Home / Supplements / Best Protein Powders & How to Use Them – 2016’s Top 10

Best Protein Powders & How to Use Them – 2016’s Top 10

Top 10 Protein Powders

This is our official supplements list of the best protein powders you can find out on the market today. If you’re new to bodybuilding or fitness, we recommend scrolling down to our guide to protein section to learn more before committing to anything.

10.) 9. CytoSport-Muscle-Milk CytoSport Muscle Milk Lowest Price More Info
9.)  8.-Nature’s-Best-Zero-Carb-Isopure Nature’s Best Zero Carb Isopure Lowest Price More Info
8.)  7.-MusclePharm-Combat-Powder MusclePharm Combat Powder Lowest Price More Info
7.)  6.-Dymatize-Iso-100 Dymatize Iso-100 Lowest Price More Info
6.)  5.-Optimum-Nutrition-Pro-Complex Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex Lowest Price More Info
5.)  4.-BSN-Syntha-6 BSN Syntha 6 Lowest Price More Info
4.)  3.-MuscleTech-Phase-8 MuscleTech Phase 8 Lowest Price More Info
3.)  2.-Optimum-Nutrition-100-Whey-Gold-Standard Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard Lowest Price More Info
2.)  1.-Cellucor-COR--Performance-Whey Cellucor COR- Performance Whey Lowest Price More Info
1.) ProteinSeries-100---Grass-Fed-Whey-Protein-Isolate---Best-Protein-Powders ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Lowest Price More Info

Jump To: Guide to Protein Powder Supplements


BONUS ENTRY: Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion
Gaspari-myofusion-whey-protein

 

  • Builds Muscle
  • Gluten and Aspartame Free
  • Great flavors
  • Includes Whey Protein
  • Supports Immune System and Digestive Health

Key Factors

This new product is great for building muscle mass as well as helping your muscles recover from vigorous exercise. It’s made with a combination of six different active proteins and a powerful probiotic. The formula doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners.

It comes in seven different flavors, such as traditional chocolate and vanilla, but also more interesting ones like cinnamon roll. It’s even gluten free. Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion comes in 5 and 2 pounds tubs perfect for long term use.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion nutrition label

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $59.99 $55.00  More Info

#10 – CytoSport Muscle Milk

cytosport-muscle-milk-2015

  • 310 Calories per serving
  • 32 Grams of Protein
  • 20+ Delicious Flavors
  • Lactose and Gluten Free
  • Increases Strength

Key Factors

Muscle Milk is a favorite among athletes and even military personnel for its benefits in muscle recovery and muscle building. The powder contains a mixture of 20 essential vitamins and minerals as well as 32 grams of protein. It’s also gluten and lactose free.

For those on the go, there is also a ready-made version of the shake. The Naturals Muscle Milk formula contains zero artificial sweetener. It comes in over twenty different flavors from the classics like strawberry to the exotic like German Chocolate Cake.

Ingredients

Ingredients

CytoSport Muscle Milk nutrition label

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $39.99 $35.99  More Info

#9 – Nature’s Best Zero Carb Isopure

Nature's-Best-Zero-Carb-Isopure-2015

  • No carbs, no sugar
  • Fruit flavors & unflavored
  • 50 grams of protein
  • 1 Gram of Fat
  • Whey Protein main ingredient

Key Factors

Made from the most pure whey proteins, this supplement is all-natural and perfect for creating a healthful nitrogen balance in your body. The product contains no carbs and no sugar, just protein. It’s the perfect way to help prepare your muscles to begin a workout or to help them heal afterwards.

There are more than fifteen great flavors to choose from including fruity flavors, like Mango-Peach, for those of you who prefer a fruit smoothie to a milkshake. There’s also an unflavored option for when you need to add more protein to your everyday foods. It’s the powder that really packs a protein punch with 50 grams per serving.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Nature's Best Zero Carb Isopure nutrition label

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $49.99 $42.79  More Info

#8 – MusclePharm Combat Powder

MusclePharm-Combat-Powder-2015

  • 25 grams of protein
  • Less than 2 grams of fat
  • Time Released Protein
  • Official Nutritional Supplement of the UFC
  • Blend of 5 essential proteins

Key Factors

It’s all in the name with Muscle Pharm. Pharmacy is where you go to keep your body healthy. Muscle Pharm is where you go to get your muscles healthy. The special time action formula releases proteins at intervals to feed your muscles for up to 8 hours.

Two scoops of powder, enough for one shake, will give you 25 grams of protein. Eight different flavors mean that you can find the perfect muscle recovery shake for you. Low sugar and fat content make this a good snack between meals or as a meal replacement.

