The 10 Best Protein Powders In 2018

af Anders Nedergaard - PhD & MSc in human biology

Candidlab have testet and reviewed the products for their protein quality, taste, mixability and price. See the total winner or find the one with the higest protein quality, best taste or cheapest price. See the full top 10 right here, now.

best whey protein powder uk

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  • Bulkpowders Pure Whey Protein

    1. Bulkpowders Pure Whey Protein

    Bulkpowders Pure Whey Protein
    Total score 7.7
    Total score

    1. Bulkpowders Pure Whey Protein

    Bulkpowders Pure Whey Protein is a great protein powder. This product is the cheapest protein powder available on the market. Furthermore, it manages to be the best protein powder avilable on the market, according to our overall test results. This product would be a great choice for anyone.

  • 2. Mutant Whey

    Mutant Whey
    Total score 7.2
    Total score

    #2 Mutant Whey

    Mutant Whey is the second best protein powder in the UK. It mixes really well and has an exceptional great taste. So if taste is your main concern, then this product will suit your needs.

  • 3. Myprotein Impact Whey Protein

    Myprotein Impact Whey Protein
    Total score 6.6
    Total score

    #3 Myprotein Impact Whey Protein

    Myprotein Impact Whey Protein is a product, which has a mediocre score in our analysis. The product scored in the middle third within the range of the products, which we have reviewed. This make the product quite average. The powder’s strongest quality is the price while the thing dragging it down is its taste.

  • 4. ON Gold Standard Whey 100

    ON Gold Standard Whey 100
    Total score 6.3
    Total score

    #4 ON Gold Standard Whey 100

    ON Gold Standard Whey 100 is a product, which has a mediocre score in our analysis. The product scored in the middle third within the range of the products, which we have reviewed. This make the product quite average. The powder’s strongest quality is the price while the thing dragging it down is its taste.

  • 5. Dymatize Elite 100% Whey

    Dymatize Elite 100% Whey
    Total score 6.2
    Total score

    #5 Dymatize Elite 100% Whey

    Dymatize Elite 100% Whey is a product, which has a mediocre score in our analysis. The product scored in the middle third within the range of the products, which we have reviewed. This make the product quite average. The powder’s strongest quality is the protein quality while the thing dragging it down is its price.

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Each protein powder is scored on three parameters: quality, taste and price. We explain the basis for this price and taste score and how they are calculated on the page ‘how we review’ (found in the navigation bar). Below, we have described the rationales behind and calculations for our quality score, developed by our scientific advisory board. The total score of protein powders is an equally weighted average between quality of protein, taste and price.

best protein powder uk


best protein powder uk

The shown quality scores are based upon the DIAAS score of each product. DIAAS is short for Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score and it is a way of evaluating the nutritional quality of protein sources. DIAAS is the method recommended by WHO (World Health Organization) and their nutrition and aggriculture organization, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), for characterizing protein quality (1,2). The DIAAS is currently the de facto gold standard for quantifying protein quality. DIAAS took over from PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score), the previous protain quality scoring tool in 2013.

best protein powder on the market

What dictates the nutritional value of a protein source?

best protein powder on the market

The quality of any protein source depends on two factors: The first is the content of essential amino acids and the second is the digestability of each individual essential amino acid.

There are 21 different amino acids in our diet of the type we use for building proteins, thus termed proteinogenic. Nine of those are essential, which means that we cannot produce them ourselves. Therefore, we are dependent on getting them from our diet. The non-essential amino acids can be synthesized from essential amino aicds in our livers.

Some amino acids are termed conditionally essential, meaning that they can, under certain circumstances, be considered essential, but that is not taken into account in the DIAAS score. The DIAAS score is intended for use in regular healthy human beings and does not account for special nutritional needs for athletes or ill individuals.

The digestibility used in the DIAAS score is specific to each amino acid and describes how much of said amino acid is absorbed from the food protein source, usually expressed as a percentage.

best protein 2018

How do you calculate the DIAAS score?

best protein 2018

You begin by calculating how many mg of each amino acid there is per gram of protein in the protein powder (not per total dry matter).

Next, multiply the amount of each individual amino acid by the corresponding digestability (usually expressed in percent). Digestability data has been reported for the most common protein sources of protein – many of these can be found in a publicly available FAO report from 2011 (page 26-58) (3).

Then the digestability adjusted score for the essential amino acids is divided by the requirements based on human nutrition. There are three different set of requirements for humans, based on age. The first one is for infants untill they are six months of age. The second is for small kids from six months till the age of three. The third and final one is for everyone above the age of three years. This set of requirements can also be found in the FAO protein quality report on from 2011 (page 27) (1).

