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Whether you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle, protein powder can be a convenient and easy way to increase your protein intake.

While the vast number of protein powders on the market can make the task of choosing one daunting, it also means there are probably several options that will be a good fit for you.

Protein powders are also sourced from different ingredients, some of which may be better suited for specific needs than others.

Keep reading for our picks of the 15 best protein powders by type.

How we chose the best protein powders

  • Ingredient quality. We looked for products that are made from high quality ingredients and contain minimal amounts of added sugars and artificial additives.
  • Testing. We prioritized products that are third-party tested for quality, accuracy, and purity.
  • Customer reviews. The protein powders listed below have mostly positive online reviews.
  • Price. We included options to suit a variety of budgets.
  • Vetting. All the products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.

When choosing a protein powder, you’ll want to consider several factors, including:

  • Protein source. Protein powders contain either animal-based or plant-based protein sources. Examples of animal-based proteins include casein, whey, collagen, and egg. Plant-based protein powders often contain pea, rice, or hemp protein. Some vegan blends also contain whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Additional ingredients. Look for protein powders that have as few ingredients as possible. Always check the labels carefully, and consider avoiding products containing artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors.
  • Quality testing. Because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t evaluate the safety, equality, or effectiveness of protein powders, it’s best to choose products that are third-party tested to ensure purity and potency.
  • Safe for sport. Competitive athletes may also want to choose a protein powder that has been tested for banned substances by an organization like NSF International or Informed Sport.

What type is best?

The type of protein powder you choose depends on your dietary needs, health goals, and personal preferences, such as:

  • Plant-based. Vegans should opt for plant-based protein sources, such as pea or brown rice protein. These can also be suitable for people following a dairy-free diet or those who have trouble digesting dairy or lactose.
  • Whey. Whey is a milk-based protein that’s quickly and easily digested and absorbed. When combined with resistance training, whey protein may help increase muscle mass, support growth, and speed post-workout recovery, so it’s a great choice for athletes (1, 2, 3, 4).
  • Casein. Casein is a protein in milk that is digested and absorbed slowly, which can help you feel full longer, so it may help reduce your appetite. The slower digestion and absorption rate may also support muscle growth and recovery over longer periods (5, 6).
  • Egg white. Egg white protein is a great alternative to whey or casein protein, especially for those who have an allergy to dairy products.
  • Collagen powder. Collagen is a component of muscles, and supplementing with it may help stimulate muscle growth when combined with resistance training (7, 8).

Concentrate vs. isolate vs. hydrolysate

The specific form of protein may also be important to consider.

Whey protein, in particular, is available in concentrate, isolate, or hydrolysate form, although many supplements contain a combination of the three.

Although whey concentrate and isolate offer similar benefits, whey protein isolate undergoes processing methods that result in a higher concentration of protein and lower amounts of fat, carbs, and lactose.

As such, it may be a better option for those who are limiting their consumption of fat, carbs, or lactose.

Meanwhile, whey hydrolysate — or hydrolyzed whey — has been partially broken down to ease digestion and speed absorption (9).

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is one of the least expensive on the list, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $0.91–$4.32 per serving or $12.96–$89.99 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $1 per serving
  • $$ = $1–$2 per serving
  • $$$ = over $2 per serving

Best whey protein powders

Naked Whey Protein Powder

Price: $$

Naked Whey Protein Powder is a low carb option marketed to people who want to lose weight and increase muscle tone.

The unflavored version is free of added sugar and contains just one ingredient: whey protein concentrate.

This protein powder gets high marks for its formulation, with reviewers on Amazon noting that it’s easy to mix and has a mild flavor that works well when combined with other ingredients.

Additionally, it’s certified by Informed Choice, meaning it’s free of banned substances and safe for athletes.

It also has a creamy consistency and can be added to milk, yogurt, or smoothies for a quick and easy dessert or snack.

Naked Whey is also available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors, all of which are sweetened with organic coconut sugar.

Naked Whey Protein Powder at a glance

  • Available flavors: unflavored, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry
  • Pros: free of added sugar, easy to mix, third-party certified, certified gluten-free
  • Considerations: not suitable for those who prefer organic or dairy-free products
  • Nutrition stats per 2-scoop (30-gram) serving (unflavored):
    • Calories: 120
    • Carbs: 3 grams
    • Fat: 2 grams
    • Sugar: 2 grams
    • Protein: 25 grams

SFH Pure Whey Protein

Price: $$

SFH Pure Whey Protein is noted for its amazing taste, ease of absorption, and ingredient content.

