5 Best-Tasting Protein Powders (Our Selection for 2018)

5 Best-Tasting Protein Powders (Our Selection for 2018)

One of the things that prevent people from making protein powder a consistent health habit is the taste. Of course, cost, ingredients, and source also affect the decision, but sometimes it really comes down to how well they can stomach the taste and the smell of this dietary supplement.

On the other hand, a protein powder’s taste can also be a good incentive for someone who wants to achieve their fitness goals. Who doesn’t want to drink something that is both delicious and healthy after a hard workout?

I’ve done some research, and have come up with five of the best-tasting protein powders on the market. In this article, we’ll review their benefits, effects, quality, and how to best use them according to your needs.

Don't have time to read the entire review?

If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, don’t worry—we've simplified everything. Here is a quick table that provides a quick rating guide to the tastiest protein powders.

A Short Guide About Protein Powder

Taste is only one part of choosing a good protein powder. There are many types of protein powders, and each one can provide slightly different benefits than the others. Before getting into details about which protein powders taste the best, here is some information about different protein powders and their benefits.

Why Do People Consume Protein Powder?

Protein is present in many popular foods, such as meat, fish, and plant products. Studies have shown that people (even the average athlete) can get the recommended amount of protein from eating foods that are rich in protein, without using supplements. So besides being an easy and convenient way to get protein, why do people consume protein powder?

Some of the most common reasons that people add protein powder to their diets include:

  • When they are on a keto diet and need more protein that can be converted into energy.
  • When they are new to working out.
  • When increasing the intensity of their regular workouts.
  • When they need a pre-workout energy boost or a post-workout muscle repair boost.
  • When they are on a vegetarian diet and need to replace protein that is lost from not eating enough meat.

The main use of protein powder as a supplement is for exercise and training purposes. Research has shown that athletes who add extra protein or protein supplements to their diets increase more lean muscle mass over time than those who don't.

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Athletes who add extra protein or protein supplements to their diets increase more lean muscle mass over time than those who don't.

Categories of Protein Powder

There are three main categories of protein powder, and each one is made by a slightly different process. It can get confusing trying to figure out which one is best. Below is some information to help you sort them out.

Protein concentrates is the first category of protein powder. These are made by extracting the protein from the food source through a special heating process that uses acid or enzymes. On average, about 70% of the finished product is protein, while the remainder is fat and/or carbs.

Protein isolates is the second category. This is basically protein concentrates that go through an additional filtering process. This additional process yields a product with a higher protein concentration. On average, protein isolate is about 90 to 95% protein.

Protein hydrolysates is the third category. This goes through an extra heating process that separates the bonds that hold the amino acids together. This allows the body to absorb these essential acids more easily.

Protein powders can be further broken down into types depending on what food sources they are made from.

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Types of Protein Powders

There are many types of protein powders, and while all of them can serve as a good protein supplement, some are better than others. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) rates types of protein powders based on the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS).

According to this score, whey protein isolates have the highest score on the PDCAAS scale because of the amount of essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids (BCAA's) that they have. Casein, egg, and soy powder protein also score high on the scale.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is the most popular kind of protein powder because its easily soluble in water and can be quickly digested.

Whey protein also has the complete protein (meaning it has all nine essential amino acids), and is the protein powder that is highest in leucine (which is the acid that is the biggest contributor to building muscle mass). ​

Whey protein is made from milk, so the concentrate contains lactose. The isolate form contains little to no lactose.

Casein Protein

Casein is also made from milk. The difference is that the body absorbs it more slowly because it creates an almost gel-like substance in the stomach that digests more slowly than whey.

Research has shown that while casein isn't as effective as whey in general, it can be more effective at reducing fat mass and increasing muscle mass during resistance training.

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Besides being an easy and convenient way to get protein, people consume protein powder when they need a pre-workout energy boost or a post-workout muscle repair boost.

Egg Protein

Egg protein powder is a great choice for people who want a high-quality animal-based protein powder but may be lactose intolerant.

Egg protein has the second highest content of leucine, and can help you to feel fuller for a longer amount of time.

Soy Protein

Soy protein is a great choice for vegans. It is low in fat and cholesterol. It generally doesn't taste as good as the others, and can be hard to dissolve in water.

