5 Best Protein Powders for Cutting

The Best Protein Powders for Cutting Weight
Protein PowderProtein per ServingCalories per ServingRatingPrice
Garden of Life Raw Organic Fit28g1603.8$$$$

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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein24g1204.4$$

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Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder25g1004.0$$

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Legion Whey+25g1004.6$$$$

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MuscleTech Nitro Tech Ripped30g1704.4$$

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Gaining muscle is a good thing.

You’ll be stronger, feel better, and have a higher BMR.

However, it’s extremely difficult to bulk up muscle without gaining fat as well. So, what do you do?

You go on a cut!

A cut is when you focus on losing weight by burning fat but not muscle. Protein powder is instrumental for this purpose.

But what makes the best protein powder for cutting?

How Protein Can Help When Cutting

When cutting, you want to maximize fat loss while minimizing muscle loss.

gym workout bulking muscle gains hard work

Don’t let your hard work be for nothing

You spent so much time in the gym adding on that muscle, you don’t want to throw it away now!

But a cut includes a restricted diet. So you can’t eat the same pre-workout meals you would when bulking. Meeting your protein goals will be difficult.

That’s why protein powders are excellent for cutting.

You get large amounts of protein without adding a lot of calories. Even lean sources of protein, such as chicken breasts, contain more than just protein.

You need plenty of protein when cutting to maintain that muscle mass. Otherwise, your body will catabolism muscles and use them for fuel.

Protein also increases satiety and can help take the edge off that hunger.

One last benefit of protein powder when cutting is that some of them taste pretty darn good.

You won’t be eating sweets on a cut, but a delicious protein powder can give you that dessert you crave without the calories!

What to Look For

Not all protein powders are good for cutting or other forms of weight loss.

For example, I like Spiru-Tein. However, it contains a relatively high amount of carbs, and so it is too caloric to make it onto this list.

scivation xtend bcaas branch chained amino acids prevent muscle loss catabolism

You can get some of these on their own, too, but why spend the extra time and added expense?

So some of the best protein powders for muscle gain are a bad choice for cutting.

You want as much protein as possible with as few other caloric ingredients as you can get.

Ordinarily, this means pure protein. But for a cut, different formulations can help with the targeted weight loss.

Adding in some BCAAs can be beneficial because those amino acids are good at protecting muscles from catabolism. You can read more here.

Additional vitamins nutrients are good because you won’t be getting as many from the rest of your diet.

There are other ingredients which can help as well. Insoluble fiber can help you feel more full and coffee extract can increase your glucose metabolism, for example.

Finally, you want it to at least taste okay.

You’ll have a hard time sticking with a protein powder that tastes horrible!

Best Protein Powders for Cutting

Let’s look at some of the best protein powders for when you want to lose weight without losing muscle.

A chicken breast is the de facto standard cutting protein and contains between 25 and 35 grams of protein in a sane serving serving size. How do these protein powders stack up?

Garden of Life Raw Organic FitGarden of Life Raw Organic Fit protein review

Supplement Facts (Original Flavor)

Servings Per Container: 10
Calories: 160
Total Fat: 2 g
Total Carbs: 11 g
Fibers: 9 g
Sugars: Less than 1 g
Protein: 28 g

Important Ingredients

  • Raw Certified Organic Protein Blend
  • Raw Certified Organic Weight Loss & Stress Management Blend
  • Raw Certified Organic Glucose Management Blend
  • Raw Probiotic and Enzyme Blend
  • Various Vitamins and Minerals
  • Stevia

See full ingredients

Overview

Garden of Life makes vegan protein powders. This one is my favorite for cutting.

No, not favorite vegan protein powder for cutting, my favorite protein powder for cutting, period!

That’s because it’s a nearly perfect weight loss protein powder, regardless of whether or not you prefer animal protein.

It contains 28 grams of protein, so about as much as a chicken breast. But this protein comes with almost no fat and some fiber. A lot of fiber.

