Best Protein Supplement 2021 – Newly Ranked!

This is the ultimate guide to finding the best protein supplement 2021 that fits YOUR needs.

Protein supplements come in all shapes and sizes including powders, bars and ready to drink shakes. With all these options, it can be tough to determine what supplement best fits your goals and needs.

That’s where I come in! I did all the research so that you don’t have to.

Below is a detailed list of the best protein supplements of 2021 with insights into what each type of supplement can do for you that the others can’t!

What to Look for in a Protein Supplement

Protein supplements are basically guaranteed to contain some sort of protein (at least I hope); however, there are many different kinds of protein and all of them interact differently with the body.

Some protein supplements contain high quality ingredients and are produced by a reputable brand, while others aren’t.

When shopping for a new protein supplement, it can be easy to get tricked into buying something that you don’t need.

Here are five things you want to look for when purchasing a protein supplement:

  1. Type of Protein – There are many types of protein on the market but the three main types you want to look for are whey, casein and plant based proteins. Depending on what you need the protein for, each of these could prove to be beneficial to you in their own way. Whey protein is great for pre and post workout because it gets absorbed quickly by the body, casein is good before bed because it is slowly digested by the body, and plant based proteins are great if you are vegan or want better overall health.
  2. Ingredients – As far as ingredients are concerned, you want to find a protein supplement that doesn’t have a lot of meaningless flavorings, artificial sweeteners and sugars. You also want to look out for thickeners and gums like xantham gum. These ingredients have been proven to be very unhealthy and can cause digestive issues.
  3. Value – Obviously one of the biggest factors in you selecting the right protein supplement comes down to its price. Let’s take protein powder for example, say you want to buy a certain powder but it costs $50 for 20 servings. This equates to over $2 per scoop. THAT IS NOT A GOOD VALUE. Even if it’s the most high tech protein on the market, you shouldn’t be paying that much. You want to look for a supplement that gives you great value, preferably under $2 per serving.
  4. Reviews – One of the most overlooked attributes of any product is the customer reviews it gets. If the product you are looking to purchase is getting 1 star reviews and people seem to be unhappy with it, chances are you won’t be happy with it either. You want to look for products with great reviews and happy customers!
  5. Taste – I’m not going to lie, there are some HORRIBLE tasting protein supplements out there. I don’t care if there are 50 grams of protein and 10 calories, if it tastes like garbage, you’re probably not going to want to eat/drink it. I don’t expect you to either. That is why good taste is very important for a protein supplement to possess. It helps you stay consistent.

Suggested Article: Best Energy Bars 2021 – Fuel Your Day

The Best Protein Powders of 2021

Since there are a lot of different kinds of protein powders on the market, I don’t think it would be fair to just rank the best one overall. So I split them up in their respective categories so you can get a good idea of what the best protein powder for your needs would be.

Best Whey Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Isolate

  • Protein – 25 grams
  • Calories – 120
  • Price – $78.53 for 5 pound container (67 servings)
  • Customer Review Rating – 4.5/5

The optimum nutrition brand is one of the most trusted brands in the sports nutrition world. Their products are top of the line in terms of quality and this includes their whey protein isolate powder.

When looking for a whey protein powder, you want to find one that uses whey protein isolate instead of whey protein concentrate. The reason being is that the ‘concentrate’ version only contains 25%-89% of the total protein listed while ‘isolate’ is guaranteed to contain over 90%. Whey protein isolate also tends to be lower in carbs, fats and lactose.

Most protein powders try to fool you into thinking they are giving you 25 plus grams of protein, when in reality, the powder is made with whey concentrate (to save money) and you may only be getting HALF of the amount of protein that the label claims.

Since the optimum nutrition whey protein isolate powder is made with only whey protein isolate, you can be assured that you are getting almost exactly what the label says you are getting.

The optimum nutrition whey protein isolate powder only contains 1 gram of sugar and 1 gram of fat while also being gluten-free.

On top of the high quality protein, this powder also provides you with 5.5 grams of BCAA’s which are crucial for proper muscle growth and recovery.

If you are looking to pack on muscle as efficiently as possible, I HIGHLY recommend the optimum nutrition whey protein isolate powder.

Click here to try it out today!

Best Casein Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition Casein Protein

  • Protein – 24 grams
  • Calories – 120
  • Price – $54.56 for 4 pound container (53 servings)
  • Customer Review Rating – 4.7/5

If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you shouldn’t be surprised that optimum nutrition is on this list twice (in a row). It is a great brand with a plethora of high quality products and their casein protein powder does not disappoint.

