If your teen is starting to show interest in muscle building and workouts, we have made a list of the best protein powders for teens to help you choose the right one. These protein powders will ensure your child can build their body without facing any side effects. They provide optimal nourishment to meet the daily protein intake and are safe. However, choosing the right product may be challenging with various available options. So, go through the options below to find one that suits your teen’s needs.
Our Top Picks
10 Best Protein Powders For Teens
1. Best Grain-Free: JYM Supplement Science Protein Powder
If you like your protein supplement to have a good taste and texture, the JYM Supplement protein powder has to be your pick. Consumable with water, milk, and almond milk, this versatile grain-free protein powder is a combination of 50% casein, 40% whey, and 10% egg protein. It promotes natural strength, enhances endurance and recovery, and boosts energy.
- Supports lean muscle growth
- Can be used before and after workouts
- Enhances muscle protein synthesis
- Does not include a scooper
- May take a lot of time to mix with the choice of liquid
2. Best For Lean Muscle Mass: Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein
The protein powder for teens from Optimum Nutrition is a good option for maintaining and increasing lean muscle mass. You can mix the powder easily to get the goodness of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).
- Can be used as a pre- or post-workout drink
- BCAAs support endurance and recovery
- Rich in glutamine peptides
- Available in multiple sizes and flavors
- Some may find the taste to be too sweet
- Contains soy and dairy
3. Best Dairy-Free: PlantFusion Complete Plant Based Protein Powder
The protein powder helps in muscle mass growth. It is entirely plant-based and offers 21g of protein per serving with a low-calorie count. Check out this video to learn more about this protein powder.
- No added sugar
- Suitable for sensitive stomachs
- Apt for those prone to milk and animal-based protein allergies
- Adheres to US FDA guidelines
- May have a stevia aftertaste
- May not have proper consistency
4. Best Soy-Free: BSN Syntha-6 Protein Powder
The protein powder by BSN does not contain any soy protein. Loaded with amino acids, it aids in muscle recovery in your teen. Watch this video to know more about this protein powder
- Rich in fiber
- Promotes muscle protein synthesis
- Available in multiple flavors and sizes
- Easy to blend
- May not be dairy-free
- May have artificial flavors
5. Best Chocolate-Flavored: Pure Protein Powder
Amino acids are a crucial component of protein powders, and this chocolate-flavored protein powder helps ensure you’re consuming enough amino acids. It offers two grams of sugar and 25 grams of protein per serving. This 100% whey protein powder supports lean muscle growth. Use the versatile protein supplement as a pre- or post-workout drink, or take it between meals.
- Enhances vitality and strength
- Low-sugar formula
- Contains no soy protein
- May not dissolve easily
- May have a lingering aftertaste
6. Best Non-GMO: Nutricost Whey Protein Isolate Powder
The powder has been manufactured at an FDA-approved facility and has undergone third-party testing. Have a look at this video to understand how this protein powder works
- Non-GMO product does not contain any gluten
- Contains 30g of protein per serving
- Does not contain added sugars
- Blendable with other beverages
- May be slightly lumpy
- Flavor might be a bit intense for some
7. Best Ultra-Microfiltered : GNC PP 100% Whey Protein Powder
The whey protein powder from GNC helps support your teen’s muscle recovery and growth. It is rich in ultra-microfiltered whey protein and has low carb content.
- Rich in nine essential amino acids
- Supports healthy metabolism
- Helps maintain adequate nitrogen levels
- Provides anabolic building blocks
- May be slightly lumpy when mixed
- Some may not like the taste
8. Best Plant-Based: Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein & Greens
This protein powder from Garden of Life is formulated with plant-based ingredients including spinach, kale, broccoli, and alfalfa grass.
