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Ranking the Top 5 Best Whey Protein Powders to Buy for Men

When it comes to improving muscle protein synthesis and promoting lean muscle mass growth, many people are using whey protein supplementation. However not many people really understand exactly what it is and how it works. In this article, we’re going to explore this type of protein powder and then review what we feel are the top 5 best whey protein powders on the market today.

The very first thing you need to know is that milk contains two proteins:

  • Casein (80%)
  • Whey (20%)

During the process of producing cheese, the fatty parts coagulate to create cheese, while the liquid drains off. Whey is this liquid portion that is drained off. If you’ve ever opened a container of yogurt and seen the liquid floating on the top, that is whey. Prior to learning that whey had value, this was considered a by-product that was just thrown out.

Now, during the manufacturing process, once it is separated, whey is processed into what we know it as: a powder. This powder can be used to make shakes, as a meal replacement, in protein bars, and just about any way you can imagine. Whey doesn’t taste that great by itself, which is the reason why manufacturers usually add natural and artificial flavoring- or add it to foods that do have flavor.

Whey is known as a complete protein because it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids your body needs. Additionally, the lactose content is low, so even those who are lactose intolerant can often tolerate whey protein.

There are lots of benefits that come with consuming whey protein, and researchers are always finding new potential therapeutic properties. If you need to increase your protein consumption, whey protein powder is a great way to do it. Generally, whey protein is well-tolerated. Of course, if you are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy, it’s important to discuss your use of whey protein with a medical professional.

Benefits of Whey Protein Powder

There are several benefits of using whey protein powder. Below are just a few of them:

  • Facilitates weight loss
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Potential anti-cancer properties
  • Improve immune response in asthma patients
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reducing weight loss in HIV patients

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that results vary, and more research is needed to confirm some of the results.

Potential Dangers of Whey Protein Powder

While it’s true that there are lots of benefits related to using whey protein powder, there are also some potential dangers as well. We’ll look at those below.

For those who have an allergy to milk, whey may actually be the culprit. Typically, in moderate doses, whey does not cause adverse reactions. That being said, if you consume high doses, you may experience the following:

  • Stomach cramps/pains
  • Headache
  • Reduced appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Additionally, consuming high doses of whey protein consistently can cause acne.

Types of Whey Protein Powder

Whey is one of the most popular types of protein powder on the market today. That being said, there are three options when it comes to whey protein. Some people find them to be confusing, but once you know the difference, it’s actually pretty easy. Below, we’ll discuss the three types of whey protein powder.

Whey Protein Concentrate

Today, whey protein concentrate is the most popular type of whey protein on the market because it is so cheap. When companies use this type of whey protein in their powders, they are able to save money- which they do pass on that savings to their consumers.

While it’s true that you may save some money by using whey concentrate products, the potential for negative effects on your health are not really worth it. Whey concentrate products typically have a much higher fat content than whey isolate or hydrolysate, and also have added fillers that prevent your body from effectively digesting and absorbing the protein. Additionally, there have been some reports of negative impacts on gastrointestinal health.

Typically, whey protein concentrate is 30 to 90% protein.

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate is also referred to as pure protein. In fact, due to the fact that there is nothing added, whey protein isolate truly is the purest protein you will find. Some of the other protein types on the market have fillers, fats, and other unhealthy ingredients. If you are trying to get in shape and improve your overall health, you obviously don’t want these things in your body.

The reason this is such a pure form of protein is because it’s been through a micro-filtration process in which the unhealthy ingredients, such as fats, carbs, and lactose, have been filtered out.

Typically, whey protein isolate is 90%+ protein.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

When it comes to this third form of protein, whey protein hydrolysate, there seems to be a bit of debate within the nutrition world. There are some who believe it actually may be a healthier option than whey protein isolate. However, there really is only one difference between the two. This type of protein has been through an extra filtration step, known as enzymatic hydrolysis. This process simply breaks down the protein particles even more, making them easier for the body to digest them.

In addition to being easier to digest, the allergen risk in whey protein hydrolysate is much lower. This is why it is often used in infant formulas and medical protein supplementation.

