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Protein powder is often connected with building muscle, but it can also be a powerful tool for those trying to lose weight. In fact, protein is more likely to keep us full (and thus eat fewer calories) than carbohydrates or fats, according to research1

You might be wondering what’s the best protein powder for weight loss? Well, we have good news: Our team of certified personal trainers, competitive triathletes, registered dietitians, and weightlifting coaches have researched more than 100 protein powders and tasted 75 of them to find our top 14 picks that can support weight loss. In fact, many of us have used these protein powders to lose weights ourselves.

Our GGR supplement testing methodology looked at the following important factors to reach our top 14.

  • Ingredients and formulation: Does it have clinically recommended ingredients and protein ratio?
  • Third-party testing: Has it been tested for potential heavy metals, toxins, and banned substances?
  • Price: Is it affordable?

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

The 14 Best Protein Powders for Weight Loss

Best Overall Protein Powder For Weight Loss: Transparent Labs Casein

Good for: Those looking for a low-calorie protein powder to support their weight loss goals

Best Overall

Transparent Labs Casein Protein

GGR Score: 4.18 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 100% grass-fed casein protein 
  • 3rd-party lab tested 
  • Chocolate flavor

Pros & Cons


  • Subscribe and save 10%
  • No artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives
  • 3rd-party lab tested
  • Transparent ingredients
  • Extremely positive reviews on taste


  • Only available in 1 flavor
  • May be sold out
  • Comparably expensive
  • Limited reviews

Bottom Line

Transparent Labs Casein Protein provides 25 grams of protein per scoop and is extremely popular among users. Unfortunately, it may be sold out when you try to buy it, but you can sign up to be notified when it is available again.

Transparent Labs Casein is our top pick for a weight loss protein powder because of the type of protein it’s made from: casein. Casein makes up about 80 percent of all protein found in milk—the rest is in whey—and is digested slower than whey or other types of protein. This keeps you fuller for longer, which could lead to reduced caloric intake and create a caloric deficit, which is necessary for weight loss.

Sure, you can drink it as a shake or you could turn it into a protein pudding (the pudding’s thicker texture will also make you feel more full than a liquid-y shake). That’s exactly what certified sports nutrition coach and GGR senior staff writer Amanda Capritto did when she discovered this powder tastes exactly like those chocolate pudding cups you can find in grocery stores.

“It’s so good! I actually crave this,” Amanda says, awarding the flavor a perfect 5 out of 5. “All you do is mix it with less liquid than usual.” We recommend mixing in a splash at a time until you find your desired texture.

Transparent Labs Casein 1

If you’ve never had casein protein powder before, we’ll warn you that it’s naturally thicker than whey so it may take a little extra elbow grease to get everything incorporated. Amanda says this particular powder’s solubility is a 4.5 out of 5 because it was easier than most other casein powders.

Transparent Labs lives up to its name by displaying every ingredient in the tub and undergoing third-party testing by Informed Choice. This certification means it’s been tested for potentially harmful materials and banned substances that might show up on an athlete’s drug tests. So sip away, you’re in good hands.

Our Transparent Labs casein protein review has everything else you’ll need to know about this product.

Price per serving$1.99
Protein typeCasein
Calories per serving120

Best Affordable Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate

Good for: Anyone who’s on a weight loss plan but also on a budget


Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 25 grams of whey protein concentrate per serving
  • Available in 5 flavors, including unflavored
  • High-quality ingredients and third-party testing
  • Supports lean muscle growth and recovery after workouts

Pros & Cons


  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Manufactured in GMP-compliant facility
  • Unflavored option only contains one ingredient, instantized whey protein concentrate


  • Whey concentrate may not mix as well as whey isolate
  • Flavored options are higher in calories than other whey proteins

Bottom Line

Nutricost Whey Concentrate contains 25 grams of high-quality whey protein concentrate, available in five flavors. It's gluten-free, non-GMO, manufactured in a GMP-compliant facility, and third-party tested.

Losing a lot of weight doesn’t have to involve losing a lot of money. Each scoop of Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate costs anywhere from 78 cents to $1.15, depending on the flavor and container size you order (there’s a 2- and 5-pound option).

Affordable protein powders come with some trade-offs, and in the case of the flavored versions of Nutricost protein that trade-off is having artificial ingredients (the Unflavored version has all-natural ingredients). That said, GGR Senior Head of Content and Level weightlifting coach Kate Meier says it doesn’t taste artificial.

girl making smoothie with nutricost whey protein isolate

“Absolutely amazing,” she says of the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor, giving it a 5 out of 5 on taste. “It tastes like a melted milkshake. All around, a great product. Would definitely buy it again.” She also rated the solubility a 5 out of 5, saying it mixed well in a shaker cup with water and milk.

As registered dietitian Perry Nix notes, whey protein concentrates may not be a good choice for those who are sensitive to dairy since it contains more lactose than whey protein isolates. Kate, however, says this seems to be pretty easy on the digestive tract.

“My partner has stomach issues with some proteins, but didn’t have any with this one,” she says.

