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Whey protein is a popular nutritional supplement used for a variety of reasons, including promoting muscle gain and providing a quick source of protein on the go.

There are three main types of whey protein used to make protein powder supplements (1, 2, 3):

  • Whey protein concentrate: contains 25–89% protein
  • Whey protein isolate: contains more than 90% protein and is lower in carbs, fat, and lactose than whey protein concentrate
  • Whey protein hydrolysate: is broken down to accelerate digestion and absorption rates

A multitude of whey protein supplements are available for purchase at grocery and specialty stores, as well as online. However, some whey protein powders are higher in quality than others and are therefore better options.

Plus, some people may choose a supplement based on the type of whey protein it contains.

The whey protein supplements on this list contain minimal ingredients and are tested for quality and purity.

Here are the 10 best whey protein powders.

When shopping for a protein supplement, it’s important to choose a high quality product from a trusted brand. We considered the following when choosing the best whey protein powders:

  • Product quality and testing. Most products on this list have undergone third-party testing to ensure they are free of heavy metals, mycotoxins, and substances banned in professional sports.
  • Certifications. Some companies on this list offer certificates of analysis (COAs) — documents that provide details regarding product quality and purity — for their whey protein products.
  • Ingredients. We tried to choose protein powder supplements that don’t contain certain ingredients that you may want to limit or avoid, such as artificial sweeteners, high amounts of added sugars, and artificial colorings.
  • Brand trust. The supplements on this list are made by brands that healthcare professionals trust. They are made with limited ingredients, and most have undergone third-party testing and carry certifications verifying their quality and safety.

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 price range.

Generally, prices range from $0.78–$7.27 per serving, or $23.75–$89.99 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Supplements intended for weight gain tend to have a higher price per serving, as each serving generally contains a greater number of scoops.

Pricing guide

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

Many people prefer to use unsweetened, unflavored protein powders.

Unsweetened powders are not only free of added sugars, which should be limited in any healthy diet, but also suitable for smoothies, shakes, and other foods and beverages, as they don’t alter their taste.

Here are some excellent choices for unsweetened whey protein products.

Naked Whey

Price: $$

Naked Whey protein contains just one ingredient — whey protein concentrate from cows raised on farms in Northern California. The cows spend at least 19 hours a day on pasture.

Naked Nutrition products are third-party tested, and Naked Whey is Informed Choice Trusted by Sport.

Informed Choice Trusted by Sport is a program that certifies that a product has been tested at least on a monthly basis for substances banned by LGC, a globally recognized sports doping control and supplement testing lab.

Naked Nutrition products are manufactured in a facility that adheres to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs), a set of regulations created by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure the quality and purity of supplements.

Two scoops (30 grams) of Naked Whey protein provide:

Calories120
Fat2 grams
Protein25 grams
Carbs3 grams

NOW Sports Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey Protein

Price: $$

NOW Sports Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey Protein is made with whey protein concentrate from milk from grass-fed cows and sunflower lecithin to provide a smooth texture. It’s free of corn, soy, nuts, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

This protein powder carries the LGC Informed Sport seal, which assures that the product has been tested for a number of substances that are banned in sport. NOW also adheres to the CGMPs.

One scoop (39 grams) of NOW Sports Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey Protein provides:

Calories110
Fat1.5 grams
Protein22 grams
Carbs4 grams

Raw Organic Whey

Price: $

Raw Organic Whey contains only whey protein concentrate from grass-fed cows. It’s organic and free of soy, added sugars, and gluten.

Raw Organic Whey is independently tested by third-party labs for heavy metals, antibiotics, pesticides, and mycotoxins. Testing results are available on the company’s website.

Five tablespoons (25 grams) of Raw Organic Whey provide:

Calories97.5
Fat1 gram
Protein21 grams
Carbs2 grams

Z Natural Foods Pasture Raised Goat Whey

Price: $$

Although most whey protein products are made with whey derived from cow’s milk, some are made with whey from goat’s milk.

Z Natural Foods Pasture Raised Goat Whey contains 100% goat whey protein concentrate from grass-fed goats.

Z Natural Foods adheres to CGMPs and maintains current laboratory reports and a COA for all of its products.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of Z Natural Foods Pasture Raised Goat Whey provides:

Calories106
Fat1 gram
Protein22 grams
Carbs2 grams

Flavored protein powders are favored by those who either don’t like the taste of unflavored whey or prefer to mix their powder with water or milk.

