Cheap Protein Powder Guide: Compare, Buy & Save

cheap protein powder

If you’re working out regularly (or, you know, just for the season), chances are you’re consuming some sort of protein supplement. Protein powder can get ridiculously expensive. That’s why I’ve curated this collection of cheap protein powders (when priced per ounce) that still do it all.

To learn more about protein and to figure out how much your body needs, scroll to the bottom of this article.

And with that, here are 10 cheap protein powders to jumpstart your 2019.

cheap organic protein powder orgain Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Organic
  • Great meal substitute
  • Amazing taste
Price: $20.93 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cheap protein powder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cheap AF
  • No added fillers or sugars
  • Available as a ready-to-drink shake
Price: $109.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cinnamon bun protein energy powder cheap Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Mixes well
  • Enough cals for a breakfast substitute
  • Low carb
Price: $28.90 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: $16.67 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: $28.69 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: $17.69 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: $16.19 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: $19.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

    • 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
    • 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.

  2. 2. EAS 100% Pure Whey Protein Powder, 5lb Tub, Various Flavors

    • Chocolate whey protein powder, when mixed with milk, tastes remarkably like a milkshake
    • 6 net carbs per serving (1g fiber), 150 calories
    • Mixes well with milk and milk substitutes
    • 5 lbs of protein can last 3-4 months even taken daily
    • Doesn’t mix as well with water
    • Some users report bloating, but all around reviews are very positive
    • n/a

    Maximize your lean body mass with this gigantic 5-pound tub of protein powder. It’s the best bang for your buck. One serving of this 100% whey protein powder provides a whopping 30 grams of high-quality protein. This will help build muscle and you’ll recover faster from workouts. Each serving of protein powder also delivers 7.3 grams of BCAAs to help repair muscle damage. Available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

  3. 3. Cinnamon Bun Flavored Protein Energy Powder by Optimum Nutrition (+ 3 more fun flavors)

    • Blend of caffeine, green tea extract, protein and vitamins, especially B vitamins
    • Great breakfast substitute if you’re in a rush
    • Yummy taste, not too sweet — just right. Low carb, too.
    • Many people say this is the best tasting protein powder they’ve ever used
    • Lots of niacin. Niacin can make your body flush but it’s not necessarily bad for you — you will just be hot.
    • One reviewer said there wasn’t enough caffeine. As someone who is sensitive to caffeine, this is a plus for me, but it could be a con to others. Just drink another cup of coffee!
    • n/a

    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. It’s CINNAMON BUN FLAVORED. Also comes in delicious Vanilla Latte, Chocolate, and Mocha Cappuccino. (Try the cinnamon bun flavor in your oatmeal for something different.)

  4. 4. Designer Protein LITE, Low Calorie Natural Protein, Vanilla Cupcake, 9.03 Ounce

    • 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
    • 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.)

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

    • 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
    • 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.

  6. 6. MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder: Essential blend of Whey, Isolate, Casein and Egg Protein with BCAA’s and Glutamine, 4 lbs. Multiple flavors.

    • 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
    • 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.

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

    • 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
    • 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.

  8. 8. P2N Peak Performance Nutrition P2N Whey Protein, 2 Pounds

    • 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
    • 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.

  9. 9. Muscle Milk Collegiate Protein Powder, Cookies ‘N Crème, 20g Protein, 5.29 lbs

    • 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)
    • 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.

  10. 10. Muscle Milk 100 Calorie Protein Powder, Chocolate, 15g Protein, 1.65 Pounds

    • 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.
    • 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.

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 and protein powder and smoothies are a match made in heaven.


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