Best Budget Protein Powders 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Rose Annemarie

Are you a fitness buff missing the gym? Do you want to make some serious gains, but you’re struggling to know how? Do you want to look at the best proteins, powder products and beyond? Well, luckily we’ve got just the thing for you. In this guide, we’re showing you our top 6 listings of protein powder with each pick tailored to your specific needs!

Whether you want a high amount of protein to seriously build muscle, or you have specific dietary needs such as gluten free, plant based protein or vegan protein – we have the options for you. We’ll find you the best post-workout powder protein that tastes great and does the job, with a peak amount of protein per serving. If you’re unhappy, Amazon’s products policy means you can make a return all rights reserved, but hopefully you won’t have to!

From muscle recovery to muscle growth, from meal replacement to weight loss – we’ve got the best protein products for you, and they’re all quality protein tailored to your needs.

Quickly, we’ll just run you through some key considerations for finding the best cheap protein powder whilst also telling you how to get the best price per serving; as lots of protein powder options can cost a lot, our list is designed to show you the best protein powders and protein isolate products that will provide the best source of protein.

Typical Price

The typical price of the best protein powders can vary depending on brand, purpose, and even flavor options. If you want a protein powder that tastes good, even tastes like ice cream or chocolate, then this could amount to a little more than a basic unflavored protein blend. What’s more, more specific products that have specialist roles, such as muscle repair, can cost a little more than your general, all-purpose protein content. Those with different ingredients, such as coconut oil or trans fat, can affect the price.


We’ll recap this more in the handy buyers’ guide at the bottom of the page, but your key considerations will include options like:

  • Price
  • Flavors and what the Supplement Tastes Like
  • Brand
  • Substance, such as Whey Isolate Protein or Rice Protein

Best Budget Protein Powder: Our Top Picks

  1. TRUE-MASS Weight Gainer Best Mass Gainer
  2. NOW Sports Nutrition Soy Isolated Unflavored Best Soy Protein
  3. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey- Best Whey Protein
  4. NOW Sports Nutrition Pea Protein Creamy Chocolate – Best Pea Protein
  5. Optimum Nutrition Micellar CaseinBest Casein
  6. RSP Nutrition AvoCollagen Best Low Calorie

Let’s discuss each protein in more depth. We’ll be discussing the following features:

  • Protein Per Scoop
  • Calories Per Scoop
  • Flavors Available
  • Scoops per Tub
  • Approximate Price Per Serving

Read on to find the products that are best for you, with the absolute cheapest prices designed to give all people a brilliant performance workout.

1. TRUE-MASS Weight Gainer

BSN TRUE-MASS - 5.82 Pound

Best Features: Recommended by the majority of customers, from lifestyle editors to nutritionists. Great aftertaste in every tablespoon.

Description: As the makers of the master protein supplement, BSN Syntha, the company behind this product are an expert amid brands in bringing you a protein shake that tastes great, don’t break the bank, and help you gain mass. As our pick for the best mass gainer, these pots of goodness will easily be recommended by every coach and dietitian alike, with bundles of protein in all servings. They’re fab for muscle growth, and boast a brilliant amino acid profile; a great performance protein at a low price point.

These goodies are a sure fire deal, as these spot on protein powders are like no other. Folks will be hard pressed to find purchases this good – save the bucks and gain the muscle… it’s an easy decision for any customer. Users of Amazon note that the convenience of this protein powder totally fits the bill. An easy contender for the title of the best cheap protein powder.

If you’re planning on getting this powder to prep you before you hit the treadmill, why not check out a new treadmill? Our best cheap treadmills are bound to blow you away.


Protein per Scoop: 46-50g (with 10 grams of protein per serving being naturally occurring BCAAs) | Calories per Scoop: 700 | Flavors Available: Chocolate Milkshake; Cookies & Cream; Strawberry Milkshake; Vanilla Ice Cream | Scoops per Tub: 16 | Approximate price per serving: $2

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2. NOW Sports Nutrition Soy Isolated Unflavored

NOW Sports Nutrition - 2 Pound

Best Features: Popular vegan protein powder. Reliable company that is recognised amongst dieters globally.

