Protein Powder Reviews

I don’t use a lot of protein powder, but I do use it often.

Almost every morning begins with a smoothie, including half a scoop of protein powder. That extra little kick of protein keeps me full in the morning.

When I’m really in the mood for a protein packed lunch, I’ll go for some Greek yogurt with a scoop of protein powder stirred in. (That’s a double punch of protein!)

Since my vegan days (and now my vegetarian days) I’ve tried a lot of different kinds of protein powder. There are still tons more out there, but these are a few I wanted to share today:

1. About Time Whey Is it fair to start off with my favorite? I absolutely love the Birthday Cake flavor. This is the only protein powder I’ve been able to drink with just water, although I still prefer it in a smoothie. It dissolves well, it has a great flavor, and it doesn’t have added sugars (it’s sweetened with stevia) so it packs 25g of protein in just 100 calories.  When I first ordered it from Amazon, they accidentally shipped me the chocolate flavor, so I’ve tried that one as well. It’s good, but I do prefer Birthday Cake.

2. Designer Whey– This one is easy to find (it’s sold in most Trader Joe’s, grocery stores, etc.) and the overall taste isn’t bad. I’ve tried both chocolate and vanilla (I think I prefer the chocolate). These are reasonably priced, so I’d consider this a second place. I still have some on hand, which I’ve used in different recipes, and it seems to come out fine.

3. Vega– If you’re a vegan, you’ve probably come across this plant based protein. Honestly, the taste isn’t bad. I liked the berry flavor best (which is strange, since I don’t normally prefer the fruity ones) but my biggest complaint is how expensive it is. Plant based protein seems to be more expensive in general, but at almost $50 a tub, I can’t quite justify that.

4. Gen-Soy– I also tried soy protein back in my vegan days, and this was my least favorite. It had a bit of a funky flavor, and it didn’t seem to dissolve as well in my smoothies. I was also using soymilk at the time (I’ve since switched almost exclusively to almond milk) so I was also a little wary of adding even more soy to my diet. This one lost on taste, texture, and ingredients.

I’ve also tried hemp protein powder and rice protein powder but I didn’t like either one, and I couldn’t remember the brands, so I decided not to post a formal review. I’ll just say I didn’t like them and leave it at that 😉
If you’re not into shakes or smoothies, there are plenty of other things you can do with protein powder:

banana bread protein muffins

Try these banana bread protein muffins!

My roommates make fun of my when my giant 2lb tubs of protein come in from Amazon, but I always have to have some on hand! I think my next protein recipe will be some kind of homemade protein bar… lately I’ve been so on-the-go that I’ve needed some protein packed snacks! If you have a recipe to share, let me know!

Do you use protein powder? If so, do you have a favorite brand?


  1. Great reviews girl! I’m a huge fan of about time birthday cake too, it tastes like heaven! 🙂
    My favorite protein is Muscle Gauge Nutrition’s pure isolate in vanilla– best protein I’ve ever had! I swear crack is one of the ingredients haha

  2. My current favorite is PlantFusion. I LOVE it…but again, I have to use it sparingly because it can get pricey. [ has good prices usually.] I’ve only recently gotten into protein powders and whatnot with my amped up running and it has been interesting to test out different ones. I don’t think I’m very discriminating though. I wish that the plant-based versions weren’t so much more expensive…[Or does it just feel that way?]

    I actually have been using the Living Harvest Vanilla Spice Hemp Protein a lot lately after it has languished in my fridge for months. I make a little spread with some almond milk and applesauce. I love the flavor, but it is not good straight up.

  3. Birthday cake flavor?!?! What in the world, I must get that!

  4. Alexia @ NamasteYoga says:

    I am definitely a sunwarrior kind of girl! i have been using the vanilla and love it! i dont like the chalky taste of most other protein powders.. so it was hard for me to find a good onee. I also like hemp protein powder and pea protein is quite good too.

  5. I think I’m the only person who can’t stand Vega? Why is it so gross. I can tolerate their plain smootie infusions, but the flavored ones… bleh! I use Manitoba Harvest hemp protein or raw hemp hearts… I like that it’s not too unnaturally refined or turned into a chemical laced powder. The body can actually utilize the nutrients. Plus I like that hemp is a complete protein. 😀

  6. Honestly, I bought a generic brand from Wal-Mart. I don’t use it too often (once every 2 wks, if that) but the stats aren’t too bad. 24g protein-110 calories-less than 5g sugar. The apple cinnamon muffins sound delicious and something that would work well with my upcoming busy semester!

  7. Vega is the only one I’ve had experience with because I don’t mess with protein powder too much… but the stuff I had? Chocolate flavored and DELICIOUS.

  8. i never used protein powder before – but after reading this i’m considering! 🙂

  9. I use lots of protein powder–I actually have a powder-review post planned myself. Great minds thinking alike, yet again! I second Sarah’s recommendation of Plant Fusion, I LOVE that stuff, my current favorite by far.

