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The Best Protein Powders Plus New Year Deals In The January Sales

Use this expert advice on the different ingredients in protein powder to find the right muscle-building supplement

Nick Harris-Fry
12 Jan 2022

New Year Deals On The Best Protein Powders In The January Sales

We all know the pain of reaching for a tub of protein after the gym and realising there’s not enough left to fill your scoop, then having to wait a few days for the next one to be delivered. The trick is to stock up when it’s cheap, and the Boxing Day and January sales always offer opportunities to fill your cupboards for less. Here are our pick of the sales, but if you see a protein powder below which takes your fancy, odds are it’ll be significantly reduced at the moment. 

Myprotein – 50% Off Plus 35% Off Bestsellers With Code BEST

This year Myprotein has two offers running. There's a 50% discount on over 300 products, and there's also a tasty 35% off bestsellers with the code BEST.

Browse Myprotein protein products

Bulk – Up To 45% Off Everything With Code NEWYEAR

Bulk already sells a great value whey powder, and in the brand's January sale they're offering 45% off everything with the code NEWYEAR. Solid stuff, just like Bulk’s great value and high quality supplements. 

Browse Bulk protein powder

SiS – Up To 35% Off

SiS has long been a favourite among athletes for its extensive range of protein and delicious flavours. It’s REGO recovery protein is included in this sale. With 35% off vitamins and supplements and the same discount on bundles, it's worth having a browse. If you’re training for a marathon or other endurance event in 2022 it will pay to stock up now.

Browse the SiS sale

PhD – 35% Off Plant

PhD is offering 35% off its 100% Plant range in its Veganuary Sales so it's a great opportunity for anyone looking to stock up on vegan protein powder for the next few months.

Browse PhD protein products

Maximuscle – Up To 40% Off

Maximuscle is one of the big names when it comes to protein powder, but many of its marquee products can be expensive. It’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale only offered up to 25% off, but that’s been bumped up to 40% for its January sale. It’s a welcome opportunity to try out some of the more premium options like Cyclone and Promax Lean.

Browse Maximuscle protein products

While few, if any, amateur athletes need protein powder to support their exercise regime, it can be a highly convenient way to ensure you have all the fuel required to repair and build muscle after a workout.

However, picking between the huge range of protein powders available is difficult. We spoke to Dr Daniel Fenton, GP and clinical director at London Doctors Clinic, about what people should look out for when choosing a protein powder. Fenton’s in-depth advice is below, but here are the key things to consider when selecting your powder.

First, check the amount of protein you get per serving – that’s the key number. Then compare the concentration and profile of amino acids (or BCAAs). You want a complete source of protein that contains the nine essential amino acids, ideally with a good-sized portion of leucine. Check the amount of carbohydrates, fats and sugars in the powder. These need to be in line with your general approach to your diet. Finally, scout the ingredient list carefully for additives like thickeners, preservatives, sweeteners and fillers. Generally, the fewer of these the better.

The Best Protein Powders

We’ve tried a lot of protein powders, and you’ll find our assessment of each one’s nutritional composition and our tasting notes in the protein powder reviews section below. But if you want the short version, here’s what we recommend.

1. Best Whey Protein Powder: Myprotein Pro THE Whey+

Only the finest ingredients have been used to create this powder, which delivers 26g of protein per 32g serving via “beadlets” that gradually release muscle-building BCAAs. It mixes easily without lumps and although the texture’s a touch grainy the chocolate brownie flavour is a winner.

Buy from Myprotein | £42.99 for 960g (currently reduced to £27.02)

2. Best Budget Protein Powder: Bulk Pure Whey Protein

The concentrate whey in this powder might not be the more refined types you’ll find in pricier options (isolate, hydrolysate and native), but it’s incredible value considering the 24.2g of protein per 30g serving, and with a wide range of flavours you should find one that suits.

Buy from Bulk | £12.99 for 500g

3. Best Casein Protein Powder: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

Each 32g serving of this powder contains 24g of protein, which is sourced from premium micellar casein to ensure a slow delivery to your muscles over time, making it the ideal option for a pre-bedtime shake.

Buy from Optimum Nutrition | £29.99 for 908g

4. Best Vegan Protein Powder: Healthspan Elite Complete Vegan Protein

Along with 20g of protein per 27g serving this powder delivers 100% of your recommended daily intake of B12, which is important because it’s a virtually impossible vitamin to get enough of on a vegan diet. The protein is sourced from a combination of pea, pumpkin and brown rice to provide a complete source of essential amino acids.