The above calculations will result in different scores for each amino acid and the lowest one is the DIAAS score. The limiting amino acid quite simply dictates the DIAAS score. Hence, it is normal procedure to state the limiting amino acid along with the DIAAS score of a protein.

The DIAAS score will usually be calculated as an index where score in the range of 0 to approximately 130 or as a decimal score from 0 to 1.3. Using the former method, good sources of protein are usually above 100 and milk protein is usually one of the sources of protein with the highest score (in the area of 115 to 130).

In our scoring system, we normalise the scores for quality by adjusting the scores linearly on a scale from zero to ten – this also makes it compatible with the taste and price scores. This is a necessary adjustment in order to ensure that each individual factor (quality, taste and price) is equally weighted in the total score.

what is the best protein supplement on the market

What does the score indicate?

what is the best protein supplement on the market

As explained above, DIAAS is an expression that summes up how much a given product contains of its limiting amino acid in context to human needs. If we for instance assume that a protein supplement is missing an essential amino acid entirely. That would automatically mean that it would get a DIAAS score of zero. If we assume a different product was missing a different amino acid entirely that product would also get a score of zero. However, it would be very plausible that if you mixed those two protein sources, you could get an average score. A real life example of this is rice and pea – their individual DIAAS score increases significantly when combined.

DIAAS is a tool that relates the nutritional quality of proteins to the basic nutritional needs of humans. Most people use protein powder or other protein supplements for building more muscle, rather than for basic health. Although DIAAS is the best tool there is for describing protein quality thus far, it is quite possible that the amino acid requirement for muscle hypertrophy is different from the requirements for health. Sadly, that is not something that has been researched.

Scientists in the fitness- and bodybuilding community expect that Leucine (one of the branched chained amino acids) is increaingly important for muscular growth. Leucine is also the amino acid that is mostly required in the DIAAS score – so it might be taken into account.

Should you use protein powder?

top 10 protein powders uk

Does protein supplementation work?

top 10 protein powders uk

Naturally, it is relevant to discuss if protein powder even has an effect. the answer to that first and foremost depends on the pre-existing diet and the goal you are trying to achieve. An optimal training response to (and recovery from) training requires an increased intake of protein. Prolonged endurance training, team sports, racket sports etc. will increase the need for protein to 1.2 to 1.5 grams per kilo bodyweight per day. Strength- and resistance training and bodybuilding, increase the need for protein to 1.5 to 1.8 grams per kilo bodyweight per day (5). If the training is done while being in a caloric deficit this number might be even higher (6).

These protein requirements are not unattainable from a regular diet. But for people that for whatever reason doesn’t consume meat, dairy, eggs, beans or lentils, it can become difficult. Plant based protein is generally of lower quality than animal protein, due to inferior amino acid composition and digestibility. Yet it is perfectly possible to get a sufficient protein intake from plant based protein sources. However, people on a strictly plant based diet will tend to get less leucine, an amino acid particularly important for building muscle.

To conclude, protein supplementation is an obvious option for people who find it difficult to get an optimal intake of protein from their diets alone – or for people who have decided to stick to specific dietary regimens that might influence the average intake and -quality of protein they get from their diet.

top protein powders uk

Recommended dosage

top protein powders uk

It is only meaningful to give recommendations on supplementation of protein in context of the individuals pre-existing diet. If the diet supplies protein in adequate amounts and protein quality, supplements will only be of limited use. Especially if meals supplying at least 30 grams of high-quality protein are supplied before and after training sessions. However, if you do not consume enough protein from the regular diet, then supplementing protein in servings of around 30 grams distributed over the day, and around your workout schedule, can have an effect on muscular growth.

Reference list

  1. Dietary Protein Quality Evaluation in Human Nutrition: Report of an FAO Expert Consultation, 31 March-2 April, 2011, Auckland, New Zealand. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 2013:
  2. Leser S. The 2013 FAO report on dietary protein quality evaluation in human nutrition: Recommendations and implications. Nutr. Bull. 2013;38(4):421–428.
  3. Gilani S, Tomé D, Moughan P, Burlingame B. Report of a Sub-Committee of the 2011 FAO Consultation on “Protein Quality Evaluation in Human Nutrition” on [Internet]. Food and Agriculture Organization; 2011:
  4. Phillips SM. The impact of protein quality on the promotion of resistance exercise-induced changes in muscle mass. Nutr. Metab. 2016;13(1):1–9.
  5. Jäger R et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J. Int. Soc. Sports Nutr. 2017;14:20.
  6. Phillips SM. A brief review of higher dietary protein diets in weight loss: a focus on athletes. Sports Med. 2014;44 Suppl 2(S2):S149–53.

Last modified: 4. September 2018

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