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The best way to gain lean, muscular physique is to train hard and take a protein supplement. Your body needs proteins for muscle growth and recovery, and we find the best whey protein powders for men who are serious about hitting their fitness goals.
Our review will help you find the right whey protein for you, by giving you:
In-depth reviews of protein powders
Most important things to consider before choosing a protein powder
FAQs on the best way to use whey protein powders
We’re diving right into it; make sure to continue reading!
The Top 9 Best Protein Powders For Men Of 2022
Don’t buy supplements that don’t work! We selected this list based on important criteria like nutrition, flavor and value for money.
Our reviews reflect our objective, unbiased opinion. We also tested the product ourselves, and read dozens of reviews to find out what real fitness enthusiasts and body builders had to say.
#1. Huge Whey – Top-Rated Whey Protein
Huge Nutrition is relatively new to the industry, but its body-building and fitness supplements have already gained quite a fanbase because of the nutritional value, larger servings, and overall value for money.
The whey protein powder is the latest in their line-up, and it’s one of the best we tried. Even when we compared it to the more expensive and established brands, it had better results and a better taste.
In fact, one of our testers who had been using another brand for years decided to switch to Huge Whey—and here’s why.
High-quality protein and BCAAs
Since it’s designed for athletes and serious fitness enthusiasts, it doesn’t scrimp on the amount or the quality of its protein. You get 23 to 25 grams of protein (depending on which flavor you get) and 5 grams of BCAAs.
The protein comes from whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. Whey protein concentrate contains 80% protein. Whey protein isolate goes through additional filtration processes, so it has less lactose and fat. By combining the two, this formula gives you higher protein levels with less calories and cholesterol.
Huge Whey also contains branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which the body uses for muscle metabolism. They help your body rebuild muscle tissue protein, and can help prevent excessive muscle breakdown during exercise. The result: less fatigue and soreness, and faster recovery time.
You can choose from Cookies ; Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry Milkshake, and Vanilla. Chocolate Peanut Butter is the bestseller—it’s creamy, rich, not too sweet, and doesn’t have a chalky or chemical aftertaste. Since it’s so popular it quickly goes out of stock, so buy it when you see it!
You can mix the powder in water or milk. It dissolves quickly, even when you’re mixing it with other ingredients like bananas for a power-packed smoothie. Click here to go to the official Huge Whey product page.
One serving only has 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, 5 grams of cholesterol, 2.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 90 mg of sodium.
With these macros, you can take a protein shake before or after your workout without breaking your calorie count. Consider this: a medium banana has 108 calories, has less nutrition, and is less filling. You’re better off having a glass of Huge Whey to refuel your body and energy levels.
#2. Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Isolate
There are two reasons we love this protein powder: it has one of the highest protein-by-weight ratios, and the protein is sourced from cows who have been 100% grass-fed.
What does this mean for you? Even if it’s more expensive (nearly $60, compared to average $30 to $40), you actually get more nutrients per scoop. You’re also assured of a “cleaner” protein powder, with less chemicals and additives.
High in protein, low in carbs and fat
One reason why this product is so expensive is that the protein mainly comes from isolate. It’s more expensive to produce, because it filters out more fat and carbohydrates.
So if you look at the label of this protein powder, you’ll see that it has less than 1 gram of carbohydrates and less than 1 gram of sugar—even if they’re not using sugar substitutes. Instead, you’re getting more of what your body really needs: high-quality protein, as well nutrients like calcium and potassium.
No artificial chemicals
This does not contain artificial sweeteners, coloring agents, and preservatives. Because the protein is sourced from grass-fed cows, it is also free of GMOs that are typically found in commercial animal feeds.
Transparent Labs is also gluten-free, which can help people who have gluten sensitivity or have a tendency to get stomach upsets when they take high protein powders.
Excellent quality control
Transparent Labs products are made in a USA. Its facility has also received GMP certification, which means that it fully complies with the Food and Drug Association (FDA)’s requirements for manufacturing processes for food and dietary supplements.
#3. MuscleTech Nitro-Tech
This whey protein powder is scientifically-proven to build more lean muscle and improve performance. It contains a high concentration of powerful ingredients, with a patented formula that was developed after years of research.
Bigger, stronger muscles
Each serving has a whopping 30 grams of protein, 3 grams of creatinine, and 6.8 grams of BCAAs. Seriously, it’s hard to find any other protein powder that matches this formula.
And we’re not just impressed by the amount of protein, but how it’s processed. MuscleTech invested a lot of research and development into perfecting their patented Multi-Phase Filtration technology. This helps retain the protein in its purest, most effective form while removing unwanted fat and carbs.
The creatinine, which your muscles use to produce more energy, can give you the push you need to lift a heavier weight or do intense HIIT exercises. Many studies have found that creatinine—particularly HLPC-tested creatinine, which is used in this formula—replenishes ATP levels.
BCAAs aid recovery so you feel less sore and tired after your super-workout. Bounce back in time for your next gym session, for better performance (and results) each day.
Scientifically proven to work
MuscleTech Nitro-Tech’s effectivity was tested in a study. Participants were all seasoned fitness enthusiasts who had been lifting weights for three years. They were given the key ingredients for 6 weeks.
The study showed that the participants increased their bench press more than those who were using other whey protein powder, and gained 70% more lean muscle than when they were using their former brand.
Easy to absorb and digest
MuscleTech Nitro-Tech derives its protein from whey peptides and isolate. These are much easier to digest and absorb than other forms of whey protein concentrate. If other protein powders have given you gas or stomach problems, consider trying this brand.
#4. Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein
This is one of the bestselling whey proteins in the market, with over a million users and almost 90,000 Amazon reviews. The reason: excellent macronutrients, an affordable price tag, and 20 different flavors to choose from.
Well-rounded blend of protein sources
Each serving contains 24 grams of protein, and just 3 grams of carbohydrates, and one gram each of sugar and fat.
While other brands contain more grams of protein, Gold Standard has a bigger variety of protein sources: whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey peptides. This gives you a more complete amino acid profile, and the additional benefits of each type of protein.
For example, whey protein concentrate contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that may help you lose weight. Whey protein isolate has less fat and carbs, and whey peptides are absorbed faster. You could say that you’ll be enjoying all the different “wheys” to reach your fitness goals.