Buy from Healthspan | £24.99 for 1kg

5. Best Recovery Protein: SiS REGO Rapid Recovery+

The 24g of protein in a 70g serving of this powder is just the start of what you get. It also contains 38g of carbs to help your body recover from intense endurance activities. It’s one for fans of citrus too – the lemon flavour is head and shoulders above the rest.

Buy from SiS | £46 (currently reduced to £27.60) for 1.54kg

6. Most Refreshing Protein Shake: Myprotein Clear Whey Isolate

Once it’s been pointed out to you, it does seem odd that after a sweaty workout you drink a thick, milky protein shake. Myprotein’s far less viscous Clear Whey Isolate offers a positively refreshing alternative, with a constantly expanding roster of fruity flavours. These include mojito, bitter lemon and five new options for 2021 such as green apple and white peach. There’s 20g of protein in a 25g serving, which is sourced from hydrolysed whey isolate.

Buy from Myprotein | £21.99 for 500g

7. Best All Natural Shake: 33Fuel Premium Protein

While we don’t have a problem with bog-standard whey protein ourselves and aren’t put off by a long list of ingredients, most of which we don’t recognise, we also understand if you don’t take a similarly easy-going approach. If so, try this vegan protein supplement, which is made with natural ingredients and contains no artificial sweeteners. The three protein sources – pea, rice and sunflower – make up half the ingredient list too, alongside coconut sugar, cacao and banana.

You’re still getting the usual 20g of protein per serving, plus more vitamins and minerals than you would otherwise get. There is more sugar here as a result of avoiding sweeteners – each 38g serving contains 10g and 15g of carbs overall. The powder mixes pretty well, though the shake is still a little grainy, and the dominant flavour is banana.

Buy from 33Fuel | £24.99 for 532g

Protein Powder Buyer’s Guide

Picking between the huge range of protein powders available is difficult, especially when each and every one of them makes grand promises about the effect they will have on you.

You might assume that all of them do the same job, but that’s not the case. Coach spoke to Dr Daniel Fenton, clinical director and GP at London Doctors Clinic, about the differences between protein powders, how much price matters and whether they contain any ingredients you should be wary of. We then assessed the best protein powders out there using Fenton’s criteria and tasted them too so you have a better idea of what you’re buying.

What are the key things people should look out for when choosing protein powder?

“How much protein you obtain from each serving, the amino acid profile, the cost, taste and number of additives are a few key factors. I tend to focus on yield – the actual amount of protein you obtain from each serving – and amino acid profile.

“I suggest you choose a low-fat, low-carbohydrate, high-protein powder. While you require all three to aid muscle development, balance is key.

“The difference in protein content in various powders can be phenomenal. Do not simply pay for a brand name – the proof is in the numbers. Look carefully at the concentration and type of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) included in the protein. Leucine has been shown to be one of the most important BCAAs so it should contain decent quantities.”

What are the differences between the two main types of protein – whey and casein?

Whey versus casein can be seen as fast versus slow protein.

“Muscle growth is determined by simple science: protein (muscle) breakdown vs protein synthesis. If the synthesis of new muscle protein is greater than the breakdown of muscle protein, you will get a net gain of muscle mass.

“Whey is typically processed very rapidly into amino acids, which will reach peak levels within an hour of consumption and therefore assist muscle synthesis very quickly. However, the peak levels also fall very quickly.

“Whey is considered an anabolic protein because it rapidly accelerates protein synthesis so it’s great for quick muscle regeneration, but has very little effect on naturally occurring muscle breakdown after a workout.

“Casein can take several hours to be metabolised and as a result creates a slower release of proteins to help muscles recover and grow. It is often referred to as an anti-catabolic protein, because it also helps to prevent excess protein breakdown.

“The downside is that casein will remain in the stomach for a substantial period of time, and one can appreciate that it is difficult to complete a high-intensity workout with a full stomach.

“In essence, balance and timing are key for maximum gains. Ignore those who say ‘casein is the key’, or ‘only whey works’ – scientifically, this is simply untrue. Both work very well if used appropriately, complementing your workout and your own natural metabolism.”

What should you get if you pay more money for protein powder?

“There is a natural tendency to think that more expensive products are better – but this is a fallacy. Content is more important than cost. All protein powders will contain some additives including thickeners, preservatives, sweeteners and fillers.

