10 Best Whey Protein Supplements Reviewed
No matter the reason you are looking, we have put together a 10 Best Whey Protein list that offers many different options for many different active lifestyle choices. From more fat-burning to more bulking, we have an option for you.
Scroll through and check out our FAQs. These were put together based on what consumers just like you were asking. They wanted to know and we wanted to answer. This is also accompanied by our Evaluation Criteria section, giving a more in-depth view of what is researched to make sure that we are offering you the best whey proteins currently on the market.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Despite aftertaste, most customers loved the actual taste
Mixes well in every medium
High protein content (83%)
Our Top 10 Best Whey Protein Supplements
1. Dymatize ISO 100
Despite aftertaste, most customers loved the actual taste
Mixes well in every medium
High protein content (83%)
High price point
Dymatize's ISO 100 Isolate is a high powered formula designed for fast release in the wake of a hard workout. It has the second highest protein to scoop ratio of the reviewed products, as well as 5.5g of amino acids and added leucine that round out the benefits. The price point might seem a bit high, but this Whey protein is also gluten, and lactose-free.Read more
Dymatize's formulas are highly regarded as being some of the most easily mixed supplements in the game, and ISO 100 is no different. It's known to be easily mixed in any medium, and by any method, even spoon mixing.
Almost every review of ISO 100 talks about how great the different flavors taste, even the people who note a slightly chemical aftertaste. It comes in three flavors: Chocolate Coconut, Birthday Cake, and Gourmet Chocolate, with Gourmet Chocolate receiving the best reviews.
The general consensus of the texture is that it is smooth, although there are very occasional reports of clumping.
Cost and Value
At a little over $14 per pound, ISO 100 is on the higher end, but consider the fact that in a 31g serving it contains 25 grams of pure protein (81%), as well as a higher level of amino acids than most (5.5g). For a lactose/gluten free Whey protein this is actually a very reasonable price.
2. MusclePharm Combat
Universally loved taste with no aftertaste
works well as a meal replacement
Lowest price point of all reviewed products
A great-tasting supplement
Can be difficult to mix
Coming in at second place is MusclePharm's Combat Whey protein, a low fat, low-calorie supplement that still offers 25g of protein per serving. While it may struggle in its mixability, the low price point and great taste make MusclePharm's Whey protein something to consider.Read more
This is one of the two categories where the Combat series has issues. Customers routinely report issues mixing the supplement, although many admit this is solved by using a blender or simply using their hand mixer a bit more vigorously.
Where it lacks in one department, MusclePharm makes up for it in taste. The various flavors of this supplement, Cappuccino, Chocolate Milk, and Cookies and Cream all received rave reviews from customers, and there were very few reports of any kind of an aftertaste.
The texture is another category that this product can be found wanting, as there are quite a few reports of it having a slightly "chalky" consistency.
Cost and Value
This is where MusclePharma shines. While the 76 percent protein per scoop (25g per 33g scoop) isn't on the high end, the lower price point more than makes up for the downsides of this product. This'll be an attractive option for those who are more conscious of price.
3. BulkSupplements Whey Powder
Mixes evenly, and has a very smooth texture
Great tasting supplement
Taste leaves something to be desired
Occasional reports of indigestion
The BulkSupplements Whey Powder has plenty of nutrients and protein including a healthy dose of amino acids and everything your body needs to stay fuelled from the start to the finish of your workouts. Individuals on the go will love how quick and easy it is to use and how well it works!Read more
Ease of Use
This unflavored whey isolate contains 90% protein and is rich in muscle-building branched chain amino acids. It mixes well and has a fairly nice texture compared to other powder supplements and protein drinks.
The BulkSupplements Whey Powder tastes better than other products and delivers a high level of beneficial protein energy and fuel for your body!
This Whey protein powder is comprised of several protein sources and delivers a full spectrum of fuel that keeps you going throughout your runs an helps you recover faster.
BulkSupplements Whey Powder is pretty affordable and is on part with many of the other supplements that are available today. It is worth the initial investment and delivers a reliable supply of protein for your energy needs.
Finding a good whey supplement can be challenging but thankfully it is easier when you know what to look for. That is what this guide is for and we chose to include BulkSupplements Whey Powder on our list because we feel it delivers the quality and effectiveness you want and needs from your supplements.
