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The Best Tasting Vanilla Protein Powder – Buyer’s Guide

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Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 28, 2021

Vanilla is one of the most popular flavors for everything for a good reason. It has a rich smell and taste.

It’s no surprise that for many protein powders, vanilla tastes a little different. Some of them can’t seem to get the flavor right. It’s either too sweet or too bland.

I took the time to try out some best-tasting vanilla protein powders to find the best one.

Here is what I discovered about the best vanilla-flavored protein powder in the market.

Our Top Tasting Vanilla Protein Powders

1 - Transparent Labs Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate (Editor's Choice)

Transparent Labs thumb

This whey isolate means that the protein content is higher than its concentrate counterpart, with 24 grams of protein for every scoop.

According to Transparent Labs, this product is less processed than most isolates. In fact, it has more immunoglobulins, cysteine, and the prebiotic lactoferrin, which help boost the immune system.

French Vanilla has a classic taste that mixes well with other fluids. They have 5 other flavors available; salted caramel, strawberry, milk chocolate, mocha, and cinnamon pastry.

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Fat: 0g
Pros
  • 100% grass-fed cows are used
  • Contains immune system boosters
  • Lots of protein despite being whey protein concentrate
Cons
  • Protein concentrate isn’t the best version of whey source

I personally reach out for either the vanilla or milk chocolate flavor for my morning smoothie.

2 - Ladder Whey Protein

Ladder

Ladder used vanilla beans to create that natural vanilla flavor, mixing in some salt and a little hint of natural sweetener to bolden up the taste.

The result is a healthy protein drink that tastes like your favorite vanilla ice cream.

We also did a review on this Ladder protein powder.

  • Calories: 130
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbs: 5g
  • Fat: 0.5g
Pros
  • CFS Certified
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Excellent taste without artificial sweeteners
  • Complete of essential and branched-chain amino acids
Cons
  • A little bit on the pricier side

It’s like drinking your favorite dessert shake and getting the essential nutrients your body needs.

3 - Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Ora Organic thumb

Ora has a unique vegan protein powder available with not one, not two, but THREE protein sources; rice, pea, and hemp.

On top of that, it has over 20 high-quality organic superfoods to help support your cognitive function and muscle function.

Their vanilla flavor gets lots of rave reviews for having a clean taste. I only mix it with water, and it tastes great.

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 21g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 2.5g
Pros
  • Vegan-friendly
  • USDA Organic
Cons
  • A little gritty texture if you don’t shake well

You can’t go wrong with their other two flavors though; Chocolate and Vanilla Chai are delicious in their own right.

This one is considered one of the best protein powders in the vegan community.

I have been searching to find a plant-based protein powder that was tasty and not chalky. This powder passed the test!

Gayla W, Ora User

4 - Legion Whey+

Legion Whey+ Protein

Legion Whey+ prides themselves on having one of the cleanest whey isolate protein powders on the market. This whey isolate also claims to be to digested easier than its concentrate version.

Each serving has 22 grams of protein, and it’s all non-GMO and from 100% grass-fed cows.

This product is more expensive compared to others, but it may be worth it to you based on their quality.

  • Calories: 100
  • Protein: 22g
  • Carbs: 2g
  • Fat: 0g
Pros
  • Uses whey isolate protein
  • Non-GMO
  • No hormones, fillers, or unnecessary ingredients
Cons
  • Pricey

The vanilla flavor is very sweet and has a creamy texture after it’s been mixed with a liquid. So if you're not keen on sweets, it's something to consider.

They have 8 other flavors besides vanilla, including mint chocolate, cookies & cream, and strawberry banana.

5 - BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder

bsn product

Their vanilla flavor is called “vanilla ice cream”, which made me wonder how sweet this powder was going to taste.

Sure enough,  unlike most of the protein powders on this list, it was pretty sweet, just like vanilla ice cream.

In addition, it was also hard to mix, so the little balls were definitely reminiscent of ice cream.

  • Calories: 200
  • Protein: 22g
  • Carbs: 14g
  • Fat: 6g
Pros
  • Sweet flavor
  • Lots of protein sources
  • Tastes great even if you only add water
Cons
  • Hard to mix

Each scoop has 22 grams of protein, and the protein source includes whey isolate, whey concentrate, casein protein powder, and more. Other flavors include chocolate milkshake, strawberry milkshake, and chocolate peanut butter.

