Best protein powder for lean muscle | Top 5

Best protein powder for lean muscle | Top 5

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Ok! So you want to know the best protein powder for lean muscle…

Even better, you want the best protein powder for lean muscle and weight loss.

This seems to be one of the most commonly searched terms when it comes to protein powder.

The ideal goal for many of us is to build lean muscle and lose weight at the same time.

You want to burn some fat and get lean but not sure where to start looking for the best protein powder?

I hear you!

Well, the good news is, you can achieve all of the above. 

But how to do it takes a bit more work than just sipping a protein shake and doing a workout a few times a week.

Protein powder for lean muscle

Choosing the right protein powder

Choosing the right protein powder to suit your specific training regime and goals can be a total nightmare, even to an industry professional.

As you may already realize, there are so many different types of protein powder on the market, it becomes very confusing.

If you have absolutely no idea what you are looking for and how protein works it makes the process even harder.

When choosing  protein powder, the first thing you need to establish is your goals.

In this case you want the best protein powder for lean muscle, right?

You should then take into consideration any intolerance you may have to certain products eg: soy, dairy.

The first thing you need to  you need to know is that taking protein powder alone is not going to transform your body one way or another.

To achieve your desired body goals you need to pair this with a well balanced diet, tailored to your goals,  and consistent training regime help you reach your goals.

With a well balanced diet and consistent training, the right protein powder will definitely help you to reach your goals.

Why is protein important?

Our bodies need protein for muscle growth, repair and to aid recovery.

Protein is made up of amino acids.These amino acids are the building blocks for muscle tissue. 

The body cannot produce sufficient amounts of essential amino acids to meet its daily demands, therefore these must be obtained from various protein rich foods or supplements such as protein powder.

What is protein powder good for?

Using protein powder consistently can help build lean muscle mass.

It is also a quick way to ensure you are getting your required daily protein intake.

The more lean muscle mass we have the more our metabolism increases, there fore we burn more fat.

The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn on a daily basis.

When to take protein powder

You can generally take protein powder at any time of the day. 

Although, one of the best times to drink protein powder is between 15-30 minutes after your workout.

This time frame is known as the “anabolic window”. 

It is thought to be the best time for your body to absorb the most nutrients. 

Best protein powder for lean muscle – Top 5

I take careful notice of what ingredients are in each product I buy because not only want to optimise muscle building but I also care for my health and what I put into my body.

1. Whey protein for lean muscle

Not all protein powders are created to the same standard.

Whey protein, is created to a higher standard than many others.

Many studies show that whey protein can help you gain lean muscle mass, increase strength and lose significant amounts of body fat.

What is whey protein?

I’ll put it really simple.

Whey comes from milk. Milk is made up of two proteins; 80% Casein and 20% Whey.

Whey is the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production. 

Once they whey is separated it goes through various processing stages before it is used in different products such as powders, protein bars and shakes.

Given that whey protein is a milk product, anyone who is lactose intolerant will need to be careful.

Here are two of the best whey protein products on the market. 

  • Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) Main Ingredient
  • 24g of gold standard whey protein per serve
  •  4 Grams of Glutamine & Glutamic Acid in Each Serving
  • More Than 5 Grams of the Naturally Occurring Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine in Each Serving

Optimum Nutrition 100% gold standard whey is definitely my top pick for flavour! I have tried many different flavours but extreme milk chocolate is awesome!

  • From Grass Fed Cows’ Milk From Small Dairy Farms in California
  • No Artificial Sweeteners, Flavors, or Colors
  • 25 Grams of Protein and 5.9 Grams of BCAA’s Per Serving*
  • Only One Ingredient: Grass Fed Whey Protein
  • GMO Free
  • Soy Free and Gluten Free
  • Hormone Free, no rBGH or rBST
  • Cold Processed
  • Acid and Bleach-Free Processing

2. Casein Protein for lean muscle

Casein is easily one of the highest quality proteins you can get.
Just like whey, casein is a derived from milk.
Milk is made up of two proteins; 80% casein and 20% whey.

Casein protein benefits

Casein protein is extremely good for muscle growth.
It has been highly supported by bodybuilders and athletes for years.
Like whey, it contains all of the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on its own.
In one particular study    researchers compared a group of people who took casein protein against two other groups who took whey protein and no protein.
They results showed that the casein group experienced double the muscle growth and triple the fat loss compared to the group who took none.
The casein group also experienced more fat loss than the whey group.

Best time to take casein protein

Casein is well known for its slow absorption rate in the gut.

Casein is great for helping your cells synthesize protein, even during times when your body might be breaking down muscle to feed itself, such as during the night when we haven’t eaten for a long period of time.

When trying to build lean muscle, the last thing we need is muscle break down! 

That’s why casein is so popular due to its “anti-catabolic’ affect – helping reduce muscle break down.

Therefore, many researchers, athletes and bodybuilders suggest taking casein before going to sleep.

This will help your cells continue to synthesize protein and avoid the break down of hard earned muscle tissue.