Ingredients

Ingredients

MusclePharm Combat Powder Nutrition Label

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $39.99 $37.99  More Info

#7 – Dymatize Iso-100

Dymatize-Iso-100-2015

  • 100% whey protein isolate
  • No fat, carbs, or sugar
  • 25 grams of protein
  • Gluten Free
  • Feel the difference almost instantly

Key Factors

Dymatize Iso-100 is a 100% hydrolyzed whey protein isolate. The formula gives you 25 grams of protein without any fats, carbs, or sugars. Your muscles get the protein they need without you having to sacrifice any meals for the rest of the day.

It’s a natural formula, so it’s safe for consistent use. As an added bonus, the pina colada flavor makes you feel like you’re at happy hour.

Ingredients

Ingredients

dymatize-iso-100-nutrition-facts-500x500

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $79.99 $72.99  More Info

#6 – Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex

optimum-nutrition-pro-complex-whey-protein-2015

  • 60 grams of protein per serving
  • Contains BCAAs
  • 24% DRV Calcium
  • Dissolves Easily
  • Low fat and sugar content

Key Factors

Optimum Nutrition has the highest amount of protein on the market with 60 grams for one serving. It also only has 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of sugar. The formula also contains 25% of your recommended daily value for calcium.

The flavors for this protein powder all pretty standard, but they still taste pretty good. The product also includes a good ratio of BCAAs which prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex nutrition label

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $69.99 $36.99  More Info

#5 – BSN Syntha 6

bsn-syntha-6-whey-2015

  • 10 essential amino acids
  • Begins muscle recovery
  • Supports nutrition
  • Caffeine-free
  • Amazing taste

Key Factors

Syntha 6 has a little lower protein content than many of the other brands on this list at 22 grams, but the formula does include 10 essential amino acids. In addition, the powder helps start the muscle recovery process and supports basic nutrition.

Plus, the caffeine-free formula means you can use it any time of the day or night. Ridiculously great flavors like chocolate cake batter will have you reaching for this shake as an after dinner treat.

Ingredients

Ingredients

BSN Syntha 6 nutrition label

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $34.99 $32.99  More Info

#4 – MuscleTech Phase 8

MuscleTech-Phase-8-protein-2015

  • Time released protein
  • 6 different protein types
  • Sugar free
  • Caffeine Free
  • Best in class taste

Key Factors

Like Muscle Pharm, the MuscleTech Phase 8 protein powder has a time release protein formula for all day muscle energy and building. The powder also include 6 different types of protein derived from dairy and non-dairy sources.

Sugar free formula keeps your energy coming without a sugar rush or the disappointing crash. It’s also caffeine-free and safe to use before or after your workout or really anytime at all. MuscleTech’s taste has been voted best in class consumers.

Ingredients

Ingredients

MuscleTech Phase 8 nutrition label

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $29.99 $24.99  More Info

#3 – Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard

Optimum-Nutrition-100-Whey-Gold-Standard-2015

  • 120 calories per serving
  • 5.5 grams of BCAAs
  • Great for weight loss
  • Amazing flavors
  • Dissolves instantly

Key Factors

Optimum’s Nutrition’s Gold Standard is one of the lowest calorie powders on the market at only 120 calories per serving. It’s great for trying to lose weight and build muscle at the same time.

The Optimum Nutrition BCAAs are still a part of this award-winning formula. There are also so many mouth-watering flavors to choose from that you’ll think you’re at an ice cream parlor and not a nutrition center.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Optimum Nutrition 100 Whey Gold Standard nutrition label

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $59.99 $57.99  More Info

#2 – Cellucor COR- Performance Whey

Cellucor-COR-Performance-Whey-2015

  • 100% whey protein
  • Low fat, carb, and sugar content
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Easy to mix
  • 120 calories

Key Factors

The number one protein powder on the market boasts 100% whey protein. The formula includes very little fat and carbs, which gets you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Cellucor also includes digestive enzymes to make getting your protein as comfortable as possible. It’s easy mixing, with the perfect consistency. You can put it in water, coffee, milk, or pretty much anything you want. Very low sugar content and only 120 calories.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Cellucor COR- Performance Whey nutrition label

Vendor Price Comparison Link
Amazon Retailer of Fitness Equipment $39.99 $34.95  More Info

#1 – ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

ProteinSeries 100 - Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate - Best Protein Powder

  • 112 Calories per Scoop
  • 28 Grams of Protein
  • No Fat, Carbs, or Sodium
  •  Free of Dyes, Gluten, and Preservatives

Key Factors

An essentially perfect blend of lean protein, ProteinSeries 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate contains no fats, carbs, dyes, or preservatives. Sourced from New Zealand, the 28 grams of protein per scoop is easily among the cleanest you’ll find anywhere. Available in classic chocolate and vanilla flavors, anyone who lifts weights in any capacity can benefit from this top-quality lean protein from Transparent Labs.

