Cheap Protein Powder Guide: Compare, Buy & Save

cheap protein powder

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Most people are under consuming protein in their diets, which is why many people turn to protein powder supplements. Unfortunately, protein powder can get pricey, which is why I’ve found the best cheap protein powder options to keep within a moderate budget.

Increasing protein can not only help you stay full for longer, but also helps with muscle repair after tough workouts, allowing you to recover quickly before your next workout session. To learn more about protein and to figure out how much your body needs, scroll to the bottom of this article.

cheap organic protein powder orgain Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Organic
  • Great meal substitute
  • Amazing taste
Price: $26.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Optimum Nutrition Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, Vanilla Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Mixes well
  • 24g of protein
  • Organic and plant based
Price: $29.45 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cheap lite protein powder low calorie Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Tastes like cake
  • Promotes fat loss
  • No fat or added sugar, low carb
Price: $6.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cheap pea protein powder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Curbs appetite
  • Quality ingredients for the price
  • Family owned and operated
Price: $16.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
protein Whey, Isolate, Casein, Egg Protein BCAA's Glutamine Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lots of different flavors
  • Blend of five time-released proteins
  • Digestive enzyme blend
Price: $40.23 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
pure protein whey cheap Amazon Customer Reviews
  • High in protein, low in fat and sugar
  • Support lean muscle & strength
  • Tastes great mixed with anything
Price: $15.46 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cheap whey protein 30g Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Doesn’t clump
  • 4.5g Recovery Blend
  • Amazing taste
Price: $16.76 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
muscle milk cheap protein cookies n creme Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Really super cheap
  • Enough cals for meal replacement
  • Tastes like ice cream
Price: $31.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
muscle milk 100 calorie protein powder chocolate Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lots of potassium
  • Gluten free
  • Low calorie
Price: $23.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Vegan formula with added greens
  • Comes in tons of flavors
  • Mixes easily
Price: $27.65 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Isopure Zero Carb Unflavored 25g Protein Powder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Only two ingredients
  • Flavorless
  • 25g of protien
Price: $15.41 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Vital Proteins Collagen Protein Powder Supplement Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 20g of protein per serving
  • Truly flavorless
  • Comes in two sizes
Price: $24.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Completely vegan and plant based protein
  • Comes in four great flavors
  • Very natural ingredients
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
OLLY Plant Powered Protein Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Not too sweet
  • Vegan recipe
  • Mixes well
Price: $17.71 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Less Naked Whey Vanilla Protein 1LB Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Only three ingredients
  • 25g of protein
  • Several delicious flavors
Price: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

    Pros:
    • Doesn’t clump when mixing
    • Actually tastes good, which is a hard task for any protein powder let alone plant based protein
    • Non-gritty texture
    Cons:
    • This is sweetened with stevia, and may be too sweet for some people. However, there is no stevia aftertaste.
    • May cause digestive upset in those who are sensitive
    • n/a

    USDA Organic, gluten-free, kosher, vegan, non-GMO, soy free, dairy free, carrageenan free, no artificial ingredients. If you are looking for the perfect cheap protein powder for just about everyone, this is gonna be it.

    Enjoy 21 grams of organic plant-based protein is sourced from organic peas, brown rice, and chia seeds. 5 grams of organic fiber and 3 grams of net carbs (0 sugar) make this 150 calorie protein powder perfect for low carb dieters (or any dieters, really.) Use on-the-go as a meal replacement, in smoothies, or post-workouts. Comes in yummy flavors like Creamy Chocolate Fudge and Vanilla Bean.

    VideoVideo related to orgain organic plant based protein powder2018-10-16T10:50:34-04:00

  2. 2. Optimum Nutrition Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, Vanilla

    Pros:
    • Mixes well into milk or water and can easily be blended
    • Great breakfast substitute if you’re in a rush
    • Yummy taste, not too sweet — just right.
    • Many people say this is the best tasting protein powder they’ve ever used
    Cons:
    • Needs to be stirred often or it separates in liquid
    • Has some filler ingredients that some people might not want in their protein like sucralose (artificial sweetener)
    • Only available in a few flavors

    This morning supplement has all you need to get your day started with 20 grams of quality protein and 120mg of caffeine from natural sources (equivalent to one cup of coffee). Combine with milk or water and take this fun-flavored protein shake on-the-go for when you need a boost of fuel and energy. 

