Best Protein Powder: 6 Choices for 2024


Whether you want to gain muscle mass, support your gym seshes, or simply don’t eat enough protein, protein powders can be a great way to supplement your diet. 

However, many protein powders on the market are loaded with junk, like excess sugar or artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors. 

In this article, check out our list of the six best quality protein powders, including our top whey and plant-based picks, plus the best protein powders for weight loss, weight gain, people on a budget, and more.

TNI Main Logo 700x432 1 Best Overall
Hi-Health Udder Bliss Grass Fed Whey Protein
KOS Organic Plant Protein
Best Value
NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate
Products Hi-Health KOS Organic NOW

Protein Per Serving
21g 20g 25g
Cost $46.99 for 24 servings ($1.95/svg)
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$49.99 for 28 servings ($1.78/svg)
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$119.99 for 81 servings ($1.48/svg)
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Best for: People looking for a high-quality protein powder who can tolerate dairy. 

Hi-Health Udder Bliss Grass-Fed Whey Protein is an excellent option for people who want a dairy-based protein powder that provides all of the essential amino acids. 

Not only does it use whey protein from grass-fed, hormone-free cows in New Zealand, but it also contains three digestive enzymes and 6g of fiber (from inulin) per serving.

As whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids, it’s known to be effective for increasing muscle mass—and this one provides a healthy amount, at 21g per serving.

And if you don’t want a chocolate whey protein powder, Hi-Health also carries Udder Bliss in Strawberry and Vanilla.

Best for: People wanting a plant-based vegan protein powder; those wanting additional benefits in their protein powder (digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and fruits and vegetable blends). 

Our best overall pick for vegan protein powder is the KOS Organic Plant Protein, which contains 20g of protein per serving from organic pea, flax, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia seeds.

Plus, this protein powder also provides digestive enzymes, a fruit and vegetable blend (shitake mushroom, broccoli, tomato, carrot, cranberry, apple, and orange), as well as 12 vitamins and minerals. 

However, although KOS Organic Plant Protein is dairy-, egg-, and soy-free, this protein powder is not suitable for people with peanut or tree nut allergies, as it contains organic peanut flour and organic coconut milk and sugar.

Best for: People looking for a good value protein powder that doesn’t skimp on quality. 

For those looking for a good value protein powder, NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate is an affordable, high-quality choice.

With a higher protein content than most (25g per serving), this unflavored whey protein isolate powder is a great option for people who want to quickly get a protein boost without changing the flavor of their drink. 

NOW also has plenty of certifications to back up their products, including the Informed-Sport certification, which tests every batch of products for over 270 harmful and banned substances.

At $119.99 per canister, the price seems like a lot—however, you get plenty of bang for your buck with this 5-pound, 81-serving container, which equates to $1.48 per serving. 

Best for: People who enjoy fruit-flavored protein powders; those wanting to make protein smoothies; people who don’t need a large amount of protein. 

Although chocolate and vanilla are the most popular protein powder flavors, the Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Plant-Based Organic Protein Powder- Berry provides a tart and sweet combination that works great in smoothies.

Because let’s be real, mixing vanilla protein powder in a shaker bottle with water can get really old after a while. 

Although there is only 16g of protein per serving, the combination of organic fermented pea and hemp seed proteins provides a complete amino acid profile, including 6g of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). 

The addition of goji berries provides not only antioxidants and vitamins, but this berry is uniquely one of the only fruits to contain all of the essential amino acids. 

Lastly, coconut provides medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are thought to enhance post-workout muscle recovery and act as anti-inflammatory compounds. 

Best for: People wanting a high-satiety protein powder; those looking for support for weight loss or stress management. 

One of the best protein powders for weight loss is the Garden of Life Raw Organic Fit Vegan Protein Powder Vanilla

In addition to being higher in protein (28g), which increases satiety, this protein powder supports weight loss with the inclusion of raw Svetol—a clinically researched green coffee bean extract that acts as an antioxidant and encourages the body to metabolize sugar rather than store it as fat.

But that’s not all—the Garden of Life Fit protein powder also contains ashwagandha, an adaptogen to support stress management, probiotics and enzymes to promote digestion and gut health, and an organic antioxidant superfood blend of baobab fruit, cinnamon, daikon radish sprout, and alfalfa sprout.
However, all of those extra ingredients come at a price, making this one of the most expensive protein powders on this list at $2.31 per serving.

Best for: People who want to gain weight in a healthy way; those looking for a high-calorie protein powder; people who have trouble gaining muscle mass. 

Not everyone is looking to lose weight—some people want the opposite, and Naked Nutrition Naked Vegan Mass is the best protein powder for weight gain.

Although you can certainly gain weight by binging on burritos and bagels, a healthier way to gain weight is by building muscle. 

Naked Vegan Mass combines organic pea and brown rice protein with organic tapioca maltodextrin for a whopping 50g of protein and 1,230 calories per serving. 

If you don’t need quite that many calories in your post-workout shake, many people cut the 4-scoop serving in half, which can still support muscle growth and weight gain.

This is one of the best mass gainers as it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients or fillers, and it provides 252g of complex carbohydrates to support energy during and after exercise. 

The only downside is the cost ($5.90 per serving)—however, you’re certainly getting bang for your buck with the amount of calories, carbs, and protein in it.

FAQs About Protein Powder

Which Type of Protein Powder Is Best for Beginners?

If you tolerate dairy well, a simple whey protein like Hi-Health Udder Bliss Grass Fed Whey Protein is a great option. 

If you say no way to whey, then a plant-based protein powder like KOS Organic Plant Protein is your best bet.

Does It Matter What Protein Powder I Use?

The protein powder you use depends on your needs. 

For example, if you’re a vegan looking to lose weight, you could try Garden of Life Raw Organic Fit Vegan Protein Powder Vanilla.

If you’re a hardcore weightlifter and want to gain weight, you may look to Naked Nutrition Naked Vegan Mass

Overall, a good protein powder will be low in sugar, have at least 15g (ideally 20g or more) of protein per serving, and not contain fillers or artificial ingredients.

Which Brand of Protein Powder Is Best for Weight Gain?

Naked Nutrition Naked Vegan Mass is the best protein powder for weight gain.

Is It Better to Shake or Blend Protein Powder?

It depends on your preferences—both methods are great for consuming protein powder. 

Shaking is faster, but blending can incorporate the powder more, making it less gritty or chalky.

What Are the Side Effects of Taking Protein Powder?

The most common side effects of protein powder are gastrointestinal-related, including gas, bloating, diarrhea, or stomach cramps. 

These symptoms are most likely to occur if you consume too much protein powder—or too fast—or have an intolerance to one of the ingredients.

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