There are plenty of protein supplements available nowadays on the market. It may seem difficult to choose the one that suits better your sports goal.
If you are looking to build muscle mass and become bigger and stronger, you already may know that one of the most popular proteins among athletes is whey protein.
But have you asked yourself: what is the best whey protein powder for building muscle?
Before you go any further into reviewing any protein supplement available on the market nowadays, you may want to learn how to choose a protein powder so you can make the right choice both for your health and your sports goal.
You may also want to read about the Best Protein Powder For Muscle Growth.
The Evolutionary Pyramid of Whey Protein
From the above-mentioned article, you will find out that not all whey protein is created equal.
There are different types of whey protein that differ from each other by the level of purity and absorption time.
Thus, first comes whey concentrate which is one of the main and most popular forms of protein. It is part of many sports nutrition supplements.
Moreover, if you are looking specifically for a product containing only whey protein concentrate, you can easily find it at a relatively low cost, which is due to its not the purest formula: it may contain a certain amount of lactose and fat.
But still, it is worth noting that this type of protein is a great start for beginner athletes.
Whey concentrate can be used both before and after training. It can also be taken between meals.
The next one is whey isolate which is one of the fastest digestible types of protein. It also has a relatively high cost.
The product in its pure form without the content of other additives has a relatively small (or none at all) amount of carbohydrates/sugars.
Therefore, whey isolate is ideal for athletes who follow a low-carb diet. Since this type of protein is quick to absorb, it is great for taking both before and after training.
Whey isolate will provide the muscles with nutrients necessary for growth and recovery.
Finally, whey hydrolysate represents the highest quality source of protein. That is why the cost of the product is high.
It contains peptides that are characterized by an extremely high degree of assimilation and give a striking anabolic effect.
Moreover, whey hydrolysate has a better effect on the digestive system compared to whey concentrate, since it has a higher degree of purification.
If you want to quickly recover after a workout, quickly replenish glycogen stores, and also gain muscle mass faster, then this type of protein is definitely suitable for you.
You can use it both before and after workout.
Grass-fed Protein Vs. Normal Protein
The other thing worth taking into consideration when choosing the best whey protein powder for building muscle is the raw material that been used in the production of whey protein.
You will find some whey proteins that have the “grass-fed” label on their package.
In my opinion, this is the best whey protein that you can choose for yourself because it has been made using milk of cows that were grazing outdoors, and eating mostly grass, in comparison with grain-fed cows (the majority of cattle around the world) that are raised in feedlots and eat mostly an unnatural diet based on corn and soy.
Grass-fed protein contains higher amounts of certain nutrients, like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Omega 3 and some other antioxidants important for your brain and muscles.
It is lower in total calories but it is higher in nutritional value. Grass-fed protein also contains fewer growth hormones and antibiotics.
Best Whey Protein Powders For Building Muscle Compared
OK, now keep reading my post as I will further explain what protein supplements are better for this particular goal and why.
In this review, you will find the following products:
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
- NitroTech Protein Powder by MuscleTech
- Combat Protein Powder by MusclePharm
- Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder by Ascent
- Grass-Fed Whey Protein by PureWay
- Premium Grass-Fed Whey Protein Concentrate by Nutricost
- Whey Protein Isolate by NOW Sports Company
- Raw Grass-Fed Whey Protein
- Source Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder by Norcal Organic
- German Whey Protein Isolate by Protein Factory
- Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate
1. OPTIMUM NUTRITION GOLD STANDARD 100% Whey Protein Powder
- Long-Term Operation Manufacturer. This whey protein is made by an American company called Optimum Nutrition that operates in the market for over 30 years now.
- Quality Certification. It is registered for Good Manufacturing Practice and GMP for Sport by NSF. You can be sure that this product is of good quality and it doesn’t contain anything contaminant that may negatively affect your organism.
- Highly-Nutritious. Gold Standard 100% Whey uses pure whey protein Isolate as the primary ingredient. It delivers 24g of whey protein, has 5.5 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs, and 4 grams of naturally occurring glutamine per serving. It is also gluten-free.
