Best Protein Powder for Men

Updated May 25, 2020

Top 3 Choices by Ratings

Premium Choice
Performance Lab Protein
  • Naturally flavored, sweetened, thickened
  • Low fat and low carb
  • Organic-certified brown rice protein
Best Value
casein protein for women
Dymatize Whey Isolate
  • Best rated
  • Doctor developed
Best Overall
best protein powder for men
Optimum Nutrition Casein
  • Premium ingredients
  • Great brand
Best
Ladder Whey Protein
  • Contains whey isolate
  • 14 grams of EAAs

5 Best Research-Backed Protein Powder For Men

These are some of the best protein powder for men with research-backed benefits. 

Best Protein Powder for Lean Muscle and Weight Gain

Performance Lab Protein

Performance Lab claims that its protein powder is the cleanest and most effective protein powder in the world. Protein by Performance Lab is made from organic brown rice protein concentrate and is as effective for building muscle as whey protein.

This product is the only rice protein patented for enhancing athletic performance. Protein by Performance Lab helps athletes to enhance muscle strength, power, endurance and overall athletic performance. It also helps the everyday person support appetite control and weight management naturally.

Protein comes in chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon and is naturally sweetened with organic yacon root, monk fruit and stevia. Its rice protein is enhanced with Bacillus coagulans to improve its absorption and its leucine is absorbed 30% faster when compared to whey.

About Performance Lab 

Performance Lab offers a wide variety of training and nutritional supplements which aid human performance and promote all-around health.  Its supplements provide support for better sleep, vision, cognition, and energy as well as enhance muscle growth, strength, endurance, and training intensity.

Performance Lab uses premier nutrition technologies in order to revolutionize healthy performance nutrition as well as to provide the highest quality performance supplements available on the market. This company provides one of the world’s most sophisticated nutritional supplement systems for optimizing daily performance and long-range health.

Unique Features

Made with Rice Protein, Not Whey

SPORT Protein Oryzatein® is organic brown rice protein made with natural enzymes and low heat. It’s the only rice protein shown to build muscle as effectively as whey, with leucine that absorbs 30% faster. Better yet, it’s the only rice protein backed by third-party research.

Advanced Absorption for Maximum Muscle and Universal Versatility

Leucine in  SPORT Protein has been shown to absorb 30% faster than leucine from whey protein and it’s also absorbed at an intermediate rate. 

Enhanced with Probiotic Bacillus Coagulans

Bacillus coagulans improves protein absorption and optimizes the health benefits of protein throughout the body.

Pros
  • Naturally flavored, sweetened, thickened 

  • Low fat and low carb

  • Organic-certified brown rice protein

Cons
  • Expensive 

  • Can only purchase on their website

  • Only 20 servings per container

Dymatize Whey Isolate

best protein powder for men 2020

Whey can be digested by your liver quickly, and it contains all the essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. If you’re looking to lose weight and build muscles at the same time, whey can help with that by suppressing your appetite [1]. 

If you’re someone who works out regularly or participate in high-intensity training, whey protein can also help your muscles recover faster and decrease muscle loss [2]. 

Many brands produce whey protein, but it’s rare to find one developed by a team of scientists and doctors like Dymatize. It has over 3000 reviews on Amazon, of which the majority are positive feedback.

A lot of long-time users have appreciated the quality of the protein powder and its taste. You’ll also notice positive comments about its ability to boost muscle growth and performance. 

Pros
  • Pure whey protein at its optimum strength
  • Doctor developed protein powder
  • Available in multiple flavors
  • More lactose-intolerance friendly than whey concentrate
  • Quality tested and certified
Cons
  • Not suitable for vegans

Best Protein Powder for Before Bed

Optimum Nutrition Casein

casein for men

Casein protein is often ignored because it’s not as effective as whey when it comes to muscle building. However, combining both casein and whey can be an excellent strategy to grow and protect your muscles. 

Casein is a slow-digesting protein, which means if you take it before bed, it will digest slowly and help with the overnight muscle protein synthesis and recovery [3]. 

Optimum Nutrition is one of the top-rated brands in the protein powder category, and they’re also one of the largest sports nutrition companies. Their gold standard casein powder is produced with Micellar Casein, which is one of the best. 

The raw ingredients used in their protein powders go through rigorous quality checking process to the point they can even reject huge loads that if they fail to meet their criteria. 

A lot of muscle-building men have commented that combining casein with whey helps them feel and perform better. 

Pros
  • One of the best and largest sports nutrition companies
  • High-quality premium ingredients
  • Great for night time muscle recovery and synthesis
  • Available in multiple flavors
Cons
  • Not the best choice as a pre or after workout protein
  • Not the best choice for muscle building if used alone

Ladder Whey Protein

Whey Protein by Ladder contains 26 g of protein, 14 g of essential amino acids, 7 g of BCAAs, and 2 billion CFU of probiotics.

Ladder offers a high-quality whey protein supplement which provides the optimal amount of EAAs and BCAAs required for muscle repair, fat loss, and optimal sports performance.

Additionally, this product is composed of whey protein isolates instead of concentrate which provides the highest percentage of pure protein possible and less than 1% lactose.

