The Best Cheap Protein Powders in the UK

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Joe is an online weight loss coach and qualified personal trainer of 15 years who helps busy, professional men and women lose fat and build muscle.

Having a 9-5 desk-job, Joe understands the struggles of juggling a hectic life with trying to maintain a good physique.

If you want to know more, check out the about page, or get in touch

Protein powder is now so well known and ubiquitous both within the health and fitness world and outside it, that some of the biggest brands are now household names. The likes of My Protein, Bulk Powders, USN and Optimum Nutrition are almost staples in any UK household.

Below is a graph showing the number of people that search for ‘protein powder’ in the UK. As you can see its popularity has increased steadily over time, and in 2022, whey protein powder is more popular than ever.

Whey protein is a product area that’s shrouded in confusion, however. It’s not magical, and it certainly doesn’t have many benefits when used in isolation. For example, simply taking whey protein won’t result in muscle gain or fat loss. If you want to achieve either of those two goals, you need to be training consistently and tracking your calories.

So, while whey protein doesn’t really do anything on its own, when combined with a strategic workout program and a calorie and macro-controlled diet, it can certainly make muscle gain and fat loss a lot easier.

If you want to gain muscle, you need to be eating an adequate amount of protein (I recommend around 2g per Kg of body weight – that means if you weigh 80kg you should eat around 160g of protein per day).

Just Tell Me The Best Protein Powder

Ok, I get it, you don’t have time to read through every single review, well in my opinion, the best cheap protein powder in the UK is My Protein Impact Whey. It’s affordable at the regular price, but there are always offers on which make it even cheaper. It’s very high quality, and there over 50 flavours to choose from. Of course, different brands have different strengths and weaknesses so below, I’ve summarised the best powder based on a few different scenarios;

The best whey protein for quality and effectiveness: My Protein Impact Whey

The best whey protein for taste: BSN Syntha 6

The best whey protein for variety of flavours: My Protein Impact Whey

The best whey protein for mixability and texture: Bulk Pure Whey Protein

The best whey protein for cost-effectiveness: The Protein Works Whey Protein 80

Why am I The Best Person to Tell you the Best Protein Powder?

I’ve been using Whey Protein for 10+ years (that makes me feel old). I’ve tried almost every brand and falvour combination possible and I spend at least £30 a month on Whey protein.

Being a Nutrition and weight loss coach, however, I do recognise that whey protein is NOT essential for either building muscle or losing fat, but it does make both goals that little bit easier to achieve by offering convenience.

Whey protein is pretty much the only supplement I believe is worth taking (aside from maybe Creatine and fish oil) and it’s NOT just for gym bros in their 20s. Whey protein is useful for anyone with a muscle-building or fat loss goal.

How Have I Reviewed Each Protein Powder?

I’ve reviewed at least one flavour of each brand of powder (although in several cases I have tried a lot of the flavours).

  • I’ve used a plastic Bulk Powders protein shaker with a metal ball whisk and shaken each one for at least 10 seconds
  • I’ve used one serving of each powder (severing sizes do vary but are typically 20-30g)
  • I’ve measured out the servings using the plastic scoop that is generally provided with each powder
  • I’ve mixed each one with between 200-300ml of cold water

The Benefits of Protein Powder

So if protein powder doesn’t suddenly make you pack on slabs of muscle or get shredded in 2 weeks, what’s the point?

Well, while it doesn’t work wonders on its own, it does make gaining muscle and losing fat a little bit easier for a few different reasons.

Convenience

When was the last time you threw a steak or a chicken breast in your rucksack and set off for the day?

Oh that’s right, never.

Protein definitely isn’t the most portable macronutrient, and that is because all of the staple protein sources like meat, fish and dairy tend to go bad after a few hours out the fridge. 

There are some alternatives; nuts contain protein but in very small amounts, and they have a lot of calories that come along for the ride. Beef jerky is relatively low calorie and high in protein, but it’s really expensive and has the texture of a dog treat.

And this is exactly where whey protein comes in.