- Different Flavours. If you don’t like the protein to be flavored, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey has an unflavored version of the product. Otherwise, you can choose from more than 10 different flavors, such as:
- Banana Cream
- Birthday Cake
- Cake Donut
- Cookies and Cream
- Delicious Strawberry
- French Vanilla Cream
- Strawberry Banana
- Vanilla IceCream
- Whey Salted Caramel
- And many more
- Easy And Perfect Mix. It mixes up perfectly even if you use a simple glass and a spoon. If you want to experience even a better taste, mix it in a blender bottle with just some almond milk and you will obtain a taste kind like a vanilla shake.
- Different Package Size. Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein is being packed in different sizes of up to 5 kg. Thus, you may choose the size that best suits your needs. Take Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein one hour before your workout and within the first hour after you have finished your training.
- The Product Contains Some Artificial Additives. The product contains sucralose and some artificial flavors. It also contains an insignificant amount of cholesterol (30 mg).
- Unknown Information About Hormone Presence In The Milk. Although the product has been tested and certified, there is no information if the milk that was used in the production of this whey protein is hormone-free.
- No Money-Back Guarantee. In case, you have purchased this product and it turned to be not what you have expected from it, there is no way to return it and have your money back.
Hopefully, it will not be your case, because there are hundreds of customers that are completely satisfied with this product. Click the link below to see what they are saying:
2. NITRO-TECH PROTEIN POWDER by MUSCLETECH
- The Choice Of Many Customers. If you are looking for enhanced performance and recovery, NITRO-TECH Protein Powder may be good choice for you. MuscleTech is America’s number 1 selling bodybuilding supplement brand.
- Good Quality Product. NITRO-TECH is manufactured according to GMP standards, as is required for all dietary supplements to ensure quality and integrity.
- Highly-Concentrated. MuscleTech NitroTech Pure Whey Protein delivers 30g of premium 100% whey protein, primarily from whey protein peptides and whey protein isolate.
- Nutritious Protein. Core ingredients in MuscleTech NitroTech Pure Whey Protein are scientifically shown to build 70 % more muscle than regular whey protein alone. The product includes 5g of glutamine, 6.8g of BCAA amino plus and a clinically studied 3g dose of HPLC-Tested creatine monohydrate in each serving.
- The Product Contains Creatine. HPLC creatine monohydrate is suggested to have a higher rate of absorption than other forms of creatine. Thus, if you decide to choose this protein, there is no need for you to buy creatine monohydrate additionally. This protein provides 3g of creatine monohydrate. Studies have shown that using a mixture of protein and creatine monohydrate considerably improves the workout results.
- BCAAs are present in the right ratio: L-Leucine (as whey leucine and L-Leucine) – 3.3 g; L-Isoleucine (as whey protein and L-Isoleucine) – 1.8 g; L-Valine (as whey protein and L-Isoleucine) – 1.7 g.
- Smooth Filtration. The product has been through cold filtered, multi-phase filtration process that reduces fat, lactose, and impurities without using heat, harsh acids or salt.
- Carbs Are Included. Each serving of Nitro-Tech protein powder will give you 4 grams of carbs that are so important in the muscle-building process.
- Different Package Size. This protein comes in 5 sizes packs so you can easily choose the amount that suits best your needs.
- Different Flavours. Also, you can choose from a wide range of more than 15 flavors, from fruits, chocolate or vanilla.
- The Product Contains Some Additives. Due to the presence of artificial flavors and sucralose that may cause, in some cases, bloating or diarrhea. Also, take note that each serving of Nitro-Tech protein powder contains 80 mg of cholesterol.
- Not Grass-fed Product. Although the product has been tested and certified, there is no information if the milk that was used in the production of this whey protein is grass-fed and hormone-free.
- Money-Back Guarantee Is Provided. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return or exchange the item within 30 days for a full refund, less shipping and handling charges. There is a condition, although: the product has to be in its original, unused condition (including all original packaging).
