Whether you’re a bodybuilder, physique athlete or gym goer who simply wants to look their best naked, you have different goals at different times. Sometimes you are working to gain muscular bulk and at other times your goal is to strip off lots of body fat and get ripped.
Each of those goals requires a different type of protein. During a cutting cycle, you need a protein that is low calorie and low carb. In this article, we focus on the 8 best low calorie protein powders to take while you are focused on getting cut to the bone.
The Best Low-Calorie Protein Powder of 2021
In a rush and just want to know which low calorie powder you should buy. No problem; after a comprehensive analysis of the market, I’ve concluded that the best low calorie protein powder of 2021 is . . .
Best Low-Calorie: Performance Lab Sport Protein Powder
- Plant Based
- Rice Protein
- Just 100 calories per serving
- 20 grams protein per serving
- 1.2 grams fat per serving
- 20 grams protein
- Plant based
- Low carb
- Low fat
- Organic ingredients
- Rice based protein
- 1.2 grams fat
- Quite expensive
Why You Should Purchase Performance Labs Sport Protein Powder
Performance Labs Sport Protein Powder is a completely plant based protein powder. It delivers 20 grams of protein per serving, for just 100 calories and 1.2 grams of fat. It’s made by Opti-Nutra, who claim that this is the purest and most effective protein powder on the market. I don’t know about that, but it sure does taste good for a plant based protein. It’s only available in chocolate, which is probably all you’ll want (taste it to see what I mean!).
The main ingredient in Performance Labs Sport Protein Powder is a trademarked blend of brown rice called Oryzatein®. You will notice that the powder is finer than most protein powders. That makes it very easy to mix, even with just a glass and spoon.
What We Didn’t Like About Performance Labs Sport Protein Powder
A 600 gram tub of Performance Labs Sport Protein Powder provides you with 20 grams of protein. That will cost you $59 off the official Performance Lab website. That works out to $2.95 per serving, which is on the higher end.
Best Overall: Transparent Labs Protein Powder
- 120 calories per serving
- 28 grams of protein
- 0 fat, 1 gram carbs, 0 sugar
- Gluten free
- High protein count
- Naturally flavored
- No artificial coloring
- Quite expensive
Why You Should Purchase Transparent Labs Protein Powder
Transparent Labs Protein Powder is a whey protein isolate product that packs in 28 grams of protein for 120 calories. The protein to weight ratio is an impressive 88 percent. The whey isolate in this product is grass-fed only and the product uses stevia as a natural, safe sweetener.
A 2.25 pound tub of this stuff will cost you around $59. At 30 servings per tub, that brings your per serving cost to just under $2 per day, which is on the high side, but still cheaper than Performance Labs’ Protein Powder. Unlike Performance Labs’ product, you get eight flavors. The guys at Transparent Labs have definitely nailed it on the taste front – and the mixability is pretty impressive, too.
What We Didn’t Like About Transparent Labs Protein Powder
This is another pretty expensive protein powder, coming in at a little under $2 per day. Its calorie count is a little higher than Performance Labs Sport Protein Powder, which is the main reason that we have not given it the number one spot.
Best Overall: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey
- 120 calories per serving
- 24 grams protein
- 1.5 grams fat
- 3 grams carbs
- 1 gram sugar
- Gluten free
- Low fat
- Low sugar
- Great mixability
- Contains soy
- Contains artificial flavorings and sweeteners
Why You Should Purchase Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey
Optimum Nutrition is one of the most respected supplement companies in the fitness industry. For many years, its original Gold Standard has been voted as the best protein powder on the market. At just 120 calories, it is lower than a lot of competitors.
This protein is a blend of whey concentrate and isolate that provides a fast release of amino acids into your system, which is ideal post workout. Unfortunately, we do not know the ratio of concentrate to isolate in this product. You also get 5 grams of naturally occurring branched chain amino acids to provide muscular energy while training and to kickstart the muscle repair process post exercise. You also get 4 grams of glutamine and glutamic acid in every serving.
This is a well priced protein powder, with a cost of well under a dollar per serving.
What We Didn’t Like About Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard contains soy, along with some artificial sweeteners and flavorings. If you are allergic to soy or you are a stickler for completely natural ingredients, that may be enough to put you off.
Best Low Cal Whey Isolate: IsoPure Zero-Carb Protein Powder
- 100 calories
- 25 grams protein
- 0 carbs, fats and sugar
- Gluten and lactose free
- Low calorie
- High protein
- Vitamin and mineral rich
- Contains soy
- Doesn’t taste the best
- High sodium count
Why You Should Purchase IsoPure Zero-Carb Protein Powder
IsoPure Zero-Carb Protein Powder is about as pared down as it gets with a protein powder. In fact, it’s got just two ingredients:
- Whey Protein Isolate
- A Vitamin and Mineral Blend
It provides you with 25 grams of protein, no carbs or fat and 110 calories for every serving. Those are some pretty impressive numbers, especially when you’re on a cutting diet. It’s made with naturally occurring and added glutamine and contains no gluten, lactose or fillers.
A 42 serving container of IsoPure will cost you $46.99, which breaks down to a little more than a dollar per serving. This puts it at the lower end of the market in terms of price.
