Even if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, chances are, you’ve toyed with the idea of taking protein powders to maximise your gains. They might seem like the holy grail supplement meant exclusively for gym bros, but adding these to your diet can be a game-changer for even the most casual of lifters.
With vegan options and a whole spectrum of flavours to choose from, here are 10 protein powders to consider – including recommendations from trainers and athletes – for both your muscle building or weight loss needs.
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Before we dive straight into the diverse selection of protein powders, let’s clear up some common misconceptions people have about the supplement.
Numero uno: protein powders should never be used as a replacement for meals. Yes, they contain a hefty amount of protein, but these powders don’t have an adequate amount of other essential nutrients, like carbohydrates and fats, that your regular lunch meal does.
Another myth that needs busting is that taking protein powders will magically transform your body into that of Captain America’s. The supplement’s primary functions are to boost muscle performance and recovery, so you’ll need to use it in tandem with a dedicated workout regime in order to see prominent results.
At first glance, protein powder labels ridden with random words like ‘isolate’ and ‘BCAAs’ might seem confusing. Here’s a little breakdown of common protein jargon so you know exactly what you’re reading on the nutrition tags:
To maximise muscle gains and recovery, the swole gym bros’ rule of thumb is to down your shake within two hours of your sweat sesh. If not, you can have a shake to accompany your lunch or dinner if you’d like to pile on more protein to your nosh.
Now equipped with newfound knowledge of protein powders, you’re all set to browse through these 10 protein powders and select a formula that best suits your needs.
Pop by your local GNC and you’re bound to see bottles of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey stacked atop their shelves. Communally known as the gateway protein brand for first-timers, a single scoop of this powder contains 24G of protein and just 1G of sugar to help with your muscle building needs.
Singaporean personal trainer Marie Wellesley also attests to this brand’s formula, saying: “It’s great tasting and super popular among gym-goers as it’s easily accessible and has good nutritional content.” It also contains a minimal amount of lactose, so those with mild lactose intolerance are still able to stomach this protein.
Fun fact: Most, if not all, protein powders have a dedicated scoop sunken within its bag or container. Serving sizes differ from brand to brand as different-sized scoops are used, so make sure to check each brand’s nutritional information for exact portion details.
Protein content per serving: 24G
Price: From $29
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Those looking to shed some weight know that it’s imperative for them to avoid consuming excessive amounts of carbohydrates in order to reach their fitspo goals. To stay in a caloric deficit while getting your protein fix, look no further than the Isopure Zero Carb.
As its name suggests, the Isopure Zero Carb contains zilch carbohydrates – you won’t be flouting your keto diet rules when you take this supplement. The 25G of protein found per scoop is also completely made out of whey isolate, so you’ll continue to reap the muscle recovery benefits even while you’re on a strict cut.
And if you don’t have a knack for desserts, Isopure’s got refreshing fruity flavours like Mango Peach and Pineapple Orange Banana for you to consider instead of richer flavours like Dutch Chocolate and Creamy Vanilla.
Protein content per serving: 25G
Price: From $29
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Another protein powder Marie heaped praise on was the MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Performance Series, citing its “fantastic nutritional content” as the product’s main draw. For starters, one serving of the powder contains a whopping 30G of protein – the most out of the 10 listed brands.
The slew of added substances don’t stop there – 3G of creatine, 6.8G of BCAAs and 5G of another amino acid known as glutamine are all found in a single scoop. Glutamine is known to further boost muscle synthesis and recovery, so combine it with the other nutrients and serious lifters have a loaded formula suited for their demanding regimes.
Protein content per serving: 30G
Price: From $45
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If you’re religiously following a plant-based diet, the Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Organic is a vegan powder that’ll help add a welcome influx of protein to your diet. Containing 24G of protein and 6G of BCAAs, this Keto and Paleo-friendly supplement slots in nicely into pretty much anybody’s meal plans.
One gripe people have with vegan protein powders is their unpleasant grainy taste, so national canoe polo athlete Marissa Yeo was thrilled that this Sunwarrior blend was devoid of that yucky texture.
“I really like it because it dissolves in water super easily and it’s significantly less grainy compared to other vegan proteins, making it so much more palatable texture-wise,” Marissa says.
Protein content per serving: 24G
Price: From $23.99
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Image credit: Myprotein
A cult favourite among fitness fanatics and occasional gym-goers, the MyProtein Impact Whey is an affordable option that comes in a whopping 69 different flavours. Apart from the usual suspects like chocolate and vanilla, they’ve also got exotic flavours that include the likes of Crème Brûlée and every Singaporean’s favourite, Brown Sugar Milk Tea.