“I would strongly recommend taking a look at the label before you purchase. While your main focus is gaining muscle, you should aim to avoid putting nutritionally-redundant chemicals into your body. Here are a few of the things to look out for.

“Avoid artificial sweeteners, which includes sucralose, aspartame and saccharin. The presumption is that these are better for you than sugar but this is not quite true. There is no good evidence that they reduce weight gain, type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome and some studies actually show an increased risk of adverse health outcomes.

“Milk powders are a cheap bulking agent widely used in protein powders. They are high in lactose sugars which is terrible if you are lactose intolerant. This can contribute to gastrointestinal upset including bloating and loose stools.

“Oils and fats are added to protein supplements to increase richness; they are non-essential ingredients which can contribute to hypercholesterolemia [high cholesterol]. It is fairly common to see high cholesterol levels in bodybuilders and athletes despite their immense fitness levels and generally healthy eating – taking protein powder with added oils is thought to be a contributing factor.”

Is it worth looking out for extra benefits from protein powder such as vitamins and minerals, or fibre?

“The simple answer is no! While these make for an excellent selling point, if you are eating a balanced diet alongside the protein supplement you should not need additional vitamins.

“Is there a limit to how much protein the body can absorb from a serving?

“The human body is an impressive machine, which likes to maintain a balanced constant internal environment. We can fill ourselves with protein, but we will only absorb as much as we require for muscle synthesis.

“The Department of Health recommends approximately 55g of protein a day for male adults and a little less for females. Obviously, if we exercise at high intensity, muscle turnover is higher and protein demand is therefore greater, so we will often require more than this. But if we consume too much protein, the body will simply metabolise and excrete it. This means you could literally be flushing money and protein down the pan.”

Types Of Protein Powder

The most common type of protein powder product will create a shake that contains protein and virtually nothing else. These are designed to fuel lean muscle growth following a workout, and so avoid extra carbs and sugars and keep the calories to a minimum to deliver on the “lean” part.

Mass gainer shakes go in the other direction and contain huge amounts of everything. They are high in calories and carbs as well as having more protein than a standard shake. People tend to use mass gainers during a period of bulking up, usually during the winter before cutting (reducing body fat but retaining muscle) in the spring, a well-worn bodybuilding technique. A mass gainer is useful for those in serious physique training, but less so when you’re just aiming for a higher protein intake each day.

Recovery shakes are another common option, and these are aimed more at endurance athletes who need a high amount of carbs and electrolytes as well as protein to recover after their training sessions. Recovery shakes often also contain vitamins and minerals to support the immune system, and are popular with those who play team sports like football and rugby, as well as among runners, cyclists and swimmers.

Meal replacement shakes are generally categorised as entirely different products from protein shakes, but often use whey protein and can have a similar nutritional profile as recovery shakes. Meal replacement shakes can be used as a meal substitute when you’re short on time, or they can be a low-calorie option that helps you to lose weight. They often are high in protein to increase satiety while still low in calories overall.

Protein Powder Reviews

Whey Protein

Innermost The Fit Protein

The headline numbers of this powder are all in good order: each 40g serving contains a hefty 29g of protein and is fairly low in calories (147), carbs (4.5g) and sugars (2g). Innermost has also thrown some extras into the mix, including magnesium, maca, rhodiola root and cocomineral, all in an effort to help boost your energy levels.

Creamy vanilla taste test: An easy mix and an acceptable taste. Nothing really stood out on this front, this could be one of a thousand vanilla protein powders, but there are no real negatives either.

Buy from Innermost | £29.95 for 600g

Bulk Clear Whey Isolate

Thick protein shakes have been the norm for decades, but this is the second clear whey drink we’ve tried after Myprotein came up with the bright idea, and given how light and refreshing they are we’re expecting other brands to follow suit. Bulk’s clear whey contains 20g of protein per 25g serving, with just 0.1g of sugar and 0.2g of fat.

Cherry bomb taste test: The drink mixes well in water but it’s worth giving it a minute to settle down after you do shake it, because the froth produced by clear powders is considerable. The cherry flavour is excellent and the light consistency hits the spot after sweaty workouts in the summer months – the colder the water you use, the better. The two other flavours in the range are apple and blackcurrant, and passionfruit.