The supplement also has 4 grams of glutamine and glutamic amino acids for a healthier gut and stronger immune system, and 5.5 grams of natural BCAAs.
Aside from those we mentioned, the formula has no “filler ingredients” – everything else simply makes the formula easier to digest and more palatable. There’s aminogen to reduce gas, lactase to help you break down the proteins, and a small amount of the artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium.
Great value for money
Each container has 74 servings for about $35, or about $0.79 for each serving. That’s really affordable, especially when you look at the nutrition you’re getting in each glass.
Wide range of flavors
With over 20 flavors (including 7 different kinds of chocolate) you’re bound to find a few that suits your personal preferences. However, the sugar and fat content does vary per flavor, and some (like the Cake Batter variant) will contain sucralose. If you want it to be 100% sucralose-free, choose Double Rich Chocolate.
#5. MET-RX Natural Protein
MET-RX has been making fitness supplements and meal replacement powders for over 20 years. Their Natural Whey Protein is often recommended in forums as an “affordable alternative” to Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey, because of the almost-identical macros. Our protein powder review checks if it really meets expectations.
Muscle-building blend of protein and BCAAs
The formula contains whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate, and about 5 grams of BCAAs. This gives an excellent amino acid profile that supports muscle growth and recovery.
The proteins are also extracted using a special filtration process that lowers fat, lactose, cholesterol and carbohydrates.
No artificial flavor enhancers or additives
As expected from a product that has the word “natural” in it, it does not have artificial flavors, coloring agents, and sweeteners. It is also free of GMOs.
However, unlike other natural protein powders, it does not declare its protein sources, grass-fed cows or organic plant compounds.
So it’s more of an assurance that you’re not ingesting any artificial additives or flavor enhancers. For example, it does not contain acesulfame-potassium, which has been controversial because of studies that link it to a higher cancer risk.
Easy, convenient formula
The powder dissolves quickly and does not clump at all. You can shake it and swirl it with a spoon—no blender required!
However, the reactions to the flavor are mixed. Since it has no artificial flavor enhancers and sweeteners, it will taste different from other whey supplements you may have tried. It will take time to adjust to it, but you can add a ripe banana to make it sweeter and creamier.
#6. ISO JYM Clear Isolate Whey Protein
ISO JYM uses a special cold filtration process that removes lactose to create a clean, easy-to-digest whey protein concentrate. The fruity taste is also very refreshing—and a nice change from all the sweet and heavy dessert-inspired flavors of other protein powders.
90% Whey Concentrate
It uses a revolutionary cold filtration technology to extract protein in a way that retains its native protein ratios and make it easier for the body to absorb and use. So even if it only has 20 grams of protein per serving, this is high-quality clear isolate—with no fillers and nutrition loss. As they say, you get whey and whey only.
Low-calorie and diet-friendly
This has one of the most low-cal protein powders, with just 90 calories per serving. Since its primary ingredient is isolate, it also has less fat and cholesterol.
Short, transparent list of ingredients
True to ISO JYM’s brand philosophy of “giving whey, and only whey” this formula only contains six ingredients that are absolutely critical for a clean formula. They removed any unnecessary fillers that could cause reactions or place a big load on your digestive system.
For this reason, this is one of the best whey protein powders for people who want to limit the toxins in their body, or have strict dietary restrictions or allergies.
Easy to stack
Another benefit of a “clean and pure” whey protein formula is that it’s easy to stack with other supplements you’re taking. You can use this with the other products in the ISO JYM line, or with your favorite pre-workout or post-workout drink.
Very refreshing flavor
Most protein shakes taste like sweet and creamy desserts, from your regular chocolate to the more elaborate flavors like banana cream pie. While this can satisfy your sweet tooth, sometimes you just want a light and refreshing drink.
That’s why we recommend ISO JYM Clear Isolate Whey Protein to everyone. Even if you already have another go-to protein powder, it’s nice to have it in your rotation.
#7. Genius Protein
This protein powder can help promote both lean body mass and weight loss. Aside from the ingredients that promote muscle growth, its formula is designed to control cravings and dampen your appetite.
Slow and fast release
Each serving contains 24 grams of protein, composed of 50% grass-fed whey isolate and 50% micellar casein. This provides both fast and slow release of protein.
Whey isolate is absorbed quickly, so you can get the immediate effect for muscle strength and growth. It also helps the immune system and supports your body’s protein synthesis.
Micellar casein takes longer to digest. It is an anti-catabolic, which means it reduces the breakdown of muscle mass. It is also high in calcium.
The combination of these two protein sources means you enjoy the benefits of Genius Protein during the day and night. From pre-workout prep to post-recovery, your body has what it needs to produce the best muscles.
Leaner, fitter physique
If you’re also trying to lose weight and watching your diet, you’ll be happy to know that this contains less than one gram of fat and only 2.5 grams of sugar. However, it does have 3.5 grams of carbohydrates—not high, but not as low as other protein powders.
However, Genius protein powder makes up for the higher carbs by having casein, which curbs hunger pangs and cravings, and helps your body manage cortisol levels.
Cortisol (which your body produces when it’s stressed or tired) increases your appetite. If you often struggle with stress eating, this whey protein powder can help you stick to your diet goals.
No artificial and banned substances
This has no fillers, artificial flavors and sweeteners, or artificial dyes and coloring agents. The chocolate flavor is naturally-derived, so you can enjoy it without any guilt.
#8. Dymatize Elite Whey
If you love chocolate, then you definitely need to check out Dymatize Elite Whey. Just like other whey protein powders it will meet your body’s needs for muscle growth and recovery. But the real reason we’re obsessed with it is its to-die-for chocolate flavors. Two words: Snicker Doodle.
Multiple protein sources
Dymatize’s formula is a blend of whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, whey protein peptides, and whey protein hydrolysate.
This provides both essential and non-essential amino acids, while minimizing carbohydrates and fat. Whey protein hydrolysate is also called pre-digested hydrolysate, because it’s so easily absorbed.
As for the overall macros, you get 25 grams of protein per serving, 2 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 70 mg of cholesterol, and 135 mg of salt. The calories per serving is 140, which is admittedly higher than other protein powders.