4. Jarrow Formulas
Protein comes from non-hormonally treated, USA sourced cows
Dissolves well, even in cold water
Smooth, almost unnoticeable texture
The flavored versions aren't well received
Some customers not happy with the results
The next product is Jarrow Formula's Whey Protein. One of the key points of interest regarding this product is that it is created strictly from USA sourced cows that have not been treated by hormones. This accounts for the levels of protein (18g) and the reasonable levels of amino acids (4g). This option is for the person who's looking for a holistic alternative to other supplements.Read more
Jarrow Formula's products are well known for their ability to mix in just about any liquid you can imagine putting it into, even cold liquids. Add the unflavored variety of this product to your favorite juice or smoothie and you're all set.
There are three different flavors that Jarrow Formulas offers: unflavored, chocolate and vanilla. While the actual flavored versions received mixed reviews, most people were happy with the unflavored version simply because it was as advertised, unflavored, and this meant they could mix it with any drink of their choosing.
The texture (or lack thereof) is actually one of the best selling points of this product. Buyers loved the fact that this supplement was barely noticeable in their drink of choice.
Cost and Value
This is one of the few reviews where the value is not entirely based on the difference between its protein level (18g per scoop), and it's a very reasonable price point. Almost every customer who bought it loved it for its ability to be combined with just about any kind of drink, and the fact that it is a legitimately all natural product makes it worth considering.
Customers love the results from this product
No artificial sweetners
The taste was most often described as "bland"
Occasional clumping is reported
MRM's 100 Percent All Natural Whey Protein is a product for those of us who are on a vegan or gluten-free diet. It has no artificial sweeteners, and its 18 grams of protein per 25g scoop is respectable, considering its formula. Its added amino acids and low key taste make this supplement an ideal mixer with drinks, as well as foods such as yogurt.Read more
The taste of the different flavors (vanilla and dutch chocolate) is often described as being "not too sweet" by some, and bland by others. Depending on how you plan on using your supplements, or where your tastes are this could be viewed as either a pro or a con. Most people were happy with the subdued flavor.
There are a few mentions of lumpy textures, but these generally came from the worst reviews of the product, and can probably be chalked up to people who simply didn't bother shaking it up enough. On the whole, this product's texture was reviewed as being quite smooth.
Cost and Value
This is another instance where the value is not simply broken down to the protein to price. It's a bit pricier than Jarrow Formulas product, but it's comparable to the protein content and as mentioned earlier this is ideal for those of us on specialty diets.
6. Now Sports
Highest protein content of the group (91%)
Lactose intolerant friendly
Smooth consistent texture
This version only comes unflavored
Most expensive on the list
Now Sports Whey protein isolate comes in at #5, which is appropriate as it represents the extremes in both protein content (26g protein per 28g scoop) as well as the highest price point of the reviewed products. It's also an isolate, which means it's meant to be used directly after an intense workout for fast acting recovery.
There aren't many bells and whistles here, but if you're looking for straight protein, this might be the choice for you.Read more
As with most isolates, mixability is one of Now Sport's selling points in regards to this topic. It's easily dissolved in most liquids with little to no effort.
Since it's an unflavored supplement, it's hard to score it highly for its taste. People who drink it as a standalone drink obviously review it as bland, but it's worth noting that this is probably meant to be mixed into an already flavored drink.
Cost and Value
Again, this is simply a question of cost versus output. You're getting the most protein per scoop with this product, but you're also paying the most at over $16 per pound. This'll be attractive to those people who are looking for the most protein for their buck.
7. Garden of Life
100% whey protein
A mix of whey peptides and isolates
Some complain the flavor is too sweet
Some do not like the texture
This supplement is packed with added amino acids and lots of other important nutrients that will keep you fuelled for your workouts. Garden of Life is a great choice for active individuals on the go!Read more
Ease of Use
With 24g Grass-Fed Whey, 4g Glutamine and over 6g BCAA amino acids and your choice of delicious vanilla or chocolate flavors, Garden of Life supplement is easy to use and is a great way to get a little boost to your daily vitamin intake.
With good flavors and a decent texture this powder tastes better than some other powders on the market today. The whey isolate protein powder speeds up recovery and reduces downtime after a workout, which lets you get back to running faster!
This Whey protein powder is made from the finest of ingredients and is great for both men and women and is formulated for active individuals. It is best used within an hour after a workout but you can also use it as a mid-day boost anytime throughout the day to combat hunger and boost energy levels.
The Garden of Life whey supplement is pretty affordable when compared to other supplements available today. It is worth the initial investment and will serve you well on your runs and workout sessions.
Finding the best whey protein is a big task but it can be made easier when you know what to look for. Garden of Life supplements is a perfect way to maximize your performance, endurance, and recovery after your runs!