Brown Rice Protein

This is one of the oldest types of protein powder, but it isn't very popular. Brown rice protein has all of the essential amino acids, but it is extremely low in the ones that aid muscle building. Because of this, it isn't used very widely.

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Pea Protein

Pea protein powder is made from the yellow split pea. The effects of this protein powder have not been widely researched. It has been shown to have a high amount of the essential amino acids, and is great for vegetarians and vegans.

Hemp Protein

Hemp protein powder is slowly gaining in popularity. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and the body digests it well. The drawback of hemp protein powder is that it is very deficient in certain amino acids, including leucine.

Of all the different types of protein powders available, whey is the most popular, with soy and casein also quite popular. Many protein powders come with a blend of whey and casein.

With so many different types and categories to choose from, its no surprise that there are a lot of different protein powders on the market. Some taste better than others. Below are reviews of some of the best-tasting protein powders in 2018.

Best Tasting Protein Powders Product Reviews

Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate is one of the healthiest protein powders available.

This award-winning protein powder is hydrolyzed so it can be digested extremely fast. It is gluten-free, has only one gram of sugar, and has less than one gram of fat.

This protein powder is a conglomerate of all things that a body needs while building muscle. Being a whey isolate, it has a higher protein content than comparable protein powders (25 grams per serving), and it still has an amazing taste and potent flavor. It is gluten free and lactose free.

This protein powder comes in 17 different flavors. Most people liked the orange dreamsicle flavor and gave it really great reviews. Many say it tastes just like ice cream. You can even freeze it into a real popsicle. 

PROS

  • There are a lot of different flavors to suit almost anyone's taste buds, and almost all flavors have excellent reviews. Orange dreamsicle seems to have the best reviews.
  • It is very low in calories. At only 110 calories per serving, it can fit into anyone's diet.
  • Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate was given the Award of Excellence by Bodybuilder.com in 2017
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    It is extremely low in sugar, carbohydrates, and fat, but it doesn't let this sacrifice the taste.
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    The protein powder has 5.5 grams of BCAAs.
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    It also has 2.7 grams of leucine.

CONS

  • Besides a small amount of calcium, Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate doesn't provide any other vitamins or minerals.
  • This protein powder is sweetened with both sucralose and stevia.

Syntha-6 Whey Protein Powder is one of the best tasting protein powders on the market. It is made with an exclusive flavor technology by BSN. This protein powder has 22 grams of protein and five grams of fiber per serving.

The protein powder also boasts 10 grams of essential amino acids per serving. Not only is this protein powder great to drink after workouts, but it can be consumed at any time during the day or night.

Although this protein powder comes in 14 different flavors, and all flavors have positive reviews, the chocolate flavor has been frequently reviewed as having the best taste out of all of them.

The vanilla ice cream flavor is the runner up in taste for Syntha-6. The protein powder comes in different sizes, but the most popular size is the 48-servings size.

PROS

  • Compared to other protein powders, Syntha-6 has a high amount of protein per serving (22 grams per serving).
  • This protein powder is great for muscle growth, recovery, and any type of active lifestyle.
  • With so many different flavors paired with the exclusive flavor technology, it would be hard to find a flavor that you don't like.
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    Being mostly a protein isolate, the powder mixes well, so you don't necessarily need a shaker to mix it.
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    It provides a small amount of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium.

CONS

  • One serving is a little higher in calories (200) than other comparable protein powders, with 25% of these calories being from fat.
  • This powder has a slightly higher fat and cholesterol content than other comparable protein powders. It has 6 grams of fat and 55 mg of cholesterol.
  • Some are bothered by the warning on the package saying that this product may contain trace elements of cadmium.
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    The protein powder also has a higher carbohydrate content than many similar protein powders. The powder has 14 grams of carbohydrates. The saving grace is that five grams are from fiber, so it has a net carb count of nine grams.

This is a very popular protein powder that has 24 grams of protein per serving. It is a mix of whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate, so its easier for the body to absorb.

It also has four grams of naturally occurring glutamine per serving, as well as five grams of leucine, isoleucine, and valine per serving. This powder is great for building lean muscle mass, and is also perfect for kickstarting muscle recovery. The protein powder is easy to mix using either a shaker bottle or just a spoon and cup.

