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Protein synthesis is essential for muscle growth. It is the process that helps repair and build muscle tissue. In turn, this process leads to increased muscle size and strength. The best way to increase protein synthesis? Consuming more protein. But consuming large amounts of protein can be difficult and impractical - even for the most dedicated athletes. The solution? Protein powder. Pea Protein
Protein powders are a quick and easy way to increase your daily protein intake. Created from a variety of different protein sources, the macronutrient has been designed to be easily digested and absorbed by the body. This makes these protein supplements an ideal choice for those looking to increase their protein intake without needing to consume large amounts of solid food.
Unfortunately, though, not all protein powders are created equal. With such a vast array of products on the market, finding one proven to provide the fast gains in muscle mass and strength you are hoping for can be difficult. To help make your search easier, we have put together a list of the best protein powder for muscle gain currently available. We've also included a buyer's guide to give you insider secrets on what to look for when purchasing protein powder supplements.
1. BulkSupplements - Best Protein Powder for Muscle Gain
3. Naked Nutrition – Best Mixing Powder
6. Transparent Labs – Best High-Density Powder
7. Optimum Nutrition - Best Tasting Powder
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A well-established fitness company, BulkSupplements has years of experience formulating and manufacturing protein supplement powders, vitamin supplements, and more. All its products are made using high-quality, third-party tested ingredients and follow GMP production guidelines.
The core mission at BulkSupplements is to provide quality products that help people reach their fitness goals - something they have successfully achieved. The company's products are popular among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts of all levels. With simple packaging and potent natural ingredients, BulkSupplements products have a clean and straightforward appeal and provide fast results with no fuss.
The protein supplement powder options at BulkSupplements are many, ensuring that any dietary or fitness goal can be met. The most popular in the lineup is the brand's whey protein isolate with 26 grams of whey per serving. This protein-rich formula has undergone an advanced filtration process, removing fats, carbs, and lactose to create a powder that is over 90% pure protein by weight. Additionally, it's a rich source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are essential for the formula's fast muscle growth and repair benefits.
Those seeking a vegan protein powder will find BulkSupplements pea, rice, hemp, and soy protein options to be a good fit. These plant-based formulas are also dairy and gluten-free, making them ideal for those with allergies or sensitivities. For a protein-packed formula, try the brand's casein, beef bone, or hydrolyzed whey protein, which has been pre-digested for fast absorption and enhanced muscle recovery.
All BulkSupplements' protein powders (including their vegan protein powder) come in sizes ranging from 3.5 oz. to 44 pounds. In addition, each resealable pouch is available without added flavoring, allowing customers to seamlessly mix the powder into their favorite foods or beverages.
The complex amino acid profiles combined with advanced filtration processes that BulkSupplements uses to create its muscle-building protein supplement powders are what set this brand apart from other protein powders in the industry. With extra steps to ensure quality and potency, BulkSupplements is a top pick for athletes and fitness enthusiasts seeking the best protein powder for muscle gain.
Taking the art of designing high-quality nutritional supplements seriously, Onnit is a company that believes in giving its customers what they need to live healthier and perform at their best. As a result, every product that Onnit formulates and sells goes through intense research, development, and testing to ensure safety, efficacy, and quality.
All of Onnit's products are Informed-Sport Certified, meaning they've undergone third-party testing to screen for banned substances, ensuring that athletes and those subject to drug testing can safely use them. The company also uses natural, sustainable ingredients whenever possible and manufactures its products in cGMP-certified facilities.
Protein supplement powder from Onnit is available in a grass-fed whey protein isolate or a plant-based vegan protein powder. Both offer 20mg of protein per scoop and are available in chocolate and vanilla flavors.
The whey protein isolate is the most popular of the two. This isolated whey protein powder has been ultra-refined to cut carbs, fats, and lactose, leaving only the cleanest, most potent protein behind. The result is a delicious supplement that provides a rich source of BACCs, a low caloric intake, and a fast absorption rate to support gaining lean muscle mass.
