Supplements

Best Protein Powders 2018 – The COMPLETE Guide!

best protein powder

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First time patrons at a gym may wonder how other people who were once small become muscular and toned after a relatively short period of time. What workouts are they performing and how many sets do they manage to complete every day. These are obvious factors that contribute to building size in muscle. Yet one of the primary benefactors that is utilized for muscle gain is the consumption of the right supplements. Protein powders provide the body with the necessary ingredients needed to fulfill the desired tone and weightlifting boost at the same time.

What Is Protein Powder?

Protein powder is a dietary supplement used to build mass and strength in tissues located throughout the body. It is typically taken after exercise but is also used in the morning with meals or prior to lifting. The powder is normally taken with a scooper that is often included with the product, mixed with water, and consumed as a liquid. It’s viscosity is similar to milk, smoothies, or milkshakes. They can range from smooth to gritty in taste.

As the muscles are used to lift and carry weighted objects, the strain that is placed on them creates small tears within the tissues of their mass. It is the reason behind muscle soreness and cramps that sometimes occur on the day after a hard workout. Protein powders allow large quantities of amino acids to help repair and fill in the tears with more muscle cells. As more tissues are opened and replaced with additional cells, fat cells are broken down which in turn creates a visible increase in muscle mass.

In ancient times, the Greeks consumed sources of protein for medicinal purposes, correctly believing that the remnants of milk curds (whey) increased energy and strength. Later in the 20th century, the Europeans continued to use it as a health tonic. Scientists then began to study the benefits of the milk derivative. This led to the beginning of the development of protein powder as a worldwide nutritional source that can be easily purchased locally in nearly all nations throughout the globe.

Types Of Protein

Whey

Whey protein is taken from the milk of cows by straining the liquid contents from curds. It is the most recommended protein as it contains all of the essential amino acids that are not naturally produced in the human body. It is categorized into three distinctive types: whey protein isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate.

For people who are lactose intolerant, whey isolate is best since it has little to no percentage of the sugar. Hydrolysate allows amino acids to quickly bind to the muscles while whey concentrate has less fat in comparison to the others.

Soy

Soy protein works well for lifters that are under a vegan diet and others who want a low-fat powder that can potentially improve the digestive and immune systems. It has higher quantities of glutamine and arginine, amino acids that can decrease high blood sugar, enhance physical performance, and improve blood circulation. Some soy protein powders have their fat content removed completely when it is processed.

Casein

Like whey, casein comes from milk but moves through the digestive tract slower. It raises the amount of amino acids in the blood and absorbs protein over a longer period. In essence, casein is an extended release form of protein that decreases hunger and is ideal for people who substitute protein powders for meals. When mixed with whey protein, casein will result in significant gains in strength and lean muscle mass, especially in the legs.

Egg White

Eggs whites alone are a good source of protein but also exist as a nutritional protein supplement. Consisting of powdered egg whites, it is useful if taken during post-workout. Ovo-vegetarians, people who eat eggs but abstain from meat and dairy products, are recommended egg white protein if they suffer from soy allergies.

Pea

Sometimes, nearly all protein powders will result in some people having an upset stomach and frequent trips to the bathroom. Pea protein is the best choice in this situation since it moves rapidly through the body. Produced from yellow peas, this supplement has a lower content of essential amino acids than the others listed. However, it’s high percentages of phenylalanine and lysine can improve bone functionality and elevate mood. Pea protein doubles in usefulness if food intake is not altered for protein supplements.

Rice

Rice protein can be easily mixed with food; capable of disintegration into a broad range of meals. It also mixes well with other protein powders such as hemp and soy. This supplement is rich in vitamins E and B while containing little to no sodium, sugar, and cholesterol.

Hemp

Hemp is known for it’s wide array of uses, particularly for making rope. Protein is no exception. Although it’s protein content is low, hemp protein powder makes up for this with high percentages of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It pairs well with other supplements and works as an appropriate base for lifters who want to add essential fatty acids to their powder of choice.

