What’s the Best Protein Powder in 2021? Reviews, Ratings & Buying Guide

Best protine powder 2019

Welcome to the Vital Repz 2019 best protein powder roundup.

In my younger days, I spent hundreds of dollars per month on various protein powders.

I'd "get the best" out of each, then hop to one of the latest supplements with the most enticing claim.

My supplement collection was enormous, so I felt like I was making progress.

The problem was, only a handful gave me real results.

And really, that's why we use protein powders, right?

To get real results that stick.

More recently, I became frustrated when I saw family members (especially my younger sibling) wasting their hard earned money on protein supplements that flat out didn't work.

I decided it was finally time to put my knowledge out there. So, naturally, I created this guide. And I hope you enjoy it!

The Best Protein Powder Reviews And Recommendations



Best of the Best

#1 Naked Nutrition Whey

Pure whey sourced from grass-fed cows in the USA. No artificial ingredients or harmful additives that you wouldn't want.

Close up picture of protein container and scoop

Best Value

#2 ON Gold Standard Whey

Over 70 servings and 24g of whey mainly from isolates. Rated as the best value protein powder by us. 

Image of supplement container and scoop

Best Tasting

#3 BSN Syntha-6 

200 calories make it a great choice for bulking up.The Chocolate Milkshake & Mudslide flavors really hit the spot for us.

Best For Weight Loss Diets

#4 Isopure Zero Carb

This is the lowest calorie protein powder we could find. Whey protein can help keep you feel which promotes weight loss.

Good but we prefer the others

#5 MP Combat Powder

This supplement uses whey and casein which may be more effective than whey alone. However, we preferred Syntha 6.

Supplement Details

#1 Naked Whey 

Best of the Best

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • The protein is 100% grass-fed whey from US farms
  • It's free from artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors and GMOs
  • A 5 lb tub has 76 servings which is more than Optimum Nutrition

#2 Gold Standard Whey 

Best Value

Close up picture of protein container and scoop

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • It mixes really well & has 5.5g of BCAAs
  • The whey protein is primarily formed of isolates
  • There's over 20 flavors & Optimum have been in the supplement game for ages

#3 BSN Syntha 6 

The Tastiest

Image of supplement container and scoop

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • We loved the Chocolate Milkshake & Chocolate Mudslide flavors
  • It's a good option for those trying to bulk up
  • BSN use a protein blend which might be better for muscle growth than just taking whey

#4 Isopure Zero Carb 

Best For Weight Loss Assistance

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • It's high in protein which helps keep you full
  • There are no carbs or fats
  • It mixes really easily

#5 MP Combat Powder

Good but we prefer the others

Our Rating

Why We Picked It

  • It's Informed Choice certified
  • It's a great choice for athletes
  • We loved MusclePharm's Cookies N' Cream flavor

Choosing the formula to take isn't as simple as walking on the treadmill — it can be quite a mental workout. But after some deliberation, I managed to narrow my choices.

I selected five supplements and reviewed each of them in great detail.

#1 Naked Whey — Best Of The Best

Made in the USA, and carrying an Informed Choice certification, Naked Whey offers an impressive 76 servings, which each contain 25g of pure grass-fed whey. Being cold processed means that the supplement retains many of the substantial growth factors which we naturally find in whey.

Unlike other brands, harsh chemical treatments, that are known for increasing heavy metal content, aren't used to process the powder.

Being free from all common additives like GMOs, soy, gluten, growth hormones, artificial flavors, and colors, it is ideal for those seeking an all-natural solution to regular protein shakes.

Aside from being a healthy dietary supplement, Naked Whey is also great for building muscle. You can even see the amino acid profile on the back of the tub, which shows that the brand focuses on transparency and quality, rather than marketing gimmicks or outrageous claims.

Although we found the unflavored version to be great for smoothie making, for those seeking a sweeter shake that is still nutritious, there are four other flavors available; chocolate, vanilla strawberry, and now matcha.

#2 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey — Best Value

Gold Standard Whey provides 24g of whey concentrates and isolates in each 30g serving. The main advantage to Gold Standard — aside from the high protein — is a very high number of scoops per tub, which is higher with a bigger container.

For reference, a standard 5lb tub has between 68 and 74 servings. The exact number depends on which flavor you buy.

Next up, the flavors. If typical protein shake flavors like strawberry and chocolate don't tickle your taste buds, then Optimum Nutrition has over 20 flavors for more exotic taste buds.

