Muscle for life

What is the Best Protein Powder for Building Muscle?

What is the Best Protein Powder for Building Muscle?

 With so many options out there, what is the best protein powder for building muscle?














In order to get an answer to that question, let’s first take a look at protein itself.

We have two main sources of protein: whole food protein and supplement protein.

Whole food protein is, as you guessed, protein that comes from natural food sources, such as beef, chicken, fish, etc. The best forms of whole food proteins for building muscle are chicken, turkey, lean red meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.

If you’re vegetarian, your best options are eggs, low-fat cottage cheese (Organic Valley is my favorite brand), low-fat European style (Greek) yogurt (0% Fage is my favorite), tempeh, tofu, quinoa, almonds, rice, and beans.

While we’re on the subject of vegetarianism, some people claim that you must carefully combine your proteins if you’re vegetarian or vegan to ensure your body is getting “complete” proteins (all of the amino acids needed to build tissue). This theory and the faulty research it was based on was thoroughly debunked as a myth by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, yet it still hangs around. While it’s true that some sources of vegetable protein are lower in certain amino acids than other forms of protein, there is no scientific evidence to prove that they lack them altogether.

Protein supplements are powdered or liquid foods that contain protein from various sources, such as whey (a liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained in the process of making cheese), egg, and soy (the three most common sources of supplement protein).

You don’t NEED protein supplements to gain muscle, but it can be impractical to try to get all your protein from whole foods every day.

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What You Need to Know About Eating Protein

There are a few things you should know about eating protein.

First is the subject of how much protein you can absorb in one sitting. Studies relating to this are very contradictory and disputed, mainly because it’s a complex subject. Your genetics, metabolism, digestive tract health, lifestyle, and amount of lean mass are all important factors.

But in the spirit of keeping things simple, here’s what we know: you can eat and properly use a lot of protein in each meal.

How much, exactly? Well, your body should have no trouble absorbing upwards of 100 grams in one sitting.

That said, there aren’t any benefits of eating this way (I find gorging quite uncomfortable, actually), but it’s good to know in case you miss a meal and need to make it up by loading protein into a later meal.

Another thing to know about protein is that different proteins digest at different speeds and some are better utilized by the body than others.

Beef protein, for example, is digested quickly and 70-80% of what’s eaten is utilized by the body (the exact number varies based on what study you read, but they all fall between 70 and 80%).

Whey protein is also digested quickly and its “net protein utilization” (NPU) is in the low 90%s, which means that 90-something percent of it can actually be used by your body. Egg protein digests much slower than whey and beef and its NPU also falls in the low 90%s.

NPU and digestion speeds are important to know because you want to rely on high-NPU proteins to meet your daily protein requirement, and you want a quick-digesting protein for your post-workout meal and a slow-digesting protein for your final meal before you go to bed.

I could give you charts and tables of the NPU rates of various proteins, but I’m going to just keep it simple. In order to meet your daily protein requirements, here are your choices:

Whole Food Proteins

Lean meats (beef, pork, chicken, and turkey)



Vegetarian sources noted earlier

Protein Supplements




Vegetarian sources noted earlier


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What is the Best Protein Powder for Building Muscle?

best protein powder for building muscle and losing weight

So, the best protein powder for building muscle comes down to the three I just listed: egg, whey, and casein.

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, I recommend brown rice and/or pea protein and not soy, (and I explain why in this article on the best protein powders for women).

Now, there are a million different brands of protein and many are marketed and hyped. It can be hard to choose.

Well, I’ve tried many different protein powders, and I recommend LEGION WHEY+Healthy ‘n Fit’s 100% Egg Protein, and Optimum Nutrition’s Natural Casein. For a vegan/vegetarian powder, I like Sunwarrior’s Raw Vegan product.

Now, regarding when to eat slow- or fast-digesting proteins, I recommend eating a fast-digesting protein like whey after working out to quickly spike amino acid levels in your blood and stimulate muscle growth, and eating a slow-digesting protein like egg or casein 30 minutes before going to bed, as research has shown this helps improves recovery.

For the rest of your supplementation, you can use whey or egg. I like egg more because too much whey tends to bloat me.


Which sources of protein do you like most and why? Have anything else to add? Let me know in the comments below!


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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • And a whole lot more!

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Leave a Comment!
  • Chad

    I was just wondering, is much of your diet and workout routines taken from a known former ifbb bodybuilder named Jeff Willet?

    • Hey Chad,

      As far as I know, Willet espouses similar training principles in terms of sets and reps, but my workouts are different than this in terms of actual routines. I haven’t studied anything that he says about dieting, either.


      • Sadaf

        Hey Michael , I have been working out from last one year and has some decent muscles now…i weigh 73 kgs and would like to choose a supplement which helps me in further muscle building but no or very little fat gain….Please sugeest the best protein supplement and the cost..Thanks 🙂

        • Michael Matthews


          Great job on your progress so far.