Whey can easily be stored in the bag you buy it, or dispensed into a shaker, you can carry it around all day either in dry form or pre-mixed. When you’re ready to drink it, just add water and neck it. Which takes about 4 seconds. Easy.

Whey also circumvents the social faux pas that is eating ‘pungent’ meat or fish in a public space.

Cost

The cost of whey protein has increased in 2022 (along with seemingly everything else), but it still works out a lot cheaper in terms of grams of protein per £ than any other whole food source.

That means, if you’re going to be eating a lot of protein (which you should be), you’re going to end up saving a lot of money.

Of course, this isn’t to say ONLY get your protein from whey, ‘whole food’ sources like meat, dairy and fish have important vitamins and minerals you may not find in whey.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability relates to how much of a particular type of protein can be absorbed. The good news is that whey protein powders have some of the highest bioavailability of all protein sources including meat, fish, dairy and legumes. That means you can be confident that you’re getting the maximum benefit from whey protein. If we compare whey protein to something like peas or beans then we can see that more of the protein is absorbed

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/

What are the different types of Whey Protein?

If you’ve ever bought whey protein either in a shop or online, you’re problem familiar with the feeling of overwhelm when you browse through all the different variations as you wonder what the f*ck hydrolyzed beef isolate protein is.

Well, you’re not alone, to a beginner, the world of whey protein, let alone supplements can be confusing, so let’s break down the different types, what they’re used for, and whether they’re worth it.

Whey Concentrate

Generally speaking, this is the cheapest, most common and most popular type of whey. Whey concentrate has a slightly lower protein content, and higher fat and carb content than other types of protein, but the differences really are negligible. The majority of Whey concentrate powders contain about 80% protein, which is unrivalled in most other ‘wholefoods’ aside from super lean white fish or shrimp/prawns. Concentrate is a great allrounder, affordable, and suitable for the majority of people.

Whey Isolate

Whey Isolate is a much finer powder than concentrate. Pound for pound, it has a slightly higher protein content, and slightly fewer calories, this is of course a good thing, nut it does come at a cost. Isolate is generally more expensive than concentrate because it takes longer to produce. It’s is better for people that are lactose intolerant or suffer from bloating when they use Whey Concentrate

Ceasin

Ceasin is a slow-digesting protein that most people use at night. The best way to build muscle to keep stimulating muscle protein synthesis at regular intervals, obviously this isn’t possible when you’re asleep, so a slow-digesting powder is the next best thing, and Ceasin does just that. Ceasin is a very thick, chalky powder that’s difficult to mix, so you’re better off using a blender than a regular protein shaker.

Clear Whey

Clear Whey isn’t necessarily any different to Whey Isolate in terms of the composition or the protein content; in fact, Clear Whey is Whey Isolate. Where it differs from any old Isolate (or concentrate for that matter) is that it is much more similar to juice than a milkshake. Clear Whey often comes in fruity flavours like Orange, Pineapple, Lemon and Mango. It simply offers variety for people that are tired of or simply don’t like the creamier, milk-like texture and flavours.

Vegan Protein Powder

Vegan protein comes in many different types such as;

  • Soy
  • Hemp
  • Pea
  • Rice
  • Fava beans
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds

Vegan protein powder is of course growing in popularity given that a growing number of people are turning to a Vegan diet. Vegan protein powder certainly isn’t as effective as any other type of protein on this list, mainly because it doesn’t contain all the essential amino acids that are required for muscle protein synthesis. It is, of course, better than nothing, however, and the best type to go for is a Rice/pea blend since it gets close to the amino acid profile of whey.

Beef Protein Powder

This is very much what it sounds like, and yes, it is actually made from beef. But don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like beef. Beef protein is a great alternative for people that are lactose intolerant or simply don’t like the taste of whey, but it does have a different amino acid profile which isn’t as good at stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis as whey.

