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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 13 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 13.

  • 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 13 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

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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
FlavorsChocolate
Calories per serving120
Protein25
Carbs4
Fat0.5
SweetenersStevia

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
  • 8 flavors to choose from
  • $1.99 per serving

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Price per serving on the high end

Bottom Line

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is a clean, high-quality protein powder that contains 28 grams of protein per serving.

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
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)
SweetenersStevia

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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
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 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

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 
FlavorsStrawberry Lemonade, Orange Kream, Iced Lemon Cake 
Calories per serving140
Protein28 g 
Carbs2-3g (varies by flavor)
Fat1 g
SweetenersSucralose

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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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
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)
SweetenersStevia

Best Tasting Protein Powder for Weight Loss: XWERKS Grow

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

Tasty!

XWERKS Grow

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

Pros

  • Keto-friendly
  • Naturally sweetened
  • Sourced from naturally raised grass-fed cows
  • Tastes great
  • Soy- and gluten-free
  • Convenient

Cons

  • Expensive

Bottom Line

XWERKS Grow whey protein isolate provides a solid blend of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals in a whey protein isolate. It comes in a widely-loved range of flavors which are naturally sweetened, so they’re easily digested.

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
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) 
SweetenersStevia

Best Vegan Protein Powder for Weight Loss: KOS Vegan Protein Powder

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

No Whey

KOS Vegan Protein Powder

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Multi-source vegan protein powder 
  • USDA-certified organic, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO
  • Digestive support via DigeSEB to help maximize absorption

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Superfood-infused
  • 20 g protein per serving
  • Chocolate flavor is rich
  • Enhanced with digestive support enzymes
  • Under $1.50 per serving

Cons

  • Customers say it has a gritty/chalky flavor
  • Some users reported protein gave them stomach issues
  • Reports of strong sweetness and bad aftertaste

Bottom Line

KOS is a vegan protein with a lot of positive reviews, but a number of people experienced stomach issues using this protein powder.

KOS Vegan Protein Powder is one of our favorite vegan protein powders; in fact, certified sports nutrition coach and GGR expert product tester Amanda Capritto says it’s the only plant protein she actually likes.

“It’s pretty rich, which I feel is rare with plant protein powders,” says Amanda, who gave the taste a 3 out of 5. “It’s not great but it’s not terrible, and honestly, what more can you ask for when you’re drinking vegan protein powder?”

We have tested and reviewed a number of plant-based proteins, but KOS takes our pick for best for weight loss due to its nutrition profile. In a 160-calorie serving, there are 20 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs (3 grams of fiber), and 6 grams of fat.

kos vegan protein review

For its 20 grams of protein per serving, KOS combines organic pea protein, organic pumpkin seed protein, organic chia seed, organic flax seed, and organic quinoa. 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. 

To increase digestive support, KOS has included an enzyme blend. While these aren’t the probiotics proven to support digestion and reduce bloating,10 they may still serve the same purpose. 

Learn more about why this is one of our top picks on our KOS vegan protein review.

Price per servingAround $1.50
FlavorsChocolate, Vanilla, Blueberry Muffin, Chocolate Chip Mint, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel Coffee, Unflavored
Calories per serving160
Protein20 g
Carbs9 g (3 g fiber)
Fat6 g
SweetenersStevia and Monk Fruit Extract

Best Whey Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Kaged Whey Protein Isolate

Good for: Anyone looking for a high-quality protein that’s easily digestible

The Whey

Kaged Whey Protein Isolate

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Whey protein isolate
  • 25 grams of protein per serving
  • Available in 5 flavors
  • Third-party tested

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good macro profile
  • Reviewers claim it's easy on the stomach
  • Tastes good

Cons

  • Clumpy when mixed
  • Certain flavors out of stock frequently
  • Only 5 flavors available

Bottom Line

Kaged Whey Protein Isolate is a fast-digesting protein available in five flavors with 25 grams of protein per serving.

As you may be able to guess, Kaged Whey Protein Isolate contains the easily digested whey protein isolate4—and that’s it. Many other whey protein powders, including Kaged Re-Kaged, come with other ingredients that either add extra calories or may cause digestive issues in some people. 

