12 Best Tasting Protein Powders (2024 Review) Tried & Tested

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 14, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

Over the past eleven years of my practice as a fitness trainer, I have provided many clients with recommendations on supplements and meal plans based on nutritional needs. However, it is also important for clients that their supplements taste good.

While many protein powders can meet our requirements, finding one that tastes good may be challenging.

I spent eight weeks testing the products and consulting with my dietitian to ensure the protein intake and product taste were right to compile a list of the best tasting protein powders.

Let’s dive into it.

The Best-Tasting Protein Powders

Editor's Choice
Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate
Transparent Labs
Rated 5.0/5
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
Ladder Whey Protein
Ladder Whey Protein
Rated 4.9/5
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
Swolverine Whey Protein Powder
Swolverine
Rated 4.8/5
Click For Best Price

Our 12 Best-Tasting Protein Powders (May 2024)

1 - Transparent Labs (Best Overall & Most Delicious Chocolate Flavor)

Rated 5.0/5
5.0
Effectiveness
5.0
Ingredients
4.8
Price
5.0
Taste
Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate
  • Protein : 28g
  • Sodium : 140mg
  • Fat : 2.5g
  • Carbohydrates : 2g

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Manufactured in FDA-approved facilities
  • Third-party tested
  • Fast-acting protein source
  • Amazing flavor options, such as chocolate peanut butter

Cons

  • Not as affordable as other similar pre-workouts

When I first tried this protein isolate, I was doubtful. Yet, the milk chocolate flavor totally changed my mind, with its taste, smooth texture, and easy mixing.

It took me back to the creamy hot chocolates of my youth. Plus, there's no artificial flavor worry – Transparent Labs uses natural stevia. Mix it with water for a classic taste, or milk for a dark chocolate twist.

This product uses protein concentrate, skipping extra filtration, which according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), keeps vital immunity boosters like cysteine and Lactoferrin [1].

It's a top pick for those seeking lean whey concentrate, packing 28g of protein, just 2.5g of fat, 2g of carbs, and zero sugar.

Nutritional Facts per Serving

2 - Ladder Whey Protein (Best for Beginners)

Rated 4.9/5
5.0
Effectiveness
4.8
Ingredients
4.7
Price
5.0
Taste
Ladder Whey Protein
  • Calories : 130
  • Sugar : 3g
  • Protein : 26g
  • Fiber : 2g
  • Carbs : 6g
  • Fat : 1g

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • NSF certified
  • All-natural protein sourced from grass-fed cows
  • It comes in convenient, pre-measured packets

Cons

  • Online reviewers say it needs a mixer to blend well

I recall the anticipation as I mixed my first glass of Ladder Whey Protein. The buzz was everywhere, and my expectations were sky-high. The first sip? A revelation. It was a harmonious blend of taste and texture, proving that the buzz was well-deserved.

It's among the best-tasting protein powders I've tried; it comes in two flavors: vanilla and chocolate.

Most clients prefer the best-tasting chocolate protein powder flavor; they say it tastes more like dark chocolate and is the perfect balance between sweet and bitter.

The vanilla flavor is more of a treat for people with a sweet tooth because the taste is closer to vanilla ice cream than creme.

Besides the taste, this supplement has been proven efficient during our evaluation. It helped trial participants improve muscle recovery and increase strength and endurance.

If you are still considering this product, check out our honest review below:

Nutritional Facts per Serving

3 - Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate (Best Grass-Fed and Low-Carb)

Rated 4.8/5
5.0
Effectiveness
4.7
Ingredients
4.6
Price
5.0
Taste
Swolverine Whey Protein Powder
  • Calories : 110
  • Sodium : 65mg
  • Total Fat : 0.5g
  • Cholesterol : 5mg
  • Protein : 26g
  • Total Carbohydrate : 2g
  • Sugars : 1g
  • Calcium : 122mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • rBGH free
  • Has added BCAAs and digestive enzymes
  • Soy-free

Cons

  • Contains Sucralose (artificial sweetener)

I still remember the day my colleague handed me a tub of Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate. The honey cinnamon peanut butter flavor was unlike anything I’d tasted before - a perfect balance of sweetness and spice, making each post-workout recovery session something to look forward to.

