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Top 3 Cheapest Protein Powders

November 20, 2022

Cheapest Protein Powders

It’s no secret that the price of protein powder has skyrocketed over the last few years, with some brands increasing their prices by up to 150%! With the cost of living also increasing, we’re not interested in taking out a loan to afford a 5kg bag of protein powder.

A quick google search for cheap whey protein uncovers hundreds of brands pitching their own products, it’s impossible to tell what protein powder is best and it would take hours to trawl through each of the websites to find the best deal.

As many gym-goers use protein powder on a daily basis it’s important to find an affordable protein powder to avoid throwing money down the drain. Luckily for you, we have done the hard work and found the top 3 cheapest protein powders for 2022.

Table of Contents
How to find the cheapest protein powder
UK - Top 3 cheapest whey protein powders
US - Top 3 cheapest whey protein powders
Cheapest protein powder per serving
How much protein do I need?
How much protein powder should I take?
Why use protein powder?
Whey protein FAQ’s

 

 

How to Find the Cheapest Protein Powder

When it comes to finding the cheapest protein powder, there are some savvy ways to save yourself some money:

  1. Buy in bulk – When you buy in bulk you benefit from economies of scale, this is when the sports nutrition manufacturers experience reduced costs as a result of increasing its level of output. Essentially, the costs experienced by the company will be less (per kg) when selling a 5kg Protein powder bag over say a 1kg bag.
  1. Buy in the sale – Subscribe to your favourite Sports Nutrition company email list via their website. This way you’ll be emailed each time they run a sale – and a lot of the larger companies run weekly sales so there are lots of opportunities to pick up discounted protein powder. Keep tabs on your current whey protein stocks and look out for sales when you’re running low.
  1. Use ambassador discount codes – Some of the bigger supplement stores such as MyProtein will sponsor athletes in return for promoting their products. They will provide the athlete with a discount code to share with their friends and followers to entice people into purchasing their sports supplements. Some brands give their sponsors discount codes up to 20% to share with their followers – a huge saving! Find athletes sponsored by these nutrition stores and visit their social media bios, 9 times out of 10 they will have their unique discount code listed, saving you tonnes of money on your favourite whey protein.
  1. Buy in bundles – Many sports nutrition companies offer bundles such as ‘Whey protein starter pack’ or ‘Weight loss starter bundle’. These bundles are often significantly cheaper than buying the products individually and if you can find a bundle right for you – you’ll benefit from huge savings.

 

Top 3 Cheapest Whey Protein Powders - UK

  1. Serious Protein - Click Here to Buy 

 Serious protein powder

Cost

Tub Size

Serving Size

Cost Per Serving

Protein Per Serving

£32.50

4kg

30g

24.4p

23.7g

Boasting an 80% protein content, combined with low carbs sugars and fats, the serious protein had to be top of our list. The unique blend of whey protein concentrate, micellar protein and soy protein isolate allows for fast, medium, and slow digestion creating exceptional nutritional delivery. As the manufacturer states – “We’re not about fancy packaging, high carb flavours or rip-off pricing, it’s about amazing value, huge protein levels and incredible results in your training and diet”.

 

  1. Sports Fuel – Click Here to Buy

 Sports fuel protein powder

Cost

Tub Size

Serving Size

Cost Per Serving

Protein Per Serving

£36.56

5kg Bag

30g

22p

23.7g

The Sports Fuel is a cheaper whey protein that the Serious Protein in the number 1 spot. It was a close call, but the amazing flavour of the Serious Protein has meant the Sports Fuel has narrowly missed out on the top position. Similar to The Serious Protein, the Sports Fuel combines whey protein concentrate, soy protein isolate and micellar protein to for excellent nutrient delivery.

 

  1. Whey Matrix - Click Here to Buy

 Whey Matrix Protein Powder

Cost

Tub Size

Serving Size

Cost Per Serving

Protein Per Serving

£54.99

5kg

45g

49.5p

23g

On the surface, not the cheapest whey protein on the market but there’s a reason for that. Unlike the cheap protein powders occupying positions 1&2, the whey matrix also includes 16g of carbohydrates per serving. Our muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen to be used for energy. During our workout we deplete these energy stores, and we need to replenish them after a workout to aid recovery. The 16g of carbs can help to start replenishing the depleted glycogen stores ready for our next workout. Matrix Nutrition is also a well-known brand with a credible reputation, with an average review of 4.5/5 this is clearly a big hit with gym-goers.

 

Top 3 Cheap Whey Protein Powders - US

  1. Muscle Milk 100 Whey – Click Here to Buy

 Muscle Milk Whey protein review

Cost

Tub Size

Serving Size

Cost Per Serving

Protein Per Serving

$51.99

5lbs

35g

$0.79

25g

 

Providing a combination of high quality whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate to help increase amino acid levels and kickstart the muscle building process. Muscle milk has been tested for banned substances and are NSF certified for sport. Each serving provides an impressive 25g of protein with minimal fat and sugar in an easy to mix tasty shake.