          I like whey and egg protein. I use whey pre- and post-workout, and do one egg protein shake in the afternoon.

          https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/protein-supplements/optimum-nutrition-100-whey-gold-standard/

          https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/protein-supplements/healthy-n-fit-100-egg-protein/

          • nick

            hi just wondering every time I go shopping for a protein powder I seem to get lost all the time picking the right one because of the huge selection been doing a lot of weights ive been using musashi seems ok taste is good but not to sure if its the right one for me im a skinny sorta guy needing to put weight on with a good gain any help would be great 🙂

          • Michael Matthews
  • Sammy

    Hi Mike,
    Is Fage any good as a protein source? I’ve been using the 0% fat version. http://www.fageusa.com/products/fage-total-0-percent/

    • Hey Sammy,

      Totally, I love that stuff. I’ve been eating a pint a week recently, hahah.


  • john

    Mike, what do you think about Sun Warrior protein?

    • I’ve tried their products and they’re great quality, no doubt about it. The only issue I have with plant-based proteins is the absorption rates are pretty bad (how much protein your body can actually use).

      Are you adamant on getting your protein from vegan sources?

      • Jeff

        Hey Mike,

        I’m a vegan and eat pretty healthy, albeit probably not as much as I should. And I’d say I’m pretty adamant to keeping my protein sources plant based. I avoid processed protein like the faux “meats” completely and stick to tofu, tempeh, and seitan for my protein, plus brown rice, quinoa, and beans. I also use the Vega sport/Vega One protein powders, since they’re not soy and rather a combination of various plant proteins. What would you say I should stick to most for my protein and would I have to eat more than your typical meat eater to get similar results? And should I limit tofu/tempeh since they’re soy-based? I figured they were okay since they aren’t processed.

        • Hey Jeff,

          Thanks for writing!

          All of your current protein sources are good and what I recommend for vegans, but yes, you would see better results in the gym if you ate some animal protein too. It doesn’t have to be meat, either–dairy and eggs are great too.

          Keeping your soy intake relatively low is a good idea.

          What do you think?


  • Deano

    Hey dude – I have got all your books apart from Shredded Chef and I am struggling to hit the calorie target of 2500 – 3000 per day. Even if I do have access to more food, I am simply not hungry. I eat calore dense foods such as fats but I always plateau around the 2000 daily mark. I am using both casein and 100% weight Optimum Nutrition sources and I was wondering what snacks could I eat to really add healthy calories to hit my calorie target?
    By the way, I am on a Paelo diet so without the wheat – I am struggling to find foods to add up the carbs that don’t make me physically feel like I’m over-eating for no reason etc.

    • Hey,

      Thanks for reading my books and writing! I really appreciate it.

      Most guys find it hard to adjust to bulking macros their first time around. It actually takes a little bit of time to stretch your stomach out to allow for the extra food.

      That said, I like to focus on the following foods when I’m bulking:

      Red meat

      Chicken thighs

      Brown rice



      Almond butter


      Bananas (go REALLY well with almonds and almond butter)

      Whole-fat Greek yogurt

      Multi-grain pasta and bread

      Sweet potato


      Paleo is healthy, but does make bulking tough. You have a few options, really: eat a ton of the carbs you can actually have (learn to love sweet potato, lol); adjust your carbs down and fats up; or do an 80/20 deal where you do include some grains or legumes every day.

      What do you think?


      • Deano9

        Hey Michael
        Thanks for replying – nice to see your real too, in an odd way.
        I think I’m going to go for the 80/20 rule because I am really really determined to increase my mass. Thanks for the list of foods I’ll be using this to design a plan this evening. But I’ll let you know how I get on. Thanks for writing your material though it clarified a lot and set me on a path to knowing how to seperate fact from fiction if you know what I mean.

        Thanks Dean

        • My pleasure on the reply! Lol Yup, I’m real. 😉

          Good call on the 80/20 issue. Let me know how the meal planning goes. It should be pretty simple when you include some non-Paleo carbs.

          Thanks a lot regarding my work. I’m really glad you’ve found it helpful.

          Keep me posted on how things go!


  • Maxwellio

    Hey Mike, I have a mild case of IBS & am looking to properly hit the gym. Do you know of any protein powders that are meant to be more easily digested and which can be used post workout? I hear whey proteins can cause problems for some people. I thought I’d ask as there’s a load of conflicting information on the Internet. Any help would be really appreciated!

  • Sajith

    Hey Mike, I recently bought and read your book and have just started really lifting heavy weights (I was a cross country runner for years) for the first time. I was wondering if you could give more insight on how vegan proteins fare in comparison to whey/egg/casein. I take Vega Sport, which is a blend of brown rice, pea, and hemp protein, do you think that is an effective replacement for still achieving similar gains? And also, I’m not sure if it’s slow digesting and good to take before bed. My goal is to prove to myself (and then others) that it is possible to really get big and strong on a vegan diet.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for reading my book and that’s great you’re on the program! I hope you’re enjoying it.