Casein protein differs from whey because it is slowly digested by the body whereas whey protein is quickly digested by the body. This makes casein protein a great snack before bed to make sure your body has enough protein throughout the night when protein synthesis is at its peak.

Aside from a powerful amount of protein, the optimum nutrition casein protein powder contains 1 gram of sugar and all 9 essential amino acids. Making it a great all around shake to have whenever you need some extra protein.

If you want to make sure you are getting the best recovery possible in between workouts and while you sleep, I highly recommend the optimum nutrition casein protein powder.

Click here to get yours today!

Best Plant Based Protein Powder

Vega Sport Protein

  • Protein – 30 grams
  • Calories – 160
  • Price – $62.87
  • Customer Review Rating – 4.5/5

Plant based protein has seen a huge spike in popularity recently due to all the new fad diets like keto, low carb and gluten-free. Vega sport protein powder is at the top of the list regarding these plant based protein powders with its high protein content, great customer ratings and low calories.

Plant based protein is a great choice because it provides more fiber, lower risk of cardiovascular disease and supports weight management more efficiently than proteins derived from milk (whey and casein). Plant based protein also contains less saturated fats and less cholesterol.

Vega protein powder is derived from pea protein and is great for anyone on a special diet as it is gluten-free, keto friendly, low carb, non-GMO, dairy-free and soy-free. It also contains all 9 essential amino acids along with 5 BCAA’s.

If you are looking for a more organic and easily digestible protein powder, I highly recommend the Vega Sport protein powder!

Click here to find out more information on this amazing supplement.

Best Tasting Protein Powder

Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Isolate

  • Protein – 25 grams
  • Calories – 110
  • Price – $49.99 for 3 pounds (46 servings)
  • Customer Review Rating – 4/7/5

If you had a good childhood, I’m sure pouring yourself a bowl of fruity pebbles cereal was part of your morning routine. So how could you go wrong with fruity pebble flavored protein powder?!

Dymatize ISO 100 protein powder is not only high in protein, low in calories and offers great value, but it also tastes AMAZING. It comes in flavors like fruity pebbles, cookies and cream, fudge brownie and even cocoa pebbles!

It is whey derived protein so it is great for a pre or post workout snack as well as dessert if you want to mix it with some whole milk.

Unlike the actual fruity pebbles cereal, this protein has less than 1 gram of sugar and offers 5.5 grams of BCAA’s.

If you are looking for a high quality protein powder that will make your mouth water, I highly recommend trying out Dymatize’s ISO 100 whey protein powder (fruity pebble flavored of course)!

Click here to satisfy your taste buds today!

Suggested Article: Muscle Building Exercises for Beginners

The Best Protein Bars of 2021

Best Macro-Friendly Protein Bar

One Protein Bar

  • Protein – 20 grams
  • Calories – 220
  • Price – $22.57 for 12 pack
  • Customer Review Rating – 4.5/5

Unlike protein powders, protein bars provide a quick and convenient way to get the protein you need on the go. They also provide a tasty snack that takes little to no effort to enjoy. Just have to peel the wrapper!

The one protein bar is one of the best out there regarding quality and ratio of macronutrients. It provides you with 20 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of fats. That means you’ll have plenty of protein before or after a workout along with plenty of carbs to fuel your day or restore that lost glucose post workout.

Much like some of the protein powders, it only contains 1 gram of sugar and is gluten-free.

The one bar also comes in some amazing unique flavors like birthday cake, maple glazed donut, s’mores and pumpkin pie.

If you are looking for a new pre/post workout snack or a high protein dessert, I highly recommend the one protein bar.

Click here to try it today!

Best Low Calorie Protein Bar

Built Bar

  • Protein – 17 grams
  • Calories – 130
  • Price – $39.70 for mixed 18 pack
  • Customer Review Rating – 4.5/5

I recently discovered the built bar and honestly fell in love after my first bite. Not only do they taste delicious, but they provide you with 17 grams of protein for only 130 calories!

When you are looking for protein bars, you will rarely ever find one that offers more than 15 grams of protein for less than 200 calories. Most protein bars, due to how they are processed, contain a lot of unnecessary calories. This isn’t the case for the built bar.

This is a great protein bar if you are on a low calorie or low carb diet as it only contains around 4 grams of carbs per bar and is considered low sugar.

