Every cell in the human body contains some amount of protein making it an essential part of our survival. We need a protein-rich diet in our lives for a variety of reasons such as to help repair cells and form new ones.
Protein is crucial in the healthy growth and development of children, teens, and adults, and especially pregnant women.
Over the years, we’ve all seen a massive change in the way we look at our consumption of protein. Protein-rich food such as cheese, almonds, eggs, meat, daals are a great way of consuming protein but these days, bodybuilders, athletes, vegetarians, and vegans are consuming protein powders such as whey in order to meet their daily protein requirements.
If you are someone who is considering incorporating the best whey protein powders as part of their daily diet, then we’re here to provide you with a complete guide on what whey protein is, its advantages, and disadvantages, along with 10 brands that we would recommend for those who want to incorporate whey protein in their diets.
What is Whey Protein?
Have you ever opened a yogurt container? If yes, then you must’ve noticed a sort of liquid that often floats on top. This liquid which separates from the liquid part of milk, is called whey. Generally, milk contains 2 main types of protein –
- Whey (20%)
- Casein (80%)
During the production of cheese, whey goes through a number of processing steps before it’s recognized as whey protein, a powder that is then consumed by people in the form of protein bars, as meal replacements, and as something which they can add to their shakes.
There are 3 types of whey protein, and the difference between them is in the way that they’re processed. They are –
- Isolate – Isolate whey has 90% or more percentage of protein and it contains less fat and lactose but it also lacks many of the other beneficial nutrients which are typically found in protein concentrates.
- Concentrate – Concentrate has around 70-80% protein content and contains fat and lactose which is milk sugar. Concentrate whey is known to have the best flavour.
- Hydrolysate: Most commonly also recognised as hydrolyzed whey, this type of whey has already been pre-digested so it gets absorbed in our bodies faster. Hydrolysate is also known to cause about a 28-43% greater spike in your insulin levels than isolate whey.
What are the various Benefits of Whey Protein?
There are many benefits to consuming whey protein powder, such as –
- Excellent source of protein – Whey powder is made from the liquid which separates from milk during the production of cheese. Whey protein is a high quality protein which contains all of the essential amino acids. In addition to this, whey gets absorbed by the gut easily when compared to other types of protein. Whey protein is most popular amongst athletes, bodybuilders and those who want additional protein in their diet.
- Promotes muscle growth – Muscle mass reduces as we age. The loss of muscle mass can cause fat gain and raise the chances of many chronic diseases. Strength training, along with the consumption of high-protein foods or supplements has been an effective strategy in preventing/slowing or even reversing the loss of muscle mass when combined with an adequate diet and strength training. Whey is rich in amino acid and leucine which is a growth promoting amino acid.
- May help reduce blood pressure – Hypertension is one the leading causes of heart disease. Numerous studies have been conducted that link the consumption of milk to reducing blood pressure. This effect can be credited to a bioactive peptide called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or ACE inhibitors. In whey, these ACE inhibitors are called lactokininis. Several studies have been conducted on animals that show signs of reduced blood pressure. This effect can only be seen if you have high or slightly elevated blood pressure to begin with.
- May help in the treatment of type 2 diabetes – Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease which is characterised by high blood sugar levels and an impaired function of insulin. Insulin is a hormone which is produced by our bodies to keep our blood sugar levels in limit. Whey protein has been found to increase the production of insulin, thus helps in keeping our blood sugar levels in check.
- May help in reducing inflammation – Inflammation is our body’s response to damage. Short term inflammation can be beneficial but in some cases it could be chronic. Chronic inflammation can be harmful and can put you at risk for many diseases. A large review study conducted shows that higher doses of whey protein can significantly reduce C-reactive protein which is a key maker of inflammation which occurs in the body.
These are some of the main benefits of consuming whey protein powder.
What are the disadvantages of consuming whey protein powder?
