The 8 Best Whey Protein Powders for Men of 2020, According to a Dietitian

Boost your protein intake with nutritionist-recommended whey powders

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Our Top Picks
"Certified USDA Organic product provides ample protein in additional to BCAAs and probiotics, for a good value."
"Cold pressed without acids to ensure that the whey is in its optimal, nutrient-rich state."
"The soy-free, gluten-free, keto and paleo-friendly product provides 4 grams of medium chain triglycerides from coconut milk fat."
"Certified Gluten-Free, USDA Organic whey protein is sourced from grass-fed cows raised on small farms in Wisconsin."
"Each serving contains 20 grams of protein with no fat or sugar."
"Each serving (one scoop) contains 110 calories, 3 grams of carbs, 20 grams of protein, and less than 1 gram of sugar."
"Contains only one ingredient (100% grass-fed pure whey protein)"
"A high-quality, lactose-free whey protein isolate powder sourced from grass-fed cows."

Whey protein is a high-quality protein source and contains all essential amino acids, as well as some branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which are building blocks for muscle growth. Research published in 2017 shows that supplementation with whey protein is associated with enhanced protein metabolism and may promote enhanced performance and recovery among resistance-trained individuals.

Many men consume whey protein to build muscle. It is important to note that consuming whey protein powder will not necessarily help build muscle. Weightlifting and exercise will likely build muscle, whereas consuming protein, in whole food or supplement form, simply provides muscles with nutrients necessary to repair tissue.

Here are our top recommendations for whey protein powders for men.

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

This Certified USDA Organic (rBST and rBGH-free), Non-GMO Project Verified product provides ample protein in addition to BCAAs and probiotics, for a good value. The budget-friendly powder comes in five flavors including chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, lightly sweet, strawberry, and vanilla.

The Garden of Life whey is sourced from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows, and is American Humane Certified. Each serving provides 21 grams of protein, 2 grams of sugar, 120 calories, and 4.7 grams of BCAAs. The product also contains 2 billion CFU of probiotics.

Best Cold-Pressed: Vital Proteins Organic Whey Protein

Most whey is heat processed which can make the whey acidic and damage the amino acids. Alternatively, some whey protein is processed using acids, which can also denature the proteins. Cold-pressed, or cold-processed, whey protects the nutrients from heat, providing an optimal protein source.

Vital Proteins Organic Whey Protein is USDA Organic and cold-pressed without acids to ensure that the whey is in its optimal, nutrient-rich state. Each 2-scoop serving provides 130 calories, 25 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar.

The unflavored product is free of additives, sweeteners, lecithins, or fillers. The high-quality whey protein concentrate comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows in Wisconsin and contains 19 BCAAs including all 9 essential amino acids.

Good to Know

Whey protein is a convenient way to boost protein intake. Whey itself is a by-product of cheese production and is found in the watery portion of milk that separates from curd during this process. The liquid whey is then processed using various techniques to create whey protein powder.

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

Primal Kitchen's Primal Fuel comes in two delicious flavors including vanilla coconut and chocolate. Monk fruit extract is used for sweetening, so the product is low in sugar, with only 1 gram per serving. Each scoop provides 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrates and approximately 2.2 grams of BCAAs.

The soy-free, gluten-free, keto and paleo-friendly product provides 4 grams of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut milk fat. Research suggests that consumption of MCTs is associated with weight loss and greater usage of fat as fuel. Note that the product is not technically paleo, as whey protein is made from dairy.

Primal Fuel also contains prebiotics, or the food for gut-healthy probiotics, from inulin. This prebiotic fiber is thought to improve digestive health.

Best Gluten-Free: teraswhey Simply Pure Whey Protein Bourbon Vanilla

For men looking for a gluten-free whey protein powder, Tera's Whey Simply Pure is a great option. The certified gluten-free product is sweetened with stevia and provides 21 grams of protein per serving. Each serving also provides 5.29 grams of BCAAs along with 3 grams of sugar and 4 grams of carbohydrates.

The USDA Organic, rBGH-free, and rBST-free whey protein is sourced from grass-fed cows raised on small farms in Wisconsin. The bourbon vanilla flavor is sweet and mixes well with water or your favorite beverage. Note that the product mixes best using a shaker bottle or blender.

