10 Best Protein Powders for 2020 (Tried & Tested)

For many of you bodybuilders, weight trainers and Arnold Schwarzenneger-wannabes, protein powders will be a staple part of your diet. It can be difficult (and rather inconvenient, at times) to consume enough high quality protein from a regular diet alone, which is why many of you will likely turn towards protein powders to supply you with the extra protein you need.

There’s a problem though: the protein powders market is saturated, and deciding which one of the hundreds (if not thousands) of choices will be the best protein powder for you can be a tough call, especially when just about every supplements company under the sun is bombarding you with million-dollar marketing campaigns and seemingly miraculous health claims on an almost daily basis.

No worries though, help is at hand. We’ve tested, tasted (and spat out), analyzed and judged the offerings to create a refined list of the ten best protein powders on the market today.

You’re (more than) welcome.
#1 – ON 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder
Source

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate, Concentrate)

Per serving (1 scoop):

Calories: 120
Protein: 24g
Carbohydrates: 3g
Fat: 1g
EAA’s: 11g
BCAA’s: 5g+

Formulated from a unique blend of high quality whey protein (isolate and concentrate), ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder packs 24g of protein per serving with virtually no carbs (3g) or fat (1g) to speak of.

This isn’t your cheap run-of-the-mill protein powder either; whey protein isolate is the purest (in terms of protein quantity by weight) form of whey protein available, with whey protein concentrate following closely behind.

Because of this, roughly 80% of the total calorific value (96/120 calories) is derived from protein, making ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard one of the best protein powders available for anyone seeking a low carb and/or fat solution.

It’s packed with 11g of EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids) and 5g+ of BCAA’s (Branched-Chain Amino Acids). Without getting too technical, these help to prevent muscle soreness and stimulate muscle growth/repair, effectively helping you to recover faster and experience less discomfort post-workout.

In terms of water-solubility, ON’s 100% Whey Gold Standard is definitely one of the best protein powders by far as it mixes effortlessly with nothing more than a spoon. It’s also one of the best tasting powders we’ve come across and works well with either water or low-fat milk.

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

Flavors: Cake Batter, Banana Cream, Chocolate Malt, Cookies & Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Mint, Strawberry Banana, French Vanilla Crème, Chocolate Coconut, Double Rich Chocolate, Rocky Road, Tropical Punch, Extreme Milk Chocolate, Delicious Strawberry, Mocha Cappuccino, White Chocolate, Coffee, Caramel Toffee Fudge and Vanilla Cream.

Price: Click here to check the current price
#2 – MyoFusion Probiotic Protein Powder

Type: Whey Protein (Concentrate, Isolate, Partially Hydrolyzed), Milk Protein (Isolate), Brown Rice Protein (Concentrate)

Per serving (1 scoop):
Calories: 150
Protein: 24g
Carbohydrates: 9g
Fat: 2g
EAA’s: 9g
BCAA’s: N/A

MyoFusion Probiotic is formulated from a unique blend of high-quality protein sources including whey protein concentrate, brown rice protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and (partially) hydrolyzed whey protein.

It’s packed with 24g of protein per serving/scoop along with 9g of carbs and 2g of fat, resulting in a total of 150 calories per serving. It’s certainly not a mass gainer or meal replacement shake by any stretch of the imagination (so don’t use it as one!), but the carbs will help to replenish some energy post-workout.

It’s also packed with EAA’s (9g), which help to improve recovery times and eliminate muscle stiffness/soreness.

One unique aspect of this protein powder is the addition of a powerful probiotic; this aims to improve digestion and ‘deliver beneficial bacteria to your digestive system’. If you often experience ‘bloating’ or an upset stomach following the consumption of protein powders, MyoFusion Probiotic might well be the best protein powder for you.

Taste-wise, MyoFusion Probiotic is definitely one of the best protein powders on the market, as it tastes much like a regular milkshake. It also mixes easily in water, milk or just about any other substance.