Along with advantages, there are also a few disadvantages of consuming whey powder especially to those individuals who are allergic to milk. Some of which are –
- Nausea – High protein foods aren’t easy to digest and when your digestive enzymes can’t keep up the effect can cause nausea and bloating in some cases.
- Fatigue – When whey protein powder is consumed in high amounts it can leave you feeling tired and cause fatigue.
- Headache – If you are lactose intolerant then consuming whey protein powder may cause severe headaches in some cases.
- Stomach pains – Some people have problems digesting protein and may therefore experience symptoms of stomach cramps, bloating, gas etc.
- Reduced appetite – Recent studies have shown that whey protein powder can suppress appetite and since it causes rapid digestion and increases the amino acid in your body, it can cause for your appetite to reduce significantly.
- These are a few disadvantages of consuming whey protein powder.
10 Best Whey Protein Powders in India –
Now that we know what whey protein powder is along with its numerous advantages and disadvantages, here’s our list of the top 15 whey protein powders available in the market for consumption –
1. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey is one of the most popular and highly-rated whey protein supplements available in the Indian market.
It is a blend of whey protein isolate (WPI) as its primary source, along with whey protein concentrate (WPC) and whey peptides.
This combination provides a rich and complete protein source that supports muscle growth, recovery, and overall health. With a variety of flavors to choose from, it caters to a wide range of taste preferences.
- Protein content: Each serving (30.4g) of Gold Standard 100% Whey contains 24g of protein, which is an impressive protein-to-calorie ratio.
- Amino acid profile: The product is packed with 5.5g of BCAAs and 4g of glutamine per serving, which are essential for muscle repair, growth, and immune system support.
- High-quality ingredients: Gold Standard 100% Whey uses a blend of WPI, WPC, and whey peptides, ensuring a fast-absorbing and high-quality protein source.
- Low in fat and carbohydrates: With only 1g of fat and 3g of carbohydrates per serving, it is an ideal choice for those watching their calorie intake.
- Mixability and taste: The product is known for its excellent mixability and wide range of delicious flavours, making it enjoyable to consume.
- Trusted brand: Optimum Nutrition is a well-known and trusted brand in the supplement industry, with a reputation for high-quality products.
Pros and cons:
- High protein content and impressive amino acid profile
- Excellent mixability and a variety of flavors
- Low in fat and carbohydrates
- Reputable and trusted brand
- Price may be higher compared to some other brands
- Some consumers may find certain flavours too sweet or artificial-tasting
2. MuscleBlaze Biozyme Whey Protein
MuscleBlaze Biozyme Whey Protein is a unique and innovative whey protein supplement designed specifically for the Indian population, considering their dietary habits and protein digestion abilities.
This product is formulated with a patented “Biozyme Blend,” which enhances protein absorption and maximizes the benefits of whey protein.
It is made from high-quality whey protein isolate (WPI) and provides an excellent source of protein for muscle growth, repair, and recovery.
- Protein content: Each serving (32g) of MuscleBlaze Biozyme Whey Protein contains 25g of protein, ensuring optimal muscle support.
- Enhanced absorption: The patented “Biozyme Blend” is clinically tested to increase protein absorption by 50% and BCAA absorption by 60%, making it highly effective for muscle growth and recovery.
- Amino acid profile: The product is rich in essential amino acids and BCAAs, with 5.51g of BCAAs and 2.96g of glutamine per serving, which are vital for muscle repair and immune system support.
- Low in fat and carbohydrates: MuscleBlaze Biozyme Whey Protein contains only 0.46g of fat and 2.75g of carbohydrates per serving, making it suitable for those on calorie-restricted diets.
- Mixability and taste: The product offers good mixability and comes in several delicious flavors, catering to different taste preferences.
- Made in India: MuscleBlaze is an Indian brand, and their Biozyme Whey Protein is manufactured in India, ensuring affordability and accessibility for Indian consumers.
Pros and cons:
- High protein content and comprehensive amino acid profile
- Enhanced protein and BCAA absorption with the Biozyme Blend
- Low in fat and carbohydrates
- Good mixability and a variety of flavors
- Made in India for better affordability and accessibility
- Some consumers may experience mild digestive discomfort due to the enhanced absorption formula.
