Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

If you’ve found this article, then you know the catch-22 of protein powder shakes: milk is too high in fat and carbs for cutting, while most powders with water taste like chalk.

Because of that, we set out to find the best tasting protein powders with water so that we won't have to force ourselves to down our morning shakes.

These protein powders are said to be good quality products, and in a way, the flavors are surprisingly good and sweet enough as well.

If you’re trying to cut fat and carbs, or if you’ve got a sensitive stomach, here’s a list of our top recommended protein powders that taste good with just water (and ice).

Our Top Tasting Protein Powders With Water

1 - Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein (Editor's Choice)

Transparent Labs thumb

If you’re looking for a protein powder that packs a punch while being packed with flavor, then ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate by Transparent Labs should be on your list.

One scoop of this protein powder has one of the industry’s highest protein-by-weight ratios at 88%. That’s 28 grams of protein per serving!

With all that protein, you think it would taste awful, but think again!

The ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate comes in four yummy variants: chocolate, strawberry, French vanilla, and salted caramel.

Try out these yummy variants and whip up some waffle protein in the kitchen.

To add to that, it doesn't have any artificial sugars and contains all-natural ingredients. It's like having an ice cream shake, but a healthy and adequately sweet one!

  • Flavor: Chocolate
Pros
  • Comes in four flavors: chocolate, strawberry, french vanilla, and salted caramel
  • 28 grams of protein per scoop
  • 100% Grass fed whey
  • No artificial preservatives, sweeteners, or colors
Cons
  • May be pricey for some people

No matter if you are taking protein to lose weight or gain muscle, this delicious protein powder can help you achieve them. It is also gluten-free and contains no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, or colors!

See this related article on the Recommended low carb and keto-friendly protein powders, where Transparent Lab's Grass-Fed whey protein is ranked number one.

2 - Ladder Whey Protein

Ladder

When it comes to protein powders with great flavors, Ladder company will never go least.

The product comes in two flavors: chocolate and vanilla.

Ladder uses all-natural ingredients such as cocoa and vanilla beans, salt, and a little sweetener to bring out that awesome taste.

If you want a protein powder that tastes like dessert, then this is it.

  • Flavor: Chocolate
Pros
  • CFS Certified
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Contains Probiotics
  • Tastes good even without artificial
  • sweeteners
Cons
  • Can be on the expensive side

I love that even if it’s mixed with water, you can still taste the rich flavor of chocolate and vanilla.

The best thing about this is that it’s not all about flavor. The product contains the optimal amount of essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids to help repair your body fully.

3 - BSN SYNTHA-6

BSN SYNTHA-6

If there’s one thing BSN gets right time and again, it’s flavor.

And, since we were looking for the best product, we turned to the chocolate milkshake flavor from their famous Cold Stone Creamery Series. The peanut butter cookie flavor was a close contender.

When both protein powder and water were combined, it was delicious.

The company claims it tastes like ice cream and mixes like a milkshake. We wouldn’t go that far, but for a shake without milk, it was pretty good.

This product contains 22 grams of their ultra-premium “Syntha-6” and 10 grams of amino acids per serving, so you get max muscle-building powder with the taste to match.

  • Flavor: Chocolate Milkshake
Pros
  • Cold Stone Creamery taste
  • High-protein/low-fat
  • 10g of amino acids for better muscle building
  • Hi-tech Syntha-6 protein
Cons
  • Great taste comes with a few extra carbs

However, part of us wishes it were lower in carbs because 15 grams per serving is getting close to our limit per shake (though still under), but the blend of high-protein and great taste earns a spot here.

Also, it’s not too sweet, so that’s another win.

4 - SFH Pure Whey Protein

SFH

Next up is the cleanest entry on the list. If you’re looking for the best, leanest, healthiest powder, then this is probably for you. Pure Whey Protein from SFH lives up to its name.

This product contains 24 grams of protein per serving, only 130 calories, and only 2g of fat and 4g of carbs, which is quite impressive.