Buy from Amazon | £21.99 (currently reduced to £15.60 for 500g)

PBN Genesis19 Whey Protein

Genesis 19 is where Sodom and Gomorrah get destroyed in the Bible, which we’re going to assume is nothing to do with the naming of this protein powder. Anyway, the powder ticks all the nutritional boxes: it offers 21g of protein per 30g serving, and the calorie count is kept low at 116. There’s also 2g of glutamine and 2g of L-carnitine in each serving.

Belgian chocolate taste test: We’re not sure Brussels’s finest chocolatiers were deeply involved in the flavouring of this powder, but it produces a pleasantly chocolatey shake, and mixes easily in both milk and water.

Buy from PBN | £44.99 for 2kg

SF Nutrition Lean Whey

Each 30g serving of this powder contains 22g of protein, 113 calories, 2.5g of carbs and a mere 0.6g of sugar. Those are the kind of numbers that will catch the eye of any gym-goer looking to build muscle while avoiding excess calories and carbs in their shake. The whey is a mix of concentrate and isolate, and there are three flavours available: salted caramel, Madagascan vanilla and dark chocolate.

Madagascan vanilla taste test: We’d love to say that one sip of this powder transports you to the lemur-filled forests of the African island, but really it tastes like pretty much every vanilla shake out there. It’s nice enough, though, and the powder mixes very easily with water to go down smoothly.

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Starks Fitness | £25 for 500g

Organic Protein Company Whey Protein

Ready your wellness bingo cards – you’ll get a full house in no time. This is suitable for vegetarians (like pretty much all whey powders to be fair), is certified organic by the Organic Food Federation, contains no artificial flavours, and is free from gluten, soya and GMO. All jokes aside, that does make this powder a welcome option for those with dietary restrictions. The amount of protein varies by flavour, with the Raspberry and Baobab containing a relatively paltry 14.95g per 25g serving, whereas the Madagascan Vanilla flavour packs in a more respectable 18g per serving. The carb count also differs, from 4.4g to 2.6g respectively.

Raspberry and Baobab taste test: The mixed powder created a huge amount of foam that lingered even after letting it settle for several minutes. The taste is sharp – perhaps because of the absence of sweeteners, artificial or not – and the consistency is extremely watery. It’s probably better to mix this one with milk.

Buy from Amazon | £24 for 400g

Buy from The Organic Protein Company | £22 for 400g

Maximuscle Max Whey

While many of the nutritional stats of this powder are fairly standard – there’s 23.5g of protein in a 30g serving, and sugar is kept to 1g – it does contain an above-average amount of BCAAs at 7g per serving, including over 3g of leucine. The protein is mostly from whey concentrate, though there is some isolate in the mix as well.

Banoffee taste test: Credit to Maxinutrition for nailing the banoffee flavour here, rather than just serving up either banana or toffee. Credit also for having a banoffee option, alongside the usual Neapolitan trio. We found more shaking than usual was needed to rid it of big lumps, however, and the texture wasn’t silky smooth even after a vigorous effort.

Buy from Amazon | £20 for 480g (currently reduced to £15.75)

Mars HiProtein Whey Protein Powder

Mars protein bars made some kind of sense when they launched, but Mars-flavoured protein powder? We’re not so sure… but here it is anyway. It contains 20.6g of protein in each 35g serving, sourced from whey concentrate, and sugar is kept to 3.7g per serving, with sucralose and acesulfame K sweeteners used.

Taste test: We’ll tell you what it doesn’t taste like – a Mars bar. It’s a bland, vaguely-sweet mess of a shake, with the powder not mixing all that well either. We’d skip this one.

Buy from Amazon | £25 for 875g (currently reduced to £19.95)

Snickers HiProtein Whey Protein Powder

Hey, look! They made Snickers protein powder too! The same nutritional info from the Mars powder applies, except there’s slightly more protein in a serving (20.9g) and the flavour is listed as chocolate, caramel and peanut, rather than just chocolate and caramel.

Taste test: Hey, look! This one is pretty grim too! It’s a bland, vaguely-sweet mess of a shake, with added peanut flavour.

Buy from Amazon | £25 for 875g (currently reduced to £19.99)

Myprotein Clear Whey Isolate

Once it’s been pointed out to you, it does seem odd that after a sweaty workout you drink a thick, milky protein shake. Myprotein’s far less viscous Clear Whey Isolate offers a positively refreshing alternative, with flavours like mojito and peach tea. There’s 20g of protein in a 25g serving, which is sourced from hydrolysed whey isolate.