Description: Our second listing is our best soy protein powder, and it’s the listing from NOW sports nutrition. If you’re looking for a low calorie powder with an array of flavors like pumpkin seed or chocolate flavor – look elsewhere. This product is completely unflavored. As a trusted brand, these protein powder supplements work wonders to monitor your fitness levels at an affordable price tag.

With decent serving sizes, which, by the way, are totally vegan friendly, these organic plant based vegan protein powder tubs are quality controlled to ensure that when you pop these into the shaker bottle, you’re getting the best serving of protein you possibly can.

It’s as easy as one, two, three – we hope you recommend it to tons of people as the next workout go-to. One of the best, highest quality organic plant based cheap protein powders we’ve seen in a while. Just make sure you mix it with some ice cream or even some delicious vanilla chai ingredients for a little bit more taste. With 20 grams of protein per serving, this offers optimum nutrition at a cheap price.


Protein per Scoop: 20g | Calories per Scoop: 90 | Flavors Available: Unflavored | Scoops per Tub: 22 | Approximate price per serving: $1

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3. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard - 5 Pound

Best Features: Price point. World renowned whey powder.

Description: As our listing for the best whey protein powder, this Optimum Nutrition concentrate whey protein powder consists of whey protein isolate as well as concentrate. As one of the top listings for the best cheap protein powder, it contains over 5 grams of protein BCAAs. What’s more, it’s instantized – this improves the quality of mixing so you end up with no lumps or clumps!

This cheap whey protein powder is one of the best whey protein powders – in fact, Optimum Nutrition are known for their award winning whey powders, which allow you to bulk up your body. Check the reviews to see how much of a treat you’re in for – the bottom line is that it’s one of the best on the market, packed full of healthy stuff such as vitamins, minerals, and more.

Athletes love it, Amazon recommends it, nothing to lose on your part. And if it’s not right for you? Make a return, all rights reserved.


Protein per Scoop: 24g | Calories per Scoop: 120 \ Flavors Available: Chocolate; Chocolate Hazelnut; Chocolate Malt; Chocolate Mint; Chocolate Peanut Butter; Double Rich Chocolate; French Vanilla; Vanilla Crème; Whey + Creatine; White Chocolate. | Scoops per Tub: 74 | Approximate price per serving:

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4. NOW Sports Nutrition Pea Protein Powder

NOW Sports Nutrition

Best Features: Best cheap protein powder which is packed with around 4.2 grams of protein in BCAA form.. Products rich in nutrients to nourish your body at a low price.

Description: Our fourth pick for the best cheap protein powder is the NOW Sports powdered protein made of peas. This easily digested powder presents a USDA organic approved, non-GMO vegetable protein isolate rich in BCAAs. A brilliantly filling meal replacement, this high performance protein is said to be preferable over other sources such as whey concentrate bulk powders, or the average casein protein powder or hemp protein powder – the latter of which is, of course, made from hemp seeds. This product contains over 20 grams of protein.

The perfect blend for your workout, this protein shake is bursting with nutrients and delicious chocolate flavors which taste fabulous. Some believe these are more effective than whey proteins at muscle breakdown and metabolic regulation, helping your body to stay satisfied and full with every serving.

With brilliantly cheap prices, this option offers a lot of benefits. Just try to argue against it – check the reviews and thank us later. There’s nothing to lose, and everyone in the reviews has been giving a positive reason to buy this .

A brilliant performance, vegan friendly bulk powder which shows evidence of promoting wellness – according to studies – whether you’re having this as a snack or for meals, it’s rich in iron and sodium and boosts your immune system.


Protein per Scoop: 24g | Calories per Scoop: 160 | Flavors Available: Creamy Chocolate | Scoops per Tub: 21 | Approximate price per serving: $1.50

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5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Micellar Casein

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Best Features: Best cheap protein powder with low-cal. Satiation mechanisms mean that this protein powder keeps you fuller for longer.

