Our List of the Top 10 Best Protein Shakes 2018
Throughout the course of every year, hundreds of new protein powders get released. While we already created a top 10 list for 2017, it’s time for us to give you an updated version since the year has come to an end.
Here we have the official top 10 best protein powders of the year. Everyone enters the new year with some goals and resolutions, and many of these new years resolutions are health-related, so it’s no surprise that tons of people are looking for protein powder. However, it can be tough to decide which one to buy since there are like a billion of them.
Well, we’ve done the research, we’ve tested the products, and based on our results, we have come up with a new updated list of the absolute best protein powder supplements going into 2018. This list is based on protein blend purity, BCAA count, nutritional profile, supplement facts, user reviews, and expert analysis of the products’ labels.
Below you will find brief descriptions of each of the chosen top 10, and you will also notice that we have provided you with links to the official order websites should you decide you’re interested in one of them. Additionally, we have provided links to the full reviews for each protein powder in case you decide you want to learn more about any of them.
So, without further adieu, lets get into it…
Rule One Protein took the #1 ranking spot due to its use of an extremely pure protein blend. Most people think that any old protein powder will do as long as it uses whey protein, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Some types of whey protein are actually not so great for you (looking at you, Whey Protein Concentrate).
Rule One Protein comes closer to the perfect protein blend than the vast majority of its competitors. The blend contains a combination of strictly isolate and hydrolysate. We love that there’s no concentrate, but we also wish it was pure hydrolysate.
Even the protein powders that use 100% whey protein isolate are not as efficient as this one because of the fact that at least part of its blend is hydrolysate. Due to the ultrapure blend, it naturally has a very high BCAA count, which is another great benefit of using this particular powder. It also has low fat, low sodium, low sugar, and very low calories, making it overall an excellent choice.
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ISO 100 by Dymatize is an excellent protein powder whose formula was recently revamped, causing it to shoot up in the rankings on the 2018 list. The main problem with the old formula was that it contained genetically modified soy, which is a major issue, but it appears their new, revamped version does not contain any genetically modified ingredients.
The protein blend is near perfect, containing only whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate. Again, we’d ideally like to see 100% hydrolysate, but the Dymatize ISO 100 blend is still far superior to the vast majority of the blends in use out there.
The purity of the blend means the BCAA count is naturally very high, and it additionally contains 0 grams of fat per serving, plus only 110 calories per serving. Be aware that even though the ISO 100 label says it contains basically no sugar, it does contain sucralose and stevia, which can be just as bad. Overall, ISO 100 is without a doubt one of the best protein powder supplements on the market.
IsoPure Zero Carb stole a super high ranking spot on the 2018 list mostly due to its extremely clean nutritional profile. Most protein powders contain 5-10 grams of carbohydrates, which can ultimately lead to fat gain over time. This is one of the best protein powder supplements for weight loss because of the low carb, low cholesterol nutritional profile.
Additionally, IsoPure Zero Carb uses 100% whey protein isolate, which means the protein blend is exceptionally pure and efficient. The only form of protein superior to whey protein isolate is whey protein hydrolysate.
Had this product used hydrolysate instead, it may have ranked even higher up on our list. Another issue worth mentioning is the fact that the calorie count is a little high at about 210 calories per serving. The #1 ranked best protein powder contains about half that amount of calories…but overall, this is a truly elite protein powder.
IsoFlex by AllMax Nutrition is easily a top 5 best protein powder due to the fact that it uses 100% ultra filtered whey protein isolate. You won’t find any whey protein concentrate or anything else that dirties the protein blend here. This blend is exceptionally pure, however it does not use any whey protein hydrolysate, which is our primary issue with it.
As a result of the 100% whey protein isolate blend, there’s naturally a pretty high BCAA count here, and the rest of the supplement facts are pretty impressive as well. One thing to note is that the sodium count is comparatively high, which could lead to slight fat gain overtime.
The sodium count should ideally be under 100 milligrams per serving, IsoFlex has it at about 200 milligrams per serving, which is just too high. However, this is still overall one of the best protein supplements on the market due to the purity level of the blend. It’s not #1, but it’s a great option.
Combat Protein Powder, by Muscle Pharm, is one of the best protein supplements out there because of its pure blend and diverse BCAA profile. It uses extremely pure forms of protein (whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate) but also uses a whey concentrate that is less desirable. Overall, it is a very pure blend and beats out the vast majority of competing blends.