- Limited international brand recognition compared to some other options on the list
3. GNC AMP Gold Series 100% Whey Protein Advanced
GNC AMP Gold Series 100% Whey Protein Advanced is a premium whey protein supplement designed to support muscle growth, strength, and recovery.
It features a blend of whey protein isolate (WPI), whey protein concentrate (WPC), and hydrolyzed whey protein, providing a fast-absorbing and high-quality protein source.
This product is formulated with digestive enzymes to enhance protein digestion and absorption, making it an effective choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
- Protein content: Each serving (33g) of GNC AMP Gold Series 100% Whey Protein Advanced contains 24g of protein, offering substantial muscle support.
- Amino acid profile: This product boasts a robust amino acid profile, with 5.5g of BCAAs and 4g of glutamine per serving, which are essential for muscle repair, growth, and immune system support.
- Fast-absorbing protein blend: The combination of WPI, WPC, and hydrolyzed whey protein ensures rapid absorption and improved utilization by the body.
- Digestive enzymes: GNC AMP Gold Series 100% Whey Protein Advanced is formulated with digestive enzymes to enhance protein digestion and absorption, making it easier on the stomach for some individuals.
- Mixability and taste: The product is known for its smooth texture, easy mixability, and a variety of appealing flavors, ensuring an enjoyable consumption experience.
- Reputable brand: GNC is a globally recognized and trusted brand in the supplement industry, with a commitment to quality and safety.
Pros and cons:
- High protein content and rich amino acid profile
- Fast-absorbing protein blend for optimal muscle support
- Formulated with digestive enzymes for improved digestion and absorption
- Excellent mixability and a variety of flavors
- Reputable and trusted brand
- Price may be higher compared to some other brands
- Some consumers may prefer a more natural or simpler ingredient list
4. Asitis Nutrition AS-IT-IS
Asitis Nutrition AS-IT-IS Whey Protein Concentrate is a dietary supplement designed to provide an additional source of protein to individuals looking to increase their daily protein intake.
It is made from 100% pure whey protein concentrate, which is a high-quality protein that contains all nine essential amino acids required by the human body.
This supplement comes in a powdered form, making it easy to mix with water or other beverages for a quick and convenient protein boost.
- 100% pure whey protein concentrate: AS-IT-IS Whey Protein Concentrate is made from pure whey protein concentrate, which is a high-quality protein source that is easily digestible by the body. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals who are looking for a quick and easy way to increase their protein intake.
- Rich in essential amino acids: Whey protein concentrate is a complete protein source that contains all nine essential amino acids the human body requires. These amino acids are essential for muscle growth, repair, and recovery, making this supplement an ideal choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
- No added flavours or sweeteners: AS-IT-IS Whey Protein Concentrate is free from added flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives, making it a clean and pure protein source. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals who are looking for a simple and natural protein supplement.
- Easy to mix: This supplement comes in a powdered form, making it easy to mix with water or other beverages. It can also be added to smoothies, oatmeal, or other foods to increase their protein content.
- Affordable: AS-IT-IS Whey Protein Concentrate is an affordable protein supplement compared to other high-quality whey protein supplements on the market.
Pros and cons:
- Made from 100% pure whey protein concentrate
- Rich in essential amino acids
- Free from added flavours, sweeteners, and preservatives
- Easy to mix with water or other beverages
- Some individuals may prefer flavoured protein supplements.
- It may not be suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance or milk allergies
- Whey protein concentrate is not as high in protein as whey protein isolate, which may be a consideration for some individuals.
5. Bigmuscles Nutrition Premium Gold Whey
Big Muscle is a leading food supplement brand in India. This crude whey from big muscles is an unflavoured powder that has about 80% whey protein which helps build muscles, but it also has carbohydrates which help improve digestion, and has no added sugar.
