When it comes to protein as an exercise and training supplement, you have two options: eat more chicken breasts every day than you have socks in your drawer, or take a simple supplement shake.
When it comes to the shakes you see people take after a gym workout, you’ll often notice that the facial expressions after drinking them. Unfortunately, a lot of these products taste like a sweaty sock.
However, after several months of testing and talking to friends at the gym, I’ve been able to find a few products that actually taste pretty good.
Let’s dive right into the ones I would recommend.
Our Top 5 Best Tasting Protein Powder Supplement Recommendations
| #1 - BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder ||5.0 stars out of 5|
| #2 - Pure Whey by SFH ||4.5 stars out of 5|
| #3 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard ||4.0 stars out of 5|
Table of Contents
If you like chocolate, you’ll love the flavor of this BSN chocolate protein powder. While some manufacturers fail when creating flavors that actually taste real, the BSN hit the mark with the flavoring of this SYNTHA-6.
While many people will mix this product with milk, if you’re trying to avoid the carbs, you will appreciate the fact that it actually tastes great with water. Full of good stuff like 10g of amino acids and Syntha-6, this powder doesn’t only taste good, it’s a great option for a powerful protein powder you can drink at the end of your workout.
While it isn’t the lowest option when it comes to carbs at 15g, it’s still low enough that you don’t have to stress too much about drinking one shake per day. While the carbs are a bit annoying, it’s one reason why it’s a tastier powder than many. Best of all, for the benefits it provides and its great taste, the BSN Syntha-6 isn’t pricey. Who doesn’t love a great protein powder that is priced affordably?
- It has great taste, so you will forget that you’re even drinking something that’s good for you.
- It’s full of amino acids that aid you in bodybuilding.
- The Syntha-6 protein is very helpful, especially if you need to get a good amount of protein from your powder.
- It’s priced affordably, so you don’t have to worry about overspending on your protein powder.
- The consistency is decent for mixing with water, so you don’t have to worry about adding carbs from milk.
- It has a lot of carbs, which can be a problem for some diets
If you really want to make sure that you’re drinking the cleanest protein around, there isn’t anything better than the SFH Pure Whey Protein.
Made with 24 grams of clean protein and only 130 calories, you don’t have to worry about gaining weight with this powder. In a world of fatty protein powders, this has to be great news for those watching their weight as they build muscle.
With only 2g of fat and 4g of carbs, we think that you can drink this with milk if you really wanted to, but when in doubt, the good news is that it still tastes decent with water. While it isn’t the most delicious of powders, you won’t even notice when you start to make gains.
If you’re the kind of bodybuilder who struggles with macros, this is the option for you. One of the healthiest options out there, you can’t go wrong when you choose an option like this one.
A great thing about this choice is that because it’s a whey protein, it’s easy for your body to absorb which means that you get the protein quickly and effectively. If you don’t care too much about flavor in your health drinks, then go for this one.
- It’s clean and won’t make you gain weight, which is always a plus for many.
- It’s very high in protein, which is exactly what you want in your powder.
- It doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients, which is always healthy for you.
- It’s low in sugar, which is an attractive factor for many.
- It doesn’t cause bloat as some other products may, so you can drink it comfortably without worrying.
- It doesn’t taste as great as some other options, but if you don’t mind this, it’s not an issue.
- It is pricier than some other options, so you may want to consider this before purchase.
Again, if you’re about chocolate, you can’t go wrong with this option. Tasty and full of protein, this option is actually quite easy to mix with water. Optimum Nutrition has a reputation to uphold, and fortunately for those who don’t drink milk, this flavor is yummy and taste as good with water as it does with milk.
For those who tend to have stomach-aches when drinking protein powders, the good news is that this option is easy on the stomach. With a creamy and smooth texture, it’s also easy to drink.
For those who are afraid of carbs, the great news about this option is that you will only get around 1g of fat and 3g of carbs. Who doesn’t love this feature in a protein powder shake? If you’ve been looking for clean protein, this could very well be the best option for you. Even the chocolate with water tastes great when it comes to this brand.
- It has a delectable chocolate taste you’ll love.
- It’s clean and not full of carbs, making it a favorite for dieters.
- It’s smooth and easy to drink, so you don’t have to brace for chalky protein powder.
- It tastes and blends well with either milk or water, so you can easily alternate between the two if you wish.
- You can play with the texture of your drink when mixing it with your preferred choice of liquid.
- It has some artificial sweeteners that don’t taste so great to some people.
- The texture tends to get foamy when you mix it.
Needing a low-carb powder? Coming from a surprising source, this Ultimate Nutrition Prostar may not be the lowest in carbs, but it certainly is better than some other options on the market. It has a lot of protein with 25g per serving, so you can be sure to get a good amount in your daily shake.