Top 5 Best Whey Protein Powder Highlights

Product Highlights
XWERKS Grow
  • No bloating/gas
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Easily absorbed
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Whey Protein by Transparent Labs
  • Improves energy levels
  • Gluten-free
  • No added chemicals
  • Unique flavors available
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows in USA
  • Ladder Whey Protein
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Gluten-free
  • All natural
  • Soy-free
  • Legion Whey Isolate
  • High BCAA levels
  • No trans-fats
  • Gluten free
  • No added sugars
  • Clean formula
  • Whey Isolate Grass-Fed by Onnit
  • High in amino acids
  • No preservatives
  • No additives
  • Increase muscle gains
  • Improve recovery
  • Top 5 Best Whey Protein Powder Reviews

    There are so many different protein powder options on the market today and every day it seems like there’s something new added to the mix. Of course, narrowing it down to whey protein does help, but even then, the options can be overwhelming. That is where we come in. We have narrowed down your options to what we feel are the top 5 best whey protein powder options you will find.

    Below, we will review each one of them and hopefully give you some guidance on which one might help you reach your goals.

    XWERKS Grow – Editor’s Choice

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    Official Website

    The first whey protein on our list is XWERKS Grow. This is a whey isolate that is sourced from grass-fed cows located in New Zealand. The primary reason that this protein powder made number one on our list is because it is a whey isolate, which means it’s almost pure protein. It’s gone through an advanced filtration process, which removes the fat, lactose, and carbs.

    Since it has been through this processing, it’s a lot easier on your body to digest and absorb. If you use XWERKS Grow, you don’t have to be concerned with gas or bloating and- it is gluten-free and soy-free.

    Each serving contains everything you need in a protein powder. It has an extraordinary nutrient profile, with:

    • 25 grams protein
    • 6 grams BCAAs
    • 0 carbs
    • 0 fat

    XWERKS Grow comes in four traditional flavors:

    • Chocolate
    • Vanilla
    • Strawberry
    • Peanut Butter
    Type of Protein Whey isolate
    Ingredients
  • 25 grams protein
  • 6 grams BCAAs
  • 0 carbs
  • 0 fat
  • Highlights
  • No bloating/gas
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Easily absorbed
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Money Back Guarantee?
  • Yes, 30 days
  • Flavor Options
  • Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Vanilla, Strawberry
  • Whey Protein by Transparent Labs

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    Official Website

    If you are selective about the quality of your protein powder, you just might have stumbled across the best option for you. Whey Protein by Transparent Labs is 100% whey isolate and the quality of this formula is what earned it a spot on our list.

    Each scoop of this product measures 32 grams and 28 grams of that is protein. This means that each and every scoop is 88% protein, which is a really high percentage. The protein in this product is sourced from grass-fed cows located in the USA. The farmers of these cows never give them any sort of supplementation, including hormones, so you can be sure that they are only getting a 100% natural diet. Plus, Transparent Labs never adds anything to their products, so you can be sure that you are giving your body the best protein powder on the market.

    Each serving contains:

    • Under 1 gram of sugar
    • Up to 120 calories
    • 28 grams of protein
    • 1 gram of carbs

    In addition to having a stella macronutrient profile, Whey Protein by Transparent Labs is also budget friendly. This product proves that you don’t have to spend all of your money to get in shape. Finally, they offer some unique flavors including:

    • Cereal splash
    • Chocolate peanut butter
    • Mocha
    • Milk chocolate
    • Vanilla
    • Cinnamon pastry
    • Salted caramel
    Type of Protein Whey Isolate
    Ingredients
  • Under 1 gram of sugar
  • Up to 120 calories
  • 28 grams of protein
  • 1 gram of carbs
  • Highlights
  • Improves energy levels
  • Gluten-free
  • No added chemicals
  • Unique flavors available
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows in USA
  • Money Back Guarantee?
  • Yes, 90 days
  • Flavor Options
  • Milk Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Strawberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Pastry, Vanilla, Strawberry
  • Ladder Whey Protein

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    Official Website

    Ladder Protein has some big names behind it: Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James, Lindsey Vonn, and Cindy Crawford. These names are highly regarded in the athletic arena. Why wouldn’t you want to try something that involves them? According to the website, Ladder Whey does the following:

    • Supports muscle development
    • Increases endurance
    • Improves recovery

    Each serving boasts a stellar macronutrient profile, including the following:

    • 14 grams of amino acids
    • 26 grams of protein
    • 7 grams of BCAAs
    • 2 billion CFUs of probiotics

    Ladder likes to keep things traditional, offering two basic flavors:

    • Vanilla
    • Chocolate

    Finally, it’s important to note that Ladder Whey Protein carries the NSF Certified for Sport certification. This means that it’s been through some rigorous testing and has been proven to be clear from substances that have been banned in competitions.