Diet Whey

Don’t be fooled by this one. Diet whey sounds like it would help you lose fat right? Well not so fast. In order to lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit. You can be in a calorie deficit regardless of whether you use diet whey or regular whey. Diet whey may be a good diet aid IF it has fewer calories than regular whey, but ensure that it actually does if that’s what you want.  In any case, most standard whey concentrate powders on this only contain around 100 calories per scoop, meaning they won’t make a sizeable dent in your calorie budget anyway.

CostProtein ContentProtein QualityDigestability
Whey ConcentrateLOWMEDIUMMEDIUMMEDIUM
Whey IsolateHIGHHIGHHIGHHIGH
Clear WheyHIGHHIGHHIGHHIGH
Vegan Protein PowderMEDIUMLOWLOWHIGH
Beef Protein PowderHIGHMEDIUMMEDIUMHIGH
Diet WheyMEDIUMLOWMEDIUMMEDIUM

The Different Cheap Protein Powders Available in the UK

So let’s get into it, below all the whey protein brands available in the UK at the time of writing. This is an exhaustive list, however, the number of supplement brands is growing constantly so keep your eyes out for newcomers. All of the powders below are available to buy online, and some are available in-store too.

My Protein Impact Whey

My Protein is the UK’s leading brand of protein powder and for good reason. When My Protein first came on the market it was different from all other protein powders because it was so cheap – the protein powder came in a flexible plastic pouch rather than a hard plastic tub and was available in a ton of different flavours.

This is how My Protein were able to carve a spot for itself in the UK market. How do I know all this? Well I remember when it was first released, it offered such an advantage over other popular powders because it was made in the UK and therefore super affordable.

I’ve been a My Protein convert ever since, and the brand is stronger than ever with their own clothing line and an army of influencers promoting its products.

For me, the real advantage of My Protein is the sheer number of flavours they sell, 55 in total! If you’re anything like me, you’ll get bored of one flavour after a couple of weeks so the fact that you could have different flavours for a whole year keeps me coming back to the brand.

Their Impact Whey Protein is also super high-quality, having been given an A+ and a score of 99.9 from this Labdoor study, you can rest safe in the knowledge that you’re getting the best quality ingredients and that it actually does what it says on the pack

Impact Whey has 21g of protein per serving  (although this does vary slightly depending on what flavour you get) and while it no longer holds the mantle of the cheapest brand on the market, there are always offer codes around with some great deals

Flavours55
Sizes500g, 1kg, 2.5kg, 5kg
Protein per Serving21g
Calories per Serving95
Cost£18.19
Delivery Cost£3.99

Score: 9/10

My Protein Clear Protein Isolate

Clear Whey Mojito

You might be thinking that I’m cheating in having My Protein twice on this list, but not so fast. In 2019, My protein released Clear Protein Isolate which is a world away from the other whey protein concentrate products on this list.

If you’ve ever had a protein shake before (Who hasn’t) you’ll know they’re milkshake-like in texture and flavour. Well, Clear Whey Isolate isn’t, it’s much more like a fruity, refreshing juice or squash drink.

This makes it perfect for people who are lactose intolerant, or suffer from general bloating when they have whey protein, or for people that just aren’t a fan of the creamy, milky texture of Whey concentrate. It also opens up a whole new world of flavours like Watermelon, Orange and Bitter Lemon.

Being an Isolate power, Clear whey is digested much more quickly and easily and has an almost identical protein content to concentrate, but lower calories (because it contains less fat and carbs).

If you are used to Whey Concentrate, Clear Isolate is quite different, the powder is much finer and when shaken will form a thick foam, if you don’t like this, you’ll need to wait for it to settle before drinking. It’s definitely a lot lighter than Whey or Ceasin, and is ideal for anyone that suffers from lactose intolerance or bloating.

The downside is that it’s not as cheap as whey and only comes in one size. I’d personally order one tub of this to see how you get on with it before you buy a ton of it. I love to drink this in summer as it’s light, crisp and refreshing.

