Protein Powders

By Alexandra Caspero on November 6, 2023

When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, protein plays a vital role in muscle repair, recovery, and overall health. And while you don’t need a protein powder to meet your fitness goals, they are convenient, especially in a post-workout smoothie.

However, finding the right protein powder can be overwhelming, with countless options flooding the market. That’s why we’ve enlisted the expertise of dietitians to curate a list of the top protein powders that have their seal of approval. Whether you’re aiming to build lean muscle, support weight loss, or maintain a balanced diet, our handpicked selection offers something for everyone.

Premier Whey Protein Powder

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

“As a dietitian and diabetes educator, I recommend looking for a protein powder that offers protein but not a lot of carbohydrates or calories per serving. Afterall, if we are using a protein powder, we should be focused on the protein and not a bunch of fillers to raise the carb and calorie content. 

One of my favorite protein powders that meets the bill of providing protein and minimal carb is Premier Protein powder.  One scoop of Premier Whey Protein powder provides 15 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of fat and 75 calories. As an example, I love adding this protein powder to my breakfast oatmeal to help blunt the rise in blood sugar.  Especially when you are traveling, follow the motto ‘Don’t leave home without it‘. Protein powders offer a portable assurance of adding a vegetarian protein source to your meals.”

– Toby Smithson, registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education
specialist, founder of Diabetes EveryDay and author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for

Naked Nutrition Naked Shakes

Photo Credit: Naked Nutrition.

“Naked Nutrition Naked Shakes are my favorite vegan protein powders. The base is pea protein along with MCT oil and natural plant-based flavors. The result is a crave-worthy shake that delivers 20g of protein and only 3g of sugar. Flavors include Strawberry Banana, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Vanilla and more.”

-Alex Caspero, MA, RD, Plant-Based Dietitian at Delish Knowledge.

Plant Fusion

plant fusion protein powder
Photo Credit: Plant Fusion.

“This 100% plant-based protein powder is nutrient-dense and allergen-friendly. The protein comes from peas, artichokes, algae, and sprouted ingredients, giving you a lot of variety. The creamy vanilla bean flavor goes great in smoothies.”

Ashley Kitchens, MPH, RDN, Plant-Based dietitian and owner of Plant Centered Nutrition

OWYN Protein Powders

owyn protein powder
Photo Credit: Owyn.

“OWYN Protein Powder is a top rank as it ticks all the boxes: plant-based protein, top 8 allergen free, great taste, carrageenan free, and no artificial sweeteners. Win, win, win!”

–Linda Nikolakopoulos MS,RD,LDN,CDCES, Owner Nutritious Measures

NOW Sports Unflavored Whey

Photo Credit: Now Sports.

This pick makes the list of two nutrition experts.

“I am excited to share one of my favorite protein powders with you — NOW Foods Unflavored Whey. I love this product because it’s a complete protein and doesn’t have any fillers or artificial flavors that leave a bitter aftertaste. Whey protein is considered to have one of the highest biological values (BV) due to its amino acid profile. One scoop delivers 24 g of protein!”Caroline Thomason, RD CDCES, a northern Virginia-based Dietitian.

“It’s one of the most versatile powders since it can be used in everything from fruity smoothies to baked goods or oatmeal for an added protein boost. Each serving has 24 grams of protein with no added sugars or sugar alcohols, which is great for those who experience stomach upset from ingredients like xylitol or erythritol.” Kelsey Kunik, RDN at Graciously Nourished 

Klean Athlete Isolate

Klean Athlete Isolate
Photo Credit: Klean Isolate.

“Klean Athlete Isolate protein powder. It is one of the few whey protein powders that are NSF-certified and safe for sport. Plus, it’s unflavored, blends easily, and does not contain any artificial sweeteners or flavors. Each scoop packs 20g of protein and over 2g of leucine, an essential amino acid that promotes muscle growth and repair.” — Katie Schimmelpfenning, RD at Eat, Swim, Win


Photo Credit: Promix.

