Maybe you’re a weightlifting fiend. Maybe you’re starting a new workout program that feels like murder. Or maybe you’re just generally a terrible human when it comes to cooking breakfast for yourself. Either way, you’re considering trying a protein shake for breakfast – and whether it’s healthy for you.
Under the right circumstances, protein shakes can be a big boost to your diet – like if you’re a vegan, for example.
Either way, protein powders are not created equal. Here are 7 of our favorite protein powders to add to your morning smoothie and go into the day feeling superpowered (no promises on the cape, though).
1. Vega Sport Performance Protein Vanilla
Vega Sport Performance Protein brings the A-game.
Seriously. It’s 26 grams of protein per serving (for the kids in the back, that’s approaching half your needed protein intake for the day).
Want to know what’s even better?
They use ingredients you can actually see outside of college chemistry. And you can pronounce them.
Like brown rice. And peas. And alfalfa. Looking at you, vegans.
Also, the vanilla flavor doesn’t taste like chalk, which is a major accomplishment for a protein powder.
So, wait, why isn’t this part of your morning protein shake again?
2. Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard
Of course, for those of you who need options, #2 on our list is Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard.
You know, the one with the simple name.
Jokes aside, they’re not kidding about the gold standard part. This is some of the purest whey isolates you’ll find on the market.
You’re looking at three main ingredients:
- Whey protein isolate (duh)
- Cultured whey protein concentrate (also duh)
- Whey peptides (they’re not kidding about the whey)
Plus some other good stuff depending on your flavor of choice. Like cocoa. Because cocoa is obviously the key ingredient to making a successful protein shake for breakfast. Cocoa is a joy.
Oh, and for those of you number-counters, you’re looking at 24 grams of protein and 5 BCAAs per serving.
3. BSN Syntha 6
And now, the one with the actually simple name: BSN Syntha 6.
This is the fancy stuff. Thanks to honesty in marketing, there are actually six types of protein in here.
Count them: whey protein isolate and whey concentrate, calcium caseinate, micellar casein, milk protein isolate, egg albumin and glutamine peptides.
And before you can ask: yes, there is actually a point to having six types of protein in there.
The whole idea is that it’s a time-release powder, because you digest different proteins at different rates.
Whey isolate and glutamine will give your protein shake for breakfast a quick punch, while whey protein concentrate and egg albumin are in the middle of the pack. Milk protein isolate and micellar casein bring up the rear to keep you engaged all day.
4. Gaspari Nutrition MyoFusion Probiotic Series
Any true fitness and nutrition professional will tell you: there’s more to lean muscle than a high protein diet.
Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
Besides having a patented protein blend, this powder comes loaded with all the good stuff. Amino acids, for example, and probiotics to help your digestive and immune systems.
It’s a whole picture kind of protein powder.
And it packs the punch to back up your protein shake for breakfast. We’re talking 48 grams of protein, 18 amino acids and 500 million CFU of probiotic bacteria per two scoops.
Oh, and if your head isn’t spinning yet, did we also mention that it tastes great (flavors like chocolate peanut butter and cookies and cream, how bad could it be?)
5. Transparent Labs Protein Series
Actually, the full name is (deep breath) Transparent Labs Protein Series 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein.
Good news for you (not the long name, the grass-fed part).
This powder is sourced entirely from grass-fed cows living their happy cow lives in New Zealand.
Which means the cows that made this protein are healthier than commercial cows, have a better fatty-acid profile and don’t have all the hormones, antibiotics and chemicals that come with commercial cows.
Plus, you get 28 grams of protein without carbohydrates or fat (with a minimum of ingredients that sound like they came out of a mad science lab).
6. Garden of Life Organic Vegan Protein Powder
This one’s for the vegans (and those who want to be a little kinder to those we share this planet with).
Garden of Life Organic Vegan Protein Powder lags behind the others in terms of protein per serving at just 22 grams.
It makes up for it in other areas. It’s packed with vitamins A, D, E, and K and it gives you 3 billion CFU probiotics and enzymes.
The big draw here is for the vegans. It’s organic, gluten-free and vegan-friendly (meaning dairy-free and egg-free), soy-free (an important diversification of the vegan diet) and it uses non-GMO components.
7. ISO 100 Whey Protein Isolate
And, finally, our last contender: ISO 100 Whey Protein Isolate.
Why is it on this list?
Because it’s great muscle fuel, obviously. Also, because it comes with rockstar ratings for quality, taste, and purity.
For your scoop of powder in your breakfast shake, you get 25 grams of protein with 5.5 grams of BCAAs, including 2.7 grams of L-Leucine. It cuts out the extra stuff (carbs, fat, cholesterol, and lactose) to give you a powder that’s gone through a micro-filtration process to make sure you get the best stuff possible.
Also, it comes in 12 flavors like fudge brownie and cinnamon bun, and if that doesn’t make you want to sign up right there, well, you clearly don’t have your priorities in order.
Make Your Best Protein Shake for Breakfast
Ready to start rocking that protein shake for breakfast?
You’ve got a lot of great powders to choose from (and if you need more ideas, try our list of the top protein powders for 2018).
And if you need more ideas to take your fitness to the next level, check out our blog for more posts to get you in the right direction, like our explanation of inulin powder (great for gut health) or when you should be taking creatine (aka the most popular bodybuilding supplement ever).