best protein powder for weight loss

Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Top 7 Supplements Ranked

What’s the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss?

Chances are you already know that protein is the most important macronutrient for packing on muscle mass, but it is also a major contributor to weight loss. In fact, protein is arguably just as essential for losing weight as it is for building muscle (we’ll dive more into the science behind this later).

However, this doesn’t mean that all protein powders are necessarily ideal for weight loss (many are not). We’ve done the hard work and found the best protein powder for weight loss so you can achieve a leaner, more defined physique.

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How to Use Protein Powder for Weight Loss?

Before you skip down to the reviews of the best protein powders for weight loss, let’s take a look at how protein powder works and why you should probably consume more protein if your goal is to lose weight.

Many people have a tough time meeting their daily protein needs through whole foods. The increasing costs of meat, eggs, fish, poultry, and dairy can make it a challenge to meet your daily protein requirements through whole foods. And for those on a plant-based diet, it’s even trickier.

Fortunately, protein powders are here to help. Even better, taking protein powder doesn’t have to mean choking down chalky, gritty, unpalatable shakes after every workout. The best protein powders are not only packed with protein but delicious flavor (minus the guilt).

There’s really no more room for excuses when it comes to protein intake. If you can’t set aside the 15 seconds it takes to toss a scoop of protein powder into a shaker bottle, add water, and briefly shake it, you might need to reassess your priorities.

Now, we’re not saying you should rely on protein powder for weight loss or as a constant meal replacement. Even the best protein powder won’t make up for poor nutritional habits, nor will it provide all the essential micronutrients (e.g. vitamins and minerals) your body needs. But in conjunction with a balanced diet, a quality protein powder is well worth the expense regardless if your goal is to build muscle mass or burn fat.

And it goes without saying, you should keep physically active on the journey towards your weight-loss goals.

Types of Protein Powder

If you’ve been using protein powders over the years, chances are you’re familiar with whey protein and casein protein. Yet, you might wonder what the heck is in whey protein powder, anyway? And where does casein protein come from?

Well, dairy milk is rich in milk protein — a source of whey and casein. So, in short, whey and casein protein powder come from cows; more specifically, they are byproducts of the cheese-making process.

Whey protein and casein protein are ideal sources of essential and non-essential amino acids for humans due to their biological value and protein-digestibility corrected amino acid scores (PDCAAS) [1]. Think of amino acids as being the “building blocks” of muscle tissue. Hence, the types of protein found in a supplement are just as important as the amount of protein per serving.

Animal-Based vs. Plant-Based Protein Powder

Some protein powders are made from non-dairy sources, like egg whites, beef, and plants — notably soy protein, pea protein, and brown rice protein. Vegans can rejoice knowing that we’ve found some exceptional plant-based protein powders for weight loss. Egg white protein is also a solid option for vegetarians and omnivorous dieters.

The issue with rice protein, pea protein, and soy protein is their evidentially subpar amino acid compositions. Recent research suggests that egg white protein and milk proteins are superior for lean muscle building, which can also translate to better fat loss [2]. Thus, whey tends to be the gold standard protein source for post-workout nutrition, but those who don’t eat animal products will be just fine sticking to pea and rice protein.

Can Protein Powder Help You Lose Weight?

Some protein powders contain ingredients that may support your weight-loss efforts, such as green tea extract, L-carnitine, and caffeine. However, the best protein powder isn’t necessarily the one that contains tons of thermogenic additives.

The reality is that protein powder doesn’t need to contain any “special” fat-burning ingredients just to help you lose weight. Sure, there are some ingredients that might provide a little extra kick to keep you energized throughout the day, but they aren’t the main thing to look for in protein powder for weight loss. Instead, it’s prudent to focus on the types of protein in the formula, the protein-to-calorie ratio, and the quality of the product.

“How Much Protein Should I Eat to Lose Weight?”

Dietary reference intakes (DRIs) are dietary guideline recommendations disseminated by the U.S. government. They are suggested to meet the nutritional needs of 97-98% of healthy individuals across the country.

The current daily protein DRI for adults is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, which translates to roughly 0.36 grams per pound [3]. Avid gym-goers and bodybuilders are probably laughing at how low that recommendation seems…

Sure enough, the DRI for protein has been an issue of reconsideration lately. A growing body of evidence indicates that higher-protein intakes (i.e. 1.8-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight) are beneficial for active people [4].

