The 5 Best Tasting Protein Powders In 2020: Our Tested Reviews

Best Tasting Protein Powders

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.

We have to admit, this is a hard list to do, as we know we know that taste is subjective. This list is going to be an overview of the best protein powders we have tried here on Fitness Informant.

Does taste matter? If you would have asked this question several years ago, many of us would have simply said "we don't care about taste as long as it works". The days of this sort of thinking are long gone. There is no reason to use a protein powder, or any supplement for that matter, that tastes bad if there is something comparable on the market that tastes great. 

With the advancements of flavoring technology, as well as the sheer amount of different protein powders on the market, there are so many products to choose from, that you may be overwhelmed. We here on FI have compiled a list of protein powders that we have tried ourselves, which we feel you will most likely enjoy yourself. 

Some of the brands on this list have more than just one great protein powder, in fact they all have great variety, however the ones listed simply impressed us the most.

The following products on our best tasting protein powder 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 Best Tasting Protein Powders

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

Product Name

Highlights

Rating

#1 MuscleSport Lean Whey

Lean Whey Unicorn Cookie Shake

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Highlights:


  • Transparent Label
  • Unique Flavoring
  • Great Taste
  • Whey Isolate

Our #1 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

9.3 out of 10

in the Protein Powder Category

#2 Ghost Whey

GHOST Whey Chips Ahoy!

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Highlights:



  • Flavor Collab with Chips Ahoy!
  • Other Great Flavor Options
  • Taste
  • Transparent Protein

Our #2 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

9.2 out of 10

in the Protein Powder Category

#3 MTS Nutrition Machine Whey

MTS Nutrition Machine Whey

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Highlights:


  • Unique Flavor Options
  • Great Texture
  • 25g Protein Per Serving

Our #3 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

8.7 out of 10

in the Protein Powder Category

#4 Ryse Loaded Protein

RYSE Supplements Loaded Protein

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Highlights:


  • Great Flavors
  • 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 NutraBio Muscle Matrix

NutraBio Muscle Matrix

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Highlights:


  • 25g Protein
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Micellar Casein Protein
  • Great Taste

Our #5 Rated

Fitness Informant Logo

9.3 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 MuscleSport Lean Whey Unicorn Cookie Shake

Lean Whey Unicorn Cookie Shake
  • Rating: 9.3​​ ​​out of 10
  • Servings: 27

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Pros

  • Taste
  • 3g Lean Muscle Matrix
  • Transparent Protein
  • Unique Flavor Options
  • Low Fat

Cons

  • Can be expensive depending on where you buy

Lean Whey is once again at the top on one of our lists. Not only did Lean Whey win our Protein of the Year Award in 2019, it also showed that whey protein isolate/hydrolysate based protein can be flavored well, and by well we mean VERY well.

Lean Whey brought us some of the most unique flavors to the market in 2019. From Unicorn Cookie Shake, to Coconut Caramel Cookie, to Fluffernutter, to even a X-Mas special limited edition Christmas Cookie Dough flavor that had really pieces of cookie dough in them. What really got us however, was the Unicorn Cookie Shake. 

Unicorn Cookie Shake tastes like one of those frosted sugar cookies you see at grocery stores. However unlike those cookies, you aren't getting a load of sugar and fat along with it. It is simply unique, and the taste is just amazing.

Really, MuscleSport is known, however still somehow underrated when it comes to their flavoring, and Lean Whey is no different. 

Who Makes It?

MuscleSport is a popular sports nutrition company that makes key products like Lean Whey and their Rhino Black pre-workout series. They do a phenomenal job on their flavoring and branding, and their products are quite good. When you see the brand MuscleSport you can put your trust into it. 

What's in it?

One serving contains:

  • 25g Protein - coming from both Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Hydrolysate 
  • 1g Fat - low fat, fitting for a lean protein​​​​
  • 5g Carbohydrate - low carb making this macro friendly
Lean Whey Label

Bottom Line:

Lean Whey wins this list due to the flavors being unique, delicious, plentiful, and macro friendly. What's great about Lean Whey, is that there are so many awesome flavors, that there is no way you're not going to find a flavor you like. With that said, we highly suggest going with the Unicorn Cookie Shake to see how different/awesome it is. If that doesn't do it for you, try something else and we are sure you won't be disappointed. 


Read the in-depth full review here.

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#2 Ghost Whey Chips Ahoy!™

GHOST Whey Chips Ahoy!
  • Rating: 9.2 out of 10
  • Servings: 27

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Pros

  • Authentic Flavoring 
  • 25g Protein
  • Transparent Label
  • Great flavor options
  • WPI, WPH, and WPC

Cons

  • Only available on website

Honestly, was it really a surprise that this made our list? It could very well be #1 to be quite honest. Ghost Whey is one of the few brands that can actually say they are changing the industry. They made such a huge impact in 2019, that they won our #1 Brand of the Year award. A huge part of that was due to their protein.

If you even barely follow the supplement industry, you know that Ghost changed the game with their Chips Ahoy! flavor collaboration. This was such a huge step for the industry, that even if Ghost only had that one flavor, it would still make this list.