Flavours19
Sizes480g, 840g
Protein per Serving20g
Calories per Serving84
Cost£26.45
Delivery Cost£3.99

Score: 7/10

Bulk Pure Whey Protein

Bulk Pure Whey Protein

Bulk recently rebranded from ‘Bulk Powders; a few years ago, probably to reflect the fact that they sell more than just powder (e.g. other snacks/pills etc). Bulk offers a LOT of flavours too; nowhere near as many as My Protein, but still more than most of the other brands on the market.

While Bulk Pure Whey Protein is pretty affordable, I’m personally not a fan, and mainly because of the texture. Unlike the other brands on the list, Bulks whey protein is super fine, you’d think this would make for a smoother shake and it does, but it also results in a lot of bubbles when you shake it.

Having said that, Bulk does offer a lot of unique flavours you can’t get from most of the other brands like Pistachio, Peaches and Cream, and Birthday Cake. So if you’ve been using My Protein for a while and you’ve cycled through all the flavours, then a few of these.

Bulk is inoffensive as a brand, offering a decent price, a range of flavours and good protein levels, but I’m personally not a fan

Flavours27
Sizes500g, 1kg, 2.5k, 5kg
Protein per Serving22g (30g serving)
Calories per Serving116
Cost£13.19
Delivery CostFree over £39

Score: 7/10

The Protein Works Whey Protein 80

I really like the Protein Works and they’re my go-to fallback option if My Protein doesn’t have any offers on, or I’m just bored of the flavours.

I have to say that, taste-wise, The Protein Works rival My Protein. If you put a gun to my head I’d actually say that Protein Works is better – it’s slightly richer and creamier, and although they only have 14 flavours, they are all really good.

My favourites are the Cherry Bakewell (tastes a lot like the real thing), Mint Chocolate (this might just be the best flavour protein powder I’ve ever tried) and the Millionaire’s shortbread (tastes a LOT like shortbread).

The Protein Works powders have 100 calories and 20g of protein per 25g serving which puts them at pretty much the middle of the pack. Each serving also has 1.5g of fat and 2g of carbs.

Price-wise, The Protein Works are about on a par with My Protein but don’t run deals and discounts as often, meaning you will probably ultimately end up paying more

Flavours14
Sizes500g, 1kg, 2kg, 4kg
Protein per Serving20g (25g serving)
Calories per Serving100
Cost£12.99 (500g)
Delivery CostFree over £50

SciMx Ultra Whey

sci mx ultra whey

SciMx used to have a sub-brand called ‘Go Nutrition’, which was a budget brand similar to The Protein Works. Sci Mx is positioned as a slightly more premium brand, that also offers bars (Pro 2 Go), healthy reday meals and other supplements.

Sadly, Sci Mx folded in 2021 due to several years of making losses. Industry analysts cite their attempt to appeal to too wide a market as their downfall, while competitors like Grenade niched down and cornered areas of the market like protein bars.

Sci Mx was bought by another company, so their products are still available to buy, but it’s clear there’s very little investment in the brand or the products. At the time of writing, there are only 4 flavours available (and they’re all pretty standard), and most size and flavour combos are sold out.

If you are, or were a fan of Sci Mx, I’d advise you stock up now.

If you aren’t, I wouldn’t recommend trying it, there really is nothing that stands out about the product and it’s not particularly cheap compared with the competition either. If you really are after a bargain, keep checking back to the site as they might reduce the prices dramatically to clear all the stock!

Flavours4
Sizes450g, 908g, 2.28kg, 
Protein per Serving17g (22.5g)
Calories per Serving87
Cost17.99
Delivery Cost£3.99

Score: 4/10

BSN Syntha 6

BSN Syntha 6 comes in a transparent red tub making it one of the most eye-catching powders in the store. Unfortunately, most people don’t buy protein powder in the stores anymore so it needs to stand out for reasons other than the coloured container.

Syntha 6 is unique in the sense that it is comprised of a blend of 6 different proteins, these are; whey concentrate, whey isolate, casein, Micellar Ceasin, Milk Protein, and Soy Protein. This ensures that Syntha 6 is made up of a mixture of fast and slow-releasing proteins, making it ideal to use either after a workout or before bed.

