In an industry packed with so many different products, it’s pretty easy to get caught in the whirlwind of marketing, fancy labels and product function claims. With so many choices, how do you know what is legit and what is a waste of your hard earned money? No one wants to buy subpar protein, pay for an amino spiked container or spend the extra dough on a ‘special’ proteins that don’t have any extra benefit.
We’re here to cut through the hype, marketing and nonsense to cover the tried and true products out there that rise to the top. No matter what kind of protein you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with any of the choices on this list as we give you a brief summary of the Top Proteins of 2016.
Top 5 100% Whey Proteins
NutraBio has long been known for creating some of the cleanest, most trusted products on the market since their launch in 1996. Stemming from their roots, NutraBio Classic Whey is the same incredible, no nonsense formula that started it all. There’s no need to re-create a classic, and with that note, NutraBio is brining you the same great formula with the fitting name – Classic Whey.
NutraBio Classic Whey provides a very straight-forward formula, it is comprised entirely of whey protein concentrate, known in the industry as WPC80. In layman’s terms, this means that it is create using whey protein concentrate that is a minimum of 80% protein content with the remaining 20% being naturally occurring analogs including great things like immunoglobulins that can aid in immune health.
The protein content is 100% non-denatured WPC80, meaning that unlike some other proteins on the market, it isn’t treated with acids. Instead, Classic Whey is processed with a low-temperature cross flow micro filtration process which means that it keeps the protein fractions intact, providing a higher amino acid profile.
Classic Whey is a great choice for all, being OU Kosher certified gluten free and has a low glycemic index. Furthermore, NutraBio Classic Whey boasts a clean ingredient profile that is 97% lactose free and contains no fillers or additives and is a great, less expensive alternative to whey protein isolate.
Machine Whey starts out with whey protein concentrate over the predominate isolates that many of the proteins on the market use. The reason for this being that it is more intact than isolates due to less processing, and this means that it preserves the naturally occurring fractions such as immunoglobins and lactoferrins to support immune function. It also means that it has the naturally occurring fats like CLA which can help with metabolism and body composition. MTS Machine Whey strikes a nice balance to keep the carbs and fats in check as well by including whey protein isolates to increase the protein content, giving you the best of both worlds.
Lastly, sometimes what you’re NOT getting in your protein is just as important. MTS Machine Whey contains no Maltodextrin, Dextrose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mono and Di-Glycerides, added Sugars or Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or cottonseed oil (trans fats) which have NO PLACE in your protein shake.
ProtiZyme is different from regular proteins in that not only does it use high-quality whey protein isolates and concentrate protein that is cold-processed and micro filtrated, but the protein itself is coated with digestive enzymes to improve digestion and enhance absorption. This means that unlike other proteins that may have digestive enzymes thrown in for good measure, each ProtiZyme molecule is jacketed with a specific blend of powerful enzymes, maximizing digestion of every gram and reducing gas and bloating.
Not only are you getting the most bioavailable protein possible, but it’s topped off by including their T.A.G. (trans-alanyl glutamine) and 24 essential vitamins and minerals to maximize recovery, fuel muscle building and improve digestion.
Everyone knows OhYeah! from the success of their One Bar and it’s amazing flavors. They have followed suit with their Whey Power, which is a high-quality, easily digested blend of Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) and Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) without the added carbohydrates, sugars or fats. It’s manufactured by a special cross-flow filtration process and naturally rich in glutamine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) while only containing minimal amounts of lactose and fat.
The long-time, reigning champion of the protein market, no list would be complete without Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey. From users young and old, beginner to champion, chances are that at some point, everyone that has used protein has used Gold Standard Whey at some point in their life. It’s a solid blend of whey protein isolates, concentrates and peptides. Tried, true and available in a wide variety of flavors, it’s a tested staple of protein supplementation.
Top 5 Blended Proteins
Purus Labs Myofeed is one of the top choices out there period in terms of the feedback it has received, and for good reason. It boasts a great blend of whey protein isolate, whey concentrates and micellar casein, making for a fast/slow protein blend that promotes anabolism. The taste has gotten continuous rave reviews and with flavors like Maple Buttermilk Pancake and others that include real PB2, it’s not hard to see why.
Not only does it feature a top notch protein blend and flavor profile, but it also has Aminogen which is a patented blend of digestive enzymes that help the body digest protein into smaller peptides which makes it easier for the body to absorb and utilize. Lastly, one cool feature is that you can verify that your protein is legit by using a lot number on the bottom of the package that can be plugged into a dedicated website that shows the batch lab tests for the specific protein that went into your tub.