Click the link below if you want to have a closer look at this protein and learn what other customers are saying about this product:
3. COMBAT PROTEIN POWDER by MUSCLE PHARM
- Created For Serious Athletes. If you train hard, you need a superior and more effective protein. MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder was created for athletes who demand optimized recovery, muscle growth, and support strength.
- Quality Certification. The product has undergone rigorous checks and testing and has been certified by Informed-Choice.
- Mix Of Protein Sources. This isolate whey powder contains 25 g of protein from 5 unique protein sources. MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder is an essential whey protein powder, isolate whey protein, casein, and egg protein. Thus, you receive both quickly absorbed proteins and proteins with slow absorption.
- Highly-Nutritious. This helps fuel your muscles and deliver performance for long hours. Also, because it contains eggs protein, vitamins and minerals could be considered as a good bonus in this product. BCAAs are also in place, although the ratio is not mentioned on the label.
- CArbs Are Included. Each serving of Combat protein powder will give you 5 grams of carbs which are important for the synthesis of protein in your body.
- Easy Mix. This essential whey protein powder mixes easily and goes great with almond milk, water, milk, fruits, and vegetables. It’s perfect for great-tasting smoothies and shakes. You can take it anytime in the morning, it is perfect both pre-workout and after-workout.
- Money-Back Guarantee. If you chose upon this product, you will benefit from a 100% satisfaction guarantee. All MusclePharm products are backed by a 30-day full money-back guarantee. This means that you have the choice to return it if you didn’t like the product and get your money back.
- BCAA Ratio Is Not Provided. The manufacturer doesn’t provide the information about the BCAAs ratio.
- Contains An Inconsiderable Amount Of Cholesterol. If you are cautious about cholesterol intake, please note that Combat protein powder contains 46 mg of cholesterol.
- No Information Whether The Product Is Hormone-Free. Although the product has been tested and certified, there is no information if the milk that was used in the production of this whey protein is hormone-free.
Regardless of all the downsides of this product, there are already many customers out there that are happy with this Combat protein powder. If you want to have a closer look at what they are saying, simply click the link below:
4. NATIVE FUEL WHEY PROTEIN POWDER by ASCENT
- Long-Term High-Quality Production. ASCENT is a family-owned business located in the USA. It has been making high-quality whey protein for decades. They have built their own factories and have full control over every step of the process themselves.
- Good Quality Ingredients. ASCENT has committed to using the best real food ingredients and is designed to improve muscle health and performance.
- Made With Native Whey. NATIVE FUEL WHEY PROTEIN POWDER is one of the few proteins that is made with native whey. The native whey is the least-processed whey protein available today. Ascent is making this protein by buying the milk from trusted American dairy farmers.
- No Artificial Additives. It may seem difficult to believe, but this whey protein doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or flavors. It is naturally sweetened and contains only 1g of sugar, which is naturally occurring. Thus, you will not experience any side effects if you chose to buy this protein. It is perfect for taking during the first 30 minutes after your workout and it is being rapidly digested.
- Highly-Nutritious. This whey protein supplement provides 25g protein per serving, which is equivalent to the amount of protein found in 3 full cups of whole milk, 3 servings of yogurt, 4 large eggs, 1 small chicken breast, or ¾ cup of almonds.
- Carbs Are Included. Each serving of Ascent Native Fuel Whey protein also contains 3 grams of carbs.
- BCAA Are Included. 5.7 g of naturally occurring BCAA’s, 2.7g of Leucine and 12g of Essential Amino Acids.
- Quality Certification. It is 100% safe to use because it is Certified Gluten-Free and Informed Choice Certified, meaning it’s tested and free of any banned substances.
- No Information About the BCAA Ratio. The BCAAs ratio information is not provided.
- No Money-Back Guarantee Provided. In case, you are not satisfied with the product after you have tried it, there is no way to return it because there is no money-back guarantee provided.