      I actually wrote a new article on this. I think you’ll like it!

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-best-protein-powder-for-women/

      (The article is titled for women but that’s mainly for SEO purposes–it goes over information that all of us should have!)

  • max

    Hey mike I’ve just started working out, and would like to know if and which muscle tech is good for toning and building muscle.

    • Michael Matthews

      I’m not a fan of any of MT’s products to be honest. If you want something to help you build muscle, just pick up creatine and ensure you eat enough every day.

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/strength-growth-and-recovery/

  • shobhit

    hi… u written awesome …recently m started gym and i want to make my body with good tone but not to look like healthy ..(not to increase my fat)..my weight is 68.8 and m age is 24 plzz tell which protein powder i have to take means whey protein r any other.. plzz tell which brand protein powder i have to take (universal,muscletech,dymatize,esc,labra) plzz help broo

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Honestly no specific protein powder is going to be “best” for your goal, as that really just requires proper training and nutrition.

      Have you read my book Bigger Leaner Stronger? I think you would really like it…

      Regarding brands, I’ve tried everything and have settled on the products I recommend here on the site.

    • sagar

      Hey michael
      I am doing the gyming from last 2years but I dont get rid of lower belly fat till now.and I am taking protien from last 6 months but results are very less.plz tell me how can I get abs and I have only 4 abs plz tell me how can I reduce my lower belly fat. And gain my muscle too??

  • Kwynk

    I just started using these protien and while its expensive, I love it. What do you think of it?

  • Mohit

    what is 80/20 rule?

  • Steven Talley

    Mike, are you familiar with the beef protein “Carnivor” by MuscleMeds? The chocolate tastes pretty good, and it’s a pretty good value. I know you’ve mentioned too much whey bothers certain people’s stomachs. Could this be a good alternative? You said beef protein is fast digesting right?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah I’ve heard about it but never tried it. Beef protein would be a good replacement for whey. The only thing that would sketch me out about Carnivor is the quality of the beef being used…

  • Derrek
    • Michael Matthews

      Looks okay to me!

  • Derrek

    How much protein per scoop? Also what do you think of growing naturals? What do you look for in a supplement? Also how much protein after a workout (depending then might do 2 scoops)? http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B008U7ML70/ref=aw_1st_sims_2?pi=SL500_SS115

    • Michael Matthews

      I like to see 20-25 grams of protein per scoop. This product looks good to me. 40 grams of protein after working out is perfect.

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  • Derrek

    This is an interesting artilce. I know whey is popular but it doesn’t always sit with people the best and isn’t the healthiest alternative. The only problem is they use 48 g. of protein. http://www.nutritionj.com/content/12/1/86

    • Michael Matthews

      Great find, thanks for sharing.

      I’m not surprised by this actually as brown rice protein is one of the better vegan options. In fact a brown rice/pea blend is often called the “vegan whey” due to its high leucine content.

  • Toni

    Hi Mike, I’m, becoming a big fan of your books, I’ve already read 3 of them, I gave one of your books as a gift to a friend, but now he is telling me that he read somewhere that whey protein can cause loss of libido, have you come across with some information about it?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Toni! I really appreciate your support.

      I’ve never seen anything like that and can’t find anything (just looked around). Sounds like a myth.

      • Toni

        Thank you!!!!

        • Michael Matthews


  • Ramesh


    I’m planning to take Protein Powder, i’m 26 old guy with 86 kgs and 5.11 inch height, I want to loss fat and gain muscle with good shape.


    I joined the gym 1 month back, can I take Protein Powder? since i’m beginner to gym.

    Please suggest me which protein powder fulfills my needs

    • Michael Matthews

      Cool on your stats and goal.

      Yes, you can use a protein powder if you’d like. It’s not necessary, but it’s convenient.

      I would recommend starting with a whey that you can use before and after your training.

  • Aries

    I am 31 years old, female and i recently started weight lifting. I am doing this to make my body leaner.I would like to take a whey powder but have no clue which to take. I will go daily to gym.

    • Michael Matthews

      Great on lifting! Here’s the whey I like:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/protein-supplements/optimum-nutrition-100-whey-gold-standard/

  • ronit

    Hiii , i’m ronit from india.. i’m weighing mr than 75kgs.. n ma full body has loose skin .. i hav started gyming n i’m planing to tak sum protein shakes.. but i’m not sure still which 1 to take.. plz help me out

    • Michael Matthews

      Protein shakes themselves actually don’t help with weight loss. Losing fat requires a proper diet and, in most cases, doing some exercise.