- Gluten, soy, and dairy-free
- Helps repair and build healthy muscles and contributes to healthy digestion
- Contains CFU probiotics and non-GMO enzymes for easy digestion
- Free of sugar
- Some may not like the slightly intense flavor
- May be slightly chalky
9. Best For Muscle Recovery: MusclePharm Combat Powder Advanced Time Release Protein
The protein powder from MusclePharm can be combined with other supplements. It helps increase physical performance and improves muscle recovery and muscle strength.
- Contains a blend of five specific proteins
- Includes BCAAs to support muscle recovery
- Good option for athletes
- May require more effort while mixing
- May be slightly frothy
10. Best Low-Fat: Dymatize ISO 100 Hydrolized Whey Protein Powder
A protein powder with low-fat content, can provide up to 50% daily protein allowance for the teen with 25 grams of protein per serving. If you are looking to satiate your chocolate cravings and meet your protein requirements simultaneously, then this protein powder can be your safest bet.
- Less fat and sugar content
- Easy to digest
- Available in 12 flavors
- Gluten- and lactose-free
- May be sweeter than expected
- May be slightly foamy
How To Choose The Right Protein Powder For Teens?
Consider the following factors when choosing a protein powder for teens.
- Biological value: This value is determined by how easy it is for the body to absorb the protein. The higher the value, the better it is for muscle growth. Look for proteins such as whey and whey isolates, which tend to have a higher biological value.
- Less or no sugar: If you’re trying to lose weight instead of build mass, opt for shakes and powders that don’t contain added sugars or dextrins and branched-chain amino acids, as they result in weight gain.
- Vegetarian or vegan: You will find many non-milk-based protein powders out there today for all vegetarian and vegan drinkers. They are made of plant-based proteins such as soy or peas.
Jenni Hackworth, Nutritionist, Sports Nutritionist, CPT, RYT200, a Colorado-based fitness expert says, “Always check with your teen’s physician before starting any supplement. You and your teen should discuss with the doctor what they’re hoping to gain by adding a protein powder to their diet. Together you can decide which supplement is best for the gains you want to see.”
Why Trust MomJunction?
Vibha Navarathna, the author of this article, has created this list of the best protein powders for teenagers after scouring hundreds of websites and user reviews. Keeping in mind your child’s safety, these products are shortlisted after in-depth research and product comparisons. Vibha has included those products that are formulated with high-quality ingredients and included a buying guide for your convenience. You can find the necessary information about these products here and choose one that would meet your teenager’s needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the timing of protein intake important?
Yes, protein should be consumed in small amounts throughout the day. If your teen is an athlete, ensure they consume it within 30 minutes of any strenuous physical activity. You can also prepare pre- and post-exercise snacks to ensure they get enough protein (1).
2. Who might benefit from protein supplements?
Teenagers who are underweight or have some medical condition may require protein supplements. Similarly, a teenager who is a vegan or vegetarian also needs a protein supplement. However, they must consume the supplements only after consulting a healthcare professional (1).
3. Can I give protein drinks to my teen when they are ill?
One should consult a doctor before taking any protein supplement. Your child’s doctor may recommend consuming protein drinks or taking protein supplements to speed up recovery in some cases.
4. How much protein does a teenager need?
On average, boys need 52 grams, and girls need 46 grams of protein daily (3). However, the requirements may vary based on a child’s height, weight, and the activities they take part in.
5. Can protein powder make my child taller?
Protein powders are just supplements. They boost energy and keep you active. When taken with other micronutrient supplements, these powders may influence a child’s height, but one shouldn’t expect drastic results (4).
It’s challenging for caregivers to ensure their growing teen gets all the required protein and nutrition to become healthy, thriving adults. But thanks to the best protein powders for teens, they can confidently meet the protein requirements of their child. Studies show that children have improved muscle development, increased brain capacity, and weight control with the right amount of protein intake. But before choosing the ideal one, ensure the flavor is palatable for the child and the powder has no side effects.
- Protein Powders and Teens: Are They Safe? Are They Necessary?
- Teens and Protein: How Much Do You Need?
- Age-related differences in height gain with dairy protein and micronutrient supplements in Indian primary school children
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