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

Flavors: Milk Chocolate, Strawberries & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Delicious Vanilla, Cinnamon Roll, Banana Perfection and Cookies & Cream.
Price: Click here to check the current price
#3 – BSN Syntha 6 Protein Powder

Type: Whey Protein (Concentrate, Isolate), Casein Protein (Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein), Milk Protein (Isolate)

Per serving (1 scoop):
Calories: 200
Protein: 22g
Carbohydrates: 15g
Fat: 6g
EAA’s: 10g
BCAA’s: N/A

BSN Syntha 6 consists of a mixture of whey protein (concentrate and isolate) and casein protein (calcium caseinate and micellar casein), making it somewhat unique among the other best protein powders on our top 10 list.

Whey protein is (relatively) fast-absorbing whereas casein protein is (relatively) slow-absorbing; this makes BSN Syntha 6 perfect for consumption at almost any point throughout the day; pre or post-workout. It’s even a good choice for breakfast (when consumed in conjunction with another healthy source of carbs, such as oatmeal).

Calorie-wise, it’s quite high (200kcal per serving) compared with many other protein powders, with just less than 50% of those calories deriving from protein. The remaining 100+ calories are derived from the carbs (15g) and fat (6g). This ratio puts BSN Syntha 6 partway between a standalone protein powder and mass gainer.

It’s packed with EAA’s, which help with recovery and muscle soreness. It’s by-far one of the best protein powders on the market in terms of taste and works equally great when mixed with water or milk (or both). It also mixes easily, despite the inclusion of casein, and doesn’t ‘clump together’.

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals, Before Bed.

Flavors: Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry Milkshake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Milkshake, Chocolate Cake Batter, and Cookies & Cream.

Price: Click here to check the current price
#4 – Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder

Type: Whey Protein (Concentrate, Isolate)

Per serving (1 scoop):
Calories: 170
Protein: 30g
Carbohydrates: 7g
Fat: 2.5g
EAA’s: 10g+
BCAA’s: 4g+

Formulated from a blend of whey protein (concentrate and isolate), Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder is one of the most protein-dense protein powders on our list (and one of the most low-cost too).

It contains 30g of protein (predominantly whey protein concentrate), with just 7g of carbohydrates and 2.5g of fat per serving. It is also packed with BCAA’s and other ‘recovery agents’ (4g+ per scoop) including Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine; all of which help to maintain muscle tissue and aid in the muscle recovery process.

It also contains just 170 calories per scoop, with roughly 70% of the calories deriving from protein.

Taste-wise, it’s not as great as some and flavors are somewhat limited, but it’s certainly not terrible, especially when mixed with low-fat milk. It mixes relatively easily in water or milk (or both) and there’s no major clumping.

It’s a great post-workout (or even pre-workout) shake, but wouldn’t be suitable for consumption before bed due to its fast-absorbing nature. It’s gluten-free too.

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

Flavors: Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Vanilla, and Cookies & Cream.

Price: Click here to check the current price
#5 – Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate)

Per serving (1 scoop):
Calories: 110
Protein: 25g
Carbohydrates: <1g
Fat: 0.5g
EAA’s: 11g+
BCAA’s: N/A

Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate is arguably one of the purest and most natural protein powders on the market. It’s created entirely from whey protein (isolate), which has been micro-filtered to ensure an unparalleled level of purity. It contains no other forms of whey protein whatsoever (e.g. concentrate etc)

It’s packed with 25g of protein per serving/scoop and virtually no carbohydrates (<1g) or fat (0.5g). This is thanks to the micro-filtration process which results in an extremely pure form of whey protein isolate. Roughly 90% of the calorific value is derived from protein.

It’s also naturally unflavored and doesn’t come in any other flavor variations. The micro-filtration process ensures that this is one of the best protein powders in terms of solubility, and mixes instantly in water, milk or virtually any other liquid (apart from hot drinks, which will curdle the mixture!).

