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Best Protein Powders as of 2024

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Alright, folks, let’s talk protein powders – your ultimate sidekick in the quest for gains, recovery, or just fueling your day like a champ. But with a zillion options out there, how do you pick the right one? Relax, I’ve got your back.

In this casual rundown, I’ll dish out the lowdown on what to scope out before snagging that tub of gains. I’m talking ingredients, flavors, and yeah, whether it’s veggie-friendly or not. Because hey, everyone’s got their preferences, right?

Whether you’re all about that plant power or you’re team animal protein, fear not – I’ll help you navigate the protein powder jungle. From whey wonders to plant-based powerhouses, I’ll find the one that fits your vibe like a glove.

But wait, there’s more! I’ve handpicked the cream of the crop, so you don’t have to waste time scrolling through endless options. Consider this your shortcut to protein powder nirvana.

So, kick back, grab a scoop, and let’s find the protein powder that’s gonna rock your world – and your taste buds. It’s gonna be a game-changer, trust me. Here is a list I made of best protein powders.

Best Protein Powders 2024:

  • Optimum Nutrition Gold
  • KOS Organic 
  • Thorne Chocolate 
  • Dymatize Vanilla
  • Ora Vanilla Chai
  • Gnarly Grass-Fed
  • Vital Proteins
  • Now Sports Nutrition
  • Klean Athlete Klean
  • Vega Sport Premium

Optimum Nutrition Gold

If you’re seeking value in your protein powder, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein emerges as a top contender, offering affordability at around a dollar per serving. Its chocolatey flavor, when blended with water, impressed our testers, although its consistency tended to be on the thinner side. However, adjusting water content or blending with milk can address this. Notably, it dissolves smoothly without clumping, providing a pleasant drinking experience. While it contains artificial sweeteners, testers found no lingering aftertaste, but those sensitive to such additives might prefer alternatives. Additionally, its third-party testing for contaminants and Informed Choice certification further bolster its appeal for health-conscious consumers.

Reasons to buy:

  • Affordable option at around a dollar per serving
  • Pleasant chocolatey flavor when blended with water
  • Smooth dissolution without clumping
  • Third-party tested for harmful contaminants
  • Informed Choice certified

Reasons to avoid:

  • Thinner consistency, may require adjustment of water content or blending with milk for desired thickness
  • Contains artificial sweeteners, which may not be preferred by some individuals

KOS Organic 

If you’re in the market for an organic, plant-based protein powder, KOS Organic Plant Protein is your go-to choice. Packed with 20 grams of protein per serving from pea protein, it also boasts flaxseed, quinoa, coconut milk, and a fruit and vegetable blend for added nutrients. With notable levels of iron, Vitamin E, B12, selenium, and more, it’s a nutritional powerhouse. While the inclusion of digestive enzymes is generally safe, individuals with digestive concerns should consult a healthcare provider before use. The addition of 330 mg of sodium aids in electrolyte replenishment post-workout, though those monitoring sodium intake may want to take note. Testers found it blends smoothly in water, offering a pleasant chocolate milk-like consistency and flavor, with no aftertaste or grittiness. For a richer chocolate flavor, blending with additional cocoa powder is recommended.

Thorne Whey Protein Isolate

Thorne’s protein powder is a standout in the supplement world, reflecting the brand’s commitment to quality. With NSF Certified for Sport endorsement, it’s a top pick for athletes prioritizing post-workout recovery. Its seamless dissolution in water coupled with a thicker, creamier texture makes it perfect for crafting satisfying smoothies or bowls. Testers noted a subtle chocolate flavor, suggesting the addition of cacao powder for an extra kick. Boasting a mere gram of added sugar per serving, sweetened with stevia and evaporated cane juice, it appeals to those watching their sugar intake. While some detect a stevia aftertaste, our testers found it barely noticeable in this blend.

Thorne’s protein powder includes stevia, which may not appeal to all consumers, and its chocolate flavor is more subdued compared to other options. Additionally, as whey protein may potentially interfere with certain medications, especially antibiotics, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating it into your daily routine.

Dymatize Vanilla

For a reasonably priced casein powder that excels in both taste and blendability, consider Dymatize Elite Casein Vanilla. Casein, derived from milk, contains low lactose levels, making it suitable for mild lactose intolerances. What makes this powder stand out is its rapid and thorough dissolution in cold water, ideal for convenient post-workout consumption. Testers noted its mild and enjoyable flavor when mixed with water, without any lingering aftertaste. The smooth texture and quick dissolution without clumps make it versatile for various culinary uses, such as blending into oatmeal or energy bites.

Moreover, boasting 25 grams of protein per serving and fulfilling 45 percent of daily calcium needs, it’s a nutritional.

