acids, either added or naturally occurring
  • Amino acid profile is with many plant-based proteins

Best Price: Click here to check the price on Amazon’s website

 

Summing It Up

In choosing the best protein powders in 2018, we limited our selection to protein powders which had more than 1,200 verified customer reviews.

In addition, we tried to look at a cross section of various categories such as whey protein powders, casein powders, beef based protein powders, plant based protein powders, and more.

The result was the list above.

Our intent is to provide you with current, relevant, and useful information, allowing you to make an informed decision when choosing the bests protein powder for you.

Be sure to click on the links provided which will either direct you to more detailed information or to the best price we could find at the time of writing.

Our top pick for the best protein powder for 2018 is BSN Syntha-6 Isolate Protein Powder.

This combination of whey and casein protein showed up everywhere we looked, and after extensive research and analysis made it to the top of our list.

Congratulations to BSN for a tremendous product.

Best Protein Powder: The Top 5 Protein Powders in 2018 (Men & Women)
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