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Top 3 Cheap Protein Powders

July 07, 2022

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 5 cheapest whey protein powders currently on the market.

 

How to find cheap Whey Protein

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 – Sports supplement stores 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 40% 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 5 cheapest whey protein powders

  1. Serious Protein - https://amzn.to/3P2mi13

 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 – https://amzn.to/3bPfqWk

 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 - https://amzn.to/3aa5s1z

 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.

 

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 20g 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

 Purchase here: https://amzn.to/3bVZ4vo  

 

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. 

 

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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