Does that really make any difference? No. This is a tiny detail that won’t realistically have any effect on your muscle-building efforts, and in all honesty, is a bit of a gimmick. All that really matters when it comes to building muscle is your total protein intake throughout the day, rather than the type of protein you’re eating.

Syntha 6 definitely tastes good, it has a creamy texture and comes in some nice flavours like Chocolate Mudslide and New York Vanilla Cheesecake. That taste does come at a cost however; one serving of Syntha 6 contains 200 calories (and 22g of protein) which is over TWICE as much as most of the other brands on the list.

That’s not good if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, so I’d only recommend Syntha 6 to people that are seriously ‘bulking’ or don’t mind putting on some extra fat

Score: 6/10

Flavours3
Sizes2.2kg
Protein per Serving22g
Calories per Serving200
Cost£39.99
Delivery CostN/A

Scitec Nutrition 100% Whey Protein Professional

Scitech is another staple Whey Protein in supplement shops all over the UK, it looks very similar to Syntha 6 with its bright red tub, but it differs in several aspects.

Scitech Nutrition Whey is NOT available to buy directly in the UK, so you’ll need to get it from a 3rd party retailer like Dolphin Fitness, this can mean the price varies frequently, so make sure you’re on the lookout for the best possible deals.

SciTech is fairly high in calories and protein and comes in 16 flavours. I have to say that in my experience, Scitech has some of the best tasing flavours of all the brands on this list, as well as all the standard options like Chocolate and Strawberry, there are so some unique flavours like Kiwi Banna, Pumpkin Pie and Almond Pistachio.

My personal favourite is the Iced Coffee flavour, this is the perfect blend of sweet and bitter, and has a high caffeine content so you get that coffee kick as well as the taste. SciTech is even priced fairly keenly at £23.99 for 920g, and while it’s not the cheapest on the market, it’s certainly not bad value for money.

Flavours16
Sizes500g, 920g, 2.35kg, 5kg
Protein per Serving22g
Calories per Serving114
Cost£18.98
Delivery CostN/A

Score: 8/10

Huel Complete Protein

Huel complete protein

If you’ve not heard on Huel then you’ve obviously been hiding under a rock for the past few years. This lifestyle brand has reinvented the ‘soylent green’ concept for the 21st century, making shakes that are designed to replace ‘real food’ for busy people.

Huel started out life as a pure ‘meal replacement’ shake containing carbs, fats as well as all the vitamins and minerals required for overall health. They have recently launched a more ‘traditional;’ range of products, however, one of them being a Vegan protein powder.

Now, this probably shouldn’t strictly be on this list considering it’s not ‘whey’ as such, but it does pretty much the same job.

Each serving has 20g of protein and 105 calories which is fairly standard. It also comes in a few nice flavours like Salted Caramel and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Unfortunately, as with other Vegan protein products including Vegan protein bars, they do have an ‘earthy’ undertone which simply means it doesn’t taste as good as other powders on this list.

If you’re a vegan, this is probably a good option (due to the high BCAA content), but otherwise, I’d avoid this as it’s expensive and doesn’t really offer any advantage over cheaper, tastier options. The other disadvantage of Huel is that you have to buy a minimum of 2 tubs at a time, so you can’t make an order that’s cheaper than £50.

Flavours6
Sizes754g
Protein per Serving20 (29g serving)
Calories per Serving105
Cost£25
Delivery CostFree over £40

Bodybuilding Warehouse Pure 80

Bodybuilding Warehouse Pure Whey 80

Body Building Warehouse is a 3rd party retailer that sells a huge range of premium brand products like Whey protein, BCAAS, Creatine, Fat Burners and Protein Bars as well as their ‘own brand’ products. Don’t be fooled though, Bodybuilding Warehouses Whey Protein is super high quality and a match for anything else on the market.

Their cheapest Whey product is the ‘Pure Whey Protein Concentrate 80’ at £21.99 per bag, but they also sell a range of other Whey Protein varieties like Vegan Protein, Whey Isolate, Clear Whey and Diet Whey. Of course, the ‘Pure 80’ does a perfectly good job.

