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
"Using both watermelon seeds and collagen, this powder provides 26 grams of protein."
"Optimum Nutrition also states that they perform daily quality assurance inspections to maintain their NSF certification."
"Legion only uses protein from 100% grass-fed cows."
"Naked Whey also claims not to use acid or bleach in their processing."
"Pea protein is known for its high BCAA profile plus goji berries are full of antioxidants."
"One serving of this organic, plant-based protein contains 26 grams of protein and 20% of the daily recommended intake of fiber."
"Gluten-free, certified organic, and non-GMO, this powder is also free of Stevia."

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 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 trying one of our top picks for the best protein powders for men. 

Best Overall: Vital Proteins Sport Greens

Vital Proteins Sport Greens makes its way as the best overall powder for its unique protein combination. Using both watermelon seeds and collagen, this powder provides 26 grams of protein, 44% of the recommended daily intake for magnesium, and 33% of the recommended daily intake of iron. With only four grams of net carbohydrates and six grams of a superfood blend consisting of greens, berries, and root vegetables, this powder can stand alone in water or milk as a post-workout snack. But if you’re in the mood for a heartier meal, you can add it to fruit and yogurt smoothie or your favorite bowl of oats.  

Best Budget: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard is packed with 24 grams of whey protein and four grams of glutamine and glutamic acid, which is essential for immune function and optimal intestinal lining functionality. It also contains 5.5 grams of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), which are a group of three essential amino acids, including leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Optimum Nutrition also states that they perform daily quality assurance inspections to ensure Good Manufacturing Practices and maintains their NSF certification for sport. This means products are held to the highest industry standards as MLB, NHL and CFL clubs are only permitted to recommend products with an NSF certification.

Best Low-Calorie: LEGION Athletics Whey+ Protein Powder

It’s not just the low calories that make 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% 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. 

Best Whey: NAKED nutrition Naked Whey

There’s a good reason Naked Whey is our pick for the best whey protein powder: It’s 100% grass-fed pure whey protein with zero additives. In other words, it’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 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 fermented pea, goji berry, and hemp protein. 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. This protein powder is also organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free. 

Best for Men Over 50: Sprout Living Epic Protien Powder

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% 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, Nutiva’s Plant Protein Superfood is an excellent complete source of plant-based protein. 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 has 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. 

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 assist with building 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.

Dietary restrictions: When choosing a protein powder, you want to take into account 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 dietician. They can help you determine if a protein supplement is right for you. 

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, Daily Harvest nutritionist

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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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