Description: Our top pick for the best casein powder, from anything we could’ve picked, is the Optimum Nutrition Casein Powder. It’s slow digesting and helps suppress your hunger overnight – this is part of the reason we’ve picked it as the best cheap protein powder containing casein. Coming in a range of flavors including a vanilla flavor, this best cheap protein powder comes with a bunch of recommendations by Amazon members. It will make your life easier – they don’t call it gold standard for nothing.

Its satiety helps you to fulfil all goals of BMI management, whilst the high quality anti-catabolic protein powder helps to fully support recovery, embodying the pinnacle of health and fitness. For the price point, this wonderful performance protein helps slowly regulate muscle milk, giving you the energy and sustenance you need whilst supporting muscle repair and maintenance of muscle mass.

Some recommend blending with chia seed or alfalfa powder, or even berry and banana, for that extra healthy boost – and you’re guaranteed to have a lovely taste either way given the 9 flavors on offer. With so many flavors and benefits, including being packed full of vitamins and low on additives, these shakes get a five out of five from us – of the many we could’ve chosen from, these ones are the ultimate.

Thanks to Optimum, whatever you put in the blender with these, and whatever beverage you end up with, this protein powder packs a punch and means serious business. Quality name, quality taste, zero nonsense. Give these ones a shot for the best performance and results…it tastes like a normal milkshake!


Protein per Scoop: 24g | Calories per Scoop: 120 (may vary per flavor) | Flavors Available: Banana Cream; Chocolate Peanut Butter; Chocolate Supreme; Cookies and Cream; Creamy Vanilla; Mint Chocolate Chip; Strawberry Cream | Scoops per Tub: 55 (4lbs) | Approximate price per serving: $1

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6. RSP Nutrition AvoCollagen Peptides

Keto Collagen Protein Powder - Unflavored

Best Features: All natural, vegan friendly and non-GMO – every environmentally conscious athlete is a fan. A cheap protein powder that works slower and more efficiently than whey protein isolate powders or those made from peas.

Description: And finally, our best cheap protein powder which contains the lowest calories is the RSP AvoCollagen protein powder. This protein powder contains a bunch of healthy fats as well as being packed full of collagen. It’s gluten free, and combines the perfect pairing of collagen and avocado.

With its rich vitamin and mineral values, this best cheap protein powder is GI friendly and all natural – it’s therefore non-GMO and suitable for your vegan pals. No cows’ milk here! The nourishing elements of collagen promote healthy skin and nails, as well as joints, whilst the grass-fed, vegan, all natural ingredients promote a combination of health and brilliant performance from this bulk protein powder.

Vegan or not, the seven amino acids available and the lack of calories should be enough to entice you… for the price and size of portion, this is a serious contender for the greatest cheap protein powder around. Don’t just take our advice, read the reviews via the attached link!


Protein per Scoop: 10g | Calories per Scoop: 80 | Flavors Available: Unflavored | Scoops per Tub: 20 | Approximate price per serving: $2

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Protein Powder Buyer’s Guide

In order to buy the best cheap protein powders for you, there are some particular considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when searching a for certified organic source of protein, such as whey protein concentrate products. One of your main considerations is to check how much protein you get per serving, whether that’s 50 grams or 20 grams.

You’ll then want to compare the concentration of amino acids, because you want a protein source that contains your nine essentials, particularly with a good amount of the amino acid, Leucine. Make sure also to check the ingredient list in line with your dietary needs, to get the optimum nutrition allowance. For example, a chocolate flavored protein shake may taste the best, but chances are it could be high in sugar count and preservatives – things you generally ought to avoid.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind when shopping for your best protein powders, whether they’re vegan protein sources i.e. plant based protein, or otherwise.

Whole Foods versus Proteins Powders

We all know how important it is to get your basic nutrition amounts in pre-workout, or even before you go to bed. A good amount of protein absorption should be as high a priority as your morning coffee, and ensuring you get a good amount of amino acids each day can aid protein synthesis to aid mass or weight gain and muscle development.