 

  1. Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate – Click Here to Buy

 Nutricost whey protein review

Cost

Tub Size

Serving Size

Cost Per Serving

Protein Per Serving

$56.95

5lbs

30g

$0.86

25g

 

Similarly to the Muscle Milk in the pole position, the Nutricost provides a decent 25g of protein per serving. Manufactured using high quality ingredients in a GMP compliant facility, Nutricost has successfully managed to create a high quality product while keeping it affordable. The whey protein concentrate is also high in essential amino acids and BCAA’s to support muscle building and recovery. Available in Chocolate, Chocolate peanut butter, Strawberry Milkshake, and Vanilla.

 

  1. Bulk Supplements Whey Protein Concentrate – Click Here to Buy

 Bulk Supplements whey protein review

Cost

Tub Size

Serving Size

Cost Per Serving

Protein Per Serving

$27.96

2.2lbs

30g

$0.84

23g

 

Bulk supplements provide over 500 nutritional supplement ingredients to hundreds of thousands of consumers. Manufacturing their supplements in a NSF certified & FDA-registered cGMP facility, they have created hundreds of high quality products and offer them at a great value. The whey protein concentrate is another of their brilliant products. Supplying 80% protein per serving, and with a fantastic amino acid profile – this product is perfect for post-workout recovery. The reason we have it coming in at third position is because it’s unflavoured, and although this means fewer flavourings, not everyone is a fan of an unflavoured shake.

 

Cheapest Protein Powder Per Serving

To help decide which protein powder to choose, we have put them side by side in the below table to help you compare.

Cheapest UK Whey Protein

Brand

Cost Per Serving

Protein Per Serving

Servings Per Tub/Bag

Purchase Link

Serious Protein

24.4p

23.7g

133

Buy Here

Sports Fuel

22p

23.7g

166

Buy Here

Whey Matrix

49.5p

23g

111

Buy Here

 

Cheapest US Whey Protein

Brand

Cost Per Serving

Protein Per Serving

Servings Per Tub/Bag

Purchase Link

Muscle Milk

$0.79

25g

66

Buy Here

Nutricost

$0.86

25g

66

Buy Here

Bulk Supplements

$0.84

23g

33

Buy Here

 

How much protein do I need?

So we’ve chosen our favourite protein powder, placed an order and it’s arrived on our door step. Now we’re faced with questions like “How much protein powder per day?” “How often should I have a protein shake” Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

When it comes to answering these questions, we need to be looking at the bigger picture and considering how much protein do I need to be eating daily, through supplements and food combined. This will vary from person to person and factors such as age, gender, body composition, training intensity, training goals, etc do have an impact on protein requirement but we can stick to the following guidelines.

A 2017 study states that an overall daily protein intake of between 1.4-2g of protein per KG of body weight is sufficient for most exercising individuals [1]. So an 80kg athlete would need between 112g-160g of protein per day. The same study goes on to mention that if a resistance-trained athlete is trying to lose body fat by being in a calorie deficit, then protein intake of between 2.3g-3.1g of protein per KG of body weight is needed to maximise the retention of lean body mass. So an 80kg athlete would need between 184g-248g of protein per day.

To find out exactly how much you should be eating we recommend checking out the following 2 articles:

 

How much protein powder should I take?

An article published in 2018 states that muscle protein synthesis is maximised in young adults with an intake of between 20-25 grams of high-quality protein per serving [2].

Another study conducted in 2017 documents an optimal protein intake of 0.25g of protein per KG of body weight. So an 80Kg gram athlete would need 20g of protein per serving.

A third study from the University of Birmingham looked at the response of Muscle-protein synthesis after consuming 10g, 20g, and 40g of whey protein powder immediately after resistance training.

10g of protein was found to have no effect on MPS. 20g was found to increase MPS by 49% and 30g of whey protein after a workout was found to increase MPS by 56% but also caused excessive accumulation of urea [3].

Based on this information we would recommend sticking to the serving size guidelines set by the manufacturer on each of the 3 cheap protein powders listed as they all deliver 23g of protein per serving.

 

Why use protein powder?

It’s important to remember that whey protein is a supplement as it should be used as just that; a supplement to a healthy diet.

Resistance training causes microscopic damage (microtears) to the myofibrils within the muscle fiber [4]. Ingesting a whey protein shake after the gym has been shown to stimulate robust increases in muscle synthesis [5] ie. The process involved in building new muscle tissue.

Whey protein is a protein that is quickly absorbed by the body making it a favourable choice to have after your workout to kick start the muscle-building process and begin re-building the damaged muscle tissue.

Also, after an intense workout it’s unlikely you’ll be able to stomach a chicken breast straight away, plus, you need time to get changed, travel home, and all the rest of it. Having the option to have a whey protein shake after a workout is super convenient and provides you with the necessary proteins to put your body into that anabolic-building state.

