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:
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.