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Protein powders can help people build muscle. Having the powder before and after a workout may help speed up recovery from resistance and endurance training.

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In 2015, protein powders became the second biggest-selling product in the sports nutrition market, after sports drinks, with sales of $4.7 billion.

A 2014 study found that when people consume protein products, such as these powders, it helps reduce muscle soreness and prevent muscle damage after daily workouts.

Here, find out how much protein a person needs each day.

Our writer chose the following protein products based on reviews, recommendations, and brand vetting done by a medical team.

Please also note that the writer has not tested these products. All information in this article is research-based, and we do not intend to recommend certain products over others.

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–15
  • $$$ = over $15

Keep reading to learn more about some of the best protein powders available for building muscle. Find out what they contain and how they work.

Best overall protein powder

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

Price: $

Optimum Nutrition specializes in protein supplements. The Gold Standard 100% Whey protein powder is one of their best-selling products.

This product’s main ingredient is whey protein isolate. Because this powder also contains whey protein concentrate, there are 24 grams (g) of protein in a single serving.

People can mix the powder into liquid easily with either a shaker or a spoon. The company recommends mixing 1 scoop into 6–8 ounces (oz) of cold water or milk, for example.

  • Nutrition facts per serving: 24 g of protein, 0 g of fat, 1 g of sugar
  • Available flavors: Some include:
    • banana cream
    • chocolate malt
    • chocolate mint
    • chocolate peanut butter
    • coffee
    • cookies and cream
    • delicious strawberry
    • double rich chocolate
    • extreme milk chocolate
    • french vanilla creme
    • mocha cappuccino
    • rocky road
    • strawberries and cream
    • strawberry banana
    • unflavored
    • vanilla ice cream
    • white chocolate
  • Protein source: whey protein isolate

Best protein powder for dietary restrictions

BiPro BOLD Whey + Milk Protein Isolate

Price: $$$

BiPro specializes in protein supplements and has a wide range of protein powders. The BiPro BOLD is one of its best-reviewed products.

BiPro Bold is lactose-, gluten-, and hormone-free, as well as Orthodox Union Kosher certified. Its main ingredient is whey protein isolate, and each serving contains 23 g of protein.

This product also contains non-GMO coconut oil powder, which provides 2 g of healthful fats per serving. BiPro Bold only contains naturally sourced sweeteners and flavors.

  • Nutrition facts per serving: 23 g of protein, 2 g of healthy fats, 1 g of sugar
  • Available flavors: boldly bare, creamy vanilla, and chocolate milkshake
  • Protein source: 70% whey protein isolate, 30% milk protein isolate

Best high-quality protein powder

MyProtein Impact Whey Protein

Price: $

MyProtein is a British company that has recently started supplying protein supplements to the United States. The Impact Whey Protein is one of their best-sellers.

This product contains 19 g of protein per serving, and each serving contains 100 calories. It has three sources of whey: whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and hydrolyzed whey. These provide high-quality protein with minimal fat and sugar and speed up the absorption of protein, the makers say.

MyProtein recommends adding 25 g of this product to water or milk after a workout.

  • Nutrition facts per serving: 19 g of protein, 1 g of fat, 1 g of sugar
  • Available flavors: birthday cake, chocolate brownie, chocolate mint, chocolate smooth, chocolate stevia, cookies and cream, fruity cereal, marshmallow cereal, salted caramel, mocha, strawberry cream, unflavored, vanilla, and vanilla stevia
  • Protein source: whey protein

Best vegetarian protein powder

Truenutrition RBGH/Soy Free Whey Protein Isolate

Price: $$

Truenutrition specializes in nutritional supplements and offers its customers the opportunity to create a personal protein supplement.

Their RBGH/Soy Free Whey Protein powder is one of their most highly reviewed powders.

This product is gluten- and soy-free and has no added hormones or antibiotics. It is suitable for vegetarians and contains 27 g of protein per serving.

Truenutrition recommends mixing 1 scoop in 8–12 oz of water, juice, or milk.

  • Nutrition facts per serving: 27 g of protein, 0 g of fat, 1 g of sugar
  • Available flavors: Some include:
    • unflavored
    • chocolate fudge brownie
    • french vanilla
    • cookies n’ cream
    • peaches n’ cream
    • chai latte
    • salted caramel
    • strawberry sorbet
    • chocolate-covered strawberry
    • gingerbread cookie
    • Mexican hot chocolate
    • toasted coconut
    • chocolate thin mint
    • orange cream
    • white chocolate
  • Protein source: whey protein without soy or recombinant bovine growth hormone

Best protein powder for high-protein diets

NOW Sports Chicken Bone Broth Powder

Price: $$$

NOW Foods has been trading in supplements and health products since the 1960s. Their Chicken Bone Broth product has the highest amount of protein per serving — 29 g.

This product is paleo and keto diet-friendly and suitable for people with many common food allergies and sensitivities. It contains no artificial ingredients, soy, sugar, nuts, gluten, corn, dairy, or egg.

NOW Foods recommends adding 1 scoop to 8 oz of water or another liquid.

  • Nutrition facts per serving: 29 g of protein, 0 g of fat, 0 g of sugar
  • Available flavors: none
  • Protein source: chicken bone broth

Best protein powder for working out

Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed

Price: $$$

Dymatize specializes in supplements for workouts, and the ISO100 powder is one of their best-sellers.

Each serving contains 25 g of whey protein and 116 calories when mixed with water. This product is free from gluten, sugar, and fat, and it is suitable for vegetarians.

Dymatize recommends having 1–2 servings per day, each mixed with 5–8 oz of water, depending on the flavor.

  • Nutrition facts per serving: 25 g of protein, 0 g of fat, 0 g of sugar
  • Available flavors: gourmet vanilla, smooth banana, strawberry, cookies and cream, gourmet chocolate, fudge brownie, birthday cake, orange ice cream, chocolate peanut, chocolate coconut
  • Protein source: whey protein isolate

Many kinds of protein powder are on the market, and people should check ingredients lists carefully. Some contain allergens, and others are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

Also, anyone with a medical condition should discuss the options with a doctor to prevent interactions and any other adverse effects.

While protein powders cannot make muscles suddenly appear, they may help people gain muscle mass when taken as directed and as a part of a healthy, balanced diet.