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5 Best Protein Powders for Cutting in 2024

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You will likely see many commercials online claiming that they’re offering the “best protein for cutting” or the “best protein for shredding.” And even though these claims sound great, and they make an impression on the potential buyer, they’re not also true. That’s why we’ve decided to dedicate this article to finding the best protein powder for cutting so that you can be sure that the protein shakes while cutting are actually helping you reach your goals.

Our collective, featuring pro athletes, certified nutritionists, and healthcare professionals, rigorously tested 16 proteins for cutting to compile the roster of the 4 top selections! They assessed the products across 7 pivotal criteria, dedicating 6 weeks to the exhaustive testing process. 

In addition to their practical evaluations, our experts meticulously analyzed hundreds of online user reviews. This compilation goes through updates all the time, and we encourage you to share your comments, provide tips, and actively participate in the discussion!

Let’s get started.

Best Protein Powders for Cutting

Top 5 Best Protein for Cutting Reviewed

There are tons of brands on the market that offer protein powder for getting ripped or simply promise you that their product will do wonders for your body and help you lose weight quicker. We’ve gone through dozens of protein powders, and the list that we will be sharing with you below contains only the best protein powder for cutting that; however, it doesn’t promise to do any magic tricks.

  1. 100% Grass Fed Chocolate Casein Protein by Transparent Labs – Top Pick
  2. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Isolate – Runner-up
  3. Dymatize ISO 100 Hydrolized Protein Powder
  4. BulkSupplements Whey Protein 90% Isolate
  5. Nutricost Whey Protein Isolate Powder
ProductTotalMacronutrient BreakdownSizePackage TypeTasteNutrition Label TransparencyFat Content TransparencyMixability
Transparent Labs66108.59.5109910
Optimum Nutrition64.59.5999.5999.5
Dymatize6499910999
BulkSupplements62.59.5998.5998.5
Nutricost628.5999998.5

1. 100% Grass Fed Chocolate Casein Protein by Transparent Labs – Top Pick

Transparent labs have really earnt their rep in the health and fitness industry. Why so? Their products contain great ingredient breakdown and do not contain artificial food additives. In addition, their products undergo third-party testing, which reduces the risk of exposure to prohibited substances and contaminants. 

transparent labs grass fed casein protein

At this moment of time, transparent labs sell: pre-workouts, creatine, HMB, BCAA, ZMO, mass gainers, cereals and protein shakes. What we are focused on is their nutritious 100% grass fed chocolate casein protein that you may want to mix with your cereal, or even consume solely. We have highlighted the specs below.

  • Item Form: Casein Protein Powder
  • Best For: Muscle strength and lean muscle gain, muscle recovery, satiety, enriching the diet with calcium
  • Flavor: Chocolate
  • Nutritional Information Per Serving: Protein = 25g, Carbohydrates = 4g, Fat = 0.5g, fiber = 1g, Calories = 120
  • Special ingredients: Micellar Casein
  • Servings Size: ≈ 35g (1 scoop)
  • Serving per container: 30
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended By Athletes: Hafthor Jullius BjornssonKelsey HensonPaul Sclar

Ideally, this micellar casein protein powder would be mixed with cereal after your workouts, thereby providing a steady uptake of amino acids to support increased muscle protein synthesis, while minimizing the degradation. A casein shake is also a great snack if you have a long period of time ahead of you without the opportunity to eat. Other times that this protein could be useful is prior to bed, as this would keep the muscles in fed state for a longer time during most of the sleeping hours.

Furthermore, this protein powder is derived from 100% grass-fed cattle, and has been flavored with stevia extract. No added sugars!

66 EXPERT SCORE

Ideally, this micellar casein protein powder would be mixed with cereal after your workouts, thereby providing a steady uptake of amino acids to support increased muscle protein synthesis, while minimizing the degradation.


