It’s no secret that muscle gains are made during recovery… and consuming protein after working out is dubbed to be critical for good recovery.
However, you might be surprised to know the ingredients labeled on many protein powders might not actually be accurate. Because protein powder supplements do not require FDA approval for marketing, protein powders may contain different ingredients or quantities than what the label claims. You very well might unknowingly be consuming less protein and more sugar and other artificial sweeteners than what is stated on the product.
That being said, in order to avoid untrustworthy protein powders, it’s important to look for the products that are NSF Certified (either a Contents Tested and Certified Certification or a Certified for Sport Certification). NSF International provides third-party testing specifically for supplements. This organization ensures that the contents of these supplements match what is printed on the label and that there are no unsafe substances in these products.1
By purchasing protein powder that is NSF certified you can be certain that what you are putting in your body is the real deal.
Without further ado, here you can find the 10 best NSF certified protein powders available today.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey
Founded in 1986, Optimum Nutrition has been helping athletes achieve their fitness goals for over 30 years. Since the company first started, it has valued innovation, quality and ingredient transparency over everything, making it the go-to brand for protein powder among fitness enthusiasts. According to Alpesh Patel, the senior vice president of global marketing for the company, “Optimum Nutrition and its founder recognized early the need for strict quality control”. This focus on quality control explains why Optimum Nutrition is one of the few sports nutrition companies to operate its production facilities. Today Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey is undoubtedly one of the most popular protein powders in the industry.2 3
Thorne Research Whey Protein Isolate
Thorne Research is a supplement company that truly believes that creating quality products is many times more important than what their products look like. In other words, this company cares less about putting flashy labels on their products to make them more marketable and instead focuses on clinical research, testing and quality control during manufacturing.
As far as clinical research goes, Thorne has collaborations with many independent researchers to help them confirm the safety and effectiveness of their products. These independent research partners include Mayo Clinic, The National Institute of Health, and a collection of universities well known for their research. As far as testing goes, the supplements manufactured undergo an astounding four rounds of testing to ensure quality.4 5
Isopure Whey Protein Isolate
Isopure is another company that goes the extra mile to ensure their products are of the finest quality. In making its supplements, Isopure carefully selects its vendors for raw materials through an extensive evaluation program to guarantee that only premium raw materials are used. These vendors also are required to provide certificates of analysis for their raw materials which are then verified through random in-house testing. Lastly, the products are then tested by third-party laboratories for safety and quality control.
Isopures supplements are manufactured according to Good Manufacturing Practices of the FDA, and of course, the company’s manufacturing processes are approved by NSF International.6
Momentous Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate
This NSF Certified for Sport supplement company claims to have the cleanest recovery products in the world. From grass fed whey protein to 100% plant-based protein, Momentous focuses on creating products of the highest quality that don’t contain any filler or unnatural ingredients that can potentially impede your recovery. Momentous’s global team is made up of many athletes from marathon runners to Olympic athletes, to NFL athletes.
Given that the company is relatively young, it doesn’t put out a huge variety of supplements. However, if you are in the market for some quality protein powder specifically, there is no need to look further than Momentous.7
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein
Garden of Life’s products are not only NSF Certified for Sport but they are also non-GMO verified, and USDA Organic tested as well. This company is strictly against using synthetic chemicals in their products that are widely used by other much larger companies. Instead, this company focuses on creating its supplements with the finest quality plants grown completely naturally.
Additionally, Garden of Life’s products are vegan, gluten free, kosher and the company has the certifications to prove it. You would be hard-pressed to find protein powder cleaner than the recovery products that the Garden of Life sells.8
BiPro Elite Whey Pro Isolate
BiPro is unique in that it is a supplement company that only makes protein supplements. That being said, the company invests all of its time and resources into creating the safest and most effective protein supplements imaginable.
These protein powders are derived strictly from dairy. Fortunately, milk protein is some of the highest quality protein you can consume. Through the company’s manufacturing processes, BiPro extracts the quality proteins and nutrients from milk while leaving out the lactose and fat. The milk is derived from hormone-free cows often from local farms.9
Muscle Milk Protein Powder
Muscle Milk as well as Monster Milk and Cytomax, all owned by CytoSport, Inc, is one of the most well-known sports nutrition brands and is hailed for its innovative mentality. Not only is this brand huge on using quality ingredients and maintaining quality control within its facilities, but it is also unique in that it is very informative about protein powder and how to use it. By following the muscle milk blog you can learn how to properly use protein supplements and you can even learn from the many recipes it posts that incorporate Muscle Milk protein powder.10
Klean Athlete Klean Isolate
Klean Athlete’s mission is to help athletes achieve peak performance by providing the highest quality supplements that contain everything your body needs to recover effectively. Working for Klean Athlete are a group of nutritionists, scientists, and dietitians who have worked with some of the greatest athletes in the world. Not only that but the experts at Klean Athlete are athletes themselves live healthy lifestyles as well.
This company creates protein powder without wheat, gluten or artificial flavoring or sweeteners. The point that Klean Athlete drives home is that its protein powder is chockfull of the nutrients you need without anything you don’t.11
Vega Sport Premium Protein
This supplement company was cofounded by Brendan Brazier, a triathlete that found that plant-based foods helped him recover much better than any supplements he had tried. However, he couldn’t find any supplements that provided the plant-based nutrients he needed. As a result, he decided to start a supplement company himself that emphasized using real plant-based food ingredients above all else.
Every supplement the company makes is vegan certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free and doesn’t contain any artificial flavors and preservatives, and of course, is NSF Certified for Sport as well. That being said, if you are vegan, vegetarian, or just interested in consuming more plant-based material, this is the protein powder for you.12
Bodylogix Natural Grass-Fed Whey Isolate
Bodylogix offers a variety of different high-quality protein powders (as well as many other supplements). Through this company you can get milk protein from grass-fed cows as well as premium vegan protein.
Not only does Bodylogix focus on creating the best quality supplements but it also provides plenty of educational content through its blog. Through the blog you can read up on training, proper supplementation and great protein powder food recipes you can try at home.13
- “What our mark means” nsfsport.com, https://www.nsfsport.com/our-mark.php
- “About us” optimumnutrition.com, https://www.optimumnutrition.com/en-us/about-us
- “Prominent Sports Nutrition Brand Optimum Nutrition Celebrates Thirty Years” prnewswire.com, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/prominent-sports-nutrition-brand-optimum-nutrition-celebrates-thirty-years-300298100.html
- “Our Facility” thorne.com, https://www.thorne.com/quality
- “Clinical Research” thorne.com, https://www.thorne.com/company/clinical-research
- “Isopure” theisopurecompany.com, http://www.theisopurecompany.com/we_are.html
- “The Team” livemomentous.com, https://www.livemomentous.com/pages/about-us
- “About Garden of Life” gardenoflife.com, https://www.gardenoflife.com/content/about/why-gol/
- “The Bipro Story” biprousa.com, https://www.biprousa.com/about-us/
- “About us” musclemilk.com, https://www.musclemilk.com/about-cytosport/
- “Meet Our Experts” kleanathlete.com, https://www.kleanathlete.com/about/meet-our-experts
- “Our Story” myvega.com, https://myvega.com/pages/our-story
- “Our Story” bodylogix.com, https://www.bodylogix.com/pages/our-story