Best Cheap Protein Powder for 2017

In addition to multivitamin, fish oil and probiotics, protein powder is one of staple supplements that everyone can take on a regular basis. Not only does it provide a healthy extra source of protein, but it’s also quick and convenient to use.

I researched over 100 most popular protein powders on the market, and I came up with a detailed and comprehensive list of 5 best cheap protein powders. It’s time to share with you what I achieved.

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**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

How Much Protein Is Required?

protein powder

The amount of protein that an individual requires to take varies relatively widely. Depending on your age, gender, diet and goals, you can consume anywhere from 20 to 200g each day. For gym-goers and bodybuilders who need to gain muscles, the rule of thumb is to aim for 1.2 to 1.5g of protein per pound per day.

Every protein powder doesn’t contain the same amount of protein content and concentration. Additionally, they vary in the amount of carbohydrates which are another key factor affecting the body’s weight.

For those wanting to gain weight, then need to consume about 350 to 400g of carbs per day. If your aim is to lose weight, you should choose a protein powder that contains minimal carbohydrates, about 100 to 150g per day.

Finally, don’t forget the calories. For a close look, you can read my article of how many calories to gain a pound.

How To Buy The Best Cheap Protein Powder

best cheap protein powder

There is a variety of factors that should be taken into account when it comes to choosing the right protein powder. Here’s what we really care about:

Protein Types

Different kinds of protein have different effects on the digestion rate, purity and possibility to cause stomach issues. For example, whey protein is digested and absorbed quickly while casein protein takes much longer to digest.

Whey protein also comes in different forms, including isolates, concentrates and hydrolysates. Isolates are the highest available yield of protein (90-95%) and the lowest yield of fat and carbs. Concentrates contain 60-80% of protein and 20-30% of calories from fat and carbs. Amino acids in hydrolysates are broken down so that they can be absorbed more quickly and easily than others.

Moreover, other common types of protein are egg protein (the highest source of Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score – PDCAAS) and several plant-based protein, such as pea protein (very rich in Branched-Chain Amino Acids – BCAAs), hemp protein (rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids), mixed plant proteins (a blend of multiple plant sources to offer a complete protein with all the essential amino acids).

Ingredients

Sine protein powder is a kind of packaged food product, it might include additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners or fillers. Of course, we don’t want to put these harmful ingredients to our body. So, one of the main considerations is to find clean and natural protein powder.

Taste/Mixability

We all love delicious foods, and protein powder is not an exception. If it tastes bad, we won’t want to take it every day. However, I cannot tell you which flavor is the best because it mostly depends on your preference. You might prefer vanilla, while others might love chocolate.

The best advice is to read reviews from customers who used the product. The more you read, the more accurate decision you can make. Also, if you want to mix your powder with other beverages, such as smoothies or milk, don’t forget to check how people do that and how easy their products allow to do that.

How And When Do I Take It?

best cheap protein powder

Protein powder is safe to use throughout the day. However, depending on your goals, you should take it at the right time. For overall health improvement and physical training results, it’s recommended to alter between solid meals and shakes.

As I said, protein powder varies in digestion rate. Thus, post-workout is the ideal time to take fast-digesting protein like whey hydrolysates, while low-digesting one like casein is better to consume before your workout sections.

About 1-2 scoops are enough for a shake. Some powders are very thick, so you might need a little more water than what the bottle suggests. Adding enough amount of ice if you want a cold drink.

Whoever you’re, keep in mind that protein powder is only a food supplement, so it cannot completely replace your meals.

Reviews Of Best Cheap Protein Powders

1. Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, Creamy Chocolate Fudge

This drink has a well-balanced taste, which means it’s not too sweet that makes you think of milkshake. If you mix the powder with almond milk or coconut milk, you would get even a better flavor where you can feel both the flavor of chocolate and fruit.

I love this product since it’s not only great for moms and students but also safe for small kids to use. Of course, athletes and professionals are also ideal customers who need an extra resource of calories and various nutrients.

In particular, each serving contains 150 calories, 21g plant-based protein, 5g organic fiber and only 3g net carbs. While the protein with all the essential amino acids promotes muscle gain, the fiber keeps the weight and decrease the risk of heart diseases as well as diabetes.

Safety is, of course, indispensable. The manufacturer – Orgain – guarantees that you cannot find any gluten, GMO or soy in all of their products. This also means no hormones, pesticide or antibiotics.


Pros

  • #1 Best Seller in Protein Drinks on Amazon
  • Organic plant-based product, so completely natural and safe
  • Great flavor allows various blends with either milk or fruits

Cons

  • Available in only 3 flavors (chocolate, vanilla, unsweetened)
  • A few customers complain that it tastes like artificial and chalky.

2. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Double Rich Chocolate

Optimum Nutrition is one of the world’s most reliable sports nutrition brand that owns and operates their own production facilities. All of their products are approved by the NSF International and exceed all the GMP standards. And this one is not an exception.

What makes it special is the main ingredient – whey protein isolate which is known as one of the purest forms of whey protein available out there. Each serving contains 24g of protein, 5.5g of naturally occurring BCAAs, 4g of glutamine & glutamic acid, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Besides, lactase enzyme is added to promote digestion of trace amounts of lactose.

