12 Best Protein Powders for Women, According to Registered Dietitians


1. Thorne Research Whey Protein Isolate, Vanilla Flavored


Whey Protein Isolate, Vanilla Flavored

Designed to be mixed with liquid or blended into a smoothie, this whey protein isolate from Thorne contains all of the essential amino acids for optimal absorption. The brand adds digestive enzymes from papaya and pineapple and removes most of the lactose in this formulation for easy digestion, which is a common issue with whey-protein based powders. There’s a little sweetener (only 2 grams per serving) from evaporated cane sugar and stevia extract.

Lab results: We found that this protein powder from Thorne mixes well without clumping, had a nice flavor profile and was easy to digest. It’s not plant-based, but for a flavored protein powder, the ingredient list is short and uncomplicated. Not only that, but both the chocolate and vanilla flavored whey protein isolate options from Thorne are NSF Certified for Sport, meaning that they have been tested and certified for quality, purity and safety. The quality, NSF Certification and price under $2 per serving are just a few of the reasons why this pick secured the top spot in our tests. Their RecoveryPro powder, designed for supporting athletic performance, is also worth mentioning as it is NSF Certified for Sport too.

Protein typeWhey
Price per serving$1.83
Serving size1 scoop (27.9 g)
FlavorsVanilla, chocolate
Nutrition facts21 g protein, 100 calories, 0.5 g total fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 3 g total carb, 1 g fiber, 3 g total sugars, 1 g added sugar


2. Now Foods Pea Protein Unflavored Protein Powder


Pea Protein Unflavored Protein Powder

A top pick, this plain and simple vegan protein blend is made from organic yellow pea protein isolate — and nothing else, a key distinguishing factor from so many protein powders on the market. One scoop contains 120 calories, 24 grams of protein and 45% of your daily iron — a crucial mineral for supporting your body’s circulatory system. It’s also available in chocolate and vanilla toffee.

Lab results: We love that this powder from Now Foods comes in at the lowest price per scoop than any others on this list but doesn’t sacrifice quality. Our dietitians say that the simpler the protein powder, the better it is for anyone seeking a protein powder that supports weight loss. Your best bets will be unflavored, single-ingredient picks that you can add to any smoothie, shake, coffee or tea lattes to create a more substantial, protein-packed snack. This protein powder is Informed Sport Certified, which means it has undergone rigorous screening for banned substances in sport. But one thing to note is its high sodium count. That being said, our experts appreciate that Now Foods also does their own extensive testing to ensure superior quality so you are getting exactly what it says on the supplement bottle.

Protein typePea
Price per serving$0.83
Serving size1 level scoop (33 g)
Nutrition facts24 g protein, 120 calories, 2 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 320 mg sodium, 1 g total carb, 0 g fiber, 0 g total sugars, 0 g added sugars