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It’s got all nine essential amino acids, absorbs fairly easily in the body, and comes from something we’re already using (milk)—whey is an easy win in the protein department.
Of course, this isn’t to say that all whey protein powders are the same, which is the point of this list of the 5 best whey protein powders on the market.
From sport-certified mainstays to high-fiber protein powders for weight loss, we’ve caught a diverse snapshot of the top whey protein powders on the market so you can stop clicking and choose a trusted leader in the industry.
We’ll start things off with our favorite: Hi-Health Udder Bliss.
|Best Overall||Whey Isolate||Best Value|
|Key Points||22 grams of protein per serving; 100% all-natural whey protein sourced from New Zealand; 6 grams of fiber per serving; digestive enzyme blend; cold-ultrafiltration preserves amino acids||25 grams of protein per serving; unflavored; NPA A-rated GMP certification; BCAAs; no artificial sweeteners; ingredients tested for safety and purity||25 grams of protein per serving; just one ingredient (whey protein); cold processing prevents denaturing; year-round grass-fed beef raised without hormones; Informed Choice certified|
Best Overall: Hi-Health Udder Bliss Grass Fed Whey Protein
- Whey from grass-fed cows
- No hormones, antibiotics, gluten, artificial sweeteners or flavors
- High protein concentration
- On the more expensive side
- Natural flavors
Best for: Anyone looking for all-natural, grass-fed whey protein.
Hi-Health makes a puntastic statement with their Udder Bliss Whey Protein, which uses 100% all-natural whey protein sourced from New Zealand.
The cows are pasture fed, and Udder Bliss is free of hormones, antibiotics, gluten, and the artificial stuff.
While Udder Bliss certainly isn’t the only grass-fed whey protein powder around, they do stand out with their cold-ultrafiltration technology, a manufacturing process that preserves the bonds within the protein’s structure for enhanced absorption.
Udder Bliss also contains a digestive enzyme blend (amylase, protease, and lactase) and the prebiotic fiber inulin, all of which bode well for digestion and other health benefits.
Each single-scoop provides 22 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and no added sugar. You can also get 15% of your calcium RDA (225 mg) to boot.
If you’re looking for a 100% all-natural, high-protein supplement, Hi-Health Udder Bliss is our top pick.
Best Whey Isolate: NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate
- Bulk order (5 lbs) reduces price
- High protein per serving
- NPA A-rated GMP certification (manufacturing)
- No digestive enzymes, fiber, or other enhancers
- No flavoring
Best for: Anyone looking for a simple, potent whey isolate made under leading manufacturing standards
Loaded with readily absorbable branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate offers a simple, competitively priced protein source that packs 25 grams into each serving.
While there are no digestive enzymes or probiotics included in this product, the BCAA content and the GMP-rated manufacturing (Good Manufacturing Practices) ensure this product is both well-made and easy to digest.
There are no artificial sweeteners, and the ingredients are tested for safety and purity.
Speaking of, there isn’t much to test in this case: just whey protein and sunflower lecithin.
Though some may not prefer an unflavored protein powder, this means zero added sugar, and the sodium content is the lowest we’ve seen (45 milligrams per serving).
NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate is an easy, affordable, and highly reliable option for people who just want to bump up their protein intake.
Best Value: Naked Whey Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder
- Competitively priced
- Year-round grass-fed beef with no hormones
- Zero artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives
- Informed Choice Trusted by Sport Approved
- No digestive enzymes or other enhancers
- No flavoring
Best for: Anyone looking for a highly affordable, clean, and simple protein supplement certified by Informed Choice
True to their name, Naked keeps it as simple as possible in the case of their Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder—the one ingredient is the whey protein itself.
Each serving of Naked Whey delivers 25 grams of protein, and cold processing prevents the amino acids, omega-3s, and other constituents from being denatured.
The cows from which this whey protein concentrate is derived roam freely in Northern California and Idaho dairy farms, in contrast to cows from colder climates that aren’t free roaming (or grass fed) all year round.
Importantly for athletes, Naked Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder is regularly tested and approved by Informed Choice, an organization that tests for banned substances.