What We Didn’t Like About IsoPure Zero-Carb Protein Powder
IsoPure contains quite a large amount of sodium. This has been linked to fat gain and also contributes to the overly sweet taste which some people don’t like. It also contains soy.
Related: Isopure Zero Carb Protein Review
Best Low Cal Hydrolyzed Protein: Dymatize ISO 100 Hydrolyzed Protein Powder
- 110 calories
- 25 grams of protein
- 0 carbs, 0 fats, < 1 gram sugar
- Fast absorbing
- Easy to digest
- Contains the sweetener sucralose
- Contains soy
Why You Should Purchase Dymatize ISO 100 Hydrolyzed Protein Powder
Dymatize ISO 100 Hydrolyzed Protein Powder is a blend of both protein isolate and protein hydrolysate. That means the carbs, fats and lactose have been removed from the whey and the peptides have been broken down. This makes it faster to absorb the amino acids, which is important if you are taking this as a post-workout supplement.
Every 29 gram dose of Dymatize provides you with 25 percent protein content. Fats and carbs are non-existent and there is less than a single gram of sugar in every serving. Each dose contains between 5.6-5.8 BCAAs, which supplies your muscles with energy during your workout.
A 1.6 pound tub of Dymatize will cost you $29.99. With 23 servings in each tub, that works out to $1.30 per serving, which sits this product on the lower end of the market in terms of price.
What We Didn’t Like About Dymatize ISO 100 Hydrolyzed Protein Powder
This product contains both milk and soy, so if you have allergies to either of these, stay away. However, the lactose has been removed, so those who are lactose intolerant should have no problems with Dymatize.
Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein
- Plant based protein
- Just 35 calories
- 8 grams of protein per serving
- Gluten free
- Very low calorie
- 0 fat, 0 sugar, < 1 gram carbs
- No soy
- Only 8 grams protein per serving
Why You Should Purchase Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein
Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein is a very clean and convenient way to get plant protein into your system. It contains the lowest calorie count of any of the protein powders on this page. However, it also includes just 8 grams of protein, so to get an equal amount of protein as the competitors, you will have to take 3 servings, which will push the calorie count up to 105 calories, which is still very low.
There is only one ingredient in Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein and that is vegetable pea protein isolate. The powder is created from the starch and fiber of yellow peas that are ground into a fine powder.
What We Didn’t Like About Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein
The taste of Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein definitely takes some getting used to. To be perfectly honest, some people find it downright unpleasant. Taste, however, is a subjective thing, so you may actually love it. If you’re after 20-25 grams of protein per serving, you will either have to triple up on this one or choose another option.
Best Vegan: Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
- 150 calories
- 4 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbs, 0 sugar
- 5 grams of fiber
- 21 grams protein
- Three plant based protein sources
- Top seller
- Natural, organic ingredients
- 21 grams protein per serving
- Relatively high carb count
Why You Should Purchase Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder blends three protein sources:
- Organic Pea
- Brown Rice
With 150 calories per serving, Orgain has the highest calorie count of any of the protein powders on our list. However, 150 calories is still pretty low, so long as you are reducing your other daily caloric intake. This is a great source of fiber to help with digestion and weight loss. You’ll also get 35 percent of your RDI of iron with every serving.
What We Didn’t Like About Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is a little high in calories compared to the other low calorie protein powders we have reviewed. The taste of this powder is also quite different to whey based proteins. Some people may not find it palatable.
Naked Nutrition Whey 100% Grass-fed Protein
- 120 calories
- 15 grams grass-fed protein per serving
- 2 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs 2 grams of sugar per serving
- Just one ingredient
- No artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors
- An acquired taste
Why You Should Purchase Naked Nutrition Whey 100% Grass-fed Protein
Naked Nutrition Whey 100% Grass-Fed Protein is a simple, pure whey protein concentrate protein powder. In fact, that is all it contains. That whey comes from only grass fed cows. You end up with 25 grams of protein and 120 calories per serve. Whey concentrate is always going to be higher in fats, carbs and milk sugars that isolate. It will also contain lactose, which may cause stomach upset in some people.
What We Didn’t Like About Naked Nutrition Whey 100% Grass-fed Protein
Nakey Whey 100% Grass Fed Protein is a very basic product. It could have benefited with the addition of BCAAs and glutamine to boost its firepower. The inclusion of lactose may cause gas or bloating in people who don’t tolerate these milk sugars very well.
You don’t have to skimp on your protein intake when you’re cutting or dieting down to get ripped. As we’ve just discovered there are some very good low calorie protein powders on the market that will infuse your muscle cells with amino acids without significantly bumping up your calorie count.
Our favorite low calorie protein powder is Performance Labs Sport Protein Powder, which provides you with 20 grams of plant based protein for a cost of just a hundred calories per serving. The best low calorie whey isolate in our opinion is IsoPure Zero Carb protein powder. Finally, our favorite low cal hydrolyzed protein powder is Dymatize ISO 100 Hydrolyzed Protein Powder, supplying you with 25 grams of fast digesting protein in every 110 calorie serving.