15 Best Protein Powders For Weight Loss And Muscle Gain In 2023

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Protein supplements are used to lose weight, gain muscle, strengthen ligaments and improve agility and overall strength, which is why athletes and those who prioritize their fitness consume higher amounts of proteins. If you’re someone who prioritizes their fitness and health, you must be looking for the best protein powder for weight loss and muscle gain.

Proteins are the body’s building blocks and a crucial source of energy. They are essential for healing cells, forming new ones, and strengthening muscles and ligaments.

Although several manufacturers offer protein powders, you must take the correct supplements to keep fit and healthy. We’ve compiled a list of the finest protein powders for muscle gain and weight loss. However, consult your doctor or a nutritionist before deciding on one to see if you need protein powders for weight reduction and one that is optimal for your body type.

Does Protein Help You Lose Weight?

Proteins are a crucial macronutrient and need to be taken as part of a balanced diet. Protein powders can accelerate metabolism, control your appetite, and help in losing fat and gain muscle. According to studies, rich protein diets can help bodyweight management compared with lower protein diets (1).

One study reports, “Short-term high-protein diet were accompanied by better weight loss and fat content reduction. A protein content difference of more than 5% led to three times more weight being lost (0.9 versus 0.3 kg) in 12 months (2).”

15 Best Protein Powders For Weight Loss and Muscle Gain

1. Best Easy-To-Mix:Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Price at the time of publication: $35.99

Optimum Nutrition 100% pure whey blend consists of 24 grams blended proteins, including whey peptides, whey protein isolate, and whey protein concentrate. The whey blend also consists of more than five grams of naturally occurring branched-chain amino acids or BCAA, which help build strong and lean muscles. The instant drink is easy to mix, and the brand claims to adhere to the highest quality control measures for safety. Take a look at this video to learn more about this protein powder.

Ingredients

  • Protein blend (whey protein isolates, whey protein concentrate, whey peptides)
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Lecithin
  • Salt
  • Acesulfame potassium

Pros

  • RBST-free
  • Supports recovery and endurance
  • Contains enzymes that helps digest
  • Contains ingredients that reduce gas

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors
  • Hard to maintain it’s form in damp climate
Did you know?
Whey protein is of three types–whey protein concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate–and all three whey protein types are by-products of cheese (7).

2. Best With Maltodextrin:Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder

Price at the time of publication: $19.99

Body Fortress super advanced whey protein powder contains creatine and crucial amino acids, which promise maximum results during pre-workout, intra-workout, and post-workout. The whey protein powder also offers maximum energy required by the body during training and builds lean muscles. The high-quality supplement is reasonably priced. This review video helps you know more about the product.

Ingredients

  • Super whey protein blend (whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate)
  • Maltodextrin
  • Soy lecithin
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Beet juice color

Pros

  • Stimulates fast recovery
  • Gluten-free
  • Contains Taurine
  • Absorbs quickly into the body

Cons

  • May not be suitable for people avoiding carbs
  • May not mix well

3. Best Raw Organic Protein Blend:Garden Of Life Meal Replacement

Price at the time of publication: $45.49

The chocolate-flavored organic protein powder can be used as a meal replacement. Each serving contains 20 grams of organic plant protein, 44 superfood extracts such as vegetables, fruits, organic grass juices, six grams of fiber, 21 minerals, and vitamins. The protein powder boosts energy, builds muscles, and has 1.5 billion CFU probiotics and enzymes that promote easy digestion. Check out this video to learn more.

Ingredients

  • Raw organic protein blend
  • Organic pea protein
  • Organic sprouted brown rice protein
  • Organic amaranth (sprout)
  • Organic buckwheat (sprout)
  • Hemicellulase, [Lactobacillus Plantarum, lactobacillus bulgaricus] 1.5 Billion CFU

Pros

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Formulated without soya or dairy ingredients
  • Has no added artificial flavors

Cons

  • May contain thickeners
  • May have a grainy texture
Quick tip
Mix one spoon of the powder with eight ounces of water. You can also replace water with almond milk or rice milk.

4. Best Dairy-Free:Orgain Organic Protein

Price at the time of publication: $28.99

The vanilla-flavored organic superfood is plant-based. The powder aids in weight loss, boosts antioxidants, muscle building, and recovery. The powder can be taken as a meal replacement drink, to make shakes and smoothies, or be had before or after workouts. The product contains 21 grams of plant protein, five grams of dietary fiber, and one gram of sugar, which adds up to about 50 superfoods per serve. The product is vegan, USDA organic-approved, dairy-free, lactose-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and formulated by doctors.