Rainbow candy taste test: While the shake produced from the powder isn’t wholly clear, it lives up to its billing as a refreshing post-workout treat. The rainbow candy flavour was fruity and a little sour – an all-round delight in other words. The powder mixed quickly, though a few lumps were left floating on the surface.

Buy from Amazon | £23.32 for 500g

Supreme Nutrition Diet Whey

The calorie count in this shake is low at 123 per 30g serving, but that’s not the only reason for the “diet” claim in its name – it also includes fat-burning ingredients like green tea extract and acetyl L-carnitine. Indeed it proudly boasts of containing the equivalent of five cups of green tea per serving, which seems like a lot of green tea in one go. Alongside all that green tea there’s 23.4g of protein, which is sourced from whey concentrate.

Strawberries and cream taste test: This ended up a little lumpy despite vigorous attempts to shake it into submission, but the taste was pleasant enough and avoided the cloying sweetness that arises from going full strawberry. Never go full strawberry.

Buy from Supreme Nutrition | £29.99 for 1kg (currently reduced to £15.99)

One Pro Nutrition Whey Protein + Collagen

We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Why on Earth is there collagen in this protein powder? Is that a thing?” Well, according to One Pro, collagen helps ensure a speedier recovery after a workout, and strengthens your ligaments as well. There are other unorthodox additions, which include acai and goji berries for extra vitamins and minerals, and lactospore bacteria to boost gut health. There is 24g of protein in a 35g serving, and a mere 3g of sugar in a serving, with stevia also used to sweeten the shake.

Strawberry taste test: There’s nothing especially dramatic to report here, but no news is good news – the shake mixes easily and has a pleasant taste. Lovely.

Buy from One Pro Nutrition | £29.99 for 750g

Myprotein Pro THE Whey+

You know a protein powder means business when “THE” is in capital letters and there’s a plus sign involved. To be fair, only the best ingredients have been used, with a mix of isolate and hydrolysed whey and micellar casein providing a mighty 26g of protein in each 32g serving. Myprotein also uses “beadlets” for a phased delivery of the BCAAs in the powder for maximum impact on muscle growth.

Chocolate brownie taste test: The good news is that it mixed quickly in water with no lumps, and while the texture was a little grainy once mixed it wasn’t unpleasant. The chocolate brownie flavour was as similar to the real thing as you could feasibly expect and the taste could be made even richer if mixed with milk.

Buy from Myprotein | £42.99 for 960g

Bulk Pure Whey Protein

If you’re on the hunt for a bargain look no further than Bulk’s whey powder, which comes in a massive variety of favours, including novel options like tiramisu, and packs 24.2g of protein into a 30g serving. The 82% whey concentrate isn’t as pure as you’ll find in more expensive options, but there are 5.3g of BCAAs in a serving, and sugar is kept low at 1.5g, with sucralose used to sweeten the mix.

Buy from Bulk | £12.99 for 500g

Precision Engineered Whey

Hydrolysed whey, concentrate and isolate are all used to create this powder, which delivers 19g of protein per 24g serving. The sugar count is kept down to 1g per serving, with a stevia-based sweetener used instead.

Birthday cake taste test: A whole lot of that stevia-based sweetener must have gone into the mix, because this is a very sweet drink. The powder mixes well with only a small amount of water needed per serving (we got by on 125ml) and the texture is smooth. The flavour starts out fairly mild but quickly turns cloyingly sweet, but then that’s probably what you’re after if you’re buying a birthday cake-flavoured powder.

Buy from Holland & Barrett | £29.99 for 908g

Natural Nutrients Whey Protein Isolate

This powder uses whey isolate and delivers 24.7g of protein per 30g serving, which is about as good as it gets in terms of protein per gram. There’s 3.2g of leucine in a serving, and 5.6g of BCAAs in total. There’s really nothing else of note in there – fibre and carbs clock in at 0.5g apiece, with stevia used as the sweetener.

Vanila taste test: The powder mixes very easily but the taste tested our tolerance for sweetness to its limits.

Buy on Amazon | £33.99 for 1kg

PhD Smart Protein

The hook with this powder is that the oat flour it contains makes it an excellent ingredient for whipping up a protein-packed baked treat, and it’s also easy to make into a mousse rather than a shake if you prefer a thicker post-workout pick-me-up. Each 30g serving contains 19g of protein and 116 calories, and sucralose is the sweetener used to keep the sugar count low at 0.9g.