The best chocolate flavors
We’ll list the flavors, and tell us if you don’t agree: chocolate cake batter, snicker doodle, swiss chocolate, chocolate fudge, gourmet chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, rich chocolate, café mocha. It’s everything you usually can’t eat when you’re on a diet, but made guilt-free in a protein shake.
It also carries other treats for the sweets-lover, like vanilla cupcake and raspberry cheesecake. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can try their French vanilla and gourmet vanilla.
#9. Nutrabio Clear Whey
For people with dietary restrictions, Nutrabio has developed a lactose-free, gluten-free whey protein powder. It is only 80 calories, and contains ingredients that aid in digestion. If you’re fighting belly bloat and belly fat, this is definitely going to help.
Pure whey isolate
This does not contain whey concentrate or other fillers like creamer, dextrose, nitrogen, or aminos. You paid for pure whey isolate, and you get pure whey isolate—nothing more, nothing less.
One of the most diet-friendly whey protein powders
Nutrabio extracts protein through a special cross-flow, ultra-filtered process. It removes all the unwanted sugars and fat, leaving you with a clean and healthy drink that you can take without guilt.
One serving has 20 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of carbohydrates, and zero fat. However, it does use artificial sweeteners called sucralose, which is something you need to remember while comparing it to other “clean” whey protein powders.
Helps with digestion
This has more potassium than other protein powders: 337 mg, or about 25% of your recommended daily intake. Potassium can help with digestion and reduce belly bloat. This is beneficial if you’re on a low-carb and high protein diet, or have a tendency to experience stomach problems.
Refreshing fruity flavors
We enjoyed the fruity freshness of flavors like watermelon, pineapple and mango. They’re an excellent alternative to sweet and creamy protein shakes. The watermelon is one of our favorites, since it’s not too sweet and can quench our thirst quickly—exactly what we need after a good sweat!
The only thing we don’t like about the formula is that it does produce a lot of foam. While it doesn’t affect the flavor, it does interfere with the texture and consistency. One tip is to let your drink settle for a few minutes before drinking. Tapping your bottle on a table or hard surface can also help release the air bubbles.
How to choose the best protein powder for men
Just like diet and fitness programs, choosing the best protein powders has to take into account your needs, goals, and preferences. There is no one-size-fits-all.
However, you can narrow down your choices according to this criteria. This ensures that any protein powder you buy will actually yield concrete results.
Nutrition is a science, and it’s best to put your money into formulas that use scientifically-proven ingredients and reliable manufacturing processes.
So, you have to look at the type of protein, the amount, and the way it’s extracted. The type of protein affects the nutritional value, including the ratio of protein to fat or carbohydrates, and the kinds of amino acids.
The amount of protein and the extraction method are closely tied. Naturally, you want higher protein levels—that’s what you need to build lean muscle. However, the best whey protein powders process the protein in a way that retains its nutritional value and makes it easier for the body to absorb.
Think of it this way: what really matters isn’t the protein that’s in the powder, but the protein your body eventually gets to use. So when you compare products, do look at the extraction and processing methods.
If you don’t consume animal based products, check out vegan protein powders. These are plant-based products that consist of ingredients like pea, rice, or soy.
For a supplement to work, you need to take it regularly and in the right amounts. This is more likely to happen if you actually like the taste.
There are many nutritious and delicious whey protein powders, but “delicious” is a personal thing. Do you like it strong or mild, creamy or light? Do you usually drink it cold or lukewarm, and how will that affect the taste? Try different blends to find out what you really like.
Value for money
We made sure to include whey protein powders of different price points in our review: affordable brands that cost less than a dollar a serving, and premium brands that offer additional benefits.
This gives you flexibility and the freedom to choose a high-quality whey protein powder that’s within your budget.
Benefits of taking protein powder as a male
As we grow older, we lose muscle mass and tone, our metabolism slows down, and it takes longer for our body to produce new cells and tissue. That’s why it’s harder and takes longer to see gains even with proper diet and exercise.
Whey protein powder contains nutrients that boost the body’s ability to build and repair muscle. Here are some benefits:
Boost muscle growth and strength
Your body needs proteins for muscle growth. Protein powders are sourced from dairy or plants, while removing unwanted fat and cholesterol. Some powders can also contain other ingredients that are scientifically-proven to aid muscle metabolism and protein absorption.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your training sessions, also check out our article on the best pre workouts.
Helps with recovery
There are several independent studies that prove that protein supplements can lower muscle damage by improving protein synthesis and performance.
Aid with weight loss
Whey protein powders are low in calories but dense in nutrients. You can take it before or after a workout to make you feel energetic and full.
Some of the best protein powders also contain ingredients that suppress appetite and cravings.
Protein Powders Frequently Asked Questions
Should you take protein powder before or after a workout?
Experts say that the time you take your protein supplements is not as important as the amount of protein you consume throughout the day. It is generally more effective to take 3 or 4 moderate servings than “protein-loading” at a specific time.
So, you can take your protein powder according to your energy levels and preferences.
How much protein powder is too much?
This varies according to the protein density of your preferred brand, and your own caloric requirements. In general, most formulas recommend 1 to 3 scoops maximum, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions just to be safe.
Does protein powder have side effects?
Generally, most people don’t feel any adverse reactions to protein supplements. If you are sensitive to lactose or have digestion problems, you may experience bloating or stomach upsets when you’re adjusting to a new protein powder. If it persists, try switching to a lactose-free or gluten-free formula.
Bear in mind that like all supplements, you need to consult with your physician if you are taking prescription medication, or have pre-existing medical conditions.
Can protein powder help me build muscle?
Yes it definitely can! However, you do need to put in the work by following the right exercise regimen and diet.
What’s the best liquid to mix protein powder with?
You can mix it with anything you like: cold water, or even milk. The best protein powders dissolve easily in any liquid.
Can protein powder help me lose weight?
As a high-protein, low-calorie drink, protein shakes can definitely help you achieve your weight loss goals. Some powders also contain ingredients that curb cravings and help with metabolism.
However, weight loss is a function of calories burned versus calories ingested, so it also depends on how much you eat and how much you exercise.