Core Nutritionals Core PRO is a sustained release protein formula containing cold-processed whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and egg albumin. This blend is great as it provides a nice arrangement of both fast-uptake and sustained-release proteins for versatility and maximizing recovery. This blend also means that it has a large array of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) in their naturally-occurring biological ratios, to delay fatigue and expedite recovery.
NutraBio Muscle Matrix is a powerhouse protein, containing 25g of pure, complete protein coming from two different milk sources for fast and slow digestion. This combo ensures the ignition of protein synthesis and helps keep amino acid circulation elevated for hours, creating the ultimate anabolic environment to support strength gains, lean muscle mass and recovery.
NutraBio Muscle Matrix features whey isolate which is rapidly digested and ignites protein synthesis. On the other hand the micellar casein coagulates in the gut, leading to slow digestion and a slow increase in amino acid concentrations in the blood that remain elevated for up to 7 hours. This 1-2 punch extends the overall protein synthesis times and work together for the hard hitting and long lasting protein solution. Furthermore, both the whey isolate and micellar casein contained in Muscle Matrix are high grade, pure, non-denatured proteins that are cold temperature processed to keep protein fractions intact and protect the integrity of the amino acid profile.
MAN Sports Clean Protein is just that…clean protein! Starting with a transparently labeled package, Clean Protein not only lists how much of each type of protein is listed, but the amount of protein that each type actually contains. Featuring whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and milk protein (made up of casein & whey) and micellar casein, you know exactly how much of each is in this complete mix. Transparency and no amino spiking are huge notes for Clean Protein, however it certainly doesn’t hurt that it comes in some awesome and very unique flavors like Peanut Butter Bits and Unicorn Milk.
5 Top Isolates/Hydrolysate
NutraBio Whey Protein Isolate is another great product from their extensive line us high quality supplements that packs all you need in a protein. Featuring 25 of complete protein per serving, 0g fat and only 1g of carbs per serving, it is the perfect choice for anyone looking to keep their protein as clean as possible. Furthermore, it contains no whey concentrates, added carbs/sugars, no creamers or other fillers and is cross-filtered at a low temperature to ensure it is non-denatured. Other whey proteins may be ‘watered down’ with cheaper proteins such as acid treated whey, ion exchanged whey or have cheaper whey protein concentrates mixed in. This ensures that you are getting what you pay for every time while leaving nothing to chance.
Kaged Muscle ReKaged takes your everyday isolate and takes it to a whole new level to make it an optimal recovery protein. It features 28g of whey protein isolate, 7g of Glutamine and Glutamic Acid, betaine, Creatine HCL and Beetroot. It also is unique in its featured inclusion of ProHydrolase which breaks down (hydrolyzes) whey protein into smaller particle sizes for maximum absorption. This is unique as instead of being hydrolyzed in the manufacturing process, it is instead hydrolyzed when it is mixed at the time you take in your shake.
What makes Core Nutraceuticals Core ISO unique is in its simplicity. It is made using high purity, non-instantiated whey protein isolate and essentially nothing added to it. It keeps it crazy clean with no soy, GMOs, artificial colors or added sugars. Sometimes it goes to show that what DOESN’T go into your protein is just as important as what does. For a high quality, simple yet high quality isolate, you can’t go wrong with Core ISO.
Nutrakey ISO Optima uses whey protein isolate that is processed through cross flow microfiltration (CFM) in a cold environment. This means that it delivers a pure, quality protein while preserving the bioactive branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). This is critical as some proteins are treated through extreme heat and others are treated by acid, both of which can denature the protein and damage the naturally occurring benefits of lactoferrins and immunoglobins and can remove some of the essential BCAAs. Topping it off, it doesn’t have unnecessary carbs, fillers, or flavorings.
With the new Embedded Enzyme Technology, Gaspari has taken the concept of classic hydrolyzed whey protein and taken it a step further. By definition, hydrolyzed whey protein is created by breaking down whey protein into smaller protein fragments through a process known as ‘enzymatic hydrolysis’, which allows the protein to be more rapidly digested compared to a non-hydrolyzed form. Improving upon this, the Embedded Enzyme Technology further increases hydrolysis upon mixing the product into the consumer’s choice of liquid before consumption. A pretty cool concept for those looking to take their isolate game up a notch.
If you hadn’t noticed, with this list alone there are a ton of different proteins out there to choose from, so no wonder many get confused when it comes to buying a protein. There are a lot of great choices, and unfortunately, there’s a lot of subpar choices as well, but if you use this list as a starting point, you can’t go wrong!