Dymatize Elite Casein Vanilla contains artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium and sucralose (marketed as Splenda), which may deter some consumers who prefer to avoid these additives.

Ora Vanilla Chai

If prioritizing organic products is your goal, Ora Organic So Lean and Clean Vanilla Chai stands out as an excellent choice. Beyond its organic certification, it’s also soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO. This plant-based protein powder, derived from a blend of peas and rice, offers 25 grams of protein per serving, alongside a mix of other plant ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, gluten-free grains, and coconut milk, enhancing its nutritional profile with additional vitamins and minerals. Notably, it provides 33% of the Daily Value of iron, crucial for oxygen transportation in the body. 

This powder includes digestive enzymes, which may not be essential for most individuals, and acerola, an antioxidant that could potentially interact with certain medications. Therefore, consulting with a healthcare provider before adding it to your diet is advisable. Additionally, it’s slightly more expensive compared to some other options I’ve recommended.

Gnarly Grass-Fed

For athletes, prioritizing products that undergo third-party testing for contaminants and banned substances is crucial, making Gnarly Whey Vanilla a standout choice. With both NSF Contents Certified and NSF Certified for Sport endorsements, it’s a reliable option suitable for competitive athletes. Notably, its effortless consumption and seamless blending in water impressed our testers, leaving no residue behind. The authentic vanilla flavor, not overly sweet, coupled with its smooth texture akin to flavored milk, received high praise. Additionally, whey protein’s reputation for aiding exercise recovery further solidifies its position as a top pick for athletes. While sweetened with stevia, testers noted no significant aftertaste, although individuals sensitive to stevia may prefer alternatives.

This product features pre and probiotics, potentially interacting with medications and impacting specific medical conditions. Additionally, it contains stevia, which some individuals may opt to avoid, and MCT oil, which may not be necessary for everyone. Moreover, whey protein’s potential to diminish the efficacy of certain medications warrants consultation with a healthcare provider before incorporating it into your diet.

Vital Proteins Lemon Collagen

I’m quite enamored with the delightful flavor and versatility of Vital Protein’s Lemon Collagen Peptides. Unlike some other collagen powders, this one effortlessly blends into both hot and cold beverages, offering a smooth and enjoyable texture. When mixed with cold water, it conjures the refreshing taste of lemonade, while infusing hot tea with a bright, lemony flavor.

With 18 grams of protein sourced from collagen, it serves as a convenient way to bolster your protein intake and potentially support hair, nail, and joint health. While it contains less protein than some other powders on this list, it still provides a relatively high amount, particularly among collagen supplements. Notably, the collagen is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows, and the powder is free from gluten and dairy. It also holds NSF Contents Certification and is devoid of added sugar, though it is sweetened with stevia.

This collagen powder falls short in protein content compared to some others on our list, and it’s among the more expensive options available. Additionally, it contains stevia, which may not be to everyone’s taste preference.

Now Sports Nutrition

I’ve been using Now Sports whey protein for the past two years and found the unflavored variety to be the most versatile out of the many powders I’ve tried. When I’m pressed for time, I simply mix the unflavored powder with water for a quick protein boost. It seamlessly blends into yogurt-granola bowls, with only a slight texture change noticeable in taste. For those who prefer flavored options, it also comes in vanilla and chocolate varieties, both sweetened with stevia. I’ve experimented by incorporating the vanilla version into pancake batter, resulting in protein pancakes that retained their original flavor. Personal trainer Kern Alexander and fitness coach Gabbi Berkow also endorse the unflavored Now Sports whey protein, praising its lack of artificial sweeteners and its versatility for blending with fruits like berries and banana. Made in the USA and containing whey-protein isolate, it’s a trusted choice for fitness enthusiasts.

Klean Athlete Klean

For competitive athletes, prioritizing an NSF-certified protein powder is crucial to ensure it contains no banned substances. Dietitian Kaleigh Tjoelker, who works extensively with athletes, including tennis players, favors the straightforward, NSF-certified whey-isolate mix from Klean. She appreciates its absence of artificial sweeteners, which are commonly used in protein powders for sweetness without added carbs or calories but can make them overly sweet. Furthermore, being unflavored, it seamlessly blends into various types of smoothies and shakes.

Vega Sport Premium

Athletes seeking a plant-based protein powder should consider Vega Sport, crafted from a blend of pea, pumpkin, and sunflower-seed proteins. Competitive racer and running coach David Roche emphasizes the importance of avoiding ingredients that could compromise health or drug testing, making Vega Sport’s NSF-certification a key factor in his preference for this product. Additionally endorsed by fitness coach Berkow, Roche praises its “light chocolate taste,” describing it as smooth and balanced, without being overpowering.

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