If you’re only using whey for protein shakes, you’re missing out on countless opportunities to get more protein into your diet.
Today we’re going to talk about one of the most underrated ways to improve your protein intake – unflavored whey protein.
If you’ve never tried unflavored whey protein powder, you’ll want to stick with us, because we’ll be discussing the unique benefits.
- Our Top Unflavored Whey & Protein Powders
- 1. Best Low-Calorie: IsoPure Unflavored
- 2. Best Value: BulkSupplements Whey Protein Isolate
- 3. Pure Nutrition PureWhey
- 4. Best Overall: ProMix Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey
- 5. Naked Whey
- 6. TGS All-Natural Whey Protein
- 7. Best Plant-Based: Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein
- 8. Jarrow Formulas Unflavored Whey Protein
- 9. Nutricost Whey Protein Isolate
- 10. Designer Whey Unflavored
- Differences between flavored and unflavored protein powders
- Benefits and problems with unflavored whey
- Making the most: Unflavored shakes and ingredient choices
- Final Thoughts
Our Top Unflavored Whey & Protein Powders
1. Best Low-Calorie: IsoPure Unflavored
IsoPure’s protein powder has a reputation for providing unflavored low-calorie protein. If you have checked out our highest-concentration diet protein powders, you’ll know that we’re big fans of this brand. Every single calorie you get from IsoPure’s products will be from protein.
This is a great start to any whey protein – and without any flavorings, you’ll be assured it’s all good stuff. You’re getting exactly what you see: 100% protein by calories.
This is all at a great price, but you should be aware that the trade-off comes from the taste. Unflavored, high-protein powders tend to taste slightly like “off” milk, but to varying degrees.
If you’re adding this to a shake with natural flavorings – like fruits or nut butter – it’s a great choice. The only problem is that whey protein denatures when cooked, so you may experience a strange texture if used for baking.
- The purest protein possible at 100% of calories from protein
- Great quality and reputable brand
- Very effective and likely to improve overall recovery
- Taste is hit and miss
- Many complaints about mixability, due to high protein content
- Some batches have a strange taste or texture
2. Best Value: BulkSupplements Whey Protein Isolate
BulkSupplements is a flavorless protein border at great value. BulkSupplements’ whole mission is a simple and effective supplement line. The result is 10lbs of whey protein at a ridiculously low price, with all the regular benefits.
You’ll not get as much protein per serving as with IsoPure – 22g versus 25g – but the cost is much lower.
We’ve also seen that customer opinion of this product is incredibly positive. While other brands tend to have problems with mixability, BulkSupplements’ reviews have been historically positive.
Recent changes to ingredients have been poorly received, and customers say it tastes of anything from milky to “stale cornflakes”. Clearly, there’s some inconsistency in the batches themselves.
- Fantastic value with a very low price
- Simple and effective, with a good protein concentration
- Some batches taste pleasant and creamy
- Some batches taste stale or unpleasant, especially recently
- Very simple – nutritional matrix leaves a bit to be desired
3. Pure Nutrition PureWhey
Pure Nutrition PureWhey unflavored protein powdered falls somewhere between protein and value. For an unflavored protein powder, you’re going to get a lot of non-protein stuff. The product is much higher in added fats and sugars than others on this list. The price is not as competitive as BulkSupplements, but the ingredients and nutritional values are inferior to IsoPure. Pure’s approach strives to be both premium and affordable, and it fails at both.
The amino acid profile is extensive, but this is what we expect from all whey proteins. Historical reviews are often positive, but recent reviews demonstrate problems with batch consistency and increasingly “sour” flavors.
We can’t see why you’d pick this product over either of the products we’ve already discussed. IsoPure’s product is better, while BulkSupplements’ is cheaper. Both are better for their intended purpose!
- Price is okay
- Taste is decent, depending on the batch
- The price isn’t as good as BulkSupplements
- The flavor/nutrition aren’t as good as others on this list
- Out-classed by other products
4. Best Overall: ProMix Unflavored Grass-Fed Whey
ProMix Grass-Fed Whey is a superior unflavored protein alternative to Pure Nutrition’s product. It has more carbohydrates than we’d like to see from an unflavored product but a much better protein content. It can’t compete with IsoPure’s purity, but it provides a good alternative at a lower price. This product is also a U.S.-produced grass-fed source, unlike many others on the market.
The grass-fed status means a greater concentration of healthy fats in the end product. CLA and Omega-3 content are increased. These are some of the healthiest fats around, so this is a big bonus with ProMix.
A better cholesterol profile and increased healthy fat content put this above IsoPure overall. Purity isn’t a huge concern when the “other stuff” is great for health!
