9 Best Protein Powders For Teens: Tested & Reviewed

Read our review for help with picking the best protein powder for teens.

Teenage years are one of the most important developmental periods in the life of any human being. Proper nutrition and, more importantly, proper protein intake during these years is linked to better muscle development, increased brain capacity, and better weight control.

We found that the best overall protein supplement for teenagers is the Levels Grass Fed Whey Protein, thanks to its delicious taste, short ingredients list, and lack of artificial ingredients.

However, different teenagers have different needs.

For this reason, we have included 8 more of our favorite protein supplements for teens, each with its distinct characteristics and geared towards particular needs. Let's get started.

Our Best Protein Powder For Teens

9 Best Protein Powders For Teens Reviewed

Finding the best protein powder for teenagers is no easy task. However, after searching all around the internet, reading hundreds of reviews, and testing the products, we have found the 9 best powders.

Regardless of your needs, you will find one suitable for you in the list below.

Best Protein Powder For Teens Overall

Levels whey protein powder for teens

30g ~ 1oz ~ 1/4 cup

22.5g

Protein

2.8g

Carbs

2.2g

Fats

120

Cal

We believe that Levels' Grass Fed Whey Protein is the overall best protein powder for teens, thanks to its simple, clean, and natural approach. The protein comes from hormone-free cattle, there are no artificial sweeteners or flavors, and it is gluten-free, soy-free, and no added fillers.

To be more specific, the only ingredients in this supplement are the powdered whey protein, non-GMO sunflower lecithin to help with mixing, monk fruit extract and stevia leaf extract for flavoring, and natural flavoring like cocoa powder, peanut flour, and so on.

You can enjoy this protein powder in 7 different flavors, ranging from chocolate to strawberry, vanilla, cold brew, and more. No matter which flavor you choose, your taste buds will be pleased. However, if you would like to add this powder to recipes or your morning coffee, you can do that with the unflavored option which doesn't alter the taste of the food you add it to.

Pros

  • Good protein to calorie ratio
  • Wide variety of flavors
  • Minimal ingredients
  • No artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Chocolate flavor has an aftertaste
Levels Grass Fed Whey Protein
Levels offers what we believe to be the protein supplement for teenagers. If you are looking for a powder coming from a quality protein source, with minimal ingredients, and no fillers, then this may be the right choice for you. To learn more about Levels, press the button below to go on Amazon.

Best Value Protein Powder For Teens

Whey protein powder in its