Ingredients

  • Orgain organic protein blend (pea protein, brown rice protein, chia seed)
  • Natural flavor, Orgain organic creamer base (acacia gum, high oleic sunflower oil, rice dextrin, rice bran extract, rosemary extract)
  • Erythritol, Orgain organic 50 superfoods blend (millet, ‘amaranth’ buckwheat, quinoa, chia, kale powder)
  • Apple pulp
  • Cinnamon

Pros

  • Soy-free
  • Has no artificial preservatives
  • Has a smooth and easy mixable consistency
  • Includes food-based vitamins

Cons

  • May not be suitable for people allergic to cinnamon
  • Some may find it sweeter than expected

5. Best Fast-Acting:Pure Protein Whey Protein Powder

Price at the time of publication: $25.99

When we push our body to its limits during workouts, we require a lot of energy to refuel it. Pure Protein powder is ideal for regaining energy as it contains high protein and low carbohydrates and sugar. On average, the drink provides two grams of sugar, nine grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of fats, and approximately 25 grams of proteins per serving. The fast-acting powder provides all the essential amino acids that the body requires.

Ingredients

  • Protein blend (ultrafiltered whey protein concentrate, microfiltered whey protein isolate)
  • Maltodextrin
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Cellulose gum
  • Soy lecithin

Pros

  • Strengthens muscle growth
  • No soy protein
  • Can be consumed post workout or in between meals
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • May not have digestive enzymes
  • Some may feel the taste is bitter
Caution
Do not take this protein powder if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Those under 18 years should also not consume this protein powder.

6. Best Strawberry-Flavored:Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder

Price at the time of publication: $19.96

The chocolate-flavored powder provides 32 grams of protein per serving. It is a combination of various protein forms, helping in muscle growth, recovery, and weight management. The powder is also a good source of vitamins A, C, D, leucine (essential amino acid), and fiber. Certified by the NSF, the powder provides instant energy and can be had for breakfast and pre and post workouts.

*NSF International is an American product testing, inspection, and certification organization. If a product gets NSF [Certified for Sport] certification, it means the product meets NSF’s quality and safety standards.

 Ingredients

  • Calcium sodium caseinate (milk)
  • Milk protein isolate
  • Non-dairy creamer (sunflower oil, maltodextrin)
  • Sodium caseinate (a milk derivative)
  • Mono and diglycerides,

Pros

  • Suitable for people with lactose intolerance
  • Caffeine-free
  • Suitable for on-the-go snacks
  • Offers great mixability

Cons

  • May not suit everyone
  • May not work for people trying to get lean

7. Best For Sunflower Creamer:Dymatize Super Mass Gainer Protein Powder

Price at the time of publication: $38.44

Made with the highest quality ingredients, the super mass gainer contains proteins, calories, vitamins, minerals, and BCAA that assist in muscle gain and building strength. The casein and whey protein present in the powder provides continuous energy to your body. The BCAA activates muscle protein synthesis, while creatine provides endurance and strength. Glutamine, vitamins, and minerals help in speedy muscle recovery.

Ingredients

  • Maltodextrin
  • Protein Blend (whey protein concentrate, milk protein isolate, Whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, micellar casein)
  • Sunflower creamer (sunflower oil, sodium caseinate, mono and diglycerides, natural tocopherols, and tricalcium phosphate)
  • Fructose

Pros

  • Supports muscle tissue
  • Provides balanced nutrition
  • Digestion becomes easy
  • Offers great mixability

Cons

  • May feel difficult to consume when mixed with water
  • Scoop size may seem big

8. Best Vitamic C:MuscleTech Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Price at the time of publication: $36.13

MuscleTech protein powder contains key ingredient C. canephora robusta, which is vital in aiding weight loss. Each scoop of MuscleTech protein powder contains 30 grams of hydrolyzed whey protein, whey protein isolate, 170 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of fat, and 6.6 grams BCAA. The powder does not contain extra carbohydrates and sugars, is easy to mix, and comes in two flavors.

Ingredients

  • Isolate and protein-peptide blend
  • Protein
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Sodium

Pros

  • Suitable for men and women
  • Strengthens the muscle
  • Prevents bloating
  • Blends well with water, milk, or skimmed milk

Cons

  • Has no scoop inside
  • May get foamy

9. Best Cold-Processed: Naked Whey Protein Powder

4.2
Naked Whey Protein Powder Image: Naked Whey
Price at the time of publication: $94.99

The Naked protein powder is a cold-processed whey protein formula that doesn’t contain artificial colors, additives, and flavors. It goes well with pre-workout shakes, fruits, and smoothies. Naked protein powder is a good source of amino acids, glutathione, and clean proteins and helps stimulate growth and improves recovery. It can be used for 15 servings.