I was impressed by its three flavors (vanilla, honey cinnamon peanut butter, and chocolate flavor) and its smooth texture.  The creamy texture and rich flavor profile ensure the tasting experience never gets old.

A few of my clients experienced bloating and stomach cramps minutes after the protein intake, but this stopped with time. In my case, I am not particularly sensitive to any ingredients, so I didn't feel any adverse effects.

Nutritional Facts per Serving

4 - MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder (Best Gluten-Free)

Rated 4.8/5
4.9
Effectiveness
5.0
Ingredients
4.6
Price
4.7
Taste
MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder
  • Calories : 130
  • Protein : 25g
  • Total Fat : 1.5g
  • Cholesterol : 46mg
  • Dietary Fiber : 1g
  • Sodium : 150mg
  • Total Carbohydrate : 5g
  • Sugars : 2g

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Gluten-free whey protein powders
  • Perfect for individuals on a keto diet
  • High-quality ingredients

Cons

  • High in sodium

MusclePharm Combat's Isolate whey protein powder boasts 25 g of protein from five sources, both fast and slow-digesting.

Color me intrigued and doubtful, but one sip of the chocolate milk flavor turned me into a convert. The taste was great, but the real kicker was the energy boost. My workouts stretched longer, recovery sped up, and my endurance skyrocketed.

As a Keto dieter, this powder is my holy grail. It packs a protein punch with minimal carbs and sugar. My clients usually grab it pre-workout in the morning.

Evening exercisers prefer it post-work.

The chocolate milk flavor? More dark chocolate than milk, but still a knockout, especially with milk mixed in.

Nutritional Facts per Serving 

5 - Live Conscious Protein (Best Vegan & Most Delicious Vanilla Flavor)

Rated 4.8/5
4.9
Effectiveness
4.8
Ingredients
4.7
Price
4.7
Taste
Live Conscious Protein
  • Calories : 80
  • Protein : 15g
  • Carbs : 3g
  • Fat : 0.5g

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • All-natural organic plant-based protein ingredients
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Manufactured in FDA approved facility

Cons

  • Low stock, especially for the vanilla protein powder

Cracking open my first pack of Live Conscious Protein was a thrill. Each scoop was a flavor-filled step towards wellness, transforming it from mere supplement to a key part of my health journey.

It's packed with four organic plant proteins: Sacha inchi seed, yellow pea, brown rice, and pumpkin seeds. These, according to NIH, provides nine essential amino acids, crucial for muscle repair, growth, and overall wellness [2,3].

I often suggest it to plant-based diet followers. Despite the stevia, they're fans, especially of the vanilla dream and cosmic cacao flavors.

I find that it blends well with the smoothie, and the taste makes me feel full afterward.

Nutritional Facts per Serving

6 - Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Effectiveness
4.7
Ingredients
4.5
Price
4.9
Taste
Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder
  • Protein : 1g
  • Carbohydrates : 4g
  • Calcium : 28mg
  • Iron : 6mg
  • Fiber : 1.1g
  • Sodium : 390mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 100% refund policy
  • Suitable for vegan diets
  • Organic ingredients

Cons

  • Expensive compared to similar products

So Lean & So Clean claims that its vegan protein powder contains nineteen superfoods and offers all the essential and non-essential amino acids.

Many online reviewers say that the plant-based protein powder gives them better recovery from workouts and makes them feel nourished.

I remember the skepticism on my vegan clients’ faces when I first introduced them to Ora Organic. But each feedback was a story of conversion. Personally, the blend of superfoods and the distinct flavor made my smoothies a delightful ritual, proving that wellness and taste could coexist beautifully.

I like the product because it has no added sugar or post-protein bloat, and it has a distinct great flavor that isn't too sweet or bitter.

