If you’re anything like me, having a bad tasting protein will be one of the worse parts of your day…
Knowing that you committed to a full tub… knowing that you have to drink it post-workout, it’s a terrible feeling…
The dread starts to come, and finally when you make the shake, and that first taste touches your lips…
Your guts, they start to feel weird, you feel everything that you ate start to come up..
It’s like when you took too much pre-workout and started vomiting your guts out.
Definitely not a pleasant feeling.
But fear not! Having tried some absolutely terrible tasting proteins, to some that taste like heaven in a shaker cup!
I have narrowed it down to the best 5 tasting protein powders in the list below…
The 5 Best Tasting Protein Powders of 2019
If you’re looking for a super-quick guide, here you go:
|Protein||Taste Rating||Ingredient & Macro Rating||Recommended Flavour|
|Rule 1 R1 Whey Blend||5/5||A+||Salted Caramel|
|Dymatize ISO 100 Whey||5/5||A+||Orange Dreamsicle|
|Ghost 100% Whey||4.8/5||A||Cereal Milk|
|Muscle Pharm Combat Whey||4.7/5||A-||Cookies N’ Cream|
|Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey||4.5/5||A-||Mocha Cappuccino|
Most Popular Types of Protein Powders
There are many protein powders that have come up over the years, some with rising popularity due to their unique benefits.
We will start off with the most common types of protein that we have researched well, and ones that you would most find to be most popular on shelves.
Starting off with…
As stated above, this is one of the most popular forms of protein supplementation, alongside casein protein.
Whey protein is a liquid by-product of cheese production.
It was discovered after curdling and straining milk – only then did scientists realized that the ‘whey’ that was extracted was all protein.
Whey is full of Leucine, which is an essential amino acid for protein muscle synthesis and an important amino to look out for in any protein product.
It also is one of the fastest absorbing proteins.
This makes it the perfect drink for post-workout, as it starts the recovery process right away.
Looking to get all building blocks of protein? You’re in luck. Most Whey proteins include all 9 essential amino acids that you use to gain muscle.
If you find yourself lacking in recovery, Casein may be the solution for you.
Casein is made from milk too, but a different type.
Curds form as milk coagulates result in Casein.
This can be found in chunks, like what you see in cottage cheese.
Casein is different from Whey – instead of absorbing quickly, it gets absorbed into your body at a much slower pace.
The best practice for taking Casein protein powder is to take it at night, right before bed.
Amino acids get released at a slowly, resulting in increased recovery when you’re sleeping.
Mass gainers include a heavy amount of calories and macro-nutrients.
You use mass gainers when you need quick calories in your system.
They are also usually high in carbs, which make them a great meal replacement (depending on your macros)
Standard dosages of Mass Gainers are anywhere between 500 – 1000 calories (depending on how much you want to take).
They are also high in carbs and have 25g+ of protein depending on your serving size.
I have taken Mass Gainers in the past, and while it’s quite hard to find one with Macros that suit a standard bulking meal…
If you can make it fit your macros, Mass Gainers can help you achieve your daily bulking macros.
Also watch out, if you are lactose intolerant as some of them feel very heavy on the stomach.
Other Types of Protein Powders
Aside from the 3 most popular protein powders listed above, there are many other types of protein powders…
There are protein supplements out there to help solve specific dietary preferences.
Since Whey, Casein and Mass Gainers all include dairy in them, Vegan Protein Powders and Organic Protein Powders are now on the rise.
All protein powders serve the same purpose – to help provide essential amino acids, and help achieve daily protein intake.
Other protein powders vary in taste, mixability, ingredients, and macro-nutrients.
They may also vary in the way they’re processed, which can make all the difference. (I’ll get into this later with the Whey proteins)
You can digest Hemp protein very quickly, with the added benefit of providing Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Omega 3 is known for its wide array of benefits, including:
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing fat in your liver
- Improving bone and joint health
- Improving sleep
- Boosts heart health
- Improves skin condition
The downside? Hemp protein lacks certain amino acids, which most other proteins do not.
Egg protein is an animal-based protein powder, but is lactose-free and light on the stomach!
It contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Studies suggest that Egg protein is similar to whey in its ability to stimulate muscle growth.
It absorbs into the body even slower than Casein…
The downside? Egg protein’s taste can come off a little harsh. Definitely not one of the good tasting proteins out there.
Buuuuuuuuuut, If you can down drinking raw eggs, you should be able to down this!
For vegetarians and vegans, soy protein can be an essential part of your diet.
Soy protein is low on cholesterol and fat.
Research has shown that Soy protein is an effective source for building muscle.