The built bar also offers some tasty flavors like cookies and cream, mint brownie, coconut chocolate and salted caramel.

Oh and how could I forget that it is the official protein bar of the USA track & field, ski and snowboarding teams! If Olympic athletes use this bar, why wouldn’t you?

By the way, if you have a tree nut or peanut allergy, these bars are guaranteed to be made in a facility that does NOT process tree nuts or peanuts.

Click here to try yours today!

Best Tasting Protein Bar

Quest Protein Bar

  • Protein – 21 grams
  • Calories – 190
  • Price – $44.99 for 24 pack
  • Customer Review Rating – 4.6/5

If you’ve been looking for that certain something that will satisfy your taste buds, I got good news for you, your quest ends here (haha see what I did there). The quest protein bar is one of the best on the market in regard to quality, protein to calorie ratio and, most importantly, taste.

This protein bar is one of the few I’ve seen to come in a chocolate chip cookie dough flavor and you can also get it in mint chocolate chunk, oatmeal chocolate chip and chocolate sprinkled donut.

At this point, when you’re eating a quest bar, you’re basically just eating a delicious cookie that packs a heck of a lot of protein!

This protein bar also provides you with 14 grams of fiber, only 1 gram of sugar, and around 4 grams of carbs. Eating foods with lots of fiber will keep you satisfied for a longer period of time and which means the quest bar will help you get through that long workout ahead.

If you are looking for a protein bar that will mesmerize your taste buds along with give your body everything it needs to build muscle, the quest bar is for you.

Click here for more information on the quest bar!

Best Value Protein Bar

Pure Protein Bar

  • Protein – 20 grams
  • Calories – 200
  • Price – $12.28 for 12 pack
  • Customer Review Rating – 4.6/5

If you’re balling on a budget, the pure protein bar could be for you. It is high in protein, low in sugar, gluten-free, comes in 14 different flavors, and only has 200 calories all for $12.28 (for a 12 pack). That comes out to only $1.02 a bar!

When it comes to value, it doesn’t get much better than the pure protein bar. Pure protein has been an established brand in the fitness industry for quite some time and almost all of their products provide great quality with affordable prices.

Like the rest of the listed protein bars, the pure protein bar is made with whey protein and is great for a post or pre workout snack as well as a quick bite on the go.

Did I mention that those 14 flavors include birthday cake, marshmallow crispy treat, and red velvet?!

If you need something that will help you meet your protein requirements, satisfy your taste buds and not use up your whole paycheck, I highly recommend the pure protein bar.

Click here to get yours today!

Suggested Article: Macronutrients and Building Muscle – Any Relation?

The Best Ready to Drink Protein Shakes of 2021

Best All-Around Ready To Drink Protein Shake

Core Power Elite Protein Shake

  • Protein – 42 grams
  • Calories – 230
  • Price – $47.88 for a 12 pack of 14 oz bottles
  • Customer Review Rating – 4.7/5

In my opinion, ready to drink protein shakes are the most underrated sources of protein on planet earth and the core power elite protein shake is a perfect example why.

If you usually prefer protein bars, you’ll probably be consuming around 200 calories per 20 grams of protein, which isn’t bad. But, you could be consuming the same amount of calories and DOUBLE the amount of protein if you drink this already made protein shake!

Core power’s elite protein shake contains all 9 essential amino acids, is lactose-free and gluten-free. One of its only downfalls is its amount of sugar, which still isn’t bad, but contains around 8 grams per serving.

What’s great about ready to drink protein shakes is in their name, they are ready to enjoy WHENEVER you need them. No blending, no stirring and no preparation. Just pop the cap open and chug. Did I mention that it tastes just like chocolate milk?

Perfect for right after the gym if you have to go somewhere and can’t go home.

It is a bit pricey, but worth it when you realize that you are getting twice the amount of protein than most of the other supplements out there.

Click here to enjoy core power’s elite ready to drink protein shake today!

Best Value Ready To Drink Protein Shake

Pure Protein Shake

  • Protein – 30 grams
  • Calories – 140
  • Price – $20.82 for a 12 pack of 11 oz bottles
  • Customer Review Rating – 4.5/5

As mentioned before, pure protein is a great brand known for its quality and especially its value. For only about $1.73, you can get a ready to drink protein shake with 30 grams of protein, only 140 calories and no more than 1 gram of sugar.

Compared to a lot of the protein supplements I have listed above, this one tops the list in terms of bang for your buck.

