Over the past few years, I’ve tried about 20 of the supposedly best protein powders for building muscle, and to be honest, most of them suck.
They taste horrible, give you gas, are loaded with chemicals and do nothing.
But a few do work, and I feel happy to recommend them.
Here are my top 5 picks:
They taste great and, most importantly, will help you refuel your muscles.
So let’s start with my number 1 recommendation.
Tri-Protein is a chocolate flavored protein shake made by CrazyNutrition and is my #1 recommendation if you are looking for a protein powder to help you build muscle.
Unlike other powders that are underdosed, taste awful, and contain only one type of protein, Tri-Protein contains a blend of six different types of protein that are “released” in three distinct phases.
By releasing in 3 phases, Tri-Protein fuels your muscles for longer, helping them repair and grow faster.
So you get the quick dose of protein your muscles need after a tough workout and a sustained good delivery of slower-digesting protein.
Before buying Tri-Protein, I looked at the ingredients to see if there was any science to their claims that it would help you gain muscle fast.
Here is what I found:
According to the label, each serving of Tri-Protein contains:
- 21g of protein
- 06g of carbohydrates
- 09g of sugar
- 84g fat
These are awesome macros.
Even though there are powders that contain more protein per serving, Tri-Protein compensates for this with its 3-phase release for better results.
And it’s not loaded with cheap fillers like other protein powders.
The six types of protein in Tri-Protein are:
- whey protein isolate
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- micellar casein
- Milk protein concentrate
- Calcium caseinate
- Whey protein hydrolyzate
And these proteins have been shown to stimulate protein synthesis and increase muscle mass.
For example, this to study found that whey protein isolate can increase upper body strength by 5.15% in just eight weeks.
And that to study found that whey protein concentrate can increase upper body strength by 6.7% over the same period.
It also contains cocoa powder for flavor, sucralose as a sweetener, and a digestive enzyme to improve digestion.
Clear evidence shows the benefits of combining fast and slow digesting proteins.
For example, this to study found that taking whey protein (which is quickly digested) and casein (which is slowly digested) has an effect “Major effect on whole-body protein anabolism, leading to faster recovery times and muscle growth.”
The post-workout protein combo will fuel your muscles with the steady supply of protein they need to repair and grow.
Why Tri-Protein is the Best Protein Powder for Building Muscle
I first heard about Tri-Protein from a friend who told me it was the best protein powder he had ever tried.
And after discovering the 3-step release system, I was excited to try it. So I ordered some, and it arrived in less than 48 hours.
I’m naturally skinny, so I was eager to see if Tri-Protein worked and started taking it as a post-workout shake.
The first time I took it was after a back workout. That meant lots of pull-ups, deadlifts, and rows.
I thought it was pretty good for a protein powder. Very chocolatey and creamy.
You can easily make it tastier by adding milk and maybe crushed ice instead of water.
After an intense back workout I usually have a lot of pain the next day, but after drinking Tri-Protein I felt like I hadn’t trained at all.
The next morning I was almost fully recovered and ready for another workout.
I have noticed this a lot since using Tri-Protein. No matter how hard I train, I feel great the next day, even after leg day.
Since I’ve been using Tri-Protein for about a month, I’ve gained just over 11 lbs (5 kg) and look more muscular and muscular.
My girlfriend even asked me if I was using steroids because I’m so horny.
After using Tri-Protein for a month, I love it.
This is the best protein powder I’ve tried, and I would recommend it to anyone who lifts weights and wants to make gains.
Plus, it comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee, so if you don’t like it, you can get a full refund.
2: The gold standard of whey
Second place on my list of best protein powders for building muscle goes to Gold Standard Whey.
Gold Standard Whey from Optimum Nutrition is one of the most popular protein powders on the market and has over 69,000 reviews on Amazon.
As the name suggests, this protein powder aims to be the “gold standard” whey protein powder supplement.
Here’s why I rate it the second best protein powder for building muscle.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Ingredients
Gold Standard has one of the best macronutrient profiles of any protein powder I’ve tried. Each serving provides:
- 24 grams of whey protein (a blend of isolate, concentrate, and peptides)
- 5 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
- 3-4 grams of carbs
- 1-3 grams of sugar
- 1-1.5 grams of fat
The main advantages of Gold Standard Whey are that it contains three types of whey, that it is gluten-free and that it contains an enzyme to improve digestion.
Taste and miscibility
Gold Standard Whey mixes easily with water or milk and does not clump. It comes in several delicious flavors, including:
- chocolate peanut butter
- cookies and cream
- Extreme milk chocolate
- mocha cappuccino
- Strawberry & Cream
- Vanilla ice cream
When I tested the Gold Standard whey, I bought the strawberry flavor and loved it. It tastes best when mixed with milk, but it also tastes great when mixed with water.
And I found it great for recovery and muscle gains too.
Others seem to like it too.
Gold Standard Whey has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon.com based on 69,280 global ratings.
Gold Standard Whey is delicious, from a well-known brand, has thousands of positive reviews and is great for muscle building and recovery.
3: Ghost Whey
Third place on my list of best protein powders for building muscle goes to Ghost Whey.
Ghost is one of the tastiest whey protein powders on this list.
I purchased the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor and loved it.
