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Best Protein Powder 2023: According To A Nutritionist


Reviewed by Dr. Brittany Ferri, PhD
best protein powder
There are different kinds of protein powders in the market. Photo: BLACKDAY/Shutterstock

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In the flooded fitness nutrition market there are thousands of protein supplements to choose from. Quantity does not equal quality, however, and we have done research to help narrow down your choices. If you are looking for a high-quality, palatable, and effective protein powder to add to your fitness regimen, read on.

Let’s explore 6 of the best protein powders that are on the market that can help you meet your fitness goals.  

Best Whey Protein Powder 2023

Best Protein Powder Of 2023

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey Premium

  • Tasty
  • Easily digestible
  • Rapidly absorbed
  • Whey concentrate blend, not exclusively whey protein isolate
  • Some people find it too sweet

Most reviewers rave about the taste, texture, and digestibility of this protein powder. Some complain that certain flavors are too sweet for them. 

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

  • From hormone-free cows
  • No artificial sweeteners, dyes, or preservatives
  • High protein-to-weight ratio
  • At $59.99 per 30 servings, it’s a bit pricier than some other options.

It’s difficult to find a bad review about this product. People love the flavors, the quality, and the ease of digestion. Many people report seeing improvements in gym performance and body composition after regularly using this product. 

Naked Nutrition Strawberry

Naked Nutrition Strawberry

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  • Uses pea protein, a vegan
  • Delicious
  • Contains MCT oil to support fat metabolism
  • Only has 20 grams of protein per serving
  • Has 3 grams of fat and 7 grams of carbohydrates per serving, more than some might want

People are impressed with the quality of the product and how well it mixes in liquid. Some people love the taste, while others are more tepid in their praise of the palatability. All in all, people like the convenience, ease of use, and quality of this vegan option. 

Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey Protein

  • 82% protein by weight
  • More than 5 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs per serving
  • 12 flavors to choose from
  • Not everyone is a fan of the taste

Most reviewers appreciate the energy boost this product provides to them as well as its mixability and digestibility. Some people don’t enjoy the taste or texture of the powder.

GNC Lean Shake Burn

  • Packed with vitamins and protein
  • 200 mg caffeine per serving for those who want an extra energy boost
  • Satisfies hunger with 6 g of fiber per serving
  • Not everyone can or wants to ingest extra caffeine

Some buyers report that the consistency and texture can vary between flavors when mixed in liquid, and others are simply not fans of the taste. Fans of this shake love the energy boost it provides and report significant changes in body composition after regular use.

Vega Sport Premium Plant-Based

  • Multiple sources of high-quality plant protein
  • 2 billion CFU of probiotics per serving
  • 30 grams of protein per serving
  • At about $96 per 45 servings, it’s significantly more expensive than some other options

For the most part, reviewers rave about the quality and taste of the Vega Sport Premium Plant-Based. They say it mixes well without any chalky texture, and most enjoy the taste. Some complain that the stevia used to sweeten the powder is a bit too much, and others don’t love the high price tag. 

What Is Protein Powder?

It is a dietary supplement that provides a significant amount of protein in an easy-to-consume form. It can be added to water, dairy or non-dairy milk, oatmeal, baked goods, and any other number of things to boost your protein intake

Who Should Use Protein Powder?

You might automatically think of elite athletes and bodybuilders when you think of casein protein powder or collagen protein powder. However, anyone[1] who wants to maintain or grow muscle protein synthesis can benefit from consuming protein powder, especially if they find it difficult to get the protein they need from diet alone.

Benefits Of Protein Powder

Adequate protein[1] intake is important for immune function, wound healing, and muscle growth. If you have difficulty eating enough protein, then protein powder can help you increase your intake. 

If gaining muscle is a priority to you, know that research[2] shows that ingesting 20-25g of high-quality protein after resistance training can increase muscle hypertrophy. Experts[3] have also found that eating meals with 30-45 g of protein can improve the level of muscle maintained with aging and also increase muscle growth from exercise.

