Whether you’re into triathlons, marathons, or any of the shorter distance races, then supplements are going to be a vital part of your training. While most athletes simply think of energy and isotonic gels and supplements to help get you through the distance, there are other things you should consider.
One thing that many runners overlook is the use of protein to help your body build up the necessary leg muscles and recover faster from those intense training days.
While you may not be a body builder, you can still benefit from workout protein powder. It does a lot more than just help bulk up, when used in the right way.
If you’re new to the world of protein powders and shakes, then it can be quite a struggle to figure out which one will work best for you. You want to make sure that you’re getting the benefits from it, but you’re not sure what to be looking for.
From the various types of protein powders to the different ways to use them, there are several options for runners who want to up their game. In the below list we provide you with all the advice you need to find the best protein powder for runners in the athletic discipline you’re training in.
Our Top 10 Best Protein For Runners Recommendations
These are the best options available, based on months’ worth of research into the ingredients used and the thousands of customer reviews.
From gluten free options to ones with or without caffeine, there is something for every type of runner. You will definitely find something suitable.
#1 - NAKED WHEY
|| Clean And Reliable ||5.0 stars out of 5|
#2 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
|| Tasty And Is Useful If You Have Alexa||4.5 stars out of 5|
#3 - Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
|| Organic And Nourishing||4.0 stars out of 5|
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top 10 Best Protein For Runners Recommendations
- 1.1 1. NAKED WHEY: Clean And Reliable
- 1.2 2. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard: Tasty And Is Useful If You Have Alexa
- 1.3 3. Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder: As Natural As It Gets
- 1.4 4. BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder
- 1.5 5. MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder: Great Taste And Affordable
- 1.6 6. Vega Protein & Greens: Unique Blend of Ingredients
- 1.7 7. Dymatize ISO 100: Easy On The Stomach
- 1.8 8. Perfect Keto Protein Powder: For Those Who Love Keto
- 1.9 9. PlantFusion Complete: Great Plant-Based Option
- 1.10 10. JYM Supplement Science: Powerful Blend of Proteins
- 2 What Ingredients You Need To Focus On
- 3 Planning Your Protein Intake
- 4 Conclusion
This 100% grass-fed whey protein has no additives, which is always something that you want to pay attention to. Also, GMO-free, gluten-free, and growth hormone-free, you don’t have to worry about allergies or unsafe ingredients in this Naked Whey protein.
Sourced from Californian farms, and made in a safe environment, you can be sure that it doesn’t have any contamination from metals, chemicals. From amino acids to glutathione and clean protein, it may have a good balance to support your sporting needs.
Naked Whey has 25 grams of protein, only 2 g of sugar, and 3g of carbs, which means that it shouldn’t end up messing with your diet. While it’s priced higher than some other options, it’s mainly down to the quality of ingredients.
At 5lb, it should see most amateur athletes through many weeks of training.
- It’s a clean option with natural whey protein.
- Made in a safe environment to reduce the risk of contamination
- Large tubs mean that you may get a long enough time out of it
- It isn’t sweetened or flavored, making it more convenient to add to other food
- Sourced from grass-fed whey
- It doesn’t dissolve well, which could affect your smoothies
- It’s a bit pricey, so it may not be ideal for a tight budget
For those who are all about smart devices, did you know that this whey protein manufacturer has recipes for you to enable on Alexa? Besides this fancy feature, this 100% whey is gluten-free. it contains 24 grams of protein, inclusing 5.5 grams of naturally occurring essential amino acids (BCAAs).
If you like a bit of flavor in your protein shakes, then this double chocolate flavor may be just what you need. It’s instantized, which may make it easier to mix into your shakes without getting it clumpy.
If you’re looking for an option that doesn’t have a bunch of fillers, and that reduces the chance of messing with your diet, this is a decent option.
More affordable than similar options, you could be saving a bit while also trusting in the quality of this whey protein.
- It is a flavored protein powder, which may make it a more enjoyable refreshment
- It doesn’t have fillers, so you can trust that it’s mainly healthy protein you’re getting
- Many positive reviews about it helping with recovery times
- It’s reasonably priced so that you don’t have to break the bank for a good protein powder
- Available in multiple different bulk-order sizes.