There are 22 flavours available meaning they have more variety than most other brands on this list, and some of the flavours are really unique, for example, they’re the only UK brand I know that offer Red Velvet, Smores and Butterscotch. While I’ve not tried every single flavour, I can definitely recommend the Cinnamon Caramel Swirl – a must for all Cinnamon addicts out there.

Typically, Pure 80 delivers 19g of protein per 25G scoop with only 1g of carbs (all from sugar) and 1g of fat.

I really like this powder, it’s versatile, and relatively cheap (if you get it when there’s an offer on) and it’ll take a long tome before you get bored of the flavours. If you’re someone that always leaves ordering a new batch of protein until the last minute, you can also subscribe to BW+. For £9.99 this gets you free next day delivery for a whole year. When delivery costs £3.99 anyway, that’s a no-brainer.

Flavours22
Sizes500g, 1kg, 5kg
Protein per Serving19g (25g Serving)
Calories per Serving94
Cost£21.99
Delivery Cost£3.99

Score: 8/10

GHOST Whey Protein

Ghost are a cool brand.

I know that’s totally subjective, but just look at this video on their site. They’re a young US-based company that super open, transparent and totally clear about what they represent as a brand. But all the marketing isn’t just fluff. As they say themselves, they pride themselves on quality ingredients and innovative flavours.

They don’t just sell Whey Protein, they’re well known for their pre-workout formulas. They often do crossovers with other brands to create some cool flavours like ‘Warheads Sour Watermelon’, ‘Turtles OOze’ and ‘Welch’s Grape’. They even have a ‘Spicy Pineapple Margarita’ thermogenic formula – don’t tell me that’s not cool!

Anyway, back to the Whey, the standout feature of Ghost is the flavour range; while there are only 8 to choose from, these are really innovative fun flavours when it comes to whey protein. You’ll struggle to find Fruity Cereal Milk, Cinnamon Cereal Milk and Peanut Butter Cereal Milk anywhere else and all of these are REALLY good. My personal favourite is the Cinnamon Cereal Milk; it tastes exactly like the milk that’s left over when you have Cinnamon Toast Crunch (or Curiously Cinnamon if you’re in the UK). This is genuinely my favourite flavour of Whey Protein on this entire list, you NEED to try it!

The taste doesn’t come without a downside however, most of the flavours are over 130 calories per scoop, and while they do contain 25g of protein, Ghost probably isn’t ideal if you’re dieting.

Unfortunately, Ghost only comes in one size and costs £6.99 for delivery (since it’s shipped from the US) so I can’t call it the best on this list, and it’s certainly not the most cost-effective. But it does taste really really good (and it comes in a cool tub!).

Flavours8
Sizes2lb
Protein per Serving25g (35g serving)
Calories per Serving130
Cost£34.99
Delivery Cost£6.99

Score: 8/10

USN 100% Premium Whey Protein

USN Whey Protein

USN are another brand that has been around for a long time, and is a staple of the UK Whey Protein market.

This is a serious product for serious lifters, and it ticks all the boxes in terms of protein quality and content. A 34g serving contains 24g of protein and 129 calories. So, while it may be higher in calories than the market average, it is also very high in protein.

Like Syntha 6, USN Premium Whey is made up of a blend of proteins, this time Whey and Isolate. This means it digests more quickly than a pure Whey Concentrate powder, although it does give it a finer texture which can result in a less creamy shake with more lumps.

There are only 5 flavours available which is pretty poor, but they do have one unique flavour called ‘Wheytella’, as you can probably guess, this is a Hazelnut and Chocolate hybrid which tastes a lot like Nutella. It’s actually really good, with a  rich nutty taste. The closest equivalent would be the My Protein Chocolate Nut flavour, but this is much better.

At £30 for under a Kg, this is one of the most expensive powders on the market, so unless you really love Nutella, I’d personally stick to cheaper brands.

