people's choice

The Best Protein Powders on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

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Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written about lots of supplements and meal replacements before — including 8Greens Supplements, a high-protein meal-suppressing cereal, and a Japanese meal replacement — here, we’ve rounded up the best protein powders, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated protein powder

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Double Chocolate

Over 3,000 five-star reviewers gave this protein powder high marks. One calls it “the best-tasting protein I’ve ever had,” adding, “I don’t write many reviews, but this stuff is life changing. Mix it into cold brew and blend with ice and it tastes like a Starbucks Frap. Blend it with a banana and cinnamon and it tastes like a speculoos cookie.” A few complain that it’s too sweet, but one advises customers to “check the ingredients first, or don’t expect vanilla-ice-cream flavor to not taste sweet. This tastes better than most powders I’ve tried, and if it doesn’t taste that great to you, toughen up, princess.”

Another admits he has “easily spent over $20,000 on this product over the course of time” because “it’s the very best.” A fourth reviewer searched endlessly for a “low-carb, low-sugar protein powder” and was stumped until he “came across this bad boy.” He writes, “I don’t understand how anyone could complain about [the] taste. I tried using water again, and for the first time ever (trying to be healthy as possible), and holy heck, it was just as delicious as using milk.” And as this reviewer concludes, “Holy protein, Batman! This protein is top-notch stuff. You really cannot beat it. It has an excellent taste, mixes extremely well, and does exactly what you want 100 percent whey protein to do.”

Best-rated (less expensive) protein powder

Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions Protein Powder and Vitamin Supplement, Vanilla Bean

Dozens of reviewers have replaced their normal breakfast with this protein powder. “I feel full enough AND feel much better getting in that protein and nutrients that are otherwise be missing when I skip breakfast altogether,” one writes. “I’m not crashing by noon thanks to the help of this delicious shake.” The taste is something hundreds of users comment on, and the vanilla flavor is a hit. One reviewer describes it as “not at all chalky,” while another says it “blends well [and is] not sugary or cake-batter tasting.” One thinks it tastes so good it’s like dessert: “I almost feel guilty drinking a shake for breakfast, but then again, I don’t because it’s protein and I need it for post-workout.” Another says, “This is practically a multivitamin together with a shake.”

And now some micro-picks for every type of protein powder you might be looking for.

Best vegan protein powder

Vega Sport Premium Protein, Vanilla

“On Sundays, I do a very intense and lengthy workout. Before Vega Sports protein powder, after my workout I was always exhausted and just wanted to sit on the couch and browse the internet. However, after I started taking this protein powder, I’m always energized,” one reviewer raves. Many more call this the best vegan protein powder out there, including one who says, “This one is creamy (vanilla) and also has a ton of protein, probiotics, and almost no carbs.” Another thinks it’s not just the best vegan option but the best overall protein powder: “One of the best protein shakes I’ve ever had (vegan and non-vegan). It has so much protein (30 grams per serving) and little to no aftertaste from the stevia.” Lots of reviewers appreciate how smooth and quick to dissolve the mix is, including one who raves, “You don’t need a blender; just mix it into water with a spoon. The result is smooth, creamy, and delicious; no bad chemical taste or aftertaste; not chalky or lumpy or gritty.”

Best carb-free protein powder

Isopure Zero Carb

More than one-fifth of reviewers mention this protein powder’s lack of carbs. “I love that this is only 100 calories and no carbs but 25 grams of protein per serving, and it’s also low fat or fat free, depending on the flavor,” writes one shopper. All these elements make this a popular powder among dozens of users on many types of diets. Someone on Atkins explains, “It not only has a fantastic amount of protein (50 grams in two scoops, a serving), it also has tons of vitamins and minerals that are otherwise hard to get,” while someone on a Keto diet writes, “This is a great meal replacement for a quick lunch.” Reviews are mixed on the taste of this powder because there’s no added sugar, but one customer thinks it’s a good thing: “Isopure has been my favorite protein to use, as it simply provides what your body needs without adding unnecessary additives or diluting itself with carbohydrates and sugars.”

Best peanut-butter protein powder

PBfit All-Natural Peanut Butter Powder

“Hi, I’m a peanut-butter addict. No, really,” confesses one reviewer. “As a result, I have struggled to lose weight. I hate most natural peanut butters but love Skippy Natural (probably too much). I saw PBFit and decided to try it, as it contains very little of the fat that the butters do. I love the taste, and I’m starting to see results on the scale.” And this user isn’t the only “peanut-butter addict” who switched to this protein powder to cut back. One “PB addict” celebrates finally having peanut butter again, noting, “I thought I would never be able to have peanut butter in my house again. Now I can enjoy peanut butter without the guilt or the pounds packing on.” A peanut-butter “fiend” thinks this powder is “the tastiest by far. Hands down,” compared with other options. And many more call it “heaven,” including one who adds, “It is absolutely amazing in all smoothies and protein shakes, and it doesn’t make a mess in your blender at all. We stocked up and added it to our emergency food supply.”