Sourced from grass-fed, free-range cows in New Zealand, this minimally processed whey concentrate doesn’t contain soy, gluten, or artificial ingredients.

Because it’s low in carbs and free of added sugar, it may be a good choice for people on a low carb or ketogenic diet who are looking for an easy way to boost their protein intake.

It’s also certified by NSF International, a third-party organization that sets strict standards for the quality, strength, and purity of supplements.

SFH Pure Whey Protein at a glance

  • Available flavors: chocolate, vanilla, churro, coffee, mint chip, and unflavored
  • Pros: third-party tested, keto-friendly, certified gluten-free, multiple flavors available
  • Considerations: produced in facility that processes tree nuts and fish
  • Nutrition stats per 1-scoop (32-gram) serving (vanilla flavor):
    • Calories: 130
    • Carbs: 2 grams
    • Fat: 2 grams
    • Sugar: 1 gram
    • Protein: 23 grams

Ladder Whey Protein Powder

Price: $$

Sourced from high quality whey protein isolate, Ladder Whey Protein Powder is a great option for athletes looking to boost their protein intake and performance.

In fact, it’s NSF Certified for Sport, meaning that each batch has been tested for banned substances to ensure safety.

According to reviewers, it mixes very easily and doesn’t have a chalky aftertaste like many other protein powders on the market, so it can be a great addition to your post-workout protein shake.

However, it’s a bit pricier than other supplements and is sweetened with stevia, which can have an aftertaste that some people may find unpalatable.

Ladder Whey Protein Powder at a glance

  • Available flavors: chocolate and vanilla
  • Pros: third-party certified, mixes easily without a chalky aftertaste, contains tart cherry
  • Considerations: relatively expensive and sweetened with stevia, which may have an aftertaste
  • Nutrition stats per 1-scoop (37-gram) serving:
    • Calories: 140
    • Carbs: 5 grams
    • Fat: 1 gram
    • Sugar: less than 1 gram
    • Protein: 26 grams

Best casein protein powder

BulkSupplements Casein Protein Powder

Price: $$$

This unflavored casein protein powder may help support muscle growth and aid recovery after your gym session.

BulkSupplements Casein Protein Powder is also a good source of calcium578 mg or 45% of your daily recommended value per serving — which may help improve dental and bone health (10, 11).

It’s also produced in a facility that’s certified by NSF International. According to the company’s website, BulkSupplements products also undergo third-party testing, but the name of the third-party lab isn’t disclosed.

The powder is particularly a good choice for adding to smoothies or batters because it doesn’t clump. However, it’s not ideal if you prefer a flavored or sweetened protein powder.

BulkSupplements Casein Protein Powder at a glance

  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Pros: third-party tested, low in carbs, free of added sugar and gluten, dissolves easily
  • Considerations: somewhat pricey, not suitable for those who prefer flavored or sweetened protein powder
  • Nutrition stats per 4-tablespoon (30-gram) serving:
    • Calories: 106
    • Carbs: less than 1 gram
    • Fat: less than 1 gram
    • Sugar: less than 1 gram
    • Protein: 25 grams

Best egg white protein powder

NOW Sports Egg White Protein

Price: $$

NOW Sports Egg White Protein Powder is free of dairy, so it’s a good choice if you’re lactose intolerant.

It’s also paleo-friendly and free of fillers, additives, and sweeteners.

Additionally, this product is certified by Informed Sport, a third-party organization that tests supplements to ensure that they’re free of banned substances.

The smooth, unflavored powder is a great addition to shakes, smoothies, and baked goods.

Still, some reviews note that it can be somewhat hard to mix, so it may not be suitable for all types of recipes.

NOW Sports Egg White Protein at a glance

  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Pros: dairy-free, certified by Informed Sport, paleo-friendly, unsweetened
  • Considerations: may be difficult to mix
  • Nutrition stats per 1/4-cup (20-gram) serving:
    • Calories: 80
    • Carbs: 2 grams
    • Fat: 0 grams
    • Sugar: 1 gram
    • Protein: 16 grams

Best collagen protein powder

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Price: $$

This bovine collagen peptide protein powder is free of gluten and dairy and easy to digest and absorb.

In addition to being made with non-GMO ingredients, the powder’s collagen is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows.

This supplement may help support healthy collagen production, which can promote healthy muscles, bones, and joints.

