As someone who is passionate about fitness yet who hates sending non-delicious food and drink down my gullet, I have done my fair share of rooting about in the protein powder world for the most palatable options.And I’ve come up with some surprisingly delicious choices. In the article below I investigate everything from classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate, to drinkability with just water, to hemp powder options. If you’re searching for some awesome tasting protein powders, look no further.
Best Protein Powders With Water
It’s not often that you find a protein powder that’s edible in just water, let alone delicious. But let’s face it, sometimes all person’s got time for (ahem e.g. when we forget to buy milk) is throwing some tap water and protein in a shaker and calling it a day. Below are my three top choices for those lazy days without compromising flavor.
Optimum Nutrition Delicious Strawberry
Just a warning, this flavor is going to come up a few times in this post – that’s how much I love this product! Optimum Nutrition has produced the perfect strawberry flavor – so perfect that I don’t think I can live without it, and I’m ordinarily a chocolate kind of guy. Delicious Strawberry calls to mind a strawberry creme cocktail made fresh for you at an outdoor café. It mixes instantly and without clumps in any liquid, and is so light and welcoming in just water that I actively look forward to it in the last half hour of my workout.
Recommended: Top 10 Best Optimum Nutrition Flavors
Optimum Nutrition Mocha Cappuccino
Mocha Cappuccino isn’t one of the most widely known flavors from Optimum Nutrition, and in fact I wouldn’t have tried it out if it weren’t recommended to me by a friend. But I am sure glad that he did! Maybe it’s the combination of my two loves, but with its sophisticated, subtle balance of coffee and chocolate this flavor is just one I can’t get enough of. It’s also not too sweet, tastes great with water, and complements well in a shake. If you’re on the fence about this flavor, make sure to check it out: you won’t regret it.
VPX Zero Carb Protein Graham Cracker
VPX’s Zero Carb Protein Powder is another super-fine powder that mixes quickly and smoothly without the need of a blender, and tastes great in just water. It’s beautifully creamy, sweet, and faintly chocolaty, and has none of the chalky aftertaste that plagues so many protein powders – an especially impressive feat considering that it has no carbs, less than 1 gram of fat, and only 80 calories per serving. It’s almost entirely composed of high quality whey protein isolate, making it the perfect option for those of you looking for an especially clean protein without sacrificing taste. To make this option even more creamy and delicious, double up the scoops in 8oz of water.
Best Tasting Protein Powder With Milk
The next most convenient option after mixing with water is mixing with milk. Fortunately, milk magically ups the game of so many flavors that there’s no shortage of choices here, but I’ve narrowed it down to my absolute favorites.
BSN Syntha-6 Cookies and Cream
Syntha-6’s Cookies and Cream option is so decadent it should seriously consider going into the dessert business. Creamy and sweet, it is such a yummy addition to any milkshake that I have to stop myself from using too much! I never get tired of this product. In addition, it also combines several protein sources with different rates of digestion so your muscles get a longer and more continuous flow of protein.
MTS Nutrition Machine Cookies and Cream
Ok, so there’s obviously something about Cookies and Cream that goes perfectly with milk. But MTS’s particular option blows it out of the water! You know the delicious sludge you get after you’ve finished a bowl of chocolate cookies and ice cream? (ok well I mix cookies with my ice cream).This is exactly what MTS Cookies and Cream tastes like when mixed with milk, and after your sweaty workout, exactly the reward that you deserve. The calories are slightly higher, with a slightly higher carb count, but it’s nothing that a few more minutes in the gym won’t take care of. And it is oh so worth it.
Optimum Nutrition Extreme Chocolate Milk
Extreme Chocolate Milk is one of the most popular flavors from Optimum Nutrition. To my mind it tastes like those steaming rich mugfuls of Nesquik that my mom would give me after a day of playing in the snow. This is the kind of chocolate flavor that blends beautifully with just about anything imaginable, but is extra tasty with milk. It also makes for a delicious chocolate ice cream for those midnight cravings – just mix it thick milk or cream, and freeze!
Best Tasting Chocolate Protein Powder
I’m a chocolate aficionado, so I’ve tried my fair share of chocolate protein powders. This flavor is popular but can be tricky to get just right – you want a rich, deep, full flavor, that’s sweet but not too sweet, and that can incorporate a variety of flavor complements.