  3. 3. Designer Protein LITE, Low Calorie Natural Protein – Vanilla Cupcake

    Pros:
    • Fat free, no added sugar, very low carb, gluten-free and kosher.
    • Designer Protein added green coffee berry and garcinia cambogia to the formula, which is why you shouldn’t consume this at night. These ingredients promote fat loss as long as you’re not cheating on your diet and exercise program.
    • Tastes like cake
    Cons:
    • It’s gross with water so make it with milk or a milk substitute. I hear banana is really good with it.
    • You have to keep mixing/shaking it or it’ll settle at the bottom. Or just take it as a shot. (Can you mix protein powder with vodka? To be continued…)
    • Aftertaste

    Looking for low-calorie protein powder? This one’s for you. 10 grams of GMO-free soy protein isolate and whey protein blend mixed with vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, and fiber. This is an umbrella product with only 60 calories and 1g net carbs (4g fiber) per serving.

    Mix it up in the morning to rev up your metabolism, after a workout to help promote lean muscle, or early afternoon to curb cravings. Did I mention it’s vanilla cupcake flavored?

    (I just learned some stuff and it turns out that protein absorption dramatically decreases with alcohol. Don’t drink and protein shake, friends.)

  4. 4. NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder, 2 lbs

    Pros:
    • Family owned & operated, trusted brand, cares about the environment, gives to charities. All around good people you would want to support.
    • Non-GMO, Kosher, gluten free, vegan, low carb, corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free. They have pretty much everyone covered.
    • Quality ingredients for the price
    Cons:
    • It actually, truly, has no taste — but most people prefer not to drink it with water. (Some do.) Mix it with oatmeal, milk, smoothies, pancakes, baked goods, ice pops, pizza crust… get creative here!
    • Sourced from China
    • Some stomachaches

    NOW Sports is a familiar brand. It’s been family owned and operated since 1968 and it’s pretty well-trusted in the athletic community due to their rigorous quality testing. This Non-GMO vegetable protein isolate has 24 grams of protein. It’s unflavored so it mixes easily and adapts the flavor of your beverage of choice (mmm, smoothies are good here).

    Although it’s a cheap protein powder, there’s a lot of value in this formula: 4,200 mg branched chain amino acids (BCAA) and over 2,000 mg of L-Arginine is in there, too. L-Arginine essentially increases muscle mass and introduces nitric oxide to your body, promoting conditioning and endurance.

  5. 5. MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder

    Pros:
    • Blend of five fast, medium, and slow-releasing proteins that digest at varying rates
    • Digestive enzyme blend increases protease and lactase to help absorb the protein
    • Lots of different flavors, including the normal ones plus choices like chocolate peanut butter, triple berry and cookies ‘n cream
    • Low carb, gluten free
    Cons:
    • Tastes like a milkshake that’s actually good for you…but only if you use a shaker bottle or blender.
    • It’s sweet. Be prepared.
    • n/a

    This one’s for the warriors out there who want to maximize lean muscle growth and recovery.

    This is a mean cheap protein powder that means business with 25 grams of whey concentrate, whey isolate, whey hydrolysate, micellar casein, egg albumin, BCAAs, glutamine, and digestive enzymes. All of this stuff works together to make one incredible slow-release protein powder that revs up your body all day. To find out exactly what all of those ingredients do, check out the link below.

  6. 6. Pure Protein 100% Whey Powder Rich Chocolate or Vanilla Cream, 1.75 pounds

    Pros:
    • High in protein, low in fat and sugar
    • Supports lean muscle & strength
    • Tastes great mixed with anything and blends well
    • My personal favorite protein powder (taste-wise) if that counts for anything
    • Also comes in a to-go protein shake
    Cons:
    • Some find it too sweet, but the general consensus is that this is one of the best protein powders for the price
    • Contains sucralose
    • Vanilla flavor isn't that great

    Pure Protein is my personal favorite tasting cheap protein powder. I usually buy the premade shakes with 35g of protein because I am lazy. It’s another one that tastes like a milkshake that comes in two flavors: rich chocolate or vanilla cream. It’s a marvelous meal replacement or in-between-meals shake. Vanilla cream tastes amazing in smoothies and the chocolate really upgrades your morning coffee.

