Protein powder is slowly gaining popularity as a nutritional supplement. Many people rely on protein shakes to repair tissues, develop hormones, and build muscles. Protein shakes also help reduce weight and maintain a lean body.
There are two primary forms of protein powder: whey and vegan powder. The wide variety of protein shakes makes it challenging for consumers to choose one best suited for their needs. One way to determine the best protein shake for your specific needs is to compare some of the best protein powders on the market. Here is a list of the top 5 best protein shakes.
Xwerks is a supplement company that offers a variety of products that boost human performance. The company’s headquarters are in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
Some popular Xwerks supplements are Grow, Ignite, Motion, Lift, and Ashwa. Xwerks also offers cannabidiol (CBD) supplements. The supplement comes in different flavors, including Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Peanut Butter. Xwerks protein powder, Grow, consists of whey protein. The contents of this protein shake are acquired from grass-fed cows. This is the leanest type of whey protein in the market.
The whey in the Xwerks supplement is grass-fed. This whey protein is imported from New Zealand. The main benefit of grass-fed dairy is the fat content. There is little fat in this product. Furthermore, the cows are not treated with antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides.
Additionally, the whey protein in this supplement is cold filtered. This ensures the protein is not denatured.
According to the manufacturer of Xwerks, the Grow formula strengthens your immune system, repairs muscles, and delivers antioxidants. It also promotes healthy digestion.
The Ignite formula is a pre-workout supplement with ingredients that promote overall performance. Ignite comes in four flavors: apple, green, watermelon, orange, and blue raspberry.
Their Motion formula, like the Ignite formula, is meant for improving workouts. It consists of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and BCAAs, which keep you fueled when engaging in rigorous workouts. Motion enables you to work out at high levels for extended periods.
Another popular Xwerks variant is the Lift formula. This supplement is made of pure creatine for improved muscular and cellular energy. Studies show that creatine dramatically boosts performance in athletes.
Last but not least, Xwerks Ashwa formula consists of ashwagandha gummies. Ashwagandha is an ancient herb that has been used to promote mental and physical stress responses. Studies show that ashwagandha can help your body adapt to stress and restore balance in numerous ways.
|Ingredients||Whey concentrate, 25.8 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fat|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days|
Transparent Labs is a supplement company based in Utah. The company is dedicated to transparency. One of the popular products of Transparent Labs is the Bulk supplements. The Bulk formula is dedicated to muscle gain. This supplement increases testosterone. It also contains pre-workout ingredients such as betaine, beta-alanine, and citrulline. These components are crucial for power output and endurance during workouts.
Transparent Bulk consists of animal-based protein from grass-fed American cows. The formula consists of whey protein isolate. It has no artificial sweeteners.
The supplement also has a small dose of caffeine to boost alertness and Vitamin D, boron, and zinc to increase testosterone levels. According to one study, consuming 3,000 IU of Vitamin D every day can increase your testosterone levels by 20 percent. Zinc intake is also linked with testosterone.
The other main components of transparent bulk are citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and branched-chain amino acids. Citrulline occurs naturally in watermelons, organ meat, and legumes. This non-essential amino acid is crucial for endurance and power output.
Beta-alanine is strongly associated with endurance. You may experience a tingly sensation on your skin after consuming this supplement.
Another main ingredient in transparent bulk is the branched-chain amino acids. These amino acids contain valine, isoleucine, and leucine, which promote fat loss, endurance, and muscle retention.
Transparent Bulk also has a black pepper extract. This helps food and supplements absorb effectively. It is for this reason that transparent bulk is included in medications. The hordenine and velvet bean have adrenaline-like effects. On the other hand, choline bitartrate helps with power by increasing anaerobic capacity.
If you want to gain muscle, BULK is a potent pre-workout formula that can help with that. Transparent Labs implements 3rd party testing and offers certificates of composition and analysis on their site.
|Ingredients||180 mg of Caffeine, 120 calories, 1g of carbohydrates, and 28g of protein|
|Money-Back Guarantee||90 days|
CrazyBulk USA is a company that deals with fitness supplements and legal steroids. It is popular for having a comprehensive selection of sculpting and bodybuilding supplements. CrazyBulk USA has produced supplements like Trenorol, HGH-X2, D-Bal, and Anavrol. These are safe alternatives to steroids. CrazyBulk USA guarantees that you will attain more muscle and sculpt your body the way you wish.
