3 Best Whey Protein For Bulking: NO BS Protein Powders

By Ire | Supplement Review

Mar 27

Let me guess, you are sick and tired of your friends and family’s remarks on how skinny you are?

“Eat something, you are just skin and bones”


You have decided to put an end to all those comments and start looking online for how to properly put on mass. You, my friend, came to the right place. Here at Musclebulkers, we are hundred percent dedicated to guide your bulk in the right direction.

In this article, we will discuss best whey protein for bulking. In the sea of information on world wide web, it is hard to distinguish good from bad. Same goes for Whey protein powders. Doing your research ahead is a crucial step when purchasing your bulking supplement stack. Much of that is due that supplement industry has repeatedly proved to be extremely corrupt. Primarily because FDA does not regulate supplements. Many so-called “Top Supplement Brands” have gone through scandals when putting illegal substances, toxic metals, excess-sugar… into their protein tubs. On a long term that would mean bad news for your bulk.

NOW Sports Whey Isolate
Optimum Nutrition Gold StandardAnimal Whey Isolate

What is protein

Protein is a macronutrient that is essential to building muscle mass. It is usually found in animal products, though it is also found in plant sources.
Chemically, protein is broken down to amino acids which are building blocks muscle tissue. Therefore, it plays a big role when it comes to muscle building.

Importance of protein

1. Muscle Growth

When we lift weights, we create micro-tears in our muscles. In order to recover those tears, we need to consume enough building blocks (protein) in order to recover our muscles. If daily protein intake is large enough, our muscle gets a little bigger (hypertrophy) every time that happens. That process is called bulking.  

2. Recovery

Leucine, which is found in Whey protein powders increases protein synthesis which helps reduce muscle breakdown after your lifting session. That generally reduced inflammation and muscle soreness. That way you will be better prepared to destroy your next lifting workout. On a long term that will result in faster muscle gain results.

Do I really need supplements

Not at all. It is possible to reach your targeted protein intake with only eating food. At the end of the day, all it matters is your Total Daily Protein Intake. That can be done with only foods, only supplements (not recommended) or combination of both.

You need to find a way that will fit your lifestyle. Me, as a over-worked newbie at my job always have to seek for options that were cheap and time-saving. I do not have time to spend an extra hour cooking every day. Therefore, Whey protein shakes are a perfect choice that compliments my diet.

Best Whey Protein For Bulking. Musular guy starting at the sea

Are Protein Powders Healthy

Due to some holes in the system, supplement companies are very free to put anything they want on the label. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not properly regulate supplements. That means that many of them exploit that option and advertise falsely. It is sad to see that many big supplements companies that went through various scandals. (1,2,3,4)

That is why all supplements below have been researched through third-party companies (Labdoor, Clean Label Project)

How much protein do I need

Great question, that requires an extensive answer. So extensive that I even wrote a blog post about it. However, if you just want a quick (not as accurate) estimation, use below formula:

Weight (lbs) x 0.8 = total daily protein intake

When Should I drink protein shake

There is a theory that protein shakes should be consumed straight after a workout. If you miss the 30-minute “anabolic window” your chances to gain muscles are similar to Mcgregor vs Aldo fight. Find out how much truth there is in “anabolic window theory” and the actual time you should be drinking your protein shake.


If you have every opened a yogurt, you might have noticed some liquid floating on top. That liquid is pure whey. When drinking milk, whey is the watery portion of it.

While there are other protein sources besides whey (Casein, Soy, Hydrolysates..), Whey has always got unequal amount of attention. While there is not a major difference in between different sources of protein, Whey has proven to be slightly better for muscle growth. (123)

That might have something to do with the fact that Whey has all the nine Essential Amino Acids, as opposed to other sources that have fewer.

We usually divide Whey into two categories:


Cheaper, due to the fact is has more carbs, lactose and fat. It is recommended to be taken before exercise just so you get some extra boost of energy from other nutrients.


Little bit more pricier. It has less amount of carbs and fat then concentrate. It is usually lactose free.