Not only is it convenient after a workout, it’s convenient all the time. Travelling to work in the morning and have no time to eat breakfast? Have a protein shake. In a work meeting with no access to food? Have a protein shake. Pretty much whenever you’re stuck for time, a protein shake is a convenient way to help to hit your daily protein target (Not on the same day of course!).

During a diet phase we tend to cut back on the sugary snacks as we are conscious of the calories we are consuming. Over the last decade the popularity and use of protein supplements has increased massively. With this increased popularity, manufacturers have developed a range of amazing new flavours. My Protein for example has over 50 whey protein flavours to choose from, from Blueberry Cheesecake to Jasmine Green Tea Latte, there’s so much to choose from. These flavours are so well developed – there’s no reason to actually have the blueberry cheesecake when you can have a shake that has got 1.8g of fat and 1g of sugar per serving – the ultimate craving killer!

Protein powders are also great to use when baking. A quick google search on healthy protein deserts uncovers hundreds of healthy protein recipes that incorporate the use of protein powders. Our favourite obviously being the Ultimate Protein Pancake Recipe.

Protein powder is affordable. Let’s see an example. The following meal replacement shake costs £19.40 and provides 10 servings, working out to £1.94 per serving.

 Complete 360 Meal Replacement Shake

 Complete 360 Meal - Click Here to Buy

 

Let’s compare this to the popular lunch choice – the sandwich. The following Chicken Salad sandwich from Tesco costs £2.50.

Chicken salad sandwich with nutrition

A comparable sandwich with similar calories, carbohydrates, and protein - with the meal replacement shake coming in at 56p cheaper. 

This Complete 360 Meal replacement shake includes 25 of the most intelligent micronutrients your body needs to flourish. Each shake contains eight thoughtfully sourced core ingredients including premium oats, innovative tri-protein blend, flax seed, avocado oil, MCTs straight from coconuts, and ashwagandha [6].

If you're simply after a whey protein shake, then the ones listed in our "Top 3" come in at around 25p per serving - this is incredible value for money and can help in you hit your daily protein target, supporting your training goals. 

 

Whey protein FAQ’s

How much whey protein per day?

It’s not so much how much whey protein we should be consuming daily, but how much protein we should be consuming daily. As we mentioned above, we need to be eating roughly 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight, but this guideline will change based on your goals. The consumption of whey protein can help us work towards our daily target, and consuming 1-2 shakes a day can give us a great boost to hitting our target.

 

When to take whey protein?

There’s a common myth amongst gym goers that a protein shake needs to be consumed within half an hour following a workout or it’s pretty useless. This is simply not the case. Research shows that the anabolic window following a workout lasts a lot longer than 30mins, and that there are benefits to consuming higher amounts of protein in the 24 hours post-workout. 

Saying this, consuming a whey protein shake in the 2 hours post-workout is still a sound idea. It’s unlikely we’ll be able to stomach a meal within a couple of hours post-training so consuming a whey protein shake is a good way to kick-start the anabolic process.

If you’re using protein powder to help hit your protein targets then really it can be consumed whenever you want, just try and keep it separate from meal times as your body can only consume a certain amount of protein in one go, plus, you don’t want to ruin your appetite for the meal!

 

How long does whey protein last?

Protein powder tends to have a shelf life of between 8-18 months, but this will depend on the manufacturer. In any case, the use-by date will be included on the packaging to advise when the product needs to be used.

 

How to use whey protein?

To use whey protein, grab your shaker, put 200-400ml of water or milk in it (depending on your preferences) and place a scoop of protein powder on top. Secure the lid and shake the bottle vigorously for 5 seconds. Done.

Whey protein powder can also be added to your favourite milkshake or fruit shake. A Robor Fitness favourite is the Banana, Chocolate, and Peanut butter milkshake. Blend the following ingredients together and enjoy!

  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 30grams of chocolate whey protein
  • 1 banana
  • 25 grams of peanut butter

Lastly, try adding it to your yogurt. Again a team favourite is getting a bowl of fat-free Greek yoghurt, adding some fruit of your choice, some whey protein of your choice, and mix it all together– it makes for a great pre-bed snack!

 

What is the best cheap whey protein?

Considering the price, protein per serving, flavour and mixability - we believe Serious Protein is the best cheap whey protein powder. 

Nevertheless, both Sports Fuel and Whey Matrix are great products - maybe give them all a try and decide on your favourite, enjoy! 

 

Conclusion

Consuming a protein supplement has many benefits. If we’re having a shake once a day, the costs soon stack up. Being savvy with our choices can save us a considerable amount of money and at 24.4p per serving (Our number 1 choice) you can’t go wrong!

 

 Top 3 Cheap Protein Powders Pin

 

References

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28642676/

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29497353/

[3] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/99/1/86/4577382

[4] https://www.medicinenet.com/how_muscles_work_and_respond_to_resistance_exercise/views.htm 

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18834505/

[6] https://www.theproteinworks.com/complete-360-meal-dairy 


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