Three of the best protein powders for weight loss, including Dymatize ISO100, ON Gold Standard Whey, and Muscle Milk Genuine Protein PowderShare on Pinterest

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Protein powders have long appealed to people who want to build muscle and become stronger, but they can also help people who want to shed weight.

As a convenient and tasty way to increase your protein intake, these powders can be an effective way to support your weight loss efforts.

However, with the dozens of protein powder options available, it can be challenging trying to decide which is the best choice for your weight loss goals.

We did the legwork and rounded up a list of the best protein powders for weight loss so you can be confident in your purchasing decision.

Here are our picks of the 12 best protein powders to support your weight loss efforts.

When selecting the best protein powders to support weight loss, we considered the following factors:

  • Nutrition content: We looked for products that are lower in calories to support a reduced calorie diet. Except for one, all products contain less than 200 calories per serving. We also prioritized powders that are low in added sugars and high in fiber.
  • Additional ingredients: We gave bonus points to powders that contain other beneficial ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals.
  • Quality: We selected protein powders that are made by reputable companies and are tested throughout the manufacturing process, ideally by third-party labs.

Why you should trust us

Every brand and product on our list has been reviewed by dietitians and vetted to ensure that it aligns with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. Each product in this article:

  • adheres to allowable health claims and labeling requirements, per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
  • is manufactured in facilities that adhere to current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) established by the FDA
  • is produced by a medically credible company that follows ethical, legal, and industry best standards
  • is made by a company that provides objective measures of trust, such as having its supplements validated by third-party labs

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $1.25–$3.12 per serving, or $25.49–$95.80 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop. Prices may also vary by flavor and container size.

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $1.50 per serving
  • $$ = $1.50–$2.00 per serving
  • $$$ = over $2.00 per serving

Note that the serving recommendations vary between 1 and 2 scoops.

Best overall

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

  • Price: $
  • Protein type: whey concentrate and isolate
  • Size: 2-, 5-, or 10-pound (lb.) container
  • Flavors: Banana Cream, Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Malt, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coffee, Cookies & Cream, Delicious Strawberry, Double Rich Chocolate, Extreme Milk Chocolate, French Vanilla Creme, Mocha Cappuccino, Rocky Road, Strawberries & Cream, Strawberry Banana, Unflavored, Vanilla Ice Cream, White Chocolate

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey made our pick as the best overall for weight loss, as it remains one of the most popular and highest quality protein powders on the market.

It provides 24 grams of quality whey protein and contains a slim 120 calories per serving.

Whey protein is a high quality and easily absorbable form of protein. It also tends to be the most cost-effective since it’s produced as a by-product of cheese-making.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey is third-party tested by Informed Choice.

Each one-scoop serving of Double Rich Chocolate provides (1):

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: not listed
  • Added sugar: 2 grams
  • Fats: 1.5 grams

Pros

  • available in multiple flavors and sizes
  • third-party tested
  • gluten-free

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly
  • not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance
  • contains sucralose, which some people may prefer to avoid

Best for men

Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder

  • Price: $$
  • Protein type: milk protein isolate and whey concentrate
  • Size: 1.93-, 2.47-, or 4.94-lb. container
  • Flavors: Banana Creme, Cake Batter, Chocolate, Cookies ‘n Creme, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Strawberries ‘n Creme, Strawberry Banana, Vanilla Creme

Men generally require more calories than women, even when weight loss is the goal.

For this reason, Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder is a great choice for men.

It packs 32 grams and 280 calories in each serving. It’s also an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and D.

Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder is NSF Certified for Sport, making it a good option for competitive athletes as well.

Each one-scoop serving of Vanilla Creme provides (2):

  • Calories: 280
  • Protein: 32 grams
  • Carbs: 21 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Added sugar: 1 gram
  • Fats: 9 grams

Pros

  • NSF Certified Safe for Sport
  • excellent source of magnesium calcium, and vitamins A, C, and D
  • available in multiple flavors and sizes

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly
  • not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance
  • contains sucralose, which some people may prefer to avoid

Best for women

Naked Whey

  • Price: $
  • Protein type: whey concentrate
  • Size: 1- or 5-lb. container
  • Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Unflavored

Women generally need to consume fewer calories than men to lose weight, which makes a lower calorie protein powder like Naked Whey a great option (3).

In addition to the classic chocolate and vanilla, Naked Whey also has an unflavored option so you can easily mix it in your coffee, oatmeal, or soups for a protein boost.

Naked Whey is certified Informed Choice Trusted for Sport and contains minimal ingredients.