Price per serving$0.78-$1.15 (varies by flavor)
Protein typeWhey protein concentrate
FlavorsChocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry Milkshake, Unflavored, Chocolate Peanut Butter
Calories per serving120
Carbs1-3 (varies by flavor)
Fat1-3 (varies by flavor)
SweetenersSucralose (none in Unflavored)

Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Women: Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein

Good for: Women who are trying to lose weight while maintaining muscle mass

For Women

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • High-quality whey protein isolate
  • 28 grams of protein per serving
  • 15 flavors to choose from
  • $1.99 per serving

Pros & Cons


  • High-quality protein
  • No artificial sweeteners, food dyes, or preservatives
  • Lots of flavors to choose from
  • Good customer reviews
  • Whey isolate may be easier to digest for some people


  • Price per serving on the high end

Bottom Line

Our testers love Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate because we know exactly what's in it, and almost every flavor we've tried is a 5 out of 5 on taste. Yes, it's a little more expensive than other protein powders but you get what you pay for.

Men can, of course, enjoy Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein but we like it for women because it’s easy to digest. It’s made from whey protein isolate that contains less lactose and sugar than whey protein concentrate, which is what many protein powders are made from. And because it’s Informed Choice certified, you’ll have peace of mind that it contains zero harmful compounds or banned substances.

The 28 grams of protein and under one gram each of carbs and fats doesn’t hurt, and neither does the 12 delicious flavors (including an unflavored option).

transparent labs protein bottle in hand

Certified personal trainer and GGR performance editor Anthony O’Reilly tried the limited edition Peppermint Hot Cocoa flavor around the holidays and gifted it a 5 out of 5 on taste. “This is the kind of protein shake I’d leave out for Santa,” Anthony says. “I stashed away a second tub of it so I can have a cup of hot protein cocoa when it gets cold at night.”

RELATED: Best Protein Powders for Women

Let’s talk stevia for a second. You may have heard a social media influencer say it’s one of the worst things you could put in your body, and nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, some people may be sensitive to this sweetener but the general population can consume up to 4 grams per kilogram of bodyweight before experiencing negative symptoms.

That means a 120-pound woman can eat more than 200 grams of stevia before getting sick—Transparent Labs uses less than a quarter of a gram of stevia in each scoop.

Read our Transparent Labs protein review for the rest of our thoughts about this product.

Price per serving$1.99
Protein typeWhey protein isolate
FlavorsMilk Chocolate, Vanilla Oatmeal Cookie, French Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, Unflavored, Strawberry, Vanilla Peanut Butter, Mocha, Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Calories per serving120
Protein28 g
Carbs1g (some flavors may have more)
Fat0 (some flavors may have more)

Best Protein Powder for Low Carb and Sugar Content: Jacked Factory Authentic Whey 

Good for: Those watching their carb and sugar intake 

Low Carb, Low Sugar

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 24 g of protein per serving
  • Low-fat and low-carb
  • Costs $1.50 per serving
  • Five flavors
  • Artificial aftertaste

Pros & Cons


  • Low-carb
  • Five flavors
  • 24g of protein per serving
  • No fillers or thickening agents


  • Some artificial ingredients
  • Has an artificial aftertaste

Bottom Line

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey is a low-carb, high-protein supplement that comes in five flavors at an affordable price.

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey caps its carbs and fats at 2 grams across the board, making it one of the few flavored protein powders that’s mostly protein. Sure, there are others on this list that may have a similar nutritional value, but Jacked Factory has them beat on cost—$1.50 per scoop with 24 grams of protein? Sign us up. 

There’s also zero added sugar ,but they do use stevia and sucralose, which might cause some digestive issues in some people3. Besides that, there are some thickeners such as Xanthan gum that have little to no nutritional value. 

jacked factory whey

Certified personal trainer and GGR performance editor Anthony O’Reilly went with the Fruity Cereal flavor and while it reminded him of his childhood breakfast cereal there was a slight aftertaste, most likely due to the stevia and sucralose. “Tasted like Froot Loops but with a slight medicinal aftertaste,” he says, giving the protein powder a 4 out of 5 on taste. The solubility was a perfect 5 out of 5—no clumps—but Anthony noted the powder does change color once you add liquid.

While it does contain whey protein concentrate there’s also whey protein isolate, so it might be easier for some people to digest due to the removal of lactose4. Anthony and several customer reviewers experienced no issues with this protein powder compared to other supplements that can sometimes cause upset stomachs. 

Our Jacked Factory Authentic Whey review details our comprehensive thoughts about this product.

Price per serving$1.50
Protein typeWhey protein concentrate
FlavorsVanilla, Fruity Cereal Splash, Salted Chocolate Caramel, Orange Ice Cream, Chocolate
Calories per serving110
Protein24 g
Carbs1-2 g (varies by flavor)
Fat2 g 
SweetenersStevia and sucralose (varies by flavor)

Best Tasting Protein Powder for Weight Loss: XWERKS Grow

Good for: Anyone looking for a great-tasting protein powder



GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Natural, healthy, convenient, and tasty way to get protein
  • Uses a microfiltration process to preserve critical biological nutrients in raw whey
  • Removes unwanted fats and carbohydrates
  • All flavors are naturally sweetened
  • Nicely flavored, easily digested, and low-carb protein powder
  • Promotes muscle growth and repair

Pros & Cons


  • Keto-friendly
  • Naturally sweetened
  • Sourced from naturally raised grass-fed cows
  • Has a smooth and creamy taste
  • Soy- and gluten-free
  • Convenient


  • Expensive

Bottom Line

XWERKS Grow whey protein isolate provides a solid blend of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals in a whey protein isolate. Our testers have said this is one of the best-tasting protein powders they've tried, and they've had more than 100.

