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Best Protein Powder For Men 2024: Top Rated Brands According To Experts

Stephanie Nichols
by
Best Protein Powder For Men
Protein powders help with muscle growth and development. Photo: Team Design

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When searching for a protein powder, you’ll find various possible choices. With so many options, deciding which protein powder is best can be challenging. So we’re here to make things easy by narrowing it down to the top five protein powders on the market. Some stand out for flavor, and others shine for their clean ingredients. With these five options, you are sure to find your ideal product. Let’s take a moment to explain quickly why you may want to use one of our best protein powders for men. 

Protein is involved in muscle growth and development,[1] among other actions in the body. Men looking to gain muscle mass may want to supplement their diet with a protein powder to provide their muscles with an immediate source of protein after workouts to aid in muscle growth and repair. Plus, protein, including protein powders, can satiate hunger, making them valuable when trying to lose weight. 

Best Whey Protein For Men (February. 2024)

Best Protein Powders For Men 2024

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey

  • Great flavor profile
  • High protein-by-weight ratio
  • 100% Grass-fed and Hormone-free whey protein
  • Zero artificial sweeteners, food dyes, gluten, and preservatives
  • Stevia Flavored

Transparent Labs Grass-fed whey protein isolate is made with quality and pure ingredients and flavors that will convert you into a lifelong customer. 

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate comes in at our number one spot for best protein powder for men because it boasts one of the highest protein-to-weight ratios available. This means you’re paying for protein, not unnecessary added fillers that allow manufacturers to give you less bang for your buck. Transparent Labs makes their whey protein the right way, ensuring that the cows they use are grass-fed and hormone-free. 

Transparent Labs whey protein is available in eight delicious flavors: oatmeal chocolate chip cookie; chocolate peanut butter; milk chocolate; cinnamon french toast; strawberry; mocha; vanilla peanut butter; and french vanilla. In addition, this company enhances all of these flavors by skipping artificial sweeteners and utilizing stevia. We aren’t the only ones raving about these products, as the company has thousands of customers who have nothing but the highest praise for Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate.

Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein

  • 5.5 grams of BCAA per serving
  • 20 flavor options
  • Banned Substance Tested
  • Contains artificial flavors
  • Cows are not grass-fed

Coming in at our number two pick for best protein powders for men is Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein. This company packs in a whopping 24 grams of whey protein per 32-gram serving, which is one scoop. Although this company uses artificial ingredients, which is our big con with this product, it uses hormone-free cows to get their whey. However, their whey does not come from grass-fed cows, which may be a deal breaker for some.

Individuals, either sensitive or allergic to gluten, can utilize this product worry-free as the company avoids gluten in this product. 

You’ll likely find a flavor you’ll love as the company makes its protein powder in twenty different flavors. Find your perfect flavor or pick a couple to alternate between if you tend to get bored with flavors easily. Pay particular attention to the ingredients label when choosing your flavor, as some flavors have slightly more fat or carbohydrates than others.

Naked Nutrition – Naked Whey

  • Grass-fed and hormone-free whey protein
  • No additives or artificial sweeteners
  • Testing for heavy metals
  • Higher price point
  • Limited flavor variety

Some people are looking for the purest and cleanest version of a product, and when it comes to protein powder Naked Nutrition – Naked Whey is that product. There are no added artificial sweeteners or other unnecessary ingredients whatsoever!

There is not much to dislike about Naked Nutritions protein powder. It has all the essential qualities you’d want in a protein powder, including using cows that are both grass-fed and free of growth hormones. In fact, the company exclusively utilizes small farms in Northern California and Idaho to get their whey protein. While there are 25 grams of protein, including 5.9 grams of BCAA per serving, each serving consists of two scoops or 30 grams of powder. 

Did we forget to mention that this protein powder is gluten-free, GMO-free, and soy-free? If this wasn’t enough to get you to give this company a try, they also go the extra step of testing their products for common heavy metals like mercury and lead, among others. The downsides to this product really come down to price and flavor selection, which are limited to three flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. A five-pound container of this protein powder will set you back around $100.

Elm & Rye Protein Supplement

  • Added adaptogenic herbs
  • Standard and vegan options
  • Grass-fed and pasture-raised cows
  • Artificial favors
  • Limited flavor varieties

The Elm & Rye Protein Supplement is unique in the ingredients that they include in their supplement. The company combines protein for muscle growth and recovery with ingredients to promote decreased inflammation and optimal overall health. 

If you’re looking for a protein powder with added beneficial ingredients that will expedite your recovery, look no further than Elm & Rye Protein Supplement. They have two types of protein powder, one made from whey protein and the other is a vegan option composed of pea protein. One scoop of the whey protein option has 20 grams of protein per scoop, while the vegan pea protein option has 25.6 grams of protein per scoop. 

Besides the different protein types and amounts between the standard and vegan protein powder options, each of the options has slightly different added ingredients. The standard option includes a mushroom complex for brain health, turmeric for inflammation, and Ashwagandha for muscle health and mental focus. The company’s vegan option consists of the mushroom blend and turmeric, but Ashwagandha is not listed in the ingredient list of the packaging. Whether you choose the standard or the vegan option, you can choose from a variety of great-tasting flavors that will have your taste buds dancing for more. 