It may not be best if you are on a diet as it contains slightly more fat and carbs than other protein powders. But if you’re on a loose, that shouldn’t matter too much.
Ghost Whey Ingredients
Ghost is manufactured in the USA in a facility that meets cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) certification.
This means that the ingredients and the final product are tested by an independent organization, NSF International, to ensure their safety.
Depending on the flavor you choose, each 39 gram scoop of Ghost contains:
- 120-160 calories (depending on flavor)
- 25 grams of protein from whey isolate and whey concentrate
- 3 grams of fat
- 7 grams of carbohydrates
Ghost is very transparent about the type of protein in its products. About 14 grams are whey protein isolate and 13 grams are whey protein concentrate, while the rest is hydrolyzed whey for fast digestion.
Ghost contains no added soy (so you don’t have to worry about insulin spikes), but it does contain salt, cellulose, thickening xanthan gums, and sucralose.
Mixability and taste
Ghost mixes instantly with water and tastes fantastic.
It comes in a variety of exciting flavors including:
- Chocolate chip cookie dough
- Cereal milk
- Chocolate milk
- Peanut butter cereal milk
- Nut butter
- Chips Ahoy
- coconut ice cream
When I tested Ghost, I purchased the Cookie Dough flavor and was pleasantly surprised. It tastes fantastic combined with milk and contains bits of cookie dough and chocolate chips.
The extra carbs also gave me a bit more energy.
Ghost is rated “Excellent” on TrustPilot and has a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5.
If you’re trying to bulk up and build muscle, then Ghost Whey is worth a try.
It tastes great, has a good amount of protein, and the extra fats and carbs are beneficial if you’re bulky.
4: NOW Sports Egg White Protein
If you’re all about whey protein, then you’ll do with my top three picks; Tri-Protein, Gold Standard or Ghost.
But if you’re open to other options, I highly recommend egg white protein.
Egg white protein is as good as whey in terms of absorption and amino acid profile, but contains fewer calories, less fat and fewer carbohydrates.
Best of all, egg white protein powder is dairy-free, so it doesn’t produce side effects like gas and bloating.
That’s why fourth place on my list of best protein powders for muscle gain goes to NOW Sports Egg White Protein.
Here’s why I rate this protein powder so highly.
NOW Sports Egg White Protein Powder is lower in calories and fat than other whey protein powders.
Each 28 gram scoop provides:
- 110 calories
- 20 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fat
- 4 grams of carbohydrates
NOW Sports Egg White Protein Powder is ideal if you want to avoid dairy or limit your daily intake.
Mixability and taste
NOW Sports Egg White Protein powder comes in three main flavors; chocolate, vanilla and flavorless.
The downsides are that it doesn’t mix as well as the other powders on this list and doesn’t taste too good.
If you’re looking for a no-prep protein powder that you can throw in a shaker and mix with water, then NOW Sports is not for you.
However, this powder is great for meddle in things. If you’re on a bulky diet and want to make a dairy-free chocolate peanut butter shake, NOW Sports is ideal.
My favorite thing to do with the chocolate version is toss it with a scoop of peanut butter and eat a high protein, low carb snack to keep my energy levels up during intense workouts.
This protein powder has great reviews on Amazon, with a 4.4 out of 5 star rating based on 533 reviews.
NOW Sports Egg White protein may not be the tastiest or the most effective, but it’s a good choice if you’re trying to go dairy free.
5: PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein Powder
Fifth place on my list of best protein powders for building muscle goes to PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based Protein Powder.
PlantFusion combines five different plant proteins, and each serving provides:
- 120 calories
- 21 grams of protein
- 2 grams of carbohydrates
- 4 grams of BCAAs
- Enzyme Blend 100mg
PlantFusion’s BCAAs are great for recovery, while the enzyme blend aids digestion.
PlantFusion is a “clean” protein powder and contains no dairy, gluten, soy, or artificial chemicals or fillers like rice dextrin.
Mixability and taste
PlantFusion mixes instantly with water and can also be used in smoothies and baking.
Unlike some cheaper protein powders, it contains no rice protein, so it doesn’t have a chalky aftertaste.
For a healthy protein powder, I think it’s pretty good.
When I used PlantFusion I noticed an increase in recovery and felt like my muscles were fuller.
PlantFusion is rated 4.3 out of 5 on Amazon.com based on over 8,000 reviews, so others seem to like it too.
This one is a bit pricey, but if you’re looking for a good plant-based protein powder to help you gain muscle, it’s definitely worth a try.
Best Protein Powders for Building Muscle: Recap
With hundreds of protein powders for sale, it can be a bit difficult to choose the right one, but I hope this article has helped you.
To sum up, here are my top 5 picks again:
- Tri-protein: 3-phase release, a blend of fast and slow digesting proteins for maximum muscle gains. Great for recovery too. My number 1 choice.
- Gold Standard Whey: Good whey protein powder overall.
- Ghost whey protein: Better tasting.
- NOW Sports Egg White Protein: Best non-dairy protein powder.
- PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein Powder: The best organic and vegan protein powder.
If I could recommend just one protein powder for building muscle, it would be CrazyNutrition’s Tri-Protein.
Something about the fast and slow digesting protein blend really boosts protein synthesis and helps you build muscle faster.
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