Best Protein Powders

Best Whey Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:

• High quantity of protein
• Excellent taste
• Easy to find online and in brick and mortar locations

Cons:

• Not ideal as a complete meal replacement

Optimum Nutrition’s Whey powder has become a staple of sorts in the world of protein supplements. It receives substantially high ratings based on it’s satisfying taste and protein contents per serving. The taste has been described as similar to a chilled mocha or coffee-flavored smoothie, with little to none of the stereotypical “blandness” of some powders.

100% Whey can be taken before or after a workout. It has about 74 servings with every rounded scoop (above the rim of the scooper), equaling to near 70 cents per serving. However, the price could be of concern to some who are working out on a budget.

While 100% Whey does have significant quantities of branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s), it lacks diversity in other nutrients that would make it the best choice for a meal replacement. Regardless, Optimum Nutrition’s Whey makes the list due to its strict processing requirements and protein levels.

Serving Size: 1 scoop (30.4 g)

Servings Per Container: 74

Ingredients:
• Calories – 120
• Total fat – 1 g
• Saturated fat – 0.5 g
• Cholesterol – 30 mg
• Sodium – 130 mg
• Carbohydrates – 3 g
• Sugars – 1 g
• Protein – 24 g

BSN SYNTHA-6 Protein Powder

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:

• Price is often lower than it’s competitors

Cons:

• Contains artificial ingredients
• May irritate those with sensitive stomachs

For a good mix of proteins that digest at varied rates of speed, SYNTHA-6 is a top performer. It mixes and dissolves well with milk or water and sometimes leaves users full enough to skip meals. Those who are able to tolerate moderate to slow proteins in their digestive system are sure to love BSN’s formula. It comes in flavors of peanut butter, chocolate, banana, and vanilla ice cream, among others.

On the other hand, SYNTHA-6 may irritate the gut, particularly with individuals who have never taken a protein powder. This may also be just a temporary inconvenience since the papain in the supples acts as a digestive relaxer. SYNTHA-6 additionally has bromelain, an enzyme that can reduce muscle pain and tenderness.

As it’s name suggests, SYNTHA-6 does include some synthetic ingredients. With 220 milligrams of sodium, the salt could be something to take into consideration when viewing other proteins with whey content. In all, BSN has made a positive name for itself and their products are some of the most commonly bought supplements on the market.

Serving Size: 1 scoop (47 g)

Servings Per Container: 48

Ingredients:
• Calories – 200
• Total fat – 6 g
• Saturated fat – 2 g
• Cholesterol – 70 mg
• Sodium – 220 mg
• Potassium – 300 mg
• Carbohydrates – 15 g
• Dietary fiber – 5 g
• Sugars – 2 g
• Protein – 22 g

MuscleTech NitroTech Pure Whey Protein

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros
• Contains creatine
• Protein amount is among the highest

Cons
• Distinctive taste

NitroTech Pure Whey by MuscleTech is marketed to bodybuilders that do not receive the amount of protein they wish for in their food diet. Being that it is mostly isolates, the protein amounts to exceedingly high levels for muscle gain under heavy exercise and athletics.

Creatine monohydrate, a non-essential amino acid, is another good source of energy if the protein is taken before gym activities. Weightlifters that take creatine can usually lift more and increase their reps at set intervals. Muscle mass is also developed more quickly.

There are 14 different flavors, yet due to the exceptionally high proteins in the powder, the taste could come off as slightly different from other whey brands. In this case, blending with milk or vanilla could heighten the desired pungency of the purchased style of NitroTech. It also varies by the individual. MuscleTech’s whey powder will remain a wise choice for everyday gym attendees.

Serving Size: 1 scoop (46 g)

Servings Per Container: 40

Ingredients:
• Calories – 160
• Total fat – 2.5 g
• Saturated fat – 1.5 g
• Cholesterol – 80 mg
• Carbohydrates – 4 g
• Creatine Monohydrate – 3 g
• Dietary fiber – less than 1 g
• Sugars – 2 g
• Protein – 30 g
• Calcium – 135 mg
• Iron – 1.3 mg
• Sodium – 150 mg

Best Vegan Protein Powder:

Vega One All-In-One Plant Based Protein

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:
• Contains no gluten
• A good source of antioxidants
• Contains probiotics

Cons:
• Dissolves at a moderate speed

Vega One is an organic protein powder that will be featured as the number one choice for vegans in the upcoming supplements article based on the matching subcategory.