6 - MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

Muscle Pharm Combat Protein Powder

The vanilla flavor tastes great and can easily be combined with chocolate milk (or any dairy or non-dairy milk), fruits, and vegetables to make a delicious protein drink.

Each serving has 25 grams of protein and comes from 5 different protein sources; whey isolate and concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate, egg albumin, and micellar casein.

MusclePharm claims that this blend helps with muscle building, aids in recovery, and assist in overall muscle performance, which makes it ideal for runners and other athletes.

  • Calories: 130
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 1.5g
Pros
  • 5 different types of protein sources
  • Informed-Choice certified
  • Affordable option
Cons
  • Doesn’t mix well

With my experience, I had a problem getting the powder to blend with any liquid. I wasn’t a fan of the chunkiness.

7 - Cellucor COR-Performance Powder

Cellucor COR-Performance Protein Powder

This vanilla flavor is called “Whipped Vanilla”. A name like that made me expect the texture would be frothy.

It turned out really thick when mixed with water, and I wasn’t a total fan of that.

Otherwise, the taste is better than most unflavored protein powders. They also have different flavors like cinnamon swirl and peanut butter marshmallow.

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 1.5g
Pros
  • 24 grams of protein
  • Good taste
  • Uses whey isolate
Cons
  • Thick texture

This brand uses whey isolate as their protein source, which means you are getting the most protein-packed whey source.

8 - Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed Protein Powder

Dymatize

This brand has two vanilla flavors; gourmet vanilla and natural vanilla. I tried the gourmet vanilla flavor.

I mixed it with water, and I was surprised by how sweet it was. If you have a sweet tooth, then you’ll like this flavor.

Otherwise, you might get sick of it in a few days.

  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 25g
  • Carbs: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
Pros
  • Lots of flavors if you want more than vanilla
  • Uses whey isolate
  • Zero carbohydrates and zero fat
Cons
  • Uses artificial flavors

Each serving has 25 grams of protein. However, it comes with artificial flavoring, which isn’t an ingredient that I like in my protein powders. They have many other flavors available like smooth banana and dutch chocolate.

9 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition is a whey protein blend in their protein powder: whey isolates, whey concentrate, and whey peptides.

I was impressed that this also contains over 5 grams of BCAAs, which can help with your fitness routine. So I felt like this would help me gain muscle over time.

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbs: 4g
  • Fat: 1g
Pros
  • Uses whey isolates
  • Contains BCAAs
  • Blends easily
Cons
  • Very sweet

I was happy that the powder mixed well with water and didn’t leave behind any small clumps. However, the vanilla flavor is pretty sweet. I balanced it out by adding ingredients like frozen fruit and lemon juice to make it less sweet and more to my preference.

Related post: BCAA vs. Whey Protein Supplement

10 - MuscleTech Phase8 Protein

Muscle Tech

This is another protein blend powder. It has 7 different protein sources from whey, milk, and eggs.

It seems like overkill, but the company says it allows amino acids (AAs) to be released for 8 hours after consumption. One scoop has 26 grams of protein.

The vanilla tasting was great. It was exactly the way it should taste. However, the texture is thick and chalky.

  • Calories: 150
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbs: 8g
  • Fat: 1.5g
Pros
  • Takes 8 hours to release AAs
  • Delicious vanilla flavor
  • 7 different protein sources
Cons
  • Contains artificial flavors

I can see this being a dealbreaker for some people. I wasn’t too impressed with the ingredient list as it contains artificial flavors and lots of ingredients with names that I couldn’t pronounce.

11 - Yuve Vegan Protein Powder

Yuve

If you’re looking for a vegan vanilla flavor, then you might love this one.

It uses a plant-based proteins in the form of rice and pea proteinborw. This ensures that you are getting a complete amino acid profile.

However, it only has 15 grams of protein per serving which is the lowest protein amount out of all of the products I’ve tried.

The vanilla flavor is pretty good, but it was a little too sweet for me. I thought it mixed well, and it tasted delicious when I combined it with other ingredients for a protein drink.

