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Make sure you're choosing the best protein powders and drinks approved in our tests!

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Alphabetical list of protein powder and protein drink brands compared in this review

View Larger Image 7914_large_AmazingGrass-Glow-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Amazing Grass Amazing Protein Glow

View Larger Image 7925_large_AncientNutrition-Vegan-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Ancient Nutrition Plant Protein+ - Vanilla

View Larger Image 7923_large_CaliforniaGold-Casein-ProteinPowder-2022.png

California Gold Nutrition Micellar Casein - Unflavored

View Larger Image 7916_large_DesignerWellness-Whey-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Designer Wellness Designer Whey - French Vanilla

View Larger Image 7908_large_Dymatize-Casein-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Dymatize Elite Casein - Rich Chocolate

View Larger Image 7931_large_GNC-Wheybolic-ProteinPowder-2022.png

GNC Amp Wheybolic - Chocolate Fudge

View Larger Image 7932_large_GNC-ProPerformance-Whey-ProteinPowder-2022.png

GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey - Chocolate Supreme

View Larger Image 7930_large_GNC-TotalLean-Shake-ProteinPowder-2022.png

GNC Total Lean, Lean Shake 25 - Rich Chocolate

View Larger Image 7926_large_GNC-TotalLean-ProteinPowder-2022.png

GNC Total Lean, Lean Shake 25 - Swiss Chocolate

View Larger Image 7920_large_Isopure-ZeroCarb-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Isopure Zero Carb Protein - Unflavored

View Larger Image 7917_large_JarrowFormulas-Whey-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Jarrow Formulas Whey Protein - Unflavored

View Larger Image 7909_large_JayRobb-EggWhiteProtein-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Jay Robb Egg White Protein - Unflavored

View Larger Image 7924_large_NOW-PeaProtein-ProteinPowder-2022.png

NOW Sports Pea Protein - Pure Unflavored

View Larger Image 7910_large_Nutiva-Hemp-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder

View Larger Image 7921_large_Nutricost-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Nutricost Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate - Unflavored

View Larger Image 7919_large_OptimumNutrition-GoldStandard-Whey-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Optimum Nutrition [ON] Gold Standard 100% Whey - Double Rich Chocolate

View Larger Image 7911_large_Orgain-Chocolate-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Orgain Organic Protein - Creamy Chocolate Fudge Flavored

View Larger Image 7915_large_PBAndMe-ProteinPowder-2022.png

PB&Me

View Larger Image 7912_large_PlantFusion-ProteinPowders-2022.png

PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein - Creamy Vanilla Bean

View Larger Image 7933_large_Shakeology-PlantBased-CookiesAndCreamy-ProteinPowders-2022.png

Shakeology Plant-Based - Cookies & Creamy Flavored With Natural Flavors

View Larger Image 7928_large_Shakeology-PlantBased-Vanilla-ProteinPowders-2022.png

Shakeology Plant-Based - Vanilla Flavored

View Larger Image 7929_large_Shakeology-Whey-Chocolate-ProteinPowders-2022.png

Shakeology Whey-Based - Chocolate Flavored

View Larger Image 7922_large_Truvani-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Truvani Plant Based Protein - Vanilla Flavored

View Larger Image 7913_large_VegaOne-FrenchVanilla-ProteinPowder-2022.png

Vega One - French Vanilla

Summary

  • Health benefits of protein powders:

    Extra protein (typically about 30 grams to 50 grams per day) from a powder or drink can help athletes build muscle and help older people prevent or reverse age-related loss of muscle and strength when used in conjunction with resistance-type exercise. It may also help people with diabetes maintain blood sugar levels and even help reverse diabetes if taken as part of low calorie diet (See What It Does).
  • What type of protein powder is best?

    Protein products vary based on the source of protein (e.g., whey, casein, soy, rice, pea, egg, hemp, peanut, and cricket). All can help build muscle, but, in general, whey is most popular as it is a complete protein and rather quickly digested. Casein is digested more slowly — which is why it is sometimes taken in the evening to counter loss of muscle at night. Vegans may be more interested in plant sources, such as soy, pea, rice, and hemp. See ConsumerTips™, Protein for more about each type of protein.
  • What did CL's tests of protein powders find?

    Among the protein products that ConsumerLab.com selected for review, three failed our tests, one of which was found to be contaminated with lead and contain more fat, sodium, and calories than listed. Interestingly, none of the failures related to protein content (see What CL Found).

    Among products that were Approved, the lowest cost to obtain an equivalent amount (20 grams) of protein was 42 cents while it was over $5 for some products with many additional ingredients.

    See which products were CL's Top Picks based on a combination of quality, value, and taste, and calories, and compare all of the products in the Results table.
  • How to use protein powders:

    Protein taken after, rather than before, exercise may be more beneficial (See What It Does). Protein powders are typically mixed with water or other liquids such as milk or juice, but be aware that these can add calories (See What to Consider When Using). Also be aware that taste of powders varies by protein type, flavorings, the addition of sugar or other sweeteners, and that some powders mix more easily into liquids than others (see the taste and mixability comments in the Results table).
  • Protein powder safety and side effects:

    Protein supplements may cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some people, and individuals with lactose intolerance or milk allergies may want to avoid certain milk-based proteins. People with kidney disease should consult with their physician before taking protein supplements (see Concerns and Cautions).
You must be a member to get the full test results, along with ConsumerLab's recommendations. You'll get results for 24 protein supplements -- 17 selected by ConsumerLab and seven that passed the same testing through our voluntary Quality Certification Program. 


In this comprehensive review, you'll discover:
  • Which protein products failed testing, which passed, and which are CL's Top Picks
  • How protein powders and drinks compare on taste, mixability, ingredients and price
  • The pros and cons of different types of protein (whey, casein, soy, rice, pea, egg, hemp, peanut, and cricket) and different forms of protein (concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates)
  • When to take protein for the best results
  • Ingredients you may want to avoid in protein powders and drinks

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