Certified personal trainer and GGR senior editor Nicole Davis went with the Chocolate flavor and scored it a perfect 5 out of 5. “It almost tastes like one of those Carnation instant breakfast mixes,” she says.

kaged protein powder

That’s not the case with this whey protein powder, which has a minimal amount of fats and carbohydrates and has a much shorter ingredient list. There are some additives like guar gum (a thickener) and sucralose, though we wouldn’t worry much about them since they have to be consumed in large quantities to have any negative side effects3

Another reason we like Kaged Whey Protein Isolate is because of its larger-than-normal containers. Most protein powders will give you around 30 servings per container to give you a month’s worth of daily protein shakes, but this one gives you at least 41 servings (the vanilla flavor has 44 scoops). More scoops equals more bang for your back, and that’s always a win in our book. Our Kaged whey protein isolate review details more about why we like this product.

Price per serving$1.36-$1.46 
FlavorsChocolate Peanut Butter, Vanilla, Chocolate, S’Mores, Cinnamon French Toast
Calories per serving110
Protein25 g 
Carbs2-3 g
Fat0-0.5 g
SweetenersStevia and Sucralose

Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Meal Replacement: Quest Nutrition Protein Powder

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

Meal Replacement

Quest Nutrition Protein Powder

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Made with fast- and slow-absorbing proteins
  • Contains 9 amino acids
  • Sweet flavors help curb cravings
  • Complete proteins help keep you full

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low in carbs
  • Comparably affordable per serving cost
  • Balanced for workouts

Cons

  • Contains sucralose
  • Contains soy
  • Thick texture

Bottom Line

With plenty of great flavors, Quest Nutrition Protein Powder is a great option for those who get bored of the same flavor of proteins.

Quest Nutrition uses a blend of 60% whey protein and 40% casein protein, making it the perfect protein powder for meal replacement. Allow us to explain why that blend is so important for those who want to replace their sandwich with a protein shake. 

Whey and casein are two byproducts of cheese-making. Quest uses whey protein isolate that’s made by isolating the whey from lactose and fats, thereby making it more easily digestible. It contains all of the essential amino acids necessary for protein synthesis18 and muscle recovery19—essential amino acids are the building blocks of protein molecules that must be obtained through the diet. 

woman drinking quest protein

Casein also contains all essential amino acids and is absorbed by the body at a much slower rate than whey proteins20. People often drink casein protein before bed to keep them full throughout the night or when they know they might not be able to eat for a while and want to reduce cravings, which is why Quest’s inclusion of it in their protein blend makes it perfect for meal replacement. 

Casein also tends to make protein powders much thicker than your traditional whey protein powders, which can also help make you feel fuller than something that has the consistency of water. 

Quest’s Vanilla Milkshake flavor has been approved by GGR’s Head of Content and competitive weightlifter Kate Meier and her two young children, all of whom gave it a 5 out of 5 on taste. “This protein powder really does taste and feel like a milkshake,” she says. “It’s not just in the name!” 

The nutritional content varies by flavor, but you’re getting up to 24 grams of protein with a moderate amount of carbs and fats with every scoop. Read our Quest protein powder review for more information and our comprehensive thoughts about this product.

Price per serving$1.40 (but depends on price on Amazon)
Flavors7
Calories per serving110
Protein20-24 g
Carbs0-3 g 
Fat0-1.5 g (varies by flavor)
SweetenersSucralose and Stevia

Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Energy Boost: Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey

Good for: Anyone looking for an additional energy boost 

Best for Energy Boost

Garden of Life Grass-Fed Whey Protein

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Grass-fed protein blend is 85% isolate and 15% milk protein
  • Non-GMO project verified, gluten free, and soy free, 
  • NSF Certified for Sport and Informed Choice Certified
  • Free from added hormones, sugars, and antibiotics
  • Certified B Corporation and Certified Carbonfree

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No added sugars or hormones
  • Clean and eco-conscious product
  • Non-GMO verified
  • Contains glutamine and probiotics
  • Most ingredients are organic

Cons

  • Contains stevia, which can cause digestive problems
  • May not mix well without a blender

Bottom Line

Third-party tested and approved, Garden of Life’s Grass Fed Whey Protein is a good choice for anyone seeking a clean whey protein free of added hormones, sugars, and antibiotics.

You might think we chose Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey because the chocolate flavor contains 10 milligrams of naturally occurring caffeine, but it’s actually its dietary fiber content that will provide you with the energy boost you need.

When our body ferments fiber it creates a substance21 called short-chain fatty acids, which can be used as energy. In fact, about 10% of our total overall caloric intake comes from short-chain fatty acids, according to researchers. 

GGR Head of Content Kate Meier and her weightlifting team agreed it was a very sweet protein powder, scoring it a 3 out of 5. “I think it would be better in a smoothie mixed with other things rather than drinking it straight,” Kate says. “It could potentially be good for baking as well, because it doesn’t have a very strong flavor so it wouldn’t overpower a recipe.” 