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Positives:

  • Perfect protein powder for maintaining satiety
  • The macronutrient composition is suitable for any purpose
  • Contains a huge amount of calcium per serving (727 mg)
  • Easy to mix
  • Great chocolate taste

Could be better:

  • The container could be bigger
  • Chocolate flavor only 

2. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Isolate – Runner-up

optimum nutrition isolate

Optimum Nutrition is one of the biggest brands in fitness, and for a good reason. Over the years, they’ve shown time and time again that their focus is always on producing high-quality products that give great results. And that’s also true for their protein powders - they produce many different kinds - derived from whey, beef, and even vegan protein powders. All of these come in a variety of flavors and are preferred by many professional athletes.

  • Diet Type (best for): cutting
  • Suitable for Vegetarians: yes
  • Protein Source: whey
  • Serving size: 31 grams
  • Price per serving: 1.65$
  • Protein Percent of Calories: 80.64%
  • Proteins: 25gr
  • Carbohydrates: 1gr
  • Fat: 0.5gr
  • Sugar: 0
  • Item Weight: 3lb
  • Package Type: tube
  • Company Founded: 1986
  • Recommended by Athletes: Justin JeffersonNathan WilkinsCody Allen

Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Isolate is a terrific product for cutting because of how low-calorie and high-protein it is. The isolate is a great option when cutting because it contains about 80% protein and very little fat and carbs, making it the perfect protein drink when you’re trying to lower your calories. What makes Optimum Nutrition’s protein stand out from the rest is the taste and mixability of their protein powder, which is surprisingly easy to mix and truly delicious, even when compared to more calorie-dense protein powders.

64.5 EXPERT SCORE

Isolate contains around 80% protein and very little fat and carbohydrates, making it the ideal protein drink when you're trying to cut calories.


Macronutrient breakdown:0
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Positives:

  • Great macronutrient breakdown
  • Easy to mix
  • Delicious with both water and milk

Could be better:

  • For an isolate protein, the protein percentage is less when compared to other brands

3. Dymatize ISO 100 Hydrolized Protein Powder

dymatize protein

Dymatize is another well-known brand with a reputation for producing high-quality supplements. Similarly to Optimum Nutrition, they also have quite a sizable line-up of products, including all kinds of protein powders, vitamins, minerals, pre-workouts, and BCAAs. With that said, they’re a little bit less popular than other brands, which is why we’ve decided to include them in this list. And also because their ISO protein is one of the best you can find.

  • Diet Type (best for): cutting
  • Protein Source: whey
  • Serving size: 32 grams
  • Price per serving: 1.36$
  • Protein Percent of Calories (Grams): 78.12%
  • Proteins: 25gr
  • Carbohydrates: 2 gr
  • Fat: 0.5 gr
  • Sugar: 0
  • Item Weight: 5lb
  • Package Type: tube
  • Company Founded: 1994
  • Recommended by Athletes: Pedro GomesBraden Olexo

Dymatize’s ISO 100 Hydrolized Protein is perhaps the best-tasting isolate you will find on the market. Unlike many isolate proteins, which tend to have a more deluded taste, this one will definitely not disappoint you with its flavors. Along with that, it has a great nutritional profile with 25 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, and just over 2 grams of carbs. Because of its slightly higher amount of carbs, it’s a little bit more calorie-dense compared to other isolate proteins, but it’s still a terrific option when cutting, as it can easily satiate your desire for something sweet.

64 EXPERT SCORE

Dymatize has a great nutritional profile with 25 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, and just over 2 grams of carbs.


Macronutrient breakdown:0
Size:0
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Taste/Flavor:0
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Positives:

  • Incredible taste with many flavors
  • Easy to mix
  • Great variety of package sizes

Could be better:

  • Some clients find it mixes a bit too foamy

4. BulkSupplements Whey Protein 90% Isolate 

bulk supplements isolate

Compared to the brands we just discussed, BulkSupplments is a lot less known and not as heavily marketed. However, it still produces high-quality products that are fit for elite athletes. Much like most supplement companies nowadays, BulkSupplements offers not only protein powders but all kinds of supplements that are vital for the good performance of both professional and non-professional athletes.