It scores high points for it’s whopping 20 milligrams of protein and omega-3’s. For vegans and vegetarians alike, the All-In-One dietary supplement is surprisingly flavorful with it’s assorted blends of vanilla, chocolate, coconut almond, and mixed berry. It even has a natural unsweetened flavor, a sound choice for mixing and experimentation with vegan dishes.

The only drawback is some users having problems with the powder completely dissolving at a fast rate, taking a longer for the granulated pieces to absorb into liquid. A cup or electric blender could speed up the process.

All-In-One also contains probiotics, a well-known yeast in the vegan community that elevates good bacterial growth in the intestines and stomach.

Serving Size: 1 scoop (46 g)

Servings Per Container: 19

Ingredients:
• Calories – 170
• Total fat – 5 g
• Saturated fat – 1 g
• Polyunsaturated fat – 3 g
• Monounsaturated fat – 1 g
• Cholesterol – 0 mg
• Sodium – 242 mg
• Potassium – 360 mg
• Carbohydrates – 13 g
• Dietary fiber – 8 g
• Sugars – 1 g
• Protein – 20 mg

Best Casein Protein Powder:

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein Protein

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:
• Easily combines with whey
• Heals muscles fast

Cons:
• Thick consistency

Some weightlifters try to balance cardiovascular workouts (jogging) with an appropriate protein. ON’s Casein powder can help with fat burning while maintaining lean muscle mass. This product will be ranked as the best out of all of the similar brands to be discussed on the anticipated Casein supplement article.

While this Casein protein is a popular alternative to whey, it digests at a slower pace while having a thicker viscosity when mixed together with water or milk. It passes through the digestive system slowly, giving time for essential and non-essential amino acids to work into the muscles and blood vessels. There are lots of flavors of the supplement with vanilla and chocolate being the most commonly consumed and purchased.

Some weightlifters will mix both whey and casein together for a balanced intake of moderate and slow acting proteins. It provides less strain and sore spots on muscles well after the workout in a slow-release fashion.

Serving Size: 1 scoop (33 g)

Servings Per Container: 55

Ingredients:
• Calories – 120
• Total fat – 1 g
• Saturated fat – 0.5 g
• Cholesterol – 15 mg
• Sodium – 240 mg
• Carbohydrates – 3 g
• Dietary fiber – 1 g
• Sugars – 1 g
• Protein – 24 g

Best Egg White Protein Powder:

Paleo Thin Protein Egg White Powder

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:
• Low price
• Can be used extensively in cooking

Cons:
• Does not dissolve the same as other supplements

Eggs whites are a delicious breakfast food that is eaten in nearly every nation around the world. They provide loads of nutrition to any meal and allow for an extended period of decreased hunger. It is now available as a protein powder. The top choice for proteins based on egg whites is Paleo Thin’s Egg White Powder, thoroughly compared to other products on the later piece on nutritional egg supplements.

Paleo Thin’s tasteless option can be used with baking goods, milkshakes of all kind, and smoothies without any indication of egg ingredients. However, mixing it with strictly water could require detailed stirring to prevent the powder/shake from having a lumpy texture. As an additive with other proteins, Paleo Thin’s naturally occurring sodium levels should be compared to the proteins that will be combined with the egg whites.

Serving Size: 1 scoop (30 g)

Servings Per Container: 30

Ingredients:
• Calories – 108
• Sodium – 381 mg
• Carbohydrates – 1 g
• Dietary fiber – 0 g
• Sugar – 1 g
• Protein – 25 g

Best Soy Protein Powder:

EAS Soy Protein Powder

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:
• Bargain price

Cons:
• Servings could be too few for some

Nestled in a small and easy-to-carry container lies a protein that has seen growth in customers and reviews which compliment on soy powders; more people are becoming aware of the essential amino acids that are contained in the supplement. An isolate, soy protein powder has grown into one of the most sought after whey/casein alternatives. EAS’s product is devoid of fats, and goes directly to areas associated in the body responsible for boosting amino acids. Yet EAS’s soy protein does contain fructose.

