Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

11 Best Protein Powders For Teens (2022 Updated) 

Supplements Considered 16
Supplements
Considered
Hours of Research 73
Hours
of Research
Reviews Examined 60
Reviews
Examined
Experts Interviewed 13
Experts
Interviewed
Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: September 6, 2022

A lot of my clients have kids in their teens who get into various sports where athletic performance and strong muscles are required.

These parents are concerned with the use of protein powders for weight management and exercise performance.

However, the best protein powders that are healthy for adults may not be suitable for teens at all.

So I sat down with my dietitian to identify what athletes in their teens need and to find out the best protein powder for teens.

Editor's Choice
Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+
Ritual Essential
Protein per Serving
20g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Click For Best Price
#2nd Best Choice
Transparent Labs ProteinSeries with egg white protein powder and essential amino acids
Transparent Labs
Protein per Serving
28g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
4.7
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Click For Best Price
#3rd Best Choice
Ora Organic thumb
Ora Organic
Protein per Serving
22g
Taste
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Price
4.6
Overall Score 4.6
4.6
Click For Best Price

Top Protein Powders For Teens (September 2022)

1 - Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+ (Editor's Choice)

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+
Protein per Serving
20g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0

This daily shake from Ritual is specifically designed with the 18+ crowd in mind to help support muscle growth and build strength with resistance training.

It contains 20g of organic pea protein to aid lean muscle mass-building and help you feel fuller throughout the day, an important benefit for those trying to lose weight.

Many adults are deficient in choline, so the company added this ingredient for brain support.

Daily Shake 18+ has a clean formula that has earned the Informed Sport Certified mark, signifying that it meets the highest quality standards in manufacturing and has been rigorously screened for over 250 banned substances in sports.

This vegan protein powder product is also free of sugar, soy, gluten, GMOs, and artificial ingredients, making it one of the safest supplements on the market right now.

  • Calories : 115
  • Protein : 20g
  • Carbs : 3g
  • Fat : 2g
Pros
  • Supports brain and muscle health
  • Helps build strength
  • Third-party tested for banned substances
  • No sugar, soy, gluten, GMOs, and artificial ingredients
Cons
  • Only available in one flavor

2 - Transparent Labs ProteinSeries

Transparent Labs ProteinSeries with egg white protein powder and essential amino acids
Protein per Serving
28g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
4.7
Overall Score 4.9
4.9

Transparent Labs is a protein powder for teens made 100% with grass-fed whey protein isolate that has become quite popular with many athletes because of its quality and purity.

It has a high amount of protein per serving with no common allergens, fillers, or artificial crap added, making it an ideal first protein powder for anyone, especially teens since it’s less likely to cause digestive issues.

Also, teens are experiencing growth in both physical and mental domains, so they require higher amounts of the purest and highest quality protein available to facilitate those processes effectively with as few adverse effects as possible.

Transparent Labs ranked top one of all the protein powders that do not contain gluten.

  • Calories : 120
  • Protein : 28g
  • Carbs : 2g
  • Fat : 0g
Pros
  • High amount of grass-fed protein per serving to support teens' developing bodies
  • Has no fillers or artificial sweeteners to preserve gut health
  • Low in carbs and calories to favor gaming muscle over fat
  • Free of common allergens like soy and gluten for better digestibility for first-time users
Cons
  • Some bulk size containers would be great

3 - Ora Organic Vegan Protein

Ora Organic thumb
Protein per Serving
22g
Taste
4.6
Ingredients
4.6
Price
4.6
Overall Score 4.6
4.6

A lot of people prefer organic protein powders because the ingredients have fewer contaminants like pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.

In addition, Ora Organic may be a healthy protein powder for teens as it contains no sugar and little fat.

The only thing I would say about this protein powder for teens is that it tastes better out of a blender.

