Protein Powders

Protein, Meal, and Diet Powders, Shakes, and Drinks Tested by ConsumerLab.com

Find the best protein powders and drinks, including whey, casein, soy, egg, rice, pea, hemp, cricket, and see amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, sodium and calories in popular brands. Plus evidence and dosage for maintaining muscle muscle mass, improving insulin response, and tips for storing and using. All testing done independently by ConsumerLab.

Protein Powders Review

Other Product Reviews (38)

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Recalls & Warnings (189)

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Clinical Updates (39)

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Extra Protein Improves Strength

Whether you are trying to add muscle or just maintain it, a new report suggests that additional protein leads to further gains from resistance-type training. The analysis of 22 clinical studies shows that both young and old individuals who received additional protein from supplements or high-protein foods experienced significantly greater increases in muscle mass and strength than those not getting additional protein. Get the details, as well as our tests and reviews of protein powders and drinks, in the updated Protein Powders and Drinks Review (Including Sports, Nutrition, and Diet Products). More >>

Pea Protein for Muscle

Like whey protein, pea protein is now being used in protein powders. A recent placebo-controlled study compared the two and suggests that pea protein is a viable option for increasing muscle mass. See the details in the Protein Supplements Review >> 

Extra Protein for Extra Muscle?

Extra protein can boost the increases in muscle strength and size that occur with strength training. But does extra protein help people already consuming adequate protein from their diets? See what a new study found in the What It Does section of the Protein Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks among protein powders and shakes.)

When to Eat Protein

Some evidence indicates that it is best to distribute protein across meals throughout the day to maximize protein production in muscle. A recent study suggests that there is one meal when protein intake could be higher for nearly everyone, and there is another meal when older people particularly fall short. For details see the When to Take section of the Protein Powder and Drinks Review. Also see our Top Picks for protein powders and drinks.

Extra Protein Enhances Training

Even among untrained, middle-aged men, adding protein supplementation to resistance training leads to greater improvements in lean body mass (i.e., more muscle) than the training alone, according to a new study. Find out how much protein helped in the "What It Does" section of the Protein Supplements Review. The Review includes our test-based, quality ratings and comparisons of popular protein powders and drinks.

Who's Not Getting Enough Protein?

A recent study among older Americans identified groups that are not getting enough protein. Find out who's not getting enough protein in the What It Does section of the Protein Powders and Drinks Review. Also see our Top Picks among protein products.

Pea vs. Whey Protein

Which is better for increasing strength and muscle thickness, pea protein or whey protein? See what a recent study showed in the Protein Powders Review. Also see our Top Pick for each type of protein.

Whey Protein When Bedridden?

Does substituting whey protein for other sources of protein help bedridden people retain muscle mass and strength? Find out what a new study showed in the What It Does section of the Protein Powders & Drinks Review. Also see our Top Picks for protein powders.

Allergic Reactions to Protein Powder

Be aware that allergic reactions to protein powders have recently been reported in people not normally allergic the protein sources of their supplements. For details, see the Concerns and Cautions section of the Protein Powders, Shakes, and Drinks Review. Also see our Top Picks for protein supplements.

Does Protein Powder Affect Blood Flow?

Does supplementing with whey protein isolate affect blood flow through the aorta and to the brain? Find out what a recent study found in the What It Does section of the Protein Powders & Drinks Review. Also learn what effects protein powder has on building and maintaining muscle and see our Top Picks for protein powders.

When to Eat Protein

The timing of protein intake during the day was associated with greater reductions in abdominal fat and BMI (body mass index) among people engaged in exercise programs in a recent study. The timing of protein intake can also improve the likelihood of muscular benefits. For details, see the When to Take section of the Protein Powders and Drinks Review. Also see our Top Picks among protein products.

Does Extra Protein Help?

What effect does giving older men a daily protein supplement and/or a weekly testosterone shot have? Find out in the What It Does section of the Protein Powders, Shakes, and Drinks Review. The section also provides information about the effects of extra protein in other populations. (Also see our Top Picks among protein supplements.)

