Best Protein Powder UK : Top Products For Men & Women 2018

Some protein powders taste like soil. Expensive soil too.

Don’t make the costly mistakes we’ve made in the past and buy disgusting, sickly, sandy sludge that doesn’t mix well.

Stick to the top protein powders that we’ve tried and tested…

How Things Differ Slightly For Women

The essentials of a healthy diet are similar for when and women, but more detailed nutritional needs do vary by sex.

  • In general, men have larger bodies and more muscle mass than women, so they tend to need more calories.
  • Because of differences in hormones, women generally need more vitamins and minerals than men.

Due to these nutritional needs, women athletes should have specialised supplements – and we do!

Best Protein Powder For Women In The UK

StripFast 5000 Diet Whey IdealFit IdealLean Protein VegoLife Vegan Sunwarrior Classic Rice Protein MyProtein Active Women
Product
Quality

Bulk Powders – Vanilla

The BULK POWDERS Vanilla Flavour is a tried and tested no-nonsense powder that will help you build muscle, with the correct exercise routine. This product is one of the cheapest and densest high-quality protein sources that you can find on the supplement market.

BP have a wide number of flavours to choose from, and most flavours are quite good. Because the product is made specifically for mixing into a drink, you’ll find that it will not clump or stick when you put it in liquid.

You’ll also find that you can guzzle this without worrying about excess calories ruining your restricted diet.

There are other products out there that offer more nutrients and better flavours, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one that’s as well rounded as this one.

Pros

  • Dirt cheap
  • High quality
  • Many flavours to choose from
  • Low calorie, low fat, and low sugar
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Mixes easily

Cons

  • Doesn’t contain any vitamins or minerals.
  • Flavours aren’t exceptionally good.
  • May not mix into drinks with manual stirring.
  • Comes in a pouch rather than a jar, so it’s easier to spill than alternatives.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard is a prototypical supplement derived from whey and intended for mainstream bodybuilding use. While pricey, if you’re looking for something like this, the Gold Standard has a lot to offer.

This product also contains calcium, iron, carbohydrates, and fat. For athletes, having fat and/or carbohydrates is important for resisting training pre-exercise and for upping glucose stores post-exercise

Aside from coming in many different tasty and strong flavours (including unflavored), the Gold Standard version also contains electrolytes. Note that it also provides 10% of your percent daily value of cholesterol, which you should watch out for if you are at risk of high cholesterol levels.

Finally, Optimum Nutrition includes a couple of easy recipes for drinks on the back label. These tricks and recipes won’t blow your mind, but it’s still nice to have a reference card to make sure you are consuming the right proportions of it in your recovery drinks.

Pros

  • Nutrient mix helps pack on muscle pounds
  • Many flavours to choose from
  • Mixing guide
  • Comes with scoop

Cons

  • Contains cholesterol  
  • Flavours may be too strong for some users

MusclePharm Combat

The MusclePharm Combat is a unique product that caters to advanced bodybuilders who are interested in combinations of proteins that are released over time.

To accomplish this, the Combat Powder contains instant-release whey protein and a slower releasing protein surrounded by fat bubbles.

The Combat Powder also contains some calcium, potassium, and sodium, which are electrolytes important for staying hydrated. It also contains carbohydrates for energy.

Like other supplements derived from animal products, the MusclePharm Combat contains a whopping 46mg of cholesterol per serving—you’ll have a hard time finding many other food products with that much cholesterol aside from powdered eggs. Again, this isn’t necessarily problematic unless you are at risk of high cholesterol.

Pros

  • Time release
  • Contains potassium to fuel muscle contraction.
  • Contains dietary fats and sugars for energy.
  • Average value

Cons

  • Significant amount of of cholesterol
  • Contains egg products which are allergens.
  • Unimpressive flavors

The Protein Works Whey Protein 80 – Chocolate Silk

THE PROTEIN WORKS 80 Chocolate Silk Flavour is a basic protein powder that will please anyone looking to build muscle while satisfying a sweet tooth.

The main appeal here is range of flavours and value for money.

This product’s sweetness will overpower anything with which it is mixed. This might be perfect if you’re just interested in making a shake.

Despite its sweetness, this product is lower in calories than many competitors.

The sweetener in the product is sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener. Note that some people do not like the taste of sucralose, so this may be a con for you.