For a dairy-free or vegan option, try the brand's plant-based protein supplement. Using pea and avocado powder along with seed protein from pumpkin, sunflower, and watermelon, this protein powder provides a complete amino acid profile to help with muscle growth and repair. The addition of healthy fats from the avocado helps reduce recovery time and support joint health.
The whey protein isolate and plant-based protein powders from Onnit are low in calories and high in protein, making them ideal for those looking to build muscle without adding excess calories to their diet. In addition, the company's commitment to quality assurance and safety makes Onnit a trustworthy brand, plus its Informed-Sport Certification gives athletes peace of mind that they're using a safe product.
Everything that Naked Nutrition does is for the sake of providing its customers with the cleanest, most potent formulas possible. As a result, the company's products are free from fillers, artificial sweeteners, and other additives that can dilute their effectiveness.
Naked Nutrition sourcing practices are also top-notch. The company only uses non-GMO ingredients that are sustainably sourced and hormone-free. With a no-nonsense approach that limits the number of ingredients in each formula to those essential for the best muscle-gaining results, it's no wonder that Naked Nutrition has become a favorite among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.
Naked Nutrition's range of protein supplement powders is extensive. The majority use only three ingredients, with many only including one - pure, isolated protein from whey, casein, or plant sources.
The brand's whey protein powder is arguably the most popular for those looking to increase muscle mass fast. Made with a purified, ultra-refined form of whey protein, this powder provides all the essential amino acids needed to support the growth of lean muscle mass, along with 25 grams of protein in every scoop.
Casein protein powder from Naked Nutrition is also popular among athletes and bodybuilders. Casein is a slow-digesting protein that provides a steady stream of essential amino acids to the muscles, helping to reduce recovery time and support muscle growth. Plant-based options are also available, with pea and rice powders providing a complete amino acid profile to support muscle repair and growth.
Because of the simple yet effective formula containing only isolated protein and natural flavors such as peanut butter or cacao, these powders mix easily into any beverage or snack recipe for a quick, yummy, and convenient way to increase your protein intake.
Why We Picked Naked Nutrition
Naked Nutrition's simple formulas provide a potent dose of protein without any fillers or artificial additives. Mixed easily into any beverage or snack, these powders are perfect for those looking to increase their protein intake without complicating their diet.
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The science-backed sports nutrition company Promix has been reformulating and perfecting its products for over a decade so that athletes everywhere can reach their fitness goals. Promix's product offerings have expanded over the years to include more than just protein supplements. The company now sells pre-workout supplements, post-workout recovery aids, collagen peptides, and wellness support products.
Aiming to be the most sustainable and people-conscious sports nutrition brand on the market, Promix is committed to using only natural ingredients that are free from harsh chemicals, sourcing plastic-free packaging, and donating 1% of sales to environmental causes.
Promix's protein supplement powder is available in whey, casein, and plant-based formulas. The whey protein is a fast-acting protein that is perfect for post-workout recovery, while the casein protein provides a slow and steady stream of amino acids to support muscle growth and repair. Plant-based protein powders from Promix are perfect for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet and are made with Canadian yellow pea protein.
Each formula is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to support optimal health and fitness results. The whey protein powder contains 5.9g of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) to reduce recovery time and promote muscle growth, while the other protein powders offer a slightly lower 5.2 dose. Each is formulated to provide 25 grams of protein in each 30-serving container available in chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, and unflavored varieties.
For the best savings on the already affordable price point, consider signing up for a monthly membership at Promix. This exclusive club gets you an additional 10% off your order and tons of other great perks.
Promix's protein powders are some of the most affordable on the market, without sacrificing quality or flavor. The simple formulas are perfect for those looking to increase their protein intake without any added bells and whistles.
Higher calorie content than other protein powders on this list
An integrated medicine specialist tired of the lack of high-quality nutritional products on the market set out to create the top-of-the-line brand known as Orgain. The idea was simple – make products that were not only healthy and effective but also convenient and delicious. The company's signature organic protein powder was so popular that it propelled Orgain into a nationwide brand.