The pure protein shake also provides you with 24 vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, C, D, E and even zinc. This protein shake is also keto-friendly, non-GMO and helps to support a healthy immune system.

It almost feels illegal to get all these benefits for less than $2 a bottle!

One of the few downfalls about ready to drink protein shakes is that there is usually not many flavors.

Although the pure protein shake only comes in 4 flavors, I can attest that these flavors are VERY tasty and your taste buds will not regret slurping one down after the gym.

If you are looking for some high quality protein on the go, I highly recommend trying the pure protein ready to drink shake.

Click here to try one today!

Final Thoughts on The Best Protein Supplement 2021

Overall, protein comes in many shapes and sizes. Depending on your needs, you may find different protein supplements more beneficial than others.

No matter what protein supplement you prefer, however, you should always make sure that it contains high quality protein (whey isolate), healthy ingredients, provides great value, scores high on customer reviews, and satisfies your taste buds.

Protein powders are great if you have the time to prepare them and prefer a lower calorie option that provides a healthy amount of protein.

Protein bars are perfect if you are in a hurry and need to grab a quick snack or if you are hungry at night and want to make sure you are consuming something that will contribute to muscle growth.

Ready to drink shakes are amazing for a pre or post workout snack or if you are in desperate need of a lot of protein and don’t want to consume too many extra calories.

I hope after reading this article, I was able to put you onto a new protein supplement that you either didn’t know existed or have been wanting to try but didn’t know where to get it.

If you found this article helpful at all, feel free to leave a comment below!

24 thoughts on “Best Protein Supplement 2021 – Newly Ranked!”

  1. Hey thanks for this article! I like how you didn’t just take your time to find a legit and reliable product but also gave examples, it makes it much easier to research!

    With protein supplements or any food matter in that case it’s really essential to check reviews and value as well as ingredients to help make the correct and great decision. I also think price is another thing to take into perspective. I’ve seen some products labelled at too good to be true prices which means it’s probably not going to be a great supplement!

    Reply
    • Sariyah,

      Thank you for your comment! I agree with you, there are a lot of different things to look for when choosing the right protein supplement for you and your needs. I’m glad my article was able to help!

      Reply
  2. I got quite an education about protein powders in this post. It has always been a mystery to me what I am getting with these products. You explained clearly that not all protein powders are alike. There are many factors we must consider in order to make a sensible purchasing decision. And you laid it out clearly what we need to look out for in the ingredients, both positive and negative. It makes it easy to choose a product as well as save time in doing the research. 

    But you went further than that. You also provided us with an array of protein-based products worth looking into. Thanks much for writing this article. 

    Cheers.

    Edwin

    Reply
    • Edwin,

      Thank you for you comment! I am glad I was able to help you out with what to look for when purchasing protein products. Like you mentioned, there are positives and negatives to every product and you just have to find what works best for you!

      Reply
  3. I’ve tried several protein bars and Built Bar is by far the best when it comes to taste. Like you said, they also have the best portion of calories compared to other brands. I take it for lunch sometimes when I just want some power up without any big meals. By the way, do you know that Built Bar has its own affiliate program through ShareASale? It’s 7% commission, most probably higher than what you would get on Amazon.

    Reply
    • Cathy,

      Thank you so much for you comment! I have been eating the built bar everyday for the past 2 weeks or so and I honestly might be addicted. I’m glad you seem to enjoy it too. The calorie to protein ratio is just too good! I also had no idea they had their own affiliate program, thank you so much for the recommendation. I will check Shareasale out!

      Reply
  4. Amazing article! I always knew protein had to taste good when buying one. I never had protein bars as a snack before, but with your article, I’m definitely going to consider it. I like the protein bar you mentioned tasted like birthday cake and chocolate cookies. A great choice for a sweet tooth like myself. 🙂

    Reply
    • Terence,

      Thank you for you comment! Taste is definitely a HUGE factor for me as well. With all the delicious protein supplements on the market today, it is almost to easy for people to achieve their daily protein requirements!

      Reply
  5. Thank you for the useful information on this post. I am a fan of whey protein supplements. I have had good results with them in the past. As you have said, it quickly get’s absorbed by our body. Taste is also a big thing for me. If I can’t swallow it, I just won’t keep on trying. I have heard good reviews about Dymatize ISO 100. And I see you also suggested it here. I will give it a try.

