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5 Best Tasting Protein Powders For Muscle Growth Review 2024

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

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Ritual Essential Protein

Ritual Essential Protein

  • Complete amino acid profile
  • Every lot is third-party tested
  • Major allergen and gluten-free
  • Vegan-friendly

Instant Knockout Complete

Instant Knockout Complete

  • 35 grams of protein per serving
  • 13 grams of fiber per serving
  • Vegan-friendly

KOS Organic Plant Protein

KOS Organic Plant Protein

  • Offered in seven flavors
  • Dairy, soy, and gluten-free
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays many vital roles in the human body. Most notably, it helps build muscle, repair tissue, and make hormones and enzymes. Adequate protein intake is key to maintaining a well-balanced diet, but meeting your protein needs can be challenging, especially when life seems to get busier and busier. 

Thankfully, researchers have developed a way for us to meet our protein needs efficiently through easy-to-consume nutrition supplements. Of course, not most protein powders are created equally. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of five of the best-tasting protein powders available. We’ll look at the nutrition content, cost value, and other factors that might affect your decision when shopping for the many available protein powders on the market today. 

5 Best Tasting Protein Powders For Muscle Growth On The Market In (February. 2024)

5 Best Tasting Protein Powders In 2024

Ritual Essential Protein

Ritual hit another home run with its Essential Protein powder. Every serving of this vegan protein powder provides 20 grams of protein and just 115 calories.

  • The complete amino acid profile
  • Every lot is third-party tested and is certified by Informed Sport
  • Major allergen, soy, sugar, sugar alcohol, and gluten-free
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Available in one flavor

When Ritual’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Katerina Schneider, was pregnant, she went on a mission to remove products from her life that she felt had questionable ingredients. So she replaced everything from her cleaning supplies to her deodorant. 

But when it came to finding a prenatal vitamin she could trust, her search came up empty every time. So she created her own, and from there, Ritual’s impact has continued to grow.

Ritual’s Essential Protein is a plant-based protein powder made of pea protein sourced from peas grown in the United States. Pea protein is limited in the amino acids methionine and cysteine, making it an incomplete protein. To make up for the lack of methionine, the company supplements this amino acid back into the product, but there is no evidence of additional cysteine needed to give it a complete amino acid profile. 

It is free from genetically modified organisms or GMOs, and artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Its ingredients include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, both essential to the body, along with chromium and vitamin D.

Essential Protein is vegan-friendly, and every lot of the product is tested by a third party for heavy metals, microbes, and over 250 banned substances in partnership with Informed-Sport. 

Right now, Essential Protein only comes in a vanilla flavor, but the plant-based protein can easily be mixed into your favorite smoothie recipe to add variety to the taste. 

Shipping is always free when you set up a subscription, and you can pause or cancel your subscription anytime. If you’re unsatisfied with the product, Ritual offers a money-back guarantee. 

Instant Knockout Complete

Instant Knockout Complete is a popular supplement among athletes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and mixed martial arts scenes. It’s an extremely nutrient-dense protein shake, providing 35 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber per serving.  

  • 35 grams of protein per serving
  • 13 grams of fiber per serving
  • Vegan-friendly
  • 13 grams of fat, 400 calories per serving
  • No mention of third-party testing
  • High-cost

Instant Knockout Complete is a plant-based protein sourced from peas and soy protein. Every serving provides 35 grams of protein and 13 grams of dietary fiber. The formula was designed by nutritionists and dietitians who selected each ingredient based on clinical research.

It provides 35 grams of carbohydrates and 13 grams of fat per serving, adding up to a total of 400 calories per meal replacement. It’s a nutrient-dense protein shake designed to replace a meal, so you will need to account for that in the rest of your day’s nutritional intake and calorie count. The fat found in the formula comes from medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs, a form of easily metabolized fat that has been shown to reduce waist circumference and body fat.

To consume, add two scoops to 500 milliliters of water and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. It’s only offered as vanilla protein powder, so consider adding it to a smoothie if you don’t care for vanilla. 

Instant Knockout Complete is higher in cost than other protein powders. However, you can return the vanilla protein powder (unopened) for a refund if needed. Also, it’s important to note that there is no mention of a third-party testing group on the product’s page.

KOS Organic Plant Protein

KOS was founded based on Hippocrates’ approach to health. It provides customers with abundant resources to live a plant-centered life, its Organic Plant Protein included.

  • Offered in seven flavors
  • Dairy, soy, and gluten-free
  • Includes digestive enzymes
  • All flavors contain tree nuts
  • Contains proprietary blends
  • Contains 330 milligrams of sodium (14% of the Daily Value).

If you’re looking for a protein that offers variety, the KOS Organic Plant Protein might be your choice. This organic plant-based protein comes in seven flavors, such as blueberry muffin, salted caramel coffee, and chocolate flavor like chocolate chip mint and chocolate peanut butter flavor. 