Can you combine creatine with protein powder?
Yes. Both protein powder and creatine improve muscle mass and strength, but in different ways. Creatine improves your exercise capacity, while whey protein powders improves muscle protein synthesis.
They can be safely used together, with no dangerous interactions or side effects. However, there is no scientific evidence that taking both supplements at the same time while doing moderate exercise will double or otherwise increase your gains.
It is only recommended to take both supplements if you are doing intense training and need the nutritional boost to maximize muscle mass and strength.
What are the nutritional facts of protein powder?
This depends on the product, but in general you can expect about 100 to 150 calories per serving, and an average of 20 to 25 grams of protein.
Most brands will also have less than 5 grams of fat and carbohydrates.
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So, grab that BlenderBottle and get ready to shake it like a salt shaker, ’cause here are the best protein powders for women (and everyone else too).
But you may be wondering if women have different protein powder needs than men, or if any protein powder provides certain advantages to women specifically. (Spoiler alert: Nah.)
Protein is the darling of the macro world (sorry, fat and carbs), and protein powder is one of the most convenient ways to get an extra dose of it — whether you’re trying to lose fat, gain muscle , or both.
And Angie Asche, dietitian, owner of Eleat Sports Nutrition , and author of Fuel Your Body , reassures us that any extras in a female-oriented protein powder (like added vitamins) just plain aren’t necessary.
Other factors — like taste, dietary needs or preferences, and your lifestyle — play a much bigger role than gender in determining what makes a great protein powder for you.
Is it worth paying the pink tax on protein powder? Definitely not. Good protein powder is good protein powder, no matter who you are. Kim Pierce, dietitian and founder of The Outdoors Dietitian , says, “Women don’t need a different type of protein powder than men.”
Look for protein powders that keep it simple and real (but remember that some extra ingredients are necessary for better flavor and texture).
According to Asche, your protein powder does NOT need to be loaded with extra ingredients. It’s not a multivitamin , and lots of highly processed additives may be a sign that it’s not a great quality powder.
Even if you’re a casual exerciser who’s not downing protein shakes on the daily, you can feel confident that a company willing to invest in third-party certifications or testing stands behind their product.
FDA regulation of supplements is pretty limited, so third-party certifications are a great way to fact-check a powder’s quality. Certain certifications (like Informed Sport and NSF for Sport , according to Pierce) ensure that the protein powder is safe and free of contaminants and banned substances.
“I recommend looking for a high quality protein as the first ingredient — for example, grass-fed whey protein isolate,” explains Asche. She adds that plant-based proteins should contain several types of protein to ensure an optimal amino acid profile .
Pierce and Asche are here to show us the whey to pick a solid protein powder. Here’s what they recommend looking for (and the criteria that influenced our top protein powder picks!).
Best overall protein powder for women
Price per serving: $$
$$ Protein type: whey concentrate
whey concentrate Protein per serving: 21 grams (g)
21 grams (g) Calories per serving: 130
130 Other nutrition info: 3 g fat, 11 g carbs, 2 g fiber
3 g fat, 11 g carbs, 2 g fiber Added sugar: 0 grams
0 grams Certifications: USDA organic, non-GMO
This inexpensive protein powder comes highly recommended by both Asche and Pierce, so it earned our top spot. Reviewers are seriously impressed by its great taste and texture, and it’s made with all organic and non-GMO ingredients — including whey concentrate from grass-fed cows. It comes in chocolate or vanilla.
(P.S. Whey typically comes in one of two forms in protein powder: whey concentrate or whey isolate. Whey isolate is more processed, resulting in a higher protein content with minimal extra carbs or fats hanging on from the milk it comes from. Whey concentrate contains small amounts of these and less protein by weight, but tends to be more affordable.)
Despite its lack of sport certifications, Orgain has strict quality standards that make it a trusted choice among health pros.
gluten-free Cons no sport certifications
Top-rated protein powder for women
Price per serving: $$$
$$$ Protein type: plant-based (pea, sprouted navy bean, sprouted lentil, sprouted garbanzo, cranberry seed)
plant-based (pea, sprouted navy bean, sprouted lentil, sprouted garbanzo, cranberry seed) Protein per serving: 30 g
30 g Calories per serving: 180
180 Other nutrition info: 3.5 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3 g fiber
3.5 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3 g fiber Added sugar: 0 grams
0 grams Certifications: USDA organic, non-GMO, NSF for Sport, Informed Sport
This protein powder comes highly recommended by Asche and has more than 7,300 overwhelmingly positive Amazon reviews, averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars. Put simply: People love it.
It’s also vegan and contains probiotics, which may be helpful for metabolism and overall gut health. In addition, it contains some added vitamins and a Recovery Blend, which contains antioxidants from various whole food sources to aid in post-workout recovery. Totally helpful, but not a necessity in protein powder.
You can get it in chocolate or vanilla.
Pros 30 g protein per serving
variety of plant-based proteins
gluten-free Cons some extra ingredients that aren’t necessary for a protein powder
Best whey protein powder for women
Price per serving: $$
$$ Protein type: whey isolate
whey isolate Protein per serving: 20 g
20 g Calories per serving: 120
120 Other nutrition info: 2 g fat, 5 g carbs, 2 g fiber
2 g fat, 5 g carbs, 2 g fiber Added sugar: 0 g
0 g Certifications: NSF for Sport, Informed Sport
Whey isolate is often preferred over whey concentrate because it contains more protein and fewer milk sugars and fats. ONNIT’s whey comes from grass-fed New Zealand cows, and its formula focuses on the protein with minimal flashy extras. However, it does contain a bit of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which may help you burn more fat while you get your pump on, according to a small 2012 study.
You can get this powder in Mexican chocolate (with a hint of cinnamon — YUM) or vanilla.