    Reply
    • Paolo,

      I am glad you found some useful information in my article! Dymatize ISO 100 is definitely a great, high quality supplement that I recommend. It tastes great and has many benefits in regard to muscle building.

      Reply
  6. What an excellent article. There were so many yummy options that I was drooling by the end of your post and have chosen several to see if they will work for me. When you are busy and on the go, it’s hard to keep up enough protein and I had always thought that these bars were just glorified expensive chocolate bars and stayed away. I can now see that they are really nutritious, low in carbs and high in protein. I look forward to finding the perfect bar and drink to make my day more productive. No more cooking, yeah!

    Reply
    • Lily,

      Thank you for your comment! I am glad I was able to introduce you to the delicious world of protein supplements. People don’t realize how many different options there are and how each option can provide its own benefits. Good luck on your journey to find the protein supplement for you!

      Reply
  7. Hi there, great site! It was full of information I found really useful. I have to watch my weight as I am prone to losing it rapidly my nutritionist suggests protein shakes as a top up. I’m not into exercise – because I always lose too much – so my question is this, what shake supplement would you recommend for someone in my position? And do you know if these companies do samples? As I like to try before I buy. Thank you again for the info 

    Reply
    • Louise,

      Thank you for your comment and great question! If you are looking to gain weight, I would suggest something other than a protein supplement. Protein tends to make you feel more full on less calories. So if you want to take a supplement, I would recommend trying a gainer/bulking supplement like Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass. These supplements can have 1000+ calories in one scoop!

      Reply
  8. Great article on the available protein products that there are. I can appreciate the explanation of the purposes of each and the various options for different individuals. 

    It did inform me that I have been failing at picking my proteins. Haha I am not what you’d call a “body builder”, but I do exercise and use protein shakes as a meal/snack replacement for late evenings. I have been choosing a value product that really doesn’t do much except curb my appetite. I’ll definitely be making some other choices. 

    Thanks again for your insight!

    Reply
    • Prescott,

      No problem! I like how you brought up that you are not a body builder but still consume protein supplements. Just shows how valuable protein is, even to people who aren’t actively trying to build muscle. Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  9. Loved the post! Really educational and thorough. Not only did you mention how to choose the good protein powders, you also gave out examples on each category.

    I would love to get myself a Built Bar or the best taste products, taste was never really an issue for me, but why consume the ones with horrible taste if you can find one with better nutritional value that tastes better as well; hoping to find them in my country. Kudos to your work, thank you!

    Reply
    • Al,

      Thank you for your comment! I definitely would suggest trying to find a built bar they are my go to bar when I don’t have a lot of calories left for the day but I need some extra protein. If you can’t find them in your area, you can click on one of the links and order it from Amazon!

      Reply
  10. HI! Your article has shown me the different types of protein shakes and bars of different quality. I have never thought that there there so many quality in protein shakes. You have really done a great job of find and searching about all the brand. You have given very useful information to protein lovers. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
    • Sahida,

      Thank you for you comment! I am glad I was able to open your eyes to the wide variety of protein supplements available today. There are all different types and flavors out there and you just need to find which one works best for you.

      Reply
  11. LOL, thank you for recognizing that the taste of these protein supplements is important to most of us — and can also be a dealbreaker for many of us. Given that taste is highly subjective and personal, it can be hard to figure out whether or not something will taste good without trying it yourself. However, as you mention, it’s helpful to look at reviews and see what the consensus is. Don’t put too much stock in a single good or single bad review, but look for trends that ring true for many people. If I see too many people saying that a protein powder tastes bad, I will avoid it!

    Thanks for pointing out the best-tasting option. It should be easy to find and test out the Quest Protein Bar!

    Reply
    • Aly, 

      Thank you for your comment! You are so right, taste can be VERY subjective but when you can see a bunch of people with the same opinion, usually you can trust it. Please let me know how you like the Quest protein bar!

      Reply
  12. I tried taking whey protein before but I quit. I don’t like the taste. Makes me wonder how others manage to finish the entire container. I think that was vanilla flavor. I had to give the half-full container to somebody else since I felt as though I was a waste of money. This is the first time I heard about Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein, no one introduced this to me way back. I think I’ll give cookies and cream a try some time. Thanks for this article

    Reply
    • Sy, 

      Thank you for your comment! I am sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with whey protein in the past. However, a lot of brands and types of protein supplements tend to be different with different tastes. I think the ISO 100 whey protein powder could be the perfect option to get you back into the whey protein grind!

      Reply

Leave a Comment