  • Calories : 130
  • Protein : 22g
  • Carbs : 5g
  • Fat : 3g
Pros
  • 22 grams of plant protein per serving
  • Many people like that it works as a shake or by adding it to meals
  • Zero sugar and low-fat protein powder for teens that helps with weight management
  • Available in chocolate and vanilla flavors
Cons
  • Try blending it before serving to get a smooth texture

4 - MyProtein Impact Whey Isolate

MyProtein-Impact Whey Isolate
Protein per Serving
22g
Taste
4.6
Ingredients
4.5
Price
4.4
Overall Score 4.5
4.5

What convinced us about this protein powder for teens is that it's one of the lowest-calorie options as it contains no fat or sugar.

The only negative I would note on this particular protein powder for teens is that it does use artificial additives for flavor.

  • Calories : 90
  • Protein : 22g
  • Carbs : 1g
  • Fat : 0g
Pros
  • 22 grams of whey isolate per serving
  • Low-calorie option helps to maintain weight
  • Many users highlight the smooth consistency
  • Contains no fat or sugar to make nutritional planning easier
Cons
  • The texture could be a bit smoother

5 - PaleoPro Protein Powder

PaleoPro Protein Powder
Protein per Serving
26g
Taste
4.4
Ingredients
4.3
Price
4.4
Overall Score 4.4
4.4

There's a very good reason why we list this paleo protein powder.

Not only does it contain enough protein to help build muscles, but it also lists collagen on the nutrition label which has been medically proven to help with joint repair and development [1].

  • Calories : 120
  • Protein : 26g
  • Carbs : 1g
  • Fat : 1g
Pros
  • 26 grams of protein per serving from grass-fed beef
  • Certified hormone and antibiotic-free
  • Contains natural collagen that may keep joints healthy
  • Available in multiple flavors
Cons
  • Make sure you shake it well before drinking to avoid a grainy texture

The only downside is that you may need to shake this protein powder for teens for 20 to 30 seconds before drinking it. That's quite tedious in my opinion.

6 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder
Protein per Serving
24g
Taste
4.2
Ingredients
4.2
Price
4.4
Overall Score 4.3
4.3

This popular protein powder was specially designed for performance athletes to help with muscle growth and recovery.

While there are loads of flavors available, we did find that some of them were a bit sweet.

  • Calories : 120
  • Protein : 24g
  • Carbs : 3g
  • Fat : 1g
Pros
  • 24 grams of protein per serving
  • Contains BCAAs that may help boost muscle performance and recovery
  • Easy to mix in a shaker without being clumpy
  • Comes in a great selection of flavors
Cons
  • Some of the flavors are a little sweet

7 - Amazing Nutrition The Family Whey

Amazing Nutrition The Family Whey
Protein per Serving
20g
Taste
4.2
Ingredients
4.3
Price
4.3
Overall Score 4.3
4.3

This one from Amazing Nutrition is a whey protein isolate that's specifically designed for families.

This whey protein isolate is suitable for kids and all ages and comes with a guide to work out what different age groups may need.

Just make sure you shake the whey protein powder well or use a blender to make it more appealing to kids and teens.

  • Calories : 100
  • Protein : 20g
  • Carbs : 4g
  • Fat : 1g
Pros
  • 20 grams of protein per serving
  • Suitable for children, teens and adults with recommended servings
  • Gluten-free and contains no artificial additives
  • Comes in tasty flavors that aren't too sweet
Cons
  • Needs to be shaken quite a bit to dissolve fully

8 - Sneakz Organic Smoothie Mix

Sneaks Organic Smoothie Mix
Protein per Serving
14g
Taste
4.2
Ingredients
4.2
Price
4.2
Overall Score 4.2
4.2

One of the easiest to mix protein powders we found is this Sneaks Organic one.

It does have a very smooth texture and doesn't require blending.

The main downside is that it contains quite a lot of sugar, which may explain why teens like it so much.