  • Diet Type (best for): weight loss
  • Protein Source: whey
  • Serving size: 30 grams
  • Price per serving: 1.18$
  • Protein Percent of Calories (Grams): 86.66%
  • Proteins: 26gr
  • Carbohydrates: 0 gr
  • Fat: < 1gr
  • Sugar: 0
  • Item Weight: 2.2 lb
  • Package Type: Pack
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Nerysta AnastoneBrandon Garic Notch

When it comes to protein percentage in a serving, there’s no one better on this list than BulkSupplements. In their powder, we get the whooping 26 grams of protein in a 30-gram serving size, which is incredibly dense. Along with that, we have minimum fats and carbs, which makes their protein one of the least calorie-dense ones on this list. It’s the perfect protein for those who want to cut and get the maximum out of their protein powder; however, you do have to consider that the lack of carbs and fats also leads to a certain lacking in terms of taste.

62.5 EXPERT SCORE

When it comes to protein percentage in a serving, there’s no one better on this list than BulkSupplements. In their powder, we get the whooping 26 grams of protein in a 30-gram serving size, which is incredibly dense.


Macronutrient breakdown:0
Size:0
Package Type:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Fat Content Transparency:0
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Positives:

  • Packed with protein
  • Great versatility - can be mixed with coffee, used for smoothies, etc.
  • Minimum amount of carbs and fats

Could be better:

  • Lacks great taste, especially when mixed with water

5. Nutricost Whey Protein Isolate Powder

nutricost protein

Nutricost is yet another lesser-known brand for supplements that’s still able to produce high-quality protein powders, vitamins, minerals, and more. They also focus on creating more innovative formulas that not only deliver a certain amount of proteins or vitamins to the body but also help other functions, such as gut health or skin improvement.

  • Diet Type (best for): Cutting
  • Protein Source: whey
  • Serving size: 35 grams
  • Price per serving: 1.56$
  • Protein Percent of Calories (Grams): 85.17%
  • Proteins: 30gr
  • Carbohydrates: 2gr
  • Fat: 1gr
  • Sugar: 0
  • Item Weight: 5lb
  • Package Type: Tube
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Puka NacuaKaleb Hayes

Nutricost’s protein has one of the highest contents of protein per serving on this list with 30grams per a 35-gram serving size. That makes it ideal for athletes who want to get in as much protein as quickly for recovery, and it’s also great for people that want to lose weight or cut some fat. It has a lot of flavors available on the website, and it’s pretty tasty for a protein powder with that high protein content.

62 EXPERT SCORE

Nutricost’s protein has one of the highest contents of protein per serving on this list with 30grams per a 35-gram serving size.


Macronutrient breakdown:0
Size:0
Package Type:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Fat Content Transparency:0
Mixability:0

Positives:

  • Loads of flavors available
  • Great mixability
  • Incredible taste

Could be better:

  • Slightly expensive compared to other options

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Why Do Athletes Eat Protein for Cutting Weights?

Drinking whey protein for cutting is pretty common. And you will hear it from many athletes all around the world in the form of sentences such as “Oh, yeah, I increase my protein intake while cutting.” However, not many people know why that is done and what the actual benefits of consuming while cutting are and so let’s learn together in the text below.

1. It Keeps You Satiated 

Cutting is related to eating fewer calories, and its main goal is to help a person lose weight. However, as we all know, eating below your maintenance calories makes it harder for you to be satiated, and everyone looks for either more voluminous or more satiating foods so that your stomach doesn’t churn every few hours. Nothing beats the good ol’ green salads - lettuce, iceberg, maybe spinach- when it comes to volume. They’re super low-calorie and very high volume, which helps keep you fuller for longer. 

Tips From the Champ

When it comes to remaining satiated over long periods of time, the best option is to eat more proteins. And as we’re on a diet and want to keep the fat to a minimum, protein remains the only way to get satiated when eating. That’s why nutritionists always recommend snacking on foods that are lower in carbs, but higher in proteins and fats, as those tend to keep you fuller for longer.

Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

2. Helps Maintain Muscle Mass

Studies show that consuming more protein while you’re on a diet will help you maintain lean muscle mass, even as you lose weight. Of course, that’s the goal for most people while cutting, as you don’t want to lose the muscles you worked hard to get in the first place. Now, this increase in protein doesn’t have to happen only through having more protein shakes; you can also increase the intake of this macronutrient across all your meals by adding yogurt to them or by including legumes that are high in both carbs and protein, such as lentils and beans. 

protein powders

3. Satiate Your Sweet Tooth 

Most people love to have something sweet, either before going to bed or right after dinner. And that craving is usually stronger the more you restrict yourself from eating sweets because you’re on a cut. Eating protein bars or having protein smoothies is one way to satiate your sweet tooth without sacrificing your diet. That way, you’re getting both the nutritional value you need while also enjoying something sweet. 

What to Look for in Protein Powders for Cutting Weights?

Even though increasing your protein intake is excellent for fat loss, not all protein powders are equally good for you. In fact, some of them might have the opposite effect, and instead of helping you lose weight, they help you gain it. That’s why we’ve prepared a short guide for you so that you can refer to it before buying the next protein for your cut. 

1. The Amount of Protein Per Serving

Ideally, you have to go for a protein powder that offers 25 or more grams of protein per serving. Typically, you can find that only in whey-isolate proteins and more rarely in pure whey protein powders. If you’re looking to get even more protein per serving, you have to know that might come at the cost of flavor and mixability, as a large amount of protein typically means that the shake won’t turn out as creamy or as tasty. 

2. Minimal Amount of Carbs and Fats 

Protein powders that have higher amounts of carbs and fats are usually more delicious, but they’re also more calorie-dense, which is something that you have to consider when cutting. In the ideal situation, you want to look for a protein powder that has around 1-2 grams of carbs per serving and less than 1 gram of fat.

3. Calories Per Serving 

Finally, the last thing you want to pay attention to is the calories per serving. Usually, for a protein powder to be considered good for cutting, it has to contain 130 or less per serving (keep in mind that’s only if you mix the protein powder with water). Typically, isolate protein powders have around 110 -120 calories per serving, which make them the ideal solution for cutting. It’s also important to note that protein (whey, isolate, etc.) as a whole can cause digestive issues in people. It’s a good idea when purchasing your first protein to start with only one or two servings - that’s how you will figure out whether it’s causing you any type of gastrointestinal issues and whether you like the taste. Then if you’re certain it’s all good, you can go ahead and purchase an entire jar.

drinking protein while workout

FAQs

Is Protein Powder Good for Cutting?

Yes, using protein powder when cutting will help you soothe your cravings for something sweet while also helping you get enough protein to maintain your muscle mass.

How Do You Cut Body Fat?

When it comes to cutting, the most important thing is eating less than you need to maintain your body weight. The number of calories you need varies from person to person, as it depends on their gender, weight, height, and activity levels. 

Conclusion

Protein powders can play an important role during your cutting journey. They’re a terrific way to get enough protein so that you can maintain lean muscle mass while still losing weight. Along with that, if you’re someone who loves eating sweets and finds that part of cutting the hardest, then protein powders are a terrific way to incorporate some sweet foods into your regime and thus soothe the cravings. Having said all of that, the best protein powder for cutting is Transparent Labs Casein Protein, which is not only budget-friendly but also has great macros and is super tasty. And finally, let us know in the comments - what's your favorite protein for cutting? 

Also Read:

References:

  1. Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes // National Library of Medicine:
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19927027/

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Oleksandr Maksymenko

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko
Certified Sports Nutritionist,
MSc Sports Dietetics

Experience: 7 years
Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist certified by the Fitness Professional Association (FPA). He follows the principles of evidence-based dietetics and fosters a healthy relationship with food in his clients, ensuring there are no strict prohibitions on their favorite foods or frequent lapses. His primary goal is not only to achieve results for you but also to sustain them over the long term, all while enjoying tasty and delicious food.

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