“I use the unflavored whey isolate. It’s just protein, no sweetener and mixes so well into smoothies, pancakes etc. If you’re looking for a flavored option, I love that their protein powder is sweetened with coconut sugar instead of stevia or another sugar alternative.” –Lindsay Livingston, RD, at The Lean Green Bean


orgain protein powder
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

“Orgain protein powder is one of the top proteins I recommend to clients for a quality protein powder with clean ingredients. It contains 21 grams of protein per serving and has whey and plant-based protein options. I also love that it is free from added sugar but does not contain artificial sweeteners like many other protein powder brands.

Instead, more natural calorie-free sweeteners like Stevia extract and organic erythritol are used. It is also free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. My clients also love the natural taste. I like to add the plant-based version to my smoothies or overnight oats for a protein boost. –Melissa Mitri, MS, RD Nutrition Writer and Owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition

BioSteel Whey Protein

biosteel protein isolate
Photo Credit: BioSteel.

“BioSteel Whey Protein Isolate to many of the athletes I work with because it’s NSF Certified for Sport, is sourced from rBGH hormone-free grass-fed cattle, and has 28 grams of high-quality protein per serving. One serving provides 12 grams of essential amino acids total and 2.72 grams of leucine, which is important for triggering muscle protein synthesis. 

For athletes who don’t tolerate dairy or follow a vegan diet, BioSteel’s Plant-Based Protein is a great option because it uses a blend of plant protein sources to create a more balanced amino acid profile. One serving contains 8.56 grams of essential amino acids total and 1.92 grams of leucine. I like that BioSteel’s Plant-Based Protein doesn’t contain any proprietary blends, herbs, or added vitamins and minerals that might be unsafe for some people.” — Melissa Boufounos, CHN, sports nutritionist and owner of MB Performance Nutrition. 

MyProtein Whey Isolate

my protein protein powder
Photo Credit: My Protein.

 “MyProtein Whey Isolate. The Whey Isolate formulation is highly regarded for its purity and quality. It undergoes a meticulous filtration process that removes the majority of carbohydrates, fats, and lactose, resulting in a protein powder with high protein content per serving. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals looking to increase their protein intake while minimizing other macronutrients.

Additionally, MyProtein is known for its transparency in labeling and manufacturing practices, which gives me confidence in recommending it to my clients. Lastly, it comes in a wide range of flavors, allowing individuals to find one that suits their taste preferences. Overall, the MyProtein Whey Isolate is a reliable and effective protein powder that I trust for supporting my clients’ nutritional needs.”–Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPT of One Pot Wellness.


Shaker and protein powder on white background
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

“Complement’s unflavored protein powder! It includes a diverse profile from plant based proteins, like pea and pumpkin seed protein – with no added sugars.  I don’t taste any artificial flavor from this protein powder which is a huge plus for me!  As a vegan, I also appreciate that this one is 100% plant based.” –Christine Milmine, RDN at Plant Powered You

Pea Protein

Scoop of Pea Vegan protein powder on dark rustic background. Sport nutrition.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

“My favorite protein powder is pea protein! I enjoy pea protein powder because of its neutral taste, white color, and non-grainy texture.  What’s more, it’s a crowd-pleaser – even my whey protein-loving husband can’t resist its neutral, versatile flavor.

Pea protein provides all the essential amino acids, fostering muscle growth and heart health.  There has been evidence that it can even lower blood pressure as the amino acid arginine is involved in improving blood flow by increasing nitric oxide in the body which can help widen blood vessels.

I also like it because it’s gentle on the stomach, perfect for those sensitive to lactose or gluten. Even more impressively, it promotes a sustainable future, requiring fewer resources and emitting less greenhouse gas than animal-based proteins. Simply put, choosing pea protein is choosing the best for your body and the planet.” —Veronica Rouse, MAN, RD, CDE

Ella Vanilla Protein Powder

ella protein powder container
Photo Credit: Naked Nutrition.

“I love the taste of this protein powder by Ella. With 20g of protein per serving along with ingredients that help to boost skin, hair and nail health. It contains collagen and organic seed protein combined with a powerful beauty blend of hyaluronic acid, zinc, vitamin C, and biotin, to improve skin elasticity and smoothness” — Alex Caspero MA, RD, Dietitian at Delish Knowledge

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women looking sideways, unsure
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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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