Legion Chocolate Whey Isolate Protein Powder
Legion uses only top notch ingredients, making this option excellent for anyone concerned about or sensitive to impurities in their protein powder. It uses high quality whey isolate, delivering the most efficient serving of protein to your body per serving. It’s also low in calories compared to other brands – not that you can tell! With deep, well-rounded flavor this chocolate option seriously tastes like a chocolate malt, especially if mixed with some milk.
MuscleTech NitroTech Ripped Powder Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Muscle Tech’s NitroTech line is specially formulated for optimal weight loss and lean muscle building rather than bulking, and works really well either as a meal replacement or half an hour before meals. This chocolate option super smooth, not too sweet, and mixes extremely easily. It’s also great with water, better with milk, and completely bomb with chocolate milk.
Optimum Nutrition Double Rich Chocolate
As its name suggests, Double Rich Chocolate is beautifully rich and chocolate-y. It’s absolutely sinful in milk – in fact I’ve caught myself mistakenly referring to it as a milkshake, it’s that good – and mixes wonderfully with a whole gamut of fruits, grains, and vegetables. Despite its full chocolate flavor it’s actually only semi-sweet. Personally, I can’t drink something too sweet in the morning, so it’s perfect for my breakfast. It’s also great for those who like to modulate sweetness level, since you can easily add a sweetener like honey or Stevia.
Best Tasting Vanilla Protein Powder
This straightforward, accommodating flavor never goes out of fashion. But which ones are the best?
Whey Protein Isolate Vanilla
Light, fluffy, this protein powder mixes like nobody’s business and is soy free, gluten free, lactose free, and sugar free to boot, in addition to using high quality whey isolate. Its simple, mellow vanilla profile accommodates mixing with other flavors very well, and although it can have a chalky aftertaste, mixing with any other flavor takes care of that.
Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Ice Cream
On its own this vanilla is nothing too special, but mix it into a shake and it adds a creamy, warm hint of vanilla that enhances the original flavor of your drink. It’s inadvisable to mix with just water, however – some fluke of its flavor chemistry makes it downright undrinkable. It’s much better added to some milk, or even, in a pinch, to your home-made protein bars, cookies, or other baked goods for some extra protein goodness. Remember, drinks aren’t the only way to consume your daily shot of protein – get creative! Overall, it’s good to have this versatile flavor in your rotation if you enjoy a hint of vanilla in your
EAS 100% Pure Whey Protein Powder Vanilla
EAS’s Vanilla Protein Powder is a really solid vanilla choice that tastes simple and sweet on its own and takes to mixing well with other flavors. However, some users have complained it has some fillers and that the recipe changed since they became loyal customers years ago.
Best Tasting Cookies and Cream Protein Powder
Cookies and Cream has been a been a hallmark flavor in the protein world for as long as I can remember. Sweet and satisfying with floating chocolate bits, it’s just slightly more daring than plain old vanilla.
Optimum Nutrition Cookies and Cream
Optimum Nutrition’s version of Cookies and Cream is a consistent member of my rotation. Simply put, it’s great for those who love cookies and cream! It has a warm, smooth vanilla taste but it also has cookie chunks mixed in – a pro or a con depending on your preference. I personally love the hints of chocolate that I get in my shake, and think it’s fantastic for pancakes and waffles. However, for those of you who don’t like chunks, this can be an annoyance since they won’t dissolve smoothly unless mixed in a blender.
Quest Nutrition Cookies and Cream
Quest Nutrition’s Cookies and Cream option is low on carbs, yet a good example of how tasty cookies and cream can be. It’s quite sweet and the consistency is a little thick. This is good with just water but best served in milk, left to hydrate a little first.
Muscle Milk Cookies and Cream
With 20 different vitamins and minerals and 32 grams of protein per serving (including both whey and casein), there’s a reason Muscle Milk is an industry favorite. The flavor is classic cookies and cream, delicious and versatile – great with milk, fruit, oatmeal, or coffee. Try a scoop of this with peanut butter as a meal replacement! Muscle milk can get a little chunky if left to sit in water, so for best results, mix in a blender with some crushed ice.
