The best protein powder source is the one that's right for you—different people have different needs. From finding a vegan protein source to varying your intake as your goals evolve, every protein source has unique properties and nutritional benefits. Compare your options here.
Animal-Based Protein Powders
Animal-based supplements are a great source of complete protein. Depending on your personal goals, diet restrictions and general preferences, animal-based protein powders may be the right choice for you.
What is whey protein? Great tasting and affordable, the benefits of whey protein make it one of the most popular protein sources for athletes. Derived from the watery part of milk, it contains all nine essential amino acids and digests quickly to support muscle growth and recovery^. It also enhances production of glutathione, a natural antioxidant that supports the immune system. Whey is commonly available in three forms: concentrate (with other nutrients including carbs and fat); isolate (more concentrated and purified to remove more carbs and fats); and blends, which are formulated to provide unique nutritional benefits.
Looking for a slow and steady protein source? Protein powder with casein has you covered. Use it at bedtime to help repair muscles while you sleep, or as a slow-digesting snack between meals. Casein is 80% of the protein found in milk and has all nine essential amino acids, plus minerals like calcium and phosphorous.
Easy-to-digest. Naturally lactose-free. It’s what makes protein from eggs one of the most common sources of protein in supplements today—and ideal for anyone allergic to dairy or milk. Egg protein powder contains all nine essential amino acids and has one of the highest biological value ratings of any food. It’s recommended for anyone looking for a complete protein source.
Bodybuilders sometimes count on meat-based supplements to provide a source of muscle-building protein^—in a much leaner form. With less fat and cholesterol than actual beef, beef protein powder is a great option to support your performance goals
Plant-Based Protein Powders
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet or have allergies to dairy, plant-based protein supplements are a great option. There are a variety of plant proteins on the market, each one having the ability to offer a range of health benefits. Here are a few unique plant proteins on the market:
Popular around the world, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a great source of protein and fiber but must be combined with other sources to form a complete protein. Chickpea protein powders typically have a high content of leucine and lysine, which are amino acids that help fuel your skeletal muscles.
Hemp protein powder is a complete protein source that contains nine essential amino acids. It's an excellent vegan protein powder choice and may provide Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
A major food source around the world, navy beans pack fiber, folate, manganese, vitamin B1 and the minerals phosphorus, copper, magnesium and iron into a protein-rich package. This versatile source is great for any time additional protein is needed, such as between meals or post-workout.
Peas provides beneficial amino acids with no major allergens and are considered a versatile protein source. Pea protein powder is great when you are in need of protein, such as between meals or post-workout. The high amounts of arginine, leucine and lysine help fuel muscles.
Brown rice is a great protein choice, particularly for anyone sensitive to milk, wheat, soy or gluten. Brown rice protein powder provides essential amino acids and is a great option for vegan or vegetarian diets.
Soy is one of the few complete protein powders from a plant. Soy protein powder is great for vegetarians or those who cannot digest lactose easily.
The amount of protein sources available can be overwhelming, but they also give you the flexibility to tailor your protein intake for what’s best for you. As long as you make sure your protein source matches your goals, lifestyle and any special diet needs you may have, you are on the right track!