Crazy Bulk contains major bodybuilding supplements for bulking, cutting, and strength. The popular product stacks are the bulking, cutting, and growth hormone stack. D-Bal is a popular crazy bulk product for bulking. The supplement helps you develop muscles fast, reduce muscular discomfort, increase strength, and lose body fat. You can also increase your testosterone levels with this supplement.
Expect to see results in two months. Experts advise consumers to combine the supplement with a balanced diet and exercise schedule. D-Bal has the same effects as Dianabol. However, while it provides the same results as dianabol, it does not come with the adverse side effects of oral steroids. Other supplements in the bulking stack include TestoMax, Trenorol, and Decaduro.
Crazy Bulk’s cutting stack consists of four vitamins. This stack focuses on burning fat and maintaining muscle mass. Some of the products in this stack include Winsol, Anvarol, Clenbutrol, and TestoMax.
The human growth hormone is crucial for muscular growth. Crazy Bulk has a growth hormone stack with a collection of pills that address muscular development, extraordinary strength, and enhanced performance. HGH-X2 and Testo-Max can also help boost the synthesis of testosterone and growth hormones in your body. The pills work in tandem with D-Bal and DecaDuro to help you gain strength and muscle while losing fat.
Another popular product of Crazy Bulk is the Tri-Protein. If you want maximum muscle gain with minimized post-workout pain, this product is for you. Tri-Protein consists of six types of protein. Unlike other products that bombard your body with a single dose of protein, Tri-Protein spreads out its ingredients over an extended period. This is an ideal post-workout protein shake because it minimizes post-workout pain.
|Ingredients||Whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate, DigeZyme, milk protein concentrate, hydrolyzed whey, and micellar casein|
|Money-Back Guarantee||60 days|
Onnit Grass-Fed Whey Protein
Onnit Grass-Fed Whey Protein is a practical solution that completes your daily protein intake. This solution can supplement your daily nutrition. If you want to gain or lose weight, protein is essential. Onnit Whey Protein comes from the purest form of whey, which has high absorption rates. This is the reason it is suitable for highly active people.
Onnit has a formula consisting of no carbohydrates or fats, making it an excellent solution for many people. Also, the product is a whey isolate and not a whey concentrate. Some of the benefits of whey isolate compared to whey concentrate include less fats and carbs, higher protein concentration, and less lactose.
Onnit also does not contain sugar, soy, or gluten. This is the reason it is suitable for athletes. Some of the major ingredients of onnit grass-fed whey protein include dried cream extract, digestive enzymes, sunflower oil, lactobacillus acidophilus, monk fruit extract, and maltodextrin. Additionally, Onnit grass-fed whey isolate comes in Mexican vanilla and chocolate flavor options. Many people prefer the vanilla flavor.
Onnit grass-fed protein supports workout recovery and promotes muscle gains. This supplement uses milk protein isolate to get rid of carbs and fats, leaving consumers with the purest form of protein.
|Ingredients||20g of protein and 110 calories|
|Money-Back Guarantee||90 days|
Legion Whey +
Mike Mathews founded the Legion brand as a response to low-quality ingredients in supplement products. Legion sells numerous products, including multivitamins, BCAAs, and joint support. When it comes to protein, legion whey is a mass gainer with no soy or vegan components. Legion whey is higher in calcium than the average whey product. It also has high levels of iron and moderate amounts of sodium.
The main ingredient in the legion product is whey isolate and maltodextrin. This supplement also consists of cocoa bean powder, xanthan gum, natural flavors, tapioca starch, and stevia leaf extract. Legion whey also contains soy lecithin that helps with mixability.
Legion Whey is a low-calorie product suited for people following a low-fat or low-carb diet. It provides high-quality whey protein. Moreover, it is cold processed, which is convenient for people who do not like denatured protein.
The Legion Whey Isolate protein formula is made from some of the best-quality milk in the world. The manufacturer of this product works with farms in Ireland and is certified by the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS).
Legion Whey + consists of some of the ingredients you will not find in other natural wheys. These components include xanthan gum and soy lecithin. The xanthan gum causes flatulence in some people. This is one of the reasons many supplement companies use digestive enzymes in their protein powders.
