Protein, we all need it in our diets to help our bodies repair cells, produce hormones and strengthen muscles and bones.
When we workout, we lose a lot of the vital nutrients needed to help our bodies quickly recover – whether we’re toning up, losing fat or building muscle; so many of us use protein powders for an extra boost.
With so many protein powders on the market, where does the novice start? Firstly it’s important to understand the types of whey proteins there are, we’ve outlined them for you below.
The three main types of whey protein:
Whey protein hydrolysate – Breaks down peptides to help with fast absorption
Whey protein concentrate – A concentrated protein that retains more nutrients
Whey protein isolate – Similar to concentrate, but has a higher protein percentage
Make sense now? The main thing to remember is the recommended dietary allowance for protein is around a gram for every three pounds of body weight. So, if you’re 120lbs you’ll need around 40 grams of protein per day and so on.
Best whey protein powders
1. Pure Whey Protein – 1kg
This protein powder is a great place to start, if you’re looking for an ethical product that has as many benefits as it is cost effective. It’s also vegetarian friendly and gluten-free.
The whey is sourced from European grass-fed cow’s milk and contains a whopping 80% whey protein, it also has five grams per serving of vital branched chain amino acids (BCAA).
You can choose an unflavoured or flavoured supplement, the advantage of going unflavoured is you’re getting the full 80% protein.
The flavoured ones tend to drop the percentage by between 3-5%. If you don’t mind the slight drop in protein, they have over 20 delicious flavours to choose from including salted caramel, birthday cake and peaches and cream.
Price: £21.99, Bulk powders – buy here now
2. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder – 2.27kg
If there’s any reason to go with this whey protein option, it’s that it’s widely used and favoured by professional athletes. If you want to be the best – use what the best use, right?
With 24 grams of protein and 5.5 grams of BCAAs in each serving you can be sure each shake is giving you nothing but pure muscle-bulking nutrition.
It doesn’t have as many flavour options as Pure Whey, but 17 options is a fair amount of choice, even for the pickiest of gym-goers.
Price: £41.99, Amazon – buy here now
3. Healthspan Elite Complete Vegan Protein – 1kg
If you’re looking to start your gym journey and need a vegan appropriate whey protein to help you on your way – this is one for you to try.
Elite complete is formed from a healthy combination of pumpkin, peas and brown rice – providing a culmination of essential amino acids.
With around 20 grams of protein in each serving you also get 100% of your recommended dosage of vitamin B12 (notoriously difficult to obtain on a vegan diet).
The batch comes unflavoured, but there are also four available flavoured drops that you can add to your purchase free of charge to give you a more pleasant taste.
Price: £24.99, Healthspan – buy here now
4. Natural Nutrients Whey Protein Isolate – 1kg
This strawberry flavoured fitness supplement is perfect if you’re wanting to increase you muscle mass, or if you’re just enthusiastic about maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime.
It’s also gluten and soya free, so perfectly inclusive for anyone intolerant to those ingredients and it’s also a huge source of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant bound to give you an added health boost you need when training.
No artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours have been used in the product, so you can rest assured you’re fueling your body with something nutritious.
Price: £33.99, Amazon – buy here now
5. MyProtein Weight Gainer Blend – 2.5kg
If your goal is to add a few pounds or build up some muscle, the weight gainer blend from MyProtein is well worth a try.
Per serving you can expect around 31 grams of protein (more than any on the list so far) as well as 50 grams of carbohydrates equate to around 388 calories. If you’re eating a balanced diet, along with a couple of these shakes in between – you’ll be on your way to your goals in no time.
This particular protein supplement doesn’t come with all the fancy flavour options, you can have it unflavoured or choose chocolate, vanilla or strawberry.
Price: £18.99, MyProtein – buy here now
6. PhD Nutrition Diet Whey Protein Powder – 1kg
If weight control and management are your main focuses – this industry leading diet protein supplement is a top contender.
Each serving contains 17 grams of protein and under 100 calories when shaken up with water. Vital health-boosting ingredients like green tea extract and flaxseed are mixed in the product, making it super healthy and natural.
Choose from an array of delicious flavours like cherry bakewell or chocolate orange.
Price: £17.99, Amazon – buy here now
7. InnerMost The Strong Protein – 600g
InnerMost have created a super inclusive whey protein to rival some of the top brands in the industry. As well as being suitable for vegetarians, it’s also halal, kosher, soy and gluten free.
Seven active ingredients in this product work together to maximise muscle gains and enable you to repair and recovery a lot quicker.
It’s also rich in BCAAs and essential amino acids, so you can be sure you’re getting the vital nutrients you need after a big workout.
Price: £29.95, Live Inner Most – buy here now
8. Naked Whey Protein 80 – 1kg
If natural ingredients are important to you and they should be, Naked Whey protein is an innovative product that will give you just what you’re looking for from a protein powder.
The plant-based protein is packed full of essential amino acids and a mixture of plant derived proteins like: sunflower protein, white hemp protein and faba bean proteins.
For as many vitamins that are packed in, the same cannot be said for the fats; with virtually all the fats stripped out of this supplement (less than a gram per serving). So if you’re trying to gain weight this may not be the best option for you.
Price: £24.99, The protein works – buy here now
Now you’ve choose the perfect powder for you, why not check out the best fitness trackers to get you one more step towards your goals?