Each two-scoop serving of Vanilla provides (4):

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Added sugar: 3 grams
  • Fats: 2 grams

Pros

  • unflavored option available
  • minimal ingredients
  • Informed Choice Trusted by Sport certified
  • certified gluten-free
  • naturally sweetened with coconut sugar
  • available in multiple flavors and sizes

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly
  • not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance

Best for competitive athletes

Muscle Milk 100% Whey

  • Price: $$
  • Protein type: whey concentrate and isolate
  • Size: 5-lb. container
  • Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla

Many student and competitive athletes are subject to regular and routine drug testing for banned substances, such as certain stimulants, narcotics, and anabolic steroids (5).

An athlete who tests positive for a banned substance could face financial penalties and be declared ineligible to take part in the regular season or postseason competition.

As such, it’s critical that athletes look for supplements — including protein powders — that are third-party tested for substances banned by major sporting organizations.

Muscle Milk 100% Whey is a great choice for athletes since it’s NSF Certified for Sport, which ensures that the product is free from banned substances.

Each one-scoop serving of Chocolate provides (6):

  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Fats: 2 grams

Pros

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • free of added sugar
  • contains 6 grams of fiber

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly
  • not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance
  • contains sucralose, which some people may prefer to avoid
  • only available in two flavors and one size

Best meal-replacement protein powder

GNC Lean Shake 25

  • Price: $$$
  • Protein type: whey and casein
  • Size: 1.83-lb. container or individual packets
  • Flavors: French Vanilla, Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Mixed Berry, Orange Cream, Girl Scout Thin Mints, Girl Scout Coconut Caramel, Girl Scout Chocolate Peanut Butter, Girl Scout Lemon

Protein powders are concentrated sources of protein that usually don’t provide significant amounts of carbs, fats, or other nutrients.

As such, they’re generally not designed to be used as meal replacements.

However, GNC Lean Shake 25 is formulated as a meal replacement — containing 23 vitamins and minerals — while still offering 25 grams of protein per serving.

It also provides 8 grams of fiber per serving, which can further support weight loss by helping you stay full for longer.

Still, keep in mind that as the powder contains less than 200 calories, per serving it’s best to combine the powder in a blender with other nutritious ingredients, like frozen fruit, leafy greens, and milk (7).

While some of GNC’s products undergo third-party testing, it’s unclear whether GNC Lean Shake 25 is one of them.

Each one-scoop serving of French Vanilla provides (8):

  • Calories: 180
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Carbs: 19 grams
  • Fiber: 8 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Fats: 3 grams

Pros

  • several flavors available
  • individual packets available
  • contains 8 grams of fiber
  • free of added sugars

Cons

  • may not be third-party tested
  • expensive
  • not vegan-friendly
  • not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance
  • contains several artificial additives

Best affordable

Dymatize Elite 100% Whey

  • Price: $
  • Protein type: whey protein concentrate and isolate
  • Size: 2-, 5-, or 10-lb. container
  • Flavors: Café Mocha, Chocolate, Rich Chocolate, Cookies & Cream, Strawberry, Gourmet Vanilla,

Protein powders aren’t cheap. However, if you’re on a tight budget, Dymatize Elite 100% Whey is one of your best options.

In addition to its lower price, the powder comes in several dessert-inspired flavors and is Informed Choice Trusted for Sport certified.

Each one-scoop serving of Gourmet Vanilla provides (9):

  • Calories: 140
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Carbs: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Fats: 3 grams

Pros

  • available in a variety of sizes and flavors
  • Informed Choice Trusted for Sport certified
  • free of added sugars

Cons

  • contains some artificial additives, including sweeteners
  • not vegan-friendly
  • not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance

Best with casein

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

  • Price: $$
  • Protein type: casein
  • Size: 2- or 4-lb. container
  • Flavors: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Supreme, Cookies & Cream

Casein is the primary milk protein, comprising 80%, while whey comprises the remaining 20%.

Casein proteins form curds when exposed to your stomach acid, slowing the time it takes for your body to digest and absorb it (10).

This makes casein protein a great choice between meals or before bed to manage appetite and support muscle recovery.

A quality casein protein powder is Gold Standard 100% Casein, providing 24 grams of protein per serving.

Like Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein is third-party tested by Informed Choice.

Each one-scoop serving of Chocolate Supreme provides (11):

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Fats: 1 gram

Pros

  • may help suppress appetite when taken between meals
  • third-party tested
  • available in multiple sizes and flavors
  • free of added sugar

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly
  • not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance
  • contains several artificial additives

Best with whey isolate

Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed

  • Price: $
  • Protein type: whey protein isolate
  • Size: 5-lb. container
  • Flavors: Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, Pebbles Birthday Cake, Gourmet Chocolate, Gourmet Vanilla, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Dunkin’ Cappuccino, Dunkin’ Mocha Latte

Protein powders may be processed as a concentrate or an isolate, depending on their protein content by weight.

