The 5 Best Protein Powder Blend In 2020: Our Tested Reviews

Best Protein Powder Blends

By Gerhard Hoermann, ISSA-CFT
Updated on: October 3, 2020

Honest Review Guarantee from Fitness Informant:
Our product testing team uses the full 30 day serving amount in container before reviewing. Learn more about our review process here.

Are you struggling to decide whether or not you need a Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Casein Protein, Vegan or Beef? Well...a little known secret is some companies are awesome and give you blends that benefit you on so many levels!

A protein blend can be awesome in that it combines various types of protein that can help with multi-stage digestion and absorption. Depending on how much protein you consume and when, can determine what kind of protein you want.

For example, if you consumer 50g protein post-workout, your body may not be able to break down the proteins into amino acids in a timely manner to absorb them all and make use of them - thus wasting some of this essential protein.

In these cases, a protein blend can be beneficial. You can get a protein that is fast digesting to take care of the quick void you need to fill, but then also combine it with a slower digesting protein that will feed you throughout the day.

As the author of this ranking guide, I actually prefer a quality blend over a straight protein source. These are the five best protein blends on the market today!

The following products on our best protein powder blends rankings list were used by the author of this article.

We have used each of these top rated protein powders through the duration of a full container. Sample packs were not used in determining the rankings.

Stop relying on faulty information that is influenced by outside writers and money. This protein powder list is the real deal. Here at Fitness Informant, we don’t steer you wrong.

Be Informed. Live Fit.


A Comparison of the Protein Powder Blends 

Here's the top 5 picks for the best protein powder blends supplements that money can buy:

Product Name

Highlights

Rating

#1 NutraBio Muscle Matrix

NutraBio Muscle Matrix

Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 10%

Best Overall Protein Powder Supplement

Highlights:


  • 100% Transparent Label
  • Fully Disclosed Protein
  • Great Taste
  • Whey/Casein Blend

Our #1 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

9.3 out of 10

in the Protein Powder Category

#2 Inspired Nutraceuticals Protein+

Inspired Nutraceuticals Protein+

Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 5%

Best for Collagen

Highlights:



  • 5g Collagen Peptides
  • Taste
  • Enzymes and Probiotics
  • Our #2 Rated

    Fitness Informant Logo

    9.3 out of 10

    in the Protein Powder Category

    #3 Ghost Vegan Protein

    GHOST Vegan Protein

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 20%

    Best for Vegan Blend

    Highlights:


    • Fully Disclosed Label
    • Flavor Options
    • No Fillers

    Our #3 Rated

    Fitness Informant Logo

    9.5 out of 10

    in the Protein Powder Category

    #4 Ghost Whey

    GHOST Whey

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 20%

    Best for Non-Whey Protein

    Highlights:


    • Authentic Flavoring
    • Transparent Label
    • Great Taste
    • 3 Different Sources of Whey Protein

    Our #4 Rated

    Fitness Informant Logo

    9.2 out of 10

    in the Protein Powder Category

    #5 RedCon1 MRE Lite

    RedCon1 MRE Lite

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 10%

    Best for Non-Dairy Based

    Highlights:


    • 24g Protein
    • Beef Protein
    • Salmon Protein
    • Pea Protein

    Our #5 Rated

    Fitness Informant Logo

    8.8 out of 10

    in the Protein Powder Category

    There are hundreds of different brands and variations of Protein Powder supplements out there.

    How did these 5 make Fitness Informant's top 5 list? Read on and we'll tell you:


    #1 NutraBio Muscle Matrix

    NutraBio Muscle Matrix
    • Rating: 9.3​​ ​​out of 10
    • Servings: 27
    • Best For: Top Overall Product

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 10%

    Pros

    • Taste
    • Transparent Protein
    • Unique Flavor Options
    • Low Fat

    Cons

    • Can be expensive depending on where you buy

    Muscle Matrix comes in at #1 on our list, and for good reason. We are huge fans of NutraBio here at FI, and we have no problems giving them the credit they deserve. Muscle Matrix is a blend of two proteins, which sounds simple enough, but even with just two main ingredients, NutraBio simply does it very well.

