Protein powders offer a convenient way of incorporating essential nutrients into your diet. With countless options available in the market, finding the best-tasting protein powder can pose a challenge.
When choosing a protein powder brand, we know there are many things to consider, such as high-quality ingredients, taste, consistency, price, and customer reviews.
In this article, we gathered our list of five best-flavored protein powders and discuss these considerations to help you decide which protein powder flavor suits your tastes.
Best tasting protein powder: shortlist
- Future Kind — best-tasting clean-ingredient protein powder
- Huel — best-tasting vegan protein powder
- Transparent Labs — best-tasting grass-fed whey protein powder
- Kaged — best-tasting protein powder with digestive enzymes
- MTN OPS — best flavored post-workout protein powder
How we ranked the top protein powders
Here are several important considerations we made while selecting our top five best protein powder brands.
|Animal or plant source
|Natural or artificial sweeteners
|Any added vitamins, enzymes, or other nutrients
|Price per serving
|$1.25 – $2.00
|What do actual customers have to say
- Protein source. The source of the protein determines the amino acids and absorption rate. Some people also have dietary preferences and want to avoid animal proteins.
- Sweeteners. The sweetener type impacts the protein powder's overall taste. We opted for those made with sweeteners instead of sugar.
- Additional ingredients. Some protein powders contain additional minerals, vitamins, or digestive enzymes for added benefits.
- Price. Affordability is an important aspect to consider. We looked for products that balanced cost with quality.
- Flavor reviews. Real-world experience plays a significant role in gauging your satisfaction. We read many customer reviews and reported on those to help you make an informed decision.
Best protein powder brands: top products
Whether you are looking to bulk up and add muscle, cut some calories, or start your day with a protein shake, it can be overwhelming to look at all the protein powders available.
It’s important to do a little research before making your purchase to ensure you are getting a quality protein powder that also tastes good enough to drink daily. To help you make your decision, here are our top five recommendations for the best-tasting protein powders.
1. Future Kind — best-tasting clean-ingredient protein powder
Future Kind is a vegan-friendly protein powder made from organic non-GMO pea protein. Each serving of this vanilla-flavored beverage contains 20 grams (g) of protein, 85 calories, 1 g of carbs, and 6.1 mg of iron.
We love that the ingredients are simple and that it contains no sugar. The subtle sweetness of the beverage comes from organic stevia. It’s also comforting to know that the protein powder has been independently third-party tested for the presence of adulterants.
Amazon users rate Future Kind organic protein powder with 4.1 out of 5 stars. Overall, they enjoy its smooth texture, creamy taste, and easy blends.
One container contains 34 servings, and the one-time purchase price is $59.99.
2. Huel — best-tasting vegan protein powder
Huel Complete Protein is a delicious plant-based protein made from a blend of peas, hemp seeds, and fava beans. Each serving gives you 20 g of protein plus 9 g of amino acids and 27 vitamins and minerals.
It comes in several flavors and is much more than a protein supplement, as it contains essential vitamins, minerals, fats, and fiber. The sweetener is sucralose, which may be a drawback for some.
Mix Huel Complete Protein with water in a shaker bottle at any time of day when you need to boost your energy.
Amazon customers rate this protein shake with 4.1 out of 5 stars. They rave about the flavor, but some say it can have a more gritty consistency than other shakes they’ve tried.
One container has 28 servings and is available for $32.50 with a subscription.
3. Transparent Labs — best grass-fed whey protein powder
Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate is a protein powder made from whey. The whey comes from grass-fed cattle raised on American dairy farms that never receive hormones or growth factors. This protein powder offers the highest amount of protein, with 28 g per serving.
This powder has 14 available flavors as well as an unflavored option. While it doesn’t contain added vitamins, we love that it is sweetened with natural stevia extract.
The brand recommends to mix with water or a beverage of your choice one to three times daily to add more protein to your diet or for muscle recovery.
Amazon customers rate this protein shake 4 out of 5 stars. Most report that they enjoy the taste, but some say it is too sweet for them.
One container holds 30 servings and is available for purchase for $59.99.
4. Kaged — best-tasting protein powder with a digestive enzyme
Kaged Whey Protein Isolate is one of the best brands of whey protein powders. The whey is ultra-filtered to reduce the lactose content while preserving the highest quality protein. Each serving contains 25 grams of protein.
