Let’s face it; protein powders have never been so popular as they are today. People across the globe are finally embracing the significance of this powerful macronutrient. In 2018, reliable news reports have valued the global protein powder market at 14.0 billion. Of course, the numbers must have soared drastically by now. And, there’s no looking backward as the love for protein powders is only growing with every passing day. As you can tell, this is indeed the golden age of protein powders.
On the unfortunate side of things, the market is also bombarded with counterfeit protein supplements. To make matters worse, an average shopper fails to differentiate between a pure and inferior protein powder. So, how do you lay your hands on an authentic protein powder when you are spending so much money on it? Don’t worry; we have done all the groundwork in this area. Today, we have narrowed down cheap protein powders that will help maximize muscle growth.
10 Best Cheap Protein Powders & Reviews
1. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
As a brand. Optimum Nutrition needs no formal introduction. People have been using their health products for more than a decade. Gladly enough, this whey protein powder lives up to the brand image. The protein/carbs/fat/sugar ratio in this whey product is substantially better than other comparable products in the same price range. Each serving offers 24gms of high-quality protein with very less sugar, carbs, and fat, exactly the way most people would prefer. And, it has more than 5G of BCAAs per serving. Better still, the amino acid profile of this product is also spot on.
- This supplement has a rich and delicious taste to it. Moreover, it’s available in twenty different flavors to suit the taste buds of different buyers.
- There are hardly any fillers in the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey. Also, the protein powder mixes like a dream, both in milk and water.
- A lot of avid weightlifters and others who take the fitness stuff seriously have commented that this is the best protein powder in the market today.
- The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder is also slightly more affordable than other similar brands.
- As with most other protein supplements, the scooper won’t be sitting on the top. It will feel like a treasure hunt to find it.
2. Dymatize Elite 100% Whey Protein Powder
For those who value great deals on protein powders, the Dymatize Elite 100% Whey Protein Powder can prove to be an incomparable option. From great product composition, amazing taste, fair pricing, good brand backing, and abundance of positive reviews, this protein supplement has everything going for it. As such, a single 5lbs container has 63 servings, and each serving has 25 grams of protein in it, which is really fantastic. It’s also jampacked with vital vitamins and minerals.
- It tastes yummy, both in milk and water. In fact, you might have a hard time resisting the urge to drink more.
- The best part is that it mixes well in any fluid. And, you will be able to absorb it nicely without feeling heavy or bloated.
- Those who have been using the product consistently are seeing the gains they desired, which is, of course, a great thing to know.
- Despite being a whey isolate product, it’s priced along the lines of whey concentrates, which essentially means that you are getting a good deal.
- The only time you will see clumps in this supplement is when you keep the container open for too long, allowing the moisture from the air to creep in.
3. Legion Whey+ Vanilla Whey Isolate Protein Powder
The Legion Whey+ Vanilla Whey Isolate Protein Powder is something else, of course, in a good way. Legion sources the protein for this product from Ireland Dairies, which is truly remarkable. For those who don’t know, nothing comes close to matching the protein quality of grass-fed Irish dairy cattle. So, you are not getting masked ingredients that are derived from low-quality sources. On the contrary, you are getting the purest and cleanest form of whey isolate protein out there. Not to mention that the Legion lab is FDA inspected. It’s also worth mentioning that this is by far a favorite product among fitness enthusiasts across the globe.
- This protein powder has a negligible amount of fats or carbs in it. Plus, it’s lactose-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and preservatives-free.
- The taste is awesome too. In fact, it tastes so good that you might legitimately look forward to your next drink.
- There’s also a 90-day refund clause that makes you eligible for a reimbursement in case you don’t like the product.
- If you are a type of person who doesn’t like sweet food, you might find the taste of the supplement a bit overwhelming.
4. Swanson Premium Brand Whey Protein Powder
If you want pure protein from a trustworthy company, the Swanson Premium Brand Whey Protein Powder should be your supplement of choice.In this age and time, where other companies allow a few things to slip through the gaps, Swanson takes product inspection very seriously. The company has willingly allowed third parties to inspect its product for good manufacturing practices. Plus, the company makes use of the latest protein processing technology to provide the purest protein possible to the masses. Better still, no artificial junk is thrown into the container. This means that it’s unlikely that you will run across any side-effects from the use of this protein powder.