    Muscle matrix is a blend of Whey Protein Isolate, and Micellar Casein. While it's simple enough, we have to give credit because it is fully transparent. You get 16.31g of WPI, which yields 14.19g of protein, and with the MC you get 13.35g, which yields 10.81g of protein. So you're getting EXACTLY 25g of protein from Muscle Matrix. 

    Tp put this simply, Whey Protein Isolate is a very fast and easily digestible source of protein, while Casin is a slower digesting protein. Thus you're not getting such a huge amount of protein at once, but rather an immediate MPS kick, with a trickle of aminos coming in after. 

    Who Makes It?

    NutraBio has been in business since 1996 producing some of the highest quality supplements you can buy today. They not only promote awesome, high quality products, but education as well.

    NutraBio has been trying to educate the consumer on the sports nutrition industry for several years to ensure that you are purchasing supplements of high quality and not just a marketing gimmick. All of their products contain a 100% transparent label to ensure you know what you are putting in your body.

    What's in it?

    One serving contains:

    • 25g Protein - coming from both Whey Protein Isolate and Micellar Casein
    • 0.5g Fat - low fat, fitting for a lean protein​​​​
    • 5g Carbohydrate - source of energy
    NutraBio Muscle Matrix label

    Bottom Line:

    Muscle Matrix is our favorite protein blend. It hits you with both fast and slow digesting whey, while providing great taste, along with a transparent formula. The flavors have only gotten better over the years, and we are sure you will not be disappointed if you go for this one.


    Read the in-depth full review here.

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 10%

    #2 Inspired Nutraceuticals Protein+

    Inspired Nutraceuticals Protein+
    • Rating: 9.3 out of 10
    • Servings: 26
    • Best For: Flavoring

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 5%

    Pros

    • Collagen 
    • 25g Protein
    • Enzymes
    • Probiotics
    • WPI and WPC

    Cons

    • Flavors take time getting used to
    • Not many flavor options

    Protein+ is probably the most unique product on this list. We are big fans of what Inspired and what Chris Waldrum has brought to the industry, especially in 2019. One of his most notable releases was Protein+, which at first glance is just a protein powder, however just looking at the profile, you see that it is more than that.

    Protein+ not only gives you 25g of protein, they also include Collagen Peptides, Digestive Enzymes, and Probiotics. This makes Protein+ not only good for muscle repair, but it may also be good for joints and skin health. Add some digestive benefits to it and you have a protein that is more than just a protein powder.

    One scoop gives you 25g of total protein, 2g carbohydrates, and 3g of fat. While the fat is the highest on this list, it really isn't an issue, as 3g of fat is still a small amount, especially when compared to some other products on the market. 

    Who Makes It?

    Inspired Nutraceuticals is a smaller company focused on product quality and innovation. Unlike the big guys, who focus much of their efforts growing the top and bottom line through clever marketing, IN is putting their resources into R&D to provide quality supplements for the consumer.

    What's In It?

    One serving contains:

    • 25g Protein –  coming from WPI, WPC, and Collagen Peptides
    • 2g Carbohydrate– low carb, macro friendly
    • 3g Fat - fairly low fat making it macro friendly
    • 250mg ProHydrolase – digestive enzymes to aid in digestion
    • 500 Million CFU – probiotics for gut health
    Inspired Nutraceuticals Protein+ Label

    Bottom Line:

    Protein+ is one of our favorite protein powders on the market, as it takes something simple, adds something to it that makes it special. While the taste may take some getting used to (it's not bad), you'll find yourself enjoying it and overtime, you may notice some other benefits such as joint health and skin health.


    Read our full review here.