    Type of Protein
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Milk protein isolate
  • Ingredients
  • 26 grams protein
  • 14 grams amino acids
  • 2 billion CFUs probiotics
  • 7 grams BCAAs
  • Highlights
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Gluten-free
  • All natural
  • Soy-free
  • Money Back Guarantee?
  • Yes, 30 days
  • Flavor Options
  • Chocolate, Vanilla
  • Legion Whey Isolate

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    Official Website

    Legion sources their whey isolate from farms in Ireland that are family owned and operated. The reason this whey isolate formula made our list is because Legion only works with farmers who follow the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme, also known as SDAS. These regulations are quite strict, so you can be sure that you are getting some of the cleanest, healthiest milk in the world.

    Each serving of Legion Whey Isolate includes:

    • 22 grams of protein
    • 2 grams of carbs
    • 5 grams of fat
    • 6 grams of BCAAs
    • 120 calories
    • 0 added sugars

    Legion Whey Protein Isolate offers 13 different flavors, including an unflavored version for those who prefer something they can use in their favorite food or beverage without affecting the taste.

    • Mocha Cappuccino
    • Dutch chocolate
    • Salted Caramel
    • French Vanilla
    • Cookies & Cream
    • Birthday Cake
    • Cocoa Cereal
    • Fruity Cereal
    • Cinnamon Cereal
    • Chocolate Peanut Butter
    • Mint Chocolate
    • Strawberry Banana

    If you want a protein powder that you know is clean and natural and offers a variety of amazing benefits, Legion Whey Isolate Protein powder may be a great option.

    Type of Protein Whey isolate
    Ingredients
  • 22 grams protein
  • 6 grams BCAAs
  • 5 grams fat
  • 2 grams carbs
  • 120 calories
  • 0 added sugars
  • Highlights
  • High BCAA levels
  • No trans-fats
  • Gluten free
  • No added sugars
  • Clean formula
  • Money Back Guarantee?
  • Yes, 365 days
  • Flavor Options
  • Unflavored, Birthday Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cocoa Cereal, Mocha Cappuccino, Strawberry Banana, Cookies & Cream, Salted Caramel, Fruity Cereal, Cinnamon Cereal, Dutch Chocolate, French Vanilla, Mint Chocolate
  • Whey Isolate Grass-Fed by Onnit

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    Official Website

    Whey Isolate from Onnit is sourced from New Zealand grass-fed cows. Each serving of this popular protein supplement contains:

    • 20 grams of protein
    • 100 calories
    • 0 sugars

    You can find this protein supplement in two traditional flavors:

    • Vanilla
    • Chocolate

    According to the website, Whey Isolate from Onnit will speed up recovery following an intense workout session and will increase muscle gains. Additionally, you can enjoy all of the other benefits you would expect from a high-quality whey protein powder.

    Type of Protein Whey isolate
    Ingredients
  • 20 grams protein
  • 100 calories
  • 0 sugars
  • Highlights
  • High in amino acids
  • No preservatives
  • No additives
  • Increase muscle gains
  • Improve recovery
  • Money Back Guarantee?
  • Yes, 90 days
  • Flavor Options
  • Chocolate, Vanilla
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Best Whey Protein Powder

    Of course, there are always lots of questions that come up when people start talking about trying something new. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about using whey protein powder.

    Why should you add protein powder to your diet?

    Protein powder offers a lot of benefits, including ensuring that you are consuming the recommended daily requirement of protein, managing weight, and supplementing meals for those who are always on the go. Protein gives you that feeling of being full without being stuffed and provides you with lasting energy.

