The 7 Best Protein Powders for Men, According to a Dietitian

These versatile protein powders are packed with nutrients for muscle growth

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Our Top Picks
"The USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified protein is sweetened with stevia and is free of added sugars."
"Each serving contains 25 grams of whey protein and 5.9 grams of BCAAs."
"Legion only uses protein from 100 percent grass-fed cows."
"Sunwarrior Protein Powder features a mix of three proteins: fermented pea, goji berry, and hemp."
"One serving of this organic, plant-based protein contains 26 grams of protein and 20 percent of the daily recommended intake of fiber."
"Gluten-free, certified organic, and non-GMO, this powder is also free of Stevia."
"Combines high-quality, grass-fed whey protein with natural vanilla and organic coconut sugar."

If you’re hitting the gym regularly, you might be looking for a way to sneak more protein into your day. Although protein powder supplements are a quick and easy way to fuel-up pre and post-workout, they aren’t “needed” for muscle building. In general, a protein-rich meal consumed three to four hours before or after a workout will suffice. However, if you’re trying to pack on a significant amount of muscle, you may require more protein. In that case, consider supplementing with a high-quality protein.

Evidence suggests that protein supplementation may boost performance and recovery in resistance and endurance training. A recent study showed that resistance-trained men had improved power and strength after consuming a protein drink post-workout when compared with a carbohydrate-filled beverage. There are a wide variety of protein powders available on the market, depending on your taste preferences and individual lifestyle considerations.

Here, the best protein powders for men:

Best Overall: Garden of Life Certified Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder Vanilla

Garden of Life's Certified Organic Whey Protein takes the top spot among protein powders for men because of its high-quality, pasture-raised, grass-fed protein. With 21 grams of easy-to-digest protein in each serving, the creamy vanilla flavor adds a delicious taste and a protein boost to your post-workout beverage.

The USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified protein is sweetened with stevia and is free of added sugars. Each serving contains 4.7 grams of branched-chain amino acids to help you refuel and repair muscles post-workout. The Certified Gluten-Free product contains 130 calories per serving with only 7 grams of carbohydrates. It's also good for the digestive system, as each serving contributes 2 billion CFU probiotics from Bifidobacterium lactis.

Best Budget: NAKED Nutrition Naked Whey

There’s a good reason Naked Whey is our pick for the best budget protein powder: it’s 100 percent grass-fed pure whey protein with zero additives and comes with an affordable price tag. Additionally, t’s free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors. Plus, it’s free of GMOs, growth hormones, and gluten.

Each serving contains 25 grams of whey protein and 5.9 grams of BCAAs. Naked Whey goes through Informed Choice testing, a quality assurance program for sports nutrition products, suppliers to the sports nutrition industry, and supplement manufacturing facilities. Naked Whey also claims not to use acid or bleach in their processing. 

Best Low Calorie: LEGION Athletics Whey+ Protein Powder

It’s not just the low calorie count that makes Legion’s Whey + Whey Isolate Protein one of the best low-calorie protein powders for men. It’s also where the protein comes from—Legion only uses protein from 100 percent grass-fed cows. Plus, it’s high in protein, gluten-free, and low in carbohydrates, which makes this a great protein powder for anyone following a keto-style diet.

Using Legion’s protein powder after a workout can help to build and preserve lean body mass. The natural vanilla flavor mixes easily with your favorite liquid, and it's sweetened with stevia.

Best Vegan: Sunwarrior Warrior Blend

When vegan protein powders use a combination of plant protein sources, the overall nutritive value increases because each plant has its own unique nutrient profile. Sunwarrior Protein Powder features a mix of three proteins: fermented pea, goji berry, and hemp. Pea protein is known for its high branch chain amino acid (BCAA) profile, goji berries are full of antioxidants, and hemp seeds supply a nice dose of the brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

Sunwarrior's Warrior Blend powder is USDA Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free. The low-carb, high-protein vegan powder is perfect for men who avoid animal products, as well as those looking to add more plant-based proteins to their diet.

Best for Men Over 50: Sprout Living Epic Protein Powder Original Flavor

Preserving the integrity of musculature by consuming adequate protein throughout life is critical for maintaining movement while we age. Adequate fiber intake is also important for maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal system as well as aiding in satiety.

One serving of this organic, plant-based protein powder contains 26 grams of protein and 20 percent of the daily recommended intake of fiber. Sprout Living’s Epic Protein powder also contains cranberry seed, which adds a nutrition boost by providing antioxidants and polyphenols to support cognition, mood, and a healthy urinary tract. 