  7. 7. P2N Peak Performance Nutrition P2N Whey Protein

    Pros:
    • Competitive protein powder that tastes good — not too sweet and quality ingredients for the price
    • Made in the USA & independently tested for purity and quality
    • Doesn’t clump
    Cons:
    • Some say it’s too sweet, some say it’s too watery and you should double up scoops. ¯_(ツ)_/
    • Only comes in 2lb containers
    • Two scoops per serving makes it disappear quickly

    Premium ingredients combine to shake up this cheap protein powder with a whopping 30g of pure protein, 6.7g BCAAs, and 4.5g recovery blend of Creatine, Taurine & L-Glutamine to build strength and support your poor muscles as they recover.

    Many people swear by this one.

  8. 8. Muscle Milk Collegiate Protein Powder, Cookies ‘N Crème

    Pros:
    • Really super cheap
    • The cookies ‘n cream flavor tastes like cookies ‘n cream ice cream
    • Good meal replacement for people on the go — this one has more calories
    • Earned a Protein Digestibility Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) of 1.0. (The highest quality score a food protein can have)
    Cons:
    • Again, this one has more calories, so if you aren’t looking to bulk up, a different protein may be better for you. Or, IIFYM. You do you.
    • Four scoops = 40 grams protein. That’s a lot of scoops — but this doesn’t have to be your only source of protein. You can whip something up with just one or two scoops.
    • Cheap = cheaper protein source

    Two or four scoops of this monster powder lend longevity and endurance to your workouts and your day. Muscle Milk Collegiate is a supportive meal replacer for those who are always on-the-go — especially students — because it has healthy calories that actually fill you up. Blend up healthy greens like spinach or kale in your smoothies plus Muscle Milk collegiate and it will mask the taste of the vegetables.

    Also available in strawberries ‘n crème, chocolate, and vanilla crème.

  9. 9. Muscle Milk 100 Calorie Protein Powder, Chocolate

    Pros:
    • Can be used pre-workout, post-workout or as a protein-rich snack
    • Earned a Protein Digestibility Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) of 1.0. (The highest quality score a food protein can have)
    • Builds lean muscle, satisfies hunger, promotes sustained energy, NSF certified for Sport
    • Decent amount of potassium per scoop (190g), which is a key nutrient for good health that you can’t really supplement with pills.
    Cons:
    • Again, as this is a popular complaint with all protein powders: some think it’s too sweet.
    • One person reported an upset stomach. Not too many bad reviews on this one, so stock up.
    • Not enough calories to be a meal replacement

    This 100 calorie Muscle Milk protein powder is almost the opposite of the one above because it has fewer calories than most. Also inexpensive, but this one only has 100 calories, 0 grams of sugar, 5g fiber, and 20 awesome vitamins and minerals to satisfy and sustain you throughout the day. It also gives you all 9 essential amino acids that the body can’t produce. This 100 calorie cheap protein powder rocks extended release protein delivery in the body.

  10. 10. Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla

    Pros:
    • Vegan formula with added greens for more nutrients
    • Comes in tons of flavors with some unique offerings
    • Mixes easily into shakes and smoothies
    Cons:
    • Recently reformulated and new taste varies slightly from old formula if that's something you're used to
    • Uses stevia to sweenten, which might turn some off
    • Might be too sweet for some

    Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla protein can also be purchased in tons of other flavors if plain old vanilla isn’t your style. This protein has 20g of protein in each serving and also has the addition of greens with organic alfalfa powder, spinach powder, broccoli powder, and organic kale powder. Not only are you getting a good amount of protein with this powder, but also tons of other vitamins and nutrients. 

  11. 11. Isopure Zero Carb Unflavored 25g Protein Powder

    Pros:
    • Only two ingredients for a very clean and pure formula plus no added sugars
    • The flavorless formula is great for cooking and baking, making some of your favorite recipes more protein heavy
    • 25g of protein is relatively high
    Cons:
    • Not a great option to mix with water or milk for a protein shake since it's flavorless
    • Somewhat foamy consistency when blended
    • Better for baking than drinking on its own

    If you’re looking for a great, unflavored protein powder, Isopure Zero Carb Unflavored 25g Protein Powder is a wonderful option. It’s made with only two ingredients, so you know you’re not getting unnecessary additives. It’s also great if you like to use protein powder in your favorite baked goods to make them a bit more nutritious. This has zero grams of carbs and is only 100 calories per serving. 