Like the NOW protein isolate, the downside with this option is the lack of digestive enzymes and probiotics, but the upside to no flavoring is a complete lack of sweeteners and preservatives of any kind.
Whether you’re an athlete looking for the purest protein, a weekend warrior on a budget, or a fusion of both, Naked Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder is an easy win.
Best Complete Protein: Orgain Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder
- Complete amino acid profile
- BCAAs aid digestion
- Above average amount of protein (>20g)
- Contains stevia and natural flavors
Best for: Those looking for a tasty, additive-free, and affordable grass-fed whey protein powder.
Organic ingredients make a stronger than usual appearance in the case of this grass-fed whey protein powder, which also stands out in its complete amino acid profile.
While Orgain Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder doesn’t contain added sugars, it does have erythritol, stevia, and natural flavors.
The 5 grams of BCAAs per serving bode well for absorption, and there’s no soy, gluten, or preservatives.
Each serving provides 21 grams of protein, 2.1 mg of iron (10% DV), and 130 mg of calcium (10% DV), and the protein comes from grass-fed New Zealand cows.
As the second most affordable item on this list (and the most affordable in a flavored option), we highly recommend Orgain to anyone looking for an inexpensive complete protein supplement made with organic ingredients.
Best Protein + Fiber: Hi-Health Optim Metabolic Shake
- Significantly higher fiber content
- >20 grams protein per serving
- Most expensive option
- 5g added sugars per serving
Best for: Those looking to use protein (and fiber) supplements as a weight management aid.
Leaning into the weight loss aspect of protein with a much higher than average fiber content (considering the average is usually zero), Hi-Health Optim Metabolic Shake makes a solid case for its puffier price point.
Specifically, it’s the use of a plant-based dietary fiber blend, Fibersol®-2, that makes this supplement really stand out.
Thanks to this addition, each serving of Hi-Health Optim Metabolic shake contains 11 grams of fiber alongside the 22 grams of grass-fed whey protein (the same protein from their Udder Bliss product).
Protein is already a handy weight loss aid, but adding in almost half your daily value of fiber amplifies this effect, as fiber is shown to slow digestion and tame the body’s response to carbs.
This hormone- and antibiotic-free supplement does contain 5 grams of added sugar per serving, but if you can budget for it, the protein/fiber combination of Hi-Health Optim Metabolic Shake is hard to beat for anyone looking to trim up without losing too much muscle.
Whey Protein FAQs
How do I know if my whey protein is high quality?
There are several points you can check when determining whether or not a protein supplement contains high quality protein and other ingredients, including the following:
– Protein source (hormones? organic?)
– Amino acid profile
– Presence of BCAAs
– Artificial ingredients, sweeteners, etc.
Which whey protein is best for beginners?
As whey protein doesn’t have stimulating or intoxicating effects, any high-quality supplement like those listed above should be tolerable for beginners.
That said, a product with probiotics and/or digestive enzymes would be ideal for a beginner, as these will help to prevent any digestive discomfort that may result from a protein shake.
Do doctors recommend whey protein?
Each consultation is unique, as the patient’s needs and the product in question can affect whether or not a whey protein powder is deemed appropriate by your doctor.
If they see the need for a supplement, and the product contains zero artificial preservatives, sweeteners, etc., it’s likely a doctor would not discourage the use of a whey protein supplement.
On the other hand, some (fairly uncommon) medical issues can make protein supplementation a bad idea.
As always, nobody should take an inferior product made with artificial ingredients, high amounts of added sugar, and so on.
What to look for when buying whey protein?
The source of the protein, the amino acid profile (are all essential amino acids present?), and any added digestion enhancers—like probiotics, fiber, and digestive enzymes—are strong indicators of a high-quality whey protein product.
Additionally, grass-fed whey is widely considered to be preferable, and be sure to avoid artificial ingredients, preservatives, and added sugar in excessive amounts.
What protein powder is best for high cholesterol?
Generally, the best cholesterol-lowering proteins come directly from whole foods, like legumes, nuts, fish, and more.
In the case of supplements, however, researchers have found that the best hydrolyzed whey protein supplements can elicit a “significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol,” as this finding put it.