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Best Protein Powder for Men

We all know that protein is essential for muscle growth. How can we not when there is a multimillion-dollar industry built around protein powder?

The key to getting the quality protein that your body needs lies in finding the best quality protein and knowing how to use it to best effect.

In this article, we go deep inside the protein market to identify the best protein powder for men with respect to weight gain, weight loss, muscle gain, and strength development.

We’ll also show you how to get the most out of your protein powder investment.

TL; DR: What You Need to Know

In order to build muscle, get stronger, and lose weight, men need to be supplementing with protein powder.

  • The very best protein powder, and the best custom protein, on the market right now is True Nutrition New Zealand Grass Fed Whey Protein.
  • The best protein powder for lean muscle is Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder.
  • When it comes to weight loss, our preferred protein source is Ladder Whey Protein.

Comparison of the 5 Best Protein Powders for Men

Best Custom Protein Powder for Men
True Nutrition
1
Best Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for Men
Best Custom Protein Powder for Men
True Nutrition

True Nutrition offers a completely custom protein powder that can be adjusted based on protein, carbs, fat, and other key features.

27 Flavor Options
7 Protein Sources
Customize to Diet
10 Add-In Boosts
Two Packaging Types
Best Protein Powder for Fat Loss
Ladder Whey Protein
2
Best Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for Men
Best Protein Powder for Fat Loss
Ladder Whey Protein

Ladder Whey Protein provides you with an excellent source of amino acids and is fortified twice over, with BCAAs and EAAs.

26 g Protein
14 g EAAs
2 Billion CFU
Chocolate and Vanilla
<1% lactose

10% OFF WITH CODE NCHIP

BUY HERE

10% OFF WITH CODE NCHIP

BUY HERE
Best Keto Protein Powder
Perfect Keto
3
Best Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for Men
Best Keto Protein Powder
Perfect Keto

Perfect Keto Whey Protein provides whey protein sourced from grass-fed cows and contains immune-boosting compounds along with omega 3 fatty acids.

Whey Isolate
Grass-Fed
Added MCTs
Low Sugar
Coldwater Microfiltration

15% off with the code KETOHQ15

BUY HERE

15% off with the code KETOHQ15

BUY HERE
Best Vegan Protein Powder
Performance Lab
4
Best Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for Men
Best Vegan Protein Powder
Performance Lab

Protein by Performance Lab is made from organic brown rice protein concentrate and is as effective for building muscle as whey protein.

Rice Protein
Better Absorbing Leucine
Contains Bacillus Coagulans
Third-Party Research
Organic

Why Should Men Take Protein Powder?

The amino acids that make up protein constitute the building blocks of our body. All muscle tissue is made from it.

If men do not have an adequate supply of protein coming into their bodies, their muscles will get smaller and weaker. If you are working out to increase the size and strength of your muscles, then it is vital that you have a steady supply of protein coming into your body.

Taking a protein powder will make it far easier – and far less expensive – to do that than trying to get your protein exclusively from whole foods.

When you work out, you place stress on your muscles, which causes micro-tears in the fiber. These can only be repaired with the amino acids that are found in protein.

When you take protein powder after your workout, you are supplying those vital building blocks that rebuild and repair muscle tissue. (1)

Protein powder has also been found to be an effective weight-loss aid for men. Protein is the most thermic of the macronutrients, meaning that it requires more energy to digest than carbohydrates or fats.

Protein has also been shown to be extremely satiating so that it fills you up more quickly. As a result, you will not be consuming as many calories over the course of your day. (2) (3)

When Should Men Take Protein Powder?

Protein powder is a supplement, which means that it should be used in addition to a whole food diet rather than instead of one. As a result, men should limit their protein powder intake to two shakes per day.

We recommend that men should time their protein powder shakes around training. Taking it within an hour of completing training will infuse the bloodstream with the amino acids that are needed by muscle cells. (4)

The best type of protein powder to take post-workout is a whey-based powder, which is the fastest digesting.

Taking a second protein powder in the evening will allow for a slow release of amino acids while you are sleeping. This will especially be the case if you take a casein protein powder, which releases its amino acids far more slowly than whey. (5)

How Did We Research the Best Protein Powder for Men?

