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5 Best Whey Protein Powders 2023: Top Brand Reviews

Mitchelle Morgan

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Dr G. Michael DiLeo, MD

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Jacked Factory Authentic

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey

  • No artificial flavors and dyes.
  • 100-day money-back guarantee.
  • Impressive brand reputation.

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

  • Good manufacturing practice (GMP) certified.
  • Amazing flavors.
  • Mixes well.

Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

  • Mixes well.
  • Tastes amazing.
  • Has numerous flavors.

Best whey protein contributes a part to your fitness. In fact, Proteins[1] are the building blocks of the human body. They have the complex task of ensuring that your cells, tissues, muscles, blood vessels, and organs are fully grown and functioning by the time you are born. Of course, protein works in tandem with other minerals to do this.

Advanced science divides proteins into different types[2]: enzymes, antibodies, contractile, transport, structural, motor, defense, storage, and hormonal proteins.

Yet another fine-tuned classification depends on sources like animal and plant proteins. Then they are further classified by the nature and shape of the protein, like fibrous and globular proteins.

Whey proteins are in the globular category. Globular proteins[3] serve as hormones, enzymes, transport, and immunoglobulin molecules, among other things.

So, what exactly is whey protein, and what are the best whey proteins on retail?

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What Is Whey Protein?

Casein and whey are two types of milk protein. Whey protein is made by separating casein from dairy or as a by-product of cheese production. Because it comprises all nine essential amino acids[4], whey protein is called a complete protein. The lactose content is minimal.

There are numerous advantages to consuming whey protein, like weight loss[5] and lowering cholesterol[6]. And scientists are continuously discovering new medicinal characteristics.

The three types of whey proteins are whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate[7].

Online stores and supplements retail shops have many brands of whey protein products. Some are grass-fed whey protein products, while others are branded the best whey proteins for men, others for women, and the best whey protein for weight loss.

The list is exhausting, so which do you go with?

Here are five of the best whey protein powders in 2023 that you can assess to select one to try.

The Line Up At A Glance

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey

Editor’s Choice

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey

  • No artificial flavors and dyes.
  • 100-day money-back guarantee.
  • Impressive brand reputation.

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Best Whey Protein Powder With A Wide Flavour Variety

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

  • Good manufacturing practice (GMP) certified.
  • Amazing flavors.
  • Mixes well.

Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey

Best Whey Protein For Muscle Gain

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

  • Mixes well.
  • Tastes amazing.
  • Has numerous flavors.

Naked Nutrition - Naked Whey

Best Unflavoured Whey Protein

Naked Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder 5LB

  • Unflavoured whey proteins.
  • Non-GMO (genetically modified organism).
  • Artificial synthetic additives.

Orgain Grass Fed Clean Whey

Best Whey Protein For Women

Orgain Grass Fed Clean Whey Protein Powder

  • Free shipping above $45.
  • Kosher.
  • High-protein powder.

5 Best Whey Protein Powders in 2023

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey

Jacked Factory manufactures the Authentic Whey thorough filtration process that yields high-quality whey protein powder. It is low in fat, sugar, and lactose.

  • There are no artificial colors or fillers in this product.
  • It’s a high-quality protein ratio with whey isolate protein and whey concentrate.
  • The brand has positive feedback from customers.
  • This company offers Sezzle as an alternate payment method.
  • The whey protein powder product comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
  • It is free of allergens such as soy.
  • You have a choice of five flavors.
  • Some flavors are too sweet.

The whey powder contains a blend of whey concentrate and whey isolate, essential for muscle building and tissue repair. It stimulates lean muscle growth, stamina, and recovery by increasing protein synthesis.

The whey protein blend has also been developed to be absorbed swiftly into your system, allowing you to feel energized and strong quickly and consistently. Each serving offers the body adequate amounts of branched-chain amino acids that promote muscle protein synthesis.

All types of trainees, including bodybuilders, professional athletes, and marathoners, can benefit from this quality whey.

Like most Jacked Factory supplements, the Authentic Whey Premium Protein Powder comes in various tastes, including vanilla, fruity cereal splash, orange ice cream, chocolate, and salted caramel.

The entire ingredient profile is:

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed

Transparent Labs is a recognized brand with numerous protein supplements available in retail. It offers athletes, weight lifters, and distance runners the best protein blends in various flavors. The brand is transparent about its contents.

  • The brand is compliant with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Good Manufacturing Processes in its production procedure.
  • It has a varied selection of delicious flavors.
  • This protein powder mixes smoothly with milk and water.
  • It is non-GMO and gluten-free.
  • It is an expensive protein supplement.

Each brand’s flavor contains 28 grams of actual whey protein per scoop. Each brand has minimal cholesterol, fat, and lactose content mainly because it is a protein isolate. This supplement features the best whey protein for losing weight because of its low quantity of fat.

