One of the things that prevent people from making protein powder a consistent health habit is the taste.
Let’s face it: Some protein powders taste like curdled milk strained through dirt socks.
Not very pleasant!
Of course, cost, ingredients, and source also affect the decision to drink these powders. But often the choice all boils down to how well people can stomach the taste and the smell of this dietary supplement.
When done right, however, good protein powders can work in the opposite fashion. They can be an incentive for someone who wants to achieve their fitness goals.
After all, who doesn’t want to drink something that is both delicious and healthy after a hard workout?
That’s why we’ve researches and identified the seven best tasting protein powders on the market.
What is best for others, may not be best for you. We all have unique tastes, after all. But there are many good protein powders where the taste is universally applauded by most people who have tasted them.
In this article, we’ll review the protein powder benefits, effects, quality, and how to best use them according to your needs.
And of course the taste. Never forget the taste….
Why Do People Consume Protein Powder?
Protein is present in many popular foods, such as meat, fish, and plant products. Studies have shown that people (even the average athlete) can get the recommended amount of protein from eating foods that are rich in protein, without using supplements.
So besides being an easy and convenient way to get protein, why do people consume protein powder?
Some of the most common reasons that people add protein powder to their diets include:
The main use of protein powder as a supplement is for exercise and training purposes. Research has shown that athletes who add extra protein or protein supplements to their diets increase more lean muscle mass over time than those who don’t.
Athletes who add extra protein or protein supplements to their diets increase more lean muscle mass over time than those who don’t.
3 Categories of Protein Powder
There are three main categories of protein powder, and each one is made by a slightly different process. Protein concentrates. Protein isolates. Protein hydrolysates.
It can get confusing trying to figure out which one is best. Below is some information to help you sort them out.
1. Protein Concentrates
These are made by extracting the protein from the food source through a special heating process that uses acid or enzymes. On average, about 70% of the finished product is protein, while the remainder is fat and/or carbs
2. Protein Isolates
This is basically protein concentrates that go through an additional filtering process. This additional process yields a product with a higher protein concentration. On average, protein isolate is about 90 to 95% protein.
3. Protein Hydrolysates
This goes through an extra heating process that separates the bonds that hold the amino acids together. This allows the body to absorb these essential acids more easily.
Protein powders can be broken down further into types depending on what food sources they are made from. Whey. Casein. Egg. Soy. Rice. Pea. Hemp. Plant.
In the next section, we will look at these seven different types of proteins that make up the powder. Remember: it is important to understand some of this stuff to know what makes the best protein powders the “best”.
After all, “best” for everyone else may not be best for you,
7 Types of Protein Powders
There are many types of protein powders, and while all of them can serve as a good protein supplement, some are better than others. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) rates types of protein powders based on the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS).
According to this score, whey protein isolates have the highest score on the PDCAAS scale because of the number of essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) that they have. Casein, egg, and soy powder protein also score high on the scale.
1. Whey Protein
Whey protein is the most popular kind of protein powder because its easily soluble in water and can be quickly digested.
Whey protein also has the complete protein (meaning it has all nine essential amino acids), and is the protein powder that is highest in leucine (which is the acid that is the biggest contributor to building muscle mass).
Whey protein is made from milk, so the concentrate contains lactose. The isolate form contains little to no lactose.
2. Casein Protein
Casein is also made from milk. The difference is that the body absorbs it more slowly because it creates an almost gel-like substance in the stomach that digests more slowly than whey.
Research has shown that while casein isn’t as effective as whey in general, it can be more effective at reducing fat mass and increasing muscle mass during resistance training.
Besides being an easy and convenient way to get protein, people consume protein powder when they need a pre-workout energy boost or a post-workout muscle repair boost.
3. Egg Protein
Egg protein powder is a great choice for people who want a high-quality animal-based protein powder but may be lactose intolerant.
Egg protein has the second-highest content of leucine and can help you to feel fuller for a longer amount of time.
4. Soy Protein
Soy protein is a great choice for vegans. It is low in fat and cholesterol. It generally doesn’t taste as good as the others and can be hard to dissolve in water.