8. Universal Nutrition Animal
Judging by reviews, this is one of the best tasting supplements on the market
Similar to a milkshake in texture
Comes in a variety of flavors
Very minimal clumping issues
Low protein content for an isolate
Generally hard to mix
High price point
As we get towards the end of the list we find ourselves looking at protein supplements that sacrifice in one area to favor another area.
Universal Nutrition's Animal Whey Isolate is a perfect example of this as it has a respectable 25g of protein per scoop (33g). This is still a decent level of protein, but it falls short compared to other isolates. On the other hand, the taste is apparently phenomenal.Read more
If there was one product that was universally noted as being hard to mix, it is Universal Nutrition's Animal Whey Protein. Whey is the one that jumps out. Customers frequently complained about needing to really put some effort into mixing their drink.
This supplement comes in a variety of flavors that separate it from the rest of the pack: chocolate mint, banana cream, and chocolate brownie. There's also a "Pumpkin Spice" that is less widely available. Every version of this supplement was very well received, and there are no reports of aftertaste. If the flavor is what you are concerned with, this might be your supplement.
Cost and Value
If you're going to go with an isolate, this might not be the supplement for you, as it combines some regular whey concentrate into the mix. The price point is over $14 a pound, which will put some people off.
9. Muscle Feast 100% Whey
Lactose and gluten free
All natural 100% whey isolate
Added aminos for workout fuel
Strong sweet flavor
This grass-fed whey mix from Muscle Feast boasts a 91.3 percent on Labdoor and is all natural. Lactose, gluten, and GMO-free, it comes in a small variety of flavors and blends well to provide you with a great low-calorie protein supplement.Read more
The powder mixes well, overall. Depending on how it's prepared it may take a little longer to mix, but it blends with water easily enough and is great in smoothies.
This Whey protein comes in two different flavors other than the original unflavored variety, chocolate, and vanilla. Some find the flavors to be too sweet or artificial tasting, but others liked how well these flavors work in smoothies or with other sweet ingredients like bananas or cinnamon.
Most users reported that this powder blended smoothly when using a variety of ingredients. Even if they didn’t enjoy the taste, the texture was pleasant as long as mixed well.
Cost and Value
This product is a little bit expensive and has gone up in price in the recent years, but with the high-quality, natural ingredients and reliable customer popularity, this whey option is a solid choice for athletes.
10. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
Buyers claim the results are impressive
A variety of flavors
Generally mixes well
New formula has cast some shadows over the previously decent taste
Texture is frequently considered to be water
The single most reviewed product on the list is also the last entry on the list.
Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Whey Protein has, until recently, been a staple concentrate for quite a while, but has recently undergone some formulaic changes. With a high, 24.5g per 30g scoop level of protein (81%) as well as 5.5g of amino acids, this supplement might still be worth a look if you're willing to try the new taste.Read more
This is where we find the controversy around this product. The old formula was rated highly for its taste, but since the formula has been reworked the ratings have been a mixed bag at best. It comes in three flavors: banana cream, cake batter, and double chocolate.
Generally good with some instances of clumping. Nothing to get worked up over.
Cost and Value
It is hard to judge the value of this product beyond the metrics of its protein and price. Based on those merits alone this product would land somewhere in the middle of this list, but with the issues surrounding the new formula, it was hard to place it any higher than 10th. Still, it performs better than a lot of other brands, so that ought to be considered.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ease of Use
Whey Proteins usually come in powder form and mix with a liquid of your choosing. When looking into its ease of use it usually boils down to how well the powder dissolved and how easy it is to swallow. Some brands aren't really known for their yummy flavor.
Making sure your shake is lump free and doesn't taste like chalk is a pretty good factor in what makes a whey protein easy to use, or easy to swallow. Depending on what you are using it for as well might play into how easy you want it to dissolve.
Are you using it in a water bottle and need something that has rapid dissolve with little shaking? Do you prefer to put it in a blender and make fruit shakes?
Getting all that added vitamin intake for your new diet regimen. These are things to consider when you are looking to buy your next whey protein and how easy you can use it.
How well does your whey supplement work?
If you are using one to curve appetite and yet 20 minutes after you shake it up you are hungry, well we’d say that isn't the way for you. Not all whey proteins are made for the same purposes so effectiveness sometimes depends on use.
Whey proteins are for assisting you in getting the added protein you need for either your running routine or just boosting your weight loss challenge. If you check out the reviews and see what consumers are saying, you can get a much better idea of how well a product works or what area it is better for.
Moreover, whey proteins are full of great calorie burning, muscle repairing proteins and can offer some extra supplement to your work out. Some are loaded with amino acids while others have more vitamins and minerals for a well-balanced diet. It is hard to say what the effectiveness is until you know what it is you are looking for.