Pros low in carbs
high quality whey
gluten-free Cons expensive
Best plant-based protein powder for women
Price per serving: $$
$$ Protein type: plant-based (pea, brown rice, chia seed)
plant-based (pea, brown rice, chia seed) Protein per serving: 21 g
21 g Calories per serving: 150
150 Other nutrition info: 4 g fat, 15 g carbs, 2 g fiber
4 g fat, 15 g carbs, 2 g fiber Added sugar: 0 g
0 g Certifications: USDA organic, non-GMO, vegan-friendly
Orgain is a recommended brand from our RD protein team (proteam?), and this one’s got rave reviews — more than 37,000 to be precise. Reviewers say it mixes well, and it’s one of the most affordable organic plant-based options. It comes in several flavors, including chocolate caramel sea salt *drool* — which is available on the Orgain website.
And other than the creamer base that Orgain adds to their protein powders to make them tasty AF (we can personally attest), this blend is all about the (plant) protein, baby.
Again, despite Orgain’s lack of sports certifications, the company really cares about product quality — making them a dietitian fave.
Pros variety of plant-based proteins
gluten-free Cons no sport certifications
Best protein powder for muscle gain for women
Price per serving: $$$
$$$ Protein type: whey isolate
whey isolate Protein per serving: 20 g
20 g Calories per serving: 100
100 Other nutrition info: 1.5 g fat, 3 g carbs, 2 g fiber
1.5 g fat, 3 g carbs, 2 g fiber Added sugar: 0 g
0 g Certifications: non-GMO, NSF for Sport, Informed Sport
This is the VIP (Very Important Protein) of the protein powder world. Made with cold-processed grass-fed whey isolate and a blend of natural enzymes to help boost absorption, it’s the one you want if quality is a priority and price is not a concern. It also comes recommended by Asche.
Since it’s got minimal other stuff and is made with whey isolate (pure muscle food), it’s also ideal for your post-workout shake if gains are your goal.
Flavors include chocolate and vanilla.
Pros high quality whey
lower in calories and carbs than many other powders
gluten-free Cons expensive
Best protein powder for athletes
Price per serving: $$$
$$$ Protein type: whey isolate
whey isolate Protein per serving: 20 g
20 g Calories per serving: 100
100 Other nutrition info: 1 g fat, 6 g carbs, 1 g fiber
1 g fat, 6 g carbs, 1 g fiber Added sugar: 0 g
0 g Certifications: NSF for Sport
Klean Athlete — as the name suggests — is a trusted line of high quality sports supplements designed specifically for athletes. This one is on the expensive side but offers a similar nutritional profile to the Momentous powder above for a slightly lower price.
As the name ALSO suggests, it keeps the focus on the protein with no hyped-up extras (which is totally Asche-approved).
You can get it in chocolate, vanilla, or unflavored.
Pros lower in calories and carbs than other protein powders
high quality whey
gluten-free Cons expensive
Best protein powder for weight loss for women
Price per serving: $
$ Protein type: whey isolate
whey isolate Protein per serving: 25 g
25 g Calories per serving: 110
110 Other nutrition info: 0.5 g fat, <1 g carbs
0.5 g fat, <1 g carbs Added sugar: 0 g
0 g Certifications: Informed Sport
This protein powder provides some incredible value, especially considering it’s made with the more pure isolate form of whey protein, contains only two ingredients, and is Informed Sport certified.
It also packs a hefty 25 grams of protein for just 110 calories, which is an ideal protein payoff if you’re trying to lose weight. High protein diets appear to be really helpful for weight loss, and this powder is an easy way to hack your protein intake for minimal calories.
However, reviewers detail quality issues in certain batches, like poor mixing and excessive foaming.
only two ingredients
high quality whey
gluten-free Cons some reviews report poor mixing and quality issues
Most personalized protein powder for women
Price per serving: $$$+
$$$+ Protein type: whey concentrate, whey isolate, casein, or plant-based (pea, brown rice, oat)
whey concentrate, whey isolate, casein, or plant-based (pea, brown rice, oat) Protein per serving: 19 to 27 g
19 to 27 g Calories per serving: varies
varies Other nutrition info: varies
varies Added sugar: 0 g
0 g Certifications: N/A
Want an Easy button for your protein powder? Hop on over to Gainful’s website, take the quiz, and let the company create a custom protein powder that suits your needs, goals, and preferences. Its powders are made with super high quality ingredients and can be made vegan- or keto-friendly.
Depending on your needs, your custom protein blend may contain coconut oil (a good source of fuel for people on low carb, high fat keto diets), green tea extract to provide a little metabolism boost, or branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which helps reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from exercise, according to a research review.
Your purchase also gives you 1-on-1 access to a dietitian who can help you with your goals. You can add flavor boosts in some fun options, like cinnamon toast and caffé mocha.
Pros totally customized
high quality ingredients Cons expensive
no sport certifications
Best flavored protein powder for women
Price per serving: $$
$$ Protein type: plant-based (pea, flaxseed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, chia seed)
plant-based (pea, flaxseed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, chia seed) Protein per serving: 20 g
20 g Calories per serving: 170
170 Other nutrition info: 6 g fat, 9 g carbs, 2 g fiber
6 g fat, 9 g carbs, 2 g fiber Added sugar: 2 g (for chocolate flavor)
2 g (for chocolate flavor) Certifications: USDA organic, non-GMO
This plant-based protein line from KOS boasts some flavors that are a far cry from the same old, same old chocolate and vanilla (although they’ve got those too). Think salted caramel coffee, blueberry muffin, chocolate peanut butter, and chocolate chip mint — all naturally colored and flavored.
These protein blends are also packed with vitamins and minerals, a digestive enzyme blend that may help you absorb and utilize the protein more efficiently, and a fruit-and-veggie extract blend to provide a little antioxidant cherry on top. And again, while these extras totes aren’t necessary, they are a nice addition.