Nutritional Facts per Serving

7 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Rated 4.7/5
4.7
Effectiveness
4.7
Ingredients
4.4
Price
4.9
Taste
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
  • Calories : 110
  • Sugar : 2g
  • Protein : 24g
  • Carbs : 2g

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent flavor and taste, especially the vanilla ice cream
  • Contains creatine, L-citrulline, and L-carnitine
  • All-natural ingredients

Cons

  • 175mg (per scoop) may be too much caffeine for some individuals

The manufacturer indicates that the product contains two grams of total carbs per serving, perfect for individuals who want to lose some pounds.

Many individuals ranked it as the best-tasting protein powder and particularly liked the vanilla ice cream flavor, which had just the right sweetness.

I was one of the skeptics until I tried the vanilla ice cream flavor. It was a melody of taste and texture, proving that Optimum Nutrition had indeed struck gold. Each serving was a reminder of why it remained a favorite among my clients and me.

Here we did a thorough taste-test to see which Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard is the best tasting.

Nutritional Facts per Serving

8 - Legion Whey+ Vanilla Whey Isolate Protein

Rated 4.6/5
4.7
Effectiveness
4.6
Ingredients
4.4
Price
4.8
Taste
Legion Whey+ Vanilla Whey Isolate Protein
  • Proteins : 22g
  • Sodium : 125mg
  • Protein : 22g
  • Calcium : 136mg
  • Iron : 0.83mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Natural sweeteners and flavors
  • 100% money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Some reviewers claim to feel bloated after taking

Legion Whey+ is a 100% natural grass-fed whey isolate protein powder, crafted from organic dairy milk using cold filtration for intact, undenatured protein.

Tasting it was a revelation. Its natural flavors popped, and the lack of artificial dyes made it a guilt-free treat. More than just a supplement, it's a tribute to natural goodness.

Online, most reviewers note it needs a blender for a smooth mix, but the effort pays off in a tasty shake.

With 14 Stevia-sweetened flavors, including classics like chocolate and unique ones like strawberry banana, you're spoiled for choice.

Nutritional Facts per Serving 

9 - BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder (Best Budget-Friendly)

Rated 4.6/5
4.7
Effectiveness
4.5
Ingredients
4.4
Price
4.7
Taste
BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder
  • Calories : 200
  • Total Fat : 6g
  • Cholesterol : 55mg
  • Sodium : 220mg
  • Carbohydrate : 15g
  • Fiber : 1g
  • Protein : 22g
  • Potassium : 300mg
  • Calcium : 150mg
  • Iron : 1.1mg
  • Magnesium : 24 mg
  • Phosphorus : 150 mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great mixability
  • Fantastic Taste
  • Relatively cheaper compared to similar products

Cons

  • High calorie and fat content

I've suggested BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder to 24 clients, and they've all seen significant wellness benefits. However, at 200 calories a serving, it's not ideal for weight loss.

The label says mix one scoop with 4–5 ounces of water or milk, but that's too sweet for my taste. I learned that a bit more water turns it into a creamy, enjoyable shake, enhancing the post-workout recovery experience.

For a fruity twist, try the banana flavor. It nails the taste, reminiscent of tutti frutti but leaning towards a banana milkshake.

Nutritional Facts per Serving

10 - SFH Pure Whey Protein Powder

Rated 4.6/5
4.6
Effectiveness
4.5
Ingredients
4.4
Price
4.7
Taste
SFH Pure Whey Protein Powder
  • Calories : 110
  • Potassium : 135mg
  • Total fat : 1g
  • Sodium : 40mg
  • Total Carbohydrates : 3g
  • Protein : 23g
  • Cholesterol : 25mg
  • Calcium : 110mg

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Outstanding nutritional profile
  • Exceptional taste
  • Easily digestible

Cons

  • It contains too many artificial sweeteners

A colleague, whose wife has a severe soy allergy, introduced me to this protein powder. He found it to be the tastiest among soy-free options. For those okay with milk, mixing SFH creates a sweet, creamy drink.

Since then, I've recommended it to about ten soy-allergic clients, and they've all loved it. Most prefer mixing it with water or blending their extras first for a smooth texture.

Curiosity led me to bake with SFH Pure, and the result was a flavor explosion. It transformed ordinary recipes into gourmet treats, proving it's more than just a protein powder.