- The Swanson Premium Brand Whey Protein Powder has low carb and calorie content in it.
- The protein powder dissolves in a jiffy. You will also love the consistency and taste of this whey protein.
- It digests well. So, you won’t encounter any stomach issues. As a result, you might keep reordering this protein powder.
- Each serving has 16 grams of protein in it, which is a little less than what other brands offer.
5. Pure Whey Protein Powder by SFH
If you are looking to improve your gains and recovery time, the Pure Whey Protein Powder should be in your radar. The company behind this protein powder has been able to set itself apart from the crowd by sourcing grass-fed whey throughout the year. The best part is that they haven’t included any sweeteners or artificial preservatives in this product. So, you are getting all the pure goodness of whey without any chemical fillers. Furthermore, this whey protein powder is GMO-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. Not to discount the fact that Pure Whey Protein Powder by SFH is rated as one of the best tasting protein supplement in the market today.
- As hinted above, this whey protein is made from all-natural ingredients. Also, it’s low in sugar (2g).
- The taste of this whey protein is simply unmatched. You will feel like you are drinking your favorite smoothie.
- This is one of those rare protein powders that the body can easily digest without any hiccups.
- This protein powder doesn’t chunk up like others, which tells us that the protein quality is definitely better than the competition.
- The airtight seal on this protein pack needs improvement. You would be better off transferring the protein from the zipper bag to a container.
6. Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate (Unflavored)
If you are after a go-to protein powder that won’t break your bank, the Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate can prove to be a great choice. Just because it’s affordable, it’s not severely lacking on the nutritional front. Another nice aspect of this whey protein powder is that you are getting what’s actually printed on the product label. Not to discount the fact that it has a high amount of protein (25 grams) in it. Frankly speaking, many companies offer such unflavored whey protein concentrate, but you will rarely find something as good as this whey protein powder.
- It’s not too thick like other unflavored whey products out there. So, it will mix well without any issues.
- With zero extra ingredients, the Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate is as pure and natural as it can get.
- It’s soy-free and wheat-free. So, you can also buy it for guys who are allergic to these ingredients.
- It doesn’t smell bad. Moreover, this whey powder doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste to it.
- Each container includes 76 servings of whey protein in it. So, the price of this whey protein is truly fantastic for the number of servings you get.
- It’s an unflavored whey protein powder. So, it doesn’t taste as good as others. But, you can add a little stevia to make it more palatable.
- It doesn’t contain BCAAs in it. That said, it’s still a great protein powder for the price you pay for it.
7. BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder
This whey protein should be in the arsenal of any gym-goer out there. Other than tasting great, the BSN SYNTHA Whey Protein Powder has a nice nutritional profile to it, which supports muscle growth and recovery like nothing else out there. Better still, this whey product comes in seven different flavors. The flavor variations are truly fantastic, and none of them taste like consuming a bunch of chemicals. Also, this protein powder has a slow release time. So, it will keep you full for longer than usual. Your muscles will get a constant supply of protein over a prolonged period of time. So, don’t question yourself whether or not to purchase this whey supplement. You will truly be satisfied with the value proposition that this health product has to offer.
- It’s suitable for both pre and post-workout. Of course, it can also serve as a great meal replacement product.
- Despite having low sugar in it, this whey protein powder tastes delicious. Basically, it’s low on sugar, but high on flavor.
- Since it’s available in many different flavors, you can keep switching the flavors to avoid taste boredom.
- The container itself is pretty solid and reusable. It can be used for storing dry foods afterward.
- It has more calories from fat and carbohydrates in comparison to similar whey protein products out there.
8. Vegansmart Plant Based Vegan Protein Powder by Naturade
If you are searching for a vegan supplement that has a nice dose of protein and fiber in it, your search ends right here. The Vegansmart Plant Based Vegan Protein Powder by Naturade is a low-calorie protein supplement that has the best combination of taste and nutrition that you will find around in a plant-based whey product. Better yet, there is no hidden garbage in this product in the form of fillers. It’s also more affordable than other vegan protein options in the market today. So, you won’t have to drop a lot of money to get this vegan protein powder.
- Other than high protein dose, this protein powder contains 22 different vitamins and minerals to help us meet our everyday nutritional needs.
- This cheap vegan protein powder is so tasty that you won’t mind consuming it on a frequent basis.
