Protein Shake Recommendations

The protein-shake market is full of bad formulas, over-priced hype, cheap fillers, and downright scams. So how do you pick a protein-shake supplement that’s safe, nutritious, and actually tastes good?

For the purposes of this article, I’ll skip the details on protein sources, ingredients, and gotchas. I’m just going to tell you what to buy, in an effort to help get you started. (I promise, in the near future, I’ll write a more detailed blog entry that really gets into the nuts and bolts and pros and cons of various protein formulas and ingredients).

I’ve personally tried just about everything on the market in the quest for the perfect shake. Here are the basics in terms of what you’re looking for:

  • Watch the carbs:  Stay awake from any protein shake with more than about 4g carbs per scoop.  Similarly, your protein shake shouldn’t have more than 1g to 2g of sugar (ideally, none at all!).
  • Know what you’re getting:  Not all “whey” is created equal, for example. Whey Isolate tends to be healthier and taste better, while Whey Concentrate is usually cheaper and “smoother”.
  • Watch the lactose:  If you’re even just a little bit lactose intolerant, it’s extremely important that you choose a brand / formula that is lactose free!!!  (If you experience severe stomach cramps or discomfort after drinking your protein shakes — you’re probably lactose intolerant).
  • You get what you pay for:  Stick with a high-end / trusted brand.  The low end stuff is usually shipped out of china and contains who-knows-what. (Remember, this stuff is a supplement, so it’s NOT regulated by the FDA!!).  Walmart, for example, is famous for selling garbage protein powders that often make people sick.  The good stuff is expensive — but it’s worth every penny.
  • STAY AWAY FROM THE MLM FORMULAS:  They’re overrated. Overpriced. Overhyped. And generally you can get the same results by paying 75% less.  Put simply?  They’re a scam.

My top recommended brands:

1) Dymatize ISO 100

  • Protein Type:  Whey Isolate
  • FormPowder
  • Price: ~$1.00 / serving
  • Taste: 5/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Best Flavor(s): Try the Gourmet Chocolate and the Fudge Brownie
  • Where to buy:  Amazon and GNC

2) GNC Total Lean

  • Protein Type:  Whey Concentrate
  • FormPre-Made / Grab & Go Bottles
  • Price:~$1.65 / serving
  • Taste: 5/5
  • Quality: 4/5
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Best Flavor(s): All of the flavors are awesome
  • Where to buy:  GNC, Sams Club

3) Premiere Protein

  • Protein Type:  Whey Isolate
  • Form: Pre-Made / Grab & Go Bottles
  • Price:~$1.40 / serving
  • Taste: 4/5
  • Quality: 4/5
  • Lactose Free: No
  • Best Flavor(s): All the flavors are great
  • Where to buy:  Costco, Sams Club

4) Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

  • Protein Type:  Whey Concentrate
  • Form: Powder
  • Price:~$0.85 / serving
  • Taste: 4/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Best Flavor(s): Chocolate Malt, Cookies & Cream
  • Where to buy:  Amazon and GNC

5) Jay Robb Egg White

  • Protein Type:  Egg White Powder
  • FormPowder
  • Price:~$2.25 / serving
  • Taste: 5/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Best Flavor(s): Chocolate and Vanilla are both great
  • Where to buy:  Amazon and GNC

6) ISOPure Low Carb

  • Protein Type:  Whey Isolate
  • FormPowder
  • Price:~$0.75 / serving
  • Taste: 3/5
  • Quality: 4/5
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Best Flavor(s): Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla
  • Where to buy:  Amazon and GNC

7) BPI Sports ISO HD

  • Protein Type:  Whey Isolate
  • FormPowder
  • Price: ~$1.00 / serving
  • Taste: 3/5
  • Quality: 4/5
  • Lactose Free: Yes
  • Best Flavor(s): Banana Cream Pie
  • Where to buy:  Amazon and GNC

8) Quest

  • Protein Type:  Whey Concentrate
  • FormPowder
  • Price:~$1.25 / serving
  • Taste: 3/5
  • Quality: 3/5
  • Lactose Free: No
  • Best Flavor(s): Chocolate Milkshake and Cookies and Cream
  • Where to buy:  Amazon and GNC

If you struggle with the taste / texture

Note that if you go with one of the protein powders, and you’re struggling with the taste or texture, you might like my article on the top 10 ways to help make a protein shake taste better!

Try them all

If you’re a member of weightix.com — you can actually try (most of) these in the sampler packs that we put together.  Click here for more information.