The Best Tasting Protein Powders of 2023: Yummy Flavors for Muscle Growth

woman drinking a protein shake

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Protein is a necessary component of a healthy, well-balanced diet, and it’s especially important for those training for athletic competitions or trying to build muscle. However, it can be difficult to get more protein into your diet, which is why we’re sharing the best tasting protein powders of 2023. With these delicious protein powders, you can get your extra protein in without sacrificing taste or convenience.

FEATURED Best Tasting Protein Powder:

Best Tasting Protein Powders - Our Top Picks

Why Trust Us?

The health and safety of ACTIVE’s readers is of the utmost importance to us. To ensure your well-being when consuming dietary supplements, the ACTIVE.com editorial team prioritizes products that are independently tested by a third party. We’ve consulted with a team of nutritionists and dieticians to ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. This helps us create the most accurate, authentic review content for our readers.

Best Tasting Protein Powder Overall - Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate

Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate

SPECS

  • Protein source: Whey (milk)
  • Available flavors: Chocolate peanut butter, French vanilla, strawberry, and more
  • Calories per serving: 120
  • Protein per serving: 28g
  • Carbs per serving: 1g
  • Sugar per serving: Less than 1g
  • Serving size: 1 scoop
  • Certifications: N/A

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There are many fun and interesting flavored protein powders out there, but our favorite is the Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate. It’s made with whey protein sourced from 100% grass-fed cows and comes in many delicious flavors. We love that this protein powder is made with minimal ingredients—no weird additives or unpronounceable chemicals. This is a great option for anyone concerned about avoiding excess food additives. It’s a good source of calcium, all of the flavors taste good, and it contains a whopping 28 grams of protein per scoop serving. Not to mention that there’s not just one, but two distinct vanilla flavors available.

It doesn’t contain any added vitamins, which could be a positive or negative feature depending on your preferences. And the stevia used to sweeten it leaves a slight flavor, though with the benefit of keeping sugar below one gram per serving. In general, this vanilla-flavored protein powder is a slam dunk, especially for athletes concerned about food additives and hidden calories.

What We Like

  • Whey protein from grass-fed cows
  • Lots of protein
  • Good source of calcium
  • Tastes great
  • Lots of flavor choices
  • Clean ingredients

What We Don't Like

  • No added vitamins
  • Slight Stevia flavor

BUY: Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate


Best Tasting Grass-Fed Protein Powder - Xwerks Grow

Xwerks Grow

SPECS

  • Protein source: 100% New Zealand grass-fed whey protein isolate
  • Available flavors: Chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, strawberry
  • Calories per serving: 110
  • Protein per serving: 25g
  • Carbs per serving: 1g
  • Sugar per serving: 0g
  • Serving size: 1 scoop
  • Certifications: 100% Grass-fed

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For many, grass-fed protein powder is the way to go. Why? It’s cleaner (with fewer additives), contains less saturated fats, and more omega-3s, and promotes more humane farming practices. And Xwerk’s Grow protein powder is our top choice when it comes to grass-fed protein. Xwerks Grow comes in a variety of tasty flavors like peanut butter and strawberry, plus it’s keto-friendly with just 1 gram of carbs per serving.

Plus, for an extra dose of muscle repair, each serving contains 6 grams of BCAAS—i.e. one of the only science-backed ingredients in the muscle-building world that are known to support muscle repair and recovery. The one kicker? The price point is a bit steep at $60, but if you want a clean, good-tasting source of protein, we think Xwerks is worth it.

What We Like

  • Derived from 100% New Zealand grass-fed whey protein isolate
  • Low-calorie
  • Low-carb; keto-friendly
  • Multiple flavors to choose from
  • Contains 6g of BCAA’s per serving
  • Contains zero artificial sweeteners, flavors, or coloring
  • Gluten-free

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point

BUY: Xwerks Grow Protein Powder


Best Tasting Plant-Based Protein Powder - KOS Organic Plant Protein

Xwerks Grow

SPECS

  • Protein source: Pea protein
  • Available flavors: 6
  • Calories per serving: 160
  • Protein per serving: 20g
  • Carbs per serving: 9g
  • Sugar per serving: 2g
  • Serving size: 2 scoops (39g)
  • Certifications: USDA-Organic, GMP-certified, keto-friendly

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Plant-based protein powders offer the full nutritional benefits of added protein for those unable to consume animal-based proteins for dietary—or personal—reasons. That said, plant-based powders have a bit of a bad rap when it comes to flavor and variety. Enter KOS Organic Protein Powder. This organic pea protein-based powder is available in traditional flavors (i.e. chocolate and vanilla) and decadent flavors like salted caramel coffee, blueberry muffin, chocolate chip mint, and more. Not only that, it tastes great, too.