Some soluble, mostly insoluble. So you’ll feel full.

Enzymes and probiotics are included to aid in digestion. It contains lots of vitamins and minerals to make up for a limited diet.

The protein comes from a large variety of sources, so it’s complete and effective.

There are also plant and herbs included to help manage the stress of a diet, both physical and mental, and to assist your body in burning fat.

Plus, it’s certified organic.

What’s not to like?

By the way, the rest of the protein powders on this list all have animal ingredients. If you want to compare more plant-based protein powders, check out this list.

vegan vegetarian plant protein powder list bold move cotton meme

Things I Liked

Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Fit protein powder doesn’t only provide protein. It also makes you feel good while eating less.

Really, for a list of things I like about this protein powder, review the overview.

They claim that it helps you feel full, and it does.

Things I Didn’t Like

The main source of protein is pea protein. It wasn’t always the number one ingredient.

There’s nothing wrong with pea protein when it’s mixed with other protein sources, as it is in this powder. Just skip any vegan protein powders that are solely pea protein.

However, it’s a cheap source of protein, and they didn’t lower their prices after changing to the cheaper ingredient.

That rubs me the wrong way. Plus, it’s kinda expensive.

Recommendation

Unless you are allergic to any of the plants in the list, I recommend trying out Garden of Life Raw Organic Fit.


Gold Standard 100% Whey Proteinoptimum nutrition gold standard 100% whey protein isolate review

Supplement Facts (Double Rich Chocolate Flavor)

Servings Per Container: 14
Calories: 120
Total Fat: 1 g
Carbs: 3 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sugar: 1 g
Protein: 24 g

Important Ingredients

  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Whey Peptides
  • Sucralose

See full ingredients

Overview

Gold Standard, by Optimum Nutrition, is well named. If you want a protein powder that’s a good source protein, they’re a great choice.

The image to the upper right is the chocolate flavor, Double Rich Chocolate. It’s my favorite and has cocoa as well.naturally flavored whey protein no artificial flavors sweeteners gluten free weight loss drink mix

There are natural and artificial flavors but no sugar or other sweeteners. At least, depending on the flavor.

There’s an unflavored version for people who don’t want added ingredients.

24 grams of protein per serving is not quite as much as a chicken breast, but it’s still a respectable amount. Especially since there are so few additional calories to each serving.

Things I Liked

Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey is a blend of three types of whey, which provides a great blend of amino acids.

It mixes better more than most protein powders, even with other supplements.

Things I Didn’t Like

I’m not a fan of the taste.

The chocolate is only chocolate-like, and the other flavors contain sucralose.

If you’re fine with sucralose, you might like it. I’m not.

Recommendation

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey is a best seller, and it works well, but loses out in the taste department.


Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powderisopure zero low carb protein powder review

Supplement Facts (Creamy Vanilla Flavor)

Servings Per Container: 15
Calories: 100
Total Fat: 0 g
Carbs: 0 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sugar: 0 g
Protein: 25 g

Important Ingredients

  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Vitamin and Mineral Blend
  • Sucralose

See full ingredients

Overview

Whey, while full of protein, does contain some fat. Isopure uses only whey protein isolate, which is nothing but whey protein.

No fat, no carbs. The only calories come from protein, as much as a chicken breast.

Plus you get a large array of vitamins and minerals in every serving.

Things I Liked

Isopure is basically just protein, vitamins, minerals, and some flavors.

There’s not a lot of complexity, and it is priced accordingly. Isopure is good for getting a lot of protein and micronutrients without breaking the bank.

Things I Didn’t Like

More sucralose. Again, whether sucralose good or bad is a personal opinion, and I don’t like it.

Also, consuming large amounts of protein without carbs or fat can be unhealthy. You don’t have to worry about that if you mix this with milk, though.

Recommendation

Isopure Zero Carb is great for getting protein and nutrients without additional calories, but it’s a good idea to also have some carbs or fat when you drink it.