Flavours5
Sizes908g, 2kg, 2.28kg
Protein per Serving24g (34g serving)
Calories per Serving129
Cost£30
Delivery Cost£3.99

PHD Diet Whey

Although ‘Diet Whey’ is technically a category in its own right, it is PHDs flagship product and is in fact still a predominantly Whey-focused blend. 

Where this really differs from the competition is that it is lower in calories than every other brand on this list, with one scoop providing just 91 calories. Although this does technically mean it’s better if you’re trying to lose fat, it does also contain less protein so in reality, it’s not really superior to anything else on this list from a fat loss standpoint.

It does contain a few other ingredients that PHD claims ‘to support weight loss’ like green tea extract and L-Carnitine, but in reality, this will make zero discernible difference (if you want to lose fat, all you need to do is create a calorie deficit).

PHD Diet Whey comes in 10 flavours, I’ve personally tried the Chocolate Mint and the Strawberry, both of which are fantastic. At £32.99 however, Diet Whey doesn’t represent good value and there are much cheaper, better options out there.

Flavours10
Sizes500g, 1kg, 2kg
Protein per Serving17g (25g serving)
Calories per Serving91
Cost£11.99
Delivery CostFree over £45

Score: 6/10

Reflex Nutrition 100% Whey

Reflex Whey

Reflex Nutrition has been around for a long time, 25 years in fact, which makes it a real OG in the protein powder game. Reflex prides itself on quality; all their protein is made from grass-fed cattle, and they don’t use any Soy protein (due to the inferior quality), all Reflex products are also aspartame free.

Reflex is available to buy through 3rd party retailers or their own website, they don’t just sell whey, in fact they have a huge range, from Vitamins, and minerals through to pre-workouts and weight gainer supplements.

The 100% Whey is their flagship Whey Protein product and contains 25g of protein per serving. There isn’t a huge choice of either flavours or sizes, only coming in 875g or 2kg containers. The flavours are pretty bland and standard, although the Peanut Salted Caramel is a good recent addition, and by far the bets of the bunch.

The best thing about Reflex is the texture, it mixes really well even with a small amount of water, and hardly ever contains any lumps. Reflex is quite expensive compared to the competition however and has fallen behind the times when it comes to innovative flavours and deals/offers. There’s nothing amazing about Reflex, but nothing bad either.

Flavours4
Sizes875g, 2kg
Protein per Serving25g (35g serving)
Calories per Serving129
Cost£40
Delivery CostFree over £35

Score: 6/10

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein

Optimum Nutrition is positioned very much as a premium brand, it’s flagship whey product is called ‘Gold Standard, it only comes in old skool plastic tubs and the large bold font stands out confidently amongst its competitors, but is it really any good?

This product is consistently voted one of the best on the market and is advertised by some of the biggest influencers in the fitness industry, so why all the hype? Well, it is pretty much just hype!

There’s nothing that really sets Optimum nutrition apart from the other entries on this list. It has 24g of protein and 5.5g of BCAAs per serving which is nothing revolutionary.

For a long time, they had a very small flavour range but they have expanded it now to incorporate some cool new varieties like Cereal Milk, White Chocolate Raspberry and Caramel Toffee Fudge, but the selection is still nowhere near what My Protein or Bulk offer.

ON Gold Standard is also comparatively expensive. If you want 908g it’s going to cost you £32.99 which isn’t cheap.

Flavours14
Sizes450g, 465g, 896g, 908g, 2.27kg, 4.54kg
Protein per Serving24g (30g serving)
Calories per Serving113
Cost£18.99
Delivery CostFree over £45

Score: 7/10

Maximuscle Promax Restore

Maximuscle is the true OG in the whey protein game, this was the first brand I ever bought when I started training, mainly because it was one of the few around at the time. While Maximuscle is still going strong, they’ve definitely lost the limelight to new, better value more innovative brands.

Maximuscle does still have a strong offering, however, with four main products. Cyclone is billed as a strength-specific powder and is essentially whey protein with added creatine. Promax Lean is effectively a ‘diet’ whey product with a whey Isolate blend with L-Carnitine and green tea extract, and Progain is a higher calorie whey powder with added carbs billed as a ‘weight-gainer’. Promax is your standard run-of-the-mill whey protein powder.