In addition to the pea protein, KOS also uses quinoa, flax, chia, and pumpkin seed protein sources. It's also low-calorie and easily digestible due to the lack of whey, which can cause bloat or worse in those with lactose intolerance. If you’re in the market for a plant-based protein powder and want the best, we highly recommend KOS.

What We Like

  • Available in 6 delicious flavors
  • Made with organic ingredients
  • 20g of protein per serving
  • Keto diet friendly and gluten-free
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

What We Don't Like

  • Some users found it easier to blend than mix with a shaker cup
  • Serving size on the smaller side

BUY: KOS Organic Plant Protein


Best Tasting Vegan Protein Powder - Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Protein Powder

SPECS

  • Protein source: Rice & pea proteins
  • Available flavors: French vanilla, chocolate
  • Calories per serving: 130
  • Protein per serving: 24g
  • Carbs per serving: 3g
  • Sugar per serving: 2g
  • Serving size: 1 scoop
  • Certifications: Organic

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It can be difficult to get adequate protein in your diet if you’re vegan. There are some vegan protein powder options out there, but some of them don’t taste good or are prohibitively expensive. Our choice for best-tasting vegan protein powder is the Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Protein Powder. As the name suggests, this protein powder is organic as well as vegan. It provides protein through a combination of rice and pea proteins. It’s a complete protein, which means it provides all the amino acids your body needs—particularly important for vegans. Unlike some vegan protein powders, this one is high in protein at 24 grams per scoop serving. It’s available in two flavors, chocolate and French vanilla, which both taste great.

We like that it’s soy-free, animal product-free, and non-GMO. While it would be nice if there were more flavor options for this protein, the two flavors that are available are super popular and get the job done. The texture can be a bit chalky, as is often the case with pea protein, but it’s mitigated some with the addition of the rice protein component. All in all, this vegan protein powder is a delicious supplement to any plant-based diet.

What We Like

  • 24g protein per serving
  • Non-GMO
  • Dairy- and soy-free
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Tastes good

What We Don't Like

  • Just 2 flavors
  • Can have a chalky texture when mixed with water

BUY: Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Protein Powder


Best Flavor Variety Protein Powder - Gainful

Gainful

SPECS

  • Protein source: Varies; customized to you
  • Available flavors: 9
  • Calories per serving: Varies
  • Protein per serving: 19-27g
  • Carbs per serving: Less than 1g
  • Sugar per serving: None
  • Serving size: 1 scoop
  • Certifications: RD-approved, backed by science

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Too often, protein flavors get judged only on the type of flavor in them, not the intensity. Why is this a problem? If you’ve ever had a protein that was way too sweet, or that tasted like dirt, you know exactly why it’s a problem!

The customized protein company Gainful solves it by shipping all their proteins unflavored, but sending you "flavor boosts" that you can dial up based on your needs. They have 8 flavors to choose from, and when you order, you can even choose two flavors rather than one for no extra charge! These aren’t slouch flavors either. Currently, Gainful offers strawberry cream, Madagascar vanilla, rich chocolate, Caffe mocha, cookies and cream, chocolate peanut butter, Matcha green tea, cinnamon toast, and sea salt caramel protein.

If you just read that and thought, "Customizing other aspects of my protein and supplements also sounds great," Gainful is whey ahead of you. By answering an in-depth questionnaire about your body, lifestyle, dietary needs, and goals, you dial in every aspect of your protein, from source to macros to add-ins. And you can also build customized pre-workout and hydration supplements to power your workouts!