While the chocolate flavor can be used in smoothies and desserts, Vital Protein Collagen Peptides unflavored powder is even more versatile, as you can also add it to savory foods like soups.

Note that while this product is an excellent option if you’re limiting your intake of carbs or calories, it’s a bit more expensive than other varieties of protein powder and may not be ideal if you’re on a tight budget.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides at a glance

  • Available flavors: unflavored and chocolate
  • Pros: tested by an independent lab, sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows, non-GMO, free of dairy, gluten, and added sugar
  • Considerations: relatively expensive, may not dissolve well in cold liquids
  • Nutrition stats per 2-scoop (20-gram) serving (unflavored):
    • Calories: 70
    • Carbs: 0 grams
    • Fat: 0 grams
    • Sugar: 0 grams
    • Protein: 18 grams

Best pea protein power

Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein

Price: $

This pure pea protein contains iron and all essential amino acids.

It’s also low in carbs, free of added sugar and artificial flavors, and suitable for people who are vegan or need a dairy-free option.

Additionally, Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein is batch-tested and verified gluten-free, making it a good option for those on a gluten-free diet.

The powder also mixes well into smoothies, puddings, or drinks. However, because it’s unflavored and unsweetened, you may want to pair it with ingredients like fruit, nut butter, or cocoa in smoothies.

For this reason, it may not be the best choice for those seeking a simple option that can be mixed into water or a plant-based milk and enjoyed as is.

Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein at a glance

  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Pros: affordable, verified gluten-free, unsweetened, low in carbs, vegan-friendly
  • Considerations: not third-party tested and unflavored, so it may need to be mixed with other ingredients
  • Nutrition stats for 1-tablespoon (10-gram) serving:
    • Calories: 35
    • Carbs: less than 1 gram
    • Fat: 0 grams
    • Sugar: 0 grams
    • Protein: 8 grams

Ritual Essential Protein

Price: $$$

This protein powder is made from organic pea protein and sourced from non-GMO peas that are grown in the United States using regenerative farming practices.

This method of farming can help restore the health and quality of soil (12).

Not only is Ritual Essential Protein free of added sugar, but it’s also a good source of nutrients like fiber, iron, and calcium.

Plus, it’s certified by Informed Sport, a third-party organization that tests supplements for strength, safety, and purity.

Ritual also prioritizes transparency by providing detailed information about the source and function of each ingredient it uses.

Just keep in mind that it’s only available in one flavor, so it may not be as versatile as other protein powders. Additionally, several reviewers note that it’s not the best-tasting.

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+ at a glance

  • Available flavors: vanilla
  • Pros: third-party certified, provides detailed information on sourcing of ingredients, free of added sugar, gluten, and allergens, vegan-friendly
  • Considerations: relatively expensive, only available in one flavor, not the best-tasting
  • Nutrition stats per 1-scoop (30-gram) serving:
    • Calories: 115
    • Carbs: 3 grams
    • Fat: 2 grams
    • Sugar: 0 grams
    • Protein: 20 grams

Best rice protein powder

ALOHA Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

Price: $$

ALOHA Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is formulated with a blend of plant-based proteins sourced from peas, brown rice, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

The powder contains all nine essential amino acids, in addition to fiber and iron. It’s also free of stevia, soy, and dairy and sweetened with coconut sugar.

Plus, it’s organic, certified vegan, and made without any artificial ingredients.

This powder has a fine consistency and is available in vanilla or chocolate, making it easy to mix into hot or cold drinks and smoothies.

However, while it could be a good option for vegans and vegetarians hoping to ramp up their protein intake, it does contain coconut, which some people with a tree nut allergy may need to avoid.

ALOHA Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder at a glance

  • Available flavors: chocolate or vanilla
  • Pros: rich in iron and fiber, organic, certified vegan
  • Considerations: not third-party tested and may not be suitable for some people with a tree nut allergy, as it contains coconut
  • Nutrition stats per 2-scoop (35-gram) serving:
    • Calories: 130
    • Carbs: 10 grams
    • Fat: 2.5 grams
    • Sugar: 5 grams
    • Protein: 18 grams

Best hemp protein powder

Navitas Organics Hemp Powder

Price: $$

In addition to offering 13 grams of hemp-based protein, Navitas Organic Hemp Powder is a good source of magnesium, iron, and fiber.

It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and all nine essential amino acids.

The powder is suitable for people who require gluten-free options and have digestive sensitivities.

Plus, it has an earthy, nutty taste with no chalky aftertaste and can be used as a flour substitute.