Who Makes It?

Transparent Labs creates clean supplements without resorting to proprietary blends. Their products are divided into various series depending on their overall function, so they have a Physique Series, Core Series, and Pre Series, among others.

Ingredients

Ingredients

TL_WheyProteinIsolate_Chocolate_large-Ingredients

Bottom Line

For a 100% pure protein that is top-quality and clean in all the important ways, ProteinSeries 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate very well may be the perfect protein supplement.

Vendor Price Comparison Link
transparent-labs-logo $59.00  More Info

Protein Powder Guide for Beginners

The year 2016 is all about protein powders. And why not? One of the biggest New Year’s resolutions every year is to get fit. The best protein powders will help you do just that. Most people use them after workouts to help their muscles recover, but they are also great before a workout to help you get through it.

They are also a great addition to vegetarian diets that make it difficult to get enough protein. However, not all protein powders are created equal. The best protein powder will give you a great source of protein, a great taste, and support your overall health

We live in the age of supplements. There is now a supplement for every possible problem or need imaginable, from mood swings to lack of concentration. It should not come as much of a surprise that bodybuilders and athletes similarly have their own lines of supplements to help them to work out better, longer, and harder.

These are known in the business as protein powder supplements, and no great surprise either, some of them are better and actually more helpful than others of them prove to be.

What Is Protein?

what-is-protein-moleculeA protein is a type of complicated and large molecule that performs many different but crucial tasks in the human body. These important little compounds actually do the majority of cellular work and are necessary for the organs and tissues’ regulating, functioning, and structure building and regenerating around the body.

Proteins are actually comprised of even thousands of tinier building blocks known as amino acids that are compiled one against the next in the form of lengthy chains.

Over 20 varying types of these amino acids are combined in various arrays to make a single protein. It is these sequences of the amino acids that decides every protein’s one of a kind three dimensional structure, as well as the particular function that it will perform.

How Much Protein Should You Consume?

Where bodybuilders and professional level athletes are concerned, this innocent and simple-sounding question is actually one for the ages. Because individuals and their bodies require different levels of proteins for the development and maintenance of bones, muscles, and the organs in the body, this question’s answer will vary greatly depending on the age and circumstances of the person asking it:

  • Babies and toddlers require around 10 protein grams each day.
  • School aged children require from 19-34 protein grams every day.
  • Developing teenaged boys and girls each need as many as 52 grams and 46 grams per day, respectively.
  • Adult men and women each require approximately 56 grams and 46 grams of protein daily, respectively.
  • Breastfeeding or pregnant women need up to 71 grams per day.

Obviously, the needs of a serious bodybuilder will vary somewhere in between the teenaged boys and adult men levels, depending on how old they are. In fact, one has to be a math whiz to figure out the precise grams of proteins that a competition level athlete or heavy lifter actually requires daily. The formulas work like this:

  • Recreational athletes require between .5 and .75 grams per day of protein for each pound of their body weight.
  • Competition level athletes require from .6 to .9 grams for each pound of weight.
  • Teenaged athletes use .8 grams to .9 grams for every pound of body weight.
  • Muscle mass-building athletes use from .7 grams to .9 grams for each pound of body mass.
  • No one needs to exceed more than .9 grams of protein for every pound of body weight.

Some math calculations tell us that a person weighing 200 pounds would need no more than 180 grams of protein per day maximum. Another thing to remember is that any person should take in minimally 10% of their total daily calories, yet not in excess of 35% of caloric intake, from protein, per the Institute of Medicine.

What are Protein Powders?

what-are-protein-powder-supplements

Protein powders mostly come in the form of more appetizing and appealing to drink protein shakes. These powders and shakes are quick acting, easy to take, massively effective oral protein injections in a single dose.

Such protein powder shakes are typically utilized by serious athletes who feel they need something to strengthen them immediately following their workouts, per the ISSN, or International Society of Sports Nutrition.

With protein shakes, athletes and bodybuilders obtain up to 100% protein or an enormous amount of carbohydrates that contain only a little bit of fat and protein added.

The reason that athletes opt for protein shakes in an overwhelming majority of cases is because they come either ready to drink in cans or packages or alternatively in powder form packets that are simple to mix up with plain water.