- Not everyone likes the flavor of this protein, so consider this before purchasing
- It contains an artificial sweetener, which may be a negative factor for some athletes
For those who are very careful about what they put into their bodies, you’ll appreciate that this protein powder is certified organic. With a smooth chocolate fudge flavor, it may be suitable to add to your smoothies, and your kids will possibly love it as well.
Containing plant-based protein and ingredients like brown rice and chia, this is a unique blend that is designed for the extremely health-conscious runner providing 21 grams of protein. At only 2.03lb, the package may not be as large as others, but at a reasonable price, you will see that the quality may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Gluten-free and kosher, this protein powder may be used in a variety of households, no matter what your diet looks like.
- It’s a healthy choice which shouldn’t impact your diet
- Positive reviews say that it’s smooth to mix into your smoothies
- It offers good quality for a reasonable price, so you won’t have to break the bank to stay fit
- Many athletes like the flavor of this option, which makes it a tasty addition to any of your smoothies
- It’s completely organic, which is definitely an attractive feature for many
- The package only includes around 2 pounds of protein, so it may not last as long as some other options
- Because it’s so organic, some people may consider the taste to be too chalky
Offering 48 servings, the average person may actually get a couple of months out of each pack. With 5 grams of fiber, as well as 22 grams of protein and 10 grams of amino acids, this protein powder has the potential to make quite a difference to recovery periods.
It is chocolate flavored, which may help to make it easier to drink, so your smoothies taste more like chocolate and less like powder. It may also help to make a difference in your overall energy level, which is always great for runners.
Because of its smooth texture, you won’t have to worry about clumps of powder in your shakes.
- It is priced fairly for the amount of powder it contains
- Many comments about a nice, smooth consistency, so you may enjoy lump-free smoothies
- The package has a generous amount of powder, to last many weeks
- It has a smooth chocolate flavor that isn’t too strong that it would overpower your smoothie
- It gives athletes a quality protein that could improve recovery periods
- The packaging may have issues, so be careful when receiving the powder to make sure it isn’t open
- It tends to make some people’s stomachs feel upset, so you may want to give it a trial run first
Offering about 51 servings per container, you should be able to depend on this MusclePharm powder for quite a while. Fortunately, this powder is also fairly priced, so you don’t have to spend a lot to get the goodness from it.
This powder contains 5 different protein sources, to help introduce a broader range of amino acids. With a smooth taste, it should easily blend into almost any kind of food or drink you like. It has added glutamine and digestive enzymes that may help to make it easier on your stomach.
While it may be hard to find a good-tasting protein, this Muscle Pharm powder has quite a few positive comments about the flavor. For those who are looking for an affordable powder that is easy to blend, this may be just what you’re looking for.
- Claims to be easy to blend and doesn’t get all clumpy, which is ideal for making smoothies
- It’s affordable and offers a great amount of powder for its cost
- Positive feedback that it’s easy on the stomach, reducing the risks of stomach upset
- It has enough protein to help with endurance and recovery times
- With a low amount of carbs it shouldn’t mess up your diet
- It’s quite sweet, so be careful with the amount that you use in each shake
- The texture is a bit sticky, so make sure that you blend it well
Something different for those who are looking to get their protein intake from veggies. This may have several advantages, allowing a more diverse range of amino acids.
Unlike many protein powders, this option has a vanilla flavor that may be easy to combine with different types of ingredients in your smoothie. The 20 grams of plant-based protein makes it a potentially ideal solution for vegans.
With organic kale powder and spinach powder, it could be providing some of the better plant sources to boost your recovery.
The flavoring of this powder is not overly sweet, so you don’t have to worry about it overpowering your smoothies or drinks.
While it isn’t the cheapest organic option on the market, it’s one of the better quality ones out there. It works best with milkshakes or almond milk, and not just in water, due to its thick texture.