Best Organic: Nutiva Organic Plant Protein Powder

Combining organic pea, pumpkin, hemp, and sunflower proteins, Nutiva’s Plant Protein Superfood is an excellent complete plant-based protein source. Gluten-free, certified organic, and non-GMO, this powder is also free of Stevia.

For a bonus, Nutiva includes digestive enzymes such as papain and bromelain from papaya and pineapple, which helps ease digestion. Plus, unlike many other protein powders, Nutiva also contains fiber. Diets high in fiber have been associated with lowering cholesterol levels, preventing and treating constipation, and even reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. 

Best-Tasting: NAKED Nutrition Less Naked Whey

It can be challenging to find a great-tasting—and palatable—protein powder that is free of artificial flavors and sweeteners. NAKED Nutrition's Less Naked Whey Protein Powder combines their high-quality, grass-fed whey protein with natural vanilla and organic coconut sugar to create a simple and delicious supplement.

Each serving contains 25 grams of protein and 5.9 grams of BCAAs. The rBGH and rBST-free protein is also Non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free. It's cold-processed to retain the integrity of the protein and uses acid and bleach-free processing.

Final Verdict

For a high-quality, great-tasting whey protein powder for men, try Garden of Life's Organic Grassfed Whey Protein (view at Amazon). If you prefer a plant-based protein, consider Sunwarrior Warrior Blend (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in a Protein Powder for Men

Goals:

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a protein powder is your goals. Some powders are low in calories and designed to help you lose weight, while others aim to build muscle mass by providing a higher amount of protein and calories per serving. Make sure the one you choose is in line with your goals, or you could end up sabotaging your efforts.

Flavor:

Protein powders come in a wide range of flavors, from basic chocolate and vanilla to mocha and even birthday cake. Depending on the ingredients, some may taste more chalky or artificial than others. Note that we generally recommend unflavored or naturally-flavored products, as we do not recommend dietary supplements with artificial flavors. If you want to boost the flavor of your protein powder, consider mixing the protein powder into a smoothie packed with tasty ingredients like frozen banana, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and almond milk.

Dietary Restrictions:

When choosing a protein powder, you want to consider any dietary restrictions or food sensitivities you may have. There are protein powders to accommodate most diets, including dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan options, as well as those that have no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. If you have any questions about adding a protein powder to your diet, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you determine if a protein supplement is right for you. 

FAQs

Should I avoid protein powders that contain soy?

According to the National Institutes of Health, soy is considered a safe food to consume as part of a balanced diet for individuals that do not have a soy allergy. Soy is considered a quality plant-based protein in that it contains all nine essential amino acids our body requires, which are needed for protein muscle synthesis. Soy may also reduce LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, especially when replacing red meat in the diet.

Soy contains phytoestrogens that have a molecular structure similar to that of estrogen, which has raised concerns about the safety of soy consumption, particularly for men. High intakes of phytoestrogen compounds may result in higher estrogenic activity, but the overall effects that activity has on the human body are inconclusive in current research.

Which protein powder is best for men over 50?

As we get older, our muscle mass begins to breakdown, so it is important for aging populations to get adequate protein in their diet. Protein supplementation may help to ensure individuals are meeting their protein needs. 

We recommend Sprout Living Epic Protein Powder Original Flavor for men over 50. One serving of this organic, plant-based protein powder contains 26 grams of protein and 20 percent of the daily recommended intake of fiber. It also contains cranberry seed, which adds a nutrition boost by providing antioxidants and polyphenols to support cognition, mood, and a healthy urinary tract.

What Experts Say

“Although many Americans meet their protein needs over the course of the day, many men can benefit from adding protein powder to their diet to assist with muscle repair post-workout and to provide satiety throughout the day.”—Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a Registered Dietitian, Sydney Greene takes supplement recommendations seriously. Every product has been researched and vetted against clinical research, product reviews, and third-party testing websites. These are products she would not only feel comfortable recommending to her clients, but she would take them herself if needed.

Anne Cook Carroll, MS, RD, contributed to the FAQs.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. West DWD, Abou Sawan S, Mazzulla M, Williamson E, Moore DR. Whey protein supplementation enhances whole body protein metabolism and performance recovery after resistance exercise: a double-blind crossover studyNutrients. 2017;9(7). doi:10.3390/nu9070735.

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  4. National Institutes of Health. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Soy. Updated December 2020.

  5. Haun CT, Mobley CB, Vann CG, et al. Soy protein supplementation is not androgenic or estrogenic in college-aged men when combined with resistance exercise trainingSci Rep. 2018;8(1):11151. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29591-4

  6. Messina M. Soy and health update: evaluation of the clinical and epidemiologic literatureNutrients. 2016;8(12):754. doi:10.3390/nu8120754

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