    Can you mix protein powder with other recipes?

    When it comes to protein powders, most people choose to make shakes. However, this is definitely not the only option. There are actually lots of ways that you can incorporate protein powder into your daily diet. You can add it to your yogurt or cottage cheese, you can add it to your cookies and muffins when baking, you can add it to your pizza crust when making dinner, and so much more. Basically, when it comes to using protein powder, the sky’s the limit. You can use your imagination to find easy ways to incorporate it into your daily diet.

    Can protein powders be used with prescription medications?

    When you’re given a prescription, the doctor always has warnings for potential interactions with various things. However, unfortunately, it’s not clear if there are any interactions between protein powders and prescription medications. Therefore, if you are on any prescriptions and you want to add protein powder to your daily routine, it’s important to have a conversation with your medical provider for advice.

    When should protein powders be consumed?

    As a general rule, protein powders should be consumed prior to or following a workout session. There are some serious athletes who do both to maximize the benefits. That being said, the primary concern should not be when you are consuming your protein, but that you’re getting the recommended daily requirements. Ideally, when you are going into a workout, you should feel full but not stuffed. Following your workout, refuel so that your body can recover from the workout.

    Can vegans or vegetarians use whey protein powders?

    Whey is the most common protein on the market. However, it is sourced from dairy, which means that most vegans don’t want to use it. Vegetarians are fine to use it, as long as they do not have a dairy allergy. Of course, those who are following a vegan lifestyle do have options: they can use a plant-based protein such as pea, hemp, soy, etc.

    Does whey protein powder have any advantages?

    As mentioned, whey is the most popular type of protein on the market. The primary reason for this is that it contains the 9 essential amino acids, and it is water soluble. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it has any advantages over the rest other than the fact that it’s got plenty of research behind it, whereas some of the other types do not.

    What are amino acids?

    Amino acids are the building blocks of your cells. According to experts, your body produces a total of 11 and 9 of them are considered “essential” since they are required for rebuilding of cells.

    Does whey isolate cause weight gain?

    Protein by itself is not going to cause you to gain weight. The reason people gain weight is because they consume more calories than they burn, which is known as a caloric surplus. If you want to lose weight, you can do so with a protein powder, as long as you have a caloric deficit.

    Do you have to be athletic to use whey protein?

    No, you don’t have to be athletic, but it’s a good idea to be active. Protein shakes contain calories. As mentioned above, if you are consuming them and you have a caloric surplus, you may gain a few pounds. Therefore, if you are expecting to magically get in shape by using protein shakes, it’s important to understand that it’s not going to happen. You need to also put forth some kind of effort.

    Conclusion

    Whey protein powder is the most popular type of protein on the list. It comes with a wide array of benefits and a few potential side effects if you use too much. That being said, as long as you keep it at or under the recommended daily dosage, you should be fine. Of course, there are lots of options, it can be easy to become overwhelmed when you’re trying to find a protein supplement for you. That is why we went through a variety of different ones and came up with what we feel are the top 5. Hopefully, we have been able to give you some guidance and helped you decide which one you want to try first.

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    Citations

    “9 Essential Amino Acids.” PurMEDICA, 24 Sept. 2015, www.purmedica.com/9-essential-amino-acids/.

    “Certified for Sport® Program.” NSF International, www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/articles/certified-for-sport-program.

    “Enzymatic Hydrolysis – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics.” Sciencedirect.com, 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/enzymatic-hydrolysis.

    Mayo Clinic Staff. “Whey Protein.” Mayo Clinic, 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-whey-protein/art-20363344.

    “SDAS – Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme.” Www.agridata.ie, www.agridata.ie/SDAS.html.

    “What Is Casein?” Verywell Health, www.verywellhealth.com/casein-5081318.

    “What Is Whey Protein Concentrate? + Benefits and Uses.” Natural Force, naturalforce.com/blogs/nutrition/what-is-whey-protein-concentrate.

    “What Is Whey Protein Hydrolysate.” Formula Sense, formulasense.com/ingredient-interpreter/what-is-whey-protein-hydrolysate.

    “Whey Protein Isolate – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics.” Www.sciencedirect.com, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/whey-protein-isolate.

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