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 5%

    #3 Ghost Vegan Protein

    GHOST Vegan Protein
    • Rating: 8.9 out of 10
    • Servings: 28
    • Best For: Vegan Protein Blend

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 20%

    Pros

    • Fully Transparent
    • No Fillers
    • Great taste
    • Vegan Friendly
    • Value
    • Interesting Flavors

    Cons

    • Not widely available
    • Carbohydrates are higher than whey proteins
    • Texture may throw some off

    Ghost Vegan Protein ​​makes this list, as we were looking for a vegan friendly option for this list. Ghost brought to us a fully transparent vegan protein. The vegan side of our industry is growing quite rapidly, and with more people going vegan, or simply adding plant based foods to their diets, this product was a no brainer.

    Ghost Vegan Protein provides 20 grams of protein per serving, and 7 grams of carbohydrates. While the 7 grams of carbs may be higher than most whey protein products on the market, 7 grams should throw most of you off of your diet/macros.

    The protein sources are Pea Protein Concentrate, Organic Pumpkin Protein, and Watermelon Seed Protein, thus making this a protein blend. The amounts are fully transparent as well, which we've come to expect from Ghost. 

    The texture and taste are great, although may take some getting used to as vegan protein is known for being a little grainy to some. 

    Who Makes It?

    GHOST is a fully transparent brand in the supplement industry. They are more than a supplement brand, they are a lifestyle (that's really what they are going for). They could easily attract consumers with their amazing YouTube Channel and marketing campaigns, which they do, but they keep them with their quality formulas and products.

    What's In It?

    One serving contains:

    • 20g Vegan Protein – protein from Pea Protein Concentrate, Organic Pumpkin Protein, and Watermelon Seed Protein
    • 2g Fat – low fat making it macro friendly
    • 7g Carbs – fairly high carb content for a protein, but still low enough that it shouldn't worry you
    GHOST Vegan Protein Label

    Bottom Line:

    GHOST Vegan Protein is on our list as we wanted to provide an option for plant-based dieters. Even if you aren't vegan, this protein is worth trying out and it may have you preferring it over whey protein.​​


    Read full review here.

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 20%

    #4 Ghost Whey

    GHOST Whey
    • Rating: 9.2 out of 10
    • Servings: 26​​ servings
    • Best For: Whey Blend

    Pros

    • Authentic Flavoring
    • Interesting Flavor Options
    • Taste
    • 25g Protein 
    • Transparent label
    • WPC, WPI, WPH

    Cons

    • Limited places to buy

    GHOST took the protein world by storm in 2019, and we expect more greatness from them in 2020. Not only did they release a delicious Cinnamon Cereal Milk flavor, they also released an industry changing flavor, that being Chips Ahoy. This was a huge feat, not only for Ghost, but for the industry. This flavor really set the standard high for Ghost, and we are excited to see what they bring in 2020.

    Ghost Whey is a fully transparent protein, something that we like seeing in this industry. Another thing to note is that they don't go out of their way to advertise it. It's simply expected. You notice that Ghost does a lot right without having to advertise it, an example being how their scoopers are ALWAYS on top. While some other companies may do this, they advertise it heavily. Ghost simply does it as if it's expected. 

    The protein blend consists of Whey Protein Concentrate (12.5g), Whey Protein Isolate (10g), and Whey Protein Hydrolysate (2.5g). No real complaints here. We'd actually be fine with a simple WPC/WPI blend, or even WPC/Casein, but still we aren't going to complain. 

    Ghost Whey is simply a great choice every time. They have plenty of flavors to choose from, and many of them are unique. While they do offer a chocolate, you can also choose from things like Chips Ahoy, Cinnamon Cereal Milk, and Fruity Cereal Milk. 

    Who Makes It?

    GHOST is a fully transparent brand in the supplement industry. They are more than a supplement brand, they are a lifestyle (that's really what they are going for). They could easily attract consumers with their amazing YouTube Channel and marketing campaigns, which they do, but they keep them with their quality formulas and products.

    What's In It?