- It has a decent taste, which many users think is quite enjoyable
- It is a potential option for those who don’t like eating meat, due to plant-based ingredients
- Many users comment that you won’t feel hungry after drinking this powder
- It doesn’t have a lot of calories, so it has fewer risks of messing up your diet
- Claims to not have an after taste which is so common with powder supplements
- It’s not as rich in protein as other options
- It has a thick texture, so you’ll need to blend it for quite a while to get out clumps
One problem that protein users often come across is that powders may be heavy on the stomach. Dymatize claims to have a fast-digesting protein, which may help to improve how fast the recovery process kicks in.
With 25 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat per serving, it may also be suitable for runners who want to avoid weight gain.
Gluten and lactose-free, it’s a potential option for those who may have allergies to either lactose or gluten or both. 100% whey protein isolate also has the potential to provide the full range of essential amino acids to help with muscle repair.
At only 1.6 pounds in the package, it’s not the most affordable option around, but there are quite a few positive reviews about the flavor and quality. A good feature of this option is that it blends well, which may reduce the risk of lumpy smoothies.
- Positive comments about it not causing stomach-aches or cramping
- Blends well, so you may enjoy a smoother protein shake
- Gluten and lactose-free, which is always a plus for those who have allergies
- Low in calories, so you can enjoy drinking it without worrying about weight gain
- It has a good flavor that blends well with other ingredients
- It isn’t the most cost-effective option on the market, so this may be a factor for you
- Some users find the flavors too sweet for their liking
If you’re all about your Keto diet, then this an option you need to consider. Made from 100% grass-fed collagen (10 grams of protein), it has the potential to help with repairing muscles and joints.
With MCT oil powder, it claims to also help with increasing physical and mental endurance.
Some athletes have also reported that it seems to help improve their skin’s appearance, which is quite unique with protein shakes.
You can drink it before running or after running because it isn’t too heavy on your stomach. It seems to mix well and isn’t chalky, making it a favorite for many athletes who love their bulletproof coffee or breakfast smoothie.
- Contains no artificial ingredients, making it a good option for those who want all-natural powder
- Easy to blend and mix in with coffee or smoothies and can even be added to food, thanks to its light flavor
- It’s easy on the gut, with fewer chances of stomach pain after drinking it
- Relatively affordable, considering the quality and collagen benefits
- Quite a few reports that this protein shake may help with muscle and joint repair
- Doesn’t provide the full range of essential amino acids
- It does have an after taste that some may not like
This 2lb tub is a favorite with many vegan runners looking for a healthy plant-based protein shake. Priced fairly for the amount of product offered, each serving contains 21 grams of protein.
With only 120 calories per serving it has also gained popularity with people who are on strict diets to lose some body weight. It seems to be easy to digest and free of most of the allergens that people are staying away from these days.
One of the things that stood out to me about PlantFusion is that it has a smooth texture that tends to be easy to blend. If you are someone who likes adding protein to coffee or hate clumps, this may be something you want to consider.
- Suitable option for those who don’t want to use whey in their food or drinks
- Contains very little fat in it, so you don’t have to worry about the impact on body weight
- For a quality plant protein, the price is actually quite reasonable
- It has a decent flavor that may be added to any type of drink giving you more flexibility
- It doesn’t have an after taste, which is always a good thing
- It contains stevia, which some people don’t like to use
- Some people may find the flavor too sweet, so you may want to consider this before you buy it
With a blend of whey, egg, and casein, this is one of the products that claims to help with longer-lasting recovery times. Through a combination of fast and slow absorbing proteins and essential amino acids, this may help a lot of runners.
With a thick texture, you may blend it with milk or coffee for a smooth drink. It may be a bit challenging to mix simply with water in a shaker though.
If you’re looking for a high-quality protein powder, this 4lb tub may be what you’re looking for. It’s not extremely cheap, but it is offered at a fair price for the amount of product it provides.
- Tastes pretty good, giving you good options for mixing with other food
- Created for a variety of uses, whether you run or lift weights
- Contains 24 grams of protein per serving
- The combination of proteins helps to provide you with better results and recovery times
- It offers plenty of product for a fair price, making it a great buy
- The texture is quite thick, so it may take a while to blend it perfectly
- It tends to get clumpy when you don’t mix it well, which can be a negative for those who make their drinks in a hurry
What Ingredients You Need To Focus On
So, as you consider “should I use protein powder,” you may also be considering what features you should look for. When checking out the powders available on the market, you’ll want to focus on certain ingredients. For example:
Amount Of Protein
You want your protein. You want to make sure that the powder you order has the right amount for you. Depending on the size of the tub, you want to find powder that has at least 25g of protein.