Nutritional Facts per Serving

11 - Cellucor COR-Performance Powder

Rated 4.5/5
4.5
Effectiveness
4.5
Ingredients
4.4
Price
4.7
Taste
Cellucor COR-Performance Powder
  • Total fat : 1.5g
  • Cholesterol : 35mg
  • Sodium : 130mg
  • Carbohydrates : 4g
  • Sugars : 2g
  • Protein : 24g

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent mixability
  • Fantastic variety of flavors
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • A little high in sodium

A friend introduced me to this protein powder, raving about its flavors. The first sip was a creamy, rich vanilla dream, a perfect mix of old-school taste and modern nutrition, courtesy of Cellucor.

Some online reviews mention a weird aftertaste, but that wasn't my experience. Initially, I struggled with clumps, but a two-minute shake, as my dietician suggested, fixed that.

Cellucor also offers peanut butter and marshmallow flavors. Mixed with milk, it's a creamy, marshmallow delight. With water, the roasted nut flavor stands out.

Nutritional Facts per Serving 

12 - Myprotein® Impact Whey Protein Powder (Best for Muscle Growth)

Rated 4.5/5
4.4
Effectiveness
4.5
Ingredients
4.4
Price
4.7
Taste
Myprotein Impact Whey
  • Calories : 100
  • Total fat : 1g
  • Protein : 19g
  • Cholesterol : 65mg
  • Sugars : 1g
  • Sodium : 40mg
  • Total carbohydrate : 3g

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Outstanding nutritional profile
  • Exceptional taste
  • Easily digestible

Cons

  • It contains too many artificial sweeteners

Myprotein® Impact Whey Protein Powder is touted for its high-quality protein that aids muscle growth. Several clients have confirmed its effectiveness in increasing muscle mass.

Mixing it with milk was a game-changer for me. The rich flavors and smooth texture elevated the protein shake from mere nutrition to a soulful treat.

I encountered a packaging issue with my first 2.5kg order arriving open. However, the company promptly replaced it upon return.

Flavor-wise, there's plenty to choose from, with 16 options available.

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, you will love the wide variety, from birthday cake to salted caramel. If you want something safe, consider buying the best-tasting vanilla protein powder or the recommended unflavored protein powder options.

Nutritional Facts per Serving

How We Chose the Best-Tasting Protein Powders

A person drinking protein powder

Ingredient Quality

As a fitness coach, I've seen adverse effects from improper protein powder ingredients, which according to NIH, often contain artificial or zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia [4].

While stevia is generally safe, it's often mixed with sorbitol and xylitol, which can cause digestive issues.

Although protein powders are nutritionally beneficial, finding one with a good taste, crucial for consistent use, is challenging.

Blind Taste Tests & Mixability

We conducted blind taste tests of each protein powder to evaluate flavor objectively. Team members with varying taste preferences sampled each product without knowing the brand to avoid bias.

We tested how well each powder mixed with various liquids. Our team prepared shakes using water, milk, and plant-based alternatives in real kitchen settings to mimic typical user experiences.

Intolerances and Sensitivities

A woman holding a bottle of protein powder

Team members with dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, tested suitable products to assess digestibility and any adverse reactions.

I often advise my clients with intolerances to opt for alternatives like pea protein.

Value For Money

I advise clients to consider cost per serving over total cost and size when choosing protein powders. Despite similar appearances, two tubs can offer different values.

Here is an example:

  • Protein powder A: $20, 2 lbs. total weight, 24g of protein per serving, 20 servings
  • Protein powder B: $23, 2 lbs. total weight, 24g of protein per serving, 28 servings

For example, Protein Powder B, slightly more expensive, provides more servings and saves $0.18 per serving compared to Powder A, leading to significant annual savings.

Additives and Fillers

Close up shot of a bearded man drinking protein shake

Fillers and additives are components that a manufacturer adds to bulk up the protein content, save money, and reduce clumping.

Online reviews and medical studies reveal that fillers in protein powders may lead to digestive issues [5].

To ensure quality, calculate the protein percentage using the formula: (Protein per serving / Total serving weight) X 100.