Best Tasting Strawberry Protein Powder
Strawberry is can be quite difficult to get right, often leaning way too artificial and sweet – which is probably why it’s less popular than many other flavor mainstays. Done right, however, it can be a real treat.
Optimum Nutrition Delicious Strawberry
I’ve already mentioned that Optimum Nutrition’s Delicious Strawberry is excellent is just water, but in a shake it’s possibly even more awesome, with a flavor that complements than overwhelms with a light cream finish. It has no artificial aftertaste and no chalky bite. It tastes just like a fresh strawberry ice cream!
Naked Nutrition Whey Protein Strawberry
Naked Nutrition doesn’t fool around when it comes to all natural ingredients. There are only three ingredients in its strawberry option: grass-fed whey protein, dried strawberries, and coconut sugar. It contains no artificial sweeteners or colors, and is GMO-free, hormone-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. If you’re conscientious about eating clean, you can’t ask for better than that! Using real strawberries rather than artificial flavors, this stuff tastes like the actual fruit: sweet, light, refreshing, and perfect after a sweaty workout
Body Fortress Advanced Protein Strawberry
For strawberry lovers, this option will not disappoint. With a protein content of 30g per scoop, Body Fortress makes a solid product that is not in the least overwhelming or artificial. It tastes like a mild strawberry milkshake, and can easily be even further improved stirring with milk or blended berries.
Best Tasting Hemp Protein Powder
|Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein 15g, 3-Pound Bag||$29.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Hemp Protein Powder, 3 Pouches, 12 oz Each||No ratings yet||$36.08||Buy on Amazon|
Did you know that hemp seeds are one of nature’s best sources of plant protein? With 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids your body absolutely needs to stay healthy, and loaded with more healthy omega fatty acids and fiber than many other common protein powders, protein powder from hemp is truly a powerhouse product. It has a whole array of impressive health benefits such as improved heart health, blood pressure, and better digestion. And of course, it’s vegan. If you’ve never tried hemp powder before though, you might be at a loss where to turn. Let’s take a look at the best-tasting options at your disposal.
Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein
First off, you should not start off with the expectation that hemp will taste like your traditional whey powders! Approach hemp on its own terms. It doesn’t have the creamy taste associated whey powders, but it also doesn’t have the chalky bite that so often plagues them either. It’s mild, nutty, and rather buttery – an appealing flavor that reminds you how healthy this stuff really is. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein is one of my top three choices for hemp powders. It’s certified organic and non-GMO, as well as cold-pressed for purest results. In terms of drinkability it’s very finely ground and forms no clumps, with the traditional nutty hemp taste that mixes well with a fruit, peanut butter, chocolate, or a whole variety of different flavor complements. However, unlike whey powders it doesn’t dissolve so much as mix in a fine cloud, and tends to settle a little unless drunk quickly or shaken from time to time.
Navitas Hemp Protein
Made from pure organic hemp seed, Navitas is another brand you can’t go wrong with for quality. Try it in muffins, breads, or cookies for a vegan boost of energy and protein.
Viva Labs Organic Cold Milled Hemp
What sets Viva Labs’ product apart is that it guarantees 50% pure protein, or 15g in a 30g serving, unlike the 11 and 12 grams provided by Nutiva and Navitas respectively. Admittedly, this isn’t a high protein concentration when compared to milk proteins, but if your purposes are health rather than gains-oriented, this is still an excellent choice.
Best Tasting All Around Protein Powder
|Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Delicious Strawberry, 5 Pound||$57.99||Buy on Amazon|
Ok, now for the one that hits it out of the ballpark. I’ve mentioned it again and again for good reason: I will never stop buying this flavor! Optimum Nutrition Delicious Strawberry is, bar none, the most delightful protein powder that I have ever tried in my life. It’s so versatile, so light and accommodating of other flavors, so delicious in either water or milk…It’s like that girl you know that’s incapable of taking a bad picture – she’s perfect from all angles. Just like Delicious Strawberry. Mmm.
So there you have it – my top picks for the best-tasting protein powders. I’ve tried and loved every single one of them, and I hope you’ll give some of these a go too.
Now, just how many of those protein shakes should you be downing in a day? Click here to learn more.