If you want to check out what other customers are saying about this product, simply click the link below:
5. GRASS-FED WHEY PROTEIN by PUREWAY
- 100% GRASS-FED WHEY PROTEIN is cold processed, undenatured and sourced from premium American dairy farms. Sourcing from high-quality grass-fed cows means a superior, cleaner and purer Whey Protein that tastes amazing! You will see if you chose to try it out for yourself. Each pack of 2,2 kg contains 75 servings.
- All-Natural Product. This product is an all-natural whey protein. Unflavored Grass Fed Whey Powder contains zero additives, no added sugar, sweeteners, colors, flavors, conservators. It is hormone-free, rBGH (Recombinant bovine growth hormone) free, GMO-free, gluten-free and soy-free.
- One Ingredient Product. This whey protein contains only one ingredient. rBGH Free Non-GMO Whey Protein Concentrate is the only ingredient you will see on the pack. The manufacturer made this whey protein powder as pure as possible.
- Unflavoured Taste. It is unflavored so you can mix it with anything! If you chose this whey protein, you are free to prepare your own custom smoothies.
- Suitable For The Whole Family, Including Kids. Using GRASS FED WHEY PROTEIN is fun and tasty for the whole family. If you have kids, you even can add this protein to fruit drinks for added protein for them.
- High Protein Profile. Grass-Fed Whey Protein has a high protein profile. It is packed full of amino acids.
- Besides that, the BCAAs Ratio Has Been Respected, as follows: Leucine – 2660 mg; Isoleucine – 1412 mg; Valine – 1438 mg.
- Highly-Nutritious. Each serving of this protein contains 24 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of carb and Only 122 Calories.
- Money-Back Guarantee. If you chose to buy this whey protein, you will benefit from a 100% money-back guarantee. If you aren’t 100% satisfied with your results, return for a full refund.
- The Product Contains Cholesterol. PureWhey Grass Fed Whey Protein contains a little amount of cholesterol (66 mg).
- No Information About Third-Party Certification.
Despite these few disadvantages, I think this product is really good and worth your try.
If all the upsides of this product are not enough for you, click the link below to see what other customers are saying about this protein:
6. NUTRICOST’S PREMIUM GRASS-FED WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE
- Made In The USA. Nutricost’s Premium Grass-Fed Whey Protein Concentrate is an American protein supplement.
- Good Quality. It is of high quality, cold processed, rBGH Free, non-GMO, and gluten-free.
- All-Natural Product. Nutricost’s Whey Protein Concentrate is undenatured and only uses natural flavors and sweeteners.
- Quality Certification. It is also made exclusively from protein that has obtained Kosher and Halal Certification.
- Flavoured And Unflavoured Taste. It has an unflavored version, in case, you don’t like the flavored ones. Otherwise, it is still made with chocolate and vanilla flavors.
- Good Ratio Of Price And Quality. Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate provides high-quality Whey Protein at an affordable price. Each serving of Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate contains 19 grams of protein.
- Carbs Are Included. The product also provides 2 grams of carbs which is essential for the better protein synthesis process.
- Easy Measurement. 1 scoop is included in the pack, so you can easily measure the needed amount of protein powder.
- This Protein Contains Little To No Lactose. Some people wonder if they can consume whey protein if they are lactose intolerant. Nutricost’s Whey Protein Concentrate contains less than 1% lactose. This means pure whey protein concentrate contains little to no lactose, and you might be able to consume it even if you are lactose sensitive or lactose intolerant. However, it is still possible for some people to experience discomfort, so be cautious!
- Money-Back Guarantee Is Provided. Nutricost offers a 100% money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you can return it for a full refund of the purchase price.
- The BCAA Ratio Is Not Provided for this product.
- The Product Contains an Unconsiderable Amount of Cholesterol (15 mg).