What are the Benefits of Protein Powders?

Protein powders are no hoax or marketing gimmick created by some clever guy sitting in a room trying to think of something to make the muscle-bound bodybuilders spend their hard earned money on in an attempt to sucker them into thinking they are actually helping their bodies and their workouts’ effectiveness.

They are a legitimate supplement that do offer a number of significant benefits, especially to those athletes who are trying to pack on more muscle, and not simply to maintain the muscles that they already possess. Some of the major protein powder benefits are:

Protein Powders Provide Fast Digestibility

Proteins in powdered form are supremely useful for any athlete or weightlifters who require a quick protein fix. Once the workout is completed, bodybuilders commonly discover that they need protein fast in order to stimulate protein synthesis.

Between immediately following and within 30 minutes of concluding the workout, weightlifters are supposed to consume something that is high in protein, be it a solid or powder-shake form of nourishment in order to boost the recovery and muscle-building processes the body is trying to perform.

Another important reason to eat protein so quickly following the major workout is to stop the body from producing a negative hormone that is called the catabolic hormone Cortisol. This cortisol is actually a bad stress hormone that closes down the growth of muscles.

It builds up rapidly in the male body especially following deploying huge amounts of energy. To stop it building up, the athlete must tank up the organism with some critical calories.

The quickest and most effective means of accomplishing this task is by drinking down a mighty protein or carbohydrate shake that does not require any difficult preparation or time to put together and which the body will rapidly digest, much more quickly than with say solid foods.

The mornings are another good time to have this type of protein nourishment. Muscles are always looking for more sustaining nourishment in the mornings when it is time to break that fast that started last night after dinner. Putting down one of these types of protein shakes with breakfast will sate the bodybuilders’ muscles rapidly and permit them the time and protein they need to rebuild after the prior days’ workouts.

They Are A Useful Snack

The truth is that bodybuilders commonly and most ideally require something nutritious to eat on an every several hours basis in order for the hungry and tired muscles to have proteins to work with and to help them to regenerate.

Making so many little protein- and carbohydrate-based meals throughout the day takes a lot of time, and eating them is similarly time-consuming.

Protein shakes permit the bodybuilders the means of having a high in protein snack that they can very quickly feel the results of and that will not weigh them down like a complicated meal of solid foods will.

Protein Boosts the Immune System Ideally

The immune system of professional athletes and weightlifters often goes downhill when the body is worked out so hard for extended periods of time. This is why proteins are so important to help keep the immune system operating at peak efficiency.

There is an antioxidant contained in protein known as glutathione that a strong and well immune system requires. This is why good protein powders and shakes allow professional level athletes and weightlifters to replace their diminished levels of glutathione following both strength and resistance trainings.

Helps Promote Weight Loss

Protein offers another advantage to those who are trying to convert excess fat into rock hard muscle. This is that sufficient amounts of protein will assist those who are trying to lose weight.

Protein shakes that happen to be low in carbohydrates provide a good low carb and low calorie snack alternative during the between-meal times when many people inadvertently choose the wrong snack and pack on the wrong kinds of pounds.

The right kinds of proteins will also help you to convert the lost pounds of fat into leaner muscle. Still, protein powders and shakes are only supplements when all is said and done, not a true substitute for well-rounded diets.

Athletes and weightlifters in particular should be conscious of the fact that a well-rounded diet needs to be a high priority. If you tick off all of the boxes on a good diet chart or checklist, then adding in high protein powder shakes is a terrific idea for supplements to a good diet.

Helps Reduce Risk of Diabetes

Newer research that has come out fairly recently illustrates the reasons that these types of protein powders ala shakes may also help to fight off diabetes conditions. A few of these studies have demonstrated that good proteins may lower insulin and blood glucose levels.

The jury is still out on whether or not proteins actually positively impact cholesterol, blood pressure, or vascular health levels and issues.

What are the Different Types of Protein Powders?

what-are-the-different-types-of-protein-powders

Protein powders and shakes come in a few different forms for consumption. The most typical three types are soy, whey, and casein protein. Without a doubt, whey is the one used most commonly as it is a good protein that is soluble with water and milk, per the State University of New York in Buffalo’s Associate Professor Dr. Peter Horvath, PhD.

Besides this, whey is similarly a whole protein, meaning that it offers all of the nine amino acids that the human body and diet requires. Soy protein turns out to be more preferable for vegans, even though it is less pleasant tasting and to take. It also lacks the water solubility properties of whey protein, making it harder to actually consume.