What We Like

  • Great flavors, with the ability to dial up and down intensity
  • Can order multiple flavors without extra cost
  • Purchase comes with free dietitian guidance

What We Don't Like

  • Pricier by the serving than non-customized protein
  • Not easy to re-customize formula once built

BUY: Gainful Protein


Best Tasting Vanilla Protein Powder - Ritual Daily Shake Protein Powder

Ritual Essential Protein

SPECS

  • Protein source: Pea protein
  • Available flavors: Vanilla
  • Calories per serving: 115
  • Protein per serving: 20g
  • Carbs per serving: 3g
  • Sugar per serving: 0g
  • Serving size: 1 scoop
  • Certifications: Informed Sport Certified

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It’s hard to choose just one vanilla protein powder that stands out over all the rest, as most brands feature this flavor, but the Ritual Daily Shake Protein Powder is a top contender for many reasons. This plant-based protein powder is delicious and filling. Sweetened with fermented sugarcane and monk fruit extract, it tastes like sweet vanilla but contains zero grams of sugar. 20 grams of protein per serving (one scoop) adds nutritional depth to your protein shakes, smoothies, and baked goods. It’s a complete source of protein, containing all of the amino acids your body needs.

We like that Ritual shares transparent information about the sourcing and manufacturing of all the ingredients, and they stick with non-GMO ingredients, too. Competitive athletes will appreciate the Informed-Sport certification, which certifies clean ingredients without any banned substances. Ritual Daily protein powder is available in three varieties– standard, age 50+, and pregnancy/postpartum blends. This plant-based protein is made primarily with pea protein, and it creates a thick texture when blended with water or food.

What We Like

  • Non-GMO
  • Complete source of amino acids
  • Plant-based
  • Highly transparent ingredient sourcing
  • Informed Sport Certified
  • 0g sugar

What We Don't Like

  • Bag closures is poor quality
  • Cost
  • Thick texture when mixed

BUY: Ritual Daily Shake Protein Powder


Best Tasting Unflavored Protein Powder - KOS Organic Plant Protein Unflavored

KOS Organic Plant Protein Unflavored

SPECS

  • Protein source: Pea protein
  • Available flavors: N/A
  • Calories per serving: 140
  • Protein per serving: 20g
  • Carbs per serving: 5g
  • Sugar per serving: 1g
  • Serving size: 2 scoops (34g)
  • Certifications: N/A

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Is it odd to include an unflavored protein powder on a list of "best-tasting" proteins? Maybe, but everyone's tastes are different, and you might be in the market for something a little more neutral with zero added sugars. That's why we recommend KOS Organic Unflavored Plant Protein. This plant-based protein powder is low calorie and doesn't have the chalky taste or gritty texture associated with other unflavored protein powders—or other plant proteins, for that matter.

You can use this unflavored protein powder for gluten-free baked goods or oatmeal or add it as a mostly-flavorless ingredient in your nutritional morning smoothie or meal replacement shake. The sky's the limit.

What We Like

  • Zero added sugar
  • Low-calorie
  • 20g of protein per serving
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Gluten-free

What We Don't Like

  • Some users reported more flavor than they'd like
  • Serving size on the smaller side

BUY: KOS Organic Plant Protein Unflavored


Best Tasting Protein Powder for Muscle Growth - Transparent Labs Mass Gainer

Transparent Labs Mass Gainer

SPECS

  • Protein source: Grass-fed whey concentrate
  • Available flavors: 2
  • Calories per serving: 790
  • Protein per serving: 53g
  • Carbs per serving: 114g
  • Sugar per serving: 17g
  • Serving size: 2 scoops (196.76g)
  • Certifications: No artificial sweeteners

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A common misconception about a mass-gaining bulk is that you get to eat whatever you want in the pursuit of gains. This isn't the case, and after a while, the sheer amount of food you need to consume to build muscle begins to weigh on you, not in a good way. This is why a mass gainer is a great supplemental tool to carry in your gym bag arsenal. Transparent Labs Mass Gainer is made with grass-fed whey concentrate and is chock-full of the nutritional building blocks you need to develop lean muscle and read your goals.

As for the taste, it comes in two delicious flavors—chocolate glazed donut and sweet vanilla—that are excellent for hardgainers with a sweet tooth. It's a win-win supplement.

