After being traumatized by one too many smoothies that bore an uncanny resemblance to wet cement, I actually swore off protein powder for a time. The gritty texture and cloying flavor just weren't worth it for me—not to mention the unrecognizable ingredients that always seemed to occupy the labels of the more popular formulas on the market.
But like many things in this rapidly evolving industry, that all seems to be changing. Thanks to organic-minded brands like Moon Juice and Sakara, we don't just have access to a handful of well-formulated protein powders, we also get to upgrade them with ingredients like adaptogens, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. Better yet: Taste and texture are non-negotiables.
Keep scrolling for some of the protein powders we're loving right now.
1. Moon Juice Vanilla Mushroom Adaptogenic Protein
Come for the delightful vanilla flavor, stay for the potent blend of adaptogens and brown rice protein. (The energizing effect might just replace your morning coffee.)
2. The Beauty Chef Body Inner Beauty Powder
The Beauty Chef's signature move is packing an unbelievable spectrum of whole foods into one highly effective formula, and the brand's Body Powder is no different. With 40 certified organic ingredients (ranging from leafy greens to probiotics and matcha) that promise a glow from the inside out, this powder is a favorite among the beauty industry set. (For what it's worth, both the chocolate and vanilla flavors are delicious.)
3. Naked Whey Protein
For those disillusioned by the questionable additives commonly found in whey protein formulas, we present this one-ingredient wonder. Naked sources its whey protein from grass-fed cows on local dairy farms in California. That's a level of transparency we can definitely get behind.
4. The Nue Co Plant Protein + Gut Food
This formula really has it all: the protein equivalent of two eggs per serving, a completely vegan ingredient label, a powerful probiotic… and chic-as-hell packaging to boot.
5. Nutiva Hemp Protein
Before my current gig afforded me the opportunity to expand my protein powder horizons, I lived off of this tried-and-true formula on an assistant salary in New York City. With 11 grams of protein per serving, a (very) mild flavor, and a texture that never borders on chalky, it's a winning option that won't drain your wallet.
6. Sakara Life Source Super Powder
Yet another winner from our friends at Sakara, this powder has earned rave reviews for its bloat-fighting digestive enzymes and skin-enhancing ingredients, like phytoceramides. Better yet, no need to conceal it in a smoothie—thanks to its very mild flavor, you can just empty a packet in some water.
7. WelleCo The Super Elixir Nourishing Protein
Two thousand positive reviews don't lie. And with a clean ingredient list that includes brown rice protein, all nine essential amino acids, and a hefty dose of delicious cacao, the buzz is well-deserved.
Next up: See what happened when our editor put four "healthy" alcohols to the ultimate hangover test.