5. Brown Rice Protein
This is one of the oldest types of protein powder, but it isn’t very popular. Brown rice protein has all of the essential amino acids, but it is extremely low in the ones that aid muscle building. Because of this, it isn’t used very widely.
6. Pea Protein
Pea protein powder is made from the yellow split pea. The effects of this protein powder have not been widely researched. It has been shown to have a high amount of the essential amino acids and is great for vegetarians and vegans.
7. Hemp Protein
Hemp protein powder is slowly gaining in popularity. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and the body digests it well. The drawback of hemp protein powder is that it is very deficient in certain amino acids, including leucine.
Of all the different types of protein powders available, whey is the most popular, with soy and casein also quite popular. Many protein powders come with a blend of whey and casein.
Best-Tasting Protein Powders Reviews
With so many different types and categories to choose from, its no surprise that there are a lot of different protein powders on the market. Some taste better than others. Below are reviews of some of the best tasting protein powders.
1. Best Overall for Taste: Organifi Complete Protein All-in-One Shake
Often when it comes to protein powders, it’s a problem of choosing natural ingredients over flavor and vice versa.
With Organifi’s Complete Protein, there’s no such compromise. This plant-based protein powder is gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, vegan, and USDA organic. And it still manages to retain a fantastic flavor.
The 40-gram serving size contains a respectable 20 grams of protein. The protein blend is a mix of pea protein, quinoa protein, and pumpkin seed protein.
In themselves, Quinoa and pea proteins are both complete proteins with all nine essential amino acids. However, the pumpkin seeds help complement the blend with some conditionally essential amino acids.
Most users will find that this powder digests easily and doesn’t upset their stomach. That’s thanks to a carefully selected enzyme blend of amylase, protease, lipase, lactase, and cellulase. You won’t need to worry about getting gassy or constipated with this product.
But the real star here is Organifi’s outstanding flavor.
To achieve their signature taste, they use a variety of organic ingredients. Coconut milk, acacia fiber, vanilla, and a fruit and vegetable blend provide the flavor base. To sweeten it, they use agave inulin, monk fruit extract, and stevia.
The result is a complex and floral taste in a powder that mixes evenly and easily.
If you’ve struggled to find the right flavor of protein powder while avoiding a plethora of artificial ingredients, look no further. This is probably the most delicious protein powder available right now, and it contains only organic and natural ingredients.
2. Runner-Up for Taste: Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed Protein Powder
Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate is one of the healthiest protein powders available.
This award-winning protein powder is hydrolyzed so it can be digested extremely fast. It is gluten-free, has only one gram of sugar, and has less than one gram of fat.
This protein powder is a conglomerate of all things that a body needs while building muscle.
Being a whey isolate, it has a higher protein content than comparable protein powders (25 grams per serving), and it still has an amazing taste and potent flavor. It is gluten-free and lactose-free.
This protein powder comes in 17 different flavors. Most people liked the Orange Dreamsicle flavor and gave it really great reviews. Many say it tastes just like ice cream. You can even freeze it into a real popsicle.
3. Best Value for the Money: BSN Syntha-6 Edge Low Carb Protein
BSN Syntha-6 Edge Low Carb Protein is one of the best tasting protein powders on the market. It is made with an exclusive flavor technology by BSN. This protein powder has 22 grams of protein and five grams of fiber per serving.
The protein powder also boasts 10 grams of essential amino acids per serving. Not only is this protein powder great to drink after workouts, but it can be consumed at any time during the day or night.
Although this protein powder comes in 7 different flavors, and all flavors have positive reviews, the chocolate flavor has been frequently reviewed as having the best taste out of all of them.
The vanilla ice cream flavor is the runner up in taste for Syntha-6. The protein powder comes in different sizes, but the most popular size is the 48-servings size.
4. Best Tasting Plant-Based Protein Powder: KOS Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
Plant-based protein powders don’t categorically taste worse than dairy- and egg-based powders. However, it tends to be the case that their texture is a little grainier and they smell slightly unusual.
You’ll be happy to know that KOS Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder suffers from none of these shortcomings.