The powder also dissolves well, so it can be a delicious addition to smoothies, yogurt, and baked goods. You can even add it to dips, salads, and soups.

According to the company’s website, Navitas Organics products are third-party tested to ensure quality and safety, though the name of the testing organization isn’t disclosed.

Just keep in mind that it’s a bit lower in protein than other products on this list, which may be a drawback for some.

Navitas Organics Hemp Powder at a glance

  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Pros: contains omega-3 fatty acids, third-party tested, gluten-free, doubles as a flour substitute, organic, vegan-friendly
  • Considerations: lower in protein than other products
  • Nutrition stats per 4-tablespoon (30-gram) serving:
    • Calories: 120
    • Carbs: 11 grams
    • Fat: 3 grams
    • Sugar: 1 gram
    • Protein: 13 grams

Best organic plant-based protein powder

Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Price: $$

Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder features a variety of plant-based ingredients, including peas, rice, sprouted quinoa, amaranth, and hemp seed.

It’s not only suitable for those who are vegan or vegetarian but also a great option for people who are lactose intolerant or who follow a gluten-free diet.

Additionally, this vegan protein powder is certified organic and tested for heavy metals by third-party labs to ensure safety.

It’s also free of artificial ingredients and sweetened with stevia, monk fruit, and brown rice syrup. However, it does contain coconut, which some people may need to avoid.

Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder at a glance

  • Available flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and vanilla chai
  • Pros: vegan-friendly, certified organic, gluten-free, third-party tested
  • Considerations: contains coconut, which some people may need to avoid
  • Nutrition stats per 2-scoop (32.5-gram) serving (vanilla):
    • Calories: 130
    • Carbs: 5 grams
    • Fat: 3 grams
    • Sugar: 0 grams
    • Protein: 22 grams

Best superfood plant-based protein powder

Ground-Based Nutrition Superfood Protein

Price: $$$

Ground-Based Nutrition Superfood Protein Powder is organic, unsweetened, and GMO-free. It’s also vegan and free of gluten, soy, and sugar.

The plant-based powder features raw greens, including kale, broccoli, and spinach, as well as superfoods like spirulina and maca.

It also contains brown rice, sacha inchi, and cranberry proteins, as well as all nine essential amino acids.

Every batch is third-party tested at an accredited lab for heavy metals and contaminants, such as yeast and bacteria.

This protein powder is a bit more pricey than other similar products. Still, people describe it as having a great taste that makes it easy to drink and enjoy.

Ground-Based Nutrition Superfood Protein at a glance

  • Available flavors: chocolate or vanilla
  • Pros: contains digestive enzymes, vegan-friendly, organic, third-party tested, unsweetened
  • Considerations: more expensive than similar products
  • Nutrition stats per 2-scoop (29-gram) serving (vanilla):
    • Calories: 110
    • Carbs: 4 grams
    • Fat: 2 grams
    • Sugar: 0 grams
    • Protein: 20 grams

Best plant-based protein powder for athletes

Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder

Price: $$$

This vanilla-flavored protein powder contains tart cherry powder, which has been shown to decrease inflammation and accelerate post-workout recovery (13).

Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder also contains pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, and alfalfa, and it’s free of dairy, soy, and gluten. It’s a good source of iron and calcium too.

It’s also formulated with several strains of probiotics, which are a form of beneficial bacteria that have been shown to support immunity and digestive health (14).

Plus, it’s free of added sugar and is NSF Certified for Sport, meaning it’s a great choice for athletes.

However, it may not be ideal for those with food allergies, as it’s processed in a facility that also handles common allergens such as peanuts, milk, soy, eggs, and tree nuts.

Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder at a glance

  • Available flavors: vanilla
  • Pros: NSF Certified for Sport, contains probiotics and tart cherry, free of gluten and added sugar, certified vegan
  • Considerations: may not be suitable for those with severe food allergies
  • Nutrition stats per 1-scoop (44-gram) serving:
    • Calories: 160
    • Carbs: 6 grams
    • Fat: 3 grams
    • Sugar: 2 grams
    • Protein: 30 grams

Ladder Plant Protein

Price: $$

Co-founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger and LeBron James, Ladder specializes in producing high quality protein powders formulated specifically for athletes.

This plant-based protein powder features pea protein, along with a blend of vegan amino acids and tart cherry.

Each batch is tested to ensure safety, and all products are NSF Certified for Sport, meaning that they are free of any banned substances for athletes.