Certified personal trainer and GGR performance editor Anthony O’Reilly has tried more than 50 protein powders in his role as an expert product tester and as an everyday gym-goer, and the best-tasting protein powder he’s had to this day is XWERKS Grow. he went with the chocolate flavor, which to him tasted like a protein version of Yoohoo and earned a perfect 5 out of 5 on taste. “If you like chocolate, you’ll love the rich taste of this protein powder that mixes incredibly easily in a shaker bottle,” says Anthony, who noted this was one of the most soluble protein powders he’s tried—another 5 out of 5.

Members of the GGR team have had other XWERKS Grow flavors, and they all agree that they’re out of this world. If you don’t want to take our word for it, scroll through the various Amazon reviews that rave about the different flavors and really makes us want to get our hands on the Peanut Butter flavor. 

xwerks grow

XWERKS gets their dairy from New Zealand cows, which is important because the country has some of the strictest dairy regulations7 in the world that prohibit cattle from being exposed to antibiotics, pesticides, or hormones. Their micro-filtration process removes most of the lactose (sugar), fats, and carbs, leaving a whey protein isolate that’s easy on the stomach4.  

The filtration process also leaves key nutrients intact, including the protein alpha lactalbumin to support growth86 and immunoglobulins, or antibodies that are necessary to kill certain bacteria and viruses9

Read our XWERKS Grow whey protein review for more information.

Price per serving$1.96
Protein typeWhey protein isolate
FlavorsChocolate, Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Strawberry
Calories per serving110
Protein25 g (Peanut Butter has 23g)
Carbs1 g (Peanut butter has 2g)
Fat0 g (Peanut Butter has 2g) 

Best Casein Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Legion Athletic Casein+

Good for: People looking for a high-quality casein protein powder to help with fat loss

Case(in) Closed

Legion Athletics Casein+ Protein Powder

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Milk-derived casein protein powder
  • Thick texture
  • 5 flavor options
  • Sourced from grass-fed cattle
  • 25 g protein per serving 
  • 5 grams of BCAAs and 11.4 grams of EAAs per serving

Pros & Cons


  • Sourced from grass-fed cattle
  • 100% micellar casein
  • Tasty flavor options
  • Smooth, rich, creamy texture
  • Analyzed for purity and potency in an ISO 17025 accredited lab
  • 0g added sugar
  • Includes BCAAs and EAAs
  • Subscribe-and-save option


  • Casein protein is significantly thicker than whey
  • Casein can cause bloating and gas, especially upon initial use
  • Takes quite a bit of shaking to get rid of all clumps

Bottom Line

Legion Athletics Casein+ Protein Powder comes in several delicious flavors, and we’re fans of the Banana Cream Pie. Casein can be consumed as a shake, or with less water, like a pudding. This protein has 25 grams of protein per 110-calorie serving.

Legion Athletics Casein+ protein powder contains up to 26 grams of slowly digested micellar casein protein that can help you feel full throughout the night or long workday. 

GGR Performance Editor and certified nutrition coach Anthony O’Reilly opted for Banana Cream Pie flavor and said the only reason it got a 4.5 out of 5 was because the name was a tad misleading for him. “It tasted more like a banana, more specifically a slightly under-ripe banana, than a pie but hey, I’m not complaining much since it still tasted amazing. I’ve been drinking one of these every night before bed and I wake up still feeling full.”

Casein is naturally thicker than whey protein powder, but Anthony says the solubility is still a 5 out of 5 since his shakes had no clumps or grittiness.

Legion was also one of the few casein protein powders we tried out that came from grass-fed cows, and in case you’re wondering, yes that actually makes a difference. A February 2021 review5 found that grass-fed dairy had a higher amount of phytonutrients than dairy from grain-fed animals. Phytonutrients are antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties and have been linked with reduced disease risk and improved heart health.

Legion Casein 1

The omega-3/omega-6 ratio also tends to be better in grass-fed dairy than conventionally raised cattle, according to this 2018 study6. Omega-3 and omega-6 are the so-called “good” fats, but you generally want a higher number of omega-3s due to their anti-inflammatory effects (studies have also found they support brain and heart health6). 

Legion is on the more expensive side so it’s not for everyone, but if you have the budget for it and you’re looking for a high-quality protein supplement, it’s one that we’d strongly recommend. Just be warned that casein protein powders sometimes require a lot more mixing than what you might be used to. Our Legion Casein+ review details the rest of our thoughts.

Price per serving$2.00
Protein typeCasein
FlavorsCinnamon Cereal, Dutch Chocolate, Banana Cream Pie, French Vanilla, Strawberry
Calories per serving110
Protein24-26 g (varies by flavor)
Carbs2-5 g (varies by flavor)
Fat0-2 g (varies by flavor)

Best Plant-Based Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Ritual Essential Protein 18+

Good for: Those who follow a plant-based diet and need a high protein supplement

Plant Power

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Organic pea protein powder
  • 20 g of protein per serving
  • Formulated to support adults 18-49
  • Third-party tested
  • 150 mg of choline per serving 

Pros & Cons


  • Soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Complete amino acid profile
  • Non-GMO
  • USA-grown peas


  • Only comes in one flavor
  • Price per serving is on the high end

Bottom Line

Ritual’s Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+ is specifically designed for 18-to-49 year-olds with 20 grams of protein per serving and 150 milligrams of chlorine (to support brain and nervous system function). This protein powder from Ritual is third-party tested and Informed Sport Certified, which means this formula has been screened for over 250 banned substances.

Unlike other plant-based protein powders that contain excess carbs and fats and a low amount of protein, Ritual Essential Protein 18+ contains 20 grams of protein, plus 3 grams of fiber that can help increase satiety (the feeling of being full). Although it has some carbs and fat, it’s a relatively low amount – 2 and 3 grams, respectively. In other words, it’s perfect as a morning shake or mid-day snack to help curb hunger pangs.

