One of my goals is to make your fitness journey a little less confusing. I do my best to stick to the basics, The 4 Keys To Real Fitness, because they work and ANYONE can master them. Sometimes, however, we have to get into the weeds and tackle complex subjects. It seems like nothing is more complex and confusing than protein supplements.
Just like the vast array of protein bars there are seemingly endless varieties of protein powders and drinks. Way (no pun intended) too many for one person to sample but for you I tried. I decided to help you by testing out as many as I could stomach. I decided to collect what I could find in single serve packages (I’m on a budget too!) and do some taste testing to help narrow down your protein supplement options.
Here is a list of ALL the whey protein powders I tested out for you. This list does not include any ready to drink protein shakes that the same companies might make. Please note that the companies who make these products provided NONE of these to me. The Vitamin Shoppe did provide me single serve samples of the Syntha-6 and PowerCrunch Proto Whey for free (along with the big basket of protein products I purchased from them that day).
- Designer Whey
- Spiru-tein Whey
- Powercrunch Proto Whey
- Betty Lou’s Low Glycemic Designer Protein Shake
- GNC Lean Shake
- True Athlete Natural Whey Protein
- NSN Whey Protein
- Tera’s Whey
- Jay Robb Whey Protein
- The Vitamin Shoppe Next Step
- Syntha-6 Ultra Premium Lean Muscle
As you might notice, all of them are chocolate. I tried to be as “scientific” as I could by testing the same flavor and following instructions EXACTLY as they were printed on the package. I made them all with the suggested amount of water (with the exception of Jay Robb which specifically said milk) in my BlenderBottle.
Which ones did I like?
True Athlete Natural Whey
True Athlete Natural Whey was my favorite out of the new powders I tried. It has 120 calories and 20 g of protein per serving; a reasonable amount for most of us. It tasted like cocoa! It wasn’t bitter and it wasn’t overly sweet. I consider that a huge bonus because many of the products I tried didn’t really taste like chocolate. It blended well with minimal clumping and had a creamy texture. Available at the Vitamin Shoppe and Amazon, it also has a reasonable price tag.
PowerCrunch Proto Whey
The same company that makes PowerCrunch bars makes PowerCrunch Proto Whey. I have a soft spot for these bars because they remind me of the Figurines my mother (and I) ate when I was growing up. Their double chocolate flavor reminded me of their bars, maybe even a little like a candy bar taste. It is fructose sweetened but has the bonus of added fiber. Initially it looked like it mixed well in my bottle but I found a couple of clumps at the bottom when I was done.
Syntha – 6 Ultra Premium Lean Muscle
This one almost didn’t make the cut. It tastes amazing but along with its 22 g of protein it has a pretty long ingredient list. Some of those ingredients are a nice bonus, like papain (a digestive enzyme) and median chain triglycerides (clean burning fats). Other ingredients like the artificial sweeteners and flavors aren’t as appealing. The taste however is great and at 200 calories can serve as a nice meal replacement shake when mixed with your choice of milk with a piece of fruit on the side.
Designer Whey is my tried and true protein powder, so of course it will make the list. I’ve used their brand for over a decade. It is a nice smooth chocolate taste, mixes well with water and is sweetened with stevia. I use it in everything from a simple shake to date balls to chocolate protein pancakes. The price is reasonable; it’s even available at Target.
Just like food, we all have our likes and dislikes. What I like may not be pleasing to your taste buds. I have clients who love Trader Joe’s, Muscle Milk and AboutTime but based on my previous experience with the later two (I’ve never tried the Trader Joe’s) I can’t say the same. I am curious to hear…what is your favorite chocolate protein powder and how did you discover it?
As you know whey isn’t the only game in town. Next week I’ll give you picks for best tasting of the plant based protein powders. Rather have something to chew? Check out my top picks for best tasting protein bars too!