If you are interested in Nutricost’s Premium Grass-Fed Whey Protein Concentrate, check what other customers are saying about this product, by clicking the link below:
7. WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE by NOW Sports Company
- Long-Term Quality Production. Now Company is an American family-owned business that operates since 1968. NOW Whey Protein Isolate is a high-quality protein that is both bioavailable and easily digested.
- Highly-Nutritious. NOW Whey Protein Isolate is ideal for active individuals. This protein powder provides 25 g of whey protein isolate and supplies Branched-Chain-Amino-Acids.
- Unflavoured Taste. NOW Whey Protein is unflavored, so you can be sure it will not surprise you by a chocolate or vanilla taste. For this reason, you can mix this protein powder with literally anything you want.
- Quality Certification. You can be sure that this product is safe to use because it has an Informed-Sport seal and has been tested for banned substances by LGS. It doesn’t contain genetically modified organisms (non-GMO), artificial sweeteners or additives.
- Low Level of Cholesterol. The cholesterol intake with this product is really low (only 10 mg) if to compare with other protein powders.
- Too Little Amount Of Carbs. Each serving of Now Whey Protein Isolate will give you less than 1 gram of carbs. Remember, I suggest that the best protein powder for muscle growth has to contain at least 3 grams per serving.
- No Money-Back Guarantee Provided. There is no information about the money-back guarantee for this product.
- Not a Grass-Fed Product. Although Now Whey Protein Isolate has been tested and certified, there is no information if the milk that was used in the production of this whey protein is grass-fed and hormone-free.
- BCAA Ratio Is Not Provided. The BCAAs ratio not found on the product label.
If you want to take a closer look at this protein and see what other customers are saying about this product, click the link below:
8. RAW GRASS FED WHEY PROTEIN
- Made By Small Family-Owned Company. This is another amazing product that is made from milk that comes from small-family farm cows. These cows graze freely on lush, green pastures year-round.
- Grass-Fed Product. Their diet consists of a variety of wild grasses and clover – producing milk rich in omega-3s. These cows are raised without hormones, antibiotics, steroids, or genetically modified feed (Non-GMO).
- Highly-Concentrated. The result is a deliciously creamy whey protein that has the highest protein concentration (21 g of protein per serving) among natural grass-fed whey powders.
- Carbs Are Included. It also provides up to 2 g of carbs.
- Carefully Processed. This Raw Grass Fed Whey is highly beneficial to your health because it is minimally processed at low temperatures and is higher in antioxidants and other nutrients than conventional whey powders.
- Only One Ingredient. The product has only 1 ingredient: 100% Pure Grass-fed Whey.
- No Artificial Additives. Raw Grass-Fed Whey tastes so amazing by itself, any sweeteners, flavors or fillers are not being added – just 100% grass-fed whey protein!
- Safety Packaging. In addition, you can easily observe from the product photo that its packaging is BPA free. This offers even more credibility that this product is safe to use and you can be sure of that.
- Certified For Quality. The product went through heavy metal tests, antibiotics tests and pesticide tests by Midwest Laboratories.
- BCAA Ratio Is Not Included. The information about the BCAAs ratio is not provided.
- No Money-Back Guarantee Provided. There is also no information about the money-back guarantee.
- The Product Contains Little Of Cholesterol. This Grass Fed Protein Powder contains an insignificant amount of cholesterol (55 mg).
If you want to take a closer look at this product and learn from other customers experience, click the link below:
9. SOURCE ORGANIC GRASS FED WHEY PROTEIN POWDER by NORCAL ORGANIC
- Long-Term Family-Owned Production. This whey protein is made using cow milk from Rumiano Family Farms, which is producing high-quality cheese since 1921.
- Grass-Fed Product. This is pure organic whey from the milk of grass-fed cows so you can be sure it is rBGH/rBST hormone-free.
- Quality Certification. It is Non-GMO and it has been certified by the American Humane Association, USDA Organic, and Kosher Organic. It is soy-free, gluten-free and has been cold-processed without acid or bleach.