- You might be beyond thrilled to know that this whey protein powder doesn’t bear any side-effects.
- It has 15 servings in it. The company should seriously think about selling this whey protein in a bigger container.
9. MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder
MusclePharm has packed this protein supplement with all the essential nutrients that an athlete would need for strength, size, and recovery. Seriously, the ingredient composition is really praiseworthy. Each serving contains 25 grams of high-quality protein from five unique protein sources. The product also has BCAAs and glutamine in it to speed up the muscle recovery process. Moreover, they have also thrown in some digestive enzymes for proper absorption of all the nutrients. The best part is that the company hasn’t cut corners by using artificial flavors in this product. The taste of this protein powder is mind-blowing too. In summary; it works, it’s safe, it tastes great, and it doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s truly a solid product at a solid price.
- This protein powder includes a nice blend of both fast and slow absorbing proteins to fuel the muscles in the best possible way.
- Unlike other protein powders that can be tough on your stomach, this one won’t upset your tummy.
- The company has maintained the product consistency batch after batch—a piece of information confirmed by all the product loyalists out there.
- Since the protein ratio is relatively high in this product, you won’t have to consume a lot to supply your body with the desired amount of protein.
- Scores of past users have commented that they started noticing muscle gains after switching to this protein powder.
- It doesn’t dissolve right off the bat. Like many other protein powders, it will take a couple of minutes to fully dissolve in the fluid.
10. Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder
If you are looking for a meal-replacement-type protein shake, the Muscle Milk Genuine Protein powder should be a no-brainer choice for you. This protein supplement contains 16 grams of slow-releasing protein in each scoop. It also has a high-fat content in it. So, you will feel like you actually had something to eat. Moreover, it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. Therefore, you wouldn’t just gain muscles; you will also end up with strong bones. And, you won’t have to sacrifice your taste buds for a healthy drink because this protein powder is incredibly tasty. It basically tastes like your morning milkshake. It’s also easy on one’s digestive system. So, it’s a great way to get all the extra protein in your diet.
- The total amount of protein, BCAAs, vitamins, minerals, and lean lipids that you get from every scoop of this protein powder is truly fantastic.
- This protein powder has stevia in it, which is a better sugar-free product than what you will find around.
- It’s soy-free, and it has less sugar in it. The good news is that the company hasn’t traded better health to keep the cost of the supplement low.
- Whether you mix it with water or milk, you will have a creamy and flavorful result. That said, it tastes better with milk.
- You will hardly experience stomach discomfort from the use of this protein powder.
- If you don’t blend the shake with the right amount of water and protein scoops, it will taste overly sweet. It will taste almost like an ice-cream.
- Despite consuming many containers, you could still be obese and out of shape. That said, it would be wrong to fault the product for your laziness.
Cheap Protein Powders: Shopping Tips
Today, protein powders are sold in widely different price tags. If you are going to use them, you better try to get the most benefit at the least cost. This buying guide will show you how to shop for the best and inexpensive commercially available protein powder out there.
Access your Needs
With all sorts of fitness goals, you will have to carefully choose a protein powder based on your individual needs. For muscle growth, choose a protein supplement with high biological value. For weight loss, avoid ones that come with added sugar or sweeteners made from starch. Diabetic individuals should also follow a similar route. For people with diabetes, it’s best to look for low sugar and low carb protein shake. If you are a vegan, you don’t have to make a sacrifice and go for a milk-based whey powder like before. There is ample amount of plant-based whey protein powders in the market today. If you have kidney issues, you are advised to use a protein powder that has low dose of protein in every scoop (10-15 grams).
Grass-fed whey is considered to be more nutritious and healthier than any other whey protein that you will find around. Not to mention that grass-fed whey tends to be GM0, pesticides, and hormones-free. And, it carries more anti-inflammatory properties. Basically, grass-fed whey will serve the intended purpose of stimulating muscle growth and recovery better than any other conventional whey out there. Of course, you shouldn’t limit your search to grass-fed whey proteins because other things matter as well. But given a choice, you should definitely go for a grass-fed whey protein.
A growing number of health companies have been accused of selling protein powders spiked with substandard fillers that are being passed on to the masses as pure protein. The end result: you end up spending money on a protein powder that lacks protein. To steer yourself away from this problem, you should consider a product that has as little ‘non-protein’ ingredients in it as possible. Ideally, you should carefully read the product specs to inspect the presence of sweeteners, artificial colors, and other questionable preservatives used to bulk up the protein powder. Also, pay attention to the bioavailability of the protein in each serving.