It’s packed with EAA’s (11g+ per serving), BCAA’s and other non-essential amino acids. It contains no aspartame, sucralose or acesulfame-K and is manufactured without whey, gluten, egg, fish, shellfish or tree-nut ingredients.

If you’re looking for a pure and natural protein powder, this is undoubtedly the best protein powder for you.

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

Flavors: Unflavored.

Price: Click here to check the current price
#6 – Dymatize Nutrition ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate)

Per serving (1 scoop):
Calories: 106
Protein: 25g
Carbohydrates: 0g
Fat: 0g
EAA’s: 11g
BCAA’s: 6.5g+

Dymatize Nutrition’s ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder derives its name from the nature of its ingredients (100% whey protein isolate – or ISO 100). Because the whey protein is hydrolyzed, it is extremely water-soluble and is one of the best protein powders around in terms of ‘mixability’.

It contains 25g of protein per 28g serving, meaning that it has a protein density of 90% by weight. It contains no carbohydrates or fat (apart from a miniscule trace) and derives around 94% of its calorific value from protein. To put it simply, this is as pure as you’re going to get in terms of a protein to carbs/fat ratio.

It’s packed with EAA’s (11g), BCAA’s (6.5g+) including Isoleucine, and non-essential amino acids too. It’s lactose-free which makes it perfect for anyone who happens to be lactose intolerant.

When it comes to taste, it’s certainly one of the best protein powders out there. It has no unpleasant aftertaste and works well with water or low-fat milk. You can mix it easily with nothing more than a spoon in just a few seconds.

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

Flavors: Gourmet Vanilla, Gourmet Pina Colada, Gourmet Berry, Cookies & Cream, Gourmet Chocolate, and Smooth Banana.

Price: Click here to check the current price
#7 – Nature’s Best Zero Carb Isopure

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate)

Per serving (2 scoops):
Calories: 210
Protein: 50g
Carbohydrates: 0g
Fat: 1g
EAA’s: N/A
BCAA’s: 10g+

Nature’s Best Zero Carb Isopure is a ‘pure’ whey protein (isolate) powder that offers exactly what it says on the tin (well, tub); a zero carb protein powder with 50g of protein per serving.

Unlike most of the other protein powders on our list, Natures Best Zero Carb Isopure requires two scoops per serving (although you can just have one), hence the rather high amount of protein listed on the label. It is produced solely from whey protein isolate (ion exchanged and micro-filtered), which results in a pure, high-density protein powder.

It contains roughly 80% protein by weight and approximately 95% of its calorific value is derived from protein. There are zero carbs (and therefore zero sugar) and just 1g of fat per serving. It’s lactose-free and is packed with 10g+ of BCAA’s per serving.

The filtration process ensures that the protein powder is extremely water-soluble and mixes easily in water, milk or almost any other liquid. It’s one of the best protein powders out there in terms of taste and comes in a number of interesting and exotic flavors (you can’t beat Creamy Vanilla, though!).

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

Flavors: Banana Cream, Creamy Vanilla, Apple Melon, Mango Peach, Strawberries & Cream, Cookies & Cream, Espresso, Colombian, and Mint Chocolate Chip.

Price: Click here to check the current price
#8 – Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey

Type: Whey Protein (Isolate)

Per serving (1 scoop):
Calories: 140
Protein: 30g
Carbohydrates: 2g
Fat: 1g
EAA’s: 15.5g
BCAA’s: 8.8g

Optimum Nutrition’s Platinum Hydro Whey is produced solely using hydrolyzed whey protein isolate, which makes for an extremely fast-absorbing, water-soluble and protein-dense powder.

It contains 30g of protein, 2g of carbohydrates and 1g of fat per serving, meaning that roughly 85% of the powders calorific value is derived from protein, with a total calorific value of 140 calories. By weight, approximately 77% of protein powder is derived from protein.