Optimum Nutrition also has a unique feature for their users called Optimum Nutrition Workout Recipes that can be used through Alexa. This powder comes in a lot of different flavors, with the double rich chocolate having the best reviews. The double rich chocolate is sucralose-free.

PROS

  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder is very popular, and has one of the highest ratings of all the protein powders on the market.
  • It is available in 23 delicious flavors, with three of them being natural flavors. Double rich chocolate has the best reviews.
  • This powder is low in calories and carbohydrates.
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    It has a great price for a five-pound container.

CONS

  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder has a higher sodium content than comparable protein powders (130 mg).
  • Besides a small amount of calcium, it doesn't provide any other vitamins and minerals.
  • The protein powder has a higher amount of cholesterol compared to similar protein powders—50mg per serving.

This protein powder may not come in a traditional container like other protein powders, but its benefits rival some of the best powders on the market.

MyProtein is a low-fat and low-carbohydrate whey protein concentrate that is composed of almost 80% protein (21 grams of protein per serving). It is mixed with whey protein isolate, making it easier for the body to digest. This protein powder is great for building muscle, recovery, and burning fat, and can be consumed any time of the day.

It comes in a large, 5.5-pound bag (about 83 servings) and is also available in other sizes. The protein powder comes in an impressive 21 flavors, including an "unflavored" version.

Fair warning: The unflavored version is very unflavored. Salted caramel and strawberry creme have the best reviews of all the flavors.

PROS

  • Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Blend has a huge selection of flavors, and it is easy to find a flavor that you like. Salted caramel and strawberry creme have the best reviews.
  • This protein powder is low in sugar (1.5 grams per serving) and calories (130 calories per serving).
  • Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Blend actually provides a small amount of vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

CONS

  • Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Blend is high in cholesterol (55 mg) compared to similar protein powders.
  • This protein powder isn't as popular as the other protein powders on the list. This is mainly because they are a fairly new European company founded in 2011.

Get your protein on and do right by the environment at the same time. If you like organic foods, then this protein powder could be perfect for you.

This protein powder has no artificial ingredients, and is sourced from grass-fed, free-range, heritage-breed Jersey cows. Natural Force® Organic Whey Protein Powder protein powder is great for building lean muscle, and can also serve as a meal replacement.

The company only uses four ingredients per flavor, and the protein powder boosts glutathione, a "master" antioxidant. There are only three natural flavors, but each one tastes great. If this isn't a good enough reason to buy this protein powder, it also comes in a BPA-free post-consumer recycled container.

Natural Force Organic Whey Protein Powder is kosher, gluten-free, soy-free, and sweetened with whole organic stevia leaves. It has 20 grams of protein per serving.

PROS

  • Natural Force® Organic Whey Protein Powder is very low in calories (with only 110 per serving), and also low in fat (with only 1.5 grams per serving).
  • This is a very healthy and clean protein powder that can be suitable for many different kinds of diets, especially for people who value eating clean.
  • The protein powder is low in carbohydrates (only three grams) and sugar (only one gram).
  • The packaging is made from recycled materials, and is BPA free.

CONS

  • It is very pricey.
  • It is high in cholesterol compared to other protein powders, with 50mg per serving.
  • It only comes in three flavors, limiting the taste choices for consumers.

The Verdict: The Best Tasting Protein Powder of 2018

Out of the five protein powders that are listed above, the top choice is Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate in the orange dreamsicle flavor. Despite being sweetened with both sucralose and stevia, it isn't too sweet, and it has a great flavor that makes you forget that its a protein powder.

It taste more like a treat that you give yourself after meeting your goals of a powerful workout. This protein powder gets bonus points for tasting exactly like the name of the flavor, not like some remotely similar cardboard version.

In addition to taste, it is truly a great protein powder that provides you with everything you need to build lean muscle mass and reduce fat. It's low in all the bad stuff (sugar, carbs, fat), and packs an impressive 25 grams of protein per serving, all at a fair price.

I recommend Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate (with special emphasis on the orange dreamsicle flavor) to anyone who needs to add a boost of protein to their diet.

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