Protein isolates contain at least 90% protein by weight, whereas concentrates contain 70–80% protein by weight.

This makes them faster digesting, but there isn’t strong evidence that this translates to improved fat loss or muscle growth.

Still, the higher content of protein means there is less fat and carbs than concentrates, making isolates like Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed a good option for people who are limiting these nutrients for weight loss.

Isolates may also be better for people with lactose intolerance since most of the lactose is removed during processing.

Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed is third-party tested by Informed Choice.

Each one-scoop serving of Gourmet Vanilla provides (12):

  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Fats: 0 grams

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • suitable for people with lactose intolerance
  • available in multiple flavors and sizes
  • free of added sugar

Cons

  • expensive
  • contains sucralose, which some people may prefer to avoid

Best whey and casein blend

NutraBio Muscle Matrix Protein

  • Price: $$
  • Protein type: whey isolate and casein
  • Size: 2- or 5-lb. container
  • Flavors: Alpine Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss, Confetti Cake

Protein blends are great for people who want the combination of slow- and fast-digesting proteins to support appetite control and muscle recovery.

Muscle Matrix Protein is a great option, as it contains 55% of protein from whey protein isolate and the remaining 45% from casein.

NutraBio products undergo third-party testing, though the company doesn’t disclose the name of the testing organization on its website.

Each one-scoop serving of Alpine Vanilla provides (13):

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Carbs: 2 grams
  • Fiber: not listed
  • Added sugar: not listed
  • Fats: 0.5 grams

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • contains a blend of fast- and slow-digesting protein
  • available in multiple flavors and sizes

Cons

  • not vegan-friendly
  • not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance
  • contains sucralose, which some people may prefer to avoid

Best plant-based

Orgain Organic Protein

  • Price: $
  • Protein type: organic pea, brown rice, and chia seed protein
  • Size: 1- or 2-lb. container or individual packets
  • Flavors: Creamy Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, Natural Unsweetened, Vanilla Bean, Iced Coffee

If you’re following a vegan diet or simply prefer a plant-based protein powder, Orgain Organic Protein is one of the best options.

Orgain provides 21 grams of protein from quality plant-based sources, including organic peas, brown rice, and chia seeds.

It also offers 6 grams of fiber to further support your weight loss goals (7).

Orgain Organic Protein is certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is manufactured in third-party certified facilities. However, products are not third-party tested to ensure purity and potency.

Each two-scoop serving of Creamy Chocolate Fudge provides (14):

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 21 grams
  • Carbs: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Added sugar: 0 grams
  • Fats: 4 grams

Pros

  • certified USDA organic
  • manufactured in third-party certified facilities
  • certified plant-based
  • gluten-free
  • non-GMO
  • available in multiple flavors
  • available in individual-serving travel packets

Cons

  • not third-party tested
  • contains erythritol and stevia, which some people dislike the aftertaste of

Best hypoallergenic

NOW Sports Pea Protein

  • Price: $$
  • Protein type: pea protein
  • Size: 1.5-, 2-, or 7-lb. container
  • Flavors: Pure Unflavored, Creamy Chocolate, Creamy Vanilla, Vanilla Toffee

Pea protein is a great plant-based alternative for people who are following a vegan diet or have allergies or intolerances to milk, soy, or egg.

Pea protein also contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, though it is lower in some essential amino acids, compared with dairy-based powders (15)

NOW Sports Pea Protein is one of the best pea protein options, as it’s Informed Sport certified and has a relatively short ingredients list.

Each one-scoop serving of Creamy Chocolate provides (16):

  • Calories: 160
  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Carbs: 9 gram
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Added sugar: 2 grams
  • Fats: 2.5 grams

Pros

  • Informed Sport certified
  • non-GMO
  • vegan-friendly
  • formulated to be easy to digest
  • available in flavored and unflavored varieties

Cons

  • contains xylitol and stevia, which some people dislike the aftertaste of
  • some reviewers complain of an unpleasant, earthy taste

Best for an energy boost

GNC Lean Shake Burn

  • Price: $$$
  • Protein type: whey protein isolate
  • Size: 1.6-lb. container
  • Flavors: Vanilla Creme, Chocolate Fudge, and Strawberry

Protein alone has beneficial effects on weight loss, but other ingredients like caffeine and fiber have also been shown to help (7, 17).

GNC Lean Shake Burn contains 200 mg of caffeine and 6 grams of fiber per serving. The powder also gets rave reviews from customers who enjoy the boost of energy that it provides.