ON’s Platinum Hydro Whey Protein Powder is packed with EAA’s (15.5g) and BCAA’s (8.8g), making it the best protein powder on our list from a Branched-chain amino-acid profile perspective. The BCAA’s are also micronized, which helps to decrease the absorption time and ensures that the whole protein powder is more water-soluble.

Taste-wise, ON’s Platinum Hydro Whey has a pleasant yet rather milky taste. If you’re a fan of milkshakes in general, this is probably one of the best protein powders for you in terms of taste. It mixes well in water, milk or just about anything else. The consistency does tend to be rather thin when mixed with water, so consider mixing with milk if you like a bit of thickness to your protein shake.

It’s lactose and cholesterol-free, too.

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

Flavors: Supercharged Strawberry, Velocity Vanilla, Chocolate Mint, Turbo Chocolate, Cookies & Cream Overdrive, and Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Price: Click here to check the current price
#9 – Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder

Type: Casein Protein (Micellar)

Per serving (1 scoop):
Calories: 120
Protein: 24g
Carbohydrates: 3g
Fat: 1g
EAA’s: 9.6g
BCAA’s: 4g+

Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Casein Protein Powder is the first solely casein-based powder to feature on our list. It’s been created from 100% casein (micellar) and contains absolutely no whey protein whatsoever, making this a relatively slow-absorbing protein powder (around twice as slow as whey).

It contains 120 calories, 24g of protein, 3g of carbohydrates and just 1g of fat per serving. Roughly 80% of the calorific value is derived from protein, making this a relatively low-calorie, low-carb and low-fat protein powder.

It’s packed with EAA’s (9.6g) and BCAA’s (4g+); it has a particularly high amount of Glutamine, which helps to minimize the breakdown of muscle tissue (due to it’s anti-catabolic properties) and also helps to improve protein metabolism. This makes it one of the best protein powders for consumption before bed when your body will be going hours without food (energy).

Regarding taste, casein protein powders can often be chalky and somewhat bitter, but Optimum Nutrition have done a great job with 100% Casein and it tastes great. It’s a little thicker than most whey protein powders, but it’s just as easy to mix. It’s definitely one of the best-tasting casein protein powders out there.

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Between Meals, Bedtime.

Flavors: Chocolate Supreme, Banana Cream, Creamy Vanilla, Raspberry Smoothie, Blueberries & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Cookies & Cream.
Price: Click here to check the current price
#10 – CytoSport Cyto Gainer Protein Powder

Type: Whey Protein (Concentrate, Hydrolysate), Milk Protein (Isolate)

Per serving (2 scoops):
Calories: 280
Protein: 27g
Carbohydrates: 37g
Fat: 2.5g
EAA’s: 11.9g
BCAA’s: 5.6g+

CytoSport Cyto Gainer is more of a mass/weight gainer than a standalone protein powder, meaning that it isn’t just focused on supplying muscles with protein, but also helping you to meet caloric requirements, supplying necessary dietary fats and helping with the recovery process.

It contains 27g of protein per serving, which is around the same as most protein powders on our list so far, but it also contains 37g of carbohydrates for a total of 280 calories per serving. Roughly 39% of the calorific value is derived from protein, with 53% deriving from carbs.

It’s packed full of EAA’s (11.9g) and BCAA’s (5.6g+) with a particular focus on Glutamine (roughly 5.7g per serving); this minimizes the breakdown of muscle tissue and helps to improve protein metabolism.

Protein-wise, Cyto Gainer is made entirely from whey protein (concentrate) and milk protein (isolate). Carbohydrate-wise, it contains predominantly complex carbs with only 5g of sugar per serving, ensuring you don’t get a sugar rush the moment you drink it.

It tastes great, mixes easily and is perfect for those looking to hit certain calorific or macronutrient requirements (or both).

When to take: Morning/Breakfast, Pre or Post-workout, Between Meals.

Flavors: Banana Crème, Chocolate Malt, Chocolate Mint, Cookies ‘N Crème, Strawberries ‘N Crème, and Vanilla Shake.

Price: Click here to check the current price

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