    One serving contains:

    • 25g Protein - coming from WPC, WPI, and WPH
    • 4g Carbohydrate - source of energy
    • 1.5g Fat - low fat, fitting for a lean protein
    GHOST Whey Label

    Bottom Line:

    Ghost Whey is one of our favorite protein blend powders on the market. While it's a hard category to judge because a lot of it is the same, Ghost found a way to make it unique. Not only by being transparent, but also with their authentic flavor collaboration with Chips Ahoy. The future is bright for Ghost.


    Read our full review here.

    #5 RedCon1 MRE Lite

    RedCon1 MRE Lite
    • Rating: 8.8​​ out of 10
    • Servings: 27
    • Best For: Non-Dairy

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 10%

    Pros

    • Non-Whey
    • 24g Protein
    • Enzymes
    • Probiotics
    • WPI and WPC

    Cons

    • Flavors take time getting used to
    • Not many flavor options

    Looking for a non-whey protein that is super awesome?! MRE Lite from RedCon1 uses protein sources not seen very often. There is 24g of protein from beef, chicken, salmon, egg, pea and brown rice protein - along with the addition of MCT Oil. This is still technically a blend since it is using all these different sources.

    RedCon1 MRE series has been one of the most popular lines released in this space in a very long time due to the uniqueness of it. Many people have issues with whey, or grow tired of it, and even though studies say it is superior, sometimes it is nice to change it up with other animal and non-animal based protein.

    Yes, this still tastes good. If you've had their #1 rated MRE Bar you know that they can make this protein taste good. The same can be said with this powder. The flavors are solid and well done.

    Who Makes It?

    RedCon1 has just blown up in this industry with great branding, pricing and quality products. Their MRE line is part of the reason for their success. You can expect to get good products and solid prices with RedCon1. Aaron Singerman and team understand how to build a brand, and quality products that go with it.

    What's In It?

    One serving contains:

    • 24g Protein - from beef, salmon, chicken, egg, pea and brown rice
    • 4g Carbohydrate - source of energy
    • 2g Fat - low fat making this macro friendly​​
    • MCT Oil - added fats to help with calories since this is technically a meal replacement/protein shake
    RedCon1 MRE Lite Label

    Bottom Line:

    If you are looking for a non-whey protein, even if you don't care about blends, MRE Lite fro RedCon1 won't be too calorie rich so you can use it as your protein powder. The flavors are great, it mixes well and keeps you fuller longer. On the fence? Don't be, give it a try.


    Read our full review here.

    Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 10%


    Why You Need to Supplement with Protein Powder

    In this day and age, with overly processed foods being the bulk of the human diet, it is imperative that we supplement with protein powder. That’s just for the sedentary people in this world. If you’re a fitness addict or a casual gym goer, you need protein powder more than anyone else to help with your progressive.

    The best protein powders can provide you with:

    • Increased Muscle Size
      Individual muscle cells only grow during protein synthesis windows. Consuming a protein powder post-workout helps increase protein synthesis which helps increase muscle size.
    • Improve Recovery
      Consuming protein powder post-workout not only increases protein synthesis, but it helps repair your muscles quicker, which will speed up your recovery.
    • Reduce Chance of Injury
      Intense exercise recovers proper recovery. Protein powders help improve protein synthesis which helps aid in the recovery process. By improving recovery time, it prevents overtraining which can lead to injury.
    • Accelerate Fat Loss
      Protein powders help increase muscle size, which burns more calories. Protein powders also help increase metabolism, which also aids in weight and fat loss.
    • Craving Control
      Protein powders can contain up to 25g of protein per serving. That alone is 100 calories just in protein. When you have a craving for junk food, a delicious protein shake can curb those cravings and help you on your healthy path of life.

    What Should You Look for in a Protein Powder?

    Like we mentioned earlier, not all protein powders are created equal. In fact, there are so many variations of protein powders, it is important to know which is the best for you.