The protein powder is non-GMO, certified gluten-free, and free from artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, and colors.

The manufacturers of this whey isolate protein powder advertise it as a pre-workout or post-workout protein. They claim that it also helps with supporting muscle growth and hastening muscle fiber recovery.

If you enjoy a variety of tastes, then you will love Transparent Labs. It has seven different flavors:

  • Cinnamon Pastry
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • French Vanilla
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Mocha
  • Salted Caramel
  • Strawberry

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder is a 24-gram blend of whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein peptides[10] that helps to promote lean muscle mass.

  • Easy to mix.
  • Optimum Nutrition with a variety of flavors.
  • You can purchase this protein supplement in various sizes.
  • It contains artificial sweeteners.

With naturally occurring branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), this whey protein supplement delivers an additional 5 g of branched-chain amino acids[11] like isoleucine, leucine, and valine to help create lean and powerful muscles. This makes it a top whey protein for muscle gain, no doubt!

It also has 3-4 grams of carbohydrates, 1-3 grams of sugar, and 1-1.5 grams of fat, is gluten-free, and has sucralose and acesulfame-K. It also has lecithin[12].

This whey protein powder is easy to mix, resulting in a solution without lumps and clumps.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder components are available for scrutiny. It includes no questionable or prohibited compounds, as determined by the strictest quality control standards, so you can feel safe about what you are ingesting.

There are four sizes from which to choose one, two, five, and ten pounds. You can also choose from over 20 different flavors. It’s perfect for before or after exercise, in between meals, and with a snack. You can take this supplement any other time of day when you need a protein boost.

Naked Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder 5LB

Naked Nutrition - Naked Whey

NAKED whey protein powder is ideal when making a nourishing smoothie before or after a session. Because it’s unflavored, it won’t change the flavor. Whey is the only component, and it’s completely free of any mysterious, undesirable, or questionable additives.

  • This unflavored whey protein is simple, with only one ingredient: whey.
  • It is a non-GMO whey protein powder.
  • It is free of any artificial additives.
  • It contains lactose.
  • It is hard to mix.

This is hands-down among the purest protein powders; you can be confident of its composition because it has only one ingredient.

The name of this brand is more than just a clever attention-getter; it was intentionally called “naked” to describe its “stripped down” essence. The Naked Nutrition message truly means it when it says naked–no additives, sweeteners, flavors, or colors, and originated from exclusively grass-fed dairy cattle from only one location. 

Whey protein concentrate made of grass-fed cattle from small California farms is the only ingredient in these protein concentrate powders.

Besides having no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or dyes, Naked Whey also doesn’t use gluten, soy, or GMOs in its products. Its whey protein concentrates content contains vital glutathione[13], amino acids, and 25 grams of protein per serving. All these are made using cold processing so that the whey isn’t denatured, affecting its integrity.

In this process, immense force is applied to the produce to extract minerals, vitamins, and enzymes with low oxidation and no heat, resulting in the nutritionally abundant, clean, and delicious pulp.

The resulting whey protein powder supplements are rich in amino acids, and it supports muscle healing and regeneration while also helping curb hunger. As a result, it is one of the top whey proteins for weight loss.

It also doubles down as the best whey powder for muscle gain because it has good isoleucine, leucine, and valine content. These BCAAs aid muscle protein synthesis[14] and enhance muscular growth and healing after training.

The manufacturers also claim that it also boosts the immune system. Whey from grass-fed sources has a higher concentration of conjugated linoleic acid[15] (CLA), fatty acids that helps the immune system. These fatty acids may also be great for your heart[16] and weight loss[17].

Orgain Grass-fed Clean Whey Protein Powder

Orgain Grass Fed Clean

With 21g of grass-fed whey protein concentrates from New Zealand, Orgain Grass-Fed Whey Vanilla Bean Protein Powder is a delightfully smooth and tasty nourishing drink.

  • It is a kosher whey protein.
  • It has a high protein content ideal for women.
  • The company claims that they are the best organic whey protein powder.
  • The taste is not as appealing.

In just 140 calories, you can get 21 grams of pure, grass-fed protein, a complete amino acid profile, and about 5.4 grams of BCAAs from this whey protein powder.

It is the best whey protein supplement for women simply because women generally do not get enough protein in their foods. And this is why most whey protein supplement makers recommend that women take one scoop, or around 20 to 25 g of protein, twice a day. Or take two scoops once a day.

This brand suggests you take two scoops, 42 grams of protein per serving. And for a lady wanting to increase how much whey protein she is taking, this would be ideal.

Unlike other protein supplement brands, it is gluten-free and soy-free, and it includes no additives or preservatives. It is also non-GMO and non-GMO Project Verified. You may incorporate this whey protein supplement into breakfast goodies like pancakes and smoothies.