Ingredients

  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Milk

Pros

  • GMO-free
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows
  • Made of soy- and gluten-free ingredients
  • Ensures zero contamination

Cons

  • May cause bloating in some
  • May form clumps

10. Best Carb-Friendly: GNC Total Lean | Lean Shake 25

4.2
Price at the time of publication: $34.99

If you want to improve your weight management journey with a shake low in carbs, the GNC Total Lean Shake 25 is clinically proven to help with weight loss and BMI and contains over 20 essential vitamins and minerals. With 25g of protein per serving and only 2g of sugar, it’s the perfect snack to keep you feeling fuller for longer. And at only 170 calories, it won’t set you back on your fitness goals.

Ingredients

  • Milk Protein Concentrate
  • Milk Protein Isolate
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Vitamin and Mineral blend

Pros

  • Free of gluten and lactose
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Mixes easily with water or milk
  • Available in various flavors

Cons

  • May contain soy and wheat ingredients
  • Some users may find the taste slightly sweet

11. Best For Intense Strength:Crazy Muscle Creatine Pills

Price at the time of publication: $29.86

The creatine pills are a unique blend of three creatines: monohydrate, alpha-ketoglutarate, and pyruvate, which maximize protein absorption. These capsules help accelerate muscle growth and restore worn muscles. Creatine aids in three ways: it boosts the formation of proteins to create new muscles, speeds up the growth of new muscles, and aids an immense strength output.

Ingredients

  • Creatine monohydrate powder
  • Creatine alpha-ketoglutarate
  • Creatine pyruvate
  • Vegetable stearic acid
  • Vegetable magnesium stearate

12. Best GMO-Free:Designer Whey Protein Powder

Price at the time of publication: $19.98

Made from premium quality whey protein, the powder is rich in calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and electrolytes that are ideal for post-workout recovery. The powder provides a daily requirement of 20 grams of natural proteins, 110 calories, probiotic, and no added sugars per serving.

The BCAA-rich protein with L-Leucine, L-Glutamine, Taurine & L-Phenylalanine, and digestive enzymes helps in protein absorption and promotes optimal performance. The powder, made from natural ingredients, is GMO-free and does not contain artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, and preservatives. It is made in the USA and is gluten-free and Kosher.

Ingredients

  • Designer whey full spectrum peptides (GMO-free & rBGH-free)
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • GMO-free & rBGH-free whey protein isolate
  • L-glutamine
  • L-leucine

Pros

  • Supports gut health
  • No antibiotics
  • Has great blending power
  • Can be consumed any time of the day

Cons

  • May have a medicinal taste
  • May have a granule-like texture

13. Best For Advanced Recovery: NutraBio Classic Whey Protein Powder

4.4
NutraBio Classic Whey Protein Powder Image: Nutrabio
Price at the time of publication: $39.99

NutraBio Classic Whey protein powder concentrate is 80% pure and cold-processed to ensure it is non-denatured, meaning it retains all vital nutrients. Classic Whey is rich in BCAAs and provides a complete spectrum of essential, non-essential, and conditionally essential amino acids that your body needs for optimum nitrogen retention, protein synthesis, and lean muscle growth. Every ingredient is listed, so you know what you’re putting into your body.

Ingredients

  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Natural flavor
  • Natural cocoa powder
  • Sucralose
  • Xanthan gum

Pros

  • High-quality ingredients
  • GMO-free
  • Gluten- and soy-free
  • No added sugar

Cons

  • Protein powder can be clumpy if not mixed properly
  • Some people may not like the taste

14. Best For Fat Burning:BSN Isoburn Lean Whey Protein Powder

Price at the time of publication: $39.99

The whey protein powder helps in burning fat while building lean muscle. Each scoop provides 20 grams of whey protein isolate that helps you build and maintain lean muscles, and 250mg of L-Carnitine enhances fat burning. BSN Isoburn also contains 300mg Lepticore and 300mg Green Coffee Extract. The protein powder provides 120 calories per serving, six grams of carbohydrates, two grams of sugar, and two grams of fat to support your weight management goals.

Ingredients

  • Whey protein isolate
  • Sunflower powder (sunflower oil, corn syrup solids, sodium caseinate, mono and diglycerides, dipotassium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, soy lecithin, and tocopherols)
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Cellulose gum
  • MCT powder (medium-chain triglycerides, nonfat dry milk, disodium phosphate, and silicon dioxide)

Pros

  • Non-caffeinated formula
  • Can be consumed anytime
  • Delicious taste
  • Available in different flavors

Cons

  • May not be suitable for people with lactose intolerance
  • Granule-like texture may take time to dissolve

15. Best Natural Flavors:Her Natural Whey Protein Powder

Price at the time of publication: $47.95

Her natural whey protein powder for women is a unique and effective combination of pure whey protein isolate, pure undenatured whey protein concentrate, whey peptides, and skim milk powder. The natural product also contains superior quality proteins obtained from grass-fed cows and free of recombinant bovine growth hormone or rBGH.

The natural and wholesome ingredients do not have artificial sweeteners. Each serving comprises 20 grams of protein, three grams of carbohydrate, two grams of fat, and 110 calories that help build lean muscle tissues, fat burning.