Moreover, a recent research review concluded that high-protein diets (>1.2 grams protein per kilogram of body weight) are generally favorable for maintaining a negative energy balance, whereas low-protein diets may be the opposite [5]. Remember, losing weight and burning fat ultimately depends on burning more calories than you consume. Eating more protein will make that easier.

As it stands, active adults should be eating plenty of protein to lose weight. As a starting point, we recommend consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. It’s best to spread out your protein intake across 3-5 meals/snacks throughout the day, with at least 20 grams of protein each.

With that in mind, let’s get to the good stuff: Finding the best protein powder for weight loss!

What Is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss?

Protein powder is arguably the most competitive (and watered down) niche in the dietary supplement industry. The difference between one protein powder for weight loss to the next often seems indiscernible. Consequently, consumers are quick to purchase the cheapest protein powder they can find at the local supermarket or on Amazon, which is not a good buying strategy.

When you take the time to read protein powder labels and learn more about what goes into the products, it becomes apparent what sets them apart. (Of course, that’s what we’re here to do for you.) As the saying goes, “Never judge a book by its cover.” It’s what’s inside the bottle that matters.

Luckily, there are several supplement brands that offer quality protein powders to complement a weight-loss diet. To rank these best protein powders for weight loss, we used the following criteria:

  • Protein content relative to calories, carbs, and fat
  • Ingredient quality (e.g. non-GMO, gluten-free, etc.)
  • Additional ingredients
  • Taste and flavor options
  • Value (cost per serving)

#1 – Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

best protein powder for menTransparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate has an industry-leading protein content by weight at an impressive 875 mg protein/g powder. Best of all, there is virtually no sugar, fat, or lactose in their grass-fed whey isolate, making it an exceptional protein powder for weight loss. The Salted Caramel, Cereal Splash, and Cinnamon Pastry flavors are our personal favorites, but they also offer Milk Chocolate, French Vanilla, Mocha, and Strawberry if you prefer something a little more routine.

While Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is a little more expensive than other brands, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. From a consumer standpoint, Transparent Labs is a welcome breath of fresh air in an industry rife with proprietary blends, lackluster formulations, and egregious claims.

Why we love it:

  • 28 g of 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate per serving
  • Only 120 calories
  • Keto-friendly
  • Great taste and flavor options
  • No artificial sweeteners, flavors, or dyes


  • Only available in 2-lb tubs
  • A little pricey

Overall Grade: A+

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#2 – Jacked Factory Authentic Iso

Authentic Iso is another fantastic protein supplement from Jacked Factory. We consider this one of a close runner-up as the best protein powder for weight loss since it’s made exclusively with non-GMO 100% grass-fed whey protein isolate and arguably the most delicious chocolate peanut butter flavoring — even by traditional food standards.

Importantly, Jacked Factory Authentic Iso is a great value at just over $30 for a two-pound container when you consider it’s pure grass-fed whey protein isolate. The only drawbacks we can think of are that it comes in only two flavors and it’s not as low in carbs as you might expect for a 100% whey isolate supplement. In any case, Authentic Iso stands out as a top-ranking protein powder for weight loss.

Why we love it:
  • 25 g of 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate per serving
  • Only 130 calories
  • Delicious flavor profile
  • Great value (roughly $1.15 per serving)
  • Only available in 2-lb tubs
  • Just two flavor options
Overall Grade: A

#3 – Cira Bright Whey

After a tough workout, the last thing you want is a protein shake that weighs you down and leaves your stomach in knots. Thankfully, Cira Nutrition created a protein powder that’s easy to digest, a delightful sensation for the taste buds, big on protein, and light on calories. BRIGHT WHEY packs a whopping 25 grams of complete protein from whey protein isolate and concentrate in every scoop, all with just 120 calories, 2 grams of carbs, and 1.5 grams of fat.

We can confidently say this is one of the best-tasting protein powders for weight loss! Choose from two decadent flavors: Cinnamon Swirl and Cookies & Cream.

