If you’re an active person, whey protein powder can be a great way to make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet.
Whey protein is a high-quality protein source that can help fill the gaps in your protein intake—especially if you’re an athlete or someone who exercises regularly. It contains all of the essential amino acids—the building blocks of protein our bodies don’t produce on their own—so it’s very effective at helping us repair and rebuild muscle tissue after exercise. It’s also typically easily digested when compared to other protein sources, making it ideal for those who don’t have much time between workouts or other high-impact activities.
If you aren’t able to meet your needs through diet alone, sports dietitians believe that whey protein powders can be a convenient way to boost your intake. Keep in mind that, since whey is derived from milk, it may not be a good choice if you have a milk allergy or sensitivity or follow a vegan diet.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that athletes obtain around 1.2-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. This higher amount of protein is necessary for building, repairing, and maintaining muscle. Peter Pace, MS RD CSCS CPT says, “Whey protein supplements may have their place in helping humans meet their protein needs for tissue growth and repair, however, they are not a replacement for a diet rich in high-quality whole-food sources of protein.”
Whey protein is the perfect post-workout meal. It’s easy to digest, so it gets to work quickly, and it doesn’t leave you feeling stuffed. Mix your whey protein into a smoothie with carbohydrate-containing ingredients like milk, bananas, and flavored yogurt. You can also pair your protein shake with a carbohydrate-rich snack, such as yogurt with fruit and granola or a sandwich for a more complete meal and to fully recover from exercise.
How to choose your whey protein
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a whey protein powder is whether it has been third-party tested. If you’re an athlete, we recommend choosing one that has been third-party tested to avoid accidentally consuming prohibited substances. Examples of third-party testing companies include NSF, USP, and ConsumerLabs.
Top Whey Protein Picks
Best Overall: Momentous Essential Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate
If you’re looking for a high-quality, rigorously tested protein powder, Momentous Essential Grass-Fed Whey Protein is at the top of our list. This product contains whey isolate, which contains 90% protein and little fat or lactose, making it easy to digest. Momentous also contains ProHydrolase, an enzyme blend designed to enhance digestion and absorption.
Momentous is both NSF Certified for Sport and Informed Sport Certified, so it has undergone third-party testing to ensure that it is not contaminated with any prohibited substances and that it contains what is listed on the label. If you are a competitive athlete, it may be important to choose protein powders with third-party testing.
Best Organic: Garden of Life Certified Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein
If you’re looking for a high quality organic protein powder, Garden of Life Organic Whey Protein is a great choice. This non-GMO certified organic protein powder is made with grass fed and hormone free cows, and contains whey protein concentrate instead of whey isolate.
This chocolate flavored protein powder features probiotics to help you recover from your workout. Made from only organic whey and containing 2 billion CFU probiotics, this organic whey protein is produced from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows.
Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, California Grass Fed, American Humane Certified.
GNC AMP Wheybolic is a clinically proven performance protein that’s perfect for those who need to fit their workout schedule into a busy workweek.
The whey protein isolate and hydrolysates contribute to muscle growth and recovery, as well as improved strength and post-training anabolic response. Plus, you can use this supplement before or after workouts and cardio sessions, or even on non-training days and between meals, depending on your individual needs. Proven to increase muscle strength by 30% in just 8 weeks*.
Great for use before and after workouts and cardio sessions, as well as on non-training days and between meals, GNC AMP Wheybolic supports strength, performance and stamina, fuels anabolic muscle support and recovery, and helps fuel muscles while you recover from intense training.
Whey protein is the gold standard of post-workout recovery, and Optimum Nutrition has been trusted to provide the highest quality in 90+ countries for over 30 years. The Gold Standard 100% Whey blend is a great way to support lean muscle mass and build strength from the inside out.
24 grams of blended protein consisting of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey peptides to support lean muscle mass. Over 5 grams of BCAAS help build lean and strong muscles with BCAAs. Any-time formula – great before or after exercise, between meals, with a meal, or any time of day where you need extra protein in your nutrition. The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of muscle protein synthesis. A whey protein shake consumed before or after exercise helps kick-start this recovery process.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder is trusted by athletes around the world, including many Olympic teams and professional athletes. It’s also great for anyone who wants to build lean muscle mass or maintain their current fitness level.
Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Blend is a high-quality source of protein that helps you support a healthy body. It provides your body with convenient, high-quality protein, which contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass, making sure you’re getting the protein you need, each and every day.
This blend contains 3.6g of glutamine and all the essential amino acids that naturally occur in protein, including 4.5g of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids). These naturally happen in protein which helps to build and repair new muscle, so you’re always ready for the next session.
Impact Whey Protein Blend is convenient and easy to use—just mix with water or milk for a delicious shake. You can even use it as a topping for pancakes or waffles. This blend provides your body with convenient, high-quality protein that contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
Organic Pumpkin Spice Protein Powder is certified USDA organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan. With 21g of organic, plant-based protein and no added sugar, our Organic Pumpkin Spice Protein Powder packs all the nutrition with none of the guilt. And remember, we don’t sacrifice when it comes to taste. Made with clean ingredients with higher standards: Certified Plant-based, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Vegan and made without dairy or soy ingredients.
If you love fall flavors like pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pie, then this is the perfect way to add some extra protein to your day. It also works great in your favorite sweet treats like brownies, cookies, muffins—you name it.
BiPro Elite 100% Whey Protein Powder Isolate for High-Intensity Fitness, Suitable for Lactose Intolerance, Gluten Free
BiPro Elite is an elite product for elite athletes. It’s NSF-certified as free of banned substances, so you can be sure that it’s clean, natural, and safe to use in sports. And it’s made from whey protein isolate—the most filtered form of whey protein out there.
In addition to its clean nutritional profile, BiPro Elite contains 20g of 100% ion exchange whey protein isolate that provides the essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle recovery and growth after a workout or competition.
Plus, BiPro Elite has been certified by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be free of banned substances and approved for use in sports. So whether it’s the Olympics or just your next workout at the gym, BiPro Elite can help you build your athletic legacy with one simple scoop.
Premium Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate Plus Probiotics for Immune System Health.
Our Garden of Life Sports Whey Protein Isolate helps you refuels and repair muscles after a hard workout with 24g Grass Fed Whey, 4g Glutamine and over 6g BCAA amino acids. This protein shake supports your immune system during a taxing training regimen or dieting cycle. It also has no added sugars.
Garden of Life’s Sport line is an incredibly tasty, convenient and effective way to bring the best nutrition to anyone that is looking to improve or be their best. The entire Sport product line is certified “clean” by being Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, certified by NSF for Sport and Informed-Choice for Sport. That’s quadruple assurance that these products are clean and free of any banned substances.
Ready to shake up your routine? It’s time to try Quest Cinnamon Crunch Protein Powder. With 20g protein, 2g net carbs and less than 1g of sugar per scoop, it’s the perfect solution for your protein needs.
Quest Cinnamon Crunch Protein Powder is made with complete dairy-based proteins, so you can sip on complete proteins without all the extra additives. It’s made with 60% fast absorbing Whey Protein Isolate and 40% slow absorbing Micellar Casein, which provides you with the ideal balance for your workout.
Available in eight delicious flavors like Chocolate Milkshake, Cookies and Cream, and Cinnamon Crunch, Quest Nutrition Cinnamon Crunch Protein Powder is a must-have for anyone who wants to keep their body fueled up and their taste buds satisfied.
Ascent 100% Whey Protein is vegan, fast digesting, and designed for post-workout recovery fuel. It contains 25g protein per scoop, 5.7g of naturally occurring BCAAs, and a clean, minimal ingredient panel.
Ascent 100% Whey Protein is made with native whey—the least processed whey protein available today. This means it digests quickly and is perfect for taking after your workout to help you recover faster and better. Ascent 100% Whey Protein is also certified gluten free and Informed Choice Certified. It’s perfect for post-workout recovery fuel because it’s rapidly digesting.
MyProtein US – Impact Whey Protein
MyProtein US Impact Whey is a perfect source of everyday protein with over 80% protein content and naturally occurring BCAAs to help build and repair new muscle. With essential amino acids including 4.5g of BCAAs and delicious flavors to help build and maintain muscle mass.