This is the protein powder for you if you’re looking for a plant-based powder with a great taste and no funky texture.
Now, this is what you might call a “boutique” protein powder since it’s made in small batches and every effort is made to ensure only the best ingredients end up in the final product.
It comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors, both with their own distinct taste. However, both also lean somewhat in the direction of a nutty flavor.
If you don’t like a nutty taste, you might not like this protein powder. It’s worth noting that this is an issue with most vegan protein powders as well.
In terms of nutrition, it’s a respectable product. It contains 20 grams of protein per serving.
The protein blend is composed of pea, flaxseed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia proteins. That’s quite a few more sources than you’d expect in a vegan protein blend but more tends to be better, providing a more complete amino acid profile.
The rest of the ingredients are mostly there to add flavor. Those are inulin, coconut sugar, stevia, and monk fruit extract. It also has a blend of tomato, broccoli, apple, orange, and various other fruits and vegetables to provide a more polished taste.
All the ingredients are, of course, organic, non-GMO, and vegan. This powder mixes quite easily with water but you might need a blender to use it with almond milk or other nut milks.
5. Best for Low Carb Ingredients: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
This is a very popular protein powder that has 24 grams of protein per serving. It is a mix of whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate, so its easier for the body to absorb.
It also has four grams of naturally occurring glutamine per serving, as well as five grams of leucine, isoleucine, and valine per serving. This powder is great for building lean muscle mass and is also perfect for kickstarting muscle recovery.
The protein powder is easy to mix using either a shaker bottle or just a spoon and cup.
Optimum Nutrition also has a unique feature for their users called Optimum Nutrition Workout Recipes that can be used through Alexa.
This powder comes in a lot of different flavors, with the double rich chocolate having the best reviews. The double rich chocolate is sucralose-free.
6. Best for Low Sugar Ingredients: Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Blend, Salted Caramel
This protein powder may not come in a traditional container like other protein powders, but its benefits rival some of the best powders on the market.
MyProtein is a low-fat and low-carbohydrate whey protein concentrate that is composed of almost 80% protein (21 grams of protein per serving). It is mixed with whey protein isolate, making it easier for the body to digest.
This protein powder is great for building muscle, recovery, and burning fat, and can be consumed at any time of the day.
It comes in a large, 5.5-pound bag (about 83 servings) and is also available in other sizes. The protein powder comes in an impressive 21 flavors, including an “unflavored” version.
Fair warning: The unflavored version is very unflavored. Salted caramel and strawberry creme have the best reviews of all the flavors.
7. Best for Low Fat Ingredients: Natural Force® Organic Whey Protein Powder – Vanilla Protein Powder
Get your protein on and do right by the environment at the same time. If you like organic foods, then this protein powder could be perfect for you.
This good tasting protein powder has no artificial ingredients and is sourced from grass-fed, free-range, heritage-breed Jersey cows. Natural Force® Organic Whey Protein Powder is great for building lean muscle, and can also serve as a meal replacement.
The company only uses four ingredients per flavor, and the protein powder boosts glutathione, a “master” antioxidant. There are only three natural flavors, but each one tastes great.
If this isn’t a good enough reason to buy this protein powder, it also comes in a BPA-free post-consumer recycled container.
Natural Force Organic Whey Protein Powder is kosher, gluten-free, soy-free, and sweetened with whole organic stevia leaves. It has 20 grams of protein per serving.
Final Thoughts on Best Tasting Protein Powders
Out of the seven protein powders that are listed above, the top choice is Organifi Complete Protein All-in-One Shake.
It tastes more like a treat that you give yourself after meeting your goals of a powerful workout. This protein powder gets bonus points for tasting exactly like the name of the flavor, not like some remotely similar cardboard version.
In addition to taste, it is truly a great protein powder that provides you with everything you need to build lean muscle mass and reduce fat. It’s low in all the bad stuff (sugar, carbs, fat) at a fair price.
You can find out more about Organifi Complete Protein All-in-One Shake here.
And if you’re looking for more resources on the best tasting protein powders, be sure to check out these blog posts:
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