Best Protein Powders For Muscle Gain in 2022

(Last Updated On: May 11, 2022)

 

Many people assume they won’t need a protein powder to start gaining muscle.

That is until they’ve spent day after day pumping iron with no results to show for it.

You can put in an endless amount of time at the gym in an effort to gain muscle, but without the necessary components, you won’t have much success. Don’t forget, the food and nutrients you take in can play a huge role in your physical development, including building strong muscles.

Bodybuilders recommend increasing your protein intake to carve up a huge physique. To maximize your growth potential, you’ll need to supplement with protein powder. Thankfully, there are a number of brands that give you exactly what you need to push further.

This article will discuss how protein plays a vital role in the muscle-building process when to take protein powder and finish it off with a list of the best protein powders for muscle gain.

Best protein powder for muscle building

 

Related: 13 Best Meal Replacement Shakes for Muscle Gain, Weight Loss, Vegan and More…

 

Best Protein Powders For Muscle Building

If you are looking to build muscle these are the best protein powders on the market to consider.

Many people assume they won’t need a protein powder to start gaining muscle.

That is until they’ve spent day after day pumping iron with no results to show for it.

You can put in an endless amount of time at the gym in an effort to gain muscle, but without the necessary components, you won’t have much success. Don’t forget, the food and nutrients you take in can play a huge role in your physical development, including building strong muscles.

Bodybuilders recommend increasing your protein intake to carve up a huge physique. To maximize your growth potential, you’ll need to supplement with protein powder. Thankfully, there are a number of brands that give you exactly what you need to push further.

This article will discuss how protein plays a vital role in the muscle-building process when to take protein powder and a list of the best protein powders for muscle gain.

Best Protein Powders For Muscle Gain

If you want a protein powder that delivers serious muscle growth, these are the best options.

#1 100% Tri-Protein by Crazy Nutrition

100% tri-protein

Topping off our list we have 100% Tri Protein from Crazy Nutrition. As the name implies, this protein powder is a blend of 6 different kinds of protein powder.

This bad boy uses a blend of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, casein protein, milk protein, whey protein hydrolysate and calcium caseinate.

They use these 6 proteins so you can get a mix of short, intermediate and long release proteins so you can feed your muscles immediately and for hours after your workout to promote maximum muscle growth.

Each 30g serving of this powder has 21g of protein with just 1g of fat and 1g of carbs, making it perfect for those on a calorie-restricted diet or cutting phase.

This protein powder is also uses an all-natural non-GMO protein without any fillers or any other garbage.

100% Tri-Protein comes in 3 flavors that we felt were above average. The vanilla was the best of the 3 we felt. However, they do use artificial sweetener (Sucralose), which is the only real negative.

Pricewise it is above average in price, but the shipping is free if you spend over $50, and you can save $10 per tub if you subscribe to get it delivered every 2 months.

Overall this product is an excellent blend of proteins that will keep your muscle fed all day long for maximum muscle growth. That’s why it is at the top of our lists.

Pros

  • 6 different protein sources
  • 21g of protein per serving
  • 1g of fat and 1g of carbs
  • Non-GMO
  • Free shipping on orders over $50

Cons

  • Uses artificial sweetener (Sucralose)
  • Only available on the manufacturer’s website

Website: CrazyNutrition.com

 

#2 Mass Gainer by Transparent Labs

Best protein powder for muscle building

Mass Gainer by Transparent Labs is what all protein powders for muscle building should be.

Transparent Labs is a well-known supplement company that time and again produces excellent results, and the Mass Gainer is no exception. The purity of protein, added nutrients, and a reasonable price tag makes it one of the best protein powders to build lean muscle, bar none.

You won’t have to buy several protein powders to get what you’re looking for. ProteinSeries Mass Gainer has everything- 750 calories packed with a large 53g of protein, 109g of carbs per serving, 12g fat for serious muscle building.

The whey protein is super high quality and is sourced from 100% grass-fed cows in New Zealand and they use sweet potato, oats and organic tapioca for a well-rounded approach. You also get healthy MCTs and coconut milk powder for added strength and definition. On top of that this bad boy also uses creatine monohydrate, which is one of our favorite muscle and strength building supplements.

Another reason why Mass Gainer tops the list is that it’s the only one that has zero artificial coloring, flavoring, additives and sweeteners. You get a natural, pleasant-tasting protein shake courtesy of the product’s monk fruit, stevia and coconut powder. The clean ingredients make it the go-to protein supplement for everyone who doesn’t want GMOs in their diet. Moreover, each package has passed stringent lab tests and are made in a cGMP-certified facility for maximum potency and efficacy. Not only does this product help you build lean muscle mass but it is also super high quality as well.