Today, Orgain is committed to providing customers with the cleanest possible products. As a result, almost the entire product line is USDA Organic and Kosher certified, with every protein supplement made by Orgain being non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free.
Whether you're looking for a protein powder to support your workout recovery or just want an easy way to increase your protein intake, Orgain has a formula that's right for you. The company's organic protein powders are available in whey, casein, plant-based, keto-friendly, and collagen formulas.
Whey protein is a fast-acting protein that is perfect for post-workout recovery. This popular powder offers 21 grams of protein per serving and is available in chocolate and vanilla flavors. The five grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) present in this powder work fast to reduce recovery time and promote muscle growth.
Fitness enthusiasts with dietary restrictions related to health conditions, lifestyle choices, or spiritual beliefs will be happy to know that Orgain also has a line of protein powders suitable for Halal, kosher, keto, and vegan diets. Made from plant proteins, egg proteins, and whey isolate proteins, these protein powders range in protein content from 10 grams to 30 grams per serving.
Getting a protein powder that doesn't interfere with spiritual, lifestyle, allergies, or health conditions is hard to come by. Orgain's line of protein powders is one of the most inclusive on the market and has a formula for just about everyone.
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Like the name would suggest, Transparent Labs is committed to providing customers with full disclosure of what is in their products and why those ingredients are used. The company prides itself on using only clinically-backed dosages of effective ingredients and shunning the use of fillers, artificial colors, or flavors.
All of Transparent Labs' products are made in the USA in a cGMP facility and are third-party tested for quality assurance. In addition, the company's protein supplements are highly concentrated, making them some of the most effective for getting massive muscle gains fast.
Few protein supplement powders on the market can match the density of Transparent Labs' protein powders. Among the many in its product line, the NZ grass-fed whey protein for mass gains is the most potent and popular. This hefty 6.4-pound tub offers 53 grams of whey protein isolate with every scoop. Combined with the monohydric creatine and MCTs present in this powder, you're looking at one of the most anabolic protein powders on the market.
Those looking to make serious gains but with less added protein to their diet may want to check out Transparent Labs' Lean Muscle Protein Powder. This powder is lower in calories and fat than its mass-gaining counterpart while still packing a protein punch of 28 grams per scoop. The company also formulates plant-based protein powders for vegans and vegetarians, casein protein powder for night-time use, and protein bars for on-the-go snacking.
Why We Picked Transparent Labs
If you're serious about making muscle gains, you need a protein powder that is just as serious. Transparent Labs' protein supplement powders are some of the most potent and effective on the market. The company's commitment to clean, clinically-backed ingredients makes its products some of the safest on the market as well.
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Best pricing comes with bulk purchases
Wellness knowledge within the fitness and nutrition industry is constantly evolving, and Optimum Nutrition is at the forefront of those changes. The company strives to provide athletes and fitness enthusiasts with products that reflect the latest research so they can perform and feel their best.
Optimum Nutrition's fitness supplements are made in facilities that are GMP and NSF certified for safety and quality assurance. The company's products are also banned-substance tested by Informed-Sport to ensure they do not contain any ingredients that would give athletes or bodybuilders any cause for concern.
With 20 delicious flavors to choose from, Optimum Nutrition's protein powders are some of the most popular on the market. The company uses a blend of whey protein concentrate and isolate to create a potent powder that is easily digestible, and packed with 5.5 grams of muscle-building essential amino acids and 25 grams of protein.
The scientifically researched formula also contains a good amount of minerals such as potassium and calcium to help with muscle recovery and repair. As a bonus, the powder is also gluten-free for those with sensitivities or allergies.
Those looking for vegan protein powders can enjoy the same delicious flavors with Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Plant Protein. This powder is made with a blend of pea, fava bean, and brown rice to provide athletes and bodybuilders with a plant-based alternative that is just as effective as whey protein.