Legion Whey+legion whey+ grass fed whey protein review

Supplement Facts (Chocolate Flavor)

Servings Per Container: 30
Calories: 100
Total Fat: 0 g
Carbs: 3 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 0 g
Protein: 25 g

Important Ingredients

  • Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate
  • Stevia

See full ingredients

Overview

Legion Whey+ is even more pure than Isopure.

It contains non-GMO grass-fed whey protein isolate from Irish cattle, flavor, and almost nothing else.

On the one hand, this means that it lacks additional vitamins and minerals.

On the other hand, the protein source is the best on the block. Grass produces healthy cattle, and healthy cattle produce good tasting, healthy milk.

grass fed organic non gmo dairy cattle whey irish farm castle

Irish cattle busy preparing your whey protein!

The cattle are non-GMO, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free. They’re also raised on small dairy farms, not industrial dairy operations that don’t care about the cattle except for how much milk they produce.

So if you care about the beings who produce your protein, Legion Whey+ is a good choice.

Things I Liked

Protein powders seem to be plagued by purity problems every few years.

Since Legion Whey+ comes from cows that are as healthy as possible, you don’t have to worry about that with this protein.

I also prefer the taste over any other whey protein powder I’ve tried. Grass-fed tastes better, and Legion hit the spot with when flavoring these powders.

Things I Didn’t Like

The only problem I have with the product itself is that it lacks additional vitamin and minerals so it can’t help you get the micronutrients you need.

Also, it’s expensive. Even counting the fact that it comes in a 2 pound container instead of 1 pound, it costs more per pound than everything on the list except for the organic raw vegan protein powder.

It’s still cheaper than some other grass-fed protein powders, though.

Recommendation

If you care about healthy, happy cows or about the purity of your protein, Legion Whey+ may be worth the price.


MuscleTech Nitro Tech Rippedmuscletech performance series nitro tech ripped ultimate protein weight loss review

Supplement Facts (Chocolate Brownie Flavor)

Servings Per Container: 21
Calories: 170
Total Fat: 4 g
Carbs: 4 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 2 g
Protein: 30 g

Important Ingredients

  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Whey Peptides
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid
  • Coffee, Green Tea, and Rose Hip Extracts
  • Sucralose

See full ingredients

Overview

MuscleTech Nitro Tech Ripped is a protein powder specifically designed for weight loss. And it does it well.

green tea coffee extract rose hip burn fat boost metabolism no caffeine

Rose hips? In MY protein powder? It’s more likely than you think!

It combines whey protein isolate and whey peptides for high-quality protein.

It also includes coffee extract, green tea extract, and rose hip extract to help burn fat. Caffeine, though? Nope!

The ingredients also include conjugated linoleic acid and medium chain triglycerides. Those are both fats, but they are known to be good for weight loss.

Things I Liked

Protein for protein’s sake is good, but I like the inclusion of CLA and MCT.

This means that you don’t get as much protein per scoop (they recommend using two scoops), but what you do get works well with your body and energizes you more than just protein alone.

In fact, they recommend taking a serving half an hour before lunch and/or dinner. This will help boost satiety and make you feel full, faster, so you don’t eat as much.

It also tastes great and mixes well!

Things I Didn’t Like

I just can’t escape sucralose, can I?

Hey, you may feel the same way about Stevia.

The only area in which this product really lacks is in vitamins and minerals because it doesn’t contain any added micronutrients.

Recommendation

MuscleTech Nitro Tech Ripped is designed specifically as a weight-loss protein powder, and it succeeds.

Conclusion

Not all protein powders are created equal, and the best ones for muscle gain are not always the best ones for cutting.

Of the five protein powders above, I have two favorites.

Garden of Life Raw Organic Fit is, overall, my favorite protein powder for cutting. Unfortunately, it is rather expensive.

My second-favorite cutting protein supplement is MuscleTech Nitro Tech Ripped. It’s a great protein powder for when you want to lose fat while keeping muscle and accomplishes this goal while staying the least expensive powder on this list!