What to Look for in a Good Protein Powder Supplement

The unsettling truth nowadays is that there are hundreds if not thousands of protein powder supplements on the market today, and more than a few of them are not worth the price that bodybuilders and athletes are asked to pay for them, sadly.

This is why it is so important to get second and even third opinions on which protein powder you should invest both your money and experimental time into taking. It is a smart idea to read through a number of reviews on the different supplements to get a reasonably confident idea on which ones tend to work better for your fellow serious athletes, and to know which ones you should avoid entirely.

You might also ask some bodybuilding mentors whom you trust implicitly which protein powder shakes they prefer and recommend. Some of the criteria that you will want to consider when evaluating these protein powder – shake supplements include:

EFFECTIVENESS

Is the prospective protein powder or shake supplement strong enough to make a noticeable difference or to have a measurable effect?

PRODUCT SAFETY

Safety is a bigger and more critical issue now than it has ever been before in the athletic world, in particular with so many doping scandals erupting and destroying both careers and reputations. Will this supplement guarantee you not only safe, but completely legal and above board, all-natural ingredients

INGREDIENT QUALITY

Quality of ingredients makes all the difference in why one supplement is more effective, and costly, than the bargain basement variant sold by Amazon for $19.99. You need to know if the quality of the ingredients is sufficient to guarantee the efficacy of the supplemental product in question.

What is more, you should have a high degree of confidence that the protein powder product manufacturer will honor their money back guarantee if you later decide that the ingredient quality is lacking or not what was advertised on their shiny and appealing website.

OVERALL VALUE

The question of value does not boil down to which supplement is the cheapest on the market. You may believe that one product is far less expensive than another only to later learn that the more expensive one came with a three month supply to the cheaper one’s only thirty day quantity.

It is most critical that you are comparing apples to apples with these various protein powder and shake supplements. If customers review one supplement far better than another one, then the better reviewed and liked one is probably deserving of a higher price point.

Overall value really comes down to a simple question that should be easy enough to get answered by reading those all-important product reviews on various independent websites— do the customers who have tried the product like it, and would they (or perhaps more tellingly, have they) re-order it again?

How To Take Protein Powder Supplements Properly, Safely, and Effectively

Let’s face it; it is one thing to buy the most effective product which is the best value and has only all-natural ingredients in its formula, and another thing altogether to take it properly and not to overdo it.

This is where the mathematics that we discussed earlier in this piece come into play. Besides figuring up how much protein you need in a weightlifting day, you can start with a little common sense to know if you are short on your protein intake.

Symptoms of overly low protein intake are fairly obvious and not too easy to miss. If you feel unnaturally fatigued, weak and powerless when exercising vigorously or lifting weights, or are all too slowly recovering from any athletic injuries, then you can say with near certainty that your protein levels are simply not as high as your body is telling you that they need to be.

In terms of calculating your protein-appropriate levels, remember that you multiply your number of pounds that you weigh by your number of gram fractions required per pound. This gives you the number of protein grams that you are supposed to consume every single day. How should you most appropriately utilize protein powders or shakes to assist you with improving your workout performance then?

The first best advice is to pay no attention to the proverbial conventional wisdom. It tells you that the smartest and most effective action is to consume your protein powder or shake immediately following the workout.

This is good, but remember that your body craves more than just the amino acids found in proteins to recover from a hard core workout. In fact, it also wants 4 or 5 to 1 parts of carbohydrates to protein grams intake following this type of exertion.

This means that if you are going to down a shake with 20 grams of proteins in it, you simultaneously require 80 to 100 grams of carbs to go along with it in order to properly feed your muscles.

You will not find this ratio of carbs to proteins in many protein shakes. What you might want instead, or at least alongside the protein shake, is to make a fruit smoothie using milk, chocolate milk, or yogurt as the base. Yes, chocolate milk is somewhat surprisingly among the very best fluids you can consume for workout recovery. It is loaded with carbs (check that nutritional information panel on the side if you doubt this) and offers proteins too in the milk component.

Regarding when to off those protein powder shakes, the answer is be flexible. If in fact your math or exhaustion levels show that you need more protein in that daily diet, then substitute in a protein shake in place of a meal or even a snack. Only do not drink it immediately before, during, or after your workouts.

Ready to get some protein now? Jump back up to: #1 Protein Powder on Our List

Wrapping Up

Those are some truly great protein powders! It seems to be a trend that the best protein supplements you a lot of protein without a lot of fat, carbs, or sugars. In addition, they taste great and have a good consistency. When you go looking for a new protein powder to try this year, definitely have this list in hand.

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