According to the company’s website, all GNC products contain ingredients that are tested in house to ensure purity and potency. However, final products are not third-party tested.

Each two-scoop serving of Chocolate Fudge provides (18):

  • Calories: 170
  • Protein: 30 grams
  • Carbs: 11 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Added sugar: <1 gram
  • Fats: 1 gram

Pros

  • contains 200 mg of caffeine
  • also provides several essential vitamins and minerals
  • contains 6 grams of fiber per serving
  • contains less than 1 gram of added sugar

Cons

  • not third-party tested
  • expensive
  • not vegan-friendly
  • not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance
  • not suitable for people who are sensitive to caffeine’s effects
  • contains sucralose, which some people may prefer to avoid

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

Price rangeProtein typeThird-party testedVeganCalories per servingFiber per servingAdded sugar per serving
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey$wheyyesno120not listed2 grams
Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder$$wheyyesno2802 grams1 gram
Naked Whey$wheyyesno1500 grams3 grams
Muscle Milk 100% Whey$$wheyyesno1406 grams0 grams
GNC Lean Shake 25$$$whey and caseinnono1808 grams0 grams
Dymatize Elite 100% Whey$wheyyesno1400 grams0 grams
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein$$caseinyesno1201 gram0 grams
Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed$wheyyesno1100 grams0 grams
NutraBio Muscle Matrix Protein$$whey and caseinyesno120not listednot listed
Orgain Organic Protein$organic pea, brown rice, and chia seed proteinnoyes1502 grams0 grams
NOW Sports Pea Protein$$pea proteinyesno1602 grams2 grams
GNC Lean Shake Burn$$$wheynono1706 grams<1 gram

Note that the nutritional information above may vary by flavor.

When shopping for a protein powder to support weight loss, be sure to consider the following factors:

  • Price: Protein powders vary significantly in price, depending on the brand, protein type, and the presence of other ingredients. Be sure to consider the recurring monthly cost when determining which powder is right for your budget.
  • Protein type: Whether you choose whey, casein, or a plant-based source, the protein type doesn’t make a significant difference in terms of its effects on weight loss. Choose the type that best fits your dietary needs and preferences (19).
  • Quality testing: As the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements the same way that it does pharmaceuticals, it’s important to select a product from a reputable manufacturer. Look for a product that’s third-party tested to ensure that the contents match the label.
  • Additives: Protein powders commonly contain artificial sweeteners, flavors, and other additives to which you may be sensitive or intolerant. As such, carefully read the product’s ingredients list before purchasing to ensure it doesn’t contain an ingredient you need to avoid.
  • Taste: Protein powders vary greatly in terms of taste and texture, so you may need to try a few powders before finding a product and flavor that you enjoy. Keep in mind that protein powders containing artificial sweeteners or sugar alternatives, like stevia, often have a slight aftertaste that some people dislike.

When it comes to losing weight, creating a calorie deficit is what matters most.

A calorie deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than you expend. You can accomplish this by eating fewer calories, burning more calories through exercise, or a combination of both (20).

Once you establish a calorie deficit, there are some advantages to increasing your protein intake, which protein powders can help you do.

Increasing your protein intake can help you lose weight by:

  • Increasing feelings of fullness: Protein helps you stay fuller longer, which can help you consume fewer calories (21).
  • Boosting metabolism: Compared with carbs or fat, protein demands the most calories during digestion and utilization. Therefore, raising your protein intake can increase calorie burning (22).
  • Maintaining muscle mass: When you lose weight, you also tend to lose fat and muscle. Consuming adequate protein — alongside resistance training — can help you maintain muscle and prevent a decline in metabolism (23).

That said, protein powders alone won’t help you lose weight, but they can make maintaining a calorie deficit easier by managing your hunger, supporting your metabolism, and reducing the loss of muscle mass.

Can protein powder be used as a meal replacement?

Because protein powders contain mostly protein and limited amounts of other nutrients, they are generally not designed to be used as a meal replacement.

Some products, like GNC Lean Shake 25, are fortified with vitamins and minerals and may be used as such, though they are often too low in calories to substitute a full meal.

Can protein powder help you lose weight and gain muscle?

Protein powders can help you meet your target protein needs and support body recomposition, a process where you gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. However, keep in mind that resistance training or weightlifting is the primary driver of body recomposition (24).

Is it safe to consume protein powder every day?

Protein powder supplements are generally considered safe to take every day. However, don’t completely replace whole-food sources of protein in your diet with protein powder.

Many people use protein powders to build muscle, but they can also benefit your weight loss goals.

Just keep in mind that while these products can assist you in losing weight, you’ll get the best results if you use them alongside a well-balanced, reduced-calorie diet and exercise routine.