Our research team has spent more than 40 hours digging deep into the protein powder market. We have extensively tested each of the powders that we recommend and personally use the best ones.

We have also spent a lot of time researching online customer reviews of each product. This, combined with our extensive experience in the fitness industry, has led us to our conclusions.

Optimal Protein Intake for Muscle Growth

You are probably confused about proper protein intake as it relates to muscle building. There is a lot of nonsense floating around on lifting forums. You’ve all heard it, things like “high protein causes kidney damage”, and “your body can’t handle more than 30 grams of protein at one sitting.”

This guide will set the facts straight. You will learn about popular protein myths, protein facts, and be provided with protein intake guidelines so you can maximize the muscle building process.

High Protein Diets and Kidney Health

Myth – High protein diets are bad for your kidneys. False. High protein diets tend to be bad for people who have pre-existing kidney issues. A healthy kidney functions to remove urea (a waste product) from our system. Urea is by-product of dietary protein consumption. When urea is unable to be removed from the blood, it will place a greater amount of stress on your body and kidneys.

Healthy kidneys do not face this issue. Numerous reputable studies confirm this. A high protein diet is perfectly healthy unless you have kidney problems.

Protein Requirements For Muscle Building and Strength Training

Myth – Lifters do not require high amounts of daily dietary protein. False. Dr. Peter Lemon, a top researcher in the field of protein intake, has noted that laboratory data indicates active individuals may need nearly twice the current RDA protein intake recommendations. This equates to about 1.6 to 1.8 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight, or around 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Those looking to build muscle do need more dietary protein per day. Instead of basing your protein intake on your current weight, it may be beneficial to get a little more aggressive and base your protein requirements upon the weight you are trying to obtain. Eating a little more protein than the recommended amounts suggested by Dr. Lemon is a safer bet than eating the bare minimum amount, and has no downside. Better to be safe than sorry.

You Can Only Digest/Assimilate 30 Grams of Protein per Sitting?

Myth – If you eat over 30 grams of protein it is wasted. False. Your body digests/assimilates a very high percentage of the protein you intake. This myth that anything over 30 grams per meal can’t be assimilated is complete nonsense.

A French study compared two groups:

  • Group A consumed 80% of their daily protein intake during one meal.
  • Group B consumed their daily protein intake over the course of multiple meals.

Data revealed that both groups produced about the same results with regards to protein synthesis, nitrogen balance, etc. So the bottom line…it’s ok to eat more than 30 grams of protein per sitting. It will not go to waste.

Protein Powders Are Useless/Dangerous/Aren’t Real Food

Myth – Protein powders aren’t real food, and are dangerous. False. The idea that protein powders are somehow dangerous is foolish. They are simply protein in powder form derived from whey, soy, egg, etc., with a few minor ingredients including flavoring. Protein powder is no more dangerous than drinking milk or eating an egg.

The idea that protein powders aren’t real food, and are useless, is also completely false. Protein powders are real food, and exist to provide you with a relatively inexpensive and convenient method of drinking protein for those times when you are in a hurry and can’t eat a complete meal, or when you aren’t really hungry enough to eat a complete meal.

You Never Need More Than 150 Grams of Protein Per Day

Myth – When building muscle, you never need more than 150 grams of protein per day. There are several reasons to eat more than 150 grams per day. First and foremost, some of you starting a lifting program may be underweight and capable of gaining quite a bit of quality bodyweight in a short period of time. You will be eating a lot of food, and extra protein may be required.

In addition, you will be eating a lot of calories. Limiting protein usually forces a lifter to eat a massive amount of carbs per day. This is debatably risky when looking at long-term health. It is certainly unbalanced.

Lastly, there is no downside to eating more protein, as we have seen when addressing previous myths. Most successful natural bodybuilders eat 180-220 grams per day, or more. The question becomes, would I rather eat a little more and be safe, or rely on a study that says 150 grams may be all that’s needed? It’s your call. Just be willing to adapt if things aren’t working out.

Muscle Building: How Much Protein Should I Eat Per Day?

