Too many gym-goers underestimate how important it is to have a protein powder with a great flavor. If you are going to be drinking a big smoothie every day, it is much easier to stay motivated when it tastes good. In this post, we will review some of the best tasting protein powder we could find:
Best Tasting Protein Powders-2018
Why A Good Flavor Is Important
It is easy to dismiss the idea that flavor is going to be one of the key characteristics of your protein powder. After all, you are using it for muscle recovery, not for taste. As long as you can drink the shakes, then it doesn’t matter what the flavor is. However, this attitude is not quite the best way to view working out.
Exercise really consists of two aspects: making efficient choices about workouts, diet, and so on, and then finding the motivation to keep doing it. Most people who work out zero in on the first idea. They don’t think about anything but what lifts and exercises will get them the most gains. But the biggest enemy in the gym is not doing the wrong workouts, but losing motivation.
Protein powder works the same way. It is easy to drink the shake or whatever form you choose for consumption at first, but the more you drink it, the faster you will get tired of it. After a little while, it will be increasingly tempting to just skip it. If the shake tastes good, though, then you will be much more likely to stick with it.
Why Adding Good Flavor To Protein Powder Is Difficult
So it is a good idea to make protein powder taste good, but so few of them actually accomplish this that it seems odd. There are two issues at hand. The first is that the powder itself tends to become chalky and thick, which gives shakes and smoothies a lousy texture. It is hard to overcome that just by adding flavor. Whether you mix it with milk, water, or other ingredients, the protein and binders in the powder will usually retain that powdery feel that many people find unpleasant.
The other big issue is that it can be hard to add some flavor without compromising the nutritional profile of the powder. Whey protein is naturally bitter and its generally tough to add flavor without adding a significant amount of sugar or another sweetener. This is a big problem for something that you want to consume several times a week solely for protein purposes. It is possible to have sugar-free or low-sugar flavor, but it takes a lot more effort on the part of the manufacturer, and it can be more expensive than a simple sugar additive. This accounts for why so many flavors and optional mix-ins tend to be themed around cake, ice cream, and other sweets- those are the easiest kind of tastes to make when the flavor has to center around a sweetener.
The problem this creates is evident. A protein powder that is loaded up with lots of sugar will have an obvious drawback for consumers. Such a powder would not be useless, but the consumer has to do a lot of extra work with their diet to account for that sugar. It is a fine line between being hard to eat because of a lack of flavor and being too unhealthy because of the sugar content.
Other Information To Check Besides Taste
Taste is, of course, not the only important characteristic for a protein powder. The whole nutritional profile matters. The broad picture of how much protein, carbs, fat, and vitamins and minerals are present is a key point, but there’s more depth to it. Different sources of protein get absorbed by your body in different ways, and some of those ways are more efficient than the others. If the source of protein in the powder is of high quality and purity, then you will absorb it quickly, which is ideal if you are drinking the shake right after your workout. There are some benefits to slow-absorption protein as well, but you should have both.
In addition to the protein, keep an eye on the fats and carbs. Some powders pack in additives to make them cheaper, easier to mix, or more durable. These can shift the overall nutritional balance away from protein. Think carefully about what you need and what your powder provides in the context of your other meals. In some cases, you might want to add in minerals or vitamins as an extra, but keep in mind that in powder form these will not absorb nearly as efficiently as they would if you were getting them through vegetables, fruits, and meat.
The Lean Body line from Labrada is known for its flavor. In fact, it won a gold medal from the American Culinary Institute for five years as a recognition of the taste. Lean Body is a meal replacement protein, so it contains lots of extras to make it a plausible substitution for a full meal or snack. It has 35 grams of protein, 5 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of fiber per serving, which is a good ratio. Lean Body also comes with an assortment of amino acids and good fats so that it will support muscle growth as well as general health. The available flavors include vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, cinnamon bun, and chocolate peanut butter.
Vanilla ice cream is my favorite, as it indeed has an ice cream flavor to it. But many other people rave about the chocolate and the strawberry as well.
If the taste is a significant factor in your protein powder of choice, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the Lean Body flavors.
Whey+ from Legion is not a meal replacement powder, although it is not completely pure protein, either. One serving contains 22 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs including sweetener, and a half gram of fat. This combination is a little slimmer than the Lean Body mix because it is not intended to replace the total amount of macronutrients that you would consume in a meal. Instead, take Whey+ after working out or as a snack. The whey is an isolate instead of concentrate, which has a better ratio of whey and a higher quality of protein.
There are a total of six flavors: chocolate, chocolate peanut, cookies and cream, strawberry banana, vanilla, and unflavored. You can customize the nutrition to an extent by deciding whether you want to mix it with water, skim milk, or whole milk.
The taste and consistency of Whey+ is pleasantly surprising seeing that it’s almost a completely pure protein. People tend to favor the dutch chocolate and chocolate peanut butter flavors. However, with the exception of the cookies and cream, all the other flavors are also excellent.
It’s also naturally flavored and, they use stevia to sweeten the product, which results in Whey+ being fat-free. The stevia may be the only potential drawback to this product as some people don’t like the aftertaste it leaves.
Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard line is one of the most popular whey supplements on the market and for a good reason. Aside from having 24 grams of protein, 4 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of fat per serving, the taste is also outstanding.
ON Gold Standard has a vast array of flavors that they offer, 19 to be exact. And there are so many variations of chocolate that it’s hard not to find a flavor to fit your palette.
Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder
Muscle Milk Genuine is a line of protein powder that can be either a meal replacement or a shake for before or after your workouts. One serving has 32 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbs including 5 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of fiber. The high level of fats and carbs may be a drawback for optimizing your macronutrient goals, but it also adds a significant amount of flavor. The taste is sweet and creamy, making it a popular choice for many gym goers.
Muscle Milk also has a pretty large selection of flavors with peanut butter chocolate being favorite of most. But as mentioned the calorie count can be a slight drawback to someone on a stricter diet. One serving is 310 calories without accounting for any milk or anything else you mix it with if you do not use plain water.
But, for all that yumminess, you may just consider it worth it and skip something else in your diet.
Jym is a brand of protein powder that comes in several forms, most notably pre, and post-workout blends. The advantage of Jym is that it uses protein from three different sources- whey, egg, and casein- that each absorbs at different rates. That way there is some protein for immediate availability during or after exercise and then medium and long-term absorption as the day goes on to support better recovery and growth.
Because the protein is a blend, it enables them to formulate a really smooth, great tasting protein product. The texture is a little on thicker side because of the egg and casein. So this may take some getting used to if you’re used to a pure whey supplement.
The overall excellent taste and the blend of different types of proteins make Jym a superb choice.
Each of these powders has their own merits. But the overall winner on just taste is Labrada Lean Body. The flavor and texture is just a cut above the rest.
However, if you’re looking for just a pure protein supplement with a great taste, then I’d go for Legion Whey+, which also tops our “Best Whey Isolates” list.