Ingredients

  • Microfiltered whey protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Whey peptides
  • Skim milk
  • Natural flavors

Pros

  • Gluten-free
  • GMP-certified
  • Ideal as pre- and post-workout powder
  • No chalky texture
  • Helps uplift mood

Cons

  • May leave residue at the bottom of the cup
  • May feel clumpy when mixed with water

Disclaimer: The information given in the section has been taken from manufacturers’ sources. MomJunction is not responsible for any of the claims made here. We recommend readers’ discretion.

How To Choose The Right Protein Powders For Weight Loss And Muscle Gain?

Our body requires proteins, which act as an energy source. Proteins boost metabolism, reduce the calories you consume, and help you lose weight. When digested, proteins are broken down into amino acids (AA) and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), which help repair and maintain your body tissues, burn fat and maintain lean muscles.

As it is difficult to get the daily dosage of required proteins from only natural derivatives, we may need to take in proteins in various other forms. While taking protein supplements, you must consider several factors like serving calories, fat, and carbohydrate content. Before you choose a protein supplement:

  1. Consult a medical doctor or a nutritionist
  2. Check the ingredients in the supplement. There is a multitude of protein supplements in the market. A doctor or a dietician can suggest choosing protein supplements with whey, whey isolate, whey hydrolysate, casein, soy, and egg.
  3. Consider your allergies and avoid protein supplements with ingredients that may trigger or flare up your allergies.

Different protein supplements give different results. Some powders are low on calories and help us lose weight, while products help you build muscle mass by providing high protein and calories. Protein powders come in different flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, etc.

Jenni Hackworth, a nutritionist and RYT200, states, “You should consider your dietary preferences and ensure it is gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, sugar-free, or free of flavors or artificial sweeteners when buying a protein supplement.” She adds, “Pick a supplement as per your doctor’s advice and consume it as directed in the recommended quantities. Excess consumption of protein supplements may have long-term side-effects and could lead to weight gain.”

Why Trust MomJunction?

Vibha Navarathna, our in-house writer and reviewer of health and nutrition products, has compiled this list of the best protein powders for weight loss and muscle gain after going through numerous product listings and user reviews. She has also added a detailed buying guide, a section on how protein is essential to our diet, and some pointers regarding choosing the right product. These protein powders are safe for consumption and will help you meet your fitness goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is protein good for weight loss and muscle gain?

Consuming protein can help with fat mass loss, weight loss, and preservation of lean muscle (3). Proteins take longer to digest, so they can keep you satiated and help you avoid snacks.

2. Which protein supplement is best for belly fat loss?

Increasing your protein intake may help you shed fat. Tofu, eggs, legumes, meat, and nuts are some good protein sources (4).

3. How much protein should I have in a day to lose weight?

The amount of protein needed for the body may differ for each individual. On average, you may require 50 grams of protein per day if you consume 2,000 calories daily. Athletes or vigorous exercisers should consume one to 1.5 grams per pound of their goal weight (5).

4. Does protein burn fat without exercise?

Yes, to some extent. Your body burns calories while the food is being digested. So when you eat protein or protein-based food, you burn more calories and help burn fat (5).

5. What happens if I eat too much protein?

Your body cannot store the additional protein you consume. Once it meets its need, it stores the additional protein as fat. Excessive protein consumption may pose a risk to the kidneys and also lead to elevated blood lipids and heart problems (6).

6. Can I gain muscle without protein powder?

Yes, you can gain muscle without protein powder if you get the right amount of protein required for your body from your diet.

7. How many protein shakes should I drink a day?

This depends on how active you are during the day. An individual who does workouts and goes to the gym may need one to two protein shakes, while athletes and heavy exercisers may need three to four protein shakes.

Protein supplements have become an essential part of the fitness journey. It is essential to consume the best protein for weight loss and muscle gain when trying to stay fit. Best results are obtained if the right protein is consumed in the required quantities with the right workout regimen. You may also seek expert advice to incorporate protein supplements into your balanced diet to induce weight loss and muscle building. Avoid taking protein supplements in excess quantities since it can impact your health. Con

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275667598_The_role_of_protein_in_weight_loss_and_maintenance
  2. The PROMOTE study (High-protein and resistance-training combination in overweight and obesity) for short-term weight loss and long-term weight maintenance for Chinese people: a protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial
    https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-019-3954-7
  3. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25926512/
  4. A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944/
  5. 4 Ways Protein Can Help You Shed Pounds
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-much-protein-to-eat-to-lose-weight/
  6. Are you getting too much protein?
    https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/are-you-getting-too-much-protein
  7. Comparative Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Concentrated Hydrolyzed and Isolated Whey Protein Supplementation on Body Composition of Physical Activity Practitioners
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6769754/

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