The following are general protein intake suggestions based on daily calorie intake. Those of you eating more calories per day will want to eat a greater amount of protein simply to create a slightly more balanced and enjoyable diet. After all, forcing yourself to eat massive amounts of rice, baked and oatmeal isn’t the most enjoyable way to eat.

  • 4000 calories per day – 250 grams of protein per day. Approx 20-30% of calories from fats, and 525-600 grams of carbs per day.
  • 3500 calories per day – 225 grams of protein per day. Approx 20-30% of calories from fats, and 455-520 grams of carbs per day.
  • 3000 calories per day – 200 grams of protein per day. Approx 20-30% of calories from fats, and 385-440 grams of carbs per day.
  • 2500 calories per day – 180 grams of protein per day. Approx 20-30% of calories from fats, and 312-356 grams of carbs per day.
  • 2000 calories per day – 160 grams of protein per day. Approx 20-30% of calories from fats, and 238-272 grams of carbs per day.

If you are cutting, keep your minimum intake at 180 grams per day regardless of calorie intake. Retaining muscle is difficult enough when losing weight, and the extra protein intake may be beneficial in aiding muscle retention.

If you choose to eat fewer grams of protein than suggested when cutting, make sure you monitor your bodyfat levels with a skinfold caliper. If you appear to be losing muscle, bump your overall protein intake.

Those with very fast metabolisms may choose to increase daily fat intake and reduce carb intake. Fatty foods are very calorie dense, and can make eating a larger amount of food a bit easier.

What Types of Protein Powder are Best for Men?

There are two types of protein powder that are best for men, depending on when they are used. The best protein powder to take around your workout is a whey protein. This type of protein is derived from cow’s milk. It comes in three varieties:

  • Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
  • Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH)

The difference between the three basically comes down to the level of purification. Whey protein concentrate removes all of the impurities but retains most of the lactose (milk fat) and carbs. It is about 80% protein by weight. Whey isolate removes the carbohydrates and lactose to provide you with a higher protein content of around 90%.

Whey protein hydrolysate puts the protein through a microfiltration process so that it is pre-predigested before you take it. This form is about 95% pure protein by weight. (6)

We suggest taking a whey protein isolate as your post-workout shake.

When it comes to an evening protein shake, look for a casein-based product. This will ensure that the amino acids are slowly released into your bloodstream over the evening hours. It is during the night that the bulk of your body’s muscle rebuilding and repair work takes place. In addition, the majority of your muscle-building hormones, testosterone, and hGH are released during the hours of darkness. Having a steady release of amino acids being fed to the muscle tissue overnight, therefore, makes a lot of sense. (7)

When it comes to choosing your individual protein powder brand, check for the amount of protein per serving. You want between 20 and 30 g. Your protein powder should also be free of additives and artificial flavors, including the sweetener aspartame. Check reviews to make sure that the powder has a high level of mixability. The last thing you need is a clumpy, unappealing mass of powder floating around in your water bottle.

People who are lactose intolerant should also choose a lactose-free protein powder. This will mean avoiding whey protein concentrate. If you are following a low-carb diet, you will also want a powder that is carbohydrate-free. The best way to ensure that is to buy a whey protein hydrolysate product.

Additional Supplements Men Should Take with Protein Powder

Good protein powders will provide a solid nutritional base for building muscle and getting stronger. Here are four more supplements that you should seriously consider adding to your nutritional arsenal:

  • Creatine – Creatine is a compound that humans are able to produce only in small amounts. It plays a key part in the formation of our ATP energy system, which provides the primary fuel for our workouts. Taking a creatine supplement will allow you to work out harder for longer. (8)
  • Vitamins /Minerals – A quality vitamin /mineral supplement will fortify your micronutrient requirements. This will ensure that you do not have any deficiencies that could impair your performance in the gym and/or impair your muscle building and strength gain results.
  • Glutamine – Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is heavily involved in the supply of energy for working out. As a result, it will be severely depleted when your training session is over. Resupplying it with a quality glutamine supplement post-workout will prevent loss of muscle tissue and ensure speedier workout recovery. (9)
  • Beta-Alanine – This amino acid is able to increase the body’s natural levels of carnosine. Increasing carnosine levels will greatly aid in post-workout recovery and reduce training fatigue. Supplementing with Beta-alanine will also help you to get into the gym. (10)