As a runner, you need a certain amount of protein to keep you going. You want to get around 1.0 g to 1.6 g per a day, so you’ll want to get up to about 25 grams per a scoop of powder. Always go for a protein tub that has between 20 to 25, at the least.
As you’re looking for your powders, you are going to want to consider what else to look for, besides proteins. Protein should be the number one thing for your energy and running, but consider the minerals in your powders as well. For example, calcium is very good for your bones and whether you’re young or old, your bones will always benefit from it.
If you’re a runner, you need to take care of your body, from your bones to your heart and taking in minerals like calcium and iron can help your endurance and keep you healthy.
Along with proteins and minerals, a powder that contains vitamins is also ideal. You want to make sure that you’re getting as many benefits from your daily smoothie as possible. From vitamin B to vitamin C and more, you need to keep an eye out for the vitamins listed on the powder tub.
Just make sure to ask your medical provider which vitamins are safe for you and your body’s needs. For example, some people shouldn’t be taking too much calcium in, due to cardiovascular issues, etc.
Vegan Or Vegetarian
If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, you may have noticed that there are a whole lot of options with whey in them. Are there options for you? As you have seen above, there are some plant-based options on the market.
You just need to be careful when choosing these powders, as oftentimes they have a lot of fillers to give the powder a better taste or texture. As long as they are full of primarily plant-based proteins, you should be getting the benefits you need from them. Be aware that some of these options contain stevia to help with flavor, so if you don’t like this ingredient, keep looking for another option that doesn’t contain it.
Caffeine And Creatine
Caffeine is often an ingredient found in these powders. This is because it helps to keep your energy up and boosts fat loss, as well. For those who can handle caffeine well, this is fine and in fact, helpful. For those who don’t, you may need to find a supplement that is caffeine-free.
Creatine is an ingredient you want to look for, as it is highly beneficial for keeping inflammation away and keeping your endurance level up. For those who are trying to run longer and faster, this is highly beneficial.
Planning Your Protein Intake
It’s important to understand why and when to take protein powders. Did you know that protein can help your endurance? This is definitely attractive for runners who compete in marathons and races. As you start to use protein powder, you may want to start with a plan.
When you’re training for a marathon or race, you’re going to want to follow the same protein intake daily. For example, drinking protein before your morning run can help to provide you with the energy you need to go for a good amount of time. After all, you’re after endurance when it comes to a race and your body needs some fuel.
Drinking a powder shake after your run can help to shorten recovery time, which is just as beneficial for a runner, as it is for a bodybuilder. Many people often wonder “when should I take protein powder” and question if it’s best before or after, but the truth is that it varies, depending on your body’s needs.
Leading Up To A Race
For those who are training for high endurance reasons, such as a marathon, you may even want to consider drinking a shake before bedtime. Just make sure that it’s a slow-absorbing type of protein. When you’re training, make sure to take around 1.0 to 1.6g of protein per kg of body weight for optimal results.
As mentioned above, you need both your energy for running and recovery after running. If you’re not recovering correctly, you could end up injured. Protein can do a lot for your body and its endurance, and that’s what you need for your race training. On days that you aren’t training for your race, your intake doesn’t need to be as high.
Are you looking to do better and run faster? If you’re tired of being tired as a runner or have a marathon you want to train for, you should consider investing in some protein powder. The above information will help you to have an idea on what to look for and the different protein powders on our list will get you started with options.
Are you a big fan of caffeine? There are powders with the ingredients you need. Are you trying to avoid anything that has to do with meat? Consider plant-based protein powders that are full of nutritional goodness. The great news is that there are as many manufacturers of protein powders as there are preferences, so you can always be sure to find the option that is best for you and your health.
As a runner, you may think that protein powders are only for bodybuilders. But, the truth is that protein powders won’t actually make you bulk up. They’ll help you to have more endurance and energy for your run than ever before. Which protein is right for you?