The very clear amino acid profile is another big plus since it shows us it contains all the building blocks necessary for muscle growth and repair19. The 4 grams of glutamine support muscle repair11 and may have some short-term benefits for your immune health11

Garden of Life Grass Fed Whey

We’ve also called this protein powder the best for athletes due to the NSF Certified for Sport certification that tells us it’s been tested for banned substances that could get certain athletes in trouble with their governing agencies. Although rare, there are some supplements that contain substances that could cause an athlete to fail a drug test. If you fall into that category, we recommend looking for the NSF, Informed Choice, or BSCG marks on the product label. 

The one issue we, and other customers, have with Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey protein is that you can very clearly taste the stevia in this powder, though that might not bug you.

Price per servingVanilla: $1.99, Chocolate: $2.06
FlavorsVanilla, Chocolate 
Calories per serving120
Protein24 g
Carbs6 g
Fat0-0.5 g
SweetenersStevia

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

Unflavored

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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) 
FlavorsUnflavored
Calories per serving110
Protein25 g
Carbs<1 g
Fat0.5 g
SweetenersN/A

Best Budget 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

Budget Pick

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

Bottom Line

With plenty of flavor and size options to choose from, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey is a great basic choice in protein powder.

One scoop of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey has as much protein as about three eggs, but also costs significantly less (and has much fewer carbohydrates and fats). 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. 

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.” 

optimum nutrition whey

As is the case with most budget-friendly supplements, 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. 

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. 

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)
Flavors19
Calories per serving120-130 (varies by flavor)
Protein24 g 
CarbsVaries by flavor
FatVaries by flavor 
SweetenersSucralose

Best Organic Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Legion Whey+

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

Organic

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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.

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
Flavors17
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) 
SweetenersStevia

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 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.   

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! 

FAQs About Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Which protein powder is best for weight loss?

Here are our top picks for the best protein powder for weight loss: 
Best Overall Protein Powder For Weight Loss: MyProtein Impact Whey Protein
Best Protein Powder for Low Carb and Sugar Content: Jacked Factory Authentic Whey
Best Tasting Protein Powder for Weight Loss: XWERKS Grow
Best Plant-Based Protein Powder for Weight Loss: KOS Vegan Protein Powder
Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Men: Kaged Re-Kaged
Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Women: Cira Bright Whey Protein
Best Whey Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Kaged Whey Protein Isolate
Best Casein Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Legion Athletics Casein+ Casein Protein Powder 
Best Budget Protein Powder For Weight Loss: Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey
Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Meal Replacement: Quest Nutrition Protein Powder
Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss For Energy Boost: Garden of Life Sport Grass-Fed Whey
Best Unflavored Protein Powder for Weight Loss: NOW Sports Nutrition Whey Protein Isolate

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.  

How does protein powder help with weight loss?

Protein has been called the most satiating macronutrient, meaning it can make you feel more full than carbohydrates and fats, which could lead to a reduced caloric intake and put you in a caloric deficit, which is necessary for weight loss.

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.

When should I take protein for weight loss?

You can take a protein supplement at any time of the day to aid in weight loss. Some people like using it in their morning smoothie, while others use it as a nighttime snack to keep them full through the night.

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.