Our testers rated the formulation a 5 out of 5 not only because of the macronutrients, but because Ritual ensures it has a complete amino acid profile. With the exception of soy, all plant-based proteins are lacking at least one essential amino acid (EAA), the building blocks of protein molecules. Pea protein, which is what Ritual uses, is deficient in the EAA methionine, so the company adds an additional 400 milligrams of it to ensure you’re getting a high-quality plant protein.

ritual essential shake 18+ in blender next to bag

Now for some good news and bad news. The bad news first: Ritual only has one flavor, Vanilla. The good news is it’s a 4 out of 5 on taste, according to certified personal trainer and GGR Senior Director of Content Kate Meier. “Even just with water, this has a nice taste,” she says in our Ritual Protein Powder review. “It’s not super plant-y or hemp-y like some plant-based proteins are.”

She gave it a 5 out of 5 for solubility, saying it easily mixes into any liquid when using a hand shaker or blender. “It’s not thick, but it’s not watery like some proteins I’ve tested,” Kate says.

One area where Ritual doesn’t shine is cost. For one, it’s a monthly subscription that costs $44 per bag (as of this writing, they’re offering 20 percent off for first-time buyers) and only has 15 servings per container, which comes out to nearly $3 per serving, which gets a 1 out of 5 from us on cost.

The bright side is it’s Informed Sport certified, meaning it’s been checked for harmful and banned substances.

Price per serving$2.93
Protein typePea protein
Calories per serving115
Protein20 g
Carbs3 g (3 g fiber)
Fat2 g
SweetenersFermented sugarcane, organic monkfruit extract

Best Vegan Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Gainful Vegan Plant Protein

Good for: People who live a vegan lifestyle or who want a dairy-free protein powder 

No Whey

Gainful Vegan Protein Powder

GGR Score: 3.7 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Customizable vegan protein powder (organic brown rice protein and organic pea protein)
  • Unflavored powder
  • Eight available flavor boosters
  • Unlimited access to a registered dietitian

Pros & Cons


  • Shipped right to your door every month
  • Customizable plant-based protein
  • Eight flavor boosters available (can mix and match)
  • Access to a registered dietitian


  • Expensive
  • Not third-party tested

Bottom Line

Gainful Vegan Protein Powder is a customized plant-based protein that comes with eight available flavor boosters, which you can mix and match.

Gainful Vegan Plant Protein is one of our favorite vegan protein powders because it has a good macronutrient profile (24 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs, and 1.5 grams of fat) and contains green tea extract, an ingredient that’s been linked with increased weight loss when combined with a proper diet and adequate physical activity. We give it a 4.5 out of 5 on formulation.

Beyond that, it’s highly customizable. Each Gainful orders comes with two flavor boosters (there are eight to pick from). The powder itself is unflavored, which is fine if you’re using it in a smoothie. Or, you can add one or two of the boosters to create your own flavor combination.

For its 20 grams of protein per serving, Gainful uses organic pea protein and organic brown rice protein. This ensures that all the amino acids necessary to build muscle are present by using complementary proteins. Most plant-based protein sources, with the exception of soy protein, are deficient in some amino acids, so to ensure you’re getting all essential amino acids, manufacturers will use a blend that contains all of them. 

pouring flavor boost into Gainful vegan protein

Certified personal trainer and nutrition coach Erin Chancer tried Gainful Vegan’s base protein first, saying it’s “pretty standard for unflavored plant protein. You can definitely taste the pea protein.”

“It’s also a bit thicker than other plant proteins I’ve had and settled like silt at the bottom of the shaker cup,” Erin adds, though she notes the solubility is a 4 out of 5.

For her flavor booster, she went with Caffe Mocha. “While pleasant, I didn’t find it to be very coffee-flavored,” she says, rating it a 3.5 out of 5.

Be warned, this is an expensive protein powder. Each pouch only has 14 servings and is delivered on a monthly basis, which comes out to $3.21 per serving, a 1 out of 5 on cost.

Price per serving$3.21
Protein typeOrganic pea protein and organic brown rice protein
FlavorsSea Salt Caramel, Cinnamon Toast, Madagascar Vanilla, Rich Cocoa, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry Cream, Cafe Mocha, Cookies & Cream
Calories per serving120
Protein24 g
Carbs2 g
Fat1.5 g

Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Meal Replacement: Huel Black Edition

Good for: Those who want to replace a meal with a protein shake

Meal Replacement

Huel Complete Black

GGR Score: 4.16 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Plant-based complete nutritional shake 
  • 400 calories, 40 g protein, 5-8 g fiber, 4-6g sugar
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • 9 flavor options
  • Gluten-free meal shake

Pros & Cons


  • Doesn’t need to be refrigerated
  • Resealable bag
  • 40 g protein in each serving
  • Contains all essential vitamins and minerals
  • 9 flavors available


  • Must sign up for subscription
  • Bit of an aftertaste from plant-based protein

Bottom Line

Huel Complete Protein Powder Black Edition is a nutritionally complete meal replacement shake powder, containing 400 calories per serving along with 40 grams of protein in all of the nine flavors. Fat, carb, and fiber content varies by 1 to 3 grams across flavors, but you can expect to find a healthy serving of unsaturated fats, complex carbohydrates, and fiber in each shake. Plus, each shake contains all essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids with no artificial sweeteners or gluten.