Unfortunately, controversy surrounds Soy proteins due to its estrogen-like molecules known as isoflavones.
If you’re looking to build muscle, and have a higher sex drive, you may want to stay away from Soy proteins.
You want to always be looking for natural ways to increase testosterone, and reduce estrogen.
The downside? Soy protein usually is clumpier, are harder to dissolve in water.
Also, like egg protein, the taste is questionable.
But if you’re looking to make some gains, then taste shouldn’t matter as much as the benefits.
Brown Rice Protein
Ever heard of brown rice protein?
Neither have I until I researched the different types of proteins.
In fact, Brown Rice is one of the oldest forms of protein supplements out there.
The name speaks for itself – a type of protein that has been extracted from rice.
The downside? Brown rice protein has a very low count of essential amino acids.
Due to the lacking aminos, you are better off with other protein sources if your goal is trying to build muscle.
Pea protein is made from – you guessed it, yellow split peas.
Split peas are known for benefits, such as:
- Lowering of cholesterol levels
- Reduction of cancer
- Regulation of blood sugar levels
- Being rich in fiber and protein
- Improvements in heart health
Pea protein has a very high digestibility of 98% and provides all essential amino acids that should come with protein supplements.
Although there aren’t many clinical studies done to back up pea protein’s claims, it is still quite a popular protein among vegans and vegetarians.
Which Whey Protein Is Right For You?
It is important to know the slight differences between the 3 types of Whey Proteins.
Each has their own creation and filtering process which results in different macro and micro-nutrients.
It is also possible to see protein products that include a mix of different types of proteins together, for example:
- 50% Concentrate and 50% Isolate
- 50% Whey and 50% Casein
These provide you with options to utilize different forms of protein and their unique benefits.
Whey Protein Concentrate
Whey Protein Concentrate AKA WPC is one of the most common forms of Whey Protein.
Each form of protein goes through a specific filtration process.
Depending on which filtration process it goes through will affect the macro and micro-nutrients.
WPC has the least amount of processing time compared to the other 2, which results in being the most calorie dense form.
On average WPC is distributed into 80% Protein, and 20% Carbs & Fats.
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Isolate AKA WPI is usually more macro-nutrient friendly than WPC.
WPI has a longer processing time that results in higher protein concentration, with less fat and carbs.
WPI is distributed into 90% – 95% Protein, and the rest being carbs and fat.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Hydrolysate has the longest processing time out of the 3 and goes through exposure to heat, acids, and enzymes.
As a result, the amino bonds break down even more than WPC and WPI.
This allows you to absorb the protein into your gut faster than any concentrate or isolate.
The Main Differences?
There aren’t many differences, besides the macronutrients, absorption rate into the gut, and pricing.
One disadvantage of WPI over WPC is that through the additional processing WPI eliminates micro-nutrients such as Immuno-globulins, Beta-Lactoglobulins, and Lactoferrins.
WPI’s are easier on the gut than WPC, so if you have stomach issues, look for a WPI.
Although you can still take all forms of Whey if you’re lactose intolerant, you just have to search for the right brand (I have the perfect one for you, keep reading)
Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Tasting Protein Powders
How Many Grams of Protein Can Your Body Absorb At A Time?
Usually, 8 – 10 grams per hour.
Protein supplements are different, though.
They make absorb much quicker than regular protein that you get from food.
The recommended amount of protein intake per meal is about 25g – 30g, and with a break of about 2 – 3 hours between meals.
Although it may take some time to fully digest, you should be drinking or eating protein every 2 – 3 hours, ideally.
Are Protein Supplements Actually Effective?
Whey protein is very effective when absorbed with digestive enzymes.
The effectiveness lies in its ability to be consumed very quickly, as well as the absorption rate – hence why taking a post-workout shake immediately after a workout is recommended.
Drinking a protein shake immediately after exercise allows your body to jump-start the recovery process after you have just broken the muscle fibers down.
Faster Recovery = Less Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Less DOMS = More Time To Train
Protein Shakes are designed to have all the essential amino acids that your body needs to repair the muscle more efficiently.
This results in your muscle getting stronger, and overall helps with muscle growth.
Although you won’t build muscle by relying entirely on protein shakes, it will definitely help you if combined a shake or two with a proper diet and training.
How Long Does Protein Take To Digest In The Body?
It takes 1.5 hours for a protein shake to fully digest into your body.
You can digest 8 – 10 grams of other protein sources per hour.
Do Carbs Help You Absorb Protein?
Carbs release insulin within your body.
Higher insulin levels help absorb amino acids.