Instant Knockout Complete

  • 35 grams of protein per serving
  • 13 grams of fiber per serving
  • Added vitamins and Omega’s
  • High calories (400 calories per serving)

Instant Knockout Complete has a mega serving of pea and soy protein and is packed with essential vitamins and nutrients that will optimize muscle growth, recovery, and weight loss

Instant Knockout Complete is simply the best choice for men needing a protein powder that has everything needed for muscle health, weight loss, and nutritional needs post-workout. The proteins in this supplement are derived from plant protein sources, which may be easier to digest for many users. In addition, you are getting a whopping 35 grams of protein per serving and essential vitamins such as vitamins A, D, and E. This is one of the well-rounded protein supplements with Omega-3 and Omega-6’s, along with medium-chain triglycerides. 

While this supplement is both versatile and full of nutrients to take health to the next level, it also contains 400 calories per serving. So you’ll want to be mindful that you’re exercising to burn these extra calories or using this product as a meal replacement to avoid excess calorie intake throughout the day. 

What To Know About Protein Powder For Men?

There’s a lot to know about protein powders, but there are a few key things to note when searching for the perfect product. First, the fewer added fillers and artificial ingredients, the better. Fillers are a way for the manufacturer to save money by adding extra ingredients with no real value. 

You also want to find a product with at least 20 grams of protein per serving; if not, purchase another. Most of the protein powders you come across are going to be whey protein or casein protein powder, but if your body is sensitive to whey or you have difficulty digesting this protein, then you want to find a plant-based protein powder, such as pea protein or a bone broth-based protein.

Do Men Need Protein Powders?

Protein powders can be a great supplement to your daily routine, especially for individuals who have clear health goals and exercise regularly. However, when you check out the dosing required in the next section for active males, you’ll quickly realize that getting adequate protein intake can be difficult. It can be made even more difficult with days fast-paced life.

Ensuring you’re getting enough protein in your diet can lead to benefits such as:

Dosage

The dosage of protein you’ll want to consume depends on various factors, including activity level and the health reason you’re using protein powders. There are some basic rules when figuring out how much protein you should consume. A healthy adult performing minimal physical activity throughout the day will want to consume 0.8 grams[4] of protein per kg of body weight. That means a 180-pound male (82kg) with minimal physical activity will want to consume about 65.5 grams of protein daily. 

Adults performing intense physical activity will want to consume 1.6 grams[4] of protein per kg of body weight. For example, if we take a 180-pound male (82kg) performing intense physical activity who wants to maintain muscle and repair muscle, he would need to consume about 131 grams of protein daily. 

While getting enough protein is vital to muscle growth and repair, getting too much protein for long periods can cause serious health effects[4] on blood vessels and kidneys and cause digestive issues. These adverse health effects can occur with greater than 2 grams[4] of protein per kg of body weight over long periods. 

Conclusion

As you can see by this point, there is a lot to consider with protein powders. Ultimately you’ll have to decide for yourself what aspects of protein powder are absolute non-negotiables and which are not. It would be best if you didn’t compromise on some things, like getting at least 20 grams of protein per serving. Other aspects, such as whether or not the cows that were used to get the whey were grass-fed or not may be as important to you. If you still have questions about the difference between BCAAs and complete proteins, keep reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are branched-chain amino acids (BCAA)?

Branched-chain amino acids are a group of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Some amino acids, such as BCAA, are essential amino acids, which means that our bodies are unable to make these amino acids from other amino acids in our bodies. This means we rely on food sources to get these amino acids. BCAA’s are necessary for proper muscle growth and recovery.

What are complete proteins?

Complete proteins are proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids. For example, whey protein and plant-based pea protein are complete proteins since they contain all nine essential amino acids.

How much protein do I need to consume?

We mentioned in other sections that the amount of protein depends mainly on your activity level. Adults who perform minimal physical activity only require around 0.8 grams of protein per kg of weight. In comparison, individuals who are performing intense physical activity may need up to 1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight.

Who should and should not drink protein powder?

It’s always advisable to consult your healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or making any significant dietary changes. This is important because even things that our body needs, such as protein, carbohydrates, and fats, can cause problems in specific individuals with underlying health conditions. For example, a diet extremely high in protein can notably cause kidney issues, so those with underlying kidney problems need to consult their healthcare professional before starting a 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. Hoffman, J.R. and Falvo, M.J. (2004). Protein – Which is Best? Journal of sports science & medicine, [online] 3(3), pp.118–30. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/.
  2. Lemon, P.W., Tarnopolsky, M.A., MacDougall, J.D. and Atkinson, S.A. (1992). Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive training in novice bodybuilders. Journal of Applied Physiology, [online] 73(2), pp.767–775. doi:10.1152/jappl.1992.73.2.767.
  3. Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S., Lejeune, M.P.G.M., Ilse M.T. Nijs, A.M.J. van Ooijen and Éva Kovács (2003). High protein intake sustains weight maintenance after body weight loss in humans. International Journal of Obesity, [online] 28(1), pp.57–64. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0802461.
  4. Wu, G. (2016). Dietary protein intake and human health. Food & Function, [online] 7(3), pp.1251–1265. doi:https://doi.org/10.1039/c5fo01530h.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Stephanie Nichols is a licensed naturopathic doctor in Arizona. She’s passionate about helping women resolve their anxiety, depression, and chronic stress by restoring balance to their hormones, and digestive functioning. She also approaches autoimmune conditions… See More