While we recommend a food-first approach to weight loss, Huel Black Edition is the best meal replacement shake you can get due to its superior macronutrient and micronutrient profiles. “Each serving contains 8 grams of fiber, which may support gut health,” says registered dietitian Perry Nix. Fiber has also been linked to satiety, or the feeling of being full. “Soluble fiber, from ingredients like ground flaxseed, serves as a prebiotic that nourishes and promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.”

As Nix points out, Huel is great every once and a while when you need a few calories on the go but it shouldn’t be your primary food source. “Repeating the same meal replacement shake over time is unlikely to offer the sensory and culinary experience that whole foods provide,” she says.

Huel black edition meal replacement shake

We rate Huel Black a 5 out of 5 on formulation because it comes with 40 grams of plant-based protein (with a complete amino acid profile), has high concentrations of vitamins and minerals, and comes with probiotics to help with digestion and other bodily processes, such as brain function. As an added plus, it uses coconut sugar and stevia, two natural sweeteners. While it’s free of most allergens (such as gluten and lactose), it does have tree nuts so it might not be right for everyone.

Brittany Combs, GGR’s social media manager, tested the Cookies & Cream flavor and rated it a 5 out of 5 on taste. “It had just the right amount of sweetness,” she says. Each serving is two scoops that’s mixed with 17 ounces of liquid, so it’s a bit thick but Brittany rates the solubility a 4.5 out of 5. “I did taste a few chunks here and there, but with a really hard shake, they seemed to go away fine,” she says.

Price per serving$2.50
Protein typePea protein and brown rice protein
Calories per serving400
Protein40-41 g (varies by flavor)
Carbs20-25 g (varies by flavor)
Fat17-18 g (varies by flavor)
SweetenersCoconut sugar and stevia

Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain: Sports Research Whey Protein

Good for: Anyone looking to simultaneously lose fat and gain muscle

Weight Loss and Muscle Gain

Sports Research Whey Isolate

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Whey protein isolate
  • 25 g of protein per serving
  • Available in chocolate or vanilla
  • Informed Choice-certified

Pros & Cons


  • Affordable
  • Third-party tested
  • 25 grams of protein per serving


  • Only two flavors available
  • Our tester had issues with solubility

Bottom Line

Sports Research whey protein isolate has 25 grams of protein per serving and just 150 calories. It's third-party tested, too. Although there are only two flavors available, our testers think it's worth a try.

Losing weight and gaining muscle can be a challenge, but Sports Research Whey Protein makes it easier by having a well-balanced protein supplement with a modest amount of carbs and fat. As you probably know, carbs are the body’s preferred energy source so we don’t mind having a few in our protein shakes, and studies have shown that moderate dietary fat intake, around 1.6 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, can benefit muscle mass and strength.

In other words, as long as the rest of your diet is well-balanced the few extra carbs and fat here won’t break your goals. Plus, each serving gives you a whopping 25 grams of protein that can help keep you full and grow your muscles.

Scooping Sports Research Whey Protein into Blender bottle

The formulation earns a final score of 4.5 out of 5, docking half a point because there are some artificial ingredients. It is Informed Sport-certified, so it’s been checked for potentially harmful and banned substances, and has been checked for any GMOs.

Certified personal trainer Anthony O’Reilly rates the Dutch Chocolate a 5 out of 5 on taste, saying it tastes exactly like an instant cocoa powder drink. “I want to have this with marshmallows over an open fire,” he says. “No protein aftertaste at all.”

The solubility fared less favorably, falling at a 3.5 out of 5. “I used one of those blender bottles and there was a good bit of clumping at the bottom of the blender, even after some additional shaking,” he says. “The half-point is because what got mixed was smooth and had no lumps, so at least the texture was good.”

Price per serving$1.09 – $1.52 (depends on the price on Amazon)
Protein typeWhey protein isolate
FlavorsCreamy Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate 
Calories per servingVanilla: 140
Chocolate: 150
Protein25 g
CarbsVanilla: 2g
Chocolate: 4g
FatVanilla: 3.5
Chocolate: 4g

Best Whey Protein Powder For Weight Loss: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

Good for: Anyone who’s on a weight loss plan but also on a budget

Best Whey

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Contains 3 different kinds of whey protein
  • Tested for banned substances
  • Over 5 g of BCAAs per serving
  • Instantized to help prevent clumping

Pros & Cons


  • Affordable
  • High in protein
  • Plenty of flavor options
  • Low in carbs


  • Some users say it's overly sweet
  • Contains artificial flavors
  • Most flavors contain sucralose

Bottom Line

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey is a team favorite for its budget-friendly prices and taste. Our team has tried multiple Optimum Nutrition flavors, and every one is ranked a 4 or 5 out of 5.

One scoop of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey has as much protein as about three eggs, and has much fewer carbohydrates and fats. Optimum Nutrition uses hormone-free cows to create a protein blend of whey protein isolate4 and hydrolyzed whey protein17—both of which may be safe for those who are lactose-intolerant or have dairy sensitivities.

The blend does, however, also contain whey concentrate that has more lactose in it than whey isolate or hydrolyzed whey protein, so if you’re sensitive to dairy, talk to a professional before taking any supplement. 

Multiple GGR testers, some of who are sensitive to dairy, said they experienced no such issues.

Garage Gym Reviews Senior Editor and expert product taster Nicole Davis went with the Delicious Strawberry flavor and said it was a perfect 5 out of 5. “I wouldn’t have normally picked this flavor but my husband said this was his favorite protein back in the day and it didn’t disappoint. Even my kids liked it.” 