What We Like

  • Flavors are highly recommended by users
  • Large amount of protein and carbs per serving
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Uses 100% grass-fed whey concentrate
  • Mixes well

What We Don't Like

  • Only comes in 2 flavors
  • Price per serving is high

BUY: Transparent Labs Mass Gainer


Best Tasting Low-Carb Protein Powder - Xwerks Grow

Xwerks Grow

SPECS

  • Protein source: 100% New Zealand grass-fed whey protein isolate
  • Available flavors: Chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, strawberry
  • Calories per serving: 110
  • Protein per serving: 25g
  • Carbs per serving: 1g
  • Sugar per serving: 0g
  • Serving size: 1 scoop
  • Certifications: 100% Grass-fed

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We already mentioned that Xwerks Grow is 100% grass-fed and full of nutrients, but did you know that it's also surprisingly low-carb? Just 1 gram of carbs per serving! It also comes in a variety of tasty flavors like peanut butter and strawberry and is keto-friendly.

Plus, for an extra dose of muscle repair, each serving contains 6 grams of BCAAS—i.e. one of the only science-backed ingredients in the muscle-building world that are known to support muscle repair and recovery. The one kicker? The price point is a bit steep at $60, but if you want a clean, good-tasting source of protein, we think Xwerks is worth it.

What We Like

  • Low-carb; keto-friendly
  • Derived from 100% New Zealand grass-fed whey protein isolate
  • Low-calorie
  • Multiple flavors to choose from
  • Contains 6g of BCAA’s per serving
  • Contains zero artificial sweeteners, flavors, or coloring
  • Gluten-free

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point

BUY: Xwerks Grow Protein Powder


Best Tasting Chocolate Protein Powder - Kaged Whey Protein Powder

Kaged Whey Protein Powder

SPECS

  • Protein source: Whey (milk)
  • Available flavors: S’mores, chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, and more
  • Calories per serving: 120
  • Protein per serving: 25g
  • Carbs per serving: 4g
  • Sugar per serving: 1g
  • Serving size: 1 scoop
  • Certifications: Informed Sport Certified

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Chocolate is also a common protein powder flavor, and with good reason. Our favorite is the Kaged Whey Protein Powder. It’s available in a variety of flavors, including three chocolate flavors: s’mores, chocolate, and chocolate peanut butter. This whey protein has a good balance of protein to calories and contains relatively few carbs. It’s Informed-Sport Certified, which is great for competitive athletes as well as anyone concerned about unlisted ingredients in their protein supplements.

With balanced macros, tons of protein, and 6 grams of BCAAs, this protein powder could be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. It’s affordable without sacrificing quality, and it’s definitely one of the better-tasting protein powders on the market. Some people find it a little too sweet in flavor, and particularly the cinnamon French toast flavor has had mixed reviews. But this remains our favorite chocolate protein powder and we hope you give it a try.

What We Like

  • Flavor options available
  • Good protein-to-calories ratio
  • Informed Sport Certified
  • Balanced macros
  • 6g BCAAs
  • Affordable

What We Don't Like

  • Too sweet for some
  • Cinnamon flavor has mixed reviews

BUY: Kaged Whey Protein Powder


Best Tasting Protein Powder for Weight Loss - Ritual Daily Shake Protein Powder

Ritual Essential Protein

SPECS

  • Protein source: Pea protein
  • Available flavors: Vanilla
  • Calories per serving: 115
  • Protein per serving: 20g
  • Carbs per serving: 3g
  • Sugar per serving: 0g
  • Serving size: 1 scoop
  • Certifications: Informed Sport Certified

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Ritual isn't just flavorful, this plant-based protein powder is also delicious and filling. Sweetened with fermented sugarcane and monk fruit extract, it tastes delicious but contains 0 grams of sugar. 20 grams of protein per serving (one scoop) adds nutritional depth to your protein shakes, smoothies, and baked goods. It’s a complete source of protein, containing all of the amino acids your body needs.

So, when it comes to weight loss, Ritual is our top pick because it doesn’t contain too many excess additives or unnecessary calories but still provides you with essential nutrients for building lean muscle. Additionally, Ritual Daily protein powder is available in three varieties—standard, age 50+, and pregnancy/postpartum blends.