Optimum Nutrition Gold standard 100% Casein Protein is one of the highest quality products on the market.
  • No Artificial Sweeteners, Flavors, or Colors
  •  26 Grams of Protein and 5.4 Grams of BCAA’s Per Serving*
  •  Only One Ingredient: Micellar Casein
  •  Non-GMO, Soy Free, and Gluten Free
  •  Hormone Free, no rBGH or rBST
  •  Cold Processed
  •  Acid and Bleach-Free Processing
  • No artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors
  • Slow digesting –  a great option between meals or at bed-time when fasting for long periods and helps support the recovery process of lean muscle mass
  • NIGHT-TIME FORMULA – help rebuild torn down muscle fibers and remain anabolic while you sleep with this specifically formulated night-time protein source
  • SATIETY – help feel full longer and support your weight management goals

3. Pea protein for lean muscle

Pea protein powder is made by extracting the protein from yellow peas.

It is made by isolating the protein from ground yellow peas, forming a beige powder.

Pea protein is not only a very high quality protein, but it is also a very good source of iron and is 100% vegan. 

It is gluten free and doesn’t contain any of the main food allergens; peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, cow’s milk, wheat and soy.

Pea protein for weight loss

Pea protein doesn’t only aid muscle growth, but it also helps with weight loss and heart health. 

Below is Amazon’s best selling pea protein product and one that I have personally tried and recommend. 

  • Uniquely formulated with key nutrients that support your metabolism to help you live healthier.
  • Completely organic, plant-based protein to help you feel full and satisfied throughout the day
  • Filled with natural metabolism boosters like Green Coffee Bean Extract, Garcinia Cambogia and Green Tea.
  • Lactose free and gluten free formula.
  • Vegan
  • No Artificial Sweeteners, Flavors, or Colors
  • 27 Grams of Protein and 5.7 Grams of BCAA’s Per Serving*
  • Only One Ingredient: Yellow Pea Protein
  • Non-GMO, Soy Free, and Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Environmentally-friendly farming practices

4. Egg Protein for lean muscle

One supplement that is often overlooked is egg white protein powder. 

Egg based protein powders are very high in quality protein and extremely low in fat and completely dairy free.

Therefore it really goes without saying that it is great for aiding lean muscle growth and weight loss.

Egg white protein is digested at a moderate speed which falls in the middle of whey which digests fast and casein which digests slow. 

This means egg protein keeps muscle synthesis going at a steady rate and helping to avoid breakdown of muscle tissue.

Egg protein powder is a great option if you are wanting to build lean muscle and lose fat.

Here is Amazon’s best selling egg protein powder.

  • Contains 20G Of Egg Protein Per Serving
  • 100 Calories Per Serving
  • 0G Sugar Per Serving
  • Cholesterol, Soy, Lactose, Dairy And Gluten Free
  • Only Two Ingredients: Non-GMO Egg Whites and Sunflower Lecithin
  • Sourced Exclusively from US Farms
  • Eggs Processed in Under a Day to Maintain Highest Nutritional Value
  • No Added Sweeteners, Flavors, or Colors
  • 25 Grams of Protein and 5.8 Grams of BCAA’s Per Serving*
  • Soy Free, Gluten Free, and Dairy Free
  • Excellent Paleo Protein Source

5. Hemp protein for lean muscle

I guess you could call hemp protein a new-comer to the world of protein powders.

Hemp protein is becoming increasingly popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the world. 


Hemp protein is derived from hemp seeds of the cannabis plant which makes it completely vegan.

Hemp protein provides an alternative to those who have allergens to animal products or are vegetarian or vegan.

It is a complete protein and is a good source of  omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

As a source of the branched-chain amino acids that aid in the growth and repair of muscle, hemp protein is a good option for aiding lean muscle growth and weight loss. 

  • Rich in plant protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, zinc, and sustainable source of amino acids, fatty acids, protein, and edestin—one serving provides 15 grams of raw organic protein and 8 grams of fiber 
  •  Made from raw hemp seed and gently cold-pressed without the use of hexane, preservatives, additives or added sugar 
  • Delicious light nutty flavor easily blends into smoothies, shakes, yogurt and more for vegetarian, vegan, raw, whole food, paleo, ketogenic, and gluten-free diets


There is no shortage of variety when it comes to different protein powders lean muscle and weight loss.

Each one has its own unique benefits, so it really comes down to what one best suits your dietary requirements and personal preference.

But most importantly, no protein powder will work to its full potential if you don’t pair it with a well balanced diet and exercise regime.

You might be interested in taking a look at my 21-Day Weight Loss Plan.

Or alternatively, you might be interested in looking at my 16 Best Keto Diet supplements

It is extremely flexible and requires zero calorie counting.

When it comes to choosing the best protein powder for lean muscle in terms of brand, it can get hard.

There are just so many good quality brands out there it can be hard to make a decision.

That’s why I have given you a list of some of the best selling protein powders on the market. 

My personal favorite brand is Optimum Nutrition, simply because of the range of different flavor options and how great they all taste.

What’s your thoughts on protein powder brands?

Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure for more info.

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