Pros unique flavors
gluten- and dairy-free
vegan Cons expensive
Best low cost protein powder for women
Price per serving: $
$ Protein type: whey isolate
whey isolate Protein per serving: 10 g (18 g when mixed with 1 cup milk)
10 g (18 g when mixed with 1 cup milk) Calories per serving: 130
130 Other nutrition info: 1 g fat, 21 g carbs, 0 g fiber
1 g fat, 21 g carbs, 0 g fiber Added sugar: 9 g
9 g Certifications: none
If you need just a little extra protein to complement a mostly adequate intake, this is a fair choice — especially considering the price and great reviews for taste. Pierce even recommends it to some of her clients. Just keep in mind that it’s more sugary than other products on this list and has about half the protein. It comes in chocolate or vanilla.
convenient Cons several added ingredients
no sport certifications
contains added sugar
lower in protein than other powders
Best keto protein powder for women
Price per serving: $$$
$$$ Protein type: chicken and beef bone broth protein concentrate
chicken and beef bone broth protein concentrate Protein per serving: 15 g
15 g Calories per serving: 160
160 Other nutrition info: 10 g fat, 2 g carbs, 1 g fiber
10 g fat, 2 g carbs, 1 g fiber Added sugar: 0 g
0 g Certifications: non-GMO
If you’re on keto, you may want a protein powder with some slightly more favorable macros for your low carb lifestyle (like some extra fat) — and this is just the thing. It’s got more fat than most other protein powders to give you some extra keto-friendly energy and just 1 g of net carbs per serving, so it’s a great keto workout companion.
The protein blend also contains some metabolism boosters like MCT oil and coffee fruit extract (providing 50 mg of caffeine per serving, about 1/2 cup of coffee’s worth), along with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory extracts of ginger, turmeric, black pepper, and ashwagandha that may assist with recovery.
You can get it in chocolate or vanilla.
The best protein powder for women can be hard to find with so many options available to buy. For women looking to use protein powder for muscle gain, consuming adequate amounts of protein to support effective growth and repair within the body should be a priority. Protein powders can help you to achieve your daily allowance of protein, which can be difficult through some diets alone.
You may be wondering how best to incorporate protein powder into your diet. While a basic protein shake is always an option, you could try an iced coffee protein shake or even an easy protein mug cake recipe to boost your intake and incorporate the best protein powder for women into your day-to-day diet.
We’ve tested some of the best brands on the market, investigating overall protein content, calories, carbs, fat, and sugar per serving. We’ve also rated them on their value for money, packaging, taste, and the nitty-gritty of the types of protein used by each brand.
For the powders we’ve tested, protein content per serving averages at 20-25g per serving, but some, such as the Vega Protein Made Simple contain more than this, coming in at over 50g per serving. We also looked into how many servings each container offers so you can buy the option that offers great value for money.
If you follow a plant-based diet, we’ve tested several vegan options, including the Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein and the Misfits Protein Powder We have also included whey options, which are dairy-based protein powders, and have investigated plant protein vs whey protein: which is better for building muscle, so you can choose the best option for you.
If you’re keen to use protein powder to support healthy weight loss, we’ve also rounded up the best protein powder for weight loss to help you achieve your goals.
The best protein powder for women you can buy right now
(Image credit: Future)
1. Dymatize Nutrition ISO100 The best protein powder for most women Specifications Protein per serving: 25g Fat per serving: 0.1g Carbs per serving: 2.3g Sugar: 0.5g Servings per container: 73 Today's Best Deals View at Target (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Newegg (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Available in a range of flavors + Easy on the stomach Reasons to avoid - Tub hard to recycle - Relatively expensive
If you’re serious about building lean muscle, Dymatize Nutrition ISO 1000 provides an impressive 25g of protein per serving and only 2.3g of carbohydrate. And at just 120 calories when mixed with water, you don’t need to worry about feeling bloated either. Plus, the protein is a combination of hydrolyzed and whey protein isolates, which digest easily and are gentle on the stomach. Because the brand is designed specifically for muscle gain, the powder contains a significant dose of BCAAs – between 5.6-5.8g per serving, depending on the flavor. This includes between 2.6-2.7g of leucine, a BCAA that is directly involved in activating muscle protein synthesis.
Available in over 16 different flavors (including favorites like natural vanilla and chocolate, as well as dunkin’ cappuccino and cinnamon bun) there’s a taste everyone can enjoy. We tried the birthday cake flavor, expecting it to have a sickly, synthetic taste. However, we were pleasantly surprised that it had just the right level of sweetness. Dymatize ISO 100 is quite a fine powder, and mixes well without any lumps or powder residue at the bottom of your protein shaker. It was tasty stirred into oatmeal too, although we should note that unlike some protein powders that can have a thickening effect, it actually made our oatmeal a little runny. We’d recommend stirring it in before cooking the oatmeal a little longer.
Unlike some other brands, you don’t get much else other than protein. It contains 90mg of calcium per serving, but no vitamin D or iron. The tub is also quite large, which is a commitment if you’re not sure which flavor to choose. However, it is suitable for vegetarians, free from gluten and holds the Informed-Choice certification, meaning it has been tested for banned substances by anti-doping lab LGC.
What the users say: Dymatize ISO 100 scores an impressive 4.6 out of five stars on the Vitamin Shoppe. Most users note that the powder blends smoothly and has a good taste. Fruity pebbles, in particular, appears to be a popular choice. Negative reviews focus on the fact that the tub is fairly expensive, and is only available in one size.
(Image credit: MyProtein)
2. MyProtein Impact Whey Isolate The best budget protein powder for women Specifications Protein per serving: 20g Fat per serving: 1.8g Carbs per serving: 1.6g Sugars: 1.6g Servings per container: 40 per 1kg bag Today's Best Deals View at Pro Bike Kit (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Myprotein (US) (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + High quality protein content + Packed with essential amino acids, including BCAAs, which help build and repair new muscle. Reasons to avoid - Thin consistency when mixed with water instead of milk or milk alternatives. - Quite sweet
This gluten-free, vegetarian powder from MyProtein goes through a superior purifying process, which means it has 90% protein content and minimal nasties. It’s also jam-packed with essential amino acids and high in BCAA’s – especially important as they help stimulate protein synthesis in order to build lean muscle.
Because of the way this product is processed, it has a really fast absorption rate, meaning your digestive system has an easier job of breaking down the nutrients quicker.
It’s extremely low carb (just 1.6g per serving) and low sugar, and comes in over 20 delicious flavors including Rocky Road and Salted Caramel, so you’ll never get bored.Although the flavors do vary in impact. We found regular chocolate to be fairly weak tasting, whereas chocolate brownie is excellent. The good news is there’s no chalky weird aftertaste here. It’s also great value for money and comes in three sizes – 2.2lb, 5.5lb and 11lb – so you could trial a couple of different flavors in the 2.2lb pouch if you wanted to. We also found the smaller size ideal for taking on trips.