Thankfully, a great taste doesn't have to come at the expense of junk. One scoop has only 3g of carbs and 1.5g fat (choc mint flavor). Fillers aren't an issue either, and users trust Gold Standard for its known protein quality.

Also, you'll be pleased to hear each serving has over 5.5g of naturally occurring BCAAs and 4g of glutamine. Both are very important for recovery after training.  You can click on the link for the full Gold Standard Whey review.

#3 BSN SYNTHA-6 Protein Powder — The Tastiest Shake

Whey concentrate, whey isolate, calcium caseinate, micellar casein, milk protein, and egg whites  — Syntha-6 is not your ordinary supplement — it contains 22g of protein from 6 different sources.

The protein blend enables you to get the best of all worlds and is a good choice if you don't want to buy whey and casein protein separately.

As for the money side, Syntha-6 is excellent value in our opinion, due to having both whey and casein, but does come with only 48 servings per tub — a little less compared to some other products.

Overall, most users found BSN Syntha-6 to fit the bill. However, a few complained that 200 is too many calories for a protein shake. But many agreed that the taste was delicious, which we agree with. However, if you're on a low-calorie diet, it may not be the best choice.

#4 Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder — The Best For Weight Loss Diets

Isopure Zero Carb  is a whey isolate that provides 25g of protein per 31g scoop. Even the most seasoned bodybuilders will appreciate the amount of amino acids they manage to pack into such a small serving.

In particular, low carb dieters will enjoy Isopure. Each serving has zero carbs and fat. But what Isopure doesn't have zero of is vitamins — there's a huge list of vitamins and minerals ranging from calcium to zinc.

As for the taste side, not all users were satisfied with the product. Some find the taste hard to stomach whereas other described it as rich and creamy.

Another drawback of Isopure Zero Carb is the price. Although it's a great product nutrient wise, the quality does come with a higher price tag. But being a whey isolate, most users agree you get what you pay for in the quality department.

#5 MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder — Good supplement, we just referred the others

Combat Powder from MusclePharm combines three kinds of whey in addition to egg and casein to make sure you meet all of you amino acid needs.

Along with added BCAAs, glutamine, and digestive enzymes, Combat Powder is gluten-free, and Banned-substance tested — a must for any high-level athlete.

As for the taste, not all users agreed that Combat Protein Powder was a tasty protein shake. However, many users did like the taste as well as it's quick mixing.

A 4 lb tub has 52 servings — good value for a powder with 25g of protein in each scoop. The time-release blend means that unlike regular whey, you can drink combat powder before bed.

What Makes A Protein Powder Effective?

As we near the end of the guide, let's put on our scientific goggles and take a look at what goes into making a protein powder genuinely useful.

Ingredient Quality

Protein powder is only as good as its ingredients. If the components suck then your results will, too. And who wants that?

So, to make sure choose a product of high quality you want a formula that has the full spectrum of amino acids and in particular, a high amount of BCAAs.
And in general, a brand that's popular is a better choice than a brand you've never heard of before. The famous brand has a reputation to keep up while the new brand has less to lose. But this is not always the case.

Taste & Drinkability

I don't know about you, but if I'm drinking a shake every day — multiple times per day even — I don't want to have to mentally brace myself when it's time to hold my nose and chug drink it.

Nor do I expect it to taste like last cheat day's ice cream. But for me, taste is still paramount. But why exactly?

Surely it's just about the ingredients, right?

The Real Reason Why Taste Is Important

Let me tell you this: If you dread drinking your protein shake, guess what?

Your mood will be worse, and you'll be more likely to cheat on your diet because you feel entitled to something tasty after what your taste buds just had to go through.

Also, a shake that tastes great, perhaps even deliciously creamy, *cough* Syntha *cough* makes dieting easier.

And, if you're bulking, gaining weight becomes effortless because you can drink more of something that tastes good than something which doesn't.

Does It Mix As You Hoped?

So the ingredients are great, and the flavor smells delicious. But look at your shake, you have two giant clumps suspiciously floating in your mixture.

If only you'd done a bit more research, you wouldn't have wasted another 5lb tub of protein.

Mixability is important because along with flavoring, it's the one attribute a shake needs to be drinkable.

And trust me, the cheap store-bought brand might seem like a good idea, but when you have to mix each scoop with a liter of water to get the powder to comply, you'll wish you'd done your due diligence

Value For Money

It's tempting to think that the most expensive protein powders are the best.

