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The Best (and Worst) Whey Protein Powders

Does your whey protein powder suck? Get a crash course on which powders pack a real punch.

Bodybuilder With Protein Shake

Great Whey Protein Powders

When you buy a protein powder your intention is to buy protein, not carbs and not fat. Carbs and fat are easy to get in your diet, so when you’re laying down your hard-earned cash for a jug of protein, you want it to have as much protein in it as possible. A quick glance at the Supplement Facts panel will let you know how many carbs and how much fat are in the product.

But you’re not done yet. Keep scanning down the label until you get to the ingredients list. The information contained here is the key to knowing whether a protein powder is really amazing or just simply passable. First you might notice that most whey protein products contain more than one type of whey. You might see whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate (or hydrolyzed whey protein) or whey protein concentrate. To be considered a great whey protein the product MUST list whey protein isolate or hydrolyzed whey protein isolate as the very first ingredient. That’s because whey protein isolates are the purest form of protein you can get, with some being more than 90% protein. And “hydrolyzed whey protein isolate” means that that high-quality whey has been pre-digested into smaller protein fragments for even faster digestion than regular whey isolate. Whey protein concentrate, on the other hand, goes through less filtering, which means fewer of the natural carbohydrates found in milk are removed. The result is a whey product that is much lower in protein content. Although most whey protein concentrates are somewhere between 70-80% protein, some can be less than 35% protein. This is why most companies make a big deal about their whey protein isolate powders. (This is also why isolates and hydrolysates generally cost more.)

But to really know if a whey protein powder is top notch, you’ll need to do some math. Take the grams of protein per serving listed on the supplement facts panel and divide it by the serving size (in grams). This will give you the percentage of protein in each serving. To be considered a great whey protein powder, the percent protein per serving (or scoop) should be 80% or greater. For example, if a whey protein powder provides 25 grams of protein per 28-gram scoop, that protein powder is about 90% protein and is a great whey protein for the money.

These whey protein powders made our “Great” list:

ProSource NytroWhey Ultra Elite


The power source that has fueled a generation of phenomenal physiques. NytroWhey Ultra Elite combines the highest-quality whey isolate and hydrolysate proteins with a cutting-edge leucine peptide technology that jumpstarts tremendous growth like no other protein in existence. Absolutely delicious, too. This one’s the gold standard.

GNC Pro Performance AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60
Wheybolic

This gem includes an amino acid Power Complex with 10 grams of leucine and 4 grams of both isoleucine and valine, all primed to give you enough BCAAs to keep you powering through workouts and enhancing your recovery time.

Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey (GNC Exclusive)
GNC

With 13 flavors and easy mixing, ON’s 100% Whey is consistently lauded for its creamy taste and reliable results.

BPI Sports Iso-HD
BPI-Whey

ISO-HD carries more purified whey isolate and hydrolysate than other powders. That means it digests faster, gets to working muscles quicker, and stops catabolism while jump-starting growth.

Allmax IsoFlex


cytosport

Isoflex delivers a 27-gram protein bomb in only one scoop—all with zero grams of fat, no sugar, and only one gram of carbs. The four propri- etary delivery systems work fast to fuel your muscles post-workout.

Myprotein Impact Whey
my-protein-powder

Impact Whey Protein is 100% whey protein concentrate with no other proteins added and is also low in fat and carbohydrates, which makes it a perfect source of whey protein for those looking to reduce body fat levels but increase lean mass.

 

Muscletech Performance Series Nitro-Tech


muscletech-powder

Each scoop of Nitro-Tech contains 30 grams of protein, primarily from whey protein isolate and whey peptides. Nitro-Tech is also enhanced with the most studied form of creatine for even better gains in muscle and strength and contains only 1g of sugar and 3g of creatine.

More Great Whey Protein Powders >>

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