If you’re into working out, you’re likely wanting to find a way to up your protein intake your diet (without adding tons of fat, cholesterol, or calories). Protein helps encourage lean muscle growth, but it can do way more than that; protein can help repair injured muscles and help you recover after a tough workout.
One of the best ways to get more protein into your diet is with protein powders. When mixed with water or milk (dairy or nondairy), these powders create a protein shake that provides a quick burst of the nutrients you need to make your workout count. But you don’t just want your protein powder to make you feel good—you want it to taste good, too. And a classic way to do just that? Vanilla protein powders.
Want to add some creamy, decadent flavor to your workout routine? Here are a few things to know before you jump into protein powders:
If you’re concerned about the potential risk of contaminants (like heavy metals) being found in your protein powder, opt for a formula that has been cold processed. This production method is done in an attempt to avoid any harmful contaminants.
Still hungry after your protein shake, or wanting to add more nutrition or flavor to it? Consider making a smoothie instead of a shake. The addition of greens, milk or juice, nut butter, frozen fruit, and bananas to your vanilla protein powder can create a healthy, filling, and nutritionally great treat.
Don’t want to drink your protein? Many protein powders can be added to baked goods (and the vanilla flavor complements many different recipes). Because who wouldn’t love to end their workout with a cookie?
If you’re looking to lose weight while you build up muscle, you can consider using protein shakes as meal replacements. Be sure and discuss this with your doctor first, so that you can develop a weight loss plan that is safe and effective for you.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best vanilla flavored protein powders. Dive in, and find a delicious way to bulk up, get strong, and build muscle!
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BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder
Want your protein powder to do more? BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder not only packs in 22g of protein per serving, but it also includes 5g of fiber per scoop, as well as essential fatty acids and essential amino acids. These combine to create a powerhouse protein supplement that is multifunctional and can be great for a variety of different workout routines.
Of course, you don’t just want sturdy protein powder, but you also want one of the best tasting vanilla whey protein powders you can find. (A protein powder only does you any good if you can drink it, after all.) BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder uses their exclusive flavor technology to create a protein powder that may offer your favorite taste.
If you want your protein shake to taste like a milkshake, while helping out your muscles in more than one way, BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder may be your ideal pick.
Pros and Cons
- Includes fiber
- Only requires 4-5 ounces of liquid
- Exclusive flavor technology
- Contains artificial sweeteners
Okay, so sometimes vanilla gets a bad reputation for being boring. And, unfortunately, with some protein powder companies, that can be true. But COR-Performance Whey models explicitly all their flavors after desserts, so their whipped vanilla flavor is not meant just to be a bland, “whatever” taste, but it said to remind you of creamy vanilla ice cream, delicious whipped cream, and other creamy vanilla treats.
Not only that, each serving offers 24g of fast-acting protein and enzymes, so you can feel an immediate boost and get that lift you need right away post-workout. It’s also low in carbs and low in fat, so while you may feel like you’re indulging, you don’t have to sacrifice your nutrition goals to do it.
If you’re not in love with the flavor? Easy. COR-Performance Whey offers a 100% money back guarantee for 30 days, so you have plenty of time to try and it out and see if it’s right for you.
Pros and Cons
- Dessert-inspired flavors
- 30-day, 100% money back guarantee
- Low carb and low fat
- Difficult to dissolve
- Can get thicker once it stands
Ora Organic Protein Powder
If you’re looking for a plant-based protein powder, Ora Organic Protein Powder offers 21g of protein per serving that create a complete amino acid profile. But protein isn’t all the plants provide. Each serving contains two servings of organic greens, which adds micronutrients and electrolytes in every shake (and it means you don’t have to add a ton of greens to your protein shake yourself to feel the benefits).
While the cost is reasonably high, it can be worth it, especially if you are avoiding allergens. Ora Organic Protein Powder is free from gluten, dairy, soy, GMOs, artificial ingredients, and includes no added sugar. Thanks to this, you can rest easy knowing you’re buying something pure, clean, and simple.
If you’re not in love with it, Ora Organic Protein Powder off a 100% money back guarantee, so even though the price is high, if it doesn’t work for you, you can get back your initial investment and not feel any loss at all.
Pros and Cons
- Includes organic greens
- Free of most major allergens
- Contains stevia
Dymatize Nutrition ISO-100 Whey Protein Powder, Gourmet Vanilla
If you’re craving something sweet, dessert-like, and flavorful that won’t negate your workout routine, Dymatize Nutrition ISO-100 Whey Protein Powder; Gourmet Vanilla can be an excellent option. It’s sweet, creamy vanilla flavor (while it may be too sweet for some), can take the edge off your sweet tooth cravings.
But it’s not just the flavor that’s impressive. Its 100% whey protein isolate offers the highest percentage of protein in its class. Also, they’ve removed the lactose and fat, and this formula contains entirely no carbs while packing in 25g of protein. Who knew that something so sweet could be so healthy?
Dymatize Nutrition ISO-100 Whey Protein Powder, Gourmet Vanilla is also easy to use, as it mixes instantly in liquid, so you don’t have to shake like crazy (or use a blender) to get the smooth consistency you crave.
Pros and Cons
- Mixes instantly
- No carbs
- No fat
- Can be very foamy
- Some find it too sweet
MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder
Many athletes love using protein powders to stay lean and fit, but if you’re a competitive athlete, you’ll want to remain hyper-aware about what goes into your body and if it can qualify as a “performance enhancement” supplement. You can feel good about taking MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder, as it’s been banned-substance tested and certified by Informed Choice, so you can be assured that there’s no banned substance contaminating your protein shake.
MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder may be great for athletes in other ways, too. Its blend of 5 different protein sources is meant to release protein both quickly and slowly, so you get a hit of the protein you need precisely when you need it in your recovery.
It also includes digestive enzymes with may help you break down and absorb the protein better, so you can get more out of the protein you ingest.
Plus, its award-winning formula means you can trust you’re getting one best vanilla and chocolate protein powders (they offer both) based on both flavor and protein absorption.
Pros and Cons
- Five protein sources
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Banned-substance tested
- May froth in a blender
- May cause bloating
MuscleTech Phase8 Protein
If you dislike having to carefully monitor when you take your protein shake (it can stress me out), then you may be interested in MuscleTech Phase 8. It’s extended release formula is designed to deliver amino acids to your bloodstream for a full 8 hours after you take it, so you can feel free to have your protein shake whenever works best for you.
It’s also created with a blend of 7 different protein sources, so you get a variety of proteins that work in different ways, and that release both slowly and quickly, so you’re sustained for an extended period, and many recoveries and muscle-growth encouraging needs can be met.
MuscleTech Phase 8 was also developed with a top flavor house in the industry, so you can trust that they take flavor as seriously as you do. Who doesn’t love the idea of enjoying a milkshake-like treat at any time they want, and know that they’re doing as much as they can to encourage muscle growth in the process?
Pros and Cons
- Half the fat of the leading competitor
- Can take at any time
- Developed with a top flavoring house
- Some find the flavor too sweet
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal
If you’re not only trying to gain muscle but also trying to get lean and nutritionally healthy, Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal is one of the best raw and vegan vanilla protein powders—and it doubles up as a natural meal replacement shake. You can only mix it with water or non-dairy (or dairy) milk, or add it a smoothie with natural peanut butter and a banana for a filling, vitamin and protein-rich meal option.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal provides an impressive 20g of protein per serving, but it does even more than that. It also includes 44 superfoods, so you 6g of fiber, along with 21 vitamins and minerals. Also featured are probiotics and enzymes, to help keep your digestive system healthy and aid you in absorbing the protein and vitamins, so that you get the most from your shake.
While Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal is tempting for what it has, it also is tempting for what it doesn’t include: it’s dairy-free, of course, but it also steers clear of soy (which can be tricky to find among vanilla plant-based protein powders) and gluten, and it’s Star-K kosher.
Pros and Cons
- Contains vitamins and minerals
- Thick texture
Gold Standard 100% Whey
If you’re tired of asking yourself is chocolate or vanilla better, protein powders that offer something unique may re-excite you and get you eager for your protein shake. Gold Standard, 100% Whey, comes in over 20 flavors, including Mint Chocolate, Rocky Road, Mocha Cappuccino, and Salted Caramel. Not only that, even their classic characters are exciting. I mean, it’s not just vanilla, for instance; it’s vanilla ice cream.
But Gold Standard 100% Whey is appealing for more than just its ability to double as a milkshake (as if that isn’t enough). Each serving gives you nearly half of your daily requirement of protein, so you’re making sure you’re giving your muscles everything they need to recover properly.
Just make a shake with Gold Standard 100% Whey either first thing when you wake up, right before you work out, or when you’re done in the gym, and let the delicious flavors help you bulk up and get as fit as possible.
Pros and Cons
- Mixes easily
- Low cost
- Some find a robust artificial sweetener flavor
Growing Naturals Pea Protein
Watching both your budget and your muscle growth? Interested in the cheapest raw and vegan vanilla protein powders? (Who wouldn’t be?) It can be difficult to find a vegan protein powder that isn’t expensive, but Growing Naturals Pea Protein offers raw, plant-based protein at a low cost.
Growing Naturals Pea Protein is the first protein powder made with raw Canadian and USA-grown yellow peas, and is packed with 30% of your daily protein requirements as well as essential amino acids. It’s also non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free.
It’s also Star-K Kosher certified, so it’s suitable for many people who may have a difficult time finding a protein powder that works with their diet. Whether you’re cautious about what you ingest due to allergies, health concerns, moral issues, environmental beliefs, or even your religion, Growing Naturals Pea Protein may be a great match for you (and your wallet!).
Pros and Cons
- Very low cost
- May be chalky
- May be difficult to mix
Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder
It’s not a secret that sometimes protein powders can have an unpleasant taste. Unfortunately, any companies try to fix that problem by pumping a ton of sugar into their protein powders. If you’re following a low carb diet, have to monitor your sugar intake, or simple think it defeats the point of working out if you immediately chug a ton of sugar, those protein powders just won’t for you. But Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder just might.
Featuring no added sugar, this zero-carb formula gives you what you want without overloading you with carbs and calories. If sugar isn’t all your avoiding, Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder might make you even happier: it’s free of gluten and lactose as well.
Thanks to its mix of vitamins and minerals (in addition to its 25g of protein), including Biotin, Vitamin B12, Chromium, Zinc, Vitamin A, and Calcium, you can skip the sugar, keep a creamy vanilla taste, and get exactly what you want.
Pros and Cons
- Zero carbs
- Includes vitamins and minerals
- May not mix easily
- Some dislike the smell
For those who are gaining muscle, losing weight, looking to get more from their workout, or who want to find a healthy snack to give them an energy boost throughout the day, protein powders are a classic solution—and vanilla is a class, delicious flavor.
A simple, sweet, creamy taste may be just the thing you need to keep you grabbing for a protein shake every day. With this list, you’re prepared to find the protein powder that is the right one for your fitness goals and your tastebuds.