Whey Protein comes in both chocolate and vanilla and should be taken with 8-12 ounces of water, milk, or milk alternatives. Although it can be taken at any time during the day it is recommended to take this product 1 -2 hours either prior to or following training.

Pros
  • Contains isolates instead of concentrate

  • Less than 1% lactose

  • Contains 26 g of protein

  • Optimal amount of EAAs and BCAAs

Cons
  • Only comes in chocolate and vanilla

  • Only available on the Ladder website

10% OFF WITH CODE NCHIP AT CHECKOUT

Best Protein Powder for Vegans

BulkSupplements Soy Protein

protein powders for men

BulkSupplements soy protein is a good choice for vegans who are looking to build muscles. It’s also a great choice for those who have dairy allergies. 

Research has shown that soy protein resulted in a significant increase in muscle mass when compared to casein. It also increased muscle strength and helped prevent muscle loss [5].

A meta-analysis study compared the effect of soy and animal protein on lean body mass. Their findings showed that both soy and animal protein had similar results in terms of muscle gain and strength [6].

BulkSupplements stand out in the crowd because they don’t just say they use high-quality ingredients; they will also let you see it. You can request a certificate of analysis for your protein powder to double-check what’s in it. 

Pros
  • Ingredient transparency
  • Lab-tested for potency and quality
  • Vegan and vegetarian-friendly
  • Lactose-free
Cons
  • Not suitable for those with soy allergies

Best Protein Powder for Athletes

MuscleMeds Beef Isolate

best beef protein powder

If a dairy allergy is your only issue, MuscleMeds beef isolate can be a great alternative to whey protein to build muscles and improve body strength. Their protein powder is made with high-quality USDA approved beef protein. 

Beef protein can be as effective as whey when it comes to muscle building. One study found that both beef and whey resulted in a significant increase in muscle mass strength and fat loss. They also found that beef protein resulted in 2.5% more fat loss [7].

MuscleMeds beef protein powder has received a lot of similar feedback that it has helped increase muscle mass without adding excess body fat. 

Pros
  • Best selling beef protein powder
  • Made from USDA approved beef protein
  • Goes through rigorous (6 stages) quality checking
  • Low carb and lactose-free
  • Available in multiple flavors
Cons
  • Limited evidence on the effect of long-term consumption.

Best Protein Powder For Men FAQ

Answers to some common questions you may have about protein powders for men. 

What is the Best Protein Powder for Athletes?

If you don’t have milk allergies, and if you’re not a vegan, whey protein powder is the first best choice for athletes. The main reason is that it has more research to back it up compared to other types of protein.

Whey is considered a complete protein because it contains the growth and development nutrients of bovine milk. It provides your body with all the essential amino acids that it can’t produce on its own.

It’s also a fast-digesting protein, which is one of the reasons why it’s considered the best pre and post-workout protein powder. 

Whey isolate, such as the one we’ve discussed in this article, is one of the purest forms of whey protein because it has more protein and less of other nutrients (fat and lactose). As a result, it’s more suitable for those who have a sensitive stomach [8].

A recent meta-analysis study investigated the effect of whey protein on performance in athletes. They found that the whey protein supplement was safe and significantly enhanced performance, muscle strength, and recovery in athletes [9]. 

You might also want to take casein before bed because it’s a slow-digesting protein that helps with muscle synthesis and recovery during the night. 

What is the Best Protein Powder for Men’s Weight Gain?

Whey concentrate and whey isolate are the first best for men’s weight gain, and the second-best would be beef protein isolate. Both whey and beef protein isolate are complete protein sources and have the best effect when it comes to muscle growth and strength. 

An 8-week resistance training study compared the effect of beef, chicken, and whey proteins in forty-one men and women. The participants were divided into four groups, one for each protein source and one control. 

They were given 46 grams of protein powder supplement after a workout and at the same time on non-workout days. Results showed that those who consumed whey protein had the highest increase in muscle mass, followed by beef protein, and then chicken.

There was not a big difference between the three groups of protein, and all three also had a greater fat loss and better body composition [10].

So our first recommendation would be whey and beef protein isolate for weight gain. However, if you can’t have them for some reason, soy and pea proteins are good alternatives. 

What is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss?

All five of the protein powders discussed in this article can be used for weight loss. The primary reason is that protein powder on its own is not going to help you lose weight. You’d still have to follow a healthy diet and cut down some calories to speed up weight loss. 

E.g., a 12-week study conducted in obese participants found that those who took the whey protein supplement lost significantly more fat and less lean body mass compared to the control group [11]. 

Soy protein is an excellent alternative if you have a dairy allergy, or you’re a vegan. One study conducted on seventy-one overweight and obese participants found that soy protein enhanced weight loss and body composition [12]. 

Takeaways

  1. Whey protein isolate and animal protein such as beef protein isolate are the first best for men who wish to build muscles, improve strength, body composition, and performance. 
  2. If you’re allergic to milk, soy, and pea protein powders are great alternatives. 
  3. Taking casein protein powder right before heading off to sleep can help with nighttime muscle growth and recovery. 

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