You can choose from two flavors- Chocolate and Cookies & Cream, and both taste great. Mass Gainer should be your choice, whether you’re just starting out or if you’re looking for a replacement to your old protein powder. The price tag is the icing on the cake, not too expensive for and the value is exceptional for a product this good.

You can also save money when you buy in bulk with this product. Buy 2 bags and you get $10 off, buy 3 bags and get $25 off.

On top of that, they have a coupon code that can get you extra savings. Use coupon code TL10 and get 10% off of your order.

Pros

  • Coupon code TL10 saves you 10%
  • You can save when buying in bulk
  • Uses grass-fed whey protein
  • Excellent mix of protein, carbs and calories
  • Uses creatine monohydrate, one of our favorite muscle building supplements
  • Superb value for money
  • Zero artificial ingredients, fillers and additives

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only available on the manufacturer’s website

Website: transparentlabs.com

 

#3 True-Mass by BSN

best weight gainer

True-Mass Ultra-Premium Mass Gainer is a protein product by BSN, a respectable name in the protein powder business. The carb and protein matrix makes growing lean mass easy, all while supporting muscle growth and recovery for athletes, bodybuilders and weight lifters alike. The formula suits those who need an excess of calories they can depend on. Tru-Mass has a 2 to 1 ratio of muscle-building protein at 50g and 90g of carbs in a 700 calorie package. There’s also 6g of dietary fiber and MCTs to round up the nutritional value.

BSN, the manufacturer recommends taking Tru-Mass in-between meals, before going to bed and as a post-workout routine for the best results. The wealth of amino acids serve to replenish cell fuel and allow your muscles to recover at a faster rate than normal.

If you’re worried about the taste, then BSN assures you that their products are more “mouth-watering” than the others. The protein material is made up of Syntha-6 and Syntha-6 isolate, both proprietary compounds that contain a small number of carbs and fats.

700 calories per serving is a lot to take in, and you’ll find yourself prone to skipping meals when you’re feeling full. BSN offers their protein powders in Chocolate, Strawberry, Cookies & Cream and Vanilla and in only one size (5.82 lbs).

Pros

  • Adds weight
  • Good formula ratio in protein, carbs and calories
  • 6 Grams of fiber per serving

Cons

  • Not as high quality
  • Bloating and fat gain
  • Fewer amino acids

See this product on Amazon



 

#4 Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 by MuscleTech

best Protein powders for muscle mass

Mass-Tech Extreme 2000 sounds more like a killer robot than a protein powder supplement, but once you get past that you’ll find a good product that could replace the one you have now. It’s billed as the “Ultimate Whey Protein & Weight Gainer”, with 80g of protein, 10g of creatine and more than a dozen vitamins and minerals.

Researchers at MuscleTech have come up with a 5-in-1 formula designed to provide extreme amounts of mass in as little time as possible. It comes in two flavors- Vanilla Milkshake and Triple Chocolate Brownie and boasts best-in-class taste. The manufacturer claims that the whey protein used in the Mass-Tech 2000 has been filtered using a multi-phase technology. Each bottle comes out verified and lab-tested for consistency, quality, and purity.

The reason why you’re getting more per serving is due to the fact that serving size is about double or triple than that of normal powders. This turns each session into a chug-a-thon that can prove to be inconvenient, especially if you intend to drink protein on the go. Excess calories can be a downer as you might be too full to enjoy a proper meal.

The price is pretty steep on this product as well at $99.99 per tub and that’s not even the worst part. Each tub contains only 6 servings. That breaks down to a mindblowing $16.66 per serving. Overall it’s a pretty good product but the price tag is a bit ridiculous.

Pros

  • High nutritive content
  • Loaded with protein and creatine

Cons

  • Excessive serving size
  • Both flavors take a while to get used to
  • Costs $99.99 for a tub that contains only 6 servings

See this product on Amazon



 

#5 Gold Standard Gainer by Optimum Nutrition

Gold Standard Gainer by Optimum Nutrition

Gold Standard Gainer by Optimum Nutrition is the company’s solution for those who want to gain muscle fast. It comes in four flavors- Colossal Chocolate, Cinnamon Bun, Vanilla Ice Cream and Cookies & Cream and in either 5 or 10 lb. variant. Each serving provides 112g of carbs, 760 calories and 55g of essential muscle-building protein.