Why We Picked Optimum Nutrition
Optimum Nutrition's plant-based and whey protein concentrate powders are some of the most popular on the market for good reason - they taste great! The company's wide variety of flavors means there is something for everyone, and the quality of the powder is second to none.
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Our search for the best protein powders for muscle gain started with looking at popular brands and their offerings. We then read through customer reviews to get a sense of what users liked and didn't like about each powder.
After narrowing down our options, we contacted each company to ask about their manufacturing process, sourcing, and third-party testing. We also looked at the clinical research available on each protein powder ingredient to ensure they were effective and safe.
From there, we had a team of experts test the powders to see how well they mixed, tasted, and performed. We also took into account any additional features that could be helpful for athletes and bodybuilders, such as amino acid profiles and added minerals.
Finally, after weeks of research, we were able to come up with this list of the best protein powders for muscle gain.
Bulking up with a vegan or whey protein supplement powder requires more than buying the first tub of powder you see on the shelf. To ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck - and not wasting time or money - you should consider a few things before making your purchase.
Protein quality speaks to the sourcing and manufacturing of the protein supplement. When it comes to quality, you want to make sure the powder you're taking is made with high-quality ingredients sourced from reputable suppliers.
In the case of whey, plant-based, and egg protein powders, look for ingredient qualities such as:
These three factors can significantly impact the quality of your powder, so be sure to consider them before making your purchase.
When it comes to manufacturing quality, you want to make sure the company takes steps to ensure the formula is as pure and potent as possible. This includes using third-party testers to verify quality and safety, as well as adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).
There are three main types of protein powders on the market: whey, plant-based, and egg. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs.
Whey protein is the most popular type of powder on the market. It's made from milk and contains all nine amino acids your body needs to build muscle. Whey protein is also easy to digest and absorb, making it an excellent choice for those looking to build muscle quickly. The two most common forms include whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate.
Plant-based powders are a great source of protein for vegans or those with dairy allergies. These powders are made from a variety of plant sources, such as peas, rice, and hemp. Plant-based supplements typically have a lower biological value than whey protein, but they can still be an effective way to build muscle.
Egg protein powder is made from, you guessed it, eggs. Egg protein is a complete protein source containing all nine essential amino acids. Bodybuilders and athletes often use egg protein concentrate powder because it's a slow-digesting protein, making it ideal for post-workout recovery.
When it comes to protein content, more doesn't always mean better. In fact, most people only need about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight to build muscle. This means that choosing a protein content based on your current body weight and future goals is a more effective way to ensure you're getting the right amount of protein.
For example, if you weigh 160 pounds and your goal is to build muscle, you would need about 128 grams of protein per day. This means that a plant-based or whey powder with 20-30 grams of protein per serving would be a good choice for you. But if you're trying to bulk up and weigh 220 pounds, you would need about 176 grams of protein daily. In this case, a powder with 40-50 grams of protein per serving would be a better choice.
The many uses of a protein supplement powder extend beyond just building muscle. In fact, protein powder can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
As a pre or post-workout supplement, powder can help you build muscle and recover from your workouts more effectively. If you're trying to lose weight, protein supplement powder can help you feel fuller longer and reduce your overall calorie intake. And for those looking for an energy boost, protein supplement powder can give you the sustained energy you need to power through your day.
Outside of the multiple use cases, many other health benefits come with using protein powder as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, including:
Improved muscle mass: Protein is the building block of muscle, so it's no surprise that protein powder can help you build muscle mass. In fact, research shows that it’s an effective way to build muscle, even in older adults.
Improved bone health: Protein supplement powder can also help to improve bone health by increasing bone density and reducing the risk of fractures. This is especially beneficial for older adults at a higher risk for osteoporosis.
Reduced inflammation: Reducing inflammation throughout the body is another bonus of protein powder supplements. This can lead to a number of health benefits, such as reduced joint pain and a lower risk of chronic diseases.
Improved weight loss: Protein powder can help you feel fuller longer and reduce your overall calorie intake.