Reviewers note that it tastes great and blends very easily, which could make it a good addition to protein shakes when mixed with milk or water.

However, it is somewhat expensive, and some reviewers note that the packaging and the fine consistency of the powder can be messy.

Ladder Plant Protein at a glance

  • Available flavors: chocolate or vanilla
  • Pros: NSF Certified for Sport, vegan-friendly, contains tart cherry, blends easily
  • Considerations: expensive and can be messy
  • Nutrition stats per 1-scoop (33-gram) serving:
    • Calories: 130
    • Carbs: 4 grams
    • Fat: 2 grams
    • Sugar: 0 grams
    • Protein: 21 grams

Best personalized protein powder

Gainful Protein Powder

Price: $$$

Gainful is a subscription-based service that creates customized protein blends formulated just for you, which are sourced from ingredients like peas, brown rice, oat powder, or whey.

The brand’s online quiz collects information about your health goals, lifestyle habits, exercise routine, and dietary restrictions and recommends a protein powder designed to fit your needs.

All protein powders are free of gluten, soy, and artificial flavors and sweeteners. They are also unflavored and can be combined with the brand’s Flavor Boosts, which are available in nine unique varieties.

Although it is more costly than other protein powders, each Gainful subscription includes personalized nutrition and fitness advice, along with access to a registered dietitian.

Gainful Whey Protein Powder at a glance

  • Available flavors: unflavored, Madagascar vanilla, rich cocoa, sea salt caramel, caffè mocha, strawberry cream, chocolate peanut butter, cookies & cream, cinnamon toast, and matcha green tea
  • Pros: creates customized protein blend using online quiz, multiple Flavor Boosts available, subscription includes personalized nutrition advice
  • Considerations: more expensive than other protein powders
  • Nutrition stats: varies as products are customized. Most formulations contain 19–27 grams per scoop (30 grams).

Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:

Price rangeProtein sourceProtein per servingThird-party testedAdditional benefits
Naked Whey Protein Powder$$whey protein concentrate25 gramsyes• free of added sugar
• certified gluten-free
• easy to mix
SFH Pure Whey Protein$$whey protein concentrate23 gramsyes• keto-friendly
• certified gluten-free
• multiple flavors available
Ladder Whey Protein Powder$$whey protein isolate26 gramsyes• contains tart cherry
• mixes easily
• no chalky aftertaste
BulkSupplements Casein Protein Powder$$$casein protein25 gramsyes• free of added sugar
• gluten-free
• dissolves easily
• low in carbs
NOW Sports Egg White Protein$$egg white powder16 gramsyes• dairy-free
• paleo-friendly
• unsweetened
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides$$hydrolyzed bovine collagen18 gramsyes• free of added sugar, dairy, and gluten
• non-GMO
• sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows
Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein$vegetable pea protein isolate8 gramsno• unsweetened
• verified gluten-free
• low in carbs
• vegan-friendly
Ritual Essential Protein$$$organic pea protein20 gramsyes• free of sugar, gluten, soy, and allergens
• provides detailed information on sourcing of ingredients
• vegan-friendly
ALOHA Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder$$organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, organic hemp seed protein, organic pumpkin seed protein18 gramsno• rich in iron and fiber
• organic
• certified vegan
Navitas Organics Hemp Powder$$organic hemp powder13 gramsyes• organic
• contains omega-3s
• gluten-free
• doubles as flour substitute
• vegan-friendly
Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder$$organic pea protein, organic rice protein, organic cranberry, organic sacha inchi, organic hemp protein, organic sprouted quinoa, organic amaranth22 gramsyes• organic
• vegan-friendly
• gluten-free
Ground-Based Nutrition Superfood Protein$$$organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, organic sachi inchi protein, organic cranberry protein20 gramsyes• unsweetened
• organic
• vegan-friendly
• contains digestive enzymes
Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder$$$pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, organic sunflower seed protein, alfalfa protein30 gramsyes• free of gluten and sugar
• contains tart cherry and probiotics
• certified vegan
Ladder Plant Protein$$pea protein powder21 gramsyes• contains tart cherry
• vegan-friendly
• blends easily
Gainful Protein Powder$$$peas, brown rice, oat powder, or whey19–27 gramsno• multiple flavors available
• customized to fit your needs
• includes personalized nutrition advice

Keep in mind that protein powder should not be used to replace healthy sources of protein in your diet, because high protein foods also provide other valuable nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Still, supplements can be an easy and convenient way to increase your protein intake, as there are many ways to use protein powder.