A closer look reveals that Optimum Nutrition has employed various protein and carb sources for their powder, including dairy, potato, pea and oats and MCTs, flax and chia seeds. This can be a double-edged sword for some who don’t like taking extra ingredients in their protein supplements. The company has also made it easy for people to mix the powder easily in a shaker cup. Users can take it post-workout, between meals or when they need a calorie boost in their daily regimen.

Now, let’s check out if the Gold Standard is really what it says. Protein to carb ratio is quite good, but there’s still room for improvement. The flavor may take some time getting used to, and the effects take longer than our recommended protein supplement. In terms of being good value for money, it’s rather expensive and difficult to sustain, especially if you’re on a budget.

Pros

  • Good protein to carb ratio
  • Has four flavors to choose from

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Contains dairy, soy and wheat

See this product on Amazon

 

Related: Best Mass Gainers for Muscle Building, Vegans, on a Budget and more…

 

#6 Real Gains by Universal Nutrition

Real Gains by Universal Nutrition

Real Gains by Universal Nutrition comes in a tub measuring 3.8 lbs, or 1.73 kg. At its core, Real Gains is a weight gainer product that uses a mix of casein and whey protein as its main ingredient. Complex carbs, essential amino acids, flaxseed powder and inulin are included as well. Users can get 600-plus calories per serving to build up on fuel reserves.

Other ingredients include Phosphorus, Iron, Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Iodine, Riboflavin and Dietary Fiber.

Universal Nutrition’s Real Gains promises quality protein sources for clean results. The weight gainer product offers both fast and slow-release protein via the whey and micellar casein combined with hefty calorie intake. Healthy fats are in the form of inulin, EFAs and MCTs. Each serving size is on a 3.5 scoop basis, with each bottle giving about 11 servings total.

What looks good on paper may not translate well in the real world. Real Gains has a few serious flaws that bump it to the number 5 spot. For instance, the chocolate ice cream flavor is artificial and may prove to be a dealbreaker for those who want only organic compounds. The product’s protein source is good, but there are others that offer better. Last but not least, it’s more expensive and only has 11 servings per bottle.

Pros

  • Has both micellar casein and whey protein
  • Good taste
  • Loaded with essential amino acids

Cons

  • Has artificial ingredients
  • Very high cost per serving
  • No chocolate peanut butter flavor available

See it on Amazon

 

How We Decided

To help narrow down your protein powder options, we took a close look at the ingredients, protein content, taste and price. We also read through hundreds of online protein powder reviews to get a sense of what users thought about the taste, mixability and effectiveness of each product.

Type of Protein Powder Used

When looking at these protein powders we took into account the types of protein powders used. This is important as each protein powder has different absorption rates. For example, whey protein is absorbed quickly by the body while casein protein is a slow-releasing protein.

Whey protein is ideal to take post-workout as it provides a quick shot of amino acids to your muscles. Casein protein is perfect to take before bed as it prevents muscle tissue breakdown overnight. Egg protein and plant-based protein are also options to consider if you have allergies or intolerances.

Protein Content

The protein content is important as you want to make sure you’re getting enough protein per serving. Most protein powders contain around 20-25 grams of protein per scoop, but some have more. If you’re looking to build muscle mass, you may want to consider a protein powder with higher protein content.

Taste

The taste is important as no one wants to drink a protein shake that tastes horrible. While the taste is subjective, we read through hundreds of online protein powder reviews to get a sense of what users thought about more. If you’re looking to build muscle mass, you may want to choose a protein powder with a higher protein content.

Price

The price is important as you want to make sure you’re getting an affordable protein powder. Protein powders range in price from $15-$60 per container or more. The more expensive protein powders tend to have a higher protein content and use premium ingredients.

However, you can find good-quality protein powders at a lower price. It’s important to find a protein powder that fits your budget and meets your protein needs.

Reviews

We also read through hundreds of online protein powder reviews when looking at protein powders. This helped us get a sense of what users thought about each product’s taste, mixability, and effectiveness. We found that protein powders with a higher protein content tend to be more effective but they’re also more expensive.

 

Protein Builds Muscle

Looking to build huge muscles that last? You’ll need plenty of calories and of course, protein. Eating more of the good stuff is encouraged, and frankly speaking, protein is one of the most delicious food types you’ll ever come across.

Salmon, chicken meat, salmon, seeds and nuts are packed with nutritious protein. Problem is, you can eat these foods all day and still fall short of your protein intake goals. You will need more than just protein-packed foods, especially if you’re planning to bulk up and start a heavy training workload.