      Check out these articles to learn more:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-quickest-way-to-lose-weight/

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /build-muscle-lose-fat/

  • Stephon Benavides

    Hi. I would like to know which protein powder I should take. Right now, I’m doing a lot of aerobic and anaerobic exercises (mostly anaerobic). I weight 137 and I’m 5 feet and 10 inches. I’m trying to gain muscle. Can you please help me?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for commenting!

      Personally I like to use whey for pre- and post-workout nutrition, and otherwise I like egg protein.

      Here are the exact products I use:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/protein-supplements/optimum-nutrition-100-whey-gold-standard/

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/protein-supplements/healthy-n-fit-100-egg-protein/

      And remember that eating ENOUGH is key. Check out this article:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-hardgainers-guide-to-guaranteed-muscle-growth/

      Hope this helps!

  • andy

    Do we need to supplement with bcaas? Are those essentials?

  • andy

    Are bcaa supplement essential?

  • Magdalena Villanueva

    Hey, I’m Magdalena. I was wondering what protein shake powder would be best to try for fat burning/ leaner look. Also for muscle building if you’re lifting? I excerise alot and I want to try drinking these protein shakes.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Michael Matthews

      Unfortunately no protein powders are “best” for losing weight–a gram of protein is a gram of protein, regardless of whether it’s whey, egg, casein, pea, etc.

      Getting leaner is a matter of regulating your total daily intake of calories, not a matter of only eating certain types or foods or avoiding others.

      Same goes for muscle building. Whey has a slight edge over others for pre- and post-workout nutrition, but otherwise protein is protein.

  • Dan

    Hey Mike, I was wondering, what is the Maximum percentage of your daily protein intake that you recommend, one can get from protein powder?

    • Michael Matthews

      Good question. I don’t know of any good research on the subject, but I like to get about 60-70% of my daily protein from whole food.

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  • tiggerdeluxe

    Hi Matthew and thank you for a great site! Respect to you.

    I am not a vegan or vegetarian but like to limit my use of animal sources; do you know about Reflex Vegan Protein (pea) ? I would be interested to know your thoughts on that. Also…Greek Yoghurt: As part of my old CrossFit days of eat fat to burn fat, why 0% and not full fat? Would love to know your thoughts. Thank you & keep up the great work!

    • Michael Matthews


      No I don’t know about that brand but pea protein is good.

      I prefer to get my fats from other sources, that’s all. Full-fat dairy is totally fine though.

      • tiggerdeluxe

        Thank you!

        • Michael Matthews


  • Mantas Kemzura

    Hi Michael Matthews!
    This article was good, I am 17 years old, 188cm tall and weight around 70kg.
    Lately I have been hitting the gym and eating much food, mostly everything but I try to target food with protein at most, like chicken, tuna, cottage cheese, eggs and stuff everyday.
    And I kinda have one simple question, should I buy “gainer”? I read that Mutant Mass is amazing but I’m a little worried it wont work, since I am a student and it cost’s a lot!

    Thanks for any answers!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Mantas! That’s great on what you’re doing. I don’t like gainers. I much prefer eating real food…

  • Bronson

    I’ve been gyming it for three weeks now, my goal is to gain lean muscle, also increase the size of my legs, as i think im unproprotioned. i’ve just finished a med size bottle of 100% whey gold standard, which was alright, i dont really feel like im getting much gains though. Im doing a 12 week challenge, that has me sticking to a strict diet plan of high protein, minimal carbs.
    do you have any recommendations of protein powders or any tips that might help in achieving my goals??

    • Michael Matthews

      Great job on starting! Cool on your goals.

      It sounds like you’re not eating enough, and the training program probably isn’t ideal either. What are you doing exactly?

  • João Carlos Clementoni Silva

    Hi Michael. I appreciate your text a lot.

    I’m starting building my meal plan according with your book. I have a question about protein before bed. I can’t buy casein supplement and, where I live, I can’t find good greek yogurt. The best I’ve found has 0g fat, 5,20g carbs and 7g protein in a portion. These carbs in this yogurt, will block my muscle recovery?

    Thank you very much.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Hmm that’s not inherently BAD but we want you to get some more protein. What about eggs? Could you do that?

      • João Carlos Clementoni Silva

        Yes, I can. Thank you very much!

        • Michael Matthews


  • Bhuvanesh Waran

    Hello friend,
    im 5.9 inch tall, 64kg weight, and just 24 yrs old smart guy….im not a vegan…
    Always having this proverb “No pain, No gain” in my mind…
    Can anyone suggest me the best routine food & good supplement in our day to day life for gaining muscle and getting good abs…
    and Mathews, i loved the way you recommended us to eat a real food rather than taking some supplements..
    1)Could you tell foods to include as small meals ?
    2)Do and don’t eat foods?
    3)Did Any side effects in consuming whey protein ?
    4)how many hours of sleep needed for everyday ?
    Thanks in advance…
    awaiting for you reply…

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey man! If you search around on my site for those subjects you’ll find articles on each.