- Grass-fed cows produce better dairy with rich concentrations of healthy fats
- Improved cholesterol and overall nutrient-density
- Good price for the quality
- Taste and mixability are comparable to other products on this list
- None to speak of – even the weaker areas are competitive with other brands
5. Naked Whey
Naked Whey provides a very simple approach to unflavored protein powders as another grass-fed product. The first problem here is that the cost is much greater than some others on this list. We’ve already seen that this is a concern, but when competition is high, this is a big factor.
The nutritional values of Naked’s protein is almost identical to the ProMix whey we discussed above. 25 of protein per serving, with 120 calories overall. However, Naked has an extra gram of sugar so it’s ever so slightly behind!
The problem for Naked is that their product is ever so slightly worse than ProMix. If they were the same price, then this might be a simple “personal preference” choice. However, with the additional cost per serving, Naked comes out far behind for practical reasons.
- Grass-fed dairy means better fat profiles and nutrient value
- Good protein concentration
- More expensive than competitors like ProMix
6. TGS All-Natural Whey Protein
TGS All-Natural Whey Protein comes with several complications as far as flavorless protein powders come. TGS’ product contains 25g protein but 130 calories per scoop due to the higher carb and fat content. These aren’t bad by themselves, but it means you’re paying more for less. A lower-protein supplement is usually a worse product. The price of this product is also relatively competitive, but the value per serving is still nowhere near BulkSupplements.
We’re concerned that the unnecessary extras in this product aren’t pro-health like in Naked or ProMix. As this isn’t a grass-fed product, the additional fatty acids aren’t going to be as beneficial.
This is a good product, but it’s easily out-classed by others on this list.
- Competitive protein content
- Out-classed by other products on this list
- More expensive per gram of protein than others
- Not as highly-concentrated as some competitors
- Lack of grass-fed dairy means it can’t compete on additional fat content
7. Best Plant-Based: Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein
Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Protein is a tasteless protein powder with several cons. Garden of List has the lowest protein per calorie content on this list so far yet the highest cost per serving we’ve seen so far. Furthermore, the powder has the lowest number of servings per container (a maximum of 27 servings). These canisters come into the market with no way of competing. The 22g protein content isn’t competitive with other unflavored wheys, which typically carry around 25g.
Overall, the nutritional information is very “okay”. It provides a greater concentration of vitamin D and E, but this isn’t enough to justify the additional costs.
The one benefit you’re likely to find here is that it isn’t from whey at all. It’s a blend of various plant proteins. This is useful because it is less likely to turn “fluffy” during cooking, which makes Garden of Life perfect for baking.
It’s not the best product, but it does fill a good niche.
- Plant proteins provide a great alternative to the whey on this list
- Easy to use for baking – a key reason for using unflavored protein powders
- Vitamin support is good – vitamins A and D are important for health
- Very low protein content
- Very expensive per serving – and even more per gram of protein!
- You’ll need to buy a canister often due to the small amount provided in a single product
8. Jarrow Formulas Unflavored Whey Protein
Jarrow Formulas Unflavored Whey Protein is barely a protein powder, with only 18g of protein per serving. Even when we consider that the servings are smaller, this is a low-concentration protein powder compared to others on this list. This is a concern right off the bat.
With 2g of extra carbs and 2g of extra fats, you’re getting a lot of “filler”. This is also a concern when we consider that, unlike Garden of Life, there’s not even a significant vitamin presence.
Overall, this product has a great approach to taste and is a truly flavorless product, but it doesn’t provide many benefits. A reliably-good taste is great if the product is competitive and effective – but the protein content is saying otherwise!
- Reviews tell us that the taste is consistent and pleasant
- Low protein content
- No additional vitamin or mineral content to justify the lower protein content
- Lots of filler products – higher fat and carb content than others on this list
9. Nutricost Whey Protein Isolate
Nutricost Whey Protein Isolate is exactly the opposite of Jarrow formulas’ protein powder. The has a larger serving size and a good protein content for an unflavored protein powder. Even with the additional serving size and protein, there’s still only a single gram of additional fats and no added sugar. This makes for a good single-serving powder with nothing but the protein you want.
The downside of this is that you’re not going to get any additional nutrients. The vitamin and mineral content are low, and the fats aren’t the same high-quality compounds you’d see in a grass-fed product like ProMix.
On the other hand, this product is the second cheapest on this list, following BulkSupplements.