  • Calories : 130
  • Protein : 14g
  • Carbs : 16g
  • Fat : 1.5g
Pros
  • 14 grams of plant protein per serving
  • Low in saturated fat to reduce health issues
  • Easy to mix with water or milk
  • Provides a boost of iron as well
Cons
  • It's a bit high in sugar content

9 - Quest Protein Powder

Quest Protein Powder
Protein per Serving
24g
Taste
4.1
Ingredients
4.2
Price
4.1
Overall Score 4.1
4.1

This Quest protein powder is the only one on our list that's part whey concentrate and part casein.

This combination is interesting because casein has been clinically studied and shown to play a role in the development of lean muscle mass [3].

I did find that it tasted best out of a blender, which reduced the grainy effect.

  • Calories : 100
  • Protein : 24g
  • Carbs : 3g
  • Fat : 0g
Pros
  • 24 grams of whey and casein per serving
  • Contains no saturated or trans fats
  • Less than 1g of sugar in each protein supplement serving
  • Good selection of popular flavors
Cons
  • Requires blending for a fully smooth texture

10 - Origin Grass-Fed Whey Isolate

Origin Grass Fed Whey Isolate
Protein per Serving
24g
Taste
4.0
Ingredients
4.1
Price
4.0
Overall Score 4.0
4.0

And finally, our last recommendation is another whey protein powder.

This protein powder goes through a cold-processing to maintain protein structure without the use fillers or unnecessary ingredients.

It also has 24 grams of protein, while keeping it low-fat and sugar-free.

  • Calories : 100
  • Protein : 24g
  • Carbs : 1g
  • Fat : <1g
Pros
  • 24 grams of protein per serving
  • Low in carbs and fats to support different healthy diets
  • Uses cold processing which helps to maintain protein structure
  • Also available as unflavored to mix with other foods
Cons
  • It contains some artificial sweeteners

11 - Performance Lab Sport Protein

Performance Lab Sport Protein
Protein per Serving
20g
Taste
4.1
Ingredients
4.0
Price
4.1
Overall Score 4.1
4.1

Made from brown rice, Performance Lab protein powder has the benefit of making you feel full for longer.

Rice protein has also been clinically and medically tested and shown to help with building muscles [2].

  • Calories : 100
  • Protein : 20g
  • Carbs : 2g
  • Fat : 1.2g
Pros
  • 20 grams of brown rice protein per serving
  • Contains hardly any fat or carbs so it may not mess with your diet
  • As an organic protein supplement, it provides premium ingredients
  • Some reviews highlight that it may suppress your appetite
Cons
  • The texture could be a bit smoother

I just wasn't a big fan of the texture, so you may want to consider blending the protein powder.

How Much Protein Powder Should A Teenager Take?

Scoop Of Protein Powder

The average teenager should take about 45 grams of the best protein powder per day. Most of this protein intake should come from food rather than protein powders. However, for teens who are performance athletes or who exercise a lot, increasing that by 10 to 15 grams per day may be a healthy decision.

This requirement can easily be addressed by taking a single serving of protein powder with the right amount of protein from food every day.

This may not only support muscle recovery but may also help with gaining some lean mass as well.

Anything significantly more than that should be discussed with a dietitian or medical doctor as excessive amounts may result in some unpleasant side effects.

What Should Influence Your Choice Of Protein?

Influence Your Choice Of Protein

The factors that should influence your choice of protein are its source, the essential amino acids it provides, and your dietary restrictions. We discuss each of these factors below.

Protein Source

The best protein powder should come from quality sources. I generally look at these from an animal or plant-based point of view. Rice, pea, and hemp protein powders have become very popular, especially as a blend.

They tend to help with weight loss due to the higher levels of fiber [7].

A whey protein powder would be considered the best option to support muscle mass growth as they contain all 9 essential branched-chain amino acids.

Range Of Essential Amino Acids

Protein is made up of 20 different branched-chain amino acids, and some of those are classified as essential from a dietary perspective. That means your body cannot produce them, so you have to take them in through food or supplements.