Lemon drizzle cake taste test: We assumed this would just taste of lemon, but there is definitely a cake flavour in there as well. It’s a pleasant, if slightly too sweet, taste, while the texture is satisfyingly thick.

Buy on Amazon | From £18.99 for 900g

Kin Nutrition WHEYLESS Whey Protein

This supplement is made with 90% whey isolate and delivers a solid 23g of protein in a 30g serving. Kin has also aimed to set itself apart by adding fibre (via flaxseed powder) and probiotics to aid digestion. It’s a welcome touch, even if the 1.3g of fibre you get in a serving is still pretty measly.

Vanilla taste test: It’s vanilla, Jim, and exactly as we know it. A standard but nonetheless pleasing flavour, although we were a little underwhelmed by the consistency of the powder – even a vigorous shaking left some clumps at the bottom.

Buy from Kin Nutrition | £24.99 for 500g

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

ON’s popular Gold Standard Whey provides 24g of protein per 30g serving, with the whey being a easy-to-mix blend of isolate, concentrate and hydrolysed isolate. Each serving contains 5.5g of naturally occurring BCAAs including our old friend leucine, and 4g of glutamine and glutamic acid, which is another supplement that helps support muscle growth. There’s just 1.1g of fat in each 113-calorie serving and 1.8g of carbs. Two artificial sweeteners – sucralose and acesulfame K – are used to counter the lack of sugar.

Buy from Optimum Nutrition | £14.99 for 450g

Scitec Nutrition 100% Whey Protein Professional

There’s nothing especially novel about this protein powder aside from its impressive range of flavours (kiwi banana, anyone?), but it offers a solid package of 22g of protein per 30g serving. There’s just 2g of fat and 1.4g of carbohydrate in a serving, with the sweetness provided by acesulfame K and sucralose.

Buy on Amazon | £41.99 for 2.35kg

Casein Protein

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

Micellar casein is used in this premium powder, which is designed to be taken before bed or between workouts to provide a slow release of muscle-building BCAAs. The 30g serving contains 24g of protein including 9.6g of amino acids, and there are seven different flavours available.

Buy from Optimum Nutrition | £29.99 for 908g

Grenade Hydra 6 Protein

This 50:50 blend of whey and casein uses premium forms of both – whey isolate and micellar casein – to provide what could well be the ultimate mix of fast- and slow-absorbing protein. The isolate ensures the drink mixes easily and you absorb the whey rapidly after a workout, while micellar casein is digested more slowly than other forms of casein so you get a sustained hit of protein throughout the day or night. There are 5g of BCAAs and 2.2g of leucine per serving. Sucralose is used to sweeten the mix.

Peanut Nutter taste test: The name might suggest that the flavour is going to be overbearing, but the truth is quite the opposite – the nuttiness is pitched just right. The shake isn’t too thick or stodgy, either.

Buy on Amazon | From £42.95 for 1.8kg

Vegan Protein Powder

Huel Complete Protein

Huel is best known for its nutritionally complete meal replacement shakes, so it’s no surprise that its new vegan powder differs from other protein powders by also containing 26 essential vitamins and minerals. It’s not as nutritionally well-rounded as Huel’s meal shakes of course, being lower in carbs, calories, fats and fibre, so it’s intended more as a protein-packed snack. Each 29g serving of the powder contains 20g of plant-based protein and a mere 105 calories.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie taste test: The powder mixed impressively well in water, dissolving completely with just a few shakes to create a velvety texture lacking in grains or clumps. However, the taste wasn’t quite as good. It leaned in the direction of sickly sweet, rather than rich and chocolatey.

Buy from Huel | £50 for 754g (currently reduced to £45)

Form Performance Protein

In each 40g serving of this powder you get a mighty 30g of protein, sourced from organic peas, brown rice, hemp and algae. There’s also 5g of glutamine and 5g of BCAAs in a serving alongside one billion CFU (colony-forming units) of probiotics, for all you gut health fans out there. Each serving also only contains 154 calories and 0.1g of sugar, with stevia and thaumatin sweeteners used.

Tiramisu taste test: We momentarily forgot which flavour we were using when we first tried this one and were left baffled as to what it could be. “Sweet coffee” was our best guess, and funnily enough that’s a pretty decent description of the taste of tiramisu, which includes biscuits dipped in coffee. The powder mixed exceptionally well and despite being a little too sweet for us, was pretty nice.

