Supplementing with whey protein takes a lot of the guesswork out of your nutrition plan. When you take the same amount of the same protein powder every day, you know you're getting the exact same levels of amino acids without having to measure.
It also takes some of the guesswork out of your budget, because once you buy a tub of protein powder, you know how much each shake is going to cost.
But, with different protein powders coming in different sized packages and with different serving sizes, it can be confusing to figure out which is the best value. These lists compare our top selling whey protein powders so you can get the best bang for your buck.
Whey Protein Isolate: A Smart Protein Powder Value
Whey protein isolate in general is a great value, considering how much this milk protein supports your muscles at a relatively low cost. Whey protein concentrate can be an even better deal, although this milk protein isn't as pure an ingredient as an isolate. [LINK: Whey protein isolate https://www.bodybuilding.com/store/iwhey.html]
If you're really on a tight budget, whey protein concentrates will work, but isolates are the most preferred type of milk protein for building muscle, so we'll focus on 100% isolates and protein powder blends with isolates and other ingredients.
One other thing to note is whey protein is a natural source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). While you won't absorb them as quickly as you would if you took a pure BCAA product, whey protein can still help you hit optimum overall levels of BCAAs. So, if you're watching your spending, you could try cutting down on your BCAA use if you include plenty of whey protein isolate.
Price Per Serving
Here are our top seven bestselling whey protein powders (both pure whey protein isolates and blends with other ingredients), listed by price per serving.
|Brand||Price||Servings||Price Per Serving|
|Nitro-Tech 100% Whey Gold||$56.99||76||$0.75|
|Bodybuilding.com Signature 100% Whey||$49.99||67||$0.75|
|Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey||$57.99||73||$0.79|
|Dymatize ISO 100||$74.99||76||$0.99|
At this point, you can see that Nitro-Tech Gold and Bodybuilding.com Signature are the cheapest whey protein powders per serving. But what's a serving? How big is it? And what kind of nutrition are you getting? That's up to the company. The protein powders on this list range from 22 grams up to 30 grams of protein per serving.
Price Per Gram of Protein
To get a more fair measurement of how much whey protein you're getting for your buck, divide the price per serving by the amount of protein in each serving to get the price per gram of protein.
|Brand||Price per serving||Protein Per Serving||Price Per Gram|
|Bodybuilding.com Signature 100% Whey||$0.75||25g||$0.030|
|Nitro-Tech 100% Whey Gold||$0.75||24g||$0.031|
|Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey||$0.79||24g||$0.033|
|Dymatize ISO 100||$0.99||25g||$0.040|
Bodybuilding.com Signature came in first, with the lowest price per gram of protein, with Pro Jym and Nitro-Tech at the other end. However, all the prices are pretty close. So really, you'll be looking at formula, quality, and taste to make your final decision. All of these protein powders are sources of high-quality nutrition, but the best flavor and formula (how many grams of protein in a scoop, other nutrition factors) depend on personal preference.
Fat and Carbs
Most of these whey proteins have similar amino acid profiles, but they have varying amounts of fat and carbs. Usually, higher-end production processes result in less fat and carbs left in the protein powder, but sometimes these macronutrients are there to improve flavor or add calories for bulking.
|Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey||1g||3g|
|Nitro-Tech 100% Whey Gold||2g||2g|
|Bodybuilding.com Signature 100% Whey||2g||3g|
|Dymatize ISO 100||0.5g||2g|
Dymatize ISO 100 is the lowest in fat and carbs, with BSN Syntha-6 clocking in at a relatively high 6 grams of fat and 15 grams of carbs. But, depending on your nutrition goals, that might not be a bad thing.
If you're cutting calories, you'll want to go with a protein near the top of the list with lower amounts per serving of both fat and carbs. If you follow a low-carb diet, a powder like Nitro-Tech 100% Whey Gold with low carbs but a bit of fat might work great for you. And if neither of these is a concern, Pro Jym or BSN Syntha-6 could be good choices because of the extra energy and muscle fuel their macros provide. [LINK: low-carb https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/6-full-fat-no-measure-low-carb-supertreats.html]
At the end of the day, most high-quality protein powders have comparable prices per gram of protein, and they'll all give you a big punch of amino acids to build muscle. Which one you choose ultimately comes down to personal preference in terms of macros, formula, and flavor. Try a few to see which you like best.
Learn More About Protein Powder:
- "Your Expert Guide to Whey Protein." Everything you need to know about this protein powder.
- "What's the Difference Between Whey and Casein Protein?" Find out when you should reach for one milk protein over the other.