The 8 Best-Tasting Protein Powders of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Find a protein powder that meets your flavor preferences and lifestyle needs

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Protein Powders

Verywell Fit / Chloe Jeong

Our Top Picks
Neutral vanilla flavor provides a hint of sweetness but doesn’t overpower the beverage it’s mixed into.
Delicious vanilla taste and strong nutritional profile.
Blends well in hot or cold beverages to create an indulgent vanilla drink with a hint of coconut.
Best Chocolate Plant-Based:
Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Chocolate at Amazon
Cocoa, chocolate flavor, stevia extract, and ground coconut create a sweet, nutty, and chocolatey flavor.
Made using Fair Trade Certified cacao beans.
A clean and simple brown rice protein powder with no added flavor.
Provides 18 grams of grass-fed, pasture-raised, bovine collagen protein that is almost 100 percent tasteless.
High-quality, pasture-raised, grass-fed protein with 21 grams of easy-to-digest protein in each serving.

Whether you're looking to increase your protein intake or supplement your workouts, protein powder is a convenient way to add protein to your diet. However, some protein powders are chalky, overly sweet, artificial-tasting, or just plain gross. Because taste perception and flavor preference are so individual, you might need to taste a few to find what works best for you.

Protein powder may be your secret weapon for optimal recovery after tough workouts. Evidence shows that protein supplementation may improve performance and recovery after resistance and endurance training. Selecting a great-tasting protein powder can make increasing your protein intake more enjoyable, especially if you're making a protein shake regularly.

Here, the best tasting protein powders for all of your dietary needs:

Best Overall: Sprout Living Epic Protein Powder Original Flavor

If you’re looking for a slightly sweet protein powder that tastes great mixed with almond milk or in your favorite smoothie, Sprout Living’s Epic Protein Vanilla Lucuma is the top choice. The neutral vanilla flavor provides a hint of sweetness but doesn’t overpower the beverage it’s mixed into. Plus, the paleo-friendly (gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free) plant-based protein powder checks all the nutrition boxes. Epic Protein’s proprietary protein blend is made from yellow pea and a mix of sunflower, pumpkin, sacha inchi, and cranberry seeds. Each 2-scoop serving provides 19 grams of plant-based protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber.

Lucuma, a fruit native to Peru, is used to sweeten the protein. While there is limited research on the health benefits of the fruit, some research published in 2011 suggests that lucuma may have some health benefits.

What Our Editors Say

"I tend to prefer vanilla flavored protein powders because they blend well with my favorite fruit smoothies. So many protein powders can be chalky or impart an aftertaste on whatever they're mixed into, but I particularly love that this protein powder complements the flavor of the fruits and vegetables in my smoothies without overpowering them." Ashleigh Morley, Editorial Director of Verywell Health Commerce  

Best Vanilla Plant-Based: Garden of Life Raw Organic Vanilla Protein Powder

There are many great tasting vanilla, plant-based proteins on the market, but Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Protein takes the top pick in this category because of its delicious vanilla taste and strong nutritional profile. Many vanilla powders taste overly sweet, artificial, or chalky; however, this powder blends well and has a subtle vanilla flavor.

Made up of a unique blend of 15 plant-based legumes, grains, and seeds, Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Protein is a high-protein, soy-free powder. A key protein source is pea protein, which is known as a high-quality, easily digested, plant-based protein. Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Protein is also gluten-free and kosher. The powder is also easy on digestion, as it contains three billion CFU probiotics from lactobacillus and digestive enzymes such as bromelain, papain, and protease.

Best Vanilla Whey: Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel Vanilla Coconut Whey Protein Powder

Primal Kitchen’s Primal Fuel Vanilla Coconut flavor contains 10 grams of whey protein isolate per scoop and blends well in hot or cold beverages to create an indulgent vanilla drink with a hint of coconut. Note that the product does contain coconut, but it is free of soy and gluten. It is also free of fillers, artificial ingredients, and preservatives.

Primal Fuel also contains beneficial ingredients including medium-chain triglycerides. The 4 grams of coconut milk fat per serving provides satiating medium-chain triglycerides that are converted into quick energy for the body or used as an alternate source of energy for the brain. Each scoop also contains 1 gram of dietary fiber, prebiotics from inulin, and 2,238 milligrams of essential amino acids including leucine, isoleucine and valine.

Best Chocolate Plant-Based: Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Chocolate

The USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Chocolate takes the top pick for plant-based chocolate protein with 19 grams of protein per scoop and a creamy chocolate taste. Sunwarrior uses organic flavorings, including cocoa, chocolate flavor, stevia extract, and ground coconut to create a sweet, nutty, and chocolatey flavor.