Vegetarians, vegans, the lactose intolerant, and the adventurous will admire EAS’s price tag. At half the cost of better known protein powders, this soy derivative has many of the same ingredients available on mainstream powders but with lower costs and fewer servings, which are 14 for EAS.

Nevertheless, the EAS’s isolate will remain at the top of the pick of other great soy proteins, broken down in an exciting upcoming article.

Serving Size: 1 scoop (42 g)

Servings Per Container: 14

Ingredients:
• Calories – 150
• Sodium – 170 mg
• Potassium – 10 mg
• Carbohydrates – 18 g
• Dietary fiber – 0 g
• Sugars – 17 g
• Protein – 20 g
• Cholesterol – 0 mg
• Saturated fat – 0 g

Best Pea Protein Powder:

NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:
• Mixes easily

Cons:
• Unflavored version is not for everyone

Given that peas have historically been known as a nutritious protein base, it’s no surprise that a powder consisting of the plant would eventually come into fruition. Pea Protein Powder is available in three sizes: 7 pounds, 2 pounds, and 12 ounces. Their peas are farmed from sources that refrain from growing genetically modified food products (non-GMO’s).

Another vegetable isolate, Pea Protein selling points are it’s 24 grams of protein and inclusion of over 4,200 branch chain amino acids. Having no flavor means that it can be easily mixed with juices, milkshakes, solid foods, or simply water. NOW Sports Pea Protein is appealing to bargain shoppers with an average retail price of 64 cents per scoop.

As with the others, it is difficult to list any negatives with these powders as they seemingly improve with each passing year. Potential buyers should be aware that some unflavored varieties of protein supplements tend to be bitter and have a strong aftertaste. However, if Pea Protein will be used for activities outside of the gym, unflavored will do great as an accessory to countless foods. As another top contender for it’s category, Pea Protein will definitely be examined again for comparison to similar products.

Serving Size: 1 scoop (33 g)

Servings Per Container: 27

Ingredients:
• Calories – 120
• Total fat – 2 g
• Saturated fat – 0 g
• Cholesterol – 0 mg
• Sodium – 330 mg
• Carbohydrates – 1 g
• Dietary fiber – 0 g
• Sugars – 0 g
• Protein – 24 g

Best Lactose Free Protein Powder:

Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:
• No carbohydrates
• No sugar
• Whey protein

Cons:
• In high demand; sells quickly

Although Isopure’s featured powder contains a respected 25 grams of whey protein in every scoop, what sets it in another class is the fact that it has zero carbohydrates. With no sugars at all, this supplement is a great choice for diabetics or those with high blood sugar levels. It dissolves clearly and efficiently in water, with no sediments and gritty taste that whey powders are famous for. It has many flavored types, including one unflavored variety that can alternatively be used in the kitchen.

Isopure easily makes top-shelf listing on the best low carb choices due to it’s great tasting flavors that contain no sugar while having a high quantity of protein. Users speak highly of the quality of the supplement’s taste and relative ease of use. If any drawback exists, it is the speed at which Isopure’s products sell at a fast rate. It is recommended that shoppers contact the seller to get up-to-date information on when the next available stock will be sold. Isopure will surely retain a name for itself as it makes our primary choice for all low-carb protein options that will be shown on a upcoming article!