Here are some of the best-tasting whey protein products.

Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Organic Whey Protein

Price: $$

Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey Protein is made with whey protein isolate and milk protein and comes in vanilla and chocolate flavors. Both are sweetened with stevia and erythritol and contain zero added sugars.

This product is NSF Certified for Sport — an independent third-party testing certification verifying that products are free of more than 270 substances currently banned by major athletic organizations.

One scoop (33 grams) of chocolate-flavored Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey Protein provides:

Calories120
Fat0.5 grams
Protein24 grams
Carbs6 grams

Less Naked Whey Protein Powder

Price: $$

Naked Nutrition Less Naked Whey Protein Powder is naturally sweetened with organic coconut sugar. It comes in tasty flavors including vanilla, chocolate, matcha, and strawberry.

Keep in mind that this protein powder contains a small amount of added sugar — 3 grams or 3/4 of a teaspoon per 37-gram serving — which some people prefer to leave out of their diet.

Two scoops (37 grams) of the vanilla flavor provide:

Calories150
Fat2 grams
Protein25 grams
Carbs8 grams

Simply Tera’s Whey Organic Bourbon Vanilla Whey Protein

Price: $$$

Simply Tera’s Whey Organic Bourbon Vanilla Whey protein contains organic whey protein concentrate and is flavored with organic vanilla and stevia for sweetness.

Simply Tera’s Whey tests its products quarterly using third-party independent laboratories and conducts in-house product testing.

Simply Tera’s Whey Organic Whey Protein comes in chocolate as well.

Two scoops (28.4 grams) of the bourbon vanilla flavor provide:

Calories110
Fat1.5 grams
Protein21 grams
Carbs4 grams

Some people use whey protein to gain weight and muscle mass. The following whey protein powder product is high in calories and makes a good choice for those trying to pack on muscle mass or body weight in general.

Note that if you’re using weight gainer supplements for weight loss related to a medical condition such as cancer, it’s important to talk with your healthcare team before adding a new supplement to your routine, to make sure it’s safe for you.

Naked Mass

Price: $$$

Naked Nutrition Naked Mass is a high calorie weight gainer supplement that can promote healthy weight gain.

It contains organic tapioca maltodextrin, a type of food starch that works as a thickening agent, as well as whey protein concentrate and casein, another milk protein. Naked Mass comes in chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored.

Note that this product is extremely high in calories and carbs and is not appropriate for those who don’t need to gain weight. Also, the very high carb content of this supplement makes it inappropriate for those with blood sugar regulation issues.

Smaller servings can be used so that the calorie and carb load isn’t so extreme. Just one scoop provides 313 calories and 13 grams of protein.

Four scoops (321 grams) of the unflavored supplement provide:

Calories1,250
Fat2.5 grams
Protein50 grams
Carbs252 grams

Whey protein isolate is lower in fat and carbs and higher in protein than whey protein concentrate.

Keep in mind that whey protein isolate supplements tend to be more expensive than whey protein concentrates.

Below is a great choice for whey protein isolate powder.

AGN Roots Grass-Fed Whey

Price: $$

AGN Roots Grass-Fed Whey is made with whey from cows raised in the pastures of sustainable family farms.

It’s the only grass-fed whey product that earned a spot on the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Shop with Your Heart list, which links consumers to animal-welfare-certified products.

AGN Roots products are third-party tested by LGC and carry the Informed Choice and Informed Sport certifications.

Two scoops (29 grams) provide:

Calories110
Fat0 grams
Protein25 grams
Carbs1 gram

Whey protein hydrolysate is a form of whey that has undergone processing that breaks down proteins into their smaller parts, which are called amino acids.

This type of whey is more rapidly absorbed than isolate or concentrate and used in supplements to support the digestibility of whey protein. However, keep in mind that all types of whey protein are rapidly digested, so the difference is likely minimal (3, 4).

Nonetheless, some people prefer hydrolysates over isolates or concentrates to support digestion (3, 5).

Below is an excellent option for hydrolyzed whey protein powder.

Muscle Feast Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

Price: $

Muscle Feast Hydrolyzed Whey Protein comes in vanilla and chocolate, as well as an unflavored option.

Because hydrolyzed whey is typically less palatable and more bitter than other forms of whey, going for a flavored type may be a wise choice.