Thus, eating a balanced diet which has complex/starchy carbs that spike your insulin up the right way, will help with the absorption of amino acids.
This is especially important post-workout as both your glycogen stores (which are filled when you eat carbs) and your muscle fibers need nutrients.
So overall, yes. Carbs help you absorb protein.
Ensure that you are getting carbs from starchy/complex sources and not from sugar, as any excess carbs stored in your body turns into fat.
What Are The Side Effects of Protein Supplements?
There aren’t any side effects of taking protein supplements based on it’s recommended amount daily.
But remember, anything in excess is bad for you – protein included.
Relying on protein supplements as your main source of protein intake can be dangerous.
You should be getting the majority of your protein from whole foods and only be using supplements to help you hit your daily macros and provide essential aminos for your body.
Taking protein supplements in excess can cause nausea, vomiting and bloating.
Take protein 1 – 2 protein shakes a day, and you’ll be sweet.
Remember, listen to your body.
Can Whey Protein Affect Your Kidneys?
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that protein supplements affect your Kidneys.
Based on the experience, taking too many proteins shakes in one day does make me feel a little sick.
But like I said, anything in excess is bad.
If you suffer from any sort of medical conditions (including kidney disease or diabetes), consult a nutritionist first before taking any sort of supplementation.
Drinking lots of water will allow your body to digest your foods and liquid foods down more efficiently.
I can’t stress this enough, make sure your diet is on point, and use supplements to help you.
How Many Grams of Protein Is Optimal To Build Muscle?
For any gains to be made, protein must be ingested.
If you’re trying to build muscle, and you’re currently on a bulking diet, then protein shakes will be a key element in helping you get to your goal.
Protein shakes will help you get the necessary daily macros you need and will help with providing the essential amino acids your body needs.
With the added aminos, your body will be able to recover after a big work out.
If you would like to calculate how much daily protein intake use this formula:
1.5g – 2.5g p/ lbs of bodyweight = __g of protein p/ day.
For example: 2.5g x 150 lbs = 375g of protein p/ day.
Most bulking diets need high amounts of protein, so adding 1 – 2 protein shakes (which would be about 50g – 60g of protein) would help you achieve those macros quicker and easier.
Just remember to account for the calories (which is about 100+), carbs and fats too.
The 5 Best Tasting Protein Powders
Rule 1 R1 Whey Blend Protein
Recommended Flavour: Salted Caramel
That’s exactly what happened to me the first time I tried Rule 1’s Salted Caramel for the first time.
If you’re a fan of salted caramel mouses, you’ll love this flavor.
We pride ourselves by bringing nameless brands to the stand if they come out with a great product.
Rule 1’s R1 Whey Protein is no exception.
The macros and ingredients in this protein are impressive.
Usually, to be able to have high-quality macros, you must sacrifice something else in return.
For protein supplements, that usually means sacrificing some of the essential amino acids.
What Rule 1’s R1 Whey has been able to do is have awesome macros…
All without having to sacrifice essential amino acids.
In fact, Rule 1 has gone above and beyond to add even more beneficial amino acids for you.
- Calories: 100
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 1g
- Sugars: 0g
- Fat: 0g
✔ High-quality protein sources (Isolate and Hydrolysate) which are known as the purest forms of protein
✔ Includes Leucine and L-Glutamine
✔ Price is very affordable for the budget-friendly lifter
✔ Mixes extremely well with water
✔ Some flavors are also Gluten-free (read the label)
✘ Includes artificial flavors
✘ Includes sucralose and acesulfame potassium
Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein
Recommended Flavour: Orange Dreamsicle
Have you ever taken a protein shake… then 10 minutes later, you’re crawling up into the fetal position, holding your stomach because it hurt like hell?
Then you get the urge to run to the toilet, and instead out laying out solid bricks, it’s like a waterfall out there? (I hope you know what I mean)
I have, and it’s definitely not a good feeling, especially after you just killed a workout.
In comes Dymatized 100% Whey Protein Isolate, here to solve all of your stomach issues.
One of the main features of this whey is its high amounts of Leucine (as mentioned earlier – an essential amino for muscle protein synthesis).
With the added benefit of being Hydrolyzed and WPI, Dymatize ISO 100 has a very efficient absorption rate.
All of Dymatize’s products go through testing for banned substances to ensure the highest quality for you, the consumer.