When to Take Protein

When is the best time of day to take a protein supplement if you want to gain muscle but lose fat? An analysis of over 30 clinical studies involving protein supplementation and resistance exercise recently addressed this question. Get the answer and details in the ConsumerTips section of the Protein Powders, Shakes and Drinks Review. (Also see our Top Picks among protein products).

Extra Protein Helps During Exercise & Dieting

A study among obese young men found that giving extra protein during a period of dieting and intense exercise caused them to lose more fat and gain more muscle than men to whom additional protein was not provided. Several other recent studies in both young and old individuals have shown significant benefits from additional protein – but only when combined with exercise. Get the details in the Protein Powders and Drinks Review >>

Whey Protein and Muscle

As noted in our Protein Review, many studies show that extra protein can help build more muscle and increase strength when resistance training. But, as shown in a recent study in postmenopausal women, just eating extra protein without exercise provides no benefit. Get the details in the Protein Powders and Drinks Review >>

Whey Protein for Blood Sugar Control?

Drinking a whey protein shake before a meal improves blood sugar and insulin response in men and women with type 2 diabetes, according to a new, preliminary study. Get more details, plus our tests of protein supplements, in the updated Protein Powders and Drinks Review >>

Does Protein Hurt Bones?

It has been speculated that high-protein diets can result in calcium loss from bone. A recent study tested this. Get the results in the Concerns and Cautions section of the Protein Powders Review -- which also discusses a concern with dehydration. (If you use protein powders, see our Top Picks).

Protein for Exercisers

What happens when you give extra protein to women who regularly perform resistance exercise? Extra good things, according to a recent study. See the details (including dosage) in the What It Does section of the Protein Powders, Shakes, and Drinks Review. (Also see our Top Picks among protein products).

Many Men and Women Not Getting Enough Protein

A national study found that many older men and women don't get enough protein in their diets, including those in their 50s. For details, see the What It Does section of the Protein Powders and Drinks Review. Also see our Top Picks among protein supplements.

Collagen vs. Whey for Muscle

Does taking collagen protein increase muscle as well as whey protein? Find out what a recent study showed in the "Building Muscle" sections of both the Protein Powders Review and the Collagen Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for protein powders and Top Picks for collagen.

When to Take Protein

Supplementing with protein can increase muscle mass and strength more than resistance exercise alone, but the timing of protein consumption can make a difference if you are also trying to improve metabolism and reduce body fat. Get the details and find out what a new study showed in the What It Does section of the Protein Powders, Shakes & Drinks Review. (Also see our Top Picks among products).

Whey Protein for Muscle Gain and Fat Loss?

Did drinking whey protein after resistance exercise help prevent muscle loss and reduce body fat in obese women? See what a recent study found in the Building and maintaining muscle section of the Protein Powders, Shakes and Drinks Review. Also see our Top Picks for protein powders and shakes.

Whey vs. Casein vs. Neither

A study among elderly men engaged in strength training compared the effects of supplementing with whey protein, casein protein, or neither. Learn what the study showed in the What It Does section of the Protein Powders Review. Also see our Top Picks among protein powders.

Extra Protein During Chemotherapy?

Is taking extra whey protein during chemotherapy helpful to malnourished cancer patients? Learn what a study found in the What It Does section of the Protein Powders, Shakes, and Drinks Review. Also see our Top Picks among protein powders.

When Protein Won't Help

Supplementing with protein can help build and maintain muscle mass, but there are times when it won’t help, as demonstrated in a recent study. For details see the Building and maintaining muscle mass section of the Protein Powders Review. Also see our Top Picks for protein supplements.

Protein Enhances Muscle Gain in Young and Old

Consuming extra protein, up to a point, was found to help both younger and older people increase muscle strength and size as part of resistance exercise training. For details see the What It Does section of the Protein Powders Review. (Also see our Top Picks among protein powders).