    Some protein powder supplement facts have multiple form of protein being used. The typical consumer will think that is a wonderful thing and automatically assume what they are buying is quality. The supplement manufacturer, however, knows that this is “label dressing” to trick the consumer into paying a premium price for a mediocre to garbage product.

    The following points explain the various forms of protein powders available on the market. We will give a synopsis of each. We will also look at protein powders based on your goals, and what you should be looking for.

    Whey Protein Concentrate

    Whey protein concentrate powders are a popular choice among the fitness community because of it’s muscle building properties, health promoting profile and, maybe the most important attribute, it’s affordable cost. A high quality WPC can contain roughly 70-80% protein. However, the FDA allows companies to to use as low as 34% protein to be considered a whey protein concentrate. On a per gram basis it contains less protein than whey protein isolate, but it contains many of those subfraction proteins we talked about earlier that WPI remove during the filtration process.

    Whey protein concentration does not have to go through the advanced filtration process that isolates go through thus making it more cost-effective to produce.  An important thing to note is that because it does not go through this filtration process that WPI go through the WPC contains more of these health promoting subfraction proteins in them.  Many people choose a concentration as an everyday protein because of these attributes that assist in other forms of health outside of muscle building.

    Whey protein concentrate does contain more fat, carbohydrates, sodium and lactose than WPI. This is because the WPC does not go through any advanced filtration process to remove any of these.  If you are not lactose intolerant, not worried about the extra fats and carbs than a WPC is a good choice as it is more affordable.

    Whey Protein Isolate

    Whey protein isolate is a form of whey protein that goes through an additional filtration process that WPC does not go through making it a purer protein powered.  Various filtration processes are available to create a WPI but the most popular are cross flow micro filtration, ion exchange, ultra filtration, micro filtration, etc.  Long story short, each of these filtration processes can remove more or less of those other sub-fractions of proteins we find in a WPC.

    A typical WPI contains 90-96% protein compared to WPC 70-80%. This right here makes it an attractive protein source for those in the fitness community because they want to know they are getting the max protein for their dollar. A WPI also contains less fat, carbohydrates, sodium and lactose than a WPC.

    Whey protein isolate is also more rapidly absorbed by your body than a WPC. This leads to an increase in insulin production by your body. There are no real-world studies that I can find that leads to saying this is better or worse post-workout. However, the body needs insulin to product muscle. Rises in insulin at the wrong time can turn into body fat. Rises in insulin after a workout due to the rapid absorption of WPI could be a benefit for those looking to increase muscle mass.

    Whey Protein Hydrolysate

    Whey protein hydrolysate is going to be the highest form of whey protein available. It will also be the most expensive protein available. A whey protein concentrate or whey protein isolate can be hydrolyzed.

    The difference in whey protein hydrolysate is that it is broken down even further (whey protein concentrate and isolate are already fast digesting proteins) breaking apart the amino bonds making a hydrolysate protein powder digest and absorb even faster than an isolate.

    Casein Protein

    Casein protein is known as the slow-digesting protein powder. There is more of an abundance of casein protein powder when protein powders are made. They remove the whey and what is left is casein (approximately 80% of the dairy source contains casein versus 20% whey).

    Casein proteins are great when you do not need the rapid absorption of a protein powder. In fact, your body can only utilize a certain amount of protein in a time period. A lot of bodybuilders and fitness gurus like to use a combination of whey protein and casein so they get the quick absorption of the whey, and then the slow digesting protein from the casein.

    Casein is a popular choice before bedtime. Most of us are getting 6-9 hours of sleep a night. That is a long time without feeding the machine. Casein protein continues to feed you while you sleep.

    Casein protein is also available as an isolate.

    Milk Protein Concentrate/Isolate

    Milk protein is protein powder containing both whey and casein. Under the casein protein section we indicated that 80% of the protein derived from the dairy source is casein, while 20% is whey. Instead of separating the two forms of protein, they just leave them as-is.