It’s great for anyone that wants to build muscle while limiting everything else.

It’s 100% grass-fed and contains no artificial anything. Since it’s also clean, it can be easily absorbed by your body, which could lead to better long-term weight loss results especially if you struggle to stay within your macros.

  • Flavor: Chocolate
Pros
  • Cleanest protein on the market
  • High-protein/low-carb, and low-fat
  • No artificial anything
Cons
  • Doesn’t taste as good as competitors
  • Lack of carbs could slow down muscle recovery

Combining this protein powder mix with water provides a lot more breathing room without sacrificing taste even when mixed with water. Of course, this call comes at a price—it doesn’t taste as good as some of its competitors. That being said, it still tasted great.

5 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Optimum

For something so delicious, chocolate-flavored proteins have a nasty habit of tasting awful when not mixed with milk. With milk—amazing chocolate milkshake. Without milk—chalk and foam.

Optimum Nutrition has a great reputation around the fitness world for their great tasting flavors, so we went with their highest rated flavor for our taste test.

The double chocolate flavor was creamy, delicate, and, most importantly for us, easy on the stomach.

It went down smoothly and without any of that after taste you’re used to driving home from the gym with.

My personal favorite is the double rich chocolate flavor, but some of my clients also rave about the vanilla variant.

  • Flavor: Double Rich Chocolate
Pros
  • Powerful chocolate taste
  • Clean protein
  • Goes down smoothly
Cons
  • Would be better without sugar
  • Double chocolate might be a bit much if not used to it

It’s also extremely lean—only 1g of fat and 3g of carbs (1g from sugar) per serving.

6 - Ultimate Nutrition Prostar

Prostar-UN

Ultimate Nutrition is well known for their high-quality products at rock bottom prices, but their Prostar whey powder is their first foray into low-carb, all-around proteins for workouts.

They definitely kept up their best quality here, though it left a bit to be desired.

First, it packs 25 grams of protein per serving (quite a lot!) and is very low calorie, fat, and carbs.

Second, it tastes pretty good (especially with ice). In fact, it tastes good enough considering its low price.

Our first morning shake went down great and didn’t give us any of that overly full feeling during our workout.

  • Flavor: Chocolate
Pros
  • Low in carbs, calories, and fat
  • Inexpensive
  • Mixes well with water
Cons
  • Contains soy, lactose
  • Contains artificial sweeteners

However, there are a few things that show why it’s a bit cheaper protein powder than the competitors. It was a bit hard to mix (there were a few clumps), and it contains a few artificial flavors as well as soy.

It isn't the best protein powder for water, but it’s a good choice if you need a healthy source of protein but on a tight budget.

7 - MuscleTech Phase 8 Protein Powder

MuscleTech Phase8

If we had to choose one word to sum up this product, we would choose: BOOM.

Phase 8 is best known for their 8-hour multi-phase formula: the slow release of amino acids for 8 hours after consumption. In our opinion, this formula makes it one of the top choices of proteins for post workouts.

Milk Chocolate is our personal favorite flavor and we were surprised at how much we liked this one. The flavor is just right and is easy on the tummy, too.

It delivers a standard 26 grams of whey protein isolate, with 5.6 grams of BCAAs and 5 grams of glutamine, per serving.

  • Flavor: Milk Chocolate
Pros
  • Smooth, thick, creamy taste
  • 8-hour sustained release of protein
  • 7 protein sources
Cons
  • Not suited for people that are lactose intolerant

We’d recommend this to anyone who likes that creamy rich flavor.

Why Mix Protein with Water?

As much as we’d love to indulge on the best and delicious chocolate milkshakes all day, being physically fit means cutting the fluff and pumping your body full of as many clean, healthy nutrients as possible.

Mixing protein powder in water accomplishes two goals:

  1. Your body absorbs proteins faster
  2. It cuts unneeded calories, fats, and carbs out of your diet

If you want to lose weight and gain lean muscle, you have very little nutritional wiggle room.