It’s low calorie and low fat, so you don’t have to worry about gaining weight drinking it daily. It tastes good which can be hard to achieve in a protein powder, so a lot of people like it for its flavor. There are a few downsides to pay attention to though. It isn’t good for people with soy or lactose intolerance, as it contains soy and dairy.
It’s also very challenging to mix, due to the texture, so if you’re hoping to drink it with water, it’s a bit difficult to blend. It’s very affordable, so if you don’t mind the clumpy texture in exchange for a low price, it is full of protein and could be a good choice for you. Offering plenty of product at an inexpensive price is one reason why we’ve included it on our list of options. Plus, the flavor is pretty decent, which is always an attractive feature.
- It’s low in carbs and fat, so you don’t have to worry about gaining weight.
- It’s not pricey, so you don’t have to break the bank to buy it.
- It is full of protein, so you can be sure to get the amount you need.
- It offers plenty of product for a good price.
- The flavor blends well with other ingredients, so you can easily mix it with anything you like.
- It has lactose and soy in it, so if you’re intolerant, be aware.
- Its clumpy texture can be difficult to blend.
If you’re looking for power, this is the option for you. It has a slow release of amino acids for more than 8 hours after you’ve had it. This means that you get what you need from it. The other great thing about this powder is that it actually as a good flavor that mixes well with water. Milk chocolate is a favorite flavor for many people, and it’s done right in this MuscleTech Phase 8 powder.
With 26g of whey protein and 5.6g of BCAAs and 5g of glutamine, you’re getting what you need from it. Not only that, but it also has a great smooth and creamy texture that makes it easy to blend.
If you’ve been looking for an option that provides you with many sources of protein and that is tasty and easy to drink, this could be a good option for you. Additionally, it’s very good for your bodybuilding goals, so what’s there not to love? The one downside to this powder is that if you’re lactose intolerant, this one is probably not going to sit very well in your stomach and you should look elsewhere.
- It has a great texture and taste, making it a favorite for many.
- It’s jam-packed with protein, so you don’t have to worry about needing to supplement your protein.
- It even provides a release of protein over the course of 8 hours, making it especially beneficial to bodybuilders.
- It is easy to mix with water, so you can use it with almost any kind of drink.
- It has a good amount of BCAAs, which is always a top feature of a great protein drink.
- It isn’t ideal for those with lactose intolerance.
- It is a bit tough on the stomach, so be aware before buying.
Why Mix Protein With Water?
If you love your milkshakes, it can be hard to decide to just drink your powder with water, but there are a few reasons why it could be better for you. If you’re serious about your goals, you’ll reconsider what you’re mixing your powder with. Here are some reasons why:
- Your body will be able to absorb protein faster when you drink it with water. It clears the way for you to absorb the nutrients in the powder instead of having your body absorb the milk. Because most protein powders have a lot of nutrients you need, this is an important factor to pay attention to.
- You don’t need extra fats and carbs when you’re attempting to build muscle and lose weight. Milk provides unnecessary calories and carbs which are better found in other kinds of foods that are better for your body. Instead of getting all the carbs from the milk, you can enjoy a better-flavored powder with water.
- If you’re lactose intolerant, you may find that you can’t stand drinking protein powders with milk, because you’ll end up bloating and uncomfortable. When this happens, you most likely won’t feel like drinking the protein powder. It isn’t a good idea to drink lactose-based products either, so keep an eye out for dairy as an ingredient.
This may sound all well and good but do you also want the facts? When drinking powder with milk or water, you’re changing up the nutrients that your body is getting. For example, a protein shake with milk will be around 250+ calories and 10g of fat, as well as 12g of carbs. When you read it that way, it’s easy to see how many carbs you’ll be adding to your diet and no one wants to do that. With water, it’s only about 120-250 calories, and at the very most 2g of carbs. So, if you’re hoping to stay slim or to lose weight, stay away from protein milkshakes and stick to water.
Of course, if you have problems gaining weight or gaining muscle, you could stick to drinking your protein powder with milk as it will help you to gain healthy weight and add mass. It’s all about understanding your body and knowing what your end goal is. If you don’t want to gain unhealthy weight, stick to water if you want to gain healthy weight, drink your powder with milk.
Milk Vs. Water
When you’re trying to make the decision between drinking your protein powder with milk or water, there are some important things to ask yourself before choosing to buy a powder that mixes better with water than milk.
- What exactly are your fitness goals? As mentioned above, milk means extra carbs. Understand your body type, your body’s personal reaction to dairy products, and your fitness goals. Clean and lean is your goal? Go for the water.