This is where protein powder supplements come in. They’re specially made so you can get your recommended amount in just one or two servings. More importantly, protein powders can be mixed in with water or your favorite smoothie to deliver nutrients quickly and without the need to chew.



 

These supplements have high counts of BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, necessary building blocks for muscle growth. Amino acids are also responsible for repairing damaged muscles after tearing it via intense gym sessions, making it bigger and stronger than what it was before. Moreover, they serve as fuel to stop your muscles from consuming its own when you run out of calories.

The key to muscle growth is taking both protein and supplementing with a ton of calories so you won’t ever run out.

Today’s protein supplements can serve a variety of purpose. If your goal is to build muscle mass, then you should look to buy protein powder that has a higher ratio of calories than fat and carbohydrates. These are sometimes labeled as “mass-gainer shakes” and are better than their standard whey protein counterparts. Moreover, they come with several kinds of proteins such as egg, casein and whey for a well-rounded approach. Calorie count should be as high as it can go so as to protect the muscles you’ve already built.

Girl squatting

When To Take Protein Powder

Putting on body weight means you’ll have to take in more than you’re burning every day. For this purpose, muscle gain proteins have large serving sizes and are very filling, which makes them ideal partners when you’re doing strength training.

It’s recommended to take in protein powder after a workout because this is the time when your tired, torn and exhausted muscles need it most. Quick-digest protein forms such as whey can replenish nutrient stores before your body starts turning on itself. A whey protein shake taken 30 minutes after a session starts the recovery process by infusing cells with amino acids and turning them into new muscle.

Moreover, amino acids prevent muscle tissue from breaking down especially for individuals who have fast metabolism or those who are on a low-calorie diet. It makes total sense to drink protein shakes just before you go to sleep so your body can utilize extra food stores. Casein, a slow-release protein is perfect for this. You get enhanced muscle recovery as you sleep, and wake up refreshed and ready for another training session.

Other than that, protein powder can be taken however you like. Mix them in pancake, with egg or banana for an ultra-nutritious meal. You can make a huge batch and put it in a water bottle, then sip it throughout the day.

 

Related: The 15 Best Creatine Supplements for Muscle Building

 

Different types of protein powder

Believe it or not there are many different types of protein powder out there. You have whey, casein, egg and plant-based powders. Each has their own advantages that can benefit you in different ways. Here’s a quick rundown on the differences:

Whey protein

This is the most popular form of protein powder as it gets absorbed quickly by the body. It’s ideal for taking post-workout as it provides a fast shot of amino acids to your muscles.

Whey protein isolate

This is a more concentrated form of whey and has had most of the fat and lactose removed. Whey protein isolates are perfect for those who are lactose intolerant or have trouble digesting whey protein concentrate.

Whey protein concentrate

This is the most natural form of whey with a lower protein percentage. It’s generally the cheapest option and contains more fat and lactose.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

This is a slow-releasing protein that’s perfect for taking before bed. It provides a steady stream of amino acids to your muscles as you sleep, allowing for enhanced recovery

Casein protein

This is a slow-release protein that’s great to take before bed. It prevents muscle tissue breakdown overnight and ensures you have a steady supply of amino acids in your system.

Egg protein

This is a hypoallergenic protein that’s perfect for those who are allergic to dairy or soy. It’s very filling and has a high biological value, meaning your body can utilize more of it.

Plant-based protein

This is a great option for vegans or vegetarians. Pea protein is the most popular form as it’s high in branched-chain amino acids. Rice protein and soy protein are also pretty common but soy protein does taste all that great.

best protein powder for muscle building

How Much Protein Powder Should You Take?

The amount of protein powder you should take depends on a few factors such as your weight, activity level and goals. If you’re a sedentary individual, then you won’t need as much protein as someone who’s active.

The general rule is to take 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be taking in 150 grams of protein per day. This can be increased to 1.5 grams per pound for those who are very active or trying to build muscle mass.

Protein shakes are a great way to increase your protein intake but it’s not the only way. You can get protein from whole food sources such as chicken, beef, fish, eggs and dairy. Aim to get most of your protein from whole foods and use protein powder as a supplement to reach your daily intake goals.

 

Conclusion

We pick Mass Gainer by Transparent Labs as the best protein powder because of overwhelming reasons. It’s simply the best out of the lot and has a clean formula with zero artificial compounds. To say that Mass Gainer works will be an understatement. It will work and even exceed expectations when you want outstanding muscle gain quickly and in as little time as possible.

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