Serving Size: 2 scoops (62 g)

Servings Per Container: 7

Ingredients:
• Calories – 210
• Total fat – 0.5 g
• Saturated fat – 0 g
• Cholesterol – 20 mg
• Sodium – 490 mg
• Potassium – 800 mg
• Carbohydrates – 0 g
• Dietary fiber – 0 g
• Sugars – 0 g
• Protein – 50 g

Best Rice Protein Powder:

Nutribiotic Rice Protein, Vanilla

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:
• Easy to digest
• Simple to blend with other powders for increased protein

Cons:
• Acquired taste

Rice is one of the world’s most consumed and cultivated foods. yet it may still come as a surprise to some that protein powders exist which are processed by using their seeds, the edible portion of the plant. Nutribiotic Rice Protein is an organic powder made with pesticide-free brown rice.

As for mixing, it is a suitable addition to pre-workout supplements, hemp protein, and every protein powder reviewed thus far. There are no artificial sweeteners added, an indication to those coming from other brands that are more recognizable. Like other vegetable protein supplements, it is an acquired taste that must be adapted overtime.

The percentage of protein that is available in every scoop is quite low but can work as an advantage for people who tend to dislike the taste of most protein powders. And at 90 servings per 15 gram tablespoon, it’s guaranteed to last for an extended period of time, especially if it is purchased solely for blending.

As rice proteins are concerned, Nutribiotic beats it’s competition from having good content of everything that is expected from a rice powder: no additives, low natural sweeteners, longevity in the servings, and friendly price. On our separate upcoming list of products that are shown alongside this brand, it leads the others on every account.

Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon (15 g)

Servings Per Container: 90

Ingredients:
• Calories – 60
• Total fat – 0 g
• Saturated fat – 0 g
• Cholesterol – 0 mg
• Sodium – 10 mg
• Carbohydrates – 2 g
• Dietary fiber – less than 1 g
• Sugar – 1 g
• Protein – 12 g
• Iron – 2 mg
• Phosphorus – 80 mg

Best Hemp Protein Powder:

Nutiva Organic, Cold-Processed Hemp Protein

Best Protein Powders 2018 - The COMPLETE Guide!

Pros:
• Features all 20 amino acids
• High in fiber

Cons:
• Not a standalone significant source of carbohydrates
• Bitter taste

In the last several years alone, large numbers of weightlifters have increasingly become vegans or vegetarians. It is evident in the exploding amount of supplement options that exists for them.
Hemp is the last recommended protein powder on the list. Yet Nutiva Organic, Cold-Processed Hemp Protein can cater to more than just the vegan demographic. It’s list of healthy fats, calories, potassium is the right choice if weight gain from increased muscle mass is wanted.

Since it also packs in all 20 essential and non-essential amino acids, a combination of soy, pea, or rice proteins could make Nutiva in league with some the best whey and casein supplements. Additionally, 12 grams of fiber adds to it being an excellent natural digestive cleanser.

On it’s own, this hemp protein is still an extremely healthy choice for everyone. But those who work out 6 days a week would definitely need to upgrade the content with a blend of another powder.

Serving Size: 3 Tablespoons (30 g)

Servings Per Container: 45

Ingredients:
• Calories – 80
• Total fat – 4 g
• Saturated fat – 0 g
• Polyunsaturated fat – 3 g
• Monounsaturated fat – 0 g
• Cholesterol – 0 mg
• Sodium – 0 mg
• Potassium – 240 mg
• Carbohydrates – 12 g
• Dietary fiber – 12 g
• Sugar – 1 g
• Protein – 11 g

Assessments From Knowing Protein Powder

After understanding the advantages of using protein, it becomes obvious that it’s purchase and consumption is not just for the hardcore gym attendee. In fact, it is now commonplace for the sick, elderly, and vitamin deficient to take note of the expanding market for such dietary supplements. They are even used to combat the ongoing fight to alleviate world hunger.

What began as a useful tool to develop a healthy body and lifestyle could in the future lower obesity rates and increase life expectancy. There is a huge margin of untapped potential in protein powders, a margin that will grow as high quality nutritional products raise awareness to fitness and health concerns of friends and family.

About the author

Mike

Mike

Hello! My name is Mike and I am the owner of EatMoveHack.com. I am a fitness and outdoor enthusiast who decided to create this site to help anyone on their health or fitness journeys! If you have any comments or questions, please visit our Contact Page.

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