The per-serving cost varies by container size—a good general rule to keep in mind is the larger the bag, the lower the per-scoop serving. For example, a 68-serving bag comes out to $1.26 per scoop but a 27-serving bag will run you $1.66 per serving. Better yet, protein powder can last more than a year when stored properly, and takes up less pantry space than most other protein sources. 

optimum nutrition whey

As is the case with most budget-friendly whey protein powders, Optimum Nutrition contains some artificial ingredients, preservatives, sweeteners, and fillers, but in very small quantities. And besides, there’s more to like about it than to not. 

Our Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard review details the rest of our thoughts about this popular product.

Price per serving$1.08-$1.66 (depending on container size)
Protein typeWhey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, hydrolyzed whey protein
Calories per serving120-130 (varies by flavor)
Protein24 g 
CarbsVaries by flavor
FatVaries by flavor 

Best Organic Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Legion Whey+

Good for: Those looking for an organic, all-natural protein powder 


Legion Whey+

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Sourced from small dairy farms in Ireland
  • Over 5 g of BCAAs per serving
  • Non-GMO and animal welfare approved
  • Third-party tested for banned substances

Pros & Cons


  • Low in carbs and fat
  • Natural ingredients
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Made with ethically-sourced milk
  • Lots of flavor options


  • Comparably high cost per serving
  • May be clumpy when mixed
  • Some flavors have mixed reviews

Bottom Line

Legion Whey+ is a clean, sustainable protein powder that also is macro-friendly and a great option for anyone looking for a clean protein supplement. Many of our testers have brought this with their own money because they love the taste and easy mixability.

We’ve already discussed much of what makes Legion protein so great for those looking for an all-natural, organic protein powder, but here’s a quick refresher: grass-fed whey protein, free of hormones, antibiotics, no added sugar, and third-party tested for banned substances and heavy metals. 

Certified personal trainer and GGR Performance Editor Anthony O’Reilly says the Cinnamon Cereal flavor could be a bit sweeter, but it’s still a 4 out of 5 for him on taste. “It reminds me of the breakfast cereal he had every Saturday morning growing up, but specifically when you get to the bottom of your bowl,” he says. “I’ve also used it to create a protein French toast recipe that you can find in our full Legion protein review.” 

Legion also likes to point out that their dairy comes from “small” dairy farms in Ireland. A 2013 review22 found smaller farms on the Emerald Isle were linked with better milk quality. 

legion whey protein pour

The Labdoor Tested for Purity certification is what tells us this protein powder has been tested for harmful or banned substances, as well as THC (which can sometimes be found in supplements in very small amounts). 

As with most protein powders, the nutritional content varies by flavor, but you’re getting anywhere from 22 to 24 grams of protein per scoop with a moderate amount of carbs and fats. 

Price per serving$1.99
Protein typeWhey protein isolate
Calories per serving110-120 (varies by flavor)
Protein22-24 g (varies by flavor) 
Carbs2-4 g (varies by flavor) 
Fat0-5 g (varies by flavor) 

Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Men: Kaged Re-Kaged

Good for: Men looking for a protein-rich post-workout supplement 

For Men

Kaged Re-Kaged

GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Recovery blend includes L-glutamine, digestive enzymes, and creatine HCI
  • Formulated to build lean muscle and improve recovery time 
  • Scientifically-researched ingredients at appropriate ratios
  • Unique flavors: strawberry lemonade, iced lemon cake, and orange kream
  • Banned-substance free

Pros & Cons


  • Mixes well
  • Unique flavors
  • Reportedly highly effective
  • Only 1 gram of sugar
  • Contains L-glutamine and creatine


  • Too sweet for some people
  • Contains sucralose
  • May cause digestive issues

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a post-workout product that not only improves recovery but also is designed to build muscle mass, Kaged Re-Kaged may be the right option for you.

First of all, we’re not saying that only men should take Kaged Re-Kaged (women are welcome to try it out). Men, however, do generally have more lean muscle mass11 than women and as a result, need more protein to maintain it. 

Men and women alike will enjoy the unique flavors that aren’t just vanilla and chocolate, says certified nutrition coach and GGR performance editor Anthony O’Reilly. “The Orange Kream flavor is still one of the best-tasting protein powders I’ve ever tasted,” he says, scoring it a 5 out of 5. “If there’s anyone who’s ever had the Irish ice cream bar Split before, it tastes exactly like that.”

Kaged Re-Kaged comes with a whopping 28 grams of protein per serving, which is the highest number of any whey-based protein powder on our list. It’s easily one of the best protein powders for men who are trying to increase their protein intake and lose body weight. 

re-kaged on counter

This protein comes with the digestive enzyme ProHydrolase, which some claim can enhance protein absorption and support muscle recovery12 (but the lone public study on it shows overall protein absorption wasn’t greatly impacted, though there was a noticeable increase in amino acid concentration). You also get three grams of glutamine, which may help support muscle tissue repair13 after weightlifting. 

We’re also big fans of the fact that Kaged added betaine and creatine. Betaine14 has been shown to support muscle endurance and strength, and creatine15 has consistently been linked with increased strength and improved recovery. 

RELATED: Best Creatine

The $2.25 per-serving cost might be a turn-off for some, but if you’re truly looking for a high-quality protein that tastes good, then this will be money well-spent. Check out our Kaged Re-Kaged review for more information.