What the users say: MyProtein Impact Whey Isolate scores an average of 4.4 stars out of five on Amazon. Positive reviews tend to focus on the fact that you get lots of servings for your money, and that the mixability is fantastic. More negative reviews tend to cite the flavor as just being ‘okay’, with one user noting, “It could be much better but it could be worse too”.
(Image credit: Future)
3. Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein The best premium protein powder for women Specifications Protein per serving: 22g Fat per serving: 2.5g Carbs per serving: 2g Sugars: 0g Servings per container: 20 Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at iHerb (opens in new tab) View at Target (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Packed with tummy-friendly probiotics and digestive enzymes + Contains vitamin E and mood-boosting Vitamin D + Certified organic, non-GMO and vegan friendly Reasons to avoid - Limited flavour choice - Quite thick consistency
This high-protein, vegan protein powder is made with 22 raw sprouted organic ingredients and does all the usual things you’d want to help build lean muscle. But what makes it different is it is packed full of lots of clinically-studied goodies designed specifically for weight loss, including Svetol® green coffee bean extract to help you burn fat and maintain healthy blood sugar, and Ashwagandha, which can help to curb cravings.
It also contains tummy-friendly probiotics and digestive enzymes, which break down our food into nutrients so our bodies can absorb them, making it a great choice for women with IBS or gut problems. As well as this, it contains vitamins A, D, E and K to support immune health, so it’s far from just protein you’re getting with this product.
Available in four flavors: vanilla, chocolate, vanilla chai and unflavored, it dissolves well in liquid and doesn’t have any chalky aftertaste. It’s quite a ‘thick’ protein powder, so if you’re stirring it into oatmeal, you may want to add a splash of milk or water, or mix it in before your oatmeal has thickened too much. Otherwise you’ll risk ending up with a cement-like breakfast. Taste wise, you can tell this is a premium product. We tried the vanilla chai flavor and were surprised by how deliciously natural it tasted – no synthetic sweetness like some brands.
What the user's say: Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein scores 4.3 out of five stars on iherb. Users note that it is just the right measure of sweetness, dissolves quickly in water and doesn’t feel heavy on the stomach. One user comments, “I like the cleanliness of the ingredients and the added digestive aids. It has a very natural taste. If you are looking for a milkshake type flavor, this won’t give it to you.” Negative reviews tend to come from those that do prefer a sweetener taste, who find they need to add a splash of stevia.
(Image credit: Future)
4. Misfits protein powder The best vegan protein powder for women Specifications Protein per serving: 20g Fat per serving: 2.2g Carbs per serving: 1.8g Sugars: 0.4g Servings per container: 16 Today's Best Deals Check Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Suitable for vegans + Contains added vitamin B12 Reasons to avoid - Only available in 500g bag - Only four flavors
Containing just 1.8g of carbohydrate and coming in at 113 calories per serving, Misfits is a great option for those looking to build lean muscle while keeping their carb intake to a minimum. It’s a great option for vegans too, as it’s made from a combination of pea and sunflower protein. It also contains papain, an enzyme found in papaya fruit, which facilitates the breakdown of proteins and stimulates digestion. And that’s not all – it contains inulin (a prebiotic) and bacillus coagulans (a probiotic) to benefit digestion and absorption, so you can get the most from the product, as well as vitamin B12, a vital nutrient which is often lacking in a vegan diet. Being naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and hypoallergenic, it works well with most diets.
Misfits comes in four flavors, double chocolate, salted caramel, vanilla, and cookies and cream. We tested the double chocolate, expecting it to have an over-the-top sweetness. However, we were pleasantly surprised that it was chocolatey, but not to the point of being sickly. We did find that it was a little bit lumpy in shakes however, and stuck to our blender slightly. But we should note that our blender is quite old and sometimes struggles with tougher ingredients.
It’s a shame this only comes in a 500g bag, because it will only last you for 16 servings. However, overall this is a quality protein powder for women that helps to build lean muscle, and has the added benefit of being dairy free.
What the users say: User reviews for Misfits protein powder are largely very positive, with many saying that it doesn’t have the grainy texture that a lot of brands have. According to them, the powder mixes well into oatmeal, smoothies and yogurt. Negative reviews tend to focus on the fact that you can only buy 500g bags, so if you get through protein powder quickly, you’ll want to double up on your order or opt for a brand that offers a larger tub.
(Image credit: Future)
5. Form performance protein The best protein powder for women, ethically speaking Specifications Protein per serving: 30g Fat per serving: 2.9g Carbs per serving: 2g Sugars: 0.1g Servings per container: 13 Today's Best Deals Check Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Sustainable ingredients and packaging + Very high in protein Reasons to avoid - Limited flavor choice - Expensive
Form Performance Protein offers a complete amino acid profile with 5g of BCAAs per serving, and a whopping 30g of protein, supporting the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. The blend is a mix of organic pea protein with brown rice and hemp proteins. It also contains curcumin and black pepper, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties to help you recover quicker and get back to training faster, as well as 5g of glutamine and digestive enzymes.
One of the most eco-friendly options, it contains all natural ingredients with no artificial flavors, sweeteners or added sugar. The packaging is also 100% plastic free and compostable. Because of this, no plastic scoop is included, so you will need a spoon handy. The bag is also only available in one size too (520g), which contains just 13 servings. This seems fairly small for the hefty price tag, but given the quality of the product and the company’s ethical stance, it’s probably justifiable.
Form Performance Protein comes in just four flavors, vanilla, chocolate peanut, banoffee and tiramisu. The texture is smooth and it’s easy to mix, although the vanilla flavor that we tested may be too sweet for some tastes. But if it’s an ethical, vegan protein powder you’re after, this ticks a lot of boxes.
What the users say: Users note that, compared to a lot of other vegan protein powders, the amount of protein you get per serving is really good. One user wrote: “The main problem with non-dairy protein powders is their chalkiness and thickness – especially if only mixed with water. Form Protein Powder is by far the least thick and chalky non-dairy powder I've found.” Negative reviews tend to cite that the powder is fairly sweet, as well as pricey.