  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbs: 12g
  • Fat: 2.5g
Pros
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Has a complete essential amino acid content
  • Sweet vanilla taste
Cons
  • Most expensive per serving

It’s the most expensive per serving on this products list while also having the lowest protein amount, so it may not be the most cost-effective choice.

Why Should You Pick Vanilla Over Other Flavors?

You should pick vanilla over other flavors because it’s easier to mix with other ingredients. You can easily combine vanilla flavored products with healthy ingredients like yogurt, fruit, honey, and vegetables. It doesn’t mess with tasting as much as other flavors, like chocolate flavor might.

Is Whey or Plant-Based Protein Better for You?

vegetables

There are a few key differences that may sway you to one side or the other. It can depend on your goals.

  • Plant-based protein doesn’t always have a complete amino acid profile. Sometimes a plant protein blend is needed for it to have the complete protein. Whey is always considered a complete protein.
  • Vegetarians or vegans will prefer plant-based protein powder because there are no animal ingredients.
  • Pea protein is just as effective as whey protein with building muscle [1]

In terms of effectiveness, both whey and plant-based protein products can get you the protein supplement that you need.

Your health and dietary goals might make plant-based protein more attractive if you are avoiding animal products.

However, if your nutrition goals include consuming a protein supplement with a complete amino acid profile, then you might want to look at whey-based proteins. [2]

If you want to decide which protein powder is better for you, you might want to dig deeper and evaluate the ingredients in your choices. I would recommend checking for calories, artificial flavors, filler ingredients, and added sugar.

Here is an in-depth guide to Plant Protein vs. Whey: Here’s What You Need to Know

How Do I Pick the Right Protein Powder for Me?

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FAQs

Best tasting vanilla protein powder FAQ Banner

When is the best time to take protein powder?

The best time to take protein powder is debated greatly with studies conflicting with each other. One study suggests taking it within two hours of working out. Another study says it doesn’t matter what time as long as you take enough protein.

What can I add to a vanilla-flavored protein shake?

You can add pretty much anything to a vanilla-flavored protein shake. Vanilla can easily be mixed with other healthy ingredients since vanilla normally just adds sweetness. The list of potential ingredients include fruit, sugar, sweeteners, yogurt, cinnamon, chocolate peanut butter, vanilla ice cream, and whatever else you think would taste good with vanilla.

How much protein do I need a day?

How much protein you need a day depends on many factors like age, gender, diet, and activity level.

For example, an average male who is at a healthy weight and doesn’t lift weights or exercise much should aim for 56-91 grams of protein a day. An average woman who meets the same criteria will need 46-75 grams per day.

You should consult with a doctor or nutritionist to find the amount of protein that you specifically need for your diet.

Is protein powder good for weight loss?

Yes, protein powder can be good for weight loss. One study shows that protein helps with keeping you full longer. In theory, this means you will eat less and therefore consume fewer calories which helps your diet. Protein shakes in between meals may boost your protein intake and help you stop eating too many calories.

Of course, you’ll need to workout too for the best results.

Is protein powder good for muscle gain?

Yes, protein powder is good for muscle gain. Protein is necessary to help build muscle strength. It contains essential amino acids which your body needs to aid in muscle development. If your protein intake from the food you are eating is lacking, then you should consider a protein powder to help with muscle gain.

The Best-Tasting Vanilla Protein Powder Is ...

Vanilla-flavored protein powders are a great base to make delicious protein shakes. Luckily, there are a lot of available options that taste great.

There is one that stood out to me though.

I enjoyed the Transparent Labs the most, I think it's one of the best-tasting vanilla protein powders out of all those I tried.

Because it’s whey isolate, I get more out of its protein content.

I also appreciate that it’s from grass-fed sources. I gravitate towards grass-fed protein sources for my whey supplements, I think it makes the content cleaner and more natural.

And there’s no chalky and weird taste or texture, so I can take it with just water or flavor it with some berries.

Have you tried any of these vanilla-flavored protein powders? What did you like?

Our #1 Vanilla Protein Powder

Transparent Labs Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Transparent Labs thumb
Protein per Serving
28g
Taste
5.0
Ingredient Quality
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score
5.0
Click For Best Price
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Pros
  • 100% grass-fed cows are used
  • Contains immune system boosters
  • Lots of protein despite being whey protein concentrate
Cons
  • Protein concentrate isn’t the best version of whey source

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