      Search for…

      Meal planning

      Whey protein



  • aseem puri

    Hi Michael, I have a question on my fitness schedule. I am 5’11” and my weight is close to 170 lb which is a little higher than my ideal BMI and so I wouldn’t want to lose more than 4-5 lbs over the course of time. I have just started off with strengthening exercises as I am looking to build some strong lean muscles around my arm, shoulders and chest. Also, to complement my weight training, I am taking close to 90 gms of protein supplements (whey and egg) every day. I do 5 days a week training in which I do 1 body part a day. I also love running and so I run anywhere b/w 2.5-3 miles (350-400 cal) every day. My question is – Would this much running affect my aim of building strong lean muscles? Should I cut down on it? As I said earlier, my primary aim is to build muscles without gaining weight.. I am looking for your advice..


    • Michael Matthews

      Great! I like what you’re doing.

      Yeah that’s a bit too much cardio for muscle building purposes. I would reduce to 3 x per week and make sure you’re having some protein before.

      • aseem puri

        Thanks a lot for the reply Mike. Can’t thank you enough for the unconditional support. As you said, I have reduced my run to 1.5 miles (225 cals) for 4 days in a week, so wouldn’t be burning more than 900 cals in a week. Also, since I am taking close to 90 gms of proteins and doing strengthening exercises 5 days a week, I believe that would be good to start building muscles. Please let me know if you think otherwise.
        Again, appreciate your help.


        • Michael Matthews

          My pleasure. Yes, that sounds like a good plan. Keep me posted. We can adjust if necessary.

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  • asim shahzad

    im 5.11 inch tall, 70kg weight, and 31 yrs old guy.
    I’ve been gyming it for three months now.
    Can you suggest me the best routine food & good protein powder in our
    day to day life for gaining muscle and getting good abs…
    Thanks in advance…
    awaiting for you reply…

  • halevi

    Great article! I can’t eat the powders you suggested b/c I only eat certified kosher products. I’m also lactose intolerand. I know, I have a lot of requirements. Do you know if this one is worthwile:
    Integrated Supplements CFM Whey Protein Isolate Diet Supplement, Dutch Chocolate, 2 Pound


    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Oh okay. Yeah that could be good. I’ve never tried/heard of them.

  • sonam

    hi i am 28 years old guy.i have fat cheek and belly.my height is 5.5 inch and weight 56kg…/now i want to loose my cheek and fat belly and gain some weight cos my hand and leg are thin.so what protein would you suggest me. m non veg guy…

  • Nikhil B

    hi, I have been taking ON’s whey protien for a month, but gained only 500gm muscle. Should iswitch to some other supplement. My training goes 6 days week 1 day/ muscle with 30 mins cardo daily

  • preet

    Hi..i am 41 year old male..height 5-8 weight 73.. i have been doing gyming since 4 years..but i havent get the desired results..please tell if a man of my age can gain muscles and what sort of diet plan would you suggest for me..

  • Anoop

    Hey Man!
    Thanks, was a great article.
    I am 25 Years old guy, 5’7 Height and 62 kg weight. I started weight training for lean muscle growth 22 days back to gain 10 kg, I am eating right enough calories and proteins, have gained about 2.5 kg of weight since i started.
    Is this growing rate good? should i go for protein shake (haven’t used yet)?
    If yes which protein shake should i opt (i hear many brands offering whey protein how to select best one). Pls Help thanks.

  • risvo

    Hey Mike,
    I know it’s a good idea to take a protein shake about 1 hour before a workout, and then another protein shake with carbs immediately after a lift session, but would protein shakes before or after a HIIT cardio session be beneficial?

    Or best just keep the protein shakes to the lift days?


    • Michael Matthews

      If you’ve eaten protein within the last hour or two you don’t have to eat anything before. Otherwise some protein or leucine or BCAAs (if you want to train fasted) is a good idea.

  • Matt C.

    Hey Mike, I recently purchased Whey+ and like it a lot. One question though: why is there a medical warning on the bottle? Why is it not safe for pregnant or nursing women? I was confused to find that warning considering the ‘no BS’ approach you have brought to the Legion product line. Can my nursing wife really not drink Whey+? Thanks.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! That’s just a standard “cover your ass” statement that has to be on the bottle. There’s no reason why your wife can’t use it so long as she does fine with whey.

  • Tarun

    Hi Mike..
    How would you compare creatine and whey isolate? I am 6 ft 2 inchs with 70 weight. I want to improve my muscles. Which one of the two is more advisable?

    • Michael Matthews

      Creatine. Whey is a good source of protein but you can just eat food instead whereas you can’t get creatine’s effects without taking it.

