Looking for the best whey protein powder? On this page, I’ll tell you what to consider when buying whey protein.
The different categories that I’ll discuss include: flavor, mixability, size, type and brand…
…I’ll also tell you where you can buy quality whey protein online, at the lowest prices with free shipping.
Read on, if you’re interested.
You want something that’s going to taste good. Or at the very least, something that doesn’t taste gross. After all, you’ll be drinking whey protein just about everyday.
Some people are especially particular in their taste sensitivities. If they don’t like it, they refuse to drink it.
Personally, I’ll still drink a flavor of whey even if it tastes bad (hey, protein’s protein, right?). But I’ve known a couple people who couldn’t stand the taste of certain flavors. It would take them a good half hour to finish a shake, or they’d refuse to drink it altogether.
So, how do you know which flavors taste like delicately rich and creamy pools of flavor created in the heavens, and which ones are more akin to dirty socks?…
…Well, you can never truly know until you try a flavor for yourself. It should also be noted that the taste of the same flavor vary between different brands.
Having said all that, you’ll most likely be safe if you stick solely to the basics: chocolate and vanilla flavors (some brands may have different names, like “Double Rich Chocolate”). I personally prefer chocolate, but you really can’t go wrong with either of these classics.
It’s when you get into the less traditional flavors that things become hit or miss. I’ve learned to stay away from fruity and tropical flavors, such as Berry Medley, Banana and even Strawberry.
You also want to be careful when it comes candy or dessert-like flavors like Caramel, Butterscotch and Cookies n’ Cream. These ones usually taste great to begin with, but I’ve gotten sick of them after a while.
Of course, all of the above is just my opinion. Please don’t let me stop you from trying any non-traditional flavor.
I obviously have different taste preferences than the next guy. Plus, my negative experiences with these types of flavors may well have been because the brands I used weren’t good at manufacturing those flavors.
That said, if you are so compelled to try out the latest and greatest exotic flavor, I urge you to buy a small container (~2 lbs.) to try it out. That way you don’t have to struggle through 10 lbs. of bad tasting whey protein powder. It’s doable, but trust me when I say it’s something you’d prefer to avoid.
Mixability refers to how easily the whey protein powder will mix into the liquid (e.g. water, milk) to become a homogeneous solution. In other words, does the protein dissolve almost by itself upon being added to water. Or does it tend to separate and ball up into clumps of protein powder.
Although you’d think all whey protein powders would mix easily, that just isn’t the case. When mixed, some protein powders can actually get clumpier than Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor 2. (Zing!)
In order to evenly mix the powders that tend to clump up, you have a couple of options. First, you can use a shaker bottle, preferably one with a metal blenderball, and proceed to shake it up like a madman. Or, you have to manually blend it up with a fork or egg beater, which involves some pretty intensive wrist action. Either way, it’s a pain in the ass and often leads to splashing and an unfortunate sticky mess. No one likes that.
Luckily, though, you can buy whey protein powder that mixes perfectly with minimal effort. Imagine putting a scoop of whey into a cup and just sitting back to watch as it begins to melt into the water and disperse itself. Then you casually take a utensil (even a spoon will work) and gently stir it around the cup a few times…
…And viola – You now have a perfectly mixed shake waiting to be ingested for maximal anabolic response! No effort and no messes.
Note: In the final section of this page, I’ll tell you the brand of protein that mixes this well.
Whey protein comes in many different sizes. It most commonly comes in 1 lb, 2 lb, 5 lb or 10 lb containers (a container can refer to a plastic bottle, tub or a bag).
It’s typically the best choice to buy the 5 and 10 pound containers. These are the best deals because you end up getting a bulk discount…
…For example, it’s a whole lot cheaper to buy a single 10 pound bag of whey instead of 10 individual 1 pound containers.
The only times it makes sense to buy smaller containers is when you just want to test out a new flavor or brand of whey; or when you simply don’t have enough money to spend at once on a larger container (in which case, you should probably prioritize your finances).
Types of Whey Protein Powders: Concentrate vs. Isolate vs. Hydrolysate
When you go to buy whey protein, you’ll notice there are a few different types: whey protein concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate (aka hydrolyzed whey protein).
So what do these names mean?
They are just different names for the purity of the powder. The purity is determined by the filtering process used to create the powder. Whey protein isolate and hydrolysate are the purest (~99% pure) and are made using complex filtering processes. They contain less than 1 percent lactose and almost zero total carbohydrates and fats per serving. Consequently, these are also the most expensive whey protein powders.
Whey protein concentrate, on the other hand, is made using a less complex process. It is less pure, containing around 5% lactose as well as a few grams of carbs and a couple to a few grams of fat per serving. As you probably guessed, this type of whey protein is less expensive than the others.
Which one should you get?
Are you on a ketogenic (i.e. very low carb) diet? Are you lactose intolerant? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you should take the isolate or the hydrolysate. If you didn’t answer yes, then you can still take these if you’d like, but you’d be paying extra for no real benefit.
Whey protein concentrate is great for those who aren’t lactose intolerant or on a ketogenic diet.
However, most whey protein products that you’ll come across actually contain a blend of both the isolate and the concentrate. These are more affordable than the isolate or hydrolysate options…
…Due to its general efficacy and lower price, I recommend this type of whey protein (i.e. the concentrate plus isolate blend) as the highest value whey protein powder for the vast majority of people.
Brand: Does It Matter?
Brand doesn’t mean everything when you’re shopping for protein. But it should definitely be taken into consideration.
If you go with a company that has been around for a while, has credibility and is known for making a certain quality of products, then you can be confident that they will deliver a good quality and safe product.
Whereas, you have no idea about the quality and safety of some no-name cheapo brand that may as well have been brewed up in some Joe Schmoe’s bathtub.
See the below section for my personal brand recommendation and where to buy whey protein.
What’s the Best Whey Protein Powder and Where Can I Buy It?
I buy from Amazon.com. They offer the most competitive prices and they offer free shipping.
My personal brand recommendation is Optimum Nutrition. By far, their whey has the best tasting flavors and mixability of all the brands I’ve bought.
Note: I currently use EAS whey protein, not because it’s the best quality (the mixability sucks), but because I can get it super cheap at BJs Wholesale Club ($33 for 5lbs – tax free, too). But if this wasn’t an option for me, I’d be buying Optimum.
If interested, you can buy Optimum Nutrition whey protein on Amazon.
Or, you can take a look at all whey protein products on Amazon.