However, it’s also really difficult to ensure you’re getting an adequate level of protein on the go, when you don’t have the time or energy to sit down and make a meal with a hefty protein level. You can try to pack in a bunch of vegetables and fruits, which do have their own advantages, or you can try protein supplements. A protein powder such as a whey isolate powder may be the best for you due to the sheer ease of this protein powder! These have the advantage of reaching your muscles after around 30 minutes – ensuring anyone the kind of quick result you’re after with speedy digestion. Something like this is generally ideal for athletes, who require a high level of protein for muscular growth.

Protein supplements, in form of a protein shake or protein powder, can generally help to suppress hunger and keep you full for longer, giving you more bang for your buck through absolutely anything. Whilst a protein powder can therefore be better than raw food such as a berry treat or some leafy greens like spinach or legumes, you’ll need to check the level of fats, sugars, and levels of sweetener like Stevia on the label of the powder. This is key to dieters who are after reducing their sugar or calorie intakes. Some powder solutions like whey isolate will offer different nutritional value over a protein shake, for example

You’re therefore better off looking for a type of value powder or protein shake for your workouts that offer:

  • Little additives or sweeteners
  • Plenty of vitamins and minerals
  • A variety of amino acids – at least five – including Leucine
  • A good level of dairy and carbohydrates – some even come with probiotics to increase your health and strength

Types Of Protein

Another thing to consider on our list is the type of protein powder you’ll be looking for. There are many different powder options for the form of protein you’re looking for, so there’s a bit of everything for everyone on the market with sites like Amazon. The three most common types of protein are:

Concentrates, which are produced by extracting protein from whole food using heat and enzymes. These supply around 60-80% protein, with the remaining 20-40% giving fat and carbohydrate content.

Isolates, which are produced with an additional filtering process to maximise the level of protein in the drink or powder – usually around 90-95%.

Hydrolysates, which are produced by further heating with acid or enzymes – these break down amino acid bonds and thus are absorbed more quickly than other forms of protein.

There are also a few different forms of protein powder, each with slightly different stuff in them. Two examples of protein powder include:

Whey protein comes from milk, meaning it’s rich in protein but also lactose. The whey protein isolate version, however, contains less of this dairy based sugar. Whey is rich in BCAAs, aka branched-chain amino acids. This means that it’s brilliant for building strength and maintaining or developing the mass of your muscles, because of the effect of its contents on the chemicals in your body.

Casein is also found in milk, but digests much slower – meaning you have a gradual, more steady protein absorption rate. Casein is said to be more effective as a protein powder in prompting muscle protein synthesis (MPS), giving you more strength in muscle milk.

You may also consider specific dietary requirements in your search for specific protein powder options. For example, lots of powders are plant based protein or a way of getting of vegan protein, for those who obviously do not gain protein content from meat. Moreover, lots of powders are gluten free for those who cannot digest gluten. Pea proteins are particularly popular amongst those looking for vegan protein or plant based protein, as it includes no milk protein or eggs.

Your Goals

Each protein powder is tailored to a specific goal, so you can match your intake with the way you want to maintain, lose, or increase mass during your workouts.

– Lose Weight

If you want to lose weight, there are lots of different market choices to supplement your intake, helping you to decrease your body mass. This generally works through boosting your metabolism, reducing your appetite, and therefore helping you to drop body fat without sacrificing muscle.

An option that helps you shed the pounds will generally include low calories, minimal sugar or sweeteners, and provide a blend of nutrients that are right for your diet. Used responsibly, these low-fat, low-carbs protein supplementation products can be effective as meal replacements, and some even taste great to help you curb those chocolate cravings.

– Build Muscle

If building muscle is your aim, you can also find a brilliant, cheap protein supplement item that tastes great and helps you bulk up. Whether you just want to tone up or you’re a competitive body builder, there’s loads of great listings to help you build muscle.

Some would argue that these items aren’t great as vegan protein sources, because plant based protein powders are not as effective as milk based, but if you shop around you’re likely to also find some great vegan protein powders that will help you bulk up and reach your optimum nutrition values without compromising your plant based priorities!

About This Expert

Rose Annemarie
Full-time writer. Blogger. Dedicated wife. Mother of 3 amazing kids. I love learning about everything from the latest tech gadgets, innovative new home designs and can be found regularly reading up on parenting tips. There is always room to grow!