Best unsweetened protein powder

TGS All Natural 100% Whey Protein Powder

“I’m a weight lifter and was looking for some sugar-free, unsweetened whey protein for my post-workout shakes since I’ve nixed added sugar and artificial sweeteners in my diet. This whey fit the bill,” explains one reviewer. Another bought this one “because it is completely unsweetened (who needs extra sugar?!) and flavorless,” noting, “I’ve gotta say, it is pretty darn good.” Many reviewers comment on how smooth and non-chalky the texture is, including one who says, “This is how you know the makers of this product pay very close attention to detail to make sure people will have the best product. It’s unflavored and unsweetened, and it feels great when you take it with water.” One reviewer even compares it to a milkshake, concluding, “Best protein ever. I love how foamy it gets. It’s like having a milkshake but healthy and protein packed.”

Best five-protein protein powder

MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

“The cool part is that the five different types of protein in each serving make it good for those of us who like or want to have our post-workout intake and pre-bed intake be from the same stuff,” explains one educated reviewer on the appeal of this five-protein powder. “It felt good for muscle recovery and seemed to work very well as a protein source,” he adds. Another customer “bought this hoping it would help get dem gainz, as they say,” noting, “I’m still weak, but the taste is great. It’s probably not the gain dust’s fault; I probably just need to work harder.” One “picky eater” admits he has “spent big bucks on several protein products,” but they “always tasted like crap.” Overall, he felt this powder tastes better and even calls it “addictive”: “This stuff is astonishing. It tastes amazing. I mix it with 2 percent milk, and it tastes so good. No odd protein chemical-type taste, mixes good, smells good. Chocolate lovers, this will help with cravings. I haven’t convinced myself to try with water yet. But I’m sure that will be good too.”

Best meal-replacement protein powder

BSN SYNTHA-6 Protein Powder Isolate, Chocolate

With nearly 6,000 five-star reviews, this protein powder received high marks for being a great meal replacement. “I am using it as a meal replacement once per day and am losing weight. It is delicious, and I just mix it with ice water,” one customer raves. “This kills my hunger, and I want nothing else after. This is a big statement from me because I can cause some damage when I’m hungry.” Another felt that, after trying many meal replacements, he would have to “settle with all of them,” but he finally loves this one from BSN: “Each serving keeps me feeling full for about four hours, tastes absolutely delicious both with milk (breakfast) and water (lunch, for convenience), and blends beautifully and quickly in my blender cup.” One average college student calls this the “best-tasting and most nutritious” protein powder, noting, “This product is great tasting, very nutritious, satisfying especially hunger, and is helping me build lean muscle. This product is a great part of my fitness routine.” As a fourth reviewer concludes, “This product is definitely helping me hit a few goals with meal replacement. It’s not a complete replacement for food — nothing is — but if you need to replace a meal, with the added benefit the product suggests, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.”

Best vegan meal-replacement protein powder

Garden of Life Meal Replacement

Reviewers looking for a vegan meal replacement protein powder instead of a whey-based one gave this organic, plant-based product from Garden of Life top marks. “I’ve been vegan and low carb for years, so I have tried a *lot* of vegan protein drinks. This is my favorite by far,” writes one reviewer. Another calls this a “lifesaver,” noting, “I love it because I have a difficult time eating in the morning but need something in my stomach to help me get my kids off to school. The protein helps me feel full and satisfied, it has a bit of caffeine to get me moving, and I feel like I’m putting something good into my body.” She goes on to list more specific aspects she loves: “This meal-replacement shake, in my opinion, surpasses Shakeology in many ways. It is vegan, non-GMO, dairy free, virtually sugar free, packed with protein and superfoods, and even boasts probiotics and digestive enzymes.” Another claims this powder completely transformed her mornings, concluding, “Working, going to school, homework, studying, spending time with family, etc., can really take a toll. I found myself trying to take a nap any time I had the opportunity. I started searching for a meal replacement that would help sustain my energy, and this has done the deed. I have only been using this for about four days, and the results are just amazing. I have not taken one nap, no headaches, and just full of energy.”

Best hemp protein powder

Nutiva Organic, Cold-Processed Hemp Protein

Many reviewers admit that while, yes, this may not be the most delicious protein powder ever, the hemp seed provides more health. “This isn’t designed to be your new go-to yummy,” confesses one reviewer. “It’s designed to provide you with efficient protein. Whey makes me phlegmy. Soy makes me get horrible refluxlike burps. Meat is not awesome for your colon. Hemp is awesome for your colon. Hemp doesn’t make people burp, nor does it make you mucus-y. It tastes good enough.” Another doesn’t “mind the grainy texture so much,” adding, “It’s good for you, so buck up and feed your bod. Peace, my fellow humans!” One shopper personally cannot “stand even the slightest taste of protein or whey,” but for them this protein was “a lifesaver”: “I’ve tried so many different protein powders, and this is the best, hands down.” And as this reviewer admits, “By itself, this tastes exactly like you think it would taste like: gritty dirt. But it does fill you up, it helps clean you out, and it is much cheaper than some of the other name brands.”