Buy on Amazon | £26 for 520g

Myvegan Vegan Protein Blend

Peas and fava beans are the protein sources in this vegan powder, with the combo ensuring you get a complete protein source. Each 30g serving contains 22g of protein and a mere 102 calories, with steviol glycosides used to provide sweetness in the absence of sugar.

Turmeric latte taste test: The flavour didn’t delight us, being milky and slightly earthy, but to be fair that is how we imagine a turmeric latte to taste, so it will probably hit the mark for fans of the beverage. The powder mixed well, with no lumps at all.

Buy from Myvegan | £16.99 for 500g

Gorilla Juice

The protein in this shake is sourced from brown rice and peas, and there’s 18g in each 25g serving. That’s not all that’s in a serving, however, not by a long shot. Gorilla Juice’s powders also contain 14 different “superfoods,” including chlorella, alfalfa powder and yucca root. So there’s that.

Strawberry shabang taste test: This was a disappointment. The shake was thick and earthy, and the “shabang” in the name oversold the mild strawberry flavour. It wasn’t unpleasant to drink, though – just a little harder to get down than other, less viscous shakes.

Buy from Gorilla Juice | £31.99 for 750g

Bulk Vegan Protein Powder

To ensure you get a complete protein, Bulk has thrown five different sources of it into the mix for this powder – pea, brown rice, pumpkin seed, flaxseed and quinoa flour. The 35g serving contains 22.9g of protein and just 0.5g of sugar, with stevia used as the sweetener.

Apple strudel taste test: You might assume this would just be apple flavour, but there are definitely some strudel notes in there. It was very pleasant indeed, and we were impressed that Bulk has such a good range of flavours, including unexpected treats like this strudel-y shake as well as white choc coconut, because that’s not always the case with vegan powders. However, some marks were lost when it came to texture, which was a little too thick for our liking.

Buy from Bulk | £14.99 for 500g

Healthspan Elite Complete Vegan Protein

Pea, pumpkin and brown rice proteins are blended in this powder to provide a complete protein that contains all 20 amino acids. There are also added vitamins in the powder, including 100% of your recommended daily intake of B12, which is hard to obtain from food when eating a vegan diet. The powder comes unflavoured but you can add a flavour shot to your order for free. Each 27g serving contains 20g of protein, 100.7 calories, 1.5g fat and 2.8 of carbohydrates.

Buy from Healthspan | £24.99 for 1kg

Stealth Vegan Recovery Protein

This powder contains everything you need to recover from long exercise sessions which makes it ideal for runners and cyclists. Along with the 20g of protein per 50g serving, there’s 19.5g of carbs as well as electrolytes to replace those lost through sweat. The vegan protein is a blend of pea and rice protein, and the sweetener is stevia.

Mint chocolate taste test: The texture is a little thinner than we’d have liked, but that’s the norm with a recovery drink compared to a traditional protein shake. The mint overpowers the chocolate slightly, but that made the shake surprisingly refreshing after a long run in the sun, and the powder mixes very easily with water.

Buy from Stealth | £25 for 660g

Recovery Protein

Bulk Complete Recovery

Recovery powders tend to be expensive, especially as the larger serving sizes you need (compared with plain protein powders) means you go through tubs of the stuff quickly. As always, Bulk offers a good-value option for those put off by the high prices of other brands’ products: its Complete Recovery powder has an RRP of £22 per kilo and is frequently discounted on the Bulk site.

The powder contains just shy of 60g of carbs and 31g of protein per 100g serving, plus it also contains electrolytes and vitamins C and B6 for good measure. It’s got everything you need after a long and tough training session so you can bounce back and go again soon.

Mixed berry taste test: There are two flavours available – orange and mixed berry – and while both are perfectly palatable it was the mixed berry that won us over. The powder also mixes quickly with water so you can chug down your recovery shake ASAP.

Buy from Bulk | £21.99 for 1kg

SiS REGO Rapid Recovery+

A shake that’s packed with nutritional goodies to help you recover after your toughest training days. The hefty 70g serving contains 38g of carbs and 24g of protein (whey concentrate) including 6g of BCAAs. Leucine clocks in at 3g and l-glutamine at 5g per serving.

Lemon taste test: Perhaps surprisingly, after trying a few different flavours of the REGO powder lemon was the clear winner in the taste stakes. The texture is smooth and slightly creamy, and there’s none of the cloying sweetness that often scuppers fruity shakes. The powder also mixes with water without any difficulties.

Buy from SiS | £46 for 1.54kg (currently reduced to £27.60)

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