- How does milk affect your specific body? You may not be dairy intolerant per se, but you could have a propensity towards gaining weight from dairy. If you see that you happen to gain weight easily when eating dairy, and that isn’t your goal, then turn to the water.
- What are you preparing it with? Some ingredients simply taste better with milk over water. If you’re not worried about the extra carbs and want to make a protein banana shake, for example, this would be one instance where milk would definitely taste better with milk.
It’s your personal preference what you drink your powder with, but the above options will certainly go well with water if that’s what you choose to mix them with.
Key Ingredients To Look Out For
Apart from understanding what kind of powder you should get to mix with your preferred choice of liquid, it’s important to know what key ingredients you want to pay attention to in your shake and which ones you should avoid. Here are our top tips on what to look out for when it comes to protein powder ingredients:
Obviously, you need to pay attention to the amount of protein in your powder, but you also want to pay attention to what kind of protein source you are buying. For example, if you choose a casein protein-based powder and are allergic to milk, you could be causing yourself harm.
If you’re vegan, you may want to avoid animal-based or milk-based proteins, which are quite common, so pay close attention and when you read the words casein or whey protein, keep looking. You want to find a plant-based option.
Be careful with soy protein powders as well. Not only are some people deathly allergic to soy, but it’s also not the best for some users, whether men with high estrogen levels or people who don’t want an extra influx of hormones.
You want your powder to be high in protein but just the right kind of powder for your needs.
Omega-3 and Fatty Acids
These are ingredients you want in your protein powder. They are good for you yes, in many more ways than one, but when it comes to being in your protein powder, they are very good for post-workout recovery. They help to reduce swelling and muscle soreness.
Watch Out For
If you have a gluten intolerance, you should definitely stay away from any powder that states that it has gluten in it. Otherwise, you should still consider whether or not you want to drink powder with gluten in it, as you may experience bloat or even have your weight loss goals hindered due to the presence of gluten.
Some companies add sugar to their protein powders to make them better tasting. The downside to this is that it adds calories to each serving, which is something that some people are trying to avoid in their protein powder shakes.
Other manufacturers use artificial sweeteners that aren’t the best tasting, and some of them are bad for you. In fact, the nutrients in your powder may not do everything that you need them to if the artificial sweetener in your powder is at a high level or an option that is damaging to your health. So, if you choose an option that has some type of sugar or sweetener, make sure to pay attention to the levels in the powder that you want to choose.
It can be easy not to realize that powder has skim milk in it, but many manufacturers add it as a filler. Again, if you have an allergy or intolerance to dairy, this could make your stomach hurt and cause you to bloat when drinking protein powder shakes. Also, if you’re trying to minimize weight gain or high carbs in your powder, skim milk isn’t a good idea for you to be drinking every day.
If you are lactose intolerant, it’s important that you pay attention to what kind of powder you’re shopping for. Many have anything from skim milk to other types of dairy ingredients, so watch out for hidden ingredients you may not see at first glance. No one wants a stomach-ache from their powder.
Sometimes fillers aren’t even stated on the ingredient list or at least not in big letters like the protein is. You will want to look closely when buying a powder, as some options have things like coconut flour, psyllium, and xanthan gum, all of which can cause you to have gas and some of them also cause gastric issues in women.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the healthiest protein powders?
Hemp, whey, and pea protein are considered to be the healthiest protein powders. The reason is that they cover the largest range of essential amino acids and are very easy for your body to absorb and process.
Which flavor of whey protein is best?
The flavor of whey protein that I think is best is anything with natural citrus fruit taste. These flavors can usually be added in a non-synthetic way, which means they won’t taste fake and disgusting. It’s always a bit of trial and error, but online reviews usually help to identify the good ones.
How do you make protein shakes taste better?
You can make protein shakes taste better by mixing them with smoothies or fruit juices. This is especially the case if you find a good unflavored protein powder as it will just blend in with the fruit you mix it with.
Does whey protein taste good?
Natural whey protein doesn’t taste good, and you should probably try and find a flavor that you like. Having to pinch your nose to get it down is not a pleasant experience to have to go through every single time.
If your fitness goals are easier reached by mixing your protein powder with water, then go for it. The above protein powders are the best options for those who are choosing to forgo the milk in their protein smoothie and choosing to use water instead.
They taste great with either or, but for those who don’t want to build mass or gain weight while drinking these powders, and you can’t go wrong with the water.
Which one is your favorite? We personally love the BSN SYNTHA-6, both for its taste and for the great ingredients that are included in the mix. It’s full of nutrients and proteins, making it a healthy option for your body. This is one option that is also good to mix with water because it does have more carbs than the other choices on our list. We’d love to find out what you think about these protein powders!