The best protein powders for effective workouts

Consuming enough protein is essential for making progress in any fitness routine. Protein helps you recover and is essential for building muscle. Consuming protein shakes before or after a workout allows you to maximize the effectiveness of your gym or home gym session, by making sure that your body has the right building blocks to both grow and recover properly.

The best protein powders taste good and fit well into your diet and culinary habits. You can always toss a scoop of protein powder into a glass of milk or water, but more adventurous exercise enthusiasts enjoy incorporating protein powder into their smoothies, baked goods, and other kitchen creations.

Traditionally, the most popular protein powders are made of whey — but as the exercise supplement market has grown, more and more plant-based protein powders have become available for customers who are lactose intolerant or vegan. Keep your fitness needs and dietary restrictions in mind and check out the list we’ve compiled of our favorite protein powders on the market.

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder

Best overall

Whey is the most popular protein to help build muscle. Each scoop or 32 grams contains 24 grams of protein and amino acids that help you absorb and utilize protein. More importantly, they build muscle and boost energy. To save you money, you can buy up to 10 pounds at a time, making this the best overall option for someone who’s about to start a new exercise and diet plan.

BSN Syntha-6 Protein Powder

Best tasting

Protein powder can taste chalky and synthetic, but BSN Syntha-6 Protein Powder provides an enjoyable chocolate peanut butter flavor. BSN’s patented Syntha-6 formula lets you power up with 22 grams of protein at any time of day, not just before or after workouts. It’s the most versatile and best tasting option, which is ideal for those who just want an energy boost during the day.

Optimum Nutrition Plant Protein Powder

Best plant protein

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Organic Plant Based Protein Powder is made of organic pea, rice, Sacha Inchi proteins, various grains, and flavored with natural vanilla. This powder is also USDA Organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. It offers 24 grams of protein to help repair muscle for people who want an all-natural protein powder.

Protein powders are lifesavers for gym buffs who want to build muscle, for office workers who need an afternoon pick-me-up, and for people who are just starting on their new exercise routine. Choose from whey or plant-based proteins to help repair muscles or fuel your body at any time of day. However, if you’re sensitive to whey protein, the best plant protein is Optimum Nutrition’s 100% plant-based protein powder. If you just dislike the taste of whey protein, you can still reap its benefits but enjoy the taste with BSN’s chocolate peanut butter flavored-powder. For the best overall protein powder, try Optimum Nutrition’s whey protein, which offers 24 grams of protein and amino acids for the perfect pre- and post-workout drink.

Editors' Recommendations