MyProtein’s Impact Whey also gets the athlete stamp of approval, as Marissa’s teammates use this protein to fuel their intense training seshs. And although MyProtein is based in the UK, a single spend of $100 entitles you to free shipping, so you don’t need to foot exorbitant shipping fees to snag your protein fix.
Pro tip: The MyProtein site perpetually has handy discount codes that slash 30% to 50% off their range of protein powders and other exercise accessories. These promos are in plain sight once you’ve entered the website, so just plop the code in at checkout and you’re golden!
Protein content per serving: 21G
Price: From $24.99
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Fun fact: Seasoned gym-goers looking to ramp up their focus during training can consume a caffeine-filled shake prior to their session. For a protein powder that’s imbued with energy-boosting abilities, opt for the LushProtein MatchaWhey to get the best of both worlds.
Perfect for early birds, each serving of LushProtein MatchaWhey contains matcha powder which packs a potency equivalent to 10 cups of freshly brewed green tea. The matcha also contains a unique green tea caffeine that is gradually released into your body within a span of six to eight hours, keeping you fuelled with energy during your workout and possibly throughout the day.
Our Muslim buddies will also be delighted to hear that the LushProtein MatchaWhey is Halal-certified, making it literally a sin-free indulgence.
Protein content per serving: 19G
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Image credit: ALLMAX Nutrition
After sifting through seven different brands over the course of his 20-year-long fitness journey, casual bodybuilder Alvin finally settled down with the AllMax Isoflex. The brand’s nutritional values don’t lie, as this 100% whey isolate blend contains 27G of protein per scoop with no sugar whatsoever.
And if taste is of the essence, the saviour for your tastebuds is AllMax’s Chocolate Peanut Butter flavour. Alvin personally swears by this flavour, specifying that “it tastes like a Starbucks Hazelnut Latte” whenever he drinks it in the morning.
Fun fact: When we look at percentages, a single scoop of the AllMax Isoflex is composed of 90% protein. This ratio is significantly higher than that of other natural protein sources like a trimmed steak (23% protein) or even chicken breast (17% protein).
Protein content per serving: 27G
Price: From $57.03
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If protein shakes are a drink you’re consuming on the daily, then they sure as heck better taste good. Hailing all the way from Chicago, decorated fitness brand Ghost Lifestyle prides itself on the great-tasting, decadent flavours found in their Ghost 100% Whey Protein line.
Some of their bestselling flavours include Marshmallow Cereal Milk, which contains additional chunks of actual marshmallows mixed in the sea of powder. But the brand’s pièce de résistance is their fabled collab with cookie brand Chips Ahoy! – mini bits of cookies are present in every scoop to add some sweet mouthfeel.
Though this brand’s a rare sight in Singapore, you can get your Ghost fix off Carousell seller @luxxforless – a trusted seller with 104 five-star reviews. Alternatively, you can check out their Lazada page if you prefer making your purchase over on that platform instead.
Protein content per serving: 25G
Price: From $59.99
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Garnering over 2,500 positive reviews on reputable online supplement site iHerb, the California Gold Nutrition Whey Protein Isolate is a highly-raved supplement for good reason. The product’s trifecta of nutritional values speak for themselves; its unflavoured variant boasts 27G of protein, 6.2G of BCAAs and 0G of carbohydrates per scoop.
It’s also about as natural a protein powder you can get too – it contains no artificial sweeteners, colours, gluten and GMOs.
Protein content per serving: 27G
Price: From $20.37
Get California Gold Nutrition Whey Protein Isolate
Another vegan variant worth looking at is the Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein – a plant-based raw protein made up of 22 different organic grains, seeds and sprouts. Being a sugar-free protein, not even natural sweeteners like Stevia are incorporated into the powder’s formula.
And with 22G of protein and 4G of BCAAs per serving, this dairy-free and soyless protein is an apt buy for those with dietary restrictions.
Fun fact: Raw protein powders don’t undergo as many heating processes as regular ones, meaning that they’ll contain additional nutritional benefits like healthy fibres and vitamins.
Protein content per serving: 22G
Price: From $45.62
Get Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein
If you’re looking to transform into lean, mean, muscle-building machines, getting a regular dose of protein powder into your system is your best bet.
Whether it’s tasty flavours or zero carb options, you’re bound to find a formula tailored to your needs from this eclectic spread of 10 protein powders.
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