References

  1. Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga M. Protein, weight management, and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(5):1558S-1561S. doi:10.1093/ajcn/87.5.1558S 
  1. Koliaki C, Spinos T, Spinou Μ, Brinia ΜE, Mitsopoulou D, Katsilambros N. Defining the Optimal Dietary Approach for Safe, Effective and Sustainable Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults. Healthcare (Basel). 2018;6(3):73. Published 2018 Jun 28. doi:10.3390/healthcare6030073
  1. Bian X, Chi L, Gao B, Tu P, Ru H, Lu K. Gut Microbiome Response to Sucralose and Its Potential Role in Inducing Liver Inflammation in Mice. Front Physiol. 2017;8:487. Published 2017 Jul 24. doi:10.3389/fphys.2017.00487
  1. Sabari S, Julmohammad N, Jahurul HAM, Matanjun P, Ab Wahab N. In Vitro Infant Digestion of Whey Proteins Isolate-Lactose. Foods. 2023;12(3):667. Published 2023 Feb 3. doi:10.3390/foods12030667
  2. van Vliet, S., Provenza, F. D., & Kronberg, S. L. (2021). Health-Promoting Phytonutrients Are Higher in Grass-Fed Meat and Milk. In Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems (Vol. 4). Frontiers Media SA. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2020.555426
  3. Benbrook, C. M., Davis, D. R., Heins, B. J., Latif, M. A., Leifert, C., Peterman, L., Butler, G., Faergeman, O., Abel-Caines, S., & Baranski, M. (2018). Enhancing the fatty acid profile of milk through forage-based rations, with nutrition modeling of diet outcomes. In Food Science &amp; Nutrition (Vol. 6, Issue 3, pp. 681–700). Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.610
  4. Design and Operation of Farm Dairies, New Zealand Government 
  5. Layman DK, Lönnerdal B, Fernstrom JD. Applications for α-lactalbumin in human nutrition. Nutr Rev. 2018;76(6):444-460. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuy004
  6. Justiz Vaillant AA, Jamal Z, Patel P, Ramphul K. Immunoglobulin. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; November 24, 2022.
  7. Khalesi S, Bellissimo N, Vandelanotte C, Williams S, Stanley D, Irwin C. A review of probiotic supplementation in healthy adults: helpful or hype?. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2019;73(1):24-37. doi:10.1038/s41430-018-0135-9
  8. Bredella MA. Sex Differences in Body Composition. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;1043:9-27. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-70178-3_2
  9. Townsend JR, Morimune JE, Jones MD, et al. The Effect of ProHydrolase® on the Amino Acid and Intramuscular Anabolic Signaling Response to Resistance Exercise in Trained Males. Sports (Basel). 2020;8(2):13. Published 2020 Jan 22. doi:10.3390/sports8020013
  10. Coqueiro AY, Rogero MM, Tirapegui J. Glutamine as an Anti-Fatigue Amino Acid in Sports Nutrition. Nutrients. 2019;11(4):863. Published 2019 Apr 17. doi:10.3390/nu11040863
  11. Cholewa JM, Wyszczelska-Rokiel M, Glowacki R, et al. Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013;10(1):39. Published 2013 Aug 22. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-39
  12. Kreider RB, Kalman DS, Antonio J, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14:18. Published 2017 Jun 13. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z
  13. Fayet-Moore F, Wibisono C, Carr P, et al. An Analysis of the Mineral Composition of Pink Salt Available in Australia. Foods. 2020;9(10):1490. Published 2020 Oct 19. doi:10.3390/foods9101490
  14. A Castro LH, S de Araújo FH, M Olimpio MY, et al. Comparative Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Concentrated, Hydrolyzed, and Isolated Whey Protein Supplementation on Body Composition of Physical Activity Practitioners. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2047. Published 2019 Sep 2. doi:10.3390/nu11092047
  15. Church DD, Hirsch KR, Park S, et al. Essential Amino Acids and Protein Synthesis: Insights into Maximizing the Muscle and Whole-Body Response to Feeding. Nutrients. 2020;12(12):3717. Published 2020 Dec 2. doi:10.3390/nu12123717
  16. Arroyo-Cerezo A, Cerrillo I, Ortega Á, Fernández-Pachón MS. Intake of branched chain amino acids favors post-exercise muscle recovery and may improve muscle function: optimal dosage regimens and consumption conditions. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2021;61(11):1478-1489. doi:10.23736/S0022-4707.21.11843-2
  17. Churchward-Venne TA, Snijders T, Linkens AM, Hamer HM, van Kranenburg J, van Loon LJ. Ingestion of Casein in a Milk Matrix Modulates Dietary Protein Digestion and Absorption Kinetics but Does Not Modulate Postprandial Muscle Protein Synthesis in Older Men. J Nutr. 2015;145(7):1438-1445. doi:10.3945/jn.115.213710
  18. den Besten G, van Eunen K, Groen AK, Venema K, Reijngoud DJ, Bakker BM. The role of short-chain fatty acids in the interplay between diet, gut microbiota, and host energy metabolism. J Lipid Res. 2013;54(9):2325-2340. doi:10.1194/jlr.R036012
  19. Archer, S. C., Mc Coy, F., Wapenaar, W., & Green, M. J. (2013). Association of season and herd size with somatic cell count for cows in Irish, English, and Welsh dairy herds. In The Veterinary Journal (Vol. 196, Issue 3, pp. 515–521). Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.12.004
  20. Arroyo-Cerezo A, Cerrillo I, Ortega Á, Fernández-Pachón MS. Intake of branched chain amino acids favors post-exercise muscle recovery and may improve muscle function: optimal dosage regimens and consumption conditions. J Sports Med Ph
  21. Halton TL, Hu FB. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical reviewJ Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23(5):373-385. doi:10.1080/07315724.2004.10719381

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