Protein Powder Guide - Header

Protein Powder Guide - Food ColoringsIf you've made the decision to supplement your diet and exercise routine with a protein powder, but feel like you need a protein powder guide – we've got you covered!

We know that due to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, protein powders – just like any other supplement – do not fall under Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation. So how to know what's safe and what's not?

The testers at Reviews.com did the legwork for us, so for our protein powder guide, we're presenting the top 3 brands they uncovered to be your best bets for healthy, safe ways to add more protein to your diet!

Judging was based on the following criteria:

1. Must be a currently available protein powder, not discontinued or recalled.
2. Must not contain any controversial food colorings.
3. Must not contain any artificial sweeteners.
4. Must be verified by Informed-Choice.org or the NSF Certified for Sports program not to contain steroids.
5. Must have a Labdoor quality grade of B- or higher.

The best overall choice is Vega's Performance Protein, but Garden of Life and Optimum Nutrition came in close behind.

Protein Powder Guide - Vega

Protein Powder Guide: Performance Protein by Vega

Vega's Performance Protein is certified vegan and gluten-free. It packs 26 grams of protein per serving, which is the highest of the three brands that topped the protein powder guide. It's made from a blend of whole grain brown rice, pea, alfalfa and SaviSeeds.

In addition to the 26 grams of protein, it offers 5.3 grams of BCAAs and 5.3 grams of Glutamine and Glutamic Acid.

The testers' preference was for the vanilla flavor, but chocolate also met the test criteria.

Protein Powder Guide - Raw Protein

Protein Powder Guide: Raw Protein by Garden of Life

More than a dozen organic sprouts were used to create this plant-based protein. It is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free.

It offers 17 grams of protein, 3.8 grams of BCAAs, and 3.1 grams of Glutamine and Glutamic Acid per serving.

While this product placed second for taste, it placed third for texture, as it seems to settle faster than the top finishers. The flavors covered in the review include vanilla, chocolate, and original.

Protein Powder Guide - Gold Standard

Protein Powder Guide: 100% Whey Gold Standard by Optimum Nutrition

Optimum Nutrition is the only whey-based protein on the list of recommended brands. It uses whey protein isolates as the primary ingredient and offers 24 grams of protein per serving, according to the Reviews.com article.

It also offers 5.5 grams of BCAAs and 4 grams of Glutamine and Glutamic Acid per serving.

Though available in a variety of flavors, only chocolate and vanilla met the review criteria. This powder mixes easily in water and was voted best texture. While it did finish third for taste, that could be a good thing if you like softer flavors.

Protein Powder Guide - Sweeteners

Now that you've informed yourself with this protein powder guide, make the best choice for your lifestyle with the healthiest and safest protein supplements to fuel (and refuel) you by your side in our original meal management bags! If you're in the market for a new one, check out our latest bags: the Limited Edition Nicole Wilkins-designed Innovator Mini, as well as all the styles available in our partnership with the camo designs of Realtree: the gym backpack Expedition 300 and the meal management bags Innovator 500, 300, and Mini!

All photos and infographics courtesy of Reviews.com.