This is why whey protein powder is so popular, as they contain the branched-chain amino acids and protein intake needed for healthy development in teens.

Dietary Restrictions

Some teens may be restricted in their choice of protein supplements due to allergies, intolerances, protein intake, or choice of diet. Dairy and lactose intolerance is quite common, but so are soy and gluten.

It's important to check the nutrition label of your protein powder for any ingredients that may be best avoided.

FAQ

Best Protein Powder For Teens FAQ

Is it OK for a teenager to drink protein shakes?

Yes, it is OK for a teenager to drink protein supplements. In fact, these supplements may provide a healthy boost of essential amino acids to support muscle and brain development in all teens.

Other recommended protein powders:

How much protein is too much for a teenager?

Protein intake above 80 g per day may be too much for a teenager. However, this very much depends on physical size and activity. Stomach cramps, nausea, and bloating are some side effects that may indicate that you need to reduce your protein consumption.

Out of all the products reviewed, Ritual's Daily Shake 18+ stood out as the best protein powder for teens on the market today.

It has ample doses of protein, choline, and a complete amino acid profile that can support muscle growth, develop strength, and boost brain health.

This vegan product uses a clean formula that contains no soy, gluten, sugar, and anything artificial, so consumers are assured of its safety.

It also has enough plant-based protein to help you feel satiated, which is beneficial if you're also trying to shed unwanted pounds.

Our #1 Shake for Teens

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+
Protein per Serving
20g
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Pros
  • Supports brain and muscle health
  • Helps build strength
  • Third-party tested for banned substances
  • No sugar, soy, gluten, GMOs, and artificial ingredients
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of September
Cons
  • Only available in one flavor

Was this article helpful?

About The Author

You May Also Like

9 thoughts on “The Best Protein Powders for Teenagers And High School Athletes

  1. Hi! I’m a coach of teenage athletes. Thanks for providing people like me a list of the best weight gainer for teenage athletes. My students have always asked me if weight gainers are effective. I’ll just show this article to them. Thanks again!

  2. Hello, I am 14 years old, 5’5 and weigh 143 pounds. I began lifting weights last year, but it was sporadic. I’m still working out and seeing some results. Glad that you provided us some list of protein shakes for 14 year olds here. It seems like a taboo in other places.

    Grateful!

  3. I’m a high school athlete and I love Transparent Labs Protein. There are so many different flavors to choose from, it’s really hard to choose which one you want. The taste is incredible and I can’t believe how much better it makes me feel during my workouts. I used to get sick all the time but now that I’ve switched to Transparent Labs Protein.

  4. I have been using Transparent Labs Protein for a few years now and I could not recommend it more. It is the best protein powder out there for teenagers. The taste is great, it mixes really well, and always leaves me feeling satisfied after my workouts. My high school sports coach has seen a huge difference in my performance since I started using this product too.

  5. I am a high school baseball player and I need to refuel my body with protein after every practice and game. Transparent Labs Protein is the best protein powders for teenagers and athletes because it has just the right amount of calories, carbs, and protein needed. It’s not too expensive either!

  6. I can’t believe what I’m hearing! My 16-year-old son is on the new PaleoPro Protein Powder and it’s completely changed his life. His grades are better, he has more energy, and his skin cleared up instantly. He doesn’t even want to eat fast food anymore!

  7. I really enjoyed trying Amazing Nutrition. It’s the best protein powder for teenagers and high school athletes. I have tried a bunch of different brands, but this one really stands out. It was very easy to mix with water, which is the only thing I drink, and it tastes great! Plus it has all the vitamins and nutrients that are important for my fitness goals.

  8. I am a high school athlete and I’ve been struggling with getting enough protein in my diet. This is why I was really excited to try out ORIGIN whey. The taste is great and it gives me plenty of energy throughout the day to maintain my workouts and perform better on the field.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published.