Kaged is sweetened with sucralose and offers several flavor options: vanilla, chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, and s’mores. The protein formula also contains a patented digestive enzyme blend, ProHydrolase®, to help enhance protein digestion and absorption.
Mix a scoop of Kaged Protein with five to eight ounces of water for a post-workout beverage or any time you need to boost your protein intake.
Amazon customers rate Kaged Protein with 4.4 out of 5 stars. Some customers find the chocolate, s'more, and vanilla flavors to be too sweet, but most love the flavor and creamy texture.
One container is 44 servings and costs $59.99.
5. MTN OPS — best-tasting post-workout protein powder
The Keep Hammering Protein Blend by MNT OPS is a post-workout formula made from a mixture of milk and whey. Each serving of this chocolate caramel beverage gives you 23 g of protein, 1.5 g glutamine, and minerals — iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
This powder is one of the best-tasting whey proteins and is sweetened with sucralose, an artificial no-calorie sweetener.
People who work out hard may benefit from this protein drink that’s designed to grow and repair muscles after exercise. Mix with water and drink after muscle conditioning or before sleeping to help your muscles recover.
Amazon users rate this protein shake with 4.7 out of 5 stars. Many report loving the flavor and that the protein powder mixes well.
One container has 30 servings and is sold for a one-time purchase of $54.95.
Comparing the best-tasting protein powders in 2024
|Protein per serving
|Carbs per serving
|Price per serving
|Non-GMO organic pea protein
|4.1 / 5 stars
|Pea, Hemp seed, Fava bean
|4.1 / 5 stars
|Grass-fed and finished whey
|4.0 / 5 stars
|4.4 / 5 stars
|Milk and whey
|4.7 / 5 stars
Some of these supplements contain major allergens or may have been manufactured in facilities that handle major allergens (such as nuts, soy, dairy, or other common allergens). Individuals with known allergies or sensitivities should exercise caution and carefully review the product's ingredient list before use. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about potential allergic reactions. Discontinue use immediately if you experience any adverse reactions.
Choosing protein powder that tastes good: things to consider
When selecting the top protein powders, there are several factors to consider:
- Protein source. Whey and casein are popular animal-based protein sources. They contain all essential amino acids. Soy, hemp, rice, and pea proteins are popular plant-based options. Plant-based protein blends tend to use several sources to get more amino acids.
- Sweetener. Evaluate what type of sweetener is in the protein blend. Natural sweeteners or those with minimal added sugars may enhance the taste without compromising your health. If you are trying to lose weight or have diabetes, you’ll want to consider that the sweetener matches your dietary needs.
- Added ingredients. Look for extra ingredients such as minerals, vitamins, or digestive enzymes, which may add additional health benefits.
- Price. It’s important to ensure your protein powder fits into your budget. Products vary widely in price, and many tasty and nutritious options are available at affordable prices.
- Flavor options. Explore what flavor options are available. To ensure your consistency in drinking your protein shake, it’s a good idea to select a flavor you enjoy.
Benefits of protein powder
Much of your body is made of protein. Protein powders are proposed to have several benefits.
- Easy to use. Protein powder offers a convenient way of ensuring you get enough protein in your diet. The ease of using a shaker bottle with some protein powder and water is unbeatable.
- Muscle growth and repair. Your muscles need protein for their growth and repair. Protein powders may be especially helpful when you are engaging in strength training or intense physical activity.
- Weight management. Consuming protein may help you feel full for longer, which may help reduce snacking or overeating. if you're aiming to lose weight, this might be helpful.
- Supports aging and health challenges. Getting enough protein in the diet is essential for healthy aging. Protein powder is an easy way for aging individuals to meet their needed protein requirements.
Ingredients of protein powders
Here is a breakdown of the main ingredients found in protein powders.
Whey and casein are proteins derived from cow’s milk. Both whey and casein contain lactose, a type of sugar in milk that some people have trouble digesting. Because of this, some people may experience digestive discomfort if they drink a whey or casein protein beverage.
Plant-based powders typically derive the protein from soy, peas, hemp, or rice. These plant proteins offer an alternative to animal proteins for vegetarians, vegans, or people with lactose sensitivity.