Best protein powder for weight training

Six Star Pro Nutrition 100% Whey Protein Plus, Triple Chocolate

People who weight train and power lift think this gives them the strength and energy needed to properly build muscle. “Do you even lift, bro? This stuff tastes great; mix it with anything,” writes one reviewer who thinks this powder is getting him “beefed up in the gym.” One shopper new to weight training thinks this product has helped in some capacity, noting, “I can’t tell you it has miraculously turned me into a hulking specimen of male physical perfection. I will tell you, though, that by adding three shakes per day (about 1,500 calories total with whole milk), I’ve put on nine pounds in five weeks. If all continues to go well, it won’t be long before I cast a shadow when I turn sideways.” And one experienced lifter, who has been “using Six Star for the last eight months of weight lifting,” says, “It is still my go-to source for quick protein. Everything mixes easily without very much shaking.”

Best protein powder for energy

Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder

Dozens of reviewers attest to how energized this protein powder makes them feel even though it doesn’t contain caffeine. “I use it before workouts, and it gives me more than enough energy to push through my workouts and cardio,” one reviewer writes. “Muscles feel better and recover faster when I do use it.” It’s also effective if you aren’t working out: One says it “gets me feeling pumped before a long shift at work,” while another loves that “it’s more than a protein powder; it is a complete meal.” They add, “It contains a number of vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and hydrated while working out.” The taste is divisive, but one satisfied reviewer writes, “Hard-core folks will tell there are better protein powders, but personally, I would take the taste of this stuff any day.”

Best quick-mix protein powder

Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate, Gourmet Chocolate

Dozens of reviewers mention how quickly this protein powder blends into their drinks. “Mixes like a dream and is so smooth and creamy,” writes one. Another agrees that it “mixes flawlessly … not a single chunk or speck of powder, just smooth fluid after a bit of shaking.” One user calls this “by far one of the best whey-isolate protein powders … If you’re someone who works out regularly, this product is the product for you. It mixes almost instantly without any lumps and powder residue at the bottom of your shaker bottle.” Plus, as this shopper puts it, “It tastes incredible despite there’s little to no sugar in it. Also it has no wonky bitter taste afterward and is easy to mix in a blender or shake by hand in a bottle. What made this product stand out above all the protein powders on the market, and a huge plus about this product, was no gassy side effects or bloating.”

Best protein powder with caffeine

CLICK All-in-One Protein & Coffee Meal Replacement Drink Mix

“This shake combines two things I really need in the morning: caffeine and protein,” explains one happy shopper. “And it is delicious. I bought the caramel mix, and I blend it with 12 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and ice and it tastes super-similar to a popular coffee chain’s caramel Frap.” Many also agree that it can replace their morning coffee, including one who writes, “Seriously, if you’re thinking about possibly replacing your overpriced, lackluster, time-consuming, big-business, nonnutritious morning coffee, definitely invest in this.” She does warn, however, that “the caffeine seems extra intense. And yes, I do drink some strong coffee, but gol dang, this stuff really is powerful.” One even calls this a “coffee and protein holy grail,” noting that it has “great flavor and satisfies my coffee cravings.” This reviewer sums it up, praising “the cost, the value, the taste, the nutrition — this stuff is really damn good.”

Best protein powder for weight gain

Boost High Protein Powder Drink Mix

Reviewers looking to gain weight after surgery or illness purchased this high-protein powder. “Loved the Chocolate Boost, helped me gain much-needed weight after surgery, and it helps with my chocolate cravings,” writes one customer. A shopper with Crohn’s disease thinks “this is an excellent way to get the nutrients needed when experiencing flare-ups and just great overall health … I have been using several other drinks, like Ensure, and other superexpensive protein drinks; however, I really like Boost. It seems to work the best for me.” Another customer says this protein powder “has been perfect for me to gain lean muscle for surgery and ease into a little weight gain from illness” and describes the flavor as “very tasty chocolate flavor, not at all chalky or medicinal.” But as this reviewer explains, this powder can suit many purposes: “Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight, or simply add to your protein intake, these Boost high-protein shakes are wonderful.”

Best-flavored protein powder

Quest Nutrition Cinnamon Crunch Protein Powder

“My motivation to bringing sexy back is stronger than ever because I’m getting some help from this drink. Plus, it tastes good!,” writes one reviewer, and thousands of others love this protein powder’s dessertlike flavors. “Most protein powders, IMHO, are gaggy, clumpy, and more suited to hang wallpaper,” one says. “Quest, on the other hand, actually makes me excited to have my protein shakes. I’m a salted-caramel-oholic, and the taste of this is DIVINE.” Another user, who purchased the cookies-and-cream flavor, writes, “I’m overly obsessed with sweets and pretty picky, and this has not only curbed all my cravings, it’s healthy and makes me feel amazing after my 2.5-hour workouts.” Reviewers are also impressed with the texture. One customer notes that, when shaken, the chocolate flavor “has a silky kind of texture, almost like a mousse.” Another likes it so much, they even bake with it: “The viscosity is seriously unreal.” And while many say this will satisfy a sweet tooth, one reviewer assures, “It only tastes like a cheat meal — great for athletes who need to build protein or can’t have blood-sugar spikes in the middle of training.”

Best unflavored protein powder