Choose powders with over 50% protein for better quality and fewer fillers.

Buyer's Guide for the Best-Tasting Protein Powders

When looking to buy the best tasting protein powders, consider the following factors:

  1. Protein Type: Choose between whey, casein, soy, pea, rice, hemp, or a blend, depending on dietary restrictions (like vegan or lactose intolerance) and personal preference.
  2. Flavor: Look for a flavor that appeals to you. Common options include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and more exotic flavors.
  3. Sweeteners: Check if the powder uses natural or artificial sweeteners. Some people prefer stevia or monk fruit over sucralose or aspartame.
  4. Protein Content: Evaluate the amount of protein per serving. Higher protein content may be more beneficial for muscle building and recovery.
  5. Amino Acid Profile: Check for a complete amino acid profile, especially if you're choosing a plant-based protein.
  6. Mixability: Consider how well the powder mixes with water or milk. Clumpy protein powder can be unappetizing.
  7. Texture: Some powders are smoother, while others might be grainy. Personal preference plays a big role here.
  8. Nutritional Value: Look at the calorie, carb, and fat content, especially if you're tracking macros or have specific dietary goals.
  9. Brand Reputation: Choose brands with good customer reviews and transparent about their sourcing and manufacturing processes.
  10. Third-Party Testing: Look for products that have been third-party tested for quality and purity.

The Role of Artificial Sweeteners in Flavor

Protein powders often use artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin to add sweetness without sugar calories.

Though deemed safe by authorities, there's debate over their health effects, including possible metabolic shifts, gut microbiota changes, and heightened sweet cravings [6].

Responses to these sweeteners vary, so it's wise to use them sparingly. For those wary of potential risks, opting for powders sweetened with natural options like stevia or monk fruit is a sweeter, possibly healthier choice.

FAQs

How Do You Make Protein Powders Taste Better?

To make your protein powders taste better, mix your protein powders with dairy or plant milk instead of water to obtain a creamier milkshake-like texture. You can also improve the taste by combining it with a serving of fruit or a tablespoon of peanut butter.

What Is the Best Way to Take Protein Powders?

The best way to take protein powders is to drink them with water or mix them with flavored fluids like coconut milk, almond milk, or regular milk. While some people prefer to take it straight, mixing it with other ingredients can help improve the taste and texture.

Which Whey Protein Flavor Tastes Best?

Vanilla whey protein flavor tastes best. Some other popular options include strawberry, cookies and cream, and chocolate flavor.

Can I Take Protein Powder if I’m Not Working Out?

Yes, you can still take protein powder if you're not working out. Protein powder can be a healthy way to get additional protein in your diet, which is beneficial for promoting satiety and helping to build and repair muscle tissue.

Our Verdict on the Best-Tasting Protein Powder

My personal favorite is Transparent Labs 100% grass-fed whey protein isolate. I love the taste of this product, with chocolate peanut butter being my favorite flavor.

The mixability of this protein powder is excellent; it blends very nicely with milk and water without leaving any significant dregs at the bottom.

Natural stevia sweeteners are also great for health-conscious people without compromising the richness of the taste.

The company’s commitment to transparency ensures you know what you’re getting.

Additionally, the price is excellent, considering its high-quality grass-fed whey isolate ingredients.

Our #1 Recommendation

Transparent Labs (Best Overall & Most Delicious Chocolate Flavor)

Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

5.0
Effectiveness
5.0
Ingredients
4.8
Price
5.0
Taste
Pros
  • Manufactured in FDA-approved facilities
  • Third-party tested
  • Fast-acting protein source
  • Amazing flavor options, such as chocolate peanut butter
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of May
Cons
  • Not as affordable as other similar pre-workouts
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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Our ingredients score is based on 3 factors including: transparency, blend disclosure, and dosage accuracy. We conduct third-party lab verification of ingredients. The score is an objective measure of the lab test results compared to the product label. For more information see our ingredients score explanation here.
Our price score is based 3 factors including: cost justification, market comparison, and overall value. The score is a subjective measurement of the product's value against its price when compared to similar products. For more information see our price score explanation here.
Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.