HealthyBeat articles include advertisements and affiliate links. We may earn a commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn more Updated February 14, 2021If you’re a guy looking to bulk up, you’ve no doubt heard about the benefits of protein powder. Protein supplements can help you supercharge your workouts and build more muscle than you might’ve been able to otherwise. That’s why you probably see so many guys at the gym rushing for the blender as soon as they get done with their strength training routine.But even if you’re not looking for crazy muscle growth, protein powders still have plenty to offer even the biggest couch potatoes. Different types of protein supplements can do everything from shoring up the protein content in a vegetarian/vegan diet to helping you lose weight by keeping you from hitting the snack cupboard to providing a pick-me-up in the afternoon.Let’s take a look at some of the best protein powders for men on the market today.Best Protein Powders for MenBest Protein Powder to Build Lean Muscle Mass: PI Isolate Whey Best Protein Powder for Vegans: Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Best Weight Loss Protein Powder: Legion Athletics Whey+ Protein Powder Best Protein Powder for Bulking Up: Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Best Low-Cost Protein Powder: Muscle Milk Collegiate Protein Powder Best Limited-Ingredient Protein Powder: Naked Whey by Naked NutritionBest Protein Powders for MenBest Protein Powder to Build Lean Muscle Mass: PI Isolate WheyIf you’re looking for a lean, mean, pure protein machine, this offering from Performance Inspired might be up your alley. The whey isolate will help you recover faster and support muscle development without making you pack on the pounds with a bunch of extra calories and carbs. The naturally sourced whey is a full 25 grams of quality protein per serving, with only one gram of sugar, meaning almost all of its 130 calories and nutrients will go right where they should: fueling your muscles instead of shoring up your fat stores.Best Protein Powder for Vegans: Orgain Organic Plant-Based ProteinThis vegan protein powder has everything you’re looking for if you’re a plant-based health buff! It’s clean, it’s certified USDA organic, it’s a winner of the Cleanest Packaged Food Award, and it’s gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO! You can’t get much cleaner than that. As an added bonus, it’s both cost-effective and delicious, coming in a plethora of flavors like creamy chocolate fudge, peanut butter, and vanilla bean. There’s even an unsweetened, unflavored powder for those looking to sprinkle some protein on their meals instead of making shakes.Best Weight Loss Protein Powder: Legion Athletics Whey+ Protein PowderAnother whey isolate, this protein powder packs 22 grams of protein per serving with only 2 to 4 grams of carbohydrates and 0 to 2 grams of fat. It’s also only 100 calories per serving, meaning if you’re trying to eat fewer calories, you’re not gobbling them all up in a protein shake. As an added bonus, this whey protein comes from sustainable, animal welfare-focused dairy farms in Ireland, so you know you’re getting a product that’s as ethical as it is high-quality.Best Protein Powder for Bulking Up: Gold Standard 100% Whey ProteinFor those looking to pack on the pounds (of muscle, that is) as quickly as possible, there’s a reason why this is the best-selling whey protein powder in the world: in addition to a whopping 24 grams of protein per serving, it has 5.5 grams of endurance and recovery-supporting BCAAs to help you bounce back post-workout.Best Low-Cost Protein Powder: Muscle Milk Collegiate Protein PowderAt less than $40 for 5.29 pounds of the stuff, Muscle Milk’s protein powder comes in at a little over 47 cents per ounce—pretty budget-friendly for a protein powder. Just because this powder is affordable doesn’t mean it’s cheap. It is still a delicious, quality product designed to support athletes through both training and competition. In addition to 20 grams of protein per serving, this blend also boasts 20 vitamins and minerals, and it’s gluten-free! It also comes in great flavors like cookies ‘n cream and vanilla.Best Limited-Ingredient Protein Powder: Naked Whey by Naked NutritionThe great thing about this protein powder isn’t just what’s in it but what’s not in it — though its 100 percent premium grass-fed whey protein is certainly worth noting. Naked Nutrition slaps the words “nothing to hide” right on their label, and they live up to it. This protein powder has no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. In fact, it only has one ingredient: whey protein. To top it all off, this powder is cold processed without acid or bleach, the milk used to make it comes from cows not treated with hormones, and it’s GMO-free.What to Look for in a Protein PowderProbably the single most important thing for you to do when you shop for a protein powder is check the ingredients label for items you do want to see and items you don’t. What you do want to see is a high concentration of whatever protein you’re wanting to take, whether it’s plant or animal-based. In fact, protein should always be the first ingredient in your protein powder. If it’s not, the powder’s not worth buying.Other ingredients you do want include:FiberVitaminsMineralsBCAAsWhat you don’t want to see are tons of any of these:Added sugarEmpty carbsArtificial sweetenersChemical additivesPreservativesFood coloringProtein powder should be just that—protein (and maybe a little sugar and cocoa powder to make it taste nice).When to Use Protein PowdersWhen and how you eat or drink your protein supplements depends on what you’re using them for. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons people use protein powders.Physical FitnessProbably the most common reason guys take protein powder is to help them achieve their muscle-building goals. If that’s what you want to get out of your protein supplement, the timing of your protein consumption needs to be just right. Timing is a controversial topic that everyone’s got a strong opinion about—if you want to start an argument at the gym, asking when you should take your protein after a workout is a surefire way to do it.However, the general consensus is if you want to build muscle, you need to consume more protein than your body uses for fuel during your workout, and that means you should consume your protein within two hours of resistance training or weight lifting, though within 60 minutes is probably better. That way, your body has the essential amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild muscle proteins and create new muscle tissue after a workout.Weight LossUnderstanding how many calories you burn in a day is a key part of an effective weight loss strategy. One of the great things about protein supplements is they make you feel satiated without eating a lot of calories.Drinking a scoop or two of protein powder mixed into a glass of water or almond milk whenever you’re feeling hungry or needing an energy boost between meals can help you feel full for hours while only setting you back a couple of hundred calories. This can keep you from grazing mindlessly or eating calorie-dense snacks.Our recipe calorie calculator can help you manage the rest of your calorie intake.Time ManagementIn this day and age, it’s hard to find the time to actually eat. If you’re always running late in the morning or skipping lunch to run errands or hit the gym, it can be tempting to just miss a meal rather than take the time to eat it. Some people might just manage to chug a coffee before their workout.But you shouldn’t make a habit of doing this because it can mess with your blood sugar, make you irritable and short, put a damper on your productivity, and maybe even slow your metabolism by keeping your body in starvation mode.If you don’t have time to eat an actual, legitimate meal, you can supplement your lost calories with a premade protein shake. Drink it when you would normally eat your meals. Just make sure you’re balancing the protein with fruits, veggies, and healthy fat—all the things you would normally need to get from a meal—for optimum nutrition.You can also keep your energy up while exercising with a pre-workout snack.FAQsWhat are the side effects of protein powder?Since protein is the building block of pretty much every organ and tissue in the body, you’re not likely to suffer side effects from ingesting protein itself. However, you need to pay careful attention to your protein powder’s ingredients label, especially if you have a sensitivity or allergy to things like shellfish, nuts, fish, eggs, lactose, soy, or any other ingredients commonly found in protein powder.In addition, pay attention to how much protein is in your diet—a long-term high-protein diet may have potential health consequences, especially if you eat a lot of protein from animal products, which can up your risk of heart problems and certain cancers.How much protein do men need a day?The National Academy of Science’s Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) says you should eat around .36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. That works out to 56 grams a day for the average inactive guy. If you want to work out exactly how much protein you need, just multiply your body weight in pounds by .36. You can also calculate your needs by the number of calories you eat a day. The USDA recommends you get around 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories from protein. So if you eat a diet of roughly 2,000 calories per day, you need between 200 and 700 of those calories to be protein. Keep in mind, this is based on low activity levels. If you work out all the time or have a physically demanding job, you’ll need to up your protein intake, maybe significantly.Can I get enough protein from food?Most of the time, you can get sufficient amounts of protein from vegetables, meats, shellfish, fish, eggs, and dairy products. However, there are a few instances where you might not be getting enough protein from diet alone. While beans, nuts, seeds, and certain other vegetables are great sources of protein, vegans can have a hard time meeting their protein needs, especially if they’re athletes. If you’re restricting your calorie intake, it might also make it harder to get enough protein, since a lot of protein-rich foods are pretty calorie-dense. If you’re extremely active, your protein requirements might exceed the amount of food you can reasonably expect to consume per day. If none of these applies to you, you can probably just focus on eating protein-rich foods to increase your intake of this vital nutrient.Is it better to get protein from whole foods instead of supplements?Yes and no. On the one hand, whole foods satiate you better than supplements, and they also contain other vital nutrients besides protein. Your body also tends to absorb nutrients from food better than it absorbs nutrients from supplements. However, on the other hand, if you’re finding it difficult to meet your daily protein requirements or you want to up your protein while saving on calories, powders can be a great option.Does grass-fed whey really matter?Yes. Grass-fed cows produce better milk, and better milk produces better whey, and better whey produces better whey protein supplements. First off, grass-fed cow’s milk doesn’t have a lot of the unwanted stuff that tends to come in grain-fed cows, since these cows are often loaded down with hormones and antibiotics. Grass-fed cows also produce milk that contains more, better-quality, and even unique nutrients that don’t occur in conventionally raised milk. For instance, grass-fed milk has more vitamin D, more beta carotene, and more omega 3 fatty acids than grain-fed milk.Bottom LineThe best protein powder for you really depends on what you’re looking to get out of a higher-protein diet. Do you want to lose weight? Feel fuller longer? Bulk up? Get in shape? Supplement a low protein diet? Figuring out why you’re starting a protein supplement will help you figure out which protein supplement is going to work best for you.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. 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