3 Best whey protein for bulking

1. NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate

Now Sports packaging might not be the prettiest, but it is inside what matters (your mom has a point). That particular supplement has scored very high in both label trustworthiness and content purity. Supplement is extremely clean which comes with obvious downsides regarding the taste and mixability. One scoop will enrich you for 25g extra proteins.

If you have a sensitive stomach, that is a great product for you. However, you might want to use a blender for mixing it.


  • No artificial Sweeteners
  • Natural
  • Easy digested


  • Awkward square scoop
  • Includes fructose
  • Unflavored
  • More pricey

2. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition protein powder is one of the word’s most popular supplement. Great content, trustworthy label and fair price rank this supplement number one seller of Amazon. One scoop contains 24g of Whey protein.

Due to lecithin, product mixes very well with both water or milk.


  • Mixability
  • Good Taste


  • Contains artificial sweeteners
  • Contains Soy

3. Universal Nutrition Animal Whey Isolate

Animal is one of the most respected brands in supplement world. This product is a mixture of isolate and concentrate. Besides being little bit thicker and therefore harder to mix, it has been proven to be extremely tasty and easy on the stomach.


  • Exceptional taste
  • Easy to digest


  • Thicker consistency
  • Harder to mix

Musclebulker’s research:

Already mentioned above, too many protein supplements have already fallen under “false-advertisement”. Therefore, I used data done by third party companies that evaluated the products.

1. Labdoor

Is a company which evaluates protein powders. They tested accuracy of labeling and scored each supplement accordingly. Best Whey protein for bulking all have a score of 80 or above.

2. Clean Label Project:

Another great study that tested 134 different protein powders from 52 different supplement brands. Sadly, they have found that majority of supplements contained either heavy metals, BPA, pesticides or other contaminants.

Based on cleanliness of the label they scored supplements with either 1, 3 or 5 stars. Best Whey protein powders for bulking all have 5 stars.

NOW Sports, Whey Protein Isolate PowderOptimum Nutrition Gold StandardUniversal Nutrition Animal Whey Isolate
Size of tub:5lbs5lbs4lbs
Protein per scoop:28g24g25lbs
Scoops per tub:817156
Tastes:UnflavoredChocolate Coconut
Chocolate Malt
French Vanilla
Banana Cream
Brownie Batter
Type of Protein:IsolateConcentrate
Price per scoop:$0.81$0.63$0.75

Pump Iron

Thats right, without going to the gym and create micro-tears, your body is not going to change. You can drink all the protein you want, but without putting your ass in the gym you will stay skinny. If you need help how to properly structure your training, click here.


Bulking is not only about drinking protein shakes. Carbohydrates and fat is just as important macronutrient to add to your diet. In fact, protein should only present 25% of your total caloric intake. In order to add muscle mass without getting too fat in the process (which is the case too many times), you should really take nutrition seriously. Hold yourself accountable to what you put in your body. I always request that my clients to count calories. Read here to learn how to how to set up your diet step by step.

Need help deciding on your perfect protein source?

If you need help planning meals perfect for your body, check out of online coaching opportunities here!

Coach Ire will be able to help you to structure your workouts and diet for your own body type. Get an online coach to finally put some flesh on those bones.

Summary: Protein Supplements

Bulking and gaining muscle is not possible without enough protein consumption. It does not have to be done through supplements. However, hardgainers do find it less time consuming and cheaper. When purchasing supplements, we need to be aware of protein quality. Therefore, you should always do your research on supplement you are looking to purchase.

Escaping hardgainer’s hell takes time and dedication. No matter which protein powder you chose, if you do not show up in the gym your grandma will continue to compare you to a ghost. Make sure to get basic understanding behind muscle building workout structure.

Remember that bulking is not only about eating enough protein. Carbohydrates and fats will play just as important role. Learning how to count calories will prevent you from gaining too much undesired fat in the process.

Good luck and make sure to LIFT, EAT, SLEEP, REPEAT

About the Author

Hey, my name is Ire.I am a Personal Trainer/ Strength Coach based in Stockholm, Sweden.When you don't find me in the gym, I will most likely be on a Track and Field stadium throwing around a discus.