When you mix whey powder with water, you are getting all of the good with none of the bad, unless you're trying to bulk up. And in that case, you might want to add some milk in there for the extra calories.

Milk vs Water: What’s the difference?

milk and water on the table

Aside from taste, the main difference between milk and water is the nutrient intake.

The best protein powder shake with milk will contain roughly 250 + calories, 10 + grams of fat, and 12 + grams of carbs.

If you mix it with water, you are looking at roughly 120-150 calories, 2g of fat, and very few carbs per serving.

If you can’t take your protein with just water, almond milk is another alternative. Compared to water, it creates a thicker smoothie while adding only 20-30 calories (depending on the brand).

On the flipside, drinking a shake with milk provides your body more protein and more carbs, which is beneficial if you are trying to add mass. [1]

The Best Tasting Protein Powder with Water Is...

Drinking protein powder with water instead of milk keeps you from consuming extra unnecessary calories. Drinking protein powder with water also makes it more important that your protein powder tastes good.

That's why ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate by Transparent Labs is our top recommended product. Their yummy protein powder comes in four different flavors that can fit your taste.

Not only that, 28 grams of protein per scoop makes this protein powder more loaded with proteins than the other products on this list. That means you won't have to worry about not getting your protein macros in for the day, as Transparent Labs is one product that can help you achieve that.

How do you drink your protein powder? Do you mix it with just water, milk, or some other liquid? Let’s discuss in the comments, or share your experience with protein powders on any of our social media channels.

Transparent Labs thumb

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein

Our #1 Best Tasting Protein Powder With Water

  • Comes in four flavors: chocolate, strawberry, french vanilla, and salted caramel
  • 28 grams of protein per scoop
  • 100% Grass fed whey
  • No artificial preservatives, sweeteners, or colors
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of October
Click For Best Price
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Transparent Labs is also our recommended whey protein powder for women.

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About the author

  • Wow, it’s really great to know you have products that works for all types even people with lactose intolerance. I hope this products aren’t expensive?

  • I would have never thought that at least 65% of people have some kind of lactose intolerance. That’s a very surprising statistic.

  • I have used Organic Vegan in the past. True, it was a bit more expensive than other brands, BUT the formulation is a lot friendlier for the tummy.

  • Opportuniteas Grass Fed Whey is amazing but the packaging seems to be too small. I hope the manufacturers fix this in future.

  • Protein powders fro the lactose intolerant can be difficult to pick. Your recommendations are simply the best I have come across.

  • The research that went into this is impressive. I appreciate a lot the recommendations you have put forward.

  • The soy-free About Time Whey Isolate Protein is the best for me. The fact that it is soy-free is a big seller.

  • Thanks so much for choosing Transparent Labs Organic Vegan as the best. I couldn’t agree more with you on this. Great choice.

  • I am not exactly lactose intolerant but at times I Do feel like puking and I do like milk so this is for me. I am not sure of the brand but never the less a good product to look into. Thanks!!!

  • These are really great options for people who are lactose intolerant. Now they don’t have to worry too much about getting an upset stomach after taking those.

  • This is a big help to lactose intolerant people. Review is always best before buying products. And it’s a right choice coming here. Thank you for this wonderful review.

  • I always wonder what on earth is the cause of the adult population that suffer some degree of lactose intolerance. I think this post has really made Justin to my questions. This are the nest option I recommend to everyone henceforth.

  • thank you again for this information. Just a little bit of dairy will make the toilet perspire like a football player. I will surely take note of these supplements.

  • 65% of adults being lactose intolerant, that’s such a huge number. I believe there are even more children who are affected.

  • This is perfect recommendations to all people who are lactose intolerant. Now that they have this, it would be easy to them to use it without worrying.

  • This is a comprehensive guide for anyone who wants a lactose free supliments, yet does not have the time to do all the research. Great work you’ve done.

  • I am cheerful that the majority of the suggestions are natural and normal. I generally lean toward natural remedies.

  • There are so many benefits of taking lactose free powders. From losing weight to enhancing muscle building. This is a great idea to practice.