- Good price
- Great protein content relative to the cost
- Very little filler compared to other products
- Missing out on some ingredient quality – e.g. not grass-fed
- Not many vitamins and minerals compared to competitors
- Not as price effective as BulkSupplements
10. Designer Whey Unflavored
Designer Whey Unflavored sets a new record low protein concentration with only 20g of protein in a 31g serving. With 6.5g of non-protein, calorie-rich carbs and fats, this is a lot for an unflavored protein powder. The product focuses on providing a lot of vitamins and minerals, alongside this scant protein content. It is rich in B vitamins, Vitamin D, and key minerals.
The real question is what you’d use this product for. We love seeing nutrient-dense supplements, but this isn’t a superfoods powder – it’s a protein powder with low protein content.
This is a concern as you’ll need to double up your servings to compete with other protein powders on the market. However, this product also costs ~$24 per pound. This is a ridiculous cost, especially if you consider the cost per gram of protein.
We love the approach to nutrient-dense protein powders, but the low protein content and high cost make this a very expensive choice. If you’ve got the cash to splash, this might be a good choice, but you’ll still have to use an extra half-serving every time!
- Great vitamin and mineral content
- Low protein content compared to other products on this list
- Very expensive!
- Not very effective for the specific goals of a protein powder
Differences between flavored and unflavored protein powders
The key difference between regular whey proteins and the unflavored kind is the taste. The taste is something you’re likely to be unfamiliar with. Most whey is very sweet with artificial flavors, so you don’t get much of the natural taste. you should expect something between thick milk and old milk, depending on the brand.
Does what it says: protein concentration and calorie Intake
The reduction in other ingredients also means a reduction in useless calories. While some brands still keep the extras, the reduction in other powders like cocoa means better protein content.
Concentration is key for the actual benefits of the product. If you’re not getting protein, there’s no point using a protein powder!
This is one of the benefits since you’re going to be able to combine this powder with other ingredients for flavor. You’ll need less powder and will get plenty of protein still.
This is especially useful if you want to use less powder for your shakes, which can help with texture.
Less powders: Better mixability and texture
Mixability can change with unflavored powders, depending on what has been taken out. Many of the products on this list have great reviews for mixing, even with better protein content.
There are a few exceptions – like IsoPure which is very high in protein – but the trend is towards better practical aspects.
This is going to be useful when blending with fruits, yogurt, nut butter, and beyond. The result should be a finer, smoother taste and texture
More secondary nutrients = Better health?
The final difference you’re likely to see is actually nutrient-density. This means more than just protein intake – it’s about the amount of other health-promoting stuff in your scoop!
When we look at the grass-fed items there are better fat and micronutrient contents. These are higher in the unflavored whey than artificially sweetened brands. This means more health-promoting ingredients for your money.
Benefits and problems with unflavored whey
The benefits of an unflavored whey are going to come from the fact it has almost no flavor and higher protein content.
In practical terms, this means being able to use it in almost any form of blended protein shake. You can focus on getting the taste from other ingredients – such as bananas, nut butter, cocoa, and beyond.
This is a great choice since strongly-flavored protein shakes can be a real challenge when combined with other ingredients. You can’t mix a strawberry whey with your peanut butter shake – it’ll just taste like artificial strawberry.
This can be a great alternative for more-savoury shakes, too.
On the other hand, you’re going to struggle using unflavored whey as a post-workout shake if you don’t have access to a blender. The taste isn’t always great, especially if you’re not mixing it with other flavors.
Making the most: Unflavored shakes and ingredient choices
When you’re using unflavored whey, you need to invest a little more time into the other ingredients in your shake. Unflavored whey by itself is okay but it’s a better base for a blended shake.
Start by looking at other ingredients for taste and nutrients. Things like bananas and oats make for a great workout recovery carb source. If you’re looking to really gain muscle mass, a scoop of natural peanut butter can really ratchet up the calories.
You should also be mixing in a tasteless vegetable like spinach. This will give your shake a green color but a refreshing and nutrient-dense finish. If you combine this with Banana, the potassium intake is a great way to fight muscle soreness and boost recovery.
Unflavored whey proteins are a totally different game to what you might know about whey.
They come with a natural flavor which can range from sour to very mild and pleasant. The differences are all between brands and individual batches vary quite a lot.
If you’re looking for a high-quality, nutrient-dense and reliable product, we recommend ProMix. With a lower cost than Naked, and a better balance of protein and healthy fats than any other product.
Our runner up is IsoPure – it strikes a good balance between purity and price. For such a high-spec product, it’s surprisingly affordable and has a 100% protein content.
Overall, the benefits of an unflavored protein powder come down to cost and purity. The best product is going to be great for both of these, with the potential of little bonuses like healthy fats or additional B vitamins.