Faster recovery: By reducing muscle soreness and promoting muscle growth, protein powder helps your body recover from exercise more quickly. This is thanks to the BACCs (branched-chain amino acids) found in the powders, which have been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage.
The many benefits of protein supplement powder are amplified by the fact that it's a fast and easy way to get the protein your body needs. For example, rather than preparing a whole chicken breast or steak, you can simply mix up a protein shake and enjoy all the benefits that come with it in less than 30 seconds.
When you take protein powder will ultimately be up to you and your specific fitness routine. However, there are some general guidelines recommended by fitness experts who rely on the benefits of protein supplement powder to help them reach their fitness goals.
For example, if you're trying to build muscle, it's best to take protein powder before AND after your workout. This is because the powder helps provide energy to power through your training and helps your body to recover afterward. On the other hand, if you are trying to lose weight, it's best to take the supplement powder between meals. This will help to reduce hunger cravings and keep you feeling fuller longer.
If you are taking a slow-digesting protein supplement powder such as casein, it's best to take it before bed. This is because casein protein helps to provide a steady stream of amino acids to your muscles throughout the night, leading to improved muscle growth and more comprehensive recovery.
The age-old question of what is the best way to mix supplement powder is one with many answers, recipes and ingredients. Mixing powder with water, milk or juice is the simplest way. These options provide the fastest and most efficient way to get the protein your body needs without any unnecessary calories or fat.
However, some prefer to mix their powder with other ingredients to create a more complete meal replacement shake or smoothie. For example, adding fruits and vegetables to your protein shake can increase the nutrient and antioxidant content. And, if you're looking for an extra energy boost, adding coffee to your protein shake is a great way to get it.
Some prefer to skip drinking their protein powder entirely, opting for delicious recipes that create protein pancakes, waffles, cookies, and more. While these options may take a bit more time to prepare, they're well worth the effort when you want to supercharge your workouts with the best protein powder snacks and meals for the fastest muscle gains.
No matter how you take your protein supplement powder, the important thing is that you're getting the nutrients your body needs to reach your fitness goals. Be sure to avoid mixing it with sugary ingredients like candy, cake mix, or syrup as these can negate the health benefits and lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Generally, protein powders from sources such as whey, seed protein, casein, or egg are safe for most people. However, as with any supplement, there is always the potential for side effects, especially when taken in large doses.
The most common protein powder side effects include bloating, gas, and constipation. These side effects usually occur in the first few days of taking a new powder supplement or when too much is consumed in one sitting. To avoid these issues, make sure to drink plenty of water after consuming the protein supplement, stick to the right concentration for your body weight, and start with a smaller dose before gradually increasing your intake.
1. How fast can I build muscle with protein powder?
Protein powder is a great way to increase the rate you build muscle, but many other factors will affect your results. Diet, sleep, and workout routine are just as important as supplementing with protein powder. With a well-suited exercise routine and a healthy diet, most people see the best results within four to eight weeks.
2. Is all protein powder chalky?
The consistency of protein powder can vary depending on the powder type and manufacturing process. For example, some powders are chalky, while others have a smoother texture. If you don't like the consistency of one protein powder, it's best to try a different brand or flavor rather than add water or another liquid to thin it out, as this can reduce the overall efficacy.
3. What is the best protein powder for weight loss?
Protein powder can be a great tool for weight loss as it helps to keep you feeling fuller longer and can promote muscle growth. Whey protein is often considered the best type of protein powder for weight loss as it's easily digested and has a high biological value, meaning your body can use more of it for muscle growth and repair.
Gaining muscle takes time, and there's no better way to see results than by supplementing with protein powder. By increasing your intake of this essential nutrient, you'll be able to build muscle faster, recover from workouts more quickly, and see the definition you've been working so hard for.
By ordering any of the best protein powders for muscle gain on this list, you can ensure you're getting a quality product that will help you reach your fitness goals. Chosen for their effectiveness, safety, and flavor options, these protein powders are the perfect way to fuel your body for fast and significant muscle growth.
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