  12. 12. Vital Proteins Collagen Protein Powder Supplement

    Pros:
    • 20g of protein per serving as well as collagen which can help improve hair, nails, joints, and more
    • Truly flavorless. Enough so that it can be mixed into water without being detected.
    • Comes in two sizes if you'd like to try it before committing to the larger size
    Cons:
    • Mixes better into room temp or warm liquids over very cold liquids
    • If you prefer flavored protein this isn't for you
    • Some people can detect a slight favor, although I never have

    My personal favorite protein powder is Vital Proteins Collagen Protein Powder Supplement and it’s definitely worth it for what you get. If you’re shopping on a budget you can grab the smaller size and give it a try before committing to a huge jug. If you hate the chalky flavor that some protein powders can have, you’ll love that this protein powder is really flavorless, sometimes I even drink it in water and don’t taste a thing. It has 20g of protein in each serving and is one of the best protein powders on the market. 

  13. 13. KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

    Pros:
    • Completely vegan and plant based protein
    • Comes in four great flavors - peanut butter, vanilla, mint chip, and chocolate
    • Very natural ingredients
    Cons:
    • Might have too much fat for some
    • Pea protein doesn't mix as well as some other protein
    • Might be too sweet for some

    It can be hard to find good tasting and cheap plant-based protein powders but KOS Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is one of the best we’ve found. The protein powder is available in four really delicious flavors and is completely vegan. The protein sources come from five plants – 100 percent non-GMO pea, flaxseed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia seed. This protein powder is higher in fat, which is something to keep in mind if you’re trying out a lower-fat diet. 

  14. 14. OLLY Plant Powered Protein

    Pros:
    • Not too sweet, which can be hard to find with protein powder
    • Vegan recipe with a clean ingredient list
    • Mixes well with water and into smoothies
    Cons:
    • 18g of protein is lower than other powders
    • Doesn't have many other added nutrients
    • Small bottle size

    This plant-based protein powder is hard to beat. Not only does it taste amazing, but it has 18g of protein in each serving, which is a good amount. It mixes well with water, into smoothies, and isn’t too sweet – something that can be hard to find with protein powders. It’s nice and filling – a perfect treat for after a workout. 

  15. 15. Less Naked Whey Vanilla Protein 1 LB

    Pros:
    • Only three ingredients - one of the shortest recipes
    • 25g of protein - higher than most
    • Several delicious flavors that taste great and mix well
    Cons:
    • Hard to mix unless blended
    • Hard to empty the jar due to the design - last few ounces might be wasted
    • Not certified organic

    Aside from some pretty awesome branding, Less Naked Whey Vanilla Protein has a lot going for it when it comes to cheap protein powder. It has only three ingredients, one of the cleanest recipes we’ve seen. It also has a lot of protein at 25g. It doesn’t have any synthetic additives, comes in several flavors, and is highly rated for taste and ability to mix well.  

We know we need it, but what exactly is protein?

Protein is part of every cell in our bodies. Our hair and nails are mostly made of it, and our bodies use it to build and repair muscle tissue. We also use protein to produce hormones, enzymes and other chemicals. Protein is necessary for our bones, cartilage, skin, blood, and muscles.

Protein completes the macronutrient trio along with fat and carbohydrates. This just means the body needs a lot of it. Unlike fat and carbs, our bodies don't store protein. It can't just pull some when it needs it for those daily functions. (It can, actually, do this with fat and carbs.)

So, how much do you need?

It depends on your weight. Multiply your weight by 0.36 grams per pound. Roughly translated based on averages, this equals out to 56 grams per day for sedentary men and 46 for women. If you are exercising, however, your body will require more. A studied recommendation is 1 gram per pound of body weight if you are actively gaining muscle mass.

Bonus points: if you are trying to lose weight, eating protein can boost your metabolic rate and decrease your appetite.

Finally, a pro tip: Buy a cheap protein shaker if you don't have one already. You can thank me later. Then, if you want your protein to taste better, mix it with milk or a milk substitute instead of water. It tastes MUCH better than mixed with water. Like, think "milkshake". Try unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, or my favorite, cashew milk. You can also get creative with recipes; protein pancakes are the bomb.com and protein powder and smoothies are a match made in heaven.

 

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