The 7 Best Whey Protein Powders to Buy in 2018

Supplement your diet with these formulas that pack a punch

Whether you want to add some lean muscle, lose weight, or take your workouts to the next level, supplementing with protein powders can help you achieve your fitness and health goals, as well as aid in your post-workout recovery. But with so many protein powders on the market, you may feel overwhelmed when searching for the right one for your needs, tastes, and budget. One of the most common and affordable options, whey protein powders, get their protein from the liquid that is typically thrown out when producing cheese. They taste great and give your metabolism a boost, so they’re definitely appealing to those trying to drop a few pounds.

So what should you look for in a whey protein powder? Quality is key, as some formulas may actually have less protein and more sugar than indicated on the label. All of the products on this list come from reputable manufacturers that have been ranked highly by Labdoor, an independent company that tests supplements for quality and accuracy of claims. Beyond that, your choice comes down to your specific needs, use, and dietary restrictions or preferences. We've rounded up the best whey protein powders so you can find one that’s perfect for you.

Best Overall: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

A leader in the category, Optimum Nutrition is known for its affordable, high-quality and tasty formulas, and this powder certainly delivers. Our top pick’s primary ingredient is whey protein isolates, which are 90 percent pure protein by weight, so they pack a lot less fat, cholesterol, lactose than other types of protein. It contains just 3g of carbohydrates per serving, making it a nice choice for those trying to reduce their carb intake.

Whether you want to drink it mixed with water, milk, or in a smoothie, this powder blends easily, without any lumps or grittiness. You can choose from more than 20 delicious flavors, from standards like vanilla and chocolate to more scrumptious options such as birthday cake to salted caramel. The powder comes in several different sizes (1, 2, 5 or 10 pounds), so you can pick the one that’s best for your needs.

Best Tasting: Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Powder by Jay Robb

If you’re sick of protein powders that taste chalky or just lack in flavor, you’ll delight your taste buds with this delicious, smooth formula. It’s sourced from grass-fed cows, consists mostly of whey isolate and is naturally sweetened with stevia. Made of all non-GMO ingredients, this powder is gluten-free and lactose-reduced.

But what really makes users sing its praises are the tasty flavors of vanilla, chocolate, piña colada, tropical dreamsicle, and strawberry. It’s also available in an unflavored formula that mixes well with water, milk, or in a smoothie. Your protein powder drink may end up being the most delicious part of your day.

Best for Weight Loss: Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder

If you’re hoping to use whey protein powder to achieve your weight loss goals, this zero carb formula from Isopure is a solid choice. With 25g of protein per serving, it has enough protein to keep you feeling full for hours.

Each serving contains just 100 calories, so you can mix it with water or in a smoothie and you’ll still have a low-cal snack or meal replacement. The creamy vanilla flavor tastes great and mixes well with anything, while flavors like cookies and cream or mint chocolate chip will satisfy your sweet tooth if you have a craving.

Best All-Natural: MRM Natural Whey Protein Powder

Made with all-natural ingredients and featuring 24g of protein per serving, MRM Whey Natural Protein Powder promotes muscle development and supports recovery from exercise. It also contains an enzyme blend that helps break down the long and short chain peptides into smaller, more readily absorbable proteins, so you get maximum digestion and absorption.

Completely free of hormones, MRM Natural Whey Protein Powder is made with non-GMO ingredients and contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors, as well as almost no cholesterol or fat. It blends very easily and doesn’t have a chalky taste or gritty texture. Users love the creamy and delicious taste of the rich vanilla and chocolate malt flavors.

Best for Athletes: NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate

With 25 grams of protein per serving and no artificial sweeteners, NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate is an excellent, high-value choice for a protein powder, especially for athletes. The whey protein provides essential amino acids for muscle building, while also supporting post-workout recovery. It’s also low in carbohydrates and lactose, which makes it more digestible.

Reviewers love that it mixes very easily and both the unflavored and dutch chocolate flavors taste great.

Best for Lactose Intolerance: Muscle Feast Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

If you’re lactose intolerant, you might assume you should avoid whey protein powders, since they’re derived from cows’ milk. However, this powder from Muscle Feast is not only lactose-free, it’s also fat-free, cholesterol-free and gluten-free, making it a perfect choice for people with those dietary restrictions and anyone looking for a high-quality whey protein powder.

With no antibiotics, hormones, or artificial ingredients or flavors, it’s a clean, pure formula packed with fast-acting protein. Users love that it mixes instantly, tastes great, and keeps you feeling full longer. It’s available in two sizes (2-pound and 5-pound) and chocolate, unflavored and vanilla flavors.

Best for Women: Legion Whey+ Protein Powder

Whether you want to add muscle or lose weight (or maybe a bit of both), Legion Whey+ Protein Powder can support women’s needs and goals. Made of all natural ingredients, it contains the highest quality protein from grass-fed cows and is free of growth hormones and artificial sweeteners.

With 22 grams of protein, only 3 grams of carbohydrates and no fat per serving, it helps you feel fuller, supports lean muscle tissue and fat loss, while increasing your energy. Users love that the powder mixes very well, has no weird aftertaste, isn’t gritty, and tastes delicious, in vanilla, strawberry banana, cookies and cream, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate flavors.

Check out our guide to the best protein powders for women you can buy today.

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