On the other hand, Whey+ does not have digestive enzymes. Therefore, if you are sensitive to gum, this is not the appropriate product for you. Take note that legion whey + is manufactured in a facility that processes fish, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and wheat. Therefore, it might not be suitable for allergic consumers.
|Ingredients||2g carbs, 120 calories, 22g protein, 1.5g of fat, and 5.6g BCAAs|
|Money-Back Guarantee||365 days|
How Are Protein Supplements Ranked?
The large variety of protein shakes in the market promise to deliver high-quality protein. This can confuse consumers who do not know what to look for in a product supplement. The following are some of the primary metrics used to rank protein shakes:
- Protein Dosage
The ideal protein shake should have at least 15g-25g of protein per serving. While this is considered the average dose, some brands use more or less than this range.
- Scoop Size
Many protein powders offer users large protein servings. Some use larger servings to outdo their competition. The ideal protein supplement should have optimal scoop sizes. For example, instead of using four scoops of protein powder in one shake to attain the 25g of protein, users should use 1-2 scoops.
- Protein Source
Protein powders come from either animals or plants. When ranking protein supplements, it is crucial to determine whether they are from a high-quality source.
- Protein Types
Protein powders have different contents. For example, micellar casein protein is different from whey isolate. When choosing the best protein shake, you need to consider the type of protein and focus on higher-quality formulas.
- Targeted Nutritional Goals
Many protein supplements are meant to achieve health and wellness. For example, some focus on weight loss and others as meal replacement solutions. Therefore, you should determine whether a particular protein shake has the right ingredients to deliver the expected results.
- Macronutrient Balance
Protein powders come with varying macronutrient balances. While some have vast amounts of carbs and calories for meal replacement, others are lightweight solutions with no carbs or sugars. Therefore, ranking protein shakes involves checking the macronutrient balance. For example, the macronutrient content of slim shakes and protein powders is different.
- Complementary Ingredients
Although the main ingredient in protein shakes is protein, many brands have extra ingredients to improve absorption and muscle formation. Some of the ingredients to watch out for are minerals, vitamins, probiotics, fiber, BCAAs, and digestive enzymes. When ranking protein shakes, make sure you pay attention to the complementary elements.
- Taste and Mixability
When searching for protein powders, consumers want something tasty and easy to mix. The best protein shakes do not have sickly sweet or chunky blends.
- Price, Value, and Cost
Some consumers spend a lot on protein powders, while others have a limited budget. The best protein shakes in the market are affordable. However, when choosing products based on their affordability, you should be careful not to compromise on quality.
- Natural Ingredients and Flavors
Some protein shake manufacturers use sweeteners and artificial flavors. Most of these ingredients are unnecessary and affect the quality of the powders. High-quality protein powders have a large percentage of natural ingredients and flavors.
- Money-back Guarantee
Many protein shake manufacturers offer money-back guarantees. When ranking protein shakes, it is best to consider companies that offered to refund customers if they were not satisfied with their purchases.
- Manufacturer Track Record
When choosing a protein supplement brand, it is advisable to go with manufacturers who have been in the industry for a long time. However, for new entrants, consider companies with a proven track record for honesty and transparency. Also, choose companies that have developed tried and tested formulas.
Reasons For Taking Protein Powder
Many people have the notion that protein powders are for bodybuilders. While protein shakes are popular for building lean muscles, there are many other applications for these supplements. Protein powders can be used by:
- Anyone who wants to shed off excess weight
- Anyone who wants to build lean muscle mass or bulk up
- Bodybuilders who want to be more productive and maximize their strength gains
- Anyone who wants to boost their immunity and promote overall health and wellness
- Anyone with diabetes who wants to control their blood sugar
- Anyone who wants to promote heart health
- Vegetarians who want to boost their intake of protein without taking meat and animal by-products
- Busy individuals who have no time to prepare a balanced diet meal.
Many manufacturers of protein shakes design their products based on the following needs of consumers.
Types of Protein Powders
Protein powders address different dietary preferences, goals, and lifestyles. Here are some main types of protein available.
- Whey Protein
This is a milk by-product that boosts muscle growth and recovery. The main versions of whey protein are concentrate, hydrolysate, and isolate.
This is the basic form of whey protein. It is derived from dairy sources. Concentrate has low fat and carb levels. It also provides an average protein ratio of 30-90%.
This version of whey protein is digested or hydrolyzed to make it easy for your body to absorb. Before your body absorbs protein, it needs to be hydrolyzed. When you consume protein hydrolysate, the body absorbs it quickly because a significant portion of it has been digested.