Extra Protein Can Help Older People

Increasing protein intake can help older people maintain and build muscle – but it's not that simple. Get the details, and read about the latest studies, in the Building and maintaining muscle mass section of the Protein Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks among protein shakes and drinks).

Can Whey Protein Control Hunger?

Can drinking a whey protein shake help control hunger in people who are overweight? Find out what a recent study showed in the What It Does section of our Protein Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among protein powders, shakes and drinks.

Is Protein Best Before or After a Meal?

A new study showed that the timing of protein supplementation around a meal can determine the effect on blood sugar in people with insulin resistance. Find out the best timing in the update to the Protein Powders, Drinks, and Shakes Review. (Also see our Top Picks among products.)

Casein Peptides for Better Sleep?

People with difficulty sleeping were given a casein hydrolysate to see if it would help them sleep. Find out if it worked in the Casein section of the Protein Powders, Drinks and Shakes Review. Also see our Top Picks among casein and other protein products.

Soy Protein to Prevent Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer occurs less frequently in parts of the world where people eat more soy. So researchers recently gave a soy protein drink, or a placebo drink, to men who previously had prostate cancer to see if it reduced the risk of the cancer recurring. Learn what they found in the updated Protein Powders and Drinks Review >>

Whey Protein Improves Recovery After Hip Fracture Surgery

Whey protein improved strength and the ability to perform certain activities of daily living in older adults who underwent surgery for hip fracture, according to a recent study. Get the details, including dosage, and more about other benefits, in the Protein Powders and Drinks Review >>

Casein at Night?

It has been suggested that casein protein be taken at bedtime because it is absorbed relatively slowly, providing a more continuous supply of amino acids throughout the night to maintain muscle. A study recently put this theory to the test. See the results in the Casein section of the Protein Powders Review. Also see our Top Picks among products.

Soy Can Affect Thyroid

Daily intake of soy isoflavones (as found in soy protein and soy isoflavone supplements) can affect thyroid hormone levels – even in people with normal thyroid function, according to a recent study. For details, see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Menopause Supplements Review and the Protein Supplements Review.

Diabetes Cured With Low Cal Diet

A recent study found that type 2 diabetes was reversed in 40% of people who followed an 8-week, very low calorie diet consisting mainly of a diet shake. Get details about the study in the "What It Does" section of the Protein Powders and Drinks Review – for Body Building, Sports & Dieting >>

Concern Over Carnitine Causing Cardiovascular Disease

Intake of L-carnitine from supplements (and from red meat) may foster atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to new research. Once ingested, L-carnitine is converted in some people to a compound which reduces the normal clearing of cholesterol from arteries.

For more details, see the updated reviews of B Vitamin Supplements & Energy Drinks and Protein Powders, as some of these products contain L-carnitine. The Acetyl-L-Carnitine Supplements review has also been updated because acetyl-L-carnitine is chemically similar to L-carnitine, suggesting a potential concern.

Vitamin D Toxicity

Getting too much vitamin D is associated with negative effects. With continued use of enormous doses of vitamin D, toxic effects can occur, as has been reported with the use of a protein supplement containing vitamin D. See the details in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Lunasin to Lower Cholesterol?

Can taking lunasin, a protein isolated from soy, help to lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels? See what a new study found in our updated answer to the question: What is lunasin and does it really reduce cholesterol?

Vitamin D and Inflammation

A new study found that raising low levels of vitamin D appears to reduce inflammation in the body (based on measurements of C-reactive protein, or CRP, a marker of inflammation). However, once vitamin D levels reached what some people consider to be barely sufficient, CRP slowly but progressively increased, suggesting an inflammatory action of vitamin D at higher levels. The study raises the question of what is the ideal level of vitamin D in the body. 

Be sure you have the latest information! See the update to the Vitamin D Supplements Review, which includes details on this and other vitamin D studies, as well as our latest product tests.

News Releases (22)

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