If you find yourself looking for chocolate after pumping iron, this shake is a great option.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Good documentation on shake preparation
  • Low in fat and carbohydrates
  • Average value

Cons

  • Extremely sweet
  • Contains sucralose
  • Taste will overpower any other shake ingredients

MyProtein Impact Whey

MyProtein Impact Whey is a power-packed product which can serve many of your dietary needs as an athlete.

Whether you want to read our full review here, or head straight to MyProtein’s product information, know that this is what I consider to be the best protein powder that money can buy.

With 4.5g of BCAA’s and 21g of protein per serving it not only provides you with the essential amino acids but, together with your specialized training routine, will also help with your muscular development.

Rated Grade A by Labdoor, Myprotein is tried and tested.

One of the best things about MyProtein’s Impact Whey is their wide variety of flavours, from classic strawberry, chocolate and vanilla – all the way to – blueberry and rhubarb and custard.

With regards to ingredients, there’s not much in the way of fillers.

The unflavored variety, for example,  contains 100% Whey Protein Concentrate.

Some of the flavours may contain sucralose sweeteners, but you can also opt for their stevia varieties.

Pros

  • 90% Protein content
  • Wide variety of flavours
  • AMAZING value
  • Low Fat & Carbohydrates
  • Easy to mix

Cons

  • Flavours won’t be enjoyable to everyone

StripFast 5000 SuperLean

Stripfast 5000 Superlean (Chocolate, 907g) contains 21 grams of quality protein per serving. It is one of the highest rated products of its kind on Amazon.

It comes from grass-fed cows free of recombinant bovine growth hormones (rBGH). With only 1.3 grams of fat and 9.3 grams of carbohydrates per serving, this Diet Whey Protein Powder is a high-protein formulation.

Additionally, this contains a multi-vitamin & mineral blend of Vitamin E, Vitamin K1, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Chromium, Molybdenum, Choline, Citrus Bioflavonoids, Beta Carotene, Inositol, Boron, Coenzyme Q10, Lutein, plus Whey Protein Concentrate.

Note that it does contain CLA, so if you take it after exercise, rather than before, it may make you feel jittery.

Pros

  • Made from whey protein concentrates
  • Contains vitamins, minerals and green tea
  • Can use as a meal replacement or protein supplement

Cons

  • Contains low fiber
  • May cause headaches or jittery feelings in some users
  • Poor flavour when mixed with milk

IdealFit – IdealLean Range

Ideal fit, a sports nutrition company  has developed a range of sports nutrition products specifically for women.

With multiple flavours to choose from, including butterscotch and chai, these products are a great addition to your action-fueled lifestyle.

If you’re looking specifically for vegan based products, these are fortified with the additional nutrients like B12 and calcium, that are difficult to get naturally from a plant based diet.

With 23g of protein per serving, these low fat, high-protein supplements are great for women on the go.

Pros

  • Good flavours to choose
  • Comes in Vegan and Whey
  • Has 23 grams of protein per serving

Cons

  • May contain sucralose
  • Larger tubs used than necessary

VegoLife Vegan Powder

Vegolife Vegan (Strawberry flavour)  is made of plant-based proteins as a meal replacement, athletic supplement, or all-in-one source.

This is an alternative product for people with dairy sensitivities or who lead a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

  • Each serving has 26g of premium protein.
  • Vegan Protein Powder combines pea, hemp, quinoa and almond protein for a complete vegetarian protein source.
  • The ingredients include whole foods, such as purple kale, carrot, broccoli, spinach, beetroot, blueberries and strawberries.
  • A product that mixes well with water or nut milk..
  • Each scoop contains 23 vitamins and minerals for better nutrition and all-over health.

Pros

  • Contains Spirulina, Vitamin A and Vitamin D2
  • Perfect for vegans and vegetarians
  • Has the natural sweetener Stevia
  • Contains fruit and vegetable ingredients

Cons

  • Too sweet for some users
  • Some users say the flavours are weak
  • Doesn’t mix well

Sunwarrior Classic Rice Protein Powder

Sunwarrior 500 g Vanilla Classic Rice has no artificial flavors sweeteners or preservatives, and helps curb your appetite.

Every Stevia-sweetened, vanilla-flavoured serving has:

  • 15 grams of raw vegan protein.
  • 2 grams of carbohydrates.
  • 0 grams of fat.
  • Each container has a 23-day supply of powder.

Safe for men and women and just as effective as whey-based products, Sunwarrior contains a generous amount of 18 amino acids and 2 grams of fiber per serving.

Made almost completely of  sprouted and fermented raw wholegrain rice protein, this product option uses the power of fermentation to transform rice so that it provides complete raw vegan protein with all amino acids.