Best Low in Sugar: Biochem 100% Whey Isolate Protein

Biochem is known for creating high-quality whey protein from grass-fed cows. The soy-free, non-GMO product contains no artificial ingredients and contains all essential amino acids. Each serving contains 20 grams of protein with no fat or sugar.

Biochem uses a specific cold process without chemicals to create a pure whey protein isolate. Their micro-filtration method removes fat, cholesterol, and lactose to create a highly pure whey protein powder. The low-FODMAP product is also great for those with food allergies and sensitivities as it is Certified Gluten-Free, soy-free, and 99% free of lactose.

Best Organic: Natural Force Grass Fed Organic Whey Protein Powder

For men who prefer to choose organic products, Natural Force Organic Whey Protein is a fabulous choice. The vanilla flavor contains just three ingredients—organic whey protein concentrate (sourced from grass-fed cows from family-owned farms in California), organic vanilla flavor, and organic Stevia leaf powder. Each serving (one scoop) contains 110 calories, 3 grams of carbs, 20 grams of protein, and less than 1 gram of sugar.

The USDA-Organic, Non-GMO Project Certified, kosher protein comes in three additional flavors including cacao bean, coffee bean, and an unflavored variety. Natural Force recommends mixing the powder into protein shakes, smoothies, or baked goods.

Best Budget: NAKED nutrition Naked Whey 100% Grass Fed Unflavored Whey Protein Powder

Containing only one ingredient (100% grass-fed pure whey protein), Naked Whey is a high-quality whey protein product with a reasonable price tag. The whey is sourced from small dairy farms in California and is cold-processed to ensure no contamination from chemical detergents, synthetic additives, or heavy metals. This pure product is also free of flavors, sweeteners, and colors.

The GMO-free, soy-free, and gluten-free product provides 25 grams of protein, 2 grams of sugar, and 5.9 grams of BCAAs per serving. Naked Whey is also a great choice for athletes, as it has the Informed-Choice Certification, assuring that it does not contain banned substances.

Best Lactose-Free: LEGION Whey+ Chocolate Whey Isolate Protein Powder

For those who can’t tolerate lactose, Legion Whey+ is a high-quality, lactose-free whey protein isolate powder sourced from grass-fed cows. Sweetened with stevia, it’s also sugar-free and non-GMO. Each serving (one scoop) contains 100 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 3 grams of carbohydrates.

It comes in six flavors, including chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream and an unflavored version. The product ranks #1 in purity and accuracy among protein supplements on LabDoor, an independent supplement testing company. Legion uses cold micro- and ultra-filtration to prevent denaturing of the whey protein during processing.

What to Look for in Whey Protein for Men

Taste: It’s a no-brainer that people would rather drink something that tastes good—and protein powder is no exception. Some whey protein powders have a chalky aftertaste, but there are plenty of flavors on our list that you’ll actually look forward to drinking. You may have to sample a few to find your favorites, though, because taste is such an individual thing.

Type of Whey Protein: Whey protein comes in many different types including concentrate, isolate, and hydroisolate, which vary in protein content, taste, and digestibility. When possible, choose a grass-fed, GMO-free concentrate that is processed using a cold, acid-free method.

Ingredients: While all whey protein powders contain protein derived from whey, their other ingredients can vary widely. If you have dietary restrictions, there are formulas that are free of most allergens. There are also organic, kosher, and sugar-free options that can likely meet your needs.

What the Experts Say

“For men focused on lean mass gains or muscle maintenance, whey protein is ideal, but anybody looking for optimal body composition and to prevent sarcopenia (muscle breakdown) as we age can also benefit. Whey protein isolate may be better if you have lactose intolerance, and hydrolyzed whey protein is slightly easier to digest.”—Shawn Wells, MPH, LDN, RD, CISSN, FISSN

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 whey protein supplementation and optimal forms and looking at multiple products and brands. I believe the whey protein powders in the round-up are made by trusted brands that are devoted to product purity and are composed of high-quality ingredients. 

While I am a female, I have used a few of these products in my daily smoothies to boost protein content. I also frequently recommend some of the products to male clients and include them in my husband's overnight oats or smoothie bowls. Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

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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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