(Image credit: Alice Ball)
6. Vega Protein Made Simple The best fuss-free protein powder for women Specifications Protein per serving: 55g Fat per serving: 15g Carbs per serving: 6.9g Sugars: 3.4g Servings per container: 10 Today's Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Competitive Cyclist US (opens in new tab) View at (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Short ingredient list + Vegan-friendly Reasons to avoid - Only 10 servings per container - Higher in sugar
If it’s simplicity you’re after when it comes to the best protein powder for women, look no further than Vega Nutrition’s Protein Made Simple. It contains just five ingredients (and none that you’ll struggle to pronounce): pea protein, organic cane sugar, coconut cream powder, natural flavors and sea salt.
Whilst it’s suitable for vegetarians and dairy-free diets, it is manufactured in a facility that processes milk, egg, soy and tree nuts.
Protein Made Simple comes in four different flavors: dark chocolate, caramel toffee, strawberry banana and vanilla. Despite containing real sugar, the flavor isn’t overly sweet. We tried the dark chocolate flavor, and although it wasn’t as intensely chocolatey as we would have liked (especially stirred into oatmeal), it definitely didn’t have the synthetic flavor that a lot of other brands have.
There’s a lot to love about this protein powder, which is why it’s frustrating that it doesn’t come in a larger size. One pot will only last you 10 servings. Whilst it’s not a hugely costly product, it means you’ll have to bulk order. Despite this, a big draw is that it doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, making this an ideal option if you’re looking for a no-frills protein boost.
What the users say: Protein Made Simple scores 4.5 out of five stars on iherb. Many users comment that the powder is easy to dissolve, and tastes really good, with no artificial flavor or smell. Negative reviews say that the protein should come in a larger size and that it would be useful if a scoop size provided 20g of protein, rather than 15g.
What is protein powder, and how does it work?
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential for building muscle mass. It also makes up your nails, hair and bones. Proteins are built up of amino acid molecules, with the proteins we eat getting broken down in the body to fuel muscle mass and metabolism.
When we do resistance training, we're actually creating ‘micro-tears’ in the muscle fibers. In order to heal it, the body sends proteins and blood to the muscle, and this healing process helps it to grow back bigger and stronger. If we don't eat enough protein, the muscle won't grow as well after exercise. For women, it can also hinder metabolism and hormone levels.
A safe level of protein ranges from 0.8g per kg of body weight (2.2lbs), up to 2g of protein per kilogram for very active athletes. This is what makes protein powder so convenient. We can throw a scoop of dry powder into a shaker full of water straight after exercise, so the protein can get to work mending those micro-tears as soon as possible.
You can even throw a scoop of powder into other dishes at home to up the protein content of foods like protein pancakes, oatmeal, or Greek yogurts, making for a healthier breakfast.
One study published in The American journal of clinical nutrition (opens in new tab) found a high-protein breakfast improved satiety in late adolescent girls, making them feel fuller. This can also positively improve neural pathways in our brain which trigger perceived hunger, causing us to snack less throughout the day.
How to choose from the best protein powder for women
As you can imagine, there’s a wealth of choice when it comes to protein powders and a lot of it will come down to your specific dietary needs and taste.
There are 20 amino acids that form the building blocks of muscle protein - nine essential and 11 non-essential. Within the essential amino acids are the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) – leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are particularly important for muscle building. Look for protein powders that contain these BCAAs if muscle gain is your goal.
Some protein powders are made from animal products such as whey or casein. Whey protein tends to be digested easily, whereas casein is slower to be absorbed. Both contain all nine essential amino acids.
(Image credit: Getty)
Protein powders tend to come in three forms: concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate. Concentrate powders are less suitable for building lean muscle, because they are less ‘pure’, containing less than two-thirds protein. Protein isolate powders tend to have a higher percentage of protein in them, because they have been filtered to remove most of the carbohydrates and fats. They’re also low in lactose, so if you have a lactose intolerance it’s a good way to get your protein in. Hydrolysate powders are also very well absorbed, but as these have been processed even more than isolate powders, they tend to be more expensive.
You'll also find protein powders that are vegan-friendly. Look for ones that use a combination of plant proteins (such as pea, soy, hemp and brown rice) as these will be more likely to contain a complete amino acid profile.
Once you’ve picked your protein type, next you want to consider the amount of protein per serving, as well as the carb and calorie content. If you’re trying to build leaner muscle, you’ll want to go for one that’s slightly lower in carbohydrates and sugars.
You may want to keep your protein powder as simple as possible, and get the rest of your nutrients from food, or the best fish oil supplements . However, lots of brands add extra goodies to their products, from digestive enzymes and probiotics, to weight loss boosters like green tea extract and turmeric. If you’re looking to up your vitamin and mineral intake, these types of products are a win-win.
The next step (and one of the most important in our opinion) is taste and texture. It’s all very well having loads of flavors to choose from, but if they don’t taste great, or are lumpy and chalky, you won’t want to drink or eat them. The protein powders in this guide have been chosen based on their ability to mix with water, milk or food, and all passed our taste tests.
Budget is of course a factor but there are so many different price points that you won’t struggle to find something to fit your needs.
What's the best protein powder for women?
There are hundreds of products in the protein powder market, so choosing just one can quickly become overwhelming. However, there are a few ways you can quickly narrow down your search.
Being able to decipher the nutrition label will help you to understand what's actually going on with your protein powder.
As mentioned previously, first of all take a look at the type of protein that is being used. Common options include whey, casein, collagen, plant-based, pea, and hemp. Each type of protein has its pros and cons, so figure out what type of protein will best support your needs.
Next, take a look at the sugar and sodium levels. Most of us probably want to steer clear of protein powders that are high in sugar or artificial ingredients, especially if we're hoping to build muscle.
Look out for added vitamins and electrolytes that may help to support your workout in other ways. Many products are essentially two-in-ones.
Finally, look for a certification that the product has been tested and approved for public use.
Protein powders come in a wide variety of flavors. While some people prefer tasteless powders, others find it easier to take protein when it tastes like chocolate, vanilla, or coffee.
Finally, make sure that the powder fits your dietary requirements. Not all protein powders are suitable for vegans, for instance. When in doubt, always check with your doctor before trying a new product.