We want to make sure you are getting the best out of your whey protein.
The purer a product the more effective it is going to be on your body. Whey proteins are full of great amino acids and bulking proteins to help with all sorts of work out and diet regimens.
However, it is still a good idea to check out the labels and see if there are any allergy warnings. Always check your back when taking any type of supplement, no matter how great claims are.
Whey Protein also comes in different bases, like a plant or milk-based protein. If you are looking for a more vegetarian route, plant-based would obviously be our best bet. You want to check and make sure there are no added fillers that may interfere with your lifestyle choices.
All of our 10 Best Whey Protein Supplements offer transparent labeling. We take putting together our 10 best seriously and we want to make sure you are getting the purest product available that fits your specific needs without hassle.
How much protein are you getting per scoop?
This is a huge factor when judging value. You want to make sure that servings are balanced with price. Getting a good dose of whey protein per serving is the price you pay when you choose one of the 10 best supplements that we offer in any of our current updates.
Another thing to look at when considering value is the amount you get in a package. How long is it going to last you? There are expiration dates on packaging. Due to this, we suggest ordering the amount that correlates with how often you will be using it.
Whey Proteins are sold in bulk as well and this is a great way to save money when you use them more often. If you are only hitting the whey from time to time, make sure you don't over order and then you’re left with expired whey protein supplements.
Price s also varied on how high grade the ingredients are and where they are sourced. Sometimes the science behind the 10 Best Whey Protein Supplement adds to the value. This is a good reason we help do the research for you, we value a good product and like to make sure what we are sharing is something we would be happy to use.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Get the best of dairy without the dairy- this is the best choice for those with allergies to dairy or who are unable to eat dairy products for one reason or another. Whey protein can be great for recovery, muscle building and increasing protein after a long workout. And you can get the benefits of your milk and other dairies without the annoying and painful sided effects.
If you're currently taking certain medications, including antibiotics, check with your doctor before taking whey protein, as it can affect the efficacy of certain drugs.
If you have a chronic health condition or serious pr-existing health condition you should be talking to your doctor before starting any diet or supplement routine and before you make any drastic changes to your current lifestyle.
Other Factors to Consider
What is Whey Protein?
Supplementing with whey protein is an essential component of any diet in modern times.
Of the two types of protein in milk, whey protein is most often used to improve immune functions in the body as well as boost muscle strength, and growth.
It’s also been strongly linked to allergy relief and to weight loss, as it acts as an appetite suppressant. Simply put, provided you don’t have a medical or ethical reason not to take whey protein, adding whey to your diet is almost assuredly a great way to elevate your production in the gym, and the only real problem at that point is deciding what kind of whey you’ll settle on.
So what is whey protein?
Whey protein is a watery extract from milk products that are high in quality protein that is dependent on amino acids. These essential amino acids are indispensable when it comes to stimulating muscle protein recovery after intense workouts.
Whey is rapidly digested in comparison to Casein protein (the other kind of protein in milk products) but because its uptake is so rapid, it shouldn’t be the only source of protein in your diet.
What Are The Different Forms?
For those who are new to the topic, Whey Protein comes in a variety of forms, but the most notable are whey protein concentrates, and whey protein isolates. Besides a general difference in texture, and ability to dissolve, the biggest difference between the two main forms of whey is the percentage of calories that come from the protein itself.
Concentrates generally tend to hover around the 80 percent range, and isolates tend to be attributed more than 90 percent of its calories to protein.
The other major difference between the two types of supplements is that concentrates often are considered to be “less pure” as they have more carbohydrates and non-protein additives. This isn’t necessarily a problem though because depending on your diet, you may require more carbohydrates.
There is a third type of whey protein that you may want to consider if you have some need for a rapidly digested whey protein.
Hydrolysates are proteins that have been subjected to the process of hydrolysis and thus broken down into small chains known as peptides, and individual amino acids. These are just as potent as isolates, and because they are denatured they are often found in products such as infant formulas, sports nutrition drinks, and medical nutrition products.
They are also inherently hypoallergenic, which is great for anybody with lactose issues. They do however have a tendency to be pricier than normal whey options, so unless you have a dietary need that requires them there’s no specific need to drop the extra money.
One of the most frequent questions people tend to ask when they begin looking at whey protein is why even bother? What are the primary protein benefits of adding this supplement to my dietary regimen?
The obvious answer is that it specializes in muscle recovery after workouts, and aids in helping the body grow in size, and strength, but beyond that, it has a few other benefits that most people would want to consider adding it for.