Soy and gluten free and non-GMO, this rice protein powder works equally well as a nutritional supplement for vegans, non-vegans and people of all ages.

Pros

  • No artificial flavours or sweeteners
  • Contains no fat
  • Safe appetite suppressant
  • One of the few raw vegan protein supplements out there
  • Contains leucine and lysine, which can be missing from many vegan powders

Cons

  • "Earthy" flavour
  • Some report a synthetic aftertaste
  • Gritty even when blended

MyProtein Active Women

Myproteins Active Women Diet Blend is created specifically with women in mind.

The range of high-protein powders are perfect for women who are looking to support their fitness regime, support a healthy diet and shed fat.

  • Per serving you’ll be getting 21g of protein and just 96 calories.
  • It contains dietary fibre inulin, which complements the active ingredient.
  • It also provides 51% RI of folic acid and 50% RI of iron, which are two nutrients of which women generally need more than what is provided in products designed for men.

Pros

  • Great Value
  • Popular Brand
  • Low-calorie and High protein
  • Mixes well

Cons

  • Contains dairy
  • Some users report an artificial sweet taste
  • Some flavors have bad reviews

How To Pick The Best Value Whey Protein Powder?

When assessing the best protein powder contenders we assess the following.

Source / Quality

When it comes to source/quality, we look at the sourcing and manufacturing processes.

Source of Protein

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, this first division will rule out quite a few options, so pay attention. Even if you aren’t a vegetarian or vegan, you shouldn’t think of the vegetable-derived powders as of worse quality.

The largest section of the protein powder market uses whey protein or common vegetable proteins like from soy, peas, hemp, or rice. When mixed together in the right manner with other ingredients, they do form complete proteins, which is a common criticism of plant proteins.

Animal-derived products are typically more concentrated, which means that you’ll have to tolerate less of the powder’s flavour to accomplish the same amount of supplementation. Some people claim to be able to tell the difference by taste or texture, too. They also come with significantly more cholesterol than plant-derived products, which may be relevant depending on your nutritional and health status.

Animal-derived products tend to dissolve into other foodstuffs more easily because of their chemical composition. There are many exceptions to this, however, so you could still end up with a lumpy smoothie while using an animal derived product if components in it interfere with smooth mixing.

Try sampling a couple of vegetable-derived products and comparing them to a few animal derived products. If you typically find the flavour or texture palatable regardless of the amount you supplement, vegetable based products should always be an option on the table for you.

Make sure you consider the brand reputation before making a final decision. The best protein powder isn’t necessarily the one you see being sold in the gym or the supermarkets.

It is nearly impossible to determine the content of heavy metals in these products unless you take them to  laboratory to be tested yourself. Poor quality products have trace amounts of cadmium and lead, which are toxic to the human body in any quantity.

Be sure to check the news releases about your protein powder manufacturer of choice to make sure there are no manufacturing issues linked to your favorite brand.

Flavour / Mixability

These tubs/sacs can come flavoured, or flavourless. As bodybuilders know, even the “flavourless” products have a detectable taste that can sometimes get in the way of enjoying them when mixed into smoothies or drinks. Some flavourless products are bitter, whereas others taste sweet, or slightly medicinal.

You might want to choose a flavourless product if you prefer versatility rather than a product which adds a commanding flavour to whatever you blend it into.

For example, if you plan on blending your powder into pancakes or crepes, a flavourless variant is typically the right choice because it’ll be invisible to your tongue once it’s locked inside the batter and potentially smothered in maple syrup.

As far as the flavoured products go, most will agree that despite a variety of flavour choices, few genuinely taste natural. Basic flavours like vanilla and chocolate are extremely popular and tend to taste closest to their natural flavor.

More unusual flavours like cake batter, banana cream, orange creamsicle, or graham cracker might suit your palate, but there’s no way to know before you try.

The main issue with the flavour of your product is that flavours can either disrupt or complement your attempts to mix it into another food or beverage. It’s easy to mix in vanilla or chocolate flavours into an after-workout drink, but the more complex flavours won’t blend as easily.

Value For Money In Protein Powders

You don’t necessarily get what you pay for when it comes to this stuff. Some products are vastly more expensive, yet offer a smaller volume or a lower quality of protein.

More expensive supplements typically have flashier marketing and more outrageous flavours, but remember that your muscles can’t tell the difference between an expensive protein source and a cheap one if the protein quality, and that of additional nutrients, is the same.