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Best Whey Isolate Protein Powder For Muscle Gain
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Now Sports Soy Free Whey Protein Isolate Powder, Unflavored
We tested 23 protein powders to find the best protein powder, the best whey protein powder, the best plant-based protein powder, and the best grass-fed protein powder—taking into account budget, blending options, and independent third-party certification to ensure . No fillers, allergens or contaminants.
I am an author, mountain guide, nutritionist and holistic medicine trainer. I am passionate about helping others find strength and resilience through research-backed science.
In this guide, we’ve focused on whey protein and plant-based protein powders because they’re the most reviewed and widely available options, and because they’re suitable and effective for most people.
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What we like: Taste, price per gram, variety of flavors, mixability, sugar-to-protein ratio, third-party certification
Reviewers generally agreed that Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein is good value, easy to mix into drinks, and offers a variety of flavors. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard offers the best wheat and scores highly for being free of contaminants and fillers. It is NSF and Information Select certified and highly praised by professional media and regular customers.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard is a 100% whey protein powder. The gold standard is a blend of whey protein isolate (the main ingredient), whey protein concentrate and whey with 5 grams of peptides and BCAAs. See below for more information on the different types of whey protein, how they are processed, and how they differ. Compared to other forms of whey, whey protein isolate is low in lactose. This is one of the reasons why it is considered a more digestible source of protein.
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We think that if you’re going with whey, isolate is a better choice because it packs more protein into the same scoop. Whey isolate is more digestible for most people. However, if you’re on a budget, you can opt for a higher whey concentrate to get the same gram of protein as whey protein isolate.
Nerd Fitness chose this whey protein for those on a “tight budget.” However, Optimum Nutrition has a pure whey (not protein isolate) option that is even more affordable.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder comes in the most sizes and flavors of any protein powder we’ve reviewed. That’s one of the reasons we think it’s the best option for most people.
Wirecutter chose this powder as their top choice for its pleasant taste, texture, variety of flavors and safety profile. Amazon’s top reviewers cited price, taste, and “mixability” as reasons for choosing this product over others.
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One recurring complaint we’ve seen from some reviewers about this protein powder is that it can be “too sweet.” Optimum Nutrition uses artificial sweeteners in some of its flavors, so we recommend the option of natural sweeteners.
This whey powder comes in more flavors (17!) than any protein powder supplement we’ve covered. These include not only the more standard flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and coffee, but also creative flavors such as peppermint mocha, birthday cake and salted caramel.
As expected, chocolate and vanilla flavors are always a good choice. But sometimes you want variety when trying out protein powders. With Gold Standard Protein Powers, if one flavor doesn’t suit you, there are 17 to choose from. We’ve reviewed 6 of the most popular flavors. Here are reviews of some of the best flavors with over 1,000 reviews:
Please note that some of these products contain artificial flavors and artificial sweeteners. If you want to avoid them, Optimum Nutrition has a line that uses natural flavors and sweeteners.
Best Protein Powder And Shake 2021: From Whey To Pea Based
What we like: Best tasting plant-based protein, organic, third-party certified, easier to mix than most plant-based proteins
What we don’t like: still the whey doesn’t mix well the price per gram is the most expensive
We chose Garden of Life Sport as the best plant-based protein powder because it’s organic and offers a complete amino acid profile (unlike some other vegan proteins). It also tasted good, and we’re confident in Informed Choice and NSF third-party certifications, as well as USDa Organic Certification and Non-GMO Project Verification.
We compared Garden of Life Sport to Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein (as seen in our Honorable Mentions), but ultimately found that the Sport version tasted better. Several review sites noted that it mixes easily into drinks and protein shakes, which are often more difficult to mix than milk-based proteins.
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Garden of Life Sport is a vegan protein powder made from a protein blend of organic ingredients, including US-grown pea protein, garbanzo beans, blue beans, lentil seed protein, and cranberry.
One of the advantages of pea protein over whey protein is that it does not contain the most common allergenic foods (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish and wheat). Some studies show that the body can digest and process pea protein better than whey protein.
While there are several vegan protein sources that can be made into powdered supplements, we prefer pea protein powder. For example, we tried the non-legume Tera’s Whey Vegan Pumpkin Protein (now discontinued), but it wasn’t very tasty and proved too thick to drink.
Hemp protein, derived from shelled hemp seeds, has a nutty flavor that works well on things like granola, but it doesn’t always mix smoothly into protein shakes. Compared to hemp protein, pea protein has fewer grams of fat and carbohydrates per gram and more grams of protein for the same amount.
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Brown rice protein is similar to pea protein but lacks all the amino acids. Rice protein does not contain lysine. This means that although brown rice protein is more affordable than other plant proteins, it is not a complete protein.
We prefer the Garden of Life Sport protein blend to other plant-based powders. Soy protein is a common ingredient in plant-based protein powders, but it is a common allergen and can be upsetting to some people. For this reason, many people try not to use this ingredient as their main source of protein intake. Garden of Life Sport is soy-free and avoids this common ingredient in many plant-based proteins.
Outside Online chose Garden of Life as their favorite plant-based protein powder, “it mixed smoothly into frozen fruit shakes and water, and the cocoa flavor was subtle and not too sweet.”
This makes sense because, in general, pea protein has a creamier texture than other plant proteins, making it a good powder to add to a protein shake.
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It has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, is on par with the most popular proteins, and receives an A rating on Fakespot, a site known for spotting fake customer reviews on Amazon.
For Best Whey Protein, our winner was Jay Robb 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder. Its taste and solubility were not comparable to other proteins we tested. It has the highest percentage of protein (83%) and the lowest sugar to protein ratio (1:25) of any protein. Although it is a bit more expensive than other protein powders, we think J Rob is the best if you can afford it and if you consume wheat (J Rob is lactose free).
Grass-fed milk is popular for its many health benefits. Some evidence suggests that it may have health benefits compared to conventional milk and that grass-fed cows may be “happier”.
A study by the University of Minnesota Extension found that grass-fed milk has more beneficial fatty acids and less omega-6.
Best Whey Powder And Protein Supplement For Muscle Gain
Of the grass-fed options we looked at, J Rob 100% Whey Protein Powder offered the best balance of taste, blend, and price.
Nerd Fitness liked this powder because of its high quality, which means it doesn’t have a lot of fillers found in other powders. It does not contain soy, gluten and lactose. It has no added sugar (although it is sweetened with stevia leaves). Livestrong noted that the powder is made from “pasture-raised, grass-fed, RBGH hormone-free cows.”
Jay Robb powder has the best grain
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