Best shakes for muscle gain/best protein powder for building muscle

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Comparison Chart

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Whey Protein Powder
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Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate (Vanilla) 5LBS
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MET-Rx RTD 51 Protein Shake
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ALR Industries Humapro Tabs
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MuscleMeds, Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate Powder 56 Servings

Best Shakes for Muscle Gain/Best Protein Powder for Building Muscle – Complete Reviews with Comparison

If you are looking to build your muscle mass, then you probably know that protein powders and shakes are some of the best ways to do that. They contain ingredients that are essential in boosting the rate at which your muscles develop and grow.

However, there are thousands of different protein powders on the market right now, and with so many to choose from, finding one that’s right for you can be quite tricky. That’s why we’ve reviewed some of the best shakes for muscle gain/best protein powder for building muscle options to make your life a little easier. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what they have to offer you on your journey.

What Kind of Protein Powder Is Best for Muscle Gain?

Whey protein is generally considered one of the best protein powders for building muscle, as it is rich in branched-chain amino acids and digests quickly. Studies have shown that whey can help build and maintain muscle mass, help with recovery, and increase muscle strength in response to strength training.

How to Use Protein Powder to Build Muscle

Drinking a shake made from protein powder and cold water or milk within 30 minutes of completing your workout session will initiate recovery by introducing amino acids into your bloodstream, which are then quickly shuttled to your muscle cells to become new muscle tissue.

When to Take Protein Powder for Muscle Gain

Fitness experts generally recommend taking your protein supplement 15 – 60 minutes after you exercise. This time frame is called the ‘anabolic window’ and is said to be the best time for getting as many benefits as possible from nutrients like protein.

Best Protein Powders/Shakes for Muscle Gain Reviews

MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Whey Protein Isolate Powder


Of all the muscle-building formulas available on the market right now that contain whey protein and other essential nutrients, the Nitro-Tech protein isolate powder from MuscleTech has become a crowd favorite. It’s one of the most popular formulas out there for good reason.


The Nitro-Tech protein powder is a great addition to your daily routine if you are looking to build significant muscle mass, especially for an all-in-one protein powder. It differs from many of its competitors in that it boasts a higher content of amino acids to help build muscle, as well as digestive enzymes and creatine.

This powder has a noteworthy amino acid profile, and thanks to its 5 grams of glutamine, it will help you reduce soreness in your muscles while also improving your digestive health. Additionally, its 6.8 grams of branched-chain amino acids will not only improve your gains but also help mitigate muscle fatigue.

Nitro-Tech was also formulated with creatine, which is a component that can convert food into energy effectively. It also increases your likelihood of gaining more muscle mass and becoming stronger, particularly when used in tandem with a whey protein. Since it is made from amino acids, creatine also reduces fatigue when lifting heavy weights.

If the protein powders that you have used in the past caused you to experience digestive issues, you need not worry about that with Nitro-Tech, as it includes digestive enzymes. This makes the formula easy for the body to digest and also prevents bloating. One of the great things about Nitro-Tech is its flavor. MuscleTech partnered with some of the world’s leading protein-flavoring professionals to ensure that every flavor achieves the perfect taste.

Some of the flavors available include Vanilla, Cookies & Cream, Strawberry, and Milk Chocolate, and the powder is available in various-sized bottles. Unfortunately, the texture of this powder when mixed with milk or water tends to be more on the grainy side.


  • High amino acid content
  • Reduces muscle soreness
  • Reduces heavy-lifting fatigue
  • Includes digestive enzymes


  • Texture may be grainy

Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate


This whey protein concentrate from Nutricost comes with everything that you’d expect from its competitors, with the added advantage of being a clean product. It’s often considered one of the best protein powders on the market, and we can definitely see why.


This Nutricost whey protein concentrate is about as easy and simple as it gets, with preservatives being the only additives included in the formulation. It also has a solid flavor that plays nicely with others. Any bodybuilder that is on the hunt for a protein powder they don’t have to think about too much will appreciate this Nutricost powder.

The formula consists of 75% protein, with carbs and fats being relatively low in concentration but not entirely absent. This is something you should expect from any form of concentrated whey protein. The Nutricost powder does contain lactose because it’s a dairy supplement, and you aren’t alone if you find yourself confusing isolate with concentrate. Isolate is generally a better option for lactose-intolerant folks because, while it is still derived from dairy, it contains less than 1% lactose.

However, if lactose is not a concern of yours, then this Nutricost protein powder is a great way for you to engage in a slow clean cut or to build bulk. When it comes to the general taste, you’re going to have to accept the fact that this powder is good at what it does and that it’s not going to blow your taste buds away. It tastes fine but was created with the intent of mixing well with other powders.

Whey protein concentrate is a protein basic supplement and is the concentration of the excess liquid found in dairy products. This makes it a fantastic source of protein and a must-have in any bulking supplement thanks to its muscle-building capabilities. The cocoa in this powder does it a big favor, as it provides some sweetness to a product that would otherwise be quite bitter.