Made with a blend of organic ingredients such as chia seeds, pumpkin seed protein, quinoa, and pea protein, this protein blend helps users embrace a plant-centered lifestyle. Every serving of the KOS Organic Plant Protein provides 20 grams of protein and 140 to 165 calories, depending on the flavor. 

It is slightly high in sodium[1] at 14% of the Daily Value for someone on a 2000-calorie diet, so watch the sodium content in the rest of your diet, so you don’t exceed the recommended 2,300 milligrams per day. Furthermore, the formula contains digestive enzymes to help you more efficiently break down your fats, proteins, and carbs.

All flavors contain tree nuts. However, the organic protein blend is formulated as gluten, dairy, and soy-free. It does contain the natural sweetener stevia, which has been shown to alter the gut microbiome, but this bacterial impact has not been determined to be detrimental or beneficial pending further study. Furthermore, it is manufactured in a Good Manufacturing Practice-certified facility.   

You can buy the protein supplement as a one-time purchase or set up a subscription for a 15% cost savings. And if the product doesn’t meet your expectations, KOS offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. 

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Transparent Labs Protein Powder provides 28 grams of protein per serving, sourced from naturally-fed, and hormone-free cows.

  • Available in nine flavors
  • Certificates of Analysis are easily accessible
  • 120 calories per serving
  • Contains stevia

Transparent Labs Protein Powder is made from naturally-fed and hormone-free cow whey. It provides 28 grams of protein and just 120 calories in every serving. 

It is available in nine flavors including oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, French vanilla, mocha, cinnamon French toast, and chocolate peanut butter. It is free of artificial sweeteners, gluten, food dyes, and preservatives. It does contain the natural sweetener stevia, however. Furthermore, it is the best-tasting low-carb protein powder on our lineup, with only one gram of carbohydrate per serving.

The whey protein isolate is manufactured in a facility containing coconut and peanuts, but Transparent Labs has an allergen control program that sanitizes equipment between runs. Whey isolate is similar to the concentrate but has gone through additional filtering to remove the lactose sugar. 

Transparent Labs products undergo third-party testing, and Transparent Labs makes the certificates of analysis and composition easily accessible on its website. 

To make a protein shake, simply mix one scoop of the Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate with six to eight ounces of water. You can buy the protein powders as a one-time purchase or sign up for a subscription for cost savings, and shipping is free. And if you happen to change your mind, you can return the product (unopened) within 30 days.

Naked Whey Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder

Naked Nutrition Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder

15% Off Coupon: HEALTHCANAL

See Naked Nutrition Reviews

Naked Nutrition offers many quality products to its customers. Its Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder is high on the list.

  • Available in four flavors
  • Third-party tested
  • Soy, additive, gluten-free
  • High upfront cost

Naked Whey’s Grass-Fed Whey Protein concentrate is available in four flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and unflavored. No matter what flavor of this whey-based protein powder you choose, you will get 25 grams of protein with 5.9 grams of branched-chain amino acids in each serving. Branched-chain amino acids enhance muscle growth and repair, help fight fatigue, and reduce muscle soreness after a workout.

Naked Whey sources its whey protein from grass-fed, free-roaming cows that are raised without growth hormones. The grass-fed flavored whey protein powder concentrate is free from artificial sweeteners and additives. It is also gluten and soy-free. 

Unfortunately, it’s only sold in five-pound containers, so it requires a high upfront cost similar to buying in bulk. However, you can set up a subscription for a 20% cost savings.

To use the whey supplement, add it to protein shakes, smoothies, or baked goods. The unflavored powder can be used in many recipes since it won’t affect the taste of the dish or beverage.  

Should We Take Protein Powder?

While it’s entirely possible to meet your protein needs through whole foods alone, protein powders offer a wide range of benefits and can be an appropriate addition to many people’s diets.

Building Muscle

Protein is necessary for muscle building through a biological process called muscle protein synthesis. Many studies have shown that protein supplementation can help enhance muscle mass[2] when paired with physical training. Research has also found that protein plays a key role[3] in maintaining muscle mass when faced with calorie restriction. 

Tissue Repair

In addition to helping build muscle, protein is a key component in repairing damaged muscle or tissue. Many athletes rely on protein shakes to support their recovery efforts after a workout. 

Hormones And Enzymes

Protein consumption also plays a significant role in developing our hormones and enzymes. For example, research has shown a connection between increased protein intake and dopamine,[4] a brain hormone involved in food cravings.  

Body Weight Management 

Protein can also play a significant role in body weight management by helping with feelings of satiety. Meeting our protein needs helps us feel fuller for longer, which allows us to make food choices based on our hunger cues. For example, when we feel full, we may choose smaller portions or snack less frequently. 

Protein also has a higher thermic effect on metabolism than carbohydrates or fat. Thus, protein may stimulate our metabolisms to burn more calories, thus enhancing our efforts to lose weight.

A 2012 randomized clinical weight loss trial[5] found that higher protein diets were more effective in reducing body fat and maintaining weight loss over 12 months. So if your health goals include weight loss, protein supplements may help. 

