The Best Protein Powder

Want to start using protein powder, but not sure which one to try? Here’s a guide for choosing the right protein powder for you, a list of my favorites and coupon codes.

One question I get asked all the time is what protein powder I use! I’m happy to share my favorites because I know how challenging it can be to find a good quality protein powder that actually tastes great too. It’s no fun to spend money on a huge tub of protein powder only to realize it’s chalky and has the flavor of wet cardboard. Been there done that!

Whether you’re making protein shakes or using protein powder in recipes, the type/brand of protein powder you use will definitely affect the recipe’s outcome. For the recipes here on EBF, I currently use the protein powders seen here.

5 tubs of protein powder stacked and displayed

How to Choose the Best Protein Powder?

There are so many protein powders on the market. From whey, soy, egg white, casein, collagen, hemp, rice, pea, etc. If you’re new to protein powder, learn more about the seven best types of protein powder. In general, it’s hard to know which protein powder is right for you. It really depends on your dietary needs and how well your body digests the different protein sources.

I personally like plant-based protein powders and collagen options because my body doesn’t process whey protein very well and I’m not a big fan of processed soy. Besides good flavor (which is one of the biggest factors for me!), this is what I look for when choosing a protein powder:

  • Complete protein with all nine essential amino acids.
  • High in protein (obviously) — I look for powders with at least 15 grams of protein per serving.
  • Low in sugar — I look for options with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving.
  • No artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame. I’m okay with natural sweeteners like stevia and monkfruit.
  • Free of soy, milk, yeast, wheat, and other allergens that often cause allergic reactions.

Scoop of chocolate protein powder

Why Use Protein Powder?

Let me start by saying that I don’t think you need protein powder to eat healthfully or lose weight. In college, when I lost over 20 lbs, I didn’t use any supplements or protein powder (much less have — I just ate healthy real food).  At this point in my healthy eating journey I try to get most of my daily protein intake from whole, minimally processed foods like fish, dairy products, eggs, beans, grains, nuts and seeds. But protein powder makes for quick protein-packed snacks and on-the-go meals when needed.

I personally love using protein powder to help make macro-balanced meals and snacks. If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you know that I recommend having every meal consist of lean protein, fiber and healthy fats. I love adding protein powder to certain meals (especially snacks) to up the protein level. The extra protein makes meals more satisfying and keeps you feeling full longer. Some examples?

My Favorite Plant-Based Protein Powders

Two containers of Nuzest protein powder stacked and a picture of the nutrition label

Nuzest Clean Lean Protein

Why I like it:
  • Short ingredient list
  • Great nutrition facts
  • Vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, lectin free and non-GMO
  • Easy to digest
  • Both the vanilla and chocolate have a great flavor and aren’t chalky.

My picks: Smooth Vanilla, Rich Chocolate

Coupon Code: use code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.

Other Protein Brands I’ll Occasionally Use:

Because Nuzest isn’t offered in stores, I’ll occasionally need to pick up a different brand that can be found at a local store. If this happens I usually grab Tone It Up protein, Sun Warrior or Bob’s Red Mill protein powder.

Two tubs of collagen peptides, chocolate Further Foods and Vital Proteins

My Favorite Collagen Protein

I also really like using collagen, which is different than regular protein powder. I have post about collagen and why I like using it. Two favorite collagen brands are Further Food and Vital Proteins. I’ve been loving the Further Food chocolate collagen with reishi mushroom. It tastes like hot chocolate when mixed with hot water. If you want to try Further Food, use EBF15 for 15% off your order.

Can You Eat Protein Powder Every Day?

Yes, absolutely! I wouldn’t recommend that you have protein powder with every single meal and snack. I like to get my protein from a variety of sources – chicken, fish, tofu, beans, legumes and yes, protein powder. When possible, I recommend incorporating real, whole food sources of protein and using protein powder as a supplement when needed.

Can You Use Protein Powder While Pregnant or Nursing?

Most protein powders say to consult your physician if you’re pregnant or nursing on the package, which I recommend as well. For me personally, I felt comfortable using organic, plant-based protein powders and collagen while pregnant, but to be honest it wasn’t something I craved so I didn’t have it every often. I also feel comfortable using protein powder and collagen while nursing. Since having Olivia I’ve been incorporating more protein-based snacks and using collagen to help with postpartum hair loss.

Protein Powder Recipes:

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    1. Jessica
      January 3, 2023 AT 9:10 am

      Hi! I am looking at the Bob’s Red Mill website and there are four different types of protein powder: almond, hemp, soy, and whey. Which is the one you like? Thanks so much!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 3, 2023 AT 10:39 am

        Hi Jessica – I personally like plant-based protein powders and collagen options because my body doesn’t process whey protein very well and I’m not a big fan of processed soy.I would probably opt for the almond or hemp. But it really depends on your dietary restrictions/needs (if any). If you read above, I mention what I look for when choosing a protein powder so I would check that list out before purchasing. Let me know which one you choose and how you like it!

    2. maneesh
      March 20, 2022 AT 1:20 pm

      Thanks for sharing this blog.

      Hemp protein powder bars are a rich source of healthy fats and fatty acids, particularly omega-3s and omega-6s. Hemp is also an excellent source of vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, sodium, iron, calcium, and zinc. Beyond being a perfect protein source, hemp is simply an exceptionally nutritious food.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 20, 2022 AT 7:17 pm

        Great info. Thanks for sharing, Maneesh!

    3. Lavina
      September 10, 2021 AT 5:54 am

      What almond milk do you use?

    4. Lorraine Scott
      May 14, 2021 AT 3:11 pm

      I was reading up on the news just protein powder and do I just Google it to order it and use your code eating bird food to get 15% off? I might have missed it but I didn’t see a link on your site to order it.

    5. Rajesh Joseph
      December 23, 2020 AT 10:17 am

      Finally I got authentic knowledge about plant proteins and some of the best proteins thanks a lot.

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