Price per serving$2.25 
Protein typeWhey protein isolate
FlavorsStrawberry Lemonade, Orange Kream, Iced Lemon Cake 
Calories per serving140
Protein28 g 
Carbs2-3g (varies by flavor)
Fat1 g

Best Unflavored Protein Powder for Weight Loss: NOW Sports Nutrition Whey Protein Isolate

Good for: Those who just want an unflavored protein powder to add to shakes or smoothies


NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate

GGR Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 25 g of whey protein isolate per serving 
  • NPA A-rated GMP certified 
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or additives
  • Packaged in the USA

Pros & Cons


  • No additives
  • Pure protein isolate
  • Budget friendly
  • Mixes well


  • Some reports of a sour aftertaste
  • Some users complained of missing scoopers

Bottom Line

NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate is an unflavored protein which delivers 25 grams of protein per serving along with a good profile of BCAAs.

If you’re simply looking to add protein without any additional taste to your morning smoothie, NOW Sports Nutrition Whey Protein Isolate is our go-to choice. It’s the definition of “sometimes simple is better.” 

There are two ingredients: whey protein isolate and sunflower emulsifier, which is used to prevent the powder from splitting. As we discussed, whey protein isolate is more easily digestible than other forms of whey protein so it might be safe for those with dairy sensitivities4

Closeup of a hand mixing a batch of NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate in an orange shaker cup

GGR staff writer Lauren Strong said there was a hint of “whey taste” in this unflavored protein powder, but still liked it enough to give the taste a 4 out of 5 rating. “Blended just like you would want a protein powder to—no clumps, not too thick or thin. Pretty decent all around.”  

The lack of additional ingredients means it’s free of most common allergens, including corn, egg, soy, and is gluten-free and non-GMO. It’s also one of the few protein powders we’ve run into that’s both halal and kosher. 

Don’t let this protein powder’s simplicity fool you—it’s still a rich source of amino acids to help support muscle growth19. There’s also 25 grams of protein per scoop, and it can be as cheap as 66 cents per serving depending on how large of a container you order. 

Our NOW Sports whey protein isolate review has more details.

Price per serving$0.66-$1.38 (varies by size) 
Protein typeWhey protein isolate
Calories per serving110
Protein25 g
Carbs<1 g
Fat0.5 g

Other Protein Powders for Weight Loss We Researched

These protein powders aren’t bad; in fact, we like some of them! They just didn’t make our list this time around:

  • Muscle Milk Genuine Protein Powder: This is more of a mass gainer than a protein powder, especially since you get 21 grams of carbs and 9 grams of fat with your 32 grams of protein. There’s also up to 4 grams of added sugar per serving. If your goal is weight gain, then go for this one. Our full Muscle Milk review has more details.
  • Orgain Organic Grass-Fed Whey: I’ve actually used this in several smoothies and in some protein ice cream recipes, but it comes with 11 grams of carbs per serving and only has 20 servings per container. We can do better. 
  • SEEQ Clear Whey Isolate: This fruity-protein tastes great; it reminded us of Kool-Aid! It also features a good macro profile in terms of pure protein, but we aren’t sure it’s a good match for those trying to replace meals and lose weight. Our SEEQ protein powder review has more details.
  • Kaged Plantein: A vegan protein powder that actually tastes very good, but comes with up to 4 grams of fat and 5 grams of carbs. Plus, you only get 15 servings per container, which is the real drawback in my book. Our Kaged plant protein review has more details.
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder: Collagen has a number of benefits, but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as a source of protein if you’re looking to lose weight. Our Vital Proteins review has more details.
  • Vega Sport Premium Protein: Vega is a great source of plant-based protein, and it contains all the essential amino acids. However, we felt other plant-based products would be suitable for this list.
  • Dymatize ISO 100: For us, this hydrolyzed protein is just okay. There aren’t many hydrolyzed products on the market, and we like this one for that category, but otherwise, it doesn’t win us over. Our Dymatize ISO 100 review has more details.
  • Ka’Chava Meal Replacement: This is a crowd-pleaser; a rich-crowd-pleaser, that is. The cost is $6.02 per serving, which is why we couldn’t put it on our best-in-class list. Our Ka’Chava review has more details.
  • BSN Syntha 6: While this is affordable, and some people do use it as a meal replacement shake, we don’t love how long the ingredient list is.

How We Picked and Tested the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss

After researching and testing dozens of different protein powders, we created a criteria to determine which are best suited for weight loss. Here’s an inside look at how we finalized our list of the 13 best protein powders for weight loss:

  • Protein content: How much protein was in each scoop? 
  • Protein-to-calorie ratio: Was the protein powder mostly protein, or was another macronutrient the main star? 
  • Ingredients: We avoided any protein powders with dangerous or questionable ingredients, and made sure all ingredients were present in research-backed doses.
  • Transparency: Does the company clearly show whats in its protein powder?
  • Third-party testing: Has the protein powder been tested by an independent laboratory?
  • Overall calorie content: How many calories were in each scoop? 
  • Digestibility: Protein powders can sometimes be harsh on the stomach, so we wanted to ensure our choices wouldn’t create much rumbling down under. 
  • Protein source: Most protein powders use whey, but some companies use plant-based sources (such as pea protein, rice protein, chia seeds, or brown rice), egg white, collagen, or casein. 
  • Amino acids: We made sure all of our choices had the 12 essential amino acids needed for muscle growth. Some also contain branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which have been linked with improved muscle recovery and endurance23.  
  • Price: What was the price of the container and what was the per-scoop cost? 
  • Flavor: Did it taste good? 