Potential Side Effects

Protein[4] powder’s number one side effect is gastrointestinal distress. Protein powder can cause gas, bloating, and stomachaches. Whey protein is not a good option for people with lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivity, although plant proteins can also cause GI distress in some people. 

Keep in mind that just because your protein powder has a decent amount of protein doesn’t automatically make it healthy. Some protein powders are high in calories, sugar, and other unwanted ingredients. 

Because they are considered “supplements,” the FDA doesn’t regulate protein powders. That means it’s up to the manufacturers to regulate themselves. You don’t necessarily know what your protein powder contains if you buy from an untrustworthy company. Buyer, beware.

How To Choose The Best Protein Powders?

Make sure your protein powder is 3rd party tested, ensuring no contaminants and an accurate nutritional profile. 

Thoroughly vet the companies you choose to buy from. Read reviews, and check for transparency about how their products are produced and what ingredients are used.

Read labels, check macros, and prioritize high-quality ingredients.

How And When To Use Protein Powder?

It can be a great idea to have a protein shake soon after your workout in order to maximize muscle growth, but that’s not the only way you can do it. 

You can add a protein shake as a nutritional protein supplement anytime in your day, or even use it as an occasional meal replacement. 

You can sprinkle protein powder in your oatmeal or add it to baked goods. You can even make protein powder ice cream for a healthier snack.


A usual serving of protein powder has 20-30 g of protein. Read the serving instructions for your particular protein powder. Some are one scoopful, and others are two.

Can Protein Powder Help With Weight Loss?

It can help with weight loss. Protein is digested more slowly than carbs and can increase feelings of satiety, helping you to control your appetite. If used as an occasional meal replacement, protein powder shakes can also lower total calories consumed throughout the day.

Final Thought

Protein powders are not necessary, but they can offer many benefits for those seeking to grow muscle and improve their fitness and body composition. They are not exclusively for athletes and can be a helpful supplement for many kinds of people with varied goals. 

Choose your protein powder wisely and use it as instructed, and you might reap health and performance benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much protein do I need?

It’s generally recommended to ingest 0.7 g of protein per pound of body weight.  Experts find that eating meals containing 30-45 g of protein is ideal for maintaining and growing muscle mass.

Is protein powder safe?

If you choose a product from a reputable company and use it as instructed, then protein powder is considered to be safe.

I’m lactose-intolerant. Can I still use protein powder?

Yes! There are many excellent non-dairy protein powder options on the market. Pea, soy, lentils, beef, chicken, and certain grains can all be used as protein sources for protein powder.

+ 4 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Cintineo, H.P., Arent, M.A., José António and Arent, S.M. (2018). Effects of Protein Supplementation on Performance and Recovery in Resistance and Endurance Training. Frontiers in Nutrition, [online] 5. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2018.00083.
  2. Tipton, K.D. and Phillips, S.M. (2013). Dietary Protein for Muscle Hypertrophy. Limits of Human Endurance, [online] pp.73–84. doi:10.1159/000350259.
  3. Loenneke, J.P., Loprinzi, P.D., Murphy, C.H. and Phillips, S.M. (2016). Per meal dose and frequency of protein consumption is associated with lean mass and muscle performance. Clinical Nutrition, [online] 35(6), pp.1506–1511. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2016.04.002.
  4. Pranit Ambulkar, Hande, P., Tambe, B., Vaidya, V.G., Naik, N., Agarwal, R. and Gayatri Ganu (2023). Efficacy and safety assessment of protein supplement – micronutrient fortification in promoting health and wellbeing in healthy adults – a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Translational & clinical pharmacology, [online] 31(1), pp.13–13. doi:https://doi.org/10.12793/tcp.2023.31.e1.‌


Jennifer is a certified medical writer and registered nurse specializing in plain language writing. She received certification in medical writing and editing from the University of Chicago in 2021, and she has been a practicing nurse… See More

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