The proprietary protein blend is made up of pea protein, hemp protein, and goji berry. While peas and hemp are good sources of plant-based protein, goji berries are a rich source of iron. Each scoop provides 6 milligrams of iron, which helps those following a vegan diet which is commonly low in this important nutrient.

Each serving also provides branched-chain amino acids and brain-boosting MCTs. The high protein blend is allergy-friendly, as it is free of soy, gluten, and dairy.

Best Chocolate Whey: teraswhey Organic Protein, Dark Chocolate

Made using Fair Trade Certified cacao beans, the rich, dark chocolate flavor of Tera's Whey is hard to beat. The antioxidant-rich cacao provides great flavor and boosts the overall nutrition of the protein powder. Research shows that cacao contains beneficial antioxidants, including epicatechin and catechin, that fight inflammation.

Tera's Whey sources the highest quality whey from small family farms in Wisconsin. This USDA Organic whey protein is free of hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs. The grass-fed whey is also Certified Gluten-Free. Each 2-scoop serving provides 20 grams of whey protein with only 5 grams of carbohydrates. It is sweetened with organic stevia and contains only 2 grams of sugar, likely due to lactose (natural milk sugar) in the whey protein concentrate.

Best Natural Flavor: Sunwarrior Brown Rice Protein Powder

Sunwarrior’s Classic Protein is a clean and simple brown rice protein powder with no added flavor. It’s made up of only one ingredient: organic brown rice protein. This plant-based powder assimilates well into the beverages it's mixed with and boosts protein without adding flavor. One scoop provides 20 grams of protein with 100 calories and zero added sugar. The vegan powder is also free of gluten, soy, and dairy.

The brown rice powder is sprouted and fermented, meaning that the brown rice is soaked for a period of time and then allowed to germinate. This process leads to increased bioavailability of nutrients such as vitamins and fatty acids and decreased amounts of anti-nutrients such as phytates and tannins.

Best Tasteless: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is a great option for those looking to boost their protein intake without a specific flavor. Each 2-scoop serving provides 18 grams of grass-fed, pasture-raised, bovine collagen protein that is almost 100 percent tasteless.

The dynamic product can be mixed into both hot and cold liquids, including coffee. It dissolves quickly and doesn't clump when mixed properly. The versatile protein supplement is free of gluten, dairy, and sugar.

Collagen peptides provide a great bioavailable protein boost, and research suggests that collagen peptide supplementation may improve skin health. The supplement contains complementary ingredients, including vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is known for the ability to preserve skin moisture, while research shows that vitamin C boosts the body's ability to synthesize collagen and plays a key role in skin health.

Best Peanut Butter: Garden of Life Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder

Garden of Life's Certified Organic Whey Protein is known for its high-quality, pasture-raised, grass-fed protein. With 21 grams of easy-to-digest protein in each serving, the creamy chocolate peanut butter flavor adds a delicious taste and a protein boost to your favorite beverage. If you're a peanut butter fan, you will love mixing this powder into water or your go-to smoothie.

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.

Final Verdict

Taste is very individual, so it can be hard to select the best overall option; however, vanilla is a fairly neutral protein powder flavor, so Sprout Living's Epic Protein Powder (view at Amazon) may be a good universal option.

What to Look for in Protein Powder

Protein source:

Protein powders can be made using various protein sources, including plant-based and animal-derived sources. Examples of animal-derived proteins include whey and collagen. Plant-based proteins may come from foods such as pea, hemp, soy, pumpkin seed, or brown rice. There are benefits to each type of protein, and you can find a protein powder that will meet your nutritional and health needs while also appealing to your individual taste buds.

Nutritional content:

While everyone wants a protein powder that tastes good, it’s also important to consider the supplement's nutritional content. You may choose a powder with additional dietary fiber, MCT oil, probiotics, or specific nutrients based on your individual needs.

Flavoring and Sweeteners:

When choosing a protein powder based on flavor, aim to choose a powder without artificial ingredients, including colorings, flavorings, or sweeteners.

What Experts Say

"When choosing a protein powder that’s right for you, it’s important to find one that your body digested well. Although it may taste great, some ingredients like sugar alcohol or unnecessary additives can aggravate the gastrointestinal system and cause bloat, gas, or abdominal discomfort. Therefore, it would be wise to sample the protein powder before investing in the entire container." Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RD

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I am careful to recommend supplements, including protein powders. I spent time reviewing the most current clinical research on protein supplementation and looking at multiple products and brands. I believe the protein supplements in the round-up are made by trusted brands, and I would feel comfortable recommending these to clients and patients in my clinical practice.

I have personally tried each of these protein supplements and regularly use protein supplements. You can currently find Tera's Whey, Vital Protein Collagen Peptides, and Sunwarrior Classic Protein in my pantry. — Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

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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