Whey protein isolate is superior to whey protein concentrate. This form of protein gets rid of fat and lactose. Manufacturers of whey protein isolate pass their products through a filtration system to remove fructose and fat. This leaves the product with a significant portion of protein.
- Casein Protein
Casein protein powder is available in milk. It takes longer to be absorbed by your body. This protein shake builds muscles and supports fat loss. Many consumers take it during the night so their bodies can absorb the protein while they are asleep.
- Egg Protein
Egg protein shakes derive protein from egg whites. This protein has all the nine essential nutrients and high muscle-building protein content. Egg protein is mostly suited for those who have an allergy to dairy products.
- Pea Protein
This plant protein is high in fiber. Pea protein supports the feeling of fullness.
- Hemp Protein
This plant protein has essential nutrients and healthy fats. It is easy for your body to digest hemp protein. The hemp protein provides seven amino acids with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Brown Rice Protein
Brown rice protein is a form of vegan protein. It contains all nine essential amino acids and a low amount of leucine. Many protein shakes have a mixture of pea protein and brown rice.
- Soy Protein
This plant-based protein is a high-quality protein. It contains phytoestrogens which reduce testosterone and boost estrogen levels. Soy protein also has muscle-building protein and increases your bone density.
- Mixed Plant Protein
Vegan protein powders have a mixture of several plant-based protein sources. This is because plant-derived proteins do not have all essential amino acids.
- Collagen Protein Powder
Collagen shakes help promote muscle growth and joint health. They also have anti-aging benefits. Collagen protein powders are known for improving skin elasticity.
Protein Powder Benefits: Scientific Findings
Scientific findings have established that protein powders are essential for developing lean muscle, bodybuilding, endurance, recovery, and weight loss.
- Lean Muscle Development
According to one study, researchers found that whey protein supplements promoted lean muscle development. A similar study concluded that whey protein stimulated muscle growth in older men because of its high leucine content and fast digestion.
- Strength Improvement and Lean Muscle Mass
A 2006 study established that whey protein isolate improves lean muscle mass and strength. A similar study confirmed these findings after participants’ demonstrated increased performance during workouts using the whey protein hydrolysate formula.
- Muscle Protein Net Balance
A 2004 study found that whey and casein protein consumption increased muscle protein net balance. Another study associates protein supplements with weight loss. The study established that protein powders help lower fat mass and increase lean muscle mass.
Protein powder helps minimize inflammation and improve certain biomarkers of cardiovascular health for people who are obese. Therefore, a good protein powder can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Appetite Control
Some protein shakes help suppress appetite. For example, meal replacement shakes are packed with protein that helps lower one’s calorie intake. Multiple studies show that whey protein suppresses one’s appetite.
Other science-backed benefits of protein shakes include:
- Heart disease
- Blood pressure
What Are the Side Effects of Protein Shakes?
When protein supplements are used in moderate doses, they have minimal side effects. However, individuals with an allergy to dairy products may experience complications with whey protein powders. When taken in high doses, protein shakes can lead to:
- Low appetite
- Digestive issues and stomach pains
Protein Powder Dosages
Some people believe that the right protein shake daily dosage should be equal to one’s body weight in grams of protein. For example, a 150-pound individual should consume 150g of protein. Studies show that individuals require about 0.8g of protein for each pound of their body weight. This equals 1.6g of protein per one kg of body weight.
It is worth noting that exceeding the recommended dose of protein exerts pressure on your digestive system, kidneys, and the entire body. When you reach the desired muscle mass, you should consider reducing your protein intake to 0.5g per pound of body weight. At this rate, you will maintain your lean muscle and recover from workouts effectively.
If you are not working out, you should take between 0.3g and 0.4g of protein per pound of body weight. This is sufficient to help you remain healthy and active.
According to the International Association of Athletics Federations, you should take 2.4g of protein for every kilogram of body weight. This is enough to maintain your muscle mass. All in all, remember that the body can only tolerate a daily protein dosage of between 20-25grams. Therefore, spread out this dosage throughout the day.
Protein shakes are slowly gaining popularity for bodybuilders, people who want to lose weight, and those concerned about their health and wellness. The following ranking of the five best protein powder formulas available on the market will enable you to find the most suitable powders for your specific needs.
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