Why we love it:
  • 25 g of whey protein isolate per serving
  • Only 120 calories per serving
  • Outstanding taste
  • 2-lb option only
  • Only two flavors (but they’re exceptional)
Overall Grade: A-

#4 – Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein Isolate

Isopure is the quintessential godfather of whey protein isolate powder. We fondly remember the good old days of buying the ready-to-drink Isopure Zero Carb at the local supplement shop and thinking to myself “How can something this tasty be purely protein?” Well, that was 15 years ago and the brand is still doing what they do best: selling delicious zero-carb whey protein isolate.

Arguably the toughest part about buying this protein is picking a flavor. Though we will say Isopure excels in the fruitier options, particularly Alpine Punch, Apple Melon (my personal favorite after a workout), and Pineapple Orange Banana. No matter which flavor you choose, Isopure Zero Carb comes with added vitamins, minerals, and L-glutamine to keep you performing at top speed. And since this protein is carb-free, you don’t have to worry about lactose, fillers, or gluten giving you stomach issues.

Why we love it:
  • 25 g of whey protein isolate per serving
  • Only 110 calories per serving
  • Numerous flavor options
  • Great value (roughly $1.05 per serving)
  • Contains artificial coloring
  • Contains soy
  • Clumps up a bit more than expected
Overall Grade: B+

#5 – Dymatize Iso100 Hydrolyzed

Looking for an all-natural whey protein powder that’s ultra-low in calories and goes down easy? Iso100 Hydrolyzed has you covered with 25 grams of protein from both hydrolyzed whey protein isolate and whey protein isolate in every 30-gram scoop.

Like our top-ranking protein powder for weight loss, Iso100 Hydrolyzed is one of the few whey isolates on the market that isn’t made with artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors. It comes in three reliable flavors, including Dutch Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Vanilla, each of which will satisfy your cravings for something sweet (without the guilt).

Why we love it:
  • 25 g of whey protein isolate per serving
  • Only 110 calories per serving
  • No artificial flavors, sweeteners, or dyes
  • Expensive
  • A bit on the overly sweet side
  • Contains soy
Overall Grade: B

#6 – Orgain Protein & Greens Plant-Based Protein Powder

Arguably the most challenging aspect of cutting out animal products and trying to lose weight is finding low-carb, plant-based protein sources that give your body all the essential amino acids for stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Orgain Protein & Greens is a vegan protein powder made with pea, rice, and chia seed proteins plus prebiotic fiber and quality fats from 100% USDA-organic ingredients. Even better, it tastes great and has a much better texture than most vegan protein powders we’ve tried over the years.

Okay, so what’s the catch? Well, it has a slightly higher ratio of calories to protein than the other products on this list. Each 49-gram serving only provides 21 grams of protein, but still has a very reasonable 160 calories. The good thing is these calories come from mostly organic greens (e.g. kale and spinach) so it will help keep you full on a weight-loss diet.

Why we love it:
  • Made with non-GMO, USDA-organic ingredients
  • Good value
  • Great taste for a vegan protein powder
  • Only two flavors to choose from
  • Higher in carbs and fat than most protein powders
  • Protein content is relatively low
Overall Grade: B-

#7 – MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Ripped

MuscleTech is a pervasive sports supplement brand with an extensive product catalog, many of which chunk are spin-offs of their classic protein powder Nitro-Tech. While they make some audacious claims (like most supplement companies do) about Nitro-Tech Ripped, it’s a pretty solid protein powder for weight loss.

The foundation of the Nitro-Tech Ripped is a blend of whey peptides and whey protein isolate; can’t go wrong there. Unfortunately, this formula doesn’t have the best protein content per gram (roughly 0.67 g protein/g product), but it does come with a “Ripped+ Matrix” of thermogenic ingredients, including L-carnitine, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), coffee bean extract, rosehip extract, and kelp. Alas, the doses of these ingredients are quite low so it’s not likely they will do much for weight loss unless you take multiple servings daily (which will run up your monthly supplement tab in a hurry).

Why we love it:
  • Good flavor profile
  • Provides a blend of whey peptides and whey protein isolate
  • Doses of thermogenic ingredients are likely ineffective
  • Protein content is relatively low (<70% by weight)
  • Only two flavors to choose from
  • May contain multiple food allergens (nuts, soy, milk, wheat, egg, etc.)
Overall Grade: C+

Further Recommendations

Looking for additional supplements and products to fuel weight loss and help you achieve your fitness goals? Be sure to check out our rankings for the best fat burners here:

Best Fat Burner Supplements

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