- Calories: 110
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 2g
- Sugar: <1g
- Fat: 0g
✔ Mixes great with water
✔ 5.5g of BCAA’s
✔ 2.7g of Leucine
✔ Gluten and lactose-free (no digestive issues whatsoever)
✔ Given Award of Excellence by Bodybuilding.com in 2017
✔ One of the lowest amount of sugar and fat of all protein supplements on the market
✘ Flavor NOT Recommended: Chocolate Coconut
✘ Has varying pricing for different flavors for no apparent reason
✘ A little too sweet for some people
Ghost Whey Protein
Recommended Flavour: Cereal Milk
At first, seeing the ‘Cereal’ selection of flavors I had no idea what I was in for.
But when that first drop of Ghost protein landed on my tongue – instant feelings of nostalgia from when I was a kid.
Every morning, when I used to get up for school.
My go-to breakfast was Froot Loops, a children’s classic.
You know how it is…
Eat all the cereal first…
Then drink all that tasty milk afterward?
That tasty milk is exactly what one of Ghost Whey flavors tastes like – Fruity Cereal Milk.
In terms of flavor profile, their all deliciouso.
All with the added benefit of having natural digestive enzymes that help your digestive system work more efficiently.
- Calories: 130
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 4g
- Sugar: 2g
- Fat: 1.5g
✔ Included natural digestive enzymes to help you break down foods in your stomach for increased efficiency of digestion
✔ Gluten, soy, and corn free
✔ Mixes very well with water
✔ Most flavors taste really good
✘ Quite expensive
✘ Contains sucralose and Splenda
✘ Only available in a 2 lb tub
Muscle Pharm Whey Protein
Recommended Flavour: Cookies & Cream
Super well-balanced and tested, Muscle Pharm has developed a protein that represents great value for money.
Muscle Pharm prides themselves on having all of their products tested for banned substances.
They are also free of any artificial dyes or colors, and best yet – gluten-free.
Muscle Pharm’s Combat Whey is a super lean protein and sits well in the stomach (no issues).
What makes their Whey different is how their protein is mixed…
Combining 5 different protein sources, to make what can only be one of the best protein supplements on the market right now.
- Calories: 140
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 5g
- Sugar: 2g
- Fats: 2g
✔ University-studied formula
✔ Mixes very well with water, milk, and fruits
✔ Affordable pricing for lifters on a budget
✔ Protein from 5 different sources – both fast and slow-digesting proteins
✔ Includes BCAA’s and digestive enzymes (for increased absorption)
✔ Includes Glutamine
✔ Can go well with water, milk, fruits, and vegetables
✘ Contains artificial sweeteners and ingredients
✘ Allergy Warning: Produced in facilities where milk, egg, soybeans, shellfish, fish, tree nuts and peanuts are present.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein
Recommended Flavour: Coffee Cappucino
When I first got into taking protein supplements, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard was one of the most highly recommended protein supplements on the market.
Gold Standard prides themselves on their macros, but also their flavor profiles.
One of the most well-known protein supplements on the market and probably the most well-known supplement on this list.
There’s no denying that Optimum Nutrition has brought the heat when it comes to their Gold Standard Whey Protein.
All Gold Standard proteins that I have tasted over my lifting career has blended extremely well with water and tasted amazing.
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 24g
- Carbs: 3g
- Sugar: 2g
- Fat: 1.5g
✔ Mixes very well with water
✔ Includes a high-quality blend
✔ Affordable price for lifters on a budget
✔ 4g of Glutamine & Glutamic Acid
✔ 5.5g of BCAA’s (including Leucine)
✘ Recent formula change which made the flavor much sweeter
✘ Contains sucralose and artificial sweeteners
✘ Flavor Double Rich Chocolate a little bit too sweet for my liking
Winner Winner, Breast Chicken & Vegetable Dinner
When it comes to protein powders, there are thousands of products out there, and thousands more to come as the fitness industry continues rises in popularity.
New and emerging types of proteins, brands, and formulas all trying to add extra ingredients that ‘supposedly’ gives you those extra gains.
We will not be fooled.
Many protein powders may be similar, but all come with their own unique take on what’s the “best” protein for you.
Of the 5 products we reviewed, the main features we love to see what is the best macro count, affordability, easy to on the stomach, how complete their amino acids are if they included quality ingredients, and of course if they taste well.
Our choice (and also a personal favorite) is Rule 1’s R1 Whey Protein – Salted Caramel.
Overall, you can bet that it has the best macro count on the list, taste amazing, and is my current go-to protein supplement right now.
Aside from the artificial sweeteners involved, Rule 1 R1 have all your essential aminos and a great macro count, all without having to sacrifice their taste.
Better yet, it’s the type of protein that not everyone would know, but everyone would love!
If you’re looking to make some gains, Rule 1’s R1 Whey Protein is your best choice.
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