- Highly-Nutritious. The powder provides 21g of protein, 4.9 grams of branched-chain amino acids per serving. BCAAs ratio is respected. It also gives you 2 g of carbs that will contribute to muscle growth.
- No Artificial Additives. This whey protein is organic and it doesn’t contain added sugar, sweeteners, preservatives, colors or flavors.
- The Product Contains Little of Cholesterol. Each serving of Norcal Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder will give you 40 mg of cholesterol.
- No Money-Back Guarantee Provided. In case, you are not satisfied with the product after you have tried it, there is no way to return it because there is no money-back guarantee provided.
If you got interested in this protein, take a closer look at what other customers are saying about this product, by clicking the link below:
10. GERMAN WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE by PROTEIN FACTORY
- German Quality. This high-quality whey protein isolate is made in Germany.
- One Ingredient Only. The product has only one ingredient: whey protein isolate. So you benefit from the highest percentage of protein.
- Unflavoured Taste. When you first get this powder, you will notice how bright white the protein powder is and how easily it mixes. It is unflavored, so you can choose any drink you want to mix this powder with. After you will taste it, you will see what a nice clean flavor it has with no after-taste.
- High-Quality Product. The powder is fluffy and doesn’t look like sand. The fluffy powder means it is very high quality and produced via strict German manufacturing techniques.
- Grass-Fed Certified Product. Of course, being from Germany, the cows are grass-fed and hormone-free. Europe has very high standards for dairy manufacturing. If it comes from Germany you are guaranteed the whey protein isolate is free of hormones and antibiotics. They also do third-party testing on all of their products.
- Highly-Concentrated. This protein powder delivers 25 g of protein per serving.
- No Artificial Additives. It doesn’t contain any artificial additives or flavors. It is all-natural. Only sunflower lecithin has been added so you can easily mix it up with water or other drink you prefer.
- BCAAs Ratio Is Not Provided.
- There is also No Money-Back Guarantee Provided.
- No Information About The Cholesterol. There is no information on the pack of this product about the amount of cholesterol each serving provides.
- Only One Size Package. They produce it in only one size of 2,2 kg so this is the only option you can choose from.
- Only Unflavoured Taste. If you are looking for different flavors, you will not find them in this powder as it is unflavored only.
If all I have mentioned about this product is still not enough for you, click the link below to see what other customers are saying about this product:
11. Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate
- Reliable Brand. Dymatize is another reputable brand in sports nutrition. Dymatize Iso Whey Protein is scientifically proven, fast-digesting, hydrolyzed 100% whey protein isolate.
- Highly-Nutritious. With this protein powder, you will get 110 calories, 25 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), 2.7 grams of Leucine, 2 carbs.
- Healthy. This protein gives you less than 1 gram of fat and sugar per serving and a really small amount of cholesterol per serving (only 10 mg).
- Different Package Sizes And Flavours. Dymatize ISO Whey Protein Powder is available in three sizes and around 15 different delicious flavors, so you get plenty of room to chose from.
- BCAA Ratio Is Not Provided. Although there is clear evidence of Leucine, the BCAA ratio is not provided. There is also no money-back guarantee provided.
If you want to have a closer look at Dymatize ISO Whey Protein powder, simply click the link below:
Take The Best Of What Nature Has To Offer
I think you have noticed from this protein powders review that the most beneficial to your health are protein powders that are made from grass-fed and hormone-free milk source.
If your choice is grass-fed protein powder, you can be totally sure it is 100% safe for your health.
Of course, these protein powders are a little bit more expensive than their market analogous, namely because it takes manufacturers more time and expenses to produce grass-fed and hormone-free milk.
Still, it is worth including them into our diet. My recommendation is to opt for grass-fed protein powders if not always, at least combined with regular whey protein powders.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about what’s the best whey protein powders for building muscle and this has helped you make some things a bit clearer in your mind about whey protein powders.
Maybe you have already tried some of the protein powders that I have included in my review? Have you been satisfied with them? What are your thoughts and results? Let me know in the comments!
My best wishes to you,