  10. yes enjoy our protein powders, great for fast tasty protein filled meals or snacks. we love plant based protein powders, hopefully overtime the price goes down.

  11. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I was JUST pestering my vegan friend about protein powders. I’m starting to “lean” vegan with my diet (read: no cow’s milk and minimal cheese), so I’ve been a bit worried about my protein. I can’t wait to try one of these suckers out for my smoothies!

  12. Like you I don’t use a lot of protein powder, but I do use it often. I use1 tbsp – half a scoop hear and there (smoothies, yoghurt, personal microwaved cakes ect). I find most protein powders too sweet, so I have two on the go: one unsweetened (new zealand whey brand), and one vanilla ( Genuine Health Proteins+). Those are my two favourite brands and protein powders! 🙂

    I have always wanted to try About Time, but they don’t have them here is Canada 🙁

  13. I just bought Nature’s Way Efa Gold Hemp Protein & Fiber and found it delicious. I added a banana to it.

  14. Girl, you KNOW I’m all about the protein powder! It’s funny, I’ve always added it to smoothies, but then slowly, I started experimenting…throwing it in oatmeal, adding it to my pancakes…now I’m an absolute fiend! Lol

    Sadly, I didn’t really like the About Time powder. I was SO excited about the cake batter flavor so I order a sample pack of that and the peaches ‘n cream…both tasted a bit gritty to me. 🙁

    My absolute favorite protein is Syntrax Nectar…they make like a MILLION flavors ranging from the traditional creamy vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, to fruity ones like cherry and this really good one that reminds me of blue Kool Aid! 100 cals per serving and 24g of protein!

    • Haha it’s so funny the things people love and hate! Someone else said they hated Vega, but I know a lot of people love it! I’m definitely going to look for Syntrax Nectar! I assume I can order it online!!

  15. This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve been googling protien powder to find the best. It’s a bit overwhelming with all the choices out there so thanks for the info!

  16. Am I the only blogger who uses Garden of Life RAW? It’s not the tastiest but it does the trick!

  17. I’d definitely go for some Birthday Cake protein powder! I like the texture of whey the most (one of my faves is Chocolate Shakeology). Brown rice protein tends to be a little chalky.

  18. thank you so much for this post! I have been debating about whether to buy some protein powder or not. I have tried some in the past and the only one I really liked was Jay Robb Chocolate whey but it’s just so expensive.I’ve heard a lot of good things about About Time….I might just order some! I would love if someone made a poll where all the bloggers could vote on their favorite protein powder! It would be nice to see what the top powders are in the healthy blog world!

  19. I think I need to incorporate more protein into my diet!

  20. I love my protein powders!! I can’t have Whey protein, so I stick to a Vegan powder. I love love love Sunwarrior Vanilla. Have you tried that? I want to try Plant Fusion as well.

  21. If I ate protein powder, I bet I would be HUGE. Like Hulk Hogan use — plus boobs. I don’t want to lose those. Although I don’t really have much to lose …

    P.S. Anytime I say/type the word booties, I giggle.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  22. I was just thinking the first one looks the most attractive and I’d pick that one first – glad my taste’s not that far off by these reviews!
    I don’t really use protein powder – but if I did, I’d be making those muffins 🙂

  23. I preferred to go for whey protein because it has high biological value and can easily absorbed in human body so my thumbs up for designer whey.

  24. I do not eat any milk derivatives so no whey or casien! I LOVE pea protein, rice bran protein and egg white protein! 🙂 I especially love Olympian Lab Pea Protein and Rainbow Bright Vanilla Energy Booster! Delish!

  25. I use Trader Joe’s Soy Vanilla in my green shakes every morning – it’s great!

  26. 3. Vega – If you’re a vegan, you’ve probably come across this plant based protein. Honestly, the taste isn’t bad. I liked the berry flavor best (which is strange, since I don’t normally prefer the fruity ones) but my biggest complaint is how expensive it is. Plant based protein seems to be more expensive in general, but at almost $50 a tub, I can’t quite justify that.

  27. Life's a Bowl says:

    Ironically, I am trying to find a protein powder! I’ve never bought a tub, but I’ve sampled a few different kinds and wasn’t too enthusiastic about them- they tasted chalky and blah 😛 I picked up a pack of Vega today from WF so I’ll give that a try but BIRTHDAY CAKE sounds absolutely wonderful!!!

  28. Great post. I’m looking to integrate protein powder back into my diet but haven’t found one that I really care for. I’m sticking with peanut flour currently.

  29. my recovery drink while training for marathon includes Nutrilite protein powder. A drink after each run and one before i retire for the night.

  30. I think that the About Time BIrthday cake and the Sunwarrior vanilla are sounding like great options. Thanks for sharing everyone – the reviews and comments were very helpful as I search for my first protein powder!

  31. My favorite is Syntrax’s Nectar Orange. It is SOOOOO good and use it every single morning. Order it from Amazon and get a discount for auto-monthly shipping!

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