The simplest way is to mix it with a beverage, such as water or milk, or blend it with other ingredients, such as fruits and veggies, to create a smoothie.

You can also mix protein powder into simple foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, or dips.

If you feel like getting creative, experiment with using protein powder as an addition or substitution in your usual recipes. For example, you can use protein powder in soups, veggie burgers, pancakes, and baked goods.

Timesaving tip

To save time, make a larger portion of smoothie mixture and freeze it to make individual ice pops.

When is the best time to take protein?

The best time to take protein powder depends on your health goals. You may want to have one large portion or several small portions of protein per day.

If you want to lose weight, you can also try incorporating more high protein foods throughout the day, as studies show that increasing your intake of protein could help reduce appetite and cravings (15).

If you’re using protein powder to improve your athletic performance or endurance, when to consume protein powder largely depends on your overall fitness goals (16).

For example, for muscle building, it’s recommended to consume protein powder within 2 hours after your weightlifting session (17).

Eating moderate amounts of protein throughout the day may also help prevent muscle loss in older adults (18).

Finally, some research suggests that taking protein powder before you go to sleep may help your muscles recover overnight (19).

Protein powder can be a quick and convenient option to increase your protein intake.

This may be especially beneficial for people with increased protein needs, those who have difficulty meeting their needs through food sources alone, and those with certain dietary restrictions, such as vegans or vegetarians.

Many athletes also take protein powder after exercising, as it may help enhance muscle growth and speed up post-workout recovery (17, 18).

Additionally, enjoying a protein shake or high protein snack may even support weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness between meals (15).

Protein powders are generally well tolerated and have few side effects, so they are safe for most people.

However, certain types of protein may affect you, especially in terms of digestion. Certain types of protein can cause gas, bloating, or stomach cramps. Skin reactions are also possible.

Some supplements could contain contaminants, such as yeast or bacteria, which can cause foodborne illness (20).

They may also contain heavy metals, which can negatively affect the health of your kidneys, brain, thyroid gland, and reproductive system if consumed in large amounts (21).

Choosing a high quality product that has undergone third-party testing can help minimize the risk of contamination with these harmful compounds.

If you have a medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or take any medications that could be affected by protein powders, talk with a healthcare professional before using one.

Are protein powders regulated by the FDA?

The FDA regulates supplements, including protein powders, as food products rather than medications, meaning that it doesn’t evaluate supplements for effectiveness or safety (22).

For this reason, it’s especially important to choose a product that is third-party tested or certified whenever possible.

Which protein powder is the healthiest?

To find a healthy protein powder, look for a product that is free of, or contains minimal amounts of, artificial additives like fillers, sweeteners, flavors, and dyes.

Also consider your health goals. Some protein powders have added ingredients to boost the benefits even more, such as digestive enzymes, probiotics, or herbal extracts.

Alternatively, if you’re actively managing your blood sugar levels, you may want to avoid products with added sugars.

Which protein powder is best for beginners?

Gainful is a great option for beginners, as it creates a custom protein blend based on your dietary needs and fitness goals. What’s more, you can mix and match their Flavor Boosts to find what works for you.

Each subscription also includes personalized nutrition advice from a registered dietitian.

Which protein powder is best for muscle gain?

If gaining muscle mass is your goal, research suggests choosing a product with at least 20 grams of high quality protein and minimal fillers, sweeteners, and artificial ingredients (17).

Though any of the protein powders listed above can support muscle gain when paired with resistance training, Naked Whey Protein Powder is a particularly great option that is low in carbs and provides a concentrated dose of protein in each serving.

Is whey protein better than plant-based protein?

Plant-based protein can be a great option for vegans and people who are unable to tolerate dairy. However, whey and plant-based protein powders offer a similar set of health benefits.

In fact, some research suggests that whey protein and plant-based protein can be equally effective at increasing muscle growth and strength, as long as they contain the same amount of protein and branched-chain amino acids — a group of amino acids that boost muscle-building — per serving (23, 24, 25, 26).

When trying a new protein powder, pay attention to how your body responds. As with any supplement, you may wish to take a break every so often or alternate between different products.

Many people get plenty of protein through the foods that they eat.

However, if you’re trying to increase your protein intake, having a protein shake or adding protein powder to foods like oatmeal and yogurt can help you meet your needs.

Finally, try to consume plenty of whole, fresh foods, including natural sources of protein and fiber, as well as water.