What We Like

  • Non-GMO
  • Complete source of amino acids
  • Plant-based
  • Highly transparent ingredient sourcing
  • Informed Sport Certified
  • 0g sugar

What We Don't Like

  • Bag closures is poor quality
  • Cost
  • Thick texture when mixed

BUY: Ritual Daily Shake Protein Powder


Best Tasting Organic Protein Powder - KOS Organic Plant Protein

Xwerks Grow

SPECS

  • Protein source: Pea protein
  • Available flavors: 6
  • Calories per serving: 160
  • Protein per serving: 20g
  • Carbs per serving: 9g
  • Sugar per serving: 2g
  • Serving size: 2 scoops (39g)
  • Certifications: USDA-Organic, GMP-certified, keto-friendly

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If you’re concerned about food additives and GMO crops, an organic protein powder might be the way to go. Our pick for the best-tasting organic protein powder is KOS Organic Plant Protein Powder. We love this plant-based, organic protein powder so much that we just can't help but continue recommending it. This product is vegan and organic (non-GMO), meaning it gets its protein from plant sources like peas, quinoa, and chia seeds. One serving (two scoops) provides 20 grams of protein. Being plant-based, this protein powder is also a good source of dietary fiber, is naturally gluten-free, and is low-calorie. What's not to love?

What We Like

  • Certified Organic
  • Available in 6 delicious flavors
  • 20g of protein per serving
  • Keto diet friendly and gluten-free
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

What We Don't Like

  • Some users found it easier to blend than shake
  • Serving size on the smaller side

BUY: KOS Organic Plant Protein


Best Tasting Whey Protein Powder - Jacked Factory Authentic Whey

Jacked Factory Authentic Whey

SPECS

  • Protein source: Whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate
  • Available flavors: 5
  • Calories per serving: 120
  • Protein per serving: 24g
  • Carbs per serving: 1g
  • Sugar per serving: 1g
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (31.1g)
  • Certifications: N/A

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If you’ve ever wished your morning protein shake had the taste of your favorite cereal, this is the protein powder for you. Jacked Factory Authentic Whey is easily mixable and comes in a variety of flavors, including the previously mentioned Fruity Cereal Splash, Salted Chocolate Caramel, and Orange Ice Cream. Not only that, the calories per serving are relatively low if you're watching your caloric intake but still want to indulge your sweet tooth.

By combining whey protein isolate and concentrate, Jacked Factory Authentic Whey is a well-rounded and complete protein source that also includes all EAAs and BCAAs. So, not only does this whey protein taste great, it's an excellent choice for your nutritional needs and gains.

What We Like

  • Comes in 5 delicious flavors
  • Uses both whey protein concentrate and isolate
  • Low-carb and low-sugar content
  • Reasonably priced with a money-back guarantee
  • Manufactured in the USA in cGMP and FDA-registered facility

What We Don't Like

  • Shipping can be expensive and may take several weeks
  • Uses some artificial sweeteners

BUY: Jacked Factory Authentic Whey


FAQs About Best Tasting Protein Powders


Are protein powders good for weight loss?

Weight loss is a complicated subject that varies based on a person’s age, gender, level of physical fitness, medical history, and so on. In the most basic sense, protein powders are not a great solution for weight loss. They are an addition to a person’s usual diet, and they are often high in calories, carbs, and sugar. Protein can help with a feeling of fullness, which may aid in weight loss, but protein powders are not really meant as meal replacements which could limit their practical applications.

Are protein powders safe?

It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before adding a new supplement. But generally speaking, protein powders are safe in moderation. Make sure you check that you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients and that the nutritional profile aligns with your health goals. If you’re worried about safety in the manufacturing process, look for certifications that guarantee the sources and quality of the protein. You can also look into third-party evaluators who test protein powders for unlisted additives.

How much daily protein do I need to build muscle?

The ideal amount of protein you need in your diet depends on many factors such as age, gender, metabolism, physical fitness, and any medical conditions you may suffer from. Sources commonly recommend aiming for one gram of protein for every one pound of your body weight in order to gain muscle; others think this estimate is too high. For exact recommendations, consult with your doctor or a nutritionist for a personalized health plan.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

About the Author

Erin Chancer

For the past 13 years, Erin Chancer has worked in digital publishing in the fitness and sports nutrition field. Erin has experience writing and editing workout-based, human interest, and advertorial stories within the fitness industry.

See More from Erin

For the past 13 years, Erin Chancer has worked in digital publishing in the fitness and sports nutrition field. Erin has experience writing and editing workout-based, human interest, and advertorial stories within the fitness industry.

See More from Erin

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