About flavor, I can enjoy it every day for weeks without getting bored. The taste is sweet enough, and the power can be mixed easily with almond milk or a banana. Whether you drink it in your breakfast, before or after workouts, you won’t make your stomach bloat or irritate.

Last but not least, the powder contains very little amount of fat, lactose and carbs, which makes it great for both bodybuilders to gain and lean muscle and fat people to partially replace the meal.


Pros

  • Available in 27 flavors
  • #1 Best Seller in Sports Nutrition Whey Protein Powders on Amazon
  • #1 Whey Protein in 2015 (Based on sales through the world)
  • Very pure whey protein isolate

Cons

  • Sucralose in the powder is an artificial sweetener and can act as an antibiotic.

3. BSN SYNTHA-6 Protein Powder

Syntha-6 is created to suit a wide range of active lifestyles and diet plans. In other words, it’s for any individual who need an extra resource of multi-functional protein to reach nutritional and physique goals.

Each serving provides 200 calories, 22g of protein, 15g of carbs, 5g of fiber and 6g of fat. You might worry about the high portion of fat, but let I tell you. This is saturated fat formed by MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides), so it’s very healthy because of being burned off much faster than other fats.

If you’re looking for a product that is a mix of whey and casein, then this one is also for you. Whether you use it as a pre-workout snack, a post-workout shake or drink it before bedtime, you always reap the benefits from every training session.

Customers say that Syntha-6 is one of the best dissolving powders that dissolves extremely quickly in both water and milk. Besides, its taste is pretty damn good and exceptionally creamy with or without being mixed.


Pros

  • Available in 9 flavors
  • Multi-functional drink which is a mix of whey and casein
  • Dissolves extremely quickly in both water and milk

Cons

  • It contains 70mg of cholesterol and 2g of sugar.
  • 200 calories per each serving can be a barrier for those who want to lose weight.

4. Vega Protein & Greens Plant Based Protein Powder, Vanilla

Vega Protein & Greens Plant Based Protein Powder, Vanilla

Via Amazon.com

This powder is another excellent plant based protein powder that I really appreciate. It’s designed for general purposes rather than focusing on high-active individuals like professionals or athletes. That’s why each serving contains 110 calories – a very moderate amount.

20g of protein (in each serving) comes from a variety of sources, including hemp, pea, flax, sacha inchi, etc. 2g of organic fiber is extracted from veggies and greens, such as spinach, alfalfa grass, kale, and broccoli.

One thing to note is that the company only lists 15 amino acids while our body needs 20 for intense cellular functions, which makes it not a complete protein source for bodybuilders. Luckily, it does include the most anabolic branch-chained amino acids which are leucine, isoleucine and valine.

About the taste, this one is a typical veg-based powder that is not overpowering when you add any kind of smoothie, juice or non-dairy milk. Since it’s somewhat strong, you can also mix it with raspberries, bananas or peanut butter to create your own favorite flavors.

If you prefer your shakes to be smooth and a bit lighter, you might need to add a little more water than what the bottle recommends.


Pros

  • #1 Best Seller in Green Food Combination Nutritional Supplements on Amazon
  • Various plant-based protein sources
  • Moderate amount of calories

Cons

  • Many customers complain that it’s too sweet due to too much stevia.
  • It might do not dissolve completely and remains little gritty texture.

5. MusclePharm Combat Powder Advanced Time Release Protein, Chocolate Milk

The Combat Powder is a blend of 5 powerful proteins, including whey protein hydrolysate (fast absorbed), whey protein isolate (highest available yield of protein), whey protein concentrate (closest to whole food), egg albumin (highly bioavailable with naturally-occurring BCAAs) and micellar casein (slow absorbed).

It’s designed to be taken anytime: pre/post workout, morning or night. Briefly, I can consume it throughout the day with a balanced diet to maximize the physical training performance, gain/lean muscles and speed up recovery.

There are totally 25g of protein, 5g of carb and only 1g of saturated fat in each scoop. I see that these portions are very appropriate.

I tried the vanilla flavor with fruit coconut milk for breakfast, and it’s really sweet that I could only tolerate the sweetness by blending. Luckily, when I blended it with orange juice and a small amount of whole milk, the taste is much better – creamy and not so sweet.

Also, I saw many customers praise the banana cream flavor for incredibly delicious taste. No other protein powders in this list provide this flavor, so why don’t you try it now!


Pros

  • Contains up to 5 different types of proteins with fast, medium and slow digested rate
  • The banana cream flavor is unique and tastes absolutely amazing.
  • Very affordable price compared to other best cheap protein powder products

Cons

  • It contains 46mg of cholesterol
  • The chocolate flavor sometimes does not dissolve well.

Conclusion

It’s never useless to research products thoroughly before making the purchasing decision. Among the best cheap protein powders we listed, we select the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder as the winner.

Not only does it come from one of the world’s most reliable sports nutrition brand, but it’s also prominent in quality and taste that I can enjoy every day for a week without getting bored.

Let me know how you liked it and what you think by giving your opinion in the comments below. I'd love to hear what you thought of the article. Please share it if you liked it!

Nancy Moore
 

Hi, everyone! My name is Nancy Moore and I am the founder and creator of Fitnessgrams. I created Fitnessgrams to be a haven for people looking to get fit, boost their health, lose weight, or improve their well-being. Here you will find experiences, workouts, information from the experts, healthy living tips, and tools to find well-being and balance.

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