  • has

    hi there im overweight and looking to lose weight with out lose skin so i need to obtain more protein in my diet. which from whey or casein would be best to prevent muscle loss and prioritise fat as a source of energy during my calorie deficit . i will also be doing a little resistance training along with some cardio. but im not sure as i have heard whey is better for one thing and the casein is better at prevent loss of muscle mass which is what i want but what would be best in your opinion.
    many thanks

  • Shijo

    Hey Mike,
    I want muscle and mass. Which is the best protein for me? Recently I read in a magazine that, most of the protein powders contain steroids in lesser amount but it will not be labelled, is that true? Is there any good quality protein powder with no side effects?Myotein is the best, no?

  • Jack

    Hi mike,
    I am 15 years old and I weigh 130 lbs. I play highschool sports and I need to get bigger and stronger. I need to gain weight and muscle. I workout a lot and I’m not sure what protein powder is best for me…?

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey! You can go with any of the products I recommend here on the site:


      Most important, however, is going to be eating a lot of food and training your muscles. Are you doing this currently?

      • naveaz khan

        Hi am naveaz khan 24 year old my waight is 80 kg I a slim physic and I am doing work out from almost 1 year I just now a week ago start serious mass protein but it doest not give me any size nor I feel it I think either protein powder is not original or either it is not best suited for me so suggest me any good protein for gaining size

  • Maria

    I’ve heard that some protein supplements contain lots of sugar and fat, is this true and if so, which supplement you recommend because I am diabetic. Thank you.


  • Kelcey Z

    Hey Mike. Just bought Dymatize ISO – whey isolate. Really excited to try. Would you recommend that isolate is better to have post workout than just regular whey? I know the isolates are a bit more expensive.. but willing to pay more if its worth it.

    Another great article. Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Great! No it doesn’t matter. Isolates are just nice because of the removal of the lactose and fat.

  • sumukh

    hi…. u have written awesome… I am 20 yrs old weighing 55 kg and my height is 5’8. I have been gyming for about a month I wish to have a lean body and gain some weight. Please suggest me which protein I should take. Thank you

  • Jonny

    Hey Mike, I just finished reading BLS and look forward to starting the program. Heres my question: I only eat strictly kosher food which limits my options when it comes to protein powders. I managed to find a kosher whey protein but I haven’t seen any casein or egg proteins (aside from straight up dried egg whites, which I can’t imagine being very palatable) that I can use before bed. I read that brown rice is a slower digesting protein, would that work before bed?

    On a separate note, I am not entirely comfortable with the idea of taking supplements (aside from protein). Is there anything I should change about the workout or eating plan if I don’t use creatine or any of the others you suggest? How severely do you think skipping these would impact my gains? Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      No worries you can use the whey or do what I do, eat some low-fat cottage cheese or 0% Greek yogurt.

      Nope nothing changes. You’ll be fine. 🙂

      • Jonny

        Just making sure I understand, whey protein or greek yogurt would be preferable to rice protein before bed?

        • Michael Matthews

          I would say Greek yogurt > whey > rice.

          • Jonny

            Ok thanks!

          • Michael Matthews


  • Pingback: C Whey Soy Protein For Muscle Building | Whey Protein Shop()

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  • Gab

    Hey, Mike. I looked up on the Legion Whey+ supplement on their site, and on their site, I read, “Not intended for persons under the age of 18.” Well, I’m 16. Should I ignore that warning and use the supplement, or should I just eat whole foods alone? Thanks, man.

    • Michael Matthews

      Ah yeah that’s just a standard disclaimer. It’s a clean product. Nothing to worry about.

      • Gab

        Okay. Thanks, man!

        • Michael Matthews


  • LifeForMuscle

    HI MIKE!

    i have been thinking of getting gold standard 100% whey. what do you think about it, everybody is praising it and that it is good. do you have any thoughts about it?


    moreover. im 16 years old , my parents are really afraid to buy me whey protein as they believe it may harm me(would it?). which i dont think it will ( cause i researched about it) . but whatever i tell them they WOULDN’T AGREE! just because some of my parents friends who dont even lift, dont even know what whey protein is told them that it is harmful for my body. WHAT CAN I DO? what do i tell them? prove them wrong? im also thinking about buying it in secret , but if they find out damn i will be out of weight lifting!

    this is a great article i really enjoyed it alot!!

    as always … your biggest fan 😉

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey man!

      It’s a good product.

      No, it won’t harm you. Check this out:


      Haha honestly you don’t need whey protein to do well with your lifting. You can get all your protein from food and be totally fine…

  • Shannon

    Love your book!! And the workouts are awesome and I’m in and out of the gym. I’m following your macros plan and the scale won’t budge. I train hard, eat right, drink a gallon of water a day, get about 7 hrs of sleep a night and I still can’t lean out. Not sure what else to do.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I’m glad to hear you’re doing well.

      Let’s first check your numbers against this:


      And then remember that the scale isn’t everything because you’re going to be building muscle in the beginning, which would increase your weight. If you lose fat as well, though, it’ll remain more or less the same, at least for the first month or two.

