A few weeks ago, I went to reorder my favorite protein powder and the website where I usually buy it from was completely sold out! Talk about first world problems. As a result, and in a state of panic over the conviction that my favorite was getting discontinued, I decided to experiment with a few different protein powders and determine the best based on my own scale. Since I am not sponsored by anyone, you know you will be receiving an unbiased opinion. The following are the basis of my rating:
- Protein to calorie ratio
- Taste on its own (mixed in water or almond milk)
- Taste mixed with oatmeal
- Taste mixed with coffee
As you can see, these are all important considerations. When I set out on my experiment, I only went with brands that were already reputable and high quality. The score is on a 1-5 scale with one being the lowest and five being the best.
PEScience Snickerdoodle 3.75
Taste on its own (mixed in water or almond milk) – This is good. I even like using a little bit of this as an “icing”. I use 2TBSP of unsweetened almond milk and ¼ scoop of powder, whisk together and pour over my oatmeal bake. This flavor does stand well on it’s own just mixed with water or milk. Score: 4.5
Taste mixed with oatmeal – Happily, this was as amazing as one would imagine. Snickerdoodle oatmeal? Yes please! The best part about this flavor is whether I add ¼ scoop or a full scoop, it flavored the oatmeal nicely and either way was never underwhelming or overwhelming. I definitely award 5 for this category.
Taste mixed with coffee – I was disappointed by how gross this tasted with coffee. Snickerdoodle sounds like something that would taste amazing in coffee (what doesn’t taste amazing in coffee?), but somehow everything ended up tasting really watered down. Iced or hot, it still tasted strange, which was a huge disappointment for me. This category gets a depressing 1.
Quest Nutrition Chocolate Milkshake – 3.75
Taste on its own (mixed in water or almond milk) – This truly does taste like a chocolate milk shake when mixed with just milk/water. It definitely tasted the thickest of all the proteins when on its own, which is a plus for me. The creamier, the better. Score: 5.
Taste mixed with oatmeal – This mixes well in here, but is definitely a little too much for me. I do not have much of a sweet tooth, so that much rich chocolate with my breakfast was overwhelming. If you are a chocolate lover, you may enjoy this, but it was too much for me. Score: 3.
Taste mixed with coffee – Since the chocolate is so creamy, this tastes amazing mixed with coffee (particularly iced coffee). The hot coffee mixed with chocolate Quest protein brings me back to New England and reminds me of a Dunkaccino, but it was tough to get the clumps out. Score: 4.
FitMiss Delight Vanilla Chai – 3.25
Protein to calorie ratio – In my opinion the protein is lower in this than I would prefer: 24.7g yields only 16g of protein per 90 calories. If you are newer to working out and hesitant to increase your protein, this may be a comfortable way to slowly increase. Even though the serving size is lower (~25g vs ~31g), you only save 20 calories but lose 8-10g of protein depending on which other brand you compare it to. This is too low for my needs; however, if you are newer to working out and not depleting your muscles quite as much, this may be a good starting point. Score: 1.
Taste on its own (mixed in water or almond milk) – This flavor is definitely delicious on its own with water/milk. It tastes creamy enough without having a watered down taste. Score: 4.
Taste mixed with oatmeal – I enjoyed this with oatmeal, but it wasn’t a standout. Between snickerdoodle and cookies and cream, this one had a tough time competing. Score: 3.
Taste mixed with coffee – Based on the name alone I figured this would be great mixed with coffee- and I was right! I will mix a ½ scoop with coconut milk then pour hot coffee over it and it tastes so delicious. It is pretty hard for me to drink my coffee at a rationally paced rate. Further, when I mix a full scoop with iced coffee and almond milk, it is equally as amazing. I can definitely taste the chai aspect of it, which I love. This category unequivocally deserves a 5.
Iso 100 Cookies & Cream – 4.5
Protein to calorie ratio – 30g yields 110 calories and 25g protein. In my opinion, this is the biggest bang for your buck of the four. Your calorie count and serving size is about the same, but you are getting the most protein. Score: 5.
Taste on its own (mixed in water or almond milk) – One of my favorite things about this protein is that it tastes unbelievable when mixed with just a small amount of water. It tastes great regardless, but the fact that I can mix this with water and it is still amazing is a huge selling point for me. This category inarguably deserves a 5.
Taste mixed with oatmeal – Cookies and cream oatmeal for breakfast? Absolutely! This mixes well, without becoming chunky. The whole thing is creamy and amazing. Score: 5.
Taste mixed with coffee – Cookies and cream mixed with ice coffee is awesome. It tastes delicious and mixes well; however, this brand does remain a bit clumpy in hot coffee (even when I mix it beforehand- it re-clumps a bit for some reason). This also tastes a bit watered down in hot coffee, but not disgustingly so. It’s definitely not as creamy as the Fitmiss Vanilla Chai. Based on the amazing taste with iced coffee and the subpar taste with hot coffee, I grant a 3 here.
A few other things to note: the Quest Salted Carmel protein is absolutely amazing mixed with Greek yogurt. I mean, UNREAL! I also love the PEScience Snickerdoodle & Iso-100 Cookies & Cream mixed in with Greek yogurt. It is creamy and amazing, and you do not have to add very much in to get a high protein snack while eliminating the bland plain Greek yogurt taste.