Of course, you don’t actually need any of these 4 specific products to achieve those 4 goals, Promax will covers all the bases, but is this powder any good? In all honesty, Maximuscle have been left behind by newer, younger players in the market.

Maximsucle only offers 4 flavours, the only interesting one being Banoffee. They also only offer one size, with 1.1kg costing £35 meaning it’s not very competitive on cost either. I’d also say that Promax is one of the least well mixing and most artificial tasting of all the other powders on this list.

Flavours4
Sizes1.1kg
Protein per Serving27g (35g serving)
Calories per Serving129
Cost£35
Delivery Cost£3.95

Score: 4/10

Aldi Pro Milk

Aldi is a large supermarket chain in the UK, and is generally considered to be among the cheapest supermarkets for general grocery shopping. It’s no surprise then that Aldi also offer some really good value Whey protein shakes.

Aldi’s own Whey Protein product is slightly different from everything else on this list because it comes in a ready-to-drink format (RTD) rather than in powder form which you mix with water yourself. It’s called ‘Pro-Milk’ and it comes in a 330ml carton (the same size as a can of Coke).

Each Carton has 20g of protein and 188 calories, so while the protein content is comparable with everything else on this list, the calories are actually very high. This is because pro milk is made with (you guessed it) Milk, so it has more fat and carbs (and therefore calories) than the competition.

Taste-wise, Pro Milk tastes just as good as most of the regular pre-made milkshakes available in the UK such as Friji, it’s super smooth and chocolatey without being too sweet. Its major downside is that there are only two flavours available (Chocolate and Strawberry), and the cost.

At 99p per 330ml, Pro Milk works out at around the same cost per gram of protein as the other contenders on the list at full price. If you can get some of the powders on offer though, they will work out much cheaper.

Flavours2
Sizes330ml
Protein per Serving20g
Calories per Serving188
Cost£0.99
Delivery CostN/A

Whey Protein FAQ

I get it, you still have questions, the world of Whey Protein definitely isn’t straightforward and you want to make sure you’re not wasting your money on tubs of flavoured milk powder. Below are some of the most common questions I get around whey protein, if you have any more, drop them in the comments and I’ll see if I can answer each one individually.

Does Whey Protein Work?

The short answer is yes. If you are trying to build muscle, you need to be consuming a certain amount of protein regularly on a daily basis. Most people should be aiming for around 2g of protein per kg of body weight, although more than that won’t hurt you.

Whey protein can help you hit your target protein intake in a cheap, convenient and quick manner, but you certainly don’t NEED it. High-quality whole food protein sources like meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy are more than adequate for hitting your daily protein goal.

Whole food should in fact be prioritised above supplements like Whey Protein because they contain many other beneficial micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. The best approach is to use a mic of both whole food sources and supplements to hit your targets. I tend to include 1-2 scoops of Whey Protein per day into my diet.

Is Whey Protein Suitable for Vegans?

No. Whey Protein is made from Milk, and is actually a by-product of the cheese making process. Milk is of course an animal product so Whey Protein is NOT vegan.

There are however a huge range of Vegan protein powders on the market that comes from a variety of sources like pea, rice and soy. While these may not be ideal from an amino acid profile point of view, they are certainly better than nothing.

Whey Protein will always be superior however so unless you absolutely HAVE to adhere to a Vegan diet, stick to Whey.

Is Whey the cheapest Protein?

Generally, yes. Most brand’s cheapest offering will be Whey Concentrate because this is the cheapest type of protein to manufacture. There are other types of protein that are more expensive such as Isolate, Clear Whey and Hydroloslate but they don’t offer any significant advantages of Whey Concentrate.

What’s the Best Tasting Whey Protein?

Taste is of course objective, but having tested dozens of flavours over the years, I believe Ghost Whey Protein is the best-tasting Whey Protein Powder. And the best flavour? Cinnamon Cereal Milk; great texture and a rich, spicy, sweet Cinnamon taste.

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