Bigmuscles Nutrition Premium Gold Whey is a high-quality whey protein supplement that is designed to support muscle growth, recovery, and overall health.
It is made from a blend of whey protein isolate (WPI) and whey protein concentrate (WPC), which provides a complete protein source that is easy to digest and absorb.
- High Protein Content: Each serving (33g) of Premium Gold Whey delivers 24g of protein, making it an excellent protein-to-calorie ratio.
- Fast Absorption: The blend of WPI and WPC ensures fast protein absorption, which is essential for muscle recovery and growth.
- Amino Acid Profile: The product is packed with essential amino acids, including 5.5g of BCAAs and 4g of glutamine per serving, which support muscle repair and growth.
- Low in Fat and Carbohydrates: With only 1.5g of fat and 3g of carbohydrates per serving, it is an ideal choice for those watching their calorie intake.
- Mixability and Taste: The product has excellent mixability and comes in a wide range of delicious flavours, making it enjoyable to consume.
- Trusted Brand: Bigmuscles Nutrition is a well-known and trusted brand in the supplement industry, with a reputation for producing high-quality products.
Pros and Cons:
- High protein content and a rich amino acid profile that support muscle growth and recovery.
- Fast absorption of protein, which is essential for muscle recovery and growth.
- Low in fat and carbohydrates, making it an ideal choice for those monitoring their calorie intake.
- Excellent mixability and a wide range of delicious flavors, making it easy and enjoyable to consume.
- Bigmuscles Nutrition is a trusted brand with a reputation for producing high-quality products.
- Price may be higher compared to some other brands.
- Some consumers may find certain flavors too sweet or artificial-tasting.
6. Power is raw whey protein powder – MRP – 997/-kg.
The powerus whey protein powder is a product of proburst nutrition. This whey protein powder is gluten-free and unflavoured and it’s a vegetarian product. Powerus has about 80% protein content which is perfect as a workout meal. Some of the features of this product are –
- Helps boost immune system
- Helps in quick muscle recovery
- This product is natural
- Has no artificial chemicals
- You’ll be consuming raw protein and carbohydrates.
7. Himalaya questa pro advanced whey protein powder – MRP – 2,125/- kg
Himalaya is a healthcare brand that’s well-trusted all around the world. Their chocolate-flavoured whey powder is a blend of all three whey concentrate, hydrolysate and isolate which ensures faster absorption and helps in the development of improving metabolism. Some features of this product are –
- Enriched with herbs like pomegranate, hadjod, and winter cherry, which gives the best results in muscle recovery.
- It’s enriched with BCCAs mainly Valine, Leucine and Isoleucine which come naturally in amino acids.
- Contains Calcium, Vitamines B,C and E.
8. Ultimate Nutrition Prostar 100% Whey Protein – MRP – 4,799/- 5.28lbs
This protein powder is full of essential amino acids which help build muscles at the end of a hard workout. Has immunity enhancing factors from which whey Portia a specialised process. Some key features of this product are –
it’s a vegetarian product
It’s available in a variety of flavors.
This whey protein serves the muscle while also retaining the process which happens during the muscle creation form.
Has FSSAI product approval.
9. Abbzorb nutrition raw + whey protein powder – MRP – 1,329/-kg.
Abbzorb is a whey protein powder which has about 80% whey protein which comes in it’s natural and unflavoured form. This powder also does not contain any additional sweeteners. The various flavours that are available are banana, strawberry, chocolate etc. Some features of this product are –
- Is about 80% pure whey concentrate.
- This powder is unflavoured and comes with digestive enzymes and Novozymes.
10. HealthKart 100% Pure Raw Whey Protein MRP – 1,599/- kg
Healthkart is a young startup and has around 400 employees who work to provide you with the best protein supplements for your health. This unflavoured protein powder is vegetarian and can thus be consumed by everyone. The various features of this product are –
- It’s unsweetened and unflavoured making it perfect for calorie conscious people.
- Doesn’t have added preservatives, fat, gluten or any heavy metals.