  • Perfect for mixing
  • High protein content
  • Great for bulking up
  • Available in various flavors


  • Not suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals

MET-Rx RTD 51 Protein Shake


If you’re looking for a quick, on-the-go protein shake that you don’t have to put any work into, then look no further than the RTF 51 from MET-Rx. It’s packed with all of the ingredients you’d expect from your regular protein powder, with the added bonus of coming pre-made and mixed with milk.


This ready-to-drink protein shake was formulated with the fitness-minded individual in mind, and it is one of the most popular pre-made protein shakes in the world. It comes chock full of amino acids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, and it contains an impressive 51 grams of protein per can, a low amount of fat, and only 4 grams of sugar.

It comes in convenient cans that can quickly and easily be thrown into your gym bag to be had as a recovery drink after your workout is over. It boasts slow-digesting, high-quality proteins that provide you with extended muscle support and that are a natural source of branched-chain amino acids.

One of the most beloved features of the MET-Rx RTD drinks is that they are incredibly delicious. They are available in four flavors, namely Cookies N’ Cream, Frosty Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cup, and Vanilla, so you’re bound to find a flavor that you will fall in love with. They’re often sold out on online retail stores, so don’t hesitate to grab yours when they’re available.

Packed full of amino acids and proteins in convenient single-serve cans, the RTD 51 protein shakes are easy to crack open and enjoy after an intense workout. However, like the previous product on this list, they are not going to be friendly to the stomachs of lactose-intolerant folks out there, as they are milk-based. If you have a dairy or lactose intolerance, you may want to consider another protein option.

The great thing about this product is that it is available in packs of 12, allowing you to buy in bulk whenever you feel like it.


  • Ready-to-drink formula
  • Low sugar content
  • Great taste
  • High-quality protein


  • Contains lactose

ALR Industries Humapro Protein Matrix


Humapro is ALR’s best-selling product and is marketed as a whey protein killer. The company claims that the product is over five times more usable within the body in comparison to whey proteins, but just how true is that claim?


Humapro achieves its potency by providing the body with amino acids in precise ratios that the body was designed to use. As a result, ALR claims that their Humapro formula has a 99% net utilization level, which is extremely impressive when compared to regular whey protein, which only has a 16% net utilization level.

The Humapro formula is the result of years of research, testing, and extensive development, and it has made itself known as a staple alternative to whey protein in the world of supplements. The best part is that it is also free from gluten, dairy, sugar, and preservatives. One of the formula’s main ingredients is essential amino acids, which cannot be produced by the body and must be ingested via food.

Essential amino acids are vital to the body, especially for athletes, and are the main reason that you’ll want to pick up Humapro. The dosage of EAAs, branched-chain amino acids, and whey proteins within Humapro will depend on your individual utilization and absorption levels, meaning that a dose level for one person might be different for someone else.

ALR has an extremely detailed dosage protocol that depends on your body weight. The correct dose can range between 2 scoops, 4 – 6 times a day, so depending on how much you weigh, the correct dosage will be somewhere between 30g and 74g. Of course, this will depend on your protein intake, as Humapro is meant to replace whey protein and other foods that are high in protein.

The one major downside to this product is that the pills that the formula comes in are quite large, and a portion of users have reported that they can be quite difficult to swallow.


  • Alternative to whey protein powder
  • 99% utilization level
  • Free of gluten and dairy
  • No calories


  • Pills are large

MuscleMeds Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate


That’s a title that’s sure to get every fitness addict’s attention. At first glance, this might seem like a product for extreme bodybuilders to chug, but MuscleMeds Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate is actually so much more than that.


The most essential point about this protein powder, and the thing that makes it stand out from the competition, is the fact that it is made from beef, hence the name. While the majority of protein powders out there are made from whey protein, this powder is meant to be made with USDA-inspected beef, meaning you’re getting the same benefits that you’d get from a great steak dinner without the added calories or fat.

Regular protein powders get quite a bad reputation for causing stomach problems amongst people who consume them on a regular basis. With many folks having lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, and sugar sensitivity, most protein powders are out of the question, but not MuscleMeds. This is thanks to its lack of dairy, lactose, gluten, and sugar.

This means that it is very easy on your stomach and won’t cause any irritation, discomfort, or pain. If you are trying to gain muscle mass without consuming any unnecessary calories, then the Carnivor Beef Isolate may be just the product for you. The taste is also fantastic, and the powder is available in a range of delicious flavors, like Cookies & Cream, Chocolate, Vanilla Caramel, Strawberry, and more.

The only gripe that we have with this beef isolate powder is that it tends to come out quite grainy if you don’t mix it well with a blender.


  • No unnecessary calories
  • No gluten, sugar, dairy, or lactose
  • Does not cause stomach irritation
  • Great taste


  • May have a grainy texture

Final Thoughts

Protein powders and shakes are essential for fitness enthusiasts who are looking to gain muscle and speed up their muscle recovery times. At the end of the day, only you can choose which powder you’ll use – we’re just here to help make that decision a little easier.

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