It contains every single key BCAA in addition to a significant amount of glutamine, making it nearly ideal for muscle growth and recovery. Any protein powder without BCAAs likely won’t be as effective as one like Combat Powder that is abundant in BCAAs and glutamine.
The key with each of the top 10 protein supplements is that they aren’t just doses of protein…there must be additional muscle growth and recovery components in order for a protein powder to be considered top notch. User reviews are extremely positive, and there is plenty of evidence for its effectiveness.
Nitro Tech utilizes a protein blend that consists mostly of whey protein isolate, which makes it a great protein powder. With that being said, the blend isn’t 100% isolate, and it doesn’t contain any hydrolysate either. In other words, the blend is great, but it’s definitely not the best.
In addition to a great protein blend, it contains plenty of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids), which are essential for proper muscle recovery and growth. There’s a reason Nitro Tech is one of the most popular protein powder supplements on the market, but there’s also a reason it didn’t manage to crack the top 3.
With 160 calories per serving, 150 milligrams of sodium, 2.5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of sugar, Nitro Tech certainly doesn’t have the healthiest nutritional profile. Ideally, we’d want all of those numbers to be much lower in order to prevent fat gain. With the higher ranked protein powders, you’ll find much more impressive nutritional profiles.
Gold Standard Whey is easily the most famous protein powder in the sports nutrition industry. However, in our opinion, it’s not even one of the top 5 protein powders on the market. The main reason we don’t recommend Gold Standard Whey very highly is because of the fact that the blend utilizes mainly whey protein concentrate, which is far inferior to whey protein isolate.
The blend is partially whey protein isolate, but the majority of it is concentrate, which is an issue for us. With that being said, it’s overall a great protein powder. It has a low calorie count, low fat, and low cholesterol, which means you’re very unlikely to see any fat gain.
Everything about Gold Standard Whey is great except for the protein blend. Since they use mostly whey protein concentrate, the product is extremely cheap for them to manufacture, which allows them to sell it to you for a low price. If you want to buy the absolute best protein powder, you have to be willing to pay a few extra bucks.
Cor Performance is a protein powder that got almost everything right. It has low calories, low fat, low cholesterol, and high protein. Also, the protein it does contain is whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. That is a pretty clean blend and contains one of the purest forms of protein on the market (isolate). Whey protein concentrate isn’t ideal, but that’s okay.
While all these things are great, where it really went wrong is the BCAA profile. Last time I checked, there was little-to-no BCAAs in this protein shake, which is a problem. It is a necessity that your protein shakes contain BCAAs. The reason it made the top 10 is because it did everything else right. With a solid BCAA profile, it would be higher on the list.
Naked Whey is a super hyped-up protein powder that is entering 2018 as one of the most sought after protein supplements on the market, but why? Naked Whey attracted a lot of attention because it uses 100% grass-fed whey protein, which many people believe makes it automatically superior to other whey protein powders that don’t use grass-fed whey.
However, the major problem is that the blend is still 100% whey protein concentrate. When it comes down to it, here’s the truth…grass-fed whey protein concentrate is superior to regular whey protein concentrate, but whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate are both superior to whey protein concentrate regardless of whether it’s grass-fed.
At the end of the day, this product deserves the attention it gets as it is better than most of the other powders out there, but the purity level simply doesn’t come close to that of some of the more elite powders due to the fact that the blend uses strictly concentrate. We love Naked Whey, but simply can’t recommend it as highly as the pure isolate/hydrolysate powders.
A Final Word On 2018’s Best Protein Powder Supplements
These 10 supplements are the purest, most nutritionally impressive, and highly effective protein powders available.
However, it’s important to understand that we ranked them very carefully, meaning that the #1 rank is a notably better supplement than the #2 rank, the #2 rank is significantly better than the #3 rank, and so on.
If your main concern is to obtain the highest quality protein powder on the market, we strongly urge you to go with Rule One even though you’ll pay a few extra bucks. When it comes to protein powder, you truly pay for quality. Low quality protein powders yield low quality results.
PRO TIP – How To Save Money: For as long as you exercise, you will always need protein powder. Therefore, we recommend signing up for auto-ship, which is a service that most major sports nutrition companies offer.
Signing up for auto-ship usually knocks 10-15% off of the price, and additionally makes things very easy for you because it means a new jar of protein is delivered to your door every month without you having to do anything…definitely something to consider.