When you're working hard towards fitness and weight loss goals, it's all about tough workouts and cutting out all the unhealthy foods. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some delicious post-workout recovery protein shakes.
Unfortunately, through my years of experience as a fitness coach, I have to say that so many chocolate protein powders are utterly terrible. Some taste great but are full of sugar and empty calories.
And then there's those with great nutritional values but a totally fake chocolate taste.
So, our team here at Total Shape set out on a mission to bring you the best tasting products.
Our Top Product Recommendations
#1 Transparent Labs
#2 Performance Lab
#4 Ora Organic
#5 My Protein
1. Transparent Labs (Editor's Choice)
Of all the chocolate protein powders we tested out, we all seemed to agree that Transparent Labs is one of the best tasting products.
It contains high-quality ingredients that are favored by many athletes to help build muscle and reduce post-workout fatigue.
The only downside I can note is that it would be great if it was available in larger tubs.
2. Performance Lab Protein (Brown Rice Chocolate Flavor)
For those that are dairy intolerant or vegan, this Performance Lab option may be the best choice.
The maker, OptiNutra, also claims that it's an excellent choice for appetite suppression, which quite a few users confirm.
The only thing I would say is that I agree with some reviews that say it's not one of the easiest protein powders to shake up with water.
3. PaleoPro Protein Powder (Ancient Cacao Flavor)
This is one of the protein powders we recommend for anyone on the paleo diet, but other non-vegan athletes may also gain benefits from the collagen it contains.
Studies have shown that it may help with joint pain .
I wasn't a big fan of the texture straight from the shaker, but the powder works well in a blender.
4. Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder (Chocolate Flavor)
I'm a big fan of organic protein powders, and this vegan one is a good choice to make.
With no fillers or artificial sweeteners, you're only getting what your muscles need.
The only thing on the negative side is that it's best to plan to blend it for optimum taste and consistency.
5. MyProtein Whey Protein (Chocolate Flavor)
If you're on a calorie-restricted diet, then Impact Whey may be the best choice.
Of all the protein powders we researched, this product is lowest when it comes to calories.
Before you hit the order button on their offical website, just keep in mind that delivery is only free on orders over $49.
6. Legion Whey+ Protein (Chocolate Flavor)
What made this one stand out from all the other protein powders was the processing technique used.
Legion uses a cold filtration process as standard, which claims to have less of a negative effect on the structure of the proteins.
On the downside, we did find that it was one of the sweeter tasting powders during our testing.
7. Yuve Vegan Protein Powder (Chocolate Flavor)
This is another good vegan option that combines pea and rice protein to get the full nutritional benefits of a complete amino acid profile.
Some people say it's an excellent choice due to the included superfoods and fiber, which may help with immune and digestive health.
Of all the chocolate flavors we tried out, this is a little bit fake-tasting.
8. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey (Double Rich Chocolate Flavor)
Gold Standard is possibly one of the most recognized sports nutrition brands, and this whey powder has a nice taste that doesn't require a blender.
It's also a low-carb and calorie option to help support losing body weight.
Just avoid using it with hot water and beverages, as it does tend to curdle a bit.
9. Muscle Pharm Combat Protein Powder (Chocolate Milk Flavor)
The final one of our tested protein powders that made this list is Muscle Pharm.
It's the only one with a certificate for not containing any banned substances, which may be important for professional athletes.
While it has an excellent blend of 5 different proteins, it is a bit higher in cholesterol than all the other protein powders above.
What Should Influence Your Decision For Protein Powders?
We’ve broken the answer to this down into 6 points.
1. Protein Source
Protein powders are available from many different animal and plant sources, and your choice may come down to your diet or some allergies. Whey is by far the most common dairy protein powder, but you'll also find soy, rice, pea, and hemp products are becoming more common .
2. Nutritional Values
Some of the best products we found were all low in carbs and fat. The reason this is an excellent feature is that it won't end up messing with your diet, making it easy to integrate the supplement with your meal plans.
3. Essential Amino Acids
If you're trying to build some lean muscle mass, then you have to make sure that your chosen product has all 9 essential amino acids listed on the contents. One of the best ways to ensure this is by choosing whey protein .
If you are an athlete or highly active person attempting to lose body fat while preserving lean muscle mass, a daily intake of 1.5-2.2g/kg body weight (0.68-1g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.
You would think that all protein powders have the same kind of consistency. However, pretty much all protein shakes are quite unique. You'll also notice a very different texture dependent on whether you use water, milk, or juice.
5. Suitability For Combining With Other Foods
Some athletes combine their protein powder with other foods to create a kind of meal replacement.
6. Does It Mix Easily?
I already mentioned the texture above, but protein powders tend to differ in how easy it is to mix them. If it's easy in a shaker, then that's a great indicator that you could end up with something that tastes like a chocolate milkshake.
Which flavor is best for protein powder?
Chocolate flavors are best for protein powder, with vanilla being a close second. The main reason for this is that when you find a product with natural flavors, then you won't get that fake and disgusting taste.
Is flavored whey protein bad?
No, flavored whey protein is not bad as long as it doesn't have artificial sweeteners and flavors added. You should always check the nutritional content label, and if it's not all-natural, then you may be looking at something that won't have a great taste.
What can I mix with protein powder to make it taste better?
You can mix milk or fruit juice with protein powder to make it taste better. Another alternative is to add some natural cooking flavors like vanilla essence to unflavored protein powder.
Our #1 Choice?
If you're aiming to build muscle or improve your recovery times, then I would recommend Transparent Labs. I have struggled to find a better option when it comes to quality and nutritional values.
The company does live up to its name by only including valuable ingredients and being completely open about what's in it.
If you've found some other chocolate protein products that taste great, then let us know on social media, and we can research them as well.
Transparent Labs Protein Series
Our #1 Best-Tasting Chocolate Protein Powder