You can combine it with the base of your choice for a wonderful protein shake; water or milk are also excellent options.

How We Ranked the Best Whey Protein Powder

We always use criteria to justify each product taking up the space it does on our lists. Here is the checklist we have employed for the best whey protein powders you have read above:


When it comes to taste, it’s relatively simple to find one of the best protein powders for you, because the big question is: does it taste good or not?

And while the preference is subjective at times, we believe there is a simple approach to determining whether something is delicious or not. The flavors in this list of the best whey protein supplements are accomodating to all kinds of people: those that like subtle tastes, the sweet tooth, and the one that appreciates unflavoured kinds. You go with what floats your boat.

Ingredient List

The ingredient list is usually the main concern for ranking any best protein powder, and whey protein is no exception. That said, you look at two main indicators for the ingredients. Regardless of the product, always use the first reference point as the listed ingredients on the package. Look for the concentrations and quantities.

Secondly, cross-reference if the brand is honest by looking at the certificates it has. These certifications confirm that whatever they have included in the protein supplement is authentic in nature and quantity.

We generally suggest that you go for protein powders with no or minimal amount of artificial sweeteners. Also, it is best to go for gluten-free options, sugar-free, and, if you are vegan, the kinds designated specifically for vegans.

The Ease of Blending

There is a certain discomfort associated with drinking a shake with powdery lumps inside. They may gag you at worst, or merely be unpleasant at best; regardless, no one enjoys chomping down a poorly blended protein drink. (You should drink drinks, not eat them!)

Unfortunately, some protein powders, no matter how vigorously shaken with a bottle, still wind up powdery, bulky, and offputting. This element, like the flavor, is simple to test. Check if it is smooth enough to mix with simple proper handshaking. But if you require an electric mixer for true sleekness and fluidity, that may not cut it!

Benefits of Whey Protein Powder

When you start using high-quality protein, you must be using it for a specific purpose.

So here are some of the purported benefits of whey protein powder:

Weight Loss

In one research[18] of 158 persons, those who consumed whey protein lost significantly more body fat and demonstrated higher conservation of lean muscle when contrasted with subjects ingesting the control beverage.

Improve Immunity In Asthmatic Kids

It may enhance the immunological response in children with asthma, a medical condition that relies on an appropriate immune system.

Asthmatic children administered 10 grams[19] of whey protein twice a day for four weeks had a better immunological response, i.e., an appropriate response which mitigated the immune overreaction that asthma is.

Reduce Blood Pressure And Cardiovascular Disease

As per a research published in the International Dairy Journal[20], whey protein-fortified products lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients and their risk of coronary heart stroke or disease. Hypertension and heart disease are a package deal, so helping one helps it all.

Reduce Weight Loss In (HIV) Patients

Research shows that whey protein could potentially HIV (help human immunodeficiency virus)-positive individuals mitigate losing[21] weight.

Whey protein supplementation increases CD4 cells, which may promote weight regain[22], which is essential for an HIV patient’s well-being.

Anticancer Properties

In the journal Anticancer Research[23], there are positive outcomes for using whey protein concentrate in cancer treatment. Although promising, however, this data is still preliminary. As such, more investigation on this is required.

When To Use Whey Protein Powder?

You gain the most from whey protein for muscle growth when you ingest it shortly before, after, or during an exercise, i.e., associated “around” exercise. Following a workout, muscle protein synthesis is generally at its peak.

However, this may depend on the brand of whey protein powder you select, as they usually come with their recommended best time for consumption. Please adhere to these instructions.

The instructions also guide on the best base to use. Some offer limited options like water and milk, while some allow you to include them in other meals.

Final Thought

The best whey protein supplements may aid muscle gain, weight loss, and in some rare cases, weight gain. The five powders we highlighted above are our highest recommended protein powders, but that does not mean that they are the only ones.

Several other powders are available in retail with various sources like soy protein and pea protein that make them the best whey protein for weight gain or weight loss, depending on the ingredients included.

Each manufacturer promises numerous claims that you must confirm by researching and reading testimonials. However, do not start any without your dietitian’s advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top 5 whey protein powders?

The top five whey protein powders are
– Jacked Factory Authentic Whey
– Transparent Labs 100% Grass-fed Whey Protein Isolate
– Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
– Naked Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder 5LB
– Orgain Grass Protein Powder

What is the healthiest type of whey protein?

The healthiest whey protein powders are those without artificial sweeteners and other additives that could compromise the assimilation of protein into the body. Also, go for non-GMO and gluten-free whey protein powders.

Which protein is best for muscle gain?

Proteins with a complete amino acid profile like whey protein are best for muscle growth. These proteins help with faster absorption and faster recovery of the wear-and-tear of muscles while you train.

Does whey protein make you gain weight?