The most popular sweeteners in protein powders tend to be stevia or sucralose. Stevia is a plant-based natural sweetener, while sucralose is an artificial sweetener. Sucralose is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a safe sweetener. However, it remains controversial as some research shows artificial sweeteners may be harmful to the gut.
Thickeners and stabilizers
Ingredients like xanthan gum, guar gum, arrowroot, or gelatin help improve the texture of the protein powder. Without these, the protein shakes may not mix well or have a gritty texture.
While they are important, if consumed in large amounts, some people can develop digestion issues because of sensitivities to these ingredients.
Creatine is an amino acid derivative that is naturally present in your muscles. Your body makes creatine from other amino acids, it can be supplemented from your diet, such as red meat and fish, and it can also be administered via supplements.
When exercising intensely, creatine helps provide energy for your muscles. Research shows that it may have several benefits, including:
- It may help make muscles bigger by supporting the effects of resistance training.
- May be beneficial for intense speed training.
- It may help with endurance during activities that last longer than 150 seconds.
- It may improve brain function in both young and old.
BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids)
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are some of the essential amino acids with certain benefits such as help in muscle repair, growth, and performance.
Some people take BCAAs as a supplement on their own. However, current research shows that when taken on its own, BCAAs do not help increase the rate of muscle growth but may actually slow the process.
It’s best to make BCAAs a part of a well-balanced diet to gain the most benefit. Chocolate and chocolate with peanut butter are common flavors of protein powders that contain BCAAs.
L-glutamine is an amino acid that is important for your muscles, especially if you exercise regularly. Research reports that L-glutamine helps your cells grow, make and store energy, and assist with your acid-base balance.
Many supplement makers claim that L-glutamine helps prevent fatigue during exercise. While L-glutamine does reduce markers of fatigue in blood tests, research does not show that supplementing with L-glutamine affects physical performance.
You can purchase L-glutamate powder on its own. It typically comes unflavored, or you may find it in a protein powder blend of any flavor.
Most common protein powder flavors
Protein powders come in a wide assortment of yummy flavors. While most of the time, people mix their protein powder with water, milk, or plant-based milk, you can also use protein powders in your baking, pancake mix, oatmeal, or protein bars.
The most common protein powder flavors include:
- Cookies and cream
- Peanut butter
- Coffee or mocha
- Cinnamon roll
- Salted caramel
Unique protein powder flavors
You can also find some unique flavors if the common ones do not appeal to you. These can include:
- Matcha green tea
- Cake batter
- Maple waffle
- Pumpkin spice
- Blueberry muffin
- Chai latte
- Pistachio almond
- Strawberry shortcake
Best tasting protein powder - conclusion
Because we know the market is saturated with protein powders, and finding one with quality ingredients that also tastes good is difficult, we hope this review of the best-tasting protein powders has helped.
The top protein powders are those that can provide you with quality protein, come in a flavor you love, mix up easily, taste good, and have a nice texture. We love that protein powders are such a convenient way to help you get that extra protein into your diet, whether you want to improve your health, lose some weight, or gain muscle.
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What protein powder is best tasting?
The best-tasting protein powder depends on your personal taste preferences. Look for protein powder brands that use clean ingredients and provide quality protein while also tasting good in flavors you enjoy.
What's the best whey protein taste?
The best-tasting whey protein powder varies among people’s different taste preferences. Some people prefer classic chocolate or vanilla, while others prefer unique flavors like mango, chips-ahoy, or cake batter. It’s important to find a flavor you enjoy to help you remain consistent with drinking it.
Does whey or pea protein taste better?
Whey tends to be more creamy, while pea protein might taste more earthy. Some may prefer the whey's creamy flavor, while others like pea protein's earthy taste. It ultimately comes down to your individual dietary needs and your taste preferences.
Does whey protein taste better with milk or water?
If you like a creamier texture, you may prefer to mix your whey with milk. On the other hand, if you want a lighter taste, try mixing it with water. It all depends on your personal preference.
- Frontiers in Nutrition Effects of Protein Supplementation on Performance and Recovery in Resistance and Endurance Training.
- Nutrients Potential Effects of Sucralose and Saccharin on Gut Microbiota: A Review
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: An update.
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Branched-chain amino acids and muscle protein synthesis in humans: Myth or reality?
- Nutrients Glutamine as an Anti-Fatigue Amino Acid in Sports Nutrition.