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
- Dirt cheap
- High quality
- Many flavours to choose from
- Low calorie, low fat, and low sugar
- Mixes easily
- 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.
- Nutrient mix helps pack on muscle pounds
- Many flavours to choose from
- Mixing guide
- Comes with scoop
- Contains cholesterol
- Flavours may be too strong for some users
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.
- Time release
- Contains potassium to fuel muscle contraction.
- Contains dietary fats and sugars for energy.
- Average value
- 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.
- Great value
- Good documentation on shake preparation
- Low in fat and carbohydrates
- Average value
- 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.
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.
- 90% Protein content
- Wide variety of flavours
- AMAZING value
- Low Fat & Carbohydrates
- Easy to mix
- Flavours won’t be enjoyable to everyone
- Made from whey protein concentrates
- Contains vitamins, minerals and green tea
- Can use as a meal replacement or protein supplement
- Contains low fiber
- May cause headaches or jittery feelings in some users
- Poor flavour when mixed with milk
- Good flavours to choose
- Comes in Vegan and Whey
- Has 23 grams of protein per serving
- May contain sucralose
- Larger tubs used than necessary
- Contains Spirulina, Vitamin A and Vitamin D2
- Perfect for vegans and vegetarians
- Has the natural sweetener Stevia
- Contains fruit and vegetable ingredients
- Too sweet for some users
- Some users say the flavours are weak
- Doesn’t mix well
- 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
- "Earthy" flavour
- Some report a synthetic aftertaste
- Gritty even when blended
- Great Value
- Popular Brand
- Low-calorie and High protein
- Mixes well
- 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.