5 Best Protein Powders for Men

Best Protein Powder for Fat Loss: Ladder Whey Protein

Best Protein Powder for MenKey Features

  • 26 grams of protein
  • 14 grams of essential amino acids
  • 7 grams of BCAAs
  • 2bil CFU of probiotics
  • At least 90% absorbable and digestible protein
  • Less than 1% lactose

Ladder Whey Protein provides you with an excellent source of amino acids. The base aminos in the protein powder is fortified twice over, with BCAAs and EAAs. The extra vitamins and probiotics ensure that the digestibility is high to provide even more benefits. The taste is pretty great, especially if you go for the chocolate. This powder also mixes well whether you’re using a blender or a shaker bottle. It’s high protein level, pure ingredients and added probiotics make Ladder whey Protein the best protein powder for weight loss.

Ladder Nutrition was founded with the coming together of some of the biggest names in the sports and entertainment industry, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lebron James to provide the public with a better quality of pure, targeted workout supplements. The company was founded because Lebron James and his trainer were unable to find the quality of supplements that they need – so they made their own!

Pros
  • Can be shipped in small packets, ideal for gym going!

  • High in protein, fortified by BCAAs
  • High dosage of essential amino acids
  • Fortified with probiotics
  • Ideal for people who are lactose intolerant
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Relatively high in carbs

Best Custom Protein Powder: True Nutrition

Best Protein Powder for Men

Key Features

  • Able to customize protein powder to meet specific health needs
  • Protein powder options available for all diets and dietary restrictions
  • Over 27 flavor options available

True Nutrition offers a unique customized service that allows you to create your own unique blend. Customers are able to personalize their own protein powder based on a variety of factors including protein source, flavor, add-ins, and more!

There are over 27 flavor options available, 7 different protein sources, and multiple options for carbohydrates, fats, and nutritional boosts. True Nutrition is completely focused on producing the highest quality products at the best price and they make sure to place their money into product development, rather than packaging and promotion.

Pros
  • 27 different flavors

  • 29 protein sources

  • Friendly to all diets

  • Add-ins available for carbs, fat, and other key nutrients

Cons
  • Doesn’t mix well

Best Keto-Friendly Protein Powder: Perfect Keto Whey Protein

Best Protein Powder for Men
Key Features

  • Grass-Fed Whey
  • Added MCTs
  • Very low sugar
  • Keto approved

Perfect Keto Whey Protein provides you with a very clean source of protein, with the whey coming from grass-fed cows. That provides you with more immune-boosting compounds and omega 3 fatty acids. The unique cold microfiltration technology ensures that you get the absolute minimum amount of lactose and carbohydrates. The 5 g of MCT oil in this powder provides you with the healthy fats that you will stay in ketosis. To top it off, there are no chemicals, fillers, or artificial flavors in Perfect Keto Whey Protein.

Perfect Keto was created by Dr. Anthony Guston, to bring the power of the ketogenic lifestyle to the masses. The company is dedicated to helping people achieve their fitness, muscle gain, and weight loss goals by providing keto-friendly products that they can trust. They rigorously test every product to ensure that it does not contravene their zero carb policy.

Pros
  • Whey isolate
  • Lactose-free
  • Infused with MCTs
  • Double filtered for purity
Cons
  • Only 15 grams of protein per serving

Best Vegan Protein: Performance Lab Protein

Best Protein Powder for Men

Key Features

  • Made with Rice Protein
  • Leucine that absorbs 30% faster than whey
  • The only rice protein backed by third-party research
  • Enhanced with Probiotic Bacillus Coagulans

Performance Lab claims that its protein powder is the cleanest and most effective protein powder in the world. Protein by Performance Lab is made from organic brown rice protein concentrate and is as effective for building muscle as whey protein.

This product is the only rice protein patented for enhancing athletic performance. Protein by Performance Lab helps athletes to enhance muscle strength, power, endurance and overall athletic performance. It also helps the everyday person support appetite control and weight management naturally.