    Milk protein is used in a lot of protein bars. It is also available as a source of protein in protein powders. This is a cheaper protein due to the fact that they do not have to separate out the casein from the whey. Just because it is less expensive, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad quality. Milk proteins can be beneficial depending on your goals.

    Beef Protein

    Many people have issues with lactose, this making whey protein concentrate, and some isolates, undrinkable for them. Beef protein is an option for those that cannot work with lactose.

    Beef protein is exactly how it sounds, protein derived from cattle. There are several brands of beef protein available on the market. These typically won’t rank in anyone’s top five rated protein powders, due to whey protein being superior in studies, but it is important you know that they exist.

    Vegan Proteins

    The market for vegan friendly products has grown tremendously. In fact, this is a huge profit opportunity for supplement manufactures.

    Vegas proteins are derived from a vegan/vegetable source. The most common are pea protein and hemp protein. It is important, that if you follow a vegan lifestyle, that you supplement with a protein powder. These vegan protein powders are a great choice.

    For Muscle Gains

    When looking for the right protein powder to support your muscle gains, you want to make sure you are getting a high quality protein. This is best found in a whey protein powder.

    You want to ensure that you are getting adequate protein to help with protein synthesis, muscle recovery, repair and regrowth. You will want to look for either a whey protein concentrate that is close to 80% quality, or a whey protein isolate which is above 90%.

    For Weight Loss

    A high quality protein powder is going to help with weight and fat loss. Protein powders contain a high ratio of proteins compared to fats and carbs. This is important because protein powders increase protein synthesis which increases muscle gains which burns more fat.

    Protein is also broken down more quickly than fats. While it can curb your cravings for sweets, it also aids in fat loss by making you feel full with the macros you need and without the macros you don’t need.

    You want to look for a protein powder that is high in protein content and low in carbs, fats and sodium. These are the best protein powders for weight loss.

    Our Pre-Workout Supplement Testing Process

    We examined five different areas of each pre-workout supplement when we compiled our rankings:

    1. Ingredients Profile
    2. Effectiveness
    3. Taste
    4. Mixability
    5. Value

    preworkout powder in bottle

    Ingredients Profile

    When we review each pump activating supplement on their ingredient profile, we look at the active ingredients being used and their dosages.

    Many pre-workout supplements include a variety of beneficial ingredients, but under dose them proving to be non-effective.

    Effectiveness

    Effectiveness is an extension of ingredient profile. If the product uses proven ingredients at clinically suggested dosages, the product should be effective.

    Everyone is different. Everyone takes to different ingredients differently at varying dosages. We have tried and tested each of these products throughout the full duration of their container to ensure these products are effective over their life.

    Taste

    We review taste on two different components. First, how close does the muscle pump supplement taste to the actual name printed on the label. For example, does Blue Raz actually taste like blue raspberry. Second, we review it on overall taste (in our opinion) versus others in the same flavor category.

    Mixability

    Mixability refers to how well does the product mix in 8-12oz of water. The testing process for a pump activating drink we use here is a generic Blender Bottle with the chrome spiral ball. We use regular tap water with no ice.

    Value

    Value is a combination of ingredient profile, effectiveness, taste, mixability and cost. We do not just look at the price tag like a lot of others do. If a product is priced at a premium, we inform you if it is worth the premium price or not based on all the categories. We look at the overall picture of the  pre-workout supplement, and how it compares to other pre-workout supplements on the market.

    Please Note: Many of the “top 10” lists you find online are written by content writers with no in-gym or supplement experience who are paid by the word count to write an article for a website trying to generate money.

    These lists are influenced by brands who pay for placement. These lists contain pump activating supplements that are, for the lack of a better word, garbage.

    The following products on our best of list were used by the author of this article. He used the pump activating supplements through the duration of a full container. Sample packs were not used in determining the rankings of the best protein powder supplements.

    Stop relying on faulty information that is influenced by outside writers and money. This list is the real deal. Here at Fitness Informant, we don’t steer you wrong. Be Informed. Live Fit.