That if you front the cash, a tub of immediate gains will come your way.

I'm sorry, but that's not how it works, as any budget supplement user will happily tell you...
For me, a good value protein powder has two defining traits:

  • Lots of servings
  • High amino acid content

Lots of servings mean that you need to order less frequently which can save on shipping costs. And more protein per scoop means you use less powder than usual, making the tub lasts longer, which saves you money.


Unless you only use protein powder — something I highly doubt — you need to make sure you consider your overall supplement stack.

The most important supplements in your stack should get the most thought and attention when it comes to picking the best product.

Less important supplements (think L-carnitine or CLA) should not take up your mental energy since they're not necessary but can be nice to have around.

Ultimately, good protein powder will get you way more mileage than a few measly CLA capsules ever could.

Do You Enjoy using This Particular Supplement?

The only real way to find the top product for you is to use a guide like this, see which category is most relevant to your needs, and then try one of the supplements.

Unless you try the supplement in real life, it's hard for me to say that you will 100% love it. Of course, great minds won't disagree over quality ingredients, but taste can get more subjective, especially when trying more complex flavors.

The 7 Best Types of Protein Powder

Here are the best types of protein powder if your goal is to increase muscle growth or sports performance. They also have some health benefits that I will discuss.


Perhaps the most popular dietary supplement on the planet, whey is a cost-effective solution to meeting your protein needs.

It's higher in leucine than casein and plant options, but the relatively high lactose may be a problem for some users. If that's the case, then whey isolate is the best choice.

Whey Isolate has all the benefits of whey concentrate but with lower lactose and more protein in each scoop. Of course, this generally comes at a higher price tag, but it may be worth it for some of you. 


Micellar casein is like the cuddly toy you took to bed with you as a child (maybe you still do?).

But now that you're grown up and want to make gains, it's sensible to take casein before bed rather than whey. Why?

Let me explain. The slower absorption makes casein the best choice for keeping protein breakdown at a minimum while you rest your tired muscles, which is very important for muscle growth.

Plant-Based Formulas

If you want to build powerful muscle you need to take whey or casein, right?

Not so fast. With the rise in popularity and efficacy of plant-based diets, there's now a good selection of vegan-friendly formulas that can add muscle to your frame.

Of course, protein powders work equally well for being healthy and bulking up — not everyone wants to get huge.

Next, I'm going to go over the best plant-based protein powders in turn so you can get to know them a little better!


Earthy, magnesium-rich and healthy. Hemp is a great vegan protein source due to its strong amino acid content and natural health benefits.

Due to vegan diets being generally lower in essential amino acids, using a supplement may be especially important in meeting your daily protein needs. Hemp powder is one way you can do this.


Pea protein powder is one of the best vegan options for bodybuilding due to its naturally high BCAA content. One study shows that supplementing with pea protein after resistance training can produce similar muscle growth as whey.

It's also really versatile. You can increase the breadth of health benefits by adding your favorite foods and proceeding to create a smoothie —  blender, and imagination required!

Brown Rice

Dairy free. Protein Packed. Undeniably healthy.

Brown rice-based supplements contain sprouted grains which have been shown in research to reduce the insulin spike that usually follows a carb based meal. Sprouted grains can be especially important if you have (or have had) problems with blood sugar regulation.

Other research analyzed the amino acid content of brown rice protein. The authors concluded that we could use it in place of other potentially less healthy protein powders like whey or soy.

Egg White Powder

Egg White formulas come from pure egg whites meaning they not only have incredibly high protein but are free of lactose and low in fat.

For maximum safety, it is advised to cook your egg protein and create pancakes rather than a typical protein shake. The supplement itself should be of exceptionally high-quality. You do not want to source your egg protein from unreliable companies with poor manufacturing practices.


For me, the best protein powder on the market is naked whey

Not only does it have 25g of protein in each scoop, but it also has 76 servings per container, which is a fantastic amount.

It's an excellent choice for beginners due to its simple 100% whey formula and reliable quality. Of course, many high-level athletes and bodybuilders can use it to repair muscle as well.

We hope you enjoyed our guide to the best protein powder in 2019. Hopefully it helped you to decide which brand to add to your regime in the future.

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Jonathan Abbott
Jonathan Abbott
Jonathan is a long time fitness enthusiast who specializes in helping others reach their goals faster with the most up to date sports science. When he's not working, you'll find him challanging his body with heavy squats and deadlifts.