Benefits of Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Protein powder was a mainstay in my kitchen during my weight loss journey, and here are a few reasons why you should also use protein powder: 

Keeps You Full

Research has consistently shown that protein keeps you more full than carbs or fats1. Staying full can help you avoid eating extra calories so that you can achieve and maintain a caloric deficit (burning more calories than you consume) to help support weight loss2.

Helps You Burn Calories

Your body actually burns more calories just by digesting protein24 than it does by digesting carbs or fats. Think of it as a cheat code for weight loss.

It’s Convenient

It’s much easier to mix a scoop of protein powder with milk or water than it is to cook a piece of meat. 

Related: Best protein chips

It’s Budget-Friendly

Protein powder is more affordable than other sources of protein when you break it down to a per-serving cost. 

It’s Shelf-Stable

Protein powder can last more than a year if properly stored.   

Potential Risks/Side Effects of Protein

Too much of a good thing is bad, and that includes protein. Generally speaking, most experts don’t recommend eating more than 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Exceeding that mark could lead to health defects, such as:

  • Intestinal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration and diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Additionally, some protein powders may contain harmful or banned substances that may show up in a drug test. This is why it’s important to look for protein supplements that have been third-party tested by organizations such as Informed Sport.

Buying Guide: What to Look for in Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Looking for the best protein powder for your weight loss journey? Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Protein content: Make sure your protein powder has enough protein to help you reach your macronutrient goals. Related: How much protein do I need? 
  • Protein-to-calorie ratio: Make sure the protein powder is mostly protein and doesn’t have a high amount of calories from carbs or fats. 
  • Overall calorie content: Some protein powders can contain up to 200 calories per serving, so watch out for that when shopping.
  • Digestibility: If you have dairy sensitivities, you’ll want to look for a protein powder made from whey protein isolate to support better digestion4.
  • Amino acids: Whey protein powders are known as complete protein because they have all 12 essential amino acids. If you’re a vegan or dairy-free, you’ll want to make sure the supplement contains all 12 by using complementary proteins.
  • Price: Make sure it picks your budget.
  • Flavor: There are tons of flavors to choose from, so pick your favorite! 

How Protein Affects Weight Loss

Most people think of protein as the thing you eat to gain muscle, but it’s equally as effective in helping people drop pounds. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, the other two being carbohydrates and fat. Studies show that increased protein intake is linked with a higher number of hormones that prevent hunger, which should lead to decreased calorie intake. In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume.

What Type of Protein is Best for Weight Loss?

Casein protein powder is the best for weight loss because it’s digested slower than other types of protein, such as whey. Let’s say that protein is fuel and your body is a car—with whey or plant-based proteins, your body gets the fuel much quicker, so it’s likely to run out of it sooner and need more. With casein, you can drive longer because your body will get more fuel as you continue to “drive,” meaning you’ll be able to wait longer before having to fuel up again.

If you have to go with a whey protein, we recommend looking for a whey protein isolate. Isolate whey proteins have gone through extra filtration, which removes much of the sugars (carbs) and fat, resulting in a leaner protein supplement. Additionally, whey isolates have less lactose in them, which make them a better fit for those with dairy sensitivities.

If you’re a vegan or follow a plant-based lifestyle, make sure your protein powder has all 9 essential amino acids (EAAs). These are the building blocks of protein molecules and must be obtained through our diet. The only plant protein that has all 9 EAAs is soy protein. However, since that’s a common allergen, most manufacturers will use complementary proteins, or proteins that have the EAAs that another protein source may be missing.

For example, pea protein is deficient in methionine but can be paired with brown rice protein to ensure you’re getting all EAAs.

FAQs About Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Which type of protein powder is best for weight loss?

Generally speaking, casein protein powder is the best for weight loss because it’s digested more slowly. This keeps you fuller for longer, and should lead to decreased calorie intake.

Is protein powder good for losing weight?

Absolutely. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, meaning it makes you feel fuller than carbs or fats, thus helping to reduce your overall caloric intake and making it easier to achieve a caloric deficit2.  

Can protein powder be used as a meal replacement?

The answer, as always, is it depends. Smaller people may be able to use protein powder as a meal replacement. Larger people, however, may need more calories than a protein shake can offer. That said, protein powder can be a great way to get a good amount of calories in a short amount of time.

What protein drink is best for weight loss?

Here are our top picks for the best protein powders for weight loss:

Best Overall Protein Powder For Weight Loss: Transparent Labs Casein
Best Affordable Protein Powder For Weight Loss: Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate
Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Women: Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Protein
Best Protein Powder for Low Carb and Sugar Content: Jacked Factory Authentic Whey
Best-Tasting Protein Powder for Weight Loss: XWERKS Grow
Best Casein Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Legion Athletics Casein+ Casein Protein Powder 
Best Plant-Based Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Ritual Essential Protein 18+
Best Vegan Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Gainful Vegan Plant Protein
Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss for Meal Replacement: Huel Black Edition
Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain: Sports Research Whey Protein
Best Whey Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey
Best Organic Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Legion Athletics Whey+ Whey Isolate Protein Powder
Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Men: Kaged Re-Kaged
Best Unflavored Protein Powder for Weight Loss: NOW Sports Nutrition Whey Protein Isolate

Can you lose belly fat while taking protein powder?

Yes, it’s possible to lose belly fat while taking protein powder so long as you stay in a caloric deficit, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day than you consume. Protein powder can help with this by keeping you full.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.


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