BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Multiple great tasting flavor options that work well in various recipes. Delivers 25 grams of protein per serving, and it has extremely low levels of sugar, carbs, and fat. Pure whey protein isolate, so it’s easy to digest. Includes 5.5 grams of BCAAs that aid in quick recovery from tough workouts.
Pricier per ounce of powder than some other options.
Has 24 grams of protein per serving, which helps with muscle gain. Seems to be easy to digest. Texture works nicely in a variety of recipes, or you can mix it with liquid for a protein shake. Has several different flavor options. Will give you 5.25 grams of BCAAs per serving for workout recovery.
Price is a little high per ounce. Fat content is a little high.
24 grams of protein per serving. Available in 24 flavors. Light flavor that's not too sweet. Mixes well without clumping. Won't upset your stomach. Made of 100% pure whey protein. Container lasts a long time. Keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Some flavors contain sucralose, so read the labels carefully if you'd like to avoid this.
Offered in several different flavors, giving you plenty of options to find a favorite. Formula is designed to promote muscle growth and recovery after workouts, but it also fits in with cardio workout regimens. For those who want carbs in a protein powder, this product has 15 grams per serving.
Delivers 22 grams of protein per serving, which is a little less than some others.
Lower amounts of carbs, fat, and sugars than many other powders on the market. Gluten-free formula that offers 25 grams of protein per serving. Beyond the unflavored formula, vanilla and chocolate options are available too. Lower calorie count than competitors. Price per ounce is very competitive.
Recipe consistency from batch to batch sometimes is a little off.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Do you want to increase muscle mass? Boost your workout performance? Feel fuller for longer in between meals? A protein powder is an awesome dietary additive that can help you achieve all three of these goals. Several types of protein powders sit on store shelves nowadays; whey protein is one of the most popular choices.
With little fat and carbs, you can get a significant amount of protein from a whey concentrate protein powder. Numerous studies suggest that this type of powder is useful not only for building muscle but also for losing weight. What’s more, whey concentrate protein powder mixes well with many other substances and comes in a variety of tasty flavors.
As any nutritionist or fitness expert would tell you, however, some protein powders are better for you than others. For example, there are protein powders with so much sugar that you’d end up negating a lot of the health benefits by eating it. At BestReviews, we took a hard look at whey concentrate protein powders in order to create this guide. Read our review for more information and product suggestions.
Whey concentrate powder is the most common type of protein powder on the market today. It’s often listed simply as whey protein on product labels. This protein is derived from milk and is usually comprised of 10% to 15% percent protein. It contains lactose like regular milk and a small amount of fat.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or bulk up, whey protein is an excellent tool to help you achieve your goals. It’s been shown to increase satiety so you feel fuller for longer between meals, and unlike some other types of protein, it’s readily absorbed by the body. There’s also some evidence to suggest that whey protein may help with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Whey concentrate should not be confused with whey isolate or whey hydrolysate. Whey isolate powders typically have more protein, less fat, and less lactose per serving. Whey hydrolysates have proteins that are already partially digested, which can make them easier for your body to absorb.
The amount of protein you need each day depends on your body weight and activity level. According to the Institute of Medicine, you should consume about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, but if you exercise frequently, you may need even more.
Most whey concentrate powders provide at least 20 to 25 grams of protein per serving. A single serving a day, combined with a healthy diet that includes protein, should be plenty for most people who are trying to lose weight or build up their lean muscle mass.
Total calories are especially important if you’re trying to lose weight. Protein powders are generally pretty low in calories, but depending on what other ingredients are in the powder, the calorie count can still vary quite a bit.
A good whey concentrate protein powder should have 200 calories or less per serving. Most of them average around 120 calories per serving.
Whey concentrate protein powders will likely have a higher percentage of fat than whey isolate protein powders and other types of protein powders. But don’t let that scare you off. A few grams won’t undo all of the benefits that the protein powder can give you.
However, the amount of fat a particular powder has per serving can be a useful means of choosing between two different protein powders. Look at the amount of protein and the total fat content, and go with the one that offers the best ratio of the two.
It’s not uncommon to find some sugar in flavored protein powder – although some manufacturers have made the switch from sugar to a more natural sweetener like stevia. Too much sugar will negate some of the health benefits of the powder, and it may also make the powder too sweet. Check the label for sugar content before investing in any protein powder.
Give the ingredient list a quick look before you buy, and watch out for artificial colors and flavors, as some evidence suggests these may not be good for you. You should also be on the lookout for fillers like psyllium husk and coconut flour. These ingredients do nothing but bulk up the protein powder.
If you’re sensitive to gluten, it’s a good idea to look for a protein powder that’s gluten free. You may also want to avoid powders with thickening agents like carrageenan and xanthan gum, as these can cause gastrointestinal distress.
Protein powders come in a variety of flavors; vanilla and chocolate are the most common. Ideally, the brand you select will have several flavors from which to choose so you can enjoy some variety. Keep in mind that the nutrition facts may vary slightly from one flavor to the next.
Of course, there’s no way to know for sure whether you’ll like a particular flavor until you try it. However, you can get an idea as to what the majority of people think about a flavor by reading customer reviews.
Some protein powders mix better with liquid than others. Those that don’t mix well or that settle at the bottom of the glass after a while tend to have a gritty or chalky texture. The best whey concentrate protein powders dissolve completely in water and require little stirring or mixing.
When choosing a protein powder, it’s important to look at the cost per serving rather than the overall cost. Many choices cost $0.90 to $1 per serving, but some may cost slightly more or less than this.
A higher price doesn’t always signify a better product, so it’s important to evaluate price in conjunction with the nutrition label to make sure you’re getting a quality product.
If you can’t find a flavor you like, consider unflavored protein powder. You can mix it in with a smoothie, baked good, or other recipe.
If the protein powder in your beverage begins to settle on the bottom, give it a good stir.
Consuming protein powder within an hour of working out can help you recover from the workout more quickly.
A shake with whey concentrate protein powder can be a nutritious and filling substitute for a traditional meal.
Q. Should I use whey concentrate protein powder if I’m lactose intolerant?
A. No. It’s not a good idea to consume whey concentrate protein powder if you’re lactose intolerant because these powders usually contain quite a bit of lactose. You’re better off going with a plant-based protein powder if you have a dairy sensitivity.
Q. How much protein powder constitutes a single serving?
A. This may vary from one brand to the next. In most cases, a serving is approximately 30 grams. The protein powder should come with a scoop so you can easily measure out a serving.
Q. Does whey concentrate protein powder go bad?
A. Yes. Like all foods and supplements, whey concentrate protein powder will eventually expire. Consider how often you plan to use the protein powder and how many servings come in a single package before buying. Will you be able to consume it all before the expiration date?
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.