We don’t need to tell you that your protein powder shouldn’t taste like shit or vomit. While it’s good to look for a supplement that contains as little sugar and artificial sweeteners as possible, your protein powder should not be absolutely tasteless. This is important because when you have a good tasting shake, you don’t drink it as a chore. On the contrary, you eagerly look forward to drinking the protein powder whenever the opportunity presents itself. Also, the chosen protein powder must have good mixability. And, it should not make your stomach feel like crap.
Whey Concentrate/Vs. Others
Broadly speaking, the market offers three types of whey: whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate. Whey isolate is created by processing the whey concentrate further, which leaves behind more pure protein without any fat or lactose. Therefore, whey isolate costs more than your whey concentrate. An additional processing step, where the isolate protein is exposed to acid, heat, or enzymes, typically done to increase the bioavailability, makes hydrolysed whey. To keep the cost of the product low, you can opt for a whey protein concentrate. You will get a little more carbs and fat in a whey concentrate product as opposed to hydrolysed or isolate whey protein, which should not really be a big deal for recreational athletes.
Other Shopping Tips
-The shortlisted protein powder must have low carbs and fat in it. At the same time, it must be high on proteins (minimum 15 to 30 grams per serving)
-If you haven’t noticed it yet, we have included protein powders from well-known brands in our list of recommendations. This is the real key when it comes to acquiring a good quality protein supplement.
-The protein market works along the same lines as other consumer products. The more you buy, the more you will be able to save. So, try to buy tubs of protein powder to get some discounts by default.
-Also, you can choose unflavored whey protein powders over others to keep the cost of the product low. You can always create your own flavor by adding some peanut butter or one serving of fruit.
Benefits of Protein Powder
You must have likely heard about the obvious benefits of protein supplements such as muscle gain, strength gain, etc. But, there’s more to the story, which is not a bad thing to know, right? So, let’s dive into some of the lesser-known benefits of protein powder.
-Starting with the obvious ones; extensive studies have shown us that protein powder can increase muscle mass and strength.
-Protein supplements speed up the recovery process too. As a result, it helps our muscles restore/gain more strength and size.
-Beyond muscle recovery, protein powder also assists in faster healing of wounds.
-It helps one get rid of body fat too in a healthier fashion by improving one’s ability to control hunger.
-Since most protein powders contain calcium in it, your bone health will also thank you.
-Moreover, you won’t run the risk of being deficient on certain amino acids, which your body cannot produce on its own.
-Protein powders also help one stay more energetic than usual throughout the day.
-Some protein powders contain glutathione, which can slow down the aging process.
-Protein powders can help the body to create hormones that can lead to healthier skin and nails.
-It’s also been cited that a protein supplement can curb fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
-Protein powders can improve your immunity as well. So, you will be able to battle infections and illnesses better than usual.
-Loads of users swear that they have been able to sleep better by taking protein supplements on a regular basis.
-Not to mention that it’s a convenient and easy source of protein for those who find it hard to meet their protein numbers through regular diet.
-Given how easy it is consume a protein shake, it’s never a struggle to meet the nutritional needs of the body.
-The good ones can be taken on the go as they mix easily without any effort. So, they can also prove to be a great meal replacer.
Side-Effects & Warnings
Fortunately, there are no ground-breaking side-effects linked to the use of pure protein powders. That said, a minority of the users could experience some moderate side-effects in the form of gas, constipation, or bloating. These side-effects usually occur when the body has trouble digesting the protein powder. Of course, any powder with steroid in it should be avoided. Also, one should bear in mind that protein powders will not help with muscle gains, when taken without any workout. It goes without saying; you should try to take as much protein as you can from natural foods. If you are still left with any deficit, only then you should consume protein powder to fill the void.
Projected to shoot up to $21 billion globally in the next five to six years, the protein powder market is booming like a professional bodybuilder’s biceps. With an increasing number of normal guys wanting to be in good shape, we have made a humble attempt to give you guys a good ride into the world of protein powders. Our attempt was to keep the information as brief, authentic, and understandable as possible. We sincerely hope that you were able to digest it as nicely as you would normally digest your favorite protein shake.