Protein comes in chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon and is naturally sweetened with organic yacon root, monk fruit and stevia. Its rice protein is enhanced with Bacillus coagulans to improve its absorption and its leucine is absorbed 30% faster when compared to whey.

Performance Lab offers a wide variety of training and nutritional supplements which aid human performance and promote all-around health.  Its supplements provide support for better sleep, vision, cognition, and energy as well as enhance muscle growth, strength, endurance, and training intensity.

Performance Lab uses premier nutrition technologies in order to revolutionize healthy performance nutrition as well as to provide the highest quality performance supplements available on the market. This company provides one of the world’s most sophisticated nutritional supplement systems for optimizing daily performance and long-range health.

Pros
  • Naturally flavored, sweetened, thickened

  • Low fat and low carb

  • Organic-certified brown rice protein

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Can only purchase on their website

  • Only 20 servings per container

Take-Home Message

Taking the right protein powder at the right time will provide men with a massive boost to their muscle-building and weight loss goals.

We are confident that the five best protein powders for men we have showcased are at the top of the range.

Men should use a protein powder that best fits their goals consistently and should also make sure to train hard as well as keep their nutrition clean to achieve the lean, muscular physique that they’re striving for.

Best Custom Protein Powder for Men
True Nutrition
1
Best Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for Men
Best Custom Protein Powder for Men
True Nutrition

True Nutrition offers a completely custom protein powder that can be adjusted based on protein, carbs, fat, and other key features.

27 Flavor Options
7 Protein Sources
Customize to Diet
10 Add-In Boosts
Two Packaging Types
Best Protein Powder for Fat Loss
Ladder Whey Protein
2
Best Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for Men
Best Protein Powder for Fat Loss
Ladder Whey Protein

Ladder Whey Protein provides you with an excellent source of amino acids and is fortified twice over, with BCAAs and EAAs.

26 g Protein
14 g EAAs
2 Billion CFU
Chocolate and Vanilla
<1% lactose

10% OFF WITH CODE NCHIP

BUY HERE

10% OFF WITH CODE NCHIP

BUY HERE
Best Keto Protein Powder
Perfect Keto
3
Best Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for Men
Best Keto Protein Powder
Perfect Keto

Perfect Keto Whey Protein provides whey protein sourced from grass-fed cows and contains immune-boosting compounds along with omega 3 fatty acids.

Whey Isolate
Grass-Fed
Added MCTs
Low Sugar
Coldwater Microfiltration

15% off with the code KETOHQ15

BUY HERE

15% off with the code KETOHQ15

BUY HERE
Best Vegan Protein Powder
Performance Lab
4
Best Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for MenBest Protein Powder for Men
Best Vegan Protein Powder
Performance Lab

Protein by Performance Lab is made from organic brown rice protein concentrate and is as effective for building muscle as whey protein.

Rice Protein
Better Absorbing Leucine
Contains Bacillus Coagulans
Third-Party Research
Organic

Best Protein Powder for Men FAQs

 

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the best protein powder for men.

What is the best protein powder to buy?

The overall best protein powder to buy is True Nutrition New Zealand Grass Fed Whey Protein, which is extremely pure with high protein and amino acid levels and great digestibility.

Which whey protein is best for muscle gain?

The best protein powder for men’s weight gain and muscle gain is Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder.

What protein powder do doctors recommend?

Doctors recommend a whey isolate protein with 20-30 grams of protein and no additives.

What kind of protein powder is best for men?

The best type of protein powder for men depends on the time of day you take it. During the day the best protein for lean bulk is a whey isolate protein. In the evening, the best protein for muscle gain is casein powder.

References

See all references
  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19057193/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18469287/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18469287/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23459753/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24015719/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24015719/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24149728/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15707376/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18806122/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17136505/

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Steve Theunissen

Steve Theunissen

For the past five years, I have been a full-time fitness writer.  I also love to write about history and have written more than thirty books on the great battles throughout history. I live in sunny Tauranga, New Zealand with my wife of 33 years, Shelley.

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