- Every serving provides you with 24g of pure protein for each serving.
Buying Guide: Factors to Consider When Choosing a Whey Protein Powder
1. Protein content:
The primary reason for consuming whey protein powder is to increase your protein intake, so it’s crucial to choose a product with a high protein content per serving.
Look for a product that contains at least 20-30 grams of protein per serving to ensure you’re getting the necessary amount for muscle growth and recovery.
2. Types of whey protein:
There are three main types of whey protein: whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI), and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH). Each type has its unique features:
- WPC: Contains a lower protein content (typically around 70-80%) and higher levels of fats and carbohydrates. It is generally more affordable but may be less suitable for lactose-intolerant people.
- WPI: Has a higher protein content (around 90%) and is lower in fats and carbohydrates. It is more expensive but a better option for those with lactose intolerance or on a low-carb diet.
- WPH: This is the most processed form of whey protein, with the highest protein content (around 90-95%). It is rapidly absorbed and easily digestible but is also the most expensive option.
Consider your dietary preferences, budget, and lactose tolerance when choosing the type of whey protein.
3. Amino acid profile:
A quality whey protein powder should have a comprehensive amino acid profile, including essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
BCAAs, particularly leucine, play a crucial role in muscle protein synthesis, making them an essential component of a good whey protein supplement.
4. Taste and mixability:
Since you’ll be consuming whey protein powder regularly, it’s essential to choose a product that tastes good and mixes easily with water, milk, or other beverages.
Look for reviews or sample packs to test out flavours and mixability before committing to a larger purchase.
5. Price and value for money:
Compare the cost per serving, protein content, and overall quality of different whey protein powders to find the best value for your investment.
It’s essential to strike a balance between affordability and quality to ensure you get a product that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
6. Brand reputation and certifications:
Opt for reputable brands with positive customer reviews and certifications for quality control, such as ISO, GMP, or FSSAI, to ensure the product’s safety and efficacy.
A well-established brand is more likely to have stringent quality control measures in place and adhere to industry standards.
7. Dietary preferences and restrictions:
Consider any personal dietary preferences or restrictions when selecting a whey protein powder.
For example, if you’re lactose intolerant, choose a product with a higher percentage of whey protein isolate or hydrolysate, as these contain less lactose.
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, ensure the product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients or is certified as vegan proteins.
8. Sugar content and suitability for sugar reversal programs
One important factor to consider when choosing a whey protein powder for a diabetes reversal program is the sugar content.
Some whey protein powders may contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners that can raise blood sugar levels and be counterproductive to managing diabetes.
Therefore, it is important to look for whey protein powders that have a low glycemic index and are free from added sugars and other artificial sweeteners.
These types of whey protein powders are suitable for those with diabetes and can be a part of a comprehensive diabetes reversal program that includes exercise and a healthy diet.
Always read the product label carefully and consult your healthcare professional or nutritionist to ensure the whey protein powder aligns with your sugar reversal program’s goals and guidelines.
General FAQs about Best Whey Protein Powder:
What is Whey protein made of, and is it natural?
Answer: Whey protein is 100% natural as it’s a byproduct of milk.
Do you need any other protein supplements along with whey protein?
Whey protein is a complete protein as it’s a chain of amino acids.
Is whey protein powder convenient?
Whey protein is convenient as it doesn’t require much digestion and it provides your body with immediate amino acids. Consuming whey protein post workout is also a convenient way of kick- starting protein synthesis and for speeding up your recovery process.
Will consuming whey protein powder be enough to reduce weight?
Whey protein powder is not a magical solution to reducing or gaining weight and can, therefore, can’t be the only thing you count on when wanting results.
In Conclusion –
Whey protein is an excellent supplement for those who are seeking added protein in their diets.
However, individuals must remember that while this is a great meal replacement, it can’t be the only source of food one consumes as our body requires more than just protein and amino acids to function correctly.
The prices may vary according to availability and current market prices.