      An easy way to tell if you’re losing fat is if your pants are getting looser. Waist shrinking = you’re losing fat.

  • Pingback: MFL Podcast #5: Best protein powder, signs of overtraining, laws for happy living, and more... | Muscle For Life()

  • Vero

    Mike…what do you think about CytoSport Muscle Milk…is it a good protein supplement. Will be running out on the one I have soon and wondering if I should continue using it.

    • Michael Matthews

      It upsets my stomach and has a lot of chemicals in it the last time I checked. I don’t like it.

  • Brian

    Hey Mike,
    I am currently using ON Hydrobuilder and was wondering what your thoughts were on this product. It is comparable in price to their Gold Standard (which I use in cooking) but has 5g of Creatine per serving. I am using it as a post workout shake. Thanks for your help and all the great articles. I purchased BLS and TLS as well as TSC and really liked them all.

    • Michael Matthews

      That’s cool. Whey protein and creatine are good for building muscle and strength.

      Thanks for the support! Keep me posted on how you do in your training.

  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

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  • Kate

    I avoid soy-based protein powders. Fermented soy is the only form of soy that’s healthy, and non-organic soy protein powders are typically processed with hexane, a toxic solvent. I look for an unsweetened, vegan, preferably organic, high protein/high fiber, minimally processed. I haven’t found a single mix with high protein and high fiber, so I use Source Naturals Pea Protein Power (78% protein, 7 g protein/T; 32 oz $19; just pea protein concentrate, not isolate which is less nutritious), and alternate between Omega Nutrition Organic Pumpkin Seed Protein (60% protein, 1.5 T = 9.5 g/protein; just pumpkin seeds) and Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein (37% protein, 3 T = 11 g protein, 12 g fiber; 16 oz $26; just hemp seeds).

    • Thanks for the info! Pea protein is great. Pumpkin seed protein sounds interesting, haha.

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  • Raj

    how about taking protein X will it help me to build muscle and gain weight?

  • Protein powder is best way to loss lbs and make make abs.

  • Henry Armour

    I found some whey protein powder from here, can you tell me which one is the best?

  • Omi Baker

    to take exercises, taking nutritious food is also helpful to gain a fit &
    fine body. Your personal fitness trainer & health consultant’s advice is
    also helpful to take. Besides this one site can also be helpful –


  • Steve Clark

    Love your articles Mike. I really appreciate you’ll support other brands even though you have your own. I’m an NASM CPT, but I don’t subscribe to a lot of the “conventional wisdom” of training, simply because it didn’t work for me. As for protein, I have Celiac disease so have be gluten-free. All that means is more $ because 90% of all of the hundreds of brands of proteins out there are produced in only about 10 different facilities, who also produce other food products containing gluten.

    I’m not going to endorse any brand until they start paying me to (though I do have a favorite). What I will offer is hundreds of dollars worth of “research.” Buy vanilla (or unflavored) for blended shakes or chocolate if taking by itself. The fancy flavors will be great for a few days then become intolerable. Especially if you’re supplementing first thing in the morning, you have to have something you can stomach on a daily basis.

    Oh yeah, avoid the overhyped “hybrids” with additives and “proprietary blends.” The good brands, like Legion (you owe me now Mike), aren’t afraid to disclose their ingredients gram per gram. By the same token, just because a brand does disclose every ingredient, doesn’t mean the profile is any good

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  • William Jackson

    I like your article,really it is very helpful to building muscle.Egg white protein is my best option for growth muscles. Eggs, apart from being one of the best sources of natural protein, are known to be rich in vitamins and minerals. Egg white protein as a supplement can be used by anyone required for a high-quality protein to meet the daily needs and build up muscle growth. Personally I use and have had great results with Egg Whites 24/7 Liquid Egg Whites I like to drink it straight in the morning because it makes me feel like Rocky.

    • Nice man! Glad the egg white protein is working well for you.

    • vivek

      i completely agree with it.. i take around 12-15 eggs daily to meet my requirement. simply good to digest and flaunts next day..

  • Jonathan Martinez

    Hey Mike,

    Love your book. Just a quick question. I stopped working out for 2 years due to my job (Traveling) and now have 24% body fat. I am starting all over again and I was wondering if I should buy the whey and the Casein protein all together. I am really motivated and want to do the right thing from the beginning.

    • Hey hey. Yeah I saw your other comment. Welcome back. 🙂

      Supplements aren’t required to reach your goal. As long as you’re able to eat the protein you need daily with food, you’re good. A lot of people have trouble eating that much protein and that’s where powder helps.

      Whey is fast digesting so it’s a good protein pre and post-workout. Casein is good to take before because it’s slow digesting.

      So, it’s up to you.