Not only is the Chips Ahoy! flavor great, the other flavors are also amazing. The Fruity Cereal and Cinnamon Cereal Crunch are great, and even the Milk Chocolate is worth stocking up on. Really, there is no reason why Ghost Whey shouldn't make any ranking guide when it comes to flavoring. 

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 WPI, WPC, and Collagen Peptides
  • 4g Carbohydrate– low carb, macro friendly
  • 1.5g Fat - fairly low fat making it macro friendly
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.

Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 20%

#3 MTS Nutrition Machine Whey Mint Cookies & Cream

MTS Nutrition Machine Whey
  • Rating: 8.7 out of 10
  • Servings: 28

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Pros

  • Great flavor options
  • No Fillers
  • Great taste
  • 25g Protein
  • Value
  • Interesting Flavors

Cons

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Not transparent with amount of WPC and WPI

There shouldn't be a single soul out there surprised by this product making the list. Seriously, as long as we can remember, MTS Machine Whey has been at the top with its flavoring, and there are so many flavors to choose from. MTS Machine Whey do flavors like Chocolate and Cookies n Cream very well, while also coming out with some epic flavors such as Red Velvet Cake, Mint Cookies n Cream, and Pumpkin Pie. 

Due to MTS Machine Whey being a concentrate/isolate blend, the texture is slightly thicker than you average protein powder. This usually makes for a better texture and thus, a better product. 

Like Lean Whey, there are plenty of flavors to choose from, and there is bound to be one you fall in love with. 

Who Makes It?

MTS Nutrition has been around for nearly a decade now. Marc Lobliner has been behind this brand, and really anything he touches seems to turn into gold. Not only is MTS Nutrition known for its amazing flavors of whey, they also have an array of other products that always seem to deliver. 

What's In It?

One serving contains:

  • 25g Protein – protein from WPC and WPI
  • 4g Fat – fairly low fat making it macro friendly
  • 5g Carbs – low carb making this macro friendly
MTS Nutrition Machine Whey Label

Bottom Line:

MTS Machine Whey is easily one of the best flavored protein powders out there. From Chocolate, to Red Velvet Cake, to Mint Cookies and Cream, there is no way you're not going to find a protein you love. It also comes at a good value, so there is no reason to not try this protein. 


Read full review here.

Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 20%

#4 Ryse Loaded Protein Cinnamon Toast

RYSE Supplements Loaded Protein
  • Rating: 8.5 out of 10
  • Servings: 27 servings

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Pros

  • Great Flavors
  • Interesting Flavor Options
  • Taste
  • 25g Protein 

Cons

  • Could use more flavors

Ryse makes this list, and it really shouldn't be a surprise. Ryse is slowly but surely making a name for themselves, and they are here to show us that they understand that flavoring means more to the consumer now more than ever.

In our review on Ryse, we mentioned how we had a great experience with their Cinnamon Toast flavor. Ryse got on the cereal protein train quite early, and really it has paid off. This particular flavor tastes like the milk after you eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and let's be real, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is an epic cereal. 

Not only do they do that flavor right, they also have some other great flavors as well. Fruity Crunch is a fruity cereal protein, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup is self-explanatory. 

We can safely say, if you choose Ryse protein, you won't be disappointed.

Who Makes It?

Ryse ​​​​is a brand that has been around for a few years yet is making some great headway in this industry, especially as of late. They don't have an extensive list of products, yet the ones they have released have been quite good. What we really like about Ryse, is that the people behind it have a lot of integrity. Unlike many other brands, Ryse did not start out with a high-stim pre-workout with DMHA. No, they started out with products that any noobie or even advanced lifter could get by with.

What's In It?

One serving contains:

  • 25g Protein - coming from WPC
  • 3g Carbohydrate - low carb making it macro friendly
  • 2g Fat - low fat, fitting for a lean protein
RYSE Supplements Loaded Protein Review

Bottom Line:

Ryse Loaded Protein is a solid protein that you simply can't go wrong with. As far as a simple whey protein concentrate goes, it is comparable to just about any protein powder on the market. Ryse simply does the small things well, which we love here on FI.


Read our full review here.

Use coupon code INFORMANT to save 10%

#5 NutraBio Muscle Matrix Strawberry Pastry

NutraBio Muscle Matrix
  • Rating: 9.3 out of 10
  • Servings: 27

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Pros

  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • 25g Protein
  • Micellar Casein
  • Great Taste
  • Solid Flavor Options

Cons

  • More flavors can only help

NutraBio, while one of our favorite brands on the market, used to be criticized for their flavors. It's not that they were bad, it was more that they weren't exactly good. Drinkable but bland may be the best way to put it. Well, 2019 was the year this all changed.

NutraBio went on a tear to start off 2019, and they had many weeks of product releases. With that said, they also had some great flavor launches and improvements to their Muscle Matrix Protein. One for example, was Strawberry Pastry. If this were just a few years ago, we would have used the protein, but probably wouldn't expect much from the flavor, however there is such an improvement that we couldn't not add it to this list. 

While there are currently only 5 flavors, we know that they will be releasing more in the future, and we can only expect greatness from here on out. 

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 WPI and MC
  • 2g Carbohydrate - low carb making it macro friendly
  • 0.5g Fat - low fat making this macro friendly
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 our full review here.

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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.