Generally, whey proteins do not make you gain weight. However, if the calorie count is higher because of other additives like peanut butter and sugar, you may gain weight if not actively working out.

+ 23 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

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  3. Globular Proteins Respiratory Block Biochemistry Team 434 Color index: Red= Important Purple= Addition Orange= Explanation. (n.d.). [online] Available at: http://ksumsc.com/download_center/Archive/1st/434/3-Respiratory%20Block/Teams%20Work/Biochemistry/1.Globular%20Proteins.pdf ‌
  4. Lopez, M.J. and Mohiuddin, S.S. (2021). Biochemistry, Essential Amino Acids. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557845/ ‌
  5. Smith, G.I., Commean, P.K., Reeds, D.N., Klein, S. and Mittendorfer, B. (2018). Effect of Protein Supplementation During Diet-Induced Weight Loss on Muscle Mass and Strength: A Randomized Controlled Study. Obesity, [online] 26(5), pp.854–861. doi:10.1002/oby.22169.
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  7. ‌Moro, T., Brightwell, C.R., Velarde, B., Fry, C.S., Nakayama, K., Sanbongi, C., Volpi, E. and Rasmussen, B.B. (2019). Whey Protein Hydrolysate Increases Amino Acid Uptake, mTORC1 Signaling, and Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle of Healthy Young Men in a Randomized Crossover Trial. The Journal of Nutrition, [online] 149(7), pp.1149–1158. doi:10.1093/jn/nxz053.
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  10. Jeewanthi, R.K.C., Kim, M.H., Lee, N.-K., Yoon, Y.C. and Paik, H.-D. (2017). Peptide Analysis and the Bioactivity of Whey Protein Hydrolysates from Cheese Whey with Several Enzymes. Korean Journal for Food Science of Animal Resources, [online] 37(1), pp.62–70. doi:10.5851/kosfa.2017.37.1.62.
  11. ‌Santos, C. de S. and Nascimento, F.E.L. (2019). Isolated branched-chain amino acid intake and muscle protein synthesis in humans: a biochemical review. Einstein (São Paulo), [online] 17(3). doi:10.31744/einstein_journal/2019rb4898.
  12. ‌D’Souza, D., Blake, B., Williams, I., Mullan, B., Pethick, D. and Dunshea, F. (2015). Dietary Lecithin Supplementation Can Improve the Quality of the M. Longissimus thoracis. Animals, [online] 5(4), pp.1180–1191. doi:10.3390/ani5040405.
  13. ‌Pizzorno, J. (2014). Glutathione! Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), [online] 13(1), pp.8–12. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684116/ ‌
  14. Wolfe, R.R. (2017). Branched-chain amino acids and muscle protein synthesis in humans: myth or reality? Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, [online] 14(1). doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0184-9.
  15. ‌O’Shea, M., Bassaganya-Riera, J. and Mohede, I.C. (2004). Immunomodulatory properties of conjugated linoleic acid. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 79(6), pp.1199S1206S. doi:10.1093/ajcn/79.6.1199s.
  16. ‌The Nutrition Source. (2014). Dietary linoleic acid and risk of coronary heart disease. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2014/11/05/dietary-linoleic-acid-and-risk-of-coronary-heart-disease/‌
  17. den Hartigh, L.J. (2019). Conjugated Linoleic Acid Effects on Cancer, Obesity, and Atherosclerosis: A Review of Pre-Clinical and Human Trials with Current Perspectives. Nutrients, [online] 11(2), p.370. doi:10.3390/nu11020370.
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  19. ‌Lothian, J.B., Grey, V. and Lands, L.C. (2006). Effect of whey protein to modulate immune response in children with atopic asthma. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, [online] 57(3-4), pp.204–211. doi:10.1080/09637480600738294.
  20. ‌Fluegel, S.M., Shultz, T.D., Powers, J.R., Clark, S., Barbosa-Leiker, C., Wright, B.R., Freson, T.S., Fluegel, H.A., Minch, J.D., Schwarzkopf, L.K., Miller, A.J. and Di Filippo, M.M. (2010). Whey beverages decrease blood pressure in prehypertensive and hypertensive young men and women. International Dairy Journal, [online] 20(11), pp.753–760. doi:10.1016/j.idairyj.2010.06.005.
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  22. Zou, J., Lai, B., Zheng, M., Chen, Q., Jiang, S., Song, A., Huang, Z., Shi, P., Tu, X., Wang, D., Lu, L., Lin, Z. and Gao, X. (2017). CD4+ T cells memorize obesity and promote weight regain. Cellular & Molecular Immunology, [online] 15(6), pp.630–639. doi:10.1038/cmi.2017.36.
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Mitchelle Morgan

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All her work is backed by scientific evidence to ensure readers get valuable and actionable content.

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

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