How To Choose The Best Protein Powder

Navigating the many nutritional supplements available on the market today can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to finding the best protein shakes. Here are a few things to ponder when finding the best supplement to boost your protein intake:

Ingredients

Since protein sources can vary in supplements, it’s essential to review the ingredients when shopping for the best-tasting protein powders. For example, if you follow a vegan lifestyle, you’ll want to shop for vegan protein powders made with plant-based proteins such as brown rice, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond milk, and pea protein. 

You may also want to consider other ingredients as they may affect the overall nutrition provided. Added ingredients may affect your tolerance to a new protein supplement. For example, some supplements contain added probiotics, digestive enzymes, fiber, and healthy fats. 

Protein Content

This might be the most important aspect to consider when shopping for a protein supplement. Check the protein per serving on the nutrition label and consider the protein source. Some protein powders provide all nine essential amino acids making them a complete protein source, while others may not be regarded as a complete protein. 

If you’re looking for the best-tasting protein powder in water, the amount of protein per serving might be especially important to consider. Generally speaking, the more protein per serving, the more water is required to dissolve the protein.  

Cost Per Serving

Some supplement companies offer a subscribe and save option, while others require one-time purchases. Once you’ve found supplements that fit your nutrition needs, consider how they impact your budget and choose accordingly.

Flavors

With more protein options hitting the shelves, we’re seeing more available flavors. You might test protein powders until you find the best-tasting whey protein powder, best-tasting plant-sourced protein, best-tasting protein powder for smoothies, best-tasting keto protein powder, etc. 

Protein Powder Dosage

Most protein shakes are advertised as a daily supplement to be taken between meals or after a workout. However, it’s recommended that you follow the directions on the product’s packaging for the best results regarding consistency and taste. 

It’s best to talk with your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist before starting a new protein supplement or boosting your protein intake. If you are taking medications that interact with common protein powder ingredients, you may need to avoid protein powders altogether. Such interactions may occur with medications such as Fosamax, antibiotics, or parasite-killing medications.

Final Thought

Protein supplements have become a staple for many people trying to improve their overall health and reach their fitness goals. Protein shakes can provide the following:

When choosing the best-tasting protein powder for weight loss, muscle growth, etc., consider its ingredients, how much protein it contains, and its cost per serving. Then, of course, check to ensure your preference is offered in a flavor you like. 

Taking a protein supplement can offer many health benefits. However, it’s important to remember that no two bodies are identical. For example, the best-tasting protein powder for women may not serve their male counterparts similarly. Therefore, it’s best to discuss nutrition supplements with your doctor or registered dietitian. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best-tasting protein powder?

The answer to this question will vary between individuals. Thankfully, most protein supplement companies offer products in various flavors. Consider ordering small portions to taste-test the products until you find one you like.

Are protein powders safe?

Yes, protein powders are considered generally safe for the average adult. However, not all bodies are the same, so discussing any health implications with your doctor before starting a new supplement is important.

Are protein powders good for weight loss?

Yes, protein powders can be an excellent tool for someone on a weight loss journey. Just remember that protein powders are meant to be a supplement and should not regularly replace meals.

What is the tastiest whey protein powder?

Of course, the answer to this question will vary, depending on who you ask, since our taste buds have their own preferences. If you’re unsure which tasty protein shake to choose, you might consider trying a brand with several flavor options like Transparent Labs’ 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate. However, there are many tasty whey protein powders available.


+ 5 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

  1. Center (2022). Sodium in Your Diet. [online] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/food/nutrition-education-resources-materials/sodium-your-diet.
  2. Pasiakos, S.M., McLellan, T.M. and Lieberman, H.R. (2014). The Effects of Protein Supplements on Muscle Mass, Strength, and Aerobic and Anaerobic Power in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine, [online] 45(1), pp.111–131. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0242-2.
  3. Helms, E.R., Zinn, C., Rowlands, D.S. and Brown, S.R. (2014). A Systematic Review of Dietary Protein During Caloric Restriction in Resistance Trained Lean Athletes: A Case for Higher Intakes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, [online] 24(2), pp.127–138. doi:https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2013-0054.
  4. Hoertel, H.A., Will, M.L. and Leidy, H.J. (2014). A randomized crossover, pilot study examining the effects of a normal protein vs. high protein breakfast on food cravings and reward signals in overweight/obese ‘breakfast skipping’, late-adolescent girls. Nutrition Journal, [online] 13(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-13-80.
  5. Evans, E.M., Mojtahedi, M.C., Thorpe, M., Valentine, R.J., Kris-Etherton, P.M. and Layman, D.K. (2012). Effects of protein intake and gender on body composition changes: a randomized clinical weight loss trial. Nutrition & Metabolism, [online] 9(1), pp.55–55. doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-9-55.
Chelsea Rae Bourgeois

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a background in fitness and athletics. She has worked as a dietitian in the clinical setting for the past seven years, helping a wide variety of patients navigate their health through nutrition. She finds joy in sharing her passions through her freelance writing career with the hopes of helping people embrace their health and live their lives to the fullest.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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