  • salman

    i want a suggestion frm u about body supplement …..i hve a little fat nd m actually trying to get rid of it and also o build my muscles ..so can u plz suggest me the supplement tht i shld take for abs and building muscles..i would be grateful to u fr tht..thanku

  • Casey Jones

    Thanks so much Michael for these protein recommendations. I am glad to see that you recommend whey milk protein. Hopefully I can find some that tastes great!


  • ashan

    i am a begginer.. what is the best supplement for gain muscles?

  • Joe Van

    Hey Michael Matthews Sir. I’d like to gain monster muscles like Kaye Greene and those other Body Builders and you of course too. What supplement do I take to reach that goal?

    • Hey man!

      That’s not a realistic goal to be honest. Those guys have crazy genetics, 10+ years of training, and TONS of steroids.

      • Joe Van

        Oh ok I got you. So how long did it take you to look like you do now?

        • To go from “normal” to me would be 4 to 5 years of doing it right.

          • Joe Van

            Oh ok that’s nice.

  • Firsticous Lastilicous

    Hey Mike,

    Look up Organic Source whey. Best whey.

  • Vijay Raj

    Sir..I’m 65 kilos an abt 5.9″tall ..what would u recommend me like bulk me up or lean body ..If lean which protein powder shld I take or if bulk which one shld I take …

  • Adam

    Hey Mike,

    I’m just wondering… How would replacing my meat intake with whey protein affect me? My body can’t really seem to digest high protein, so I want to get all of my protein from whey isolates, while also getting vitamin B12 from a multivitamin. Would that be a good idea if I just want to bulk up and build muscle? Or do I need meat in my diet?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Well meats do have nutrients that protein powders don’t and that much powder is probably going to upset your stomach…

      • Anon Ymous

        BUT, you don’t NEED meat in your diet. You can get the other nutrients from eating a variety of different whole foods.

  • ksdfli

    I have a ton of food allergies and so I generally use with protein from Hemp or collagen (from cow hides.) Do you think these are okay? I suppose what you said above about beef protein probably applies to the collagen protein …

    • Hemp protein is kinda meh (absorption isn’t great) and I haven’t looked into collagen.

      Would you be able to have a rice and pea blend?

      • ksdfli

        I probably could try ether of those, the only reason I haven’t is because I mostly stick to stuff that’s Paleo. I will definitely look into them once I have used up the stuff I’ve got.

  • sac

    hey mike please suggest me a protein supplement for getting a lean perfect build muscle. i m 5.6′ and 65kgs. i have been using flex whey for period of 2 months and now thinking of using muscletech nitrotecg protein or any suggestion from ur side

  • Donny

    Hey I was wondering if I could just go buy the vitamin protein pill’s from the pharmacy and use them?

    • Hi Donny, Yes you could buy the multivitamin pills at a pharmacy, but quality, dosages, and combinations of nutrients may not be ideal.

  • I use ON whey Protein 100% gold standard which is quite effective and no side effect.

  • Sean

    I am currently in the police acadam weighing in at 182 lbs at 5’10”. I have some body to lose but not much. We run close to 4 miles or more a day but also do a lot of basic strength exercises such as push ups, pull ups and sit ups. I’m looking for a good protein powder to help out with bulking up and recovery then can also forgo all the carduo that we do. Thank you

  • hey nice post and very helpful

  • Jackson R

    Mike, what are your thoughts on adding Leucine and Lysine to brown rice protein powder? These are the two main amino acids Brown Rice protein powder lacks, right?

    • Jackson R

      I want to do this instead of combining it with pea protein, because I can’t seem to find a pea protein without higher sodium levels than I’d like. I seem to be extremely sensitive to sodium intake as far as bloating and I’d like to eliminate any unnecessary sources of sodium to try to get the bloating under control.


  • Marwa Yassin

    Hello Mike. I’m Marwa and i am a 30year old woman. I just started with a “real” workout plan 4 weeks ago. I don’t want to lose weight since i am 52kgs 🙂 but i would like to gain more muscle. So I was reading your protein articles and I will try Casein and Egg protein to see which i can take better. What about prework out intake? And – is it bad if sometimes i hit the gym maybe 2-3 days in a row? Or does the body need breaks in between?

  • Hey Mike,

    What are your thoughts regarding NOW Foods Whey Protein Isolate VS Dymatize ISO-100?
    (apologies but ordering/shipping Legion supplements is still too expensive in Israel :] )

    NOW looks like the clearly better choice:
    1. Cheaper
    2. higher rank in LabDoor
    3. Higher protein percentage
    4. NOW seems to have a better reputation as a company than Dymatize

    Am I missing something?


    • Just personal preference I’d say. Dymatize is flavored and contains sucralose (which you may or may not care about), whereas the Now Foods looks to be unflavored.

      • Thanks! Since I haven’t tried any of them yet, I ordered the NOW product… can’t go wrong with the cheaper option 🙂

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