Muscle Feast Chocolate Hydrolyzed Whey Protein contains just three ingredients — hydrolyzed whey protein, cocoa, and stevia.

One scoop (28 grams) provides:

Calories114
Fat1.6 grams
Protein23 grams
Carbs3 grams

PriceCaloriesFatProteinCarbsBest for
Naked Whey$$1202253those who prefer unsweetened products
NOW Sports Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey Protein$$1101.5224those who prefer unsweetened products
Raw Organic Whey$97.51212those who prefer unsweetened products
Z Natural Foods Pasture Raised Goat Whey$$1061222those who prefer a product made from goat’s milk
Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Organic Whey Protein$$1200.5246those who prefer flavored products
Less Naked Whey Protein Powder$$1502258those who prefer sweetened products
Simply Tera’s Whey Organic Bourbon Vanilla Whey Protein$$$1101.5214those who prefer stevia-sweetened products
Naked Mass$$$1,2502.550252those who want or need to gain weight
AGN Roots Grass-Fed Whey$$1100251those who prefer whey protein isolate
Muscle Feast Hydrolyzed Whey Protein$1141.6233those who prefer why protein hydrolysate

When shopping for a whey protein supplement, be sure to purchase products from reputable companies and websites. Wherever possible, opt for products with minimal added sugars and simple ingredients. That way you know exactly what you’re consuming.

As mentioned above, there are some differences among the types of whey offered in supplements. Whey protein concentrate is highest in fat and lactose, while whey protein isolate contains very little fat or lactose and is higher in protein.

Whey protein hydrolysate may be easier to digest for some people, as well as more rapidly absorbed. However, it’s unclear whether this offers any significant benefit, as the difference in absorption between hydrolyzed and intact whey is minimal (3).

Additionally, whey hydrolysates and isolates are usually more expensive than whey protein concentrates, and hydrolysates may be less palatable and more bitter-tasting than the other types of whey.

Because there’s currently no convincing evidence that a particular kind of whey protein is significantly better than others, finding a high quality whey protein powder that you think tastes good and is fairly priced is your best bet.

However, competitive athletes and those closely monitoring their macronutrient intake may want to pay more attention to the amounts of fat, protein, and carbs in whey products.

Lastly, keep in mind that most people following well-rounded diets get plenty of protein through foods. Yet, if you struggle to get enough protein through your diet or are trying to gain weight and build muscle, using whey protein powder can help.

Who should use whey protein powder?

People may use whey protein powder for a variety of reasons.

For example, some people prefer to use whey protein in shakes and smoothies to increase their daily protein intake, while others use whey protein to enhance muscle recovery and promote muscle growth after strenuous workouts.

You can use whey protein in the same way you would any other protein product. It’s delicious in smoothies and shakes but can also be added to meals and snacks such as oatmeal, Greek yogurt parfaits, and energy balls.

Is whey protein powder good for weight loss?

Protein is the most filling macronutrient, and adding protein sources to meals and snacks can help you feel full and more satisfied, which could help you consume fewer calories overall (6).

Studies have also shown that whey protein may be effective for promoting fat loss. A 2018 review that included 9 randomized control trials found that supplementation with whey protein helped reduce body weight and total fat mass in people with overweight or obesity (7).

While adding a whey protein supplement — along with other high protein foods — to your diet could help make you feel full and may help you lose body fat, your total dietary intake and activity level matter most when it comes to reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight.

For example, if you’re currently overconsuming calories and leading a sedentary lifestyle, adding a whey protein supplement to your diet is unlikely to impact your body weight.

However, adding a protein supplement while also focusing on improving your overall diet quality, reducing your calorie intake, and being more active is a beneficial way to promote healthy weight loss.

Can you use whey protein powder daily?

Yes, you can use whey protein powder daily, but it doesn’t have to be a regular part of your diet.

Some people like to use whey protein every day in their protein shake or smoothie, while others use it a couple times a week as a pre- or post-workout snack.

It’s up to you how you choose to use whey protein powder.

If you’re not sure how to incorporate whey protein into your diet or how much you should be consuming, consider working with a registered dietitian.

They can help answer any questions you have about dietary supplements and can help with goals related to sports performance, weight loss, and more.

There are many whey protein powder products on the market, and choosing the right one for you can be challenging.

Opting for a whey protein powder from this list can help ensure that you’re buying a high quality, safe product that can help you meet your protein needs and health goals.