Strenuous aerobic workouts have been shown to deplete the body’s glutathione levels which impact the immune system, the gastrointestinal system, and the nervous system; whey protein has been shown to either prevent or decrease the depletion of glutathione levels. It can also improve your mood and reduce the feeling of hunger so you spend less time snacking or trying to chase a sensation of being hungry rather than treating actual hungry. Some studies have also shown that whey protein can improve the health of your immune system and help prevent cancer, specifically of the colon and prostate, but these studies aren’t entirely conclusive.
Selecting the Right Kind
So how do we go about deciding on what kind of protein to select? You could literally spend all day comparing the metrics of each individual product, the taste, the level of amino acids, the recommended frequency of use as well as a million other intricacies that set one brand apart from another.
While this might be fun to people who enjoy micromanagement, the everyday person is going to end up feeling a bit overwhelmed by this process, and there are plenty of credible sources that think we’re looking to deeply into the matter.
Abbott Nutrition senior research scientist and dietitian Steve Hertzler, Ph.D. recently said in a study that people spend too much time worrying about these details, and that provided you have a healthy intestinal system, such considerations are of little importance. Instead, we ought to focus on consuming between 15 to 45 grams of protein every 3-4 hours as our lifestyle and exercise regimen requires.
Speaking of lifestyle, you’ve got to take yours into account when selecting the right whey protein and be realistic in your expectations if you’re currently on a specialty diet. All natural selections are going to be inherently less potent than other solutions for obvious reasons, but they may have just as much in the way of amino acids as their less natural counterparts.
As a consumer, it’s also your responsibility to look at the ingredients of any supplement you plan on putting into your body on the off chance that there are any banned substances included. This isn’t highly likely in widely produced protein powders, but it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What’s the difference between Whey protein and Casein protein?
While both proteins are beneficial to the body in regards to health and exercise, there are some notable differences between the two types of protein.
For starters, they’re both components of dairy products, but 80 percent of the protein from dairy products is Casein, and the remaining 20 percent is Whey.
The main difference between the two is the rate of digestion. Casein is more commonly referred to as a “slow” protein because it is digested slower and the release of amino acids is more gradual, whereas whey is a faster-digesting protein that releases its amino acids in a more rapid manner making it a much more suitable as a post workout form of nourishment.
Casein still works, but a lot its protein benefits will be lost over its 8-12 hour digestion time, so in order for it to be used in conjunction with whey, it would need to be consumed later after the workout.
q: What are some of the lesser known benefits of Whey Protein Supplements?
Besides the obvious benefits of muscle recovery, adding whey protein to your diet has been linked to a plethora of other health benefits. Whey has been linked to helping reduce lactose intolerance in young children or even staving off the allergy in infants.
Additionally, it has also been linked to being able to maintain skeletal mass in later life, regulating appetite, acting as a way to regulate and maintain proper blood sugar levels, and also as a way of promoting weight loss through control of short-term food intake.
q: What are the side effects of Whey protein supplements?
For all its benefits, whey protein is not without its pitfalls.
Whey protein supplements have been linked to side effects as small as excessive thirst, drowsiness, and headaches to more concerning issues such as intestinal symptoms (bowel movement problems, cramps, acid reflux etc.), kidney dysfunction, atypical heart rhythms, and changes in cholesterol.
Additionally, some users may be prone to increased fracturing or osteoporotic problems.
I’d like to point out that these reactions to whey are dependent on you as a person, so before you begin taking ANY supplement you should consult your physician in order to decide whether or not its right for you.
q: Why might I consider not using whey protein supplements?
Again, your personal lifestyle and fitness goals have everything to do with whether or not you ought to take whey protein.
There are plenty of studies that argue the negative effects of whey protein, and chief among them is how your body alters its own microbiota once you get into a consistent whey protein regimen. You might have heard the horror stories of people experiencing extreme gas, or even worse, extreme diarrhea after a prolonged period of time using whey protein.
This is because by introducing such high levels of fat or carbs into your diet, you essentially force certain bacteria (known as lipopolysaccharide…. try saying that three times fast) to translocate to a different portion of your intestines.
Another side effect that ought to be concerning is the fact that they can play a hand in the onset or aggravation of acne vulgaris. In case you were wondering, this is a particularly nasty form of acne that develops due to a buildup of dead, or oily skin. While this isn’t necessarily a health issue per se, in the very least it’ll potentially affect your self-image.
The nice thing about the whey protein is that by using the supplements correctly (i.e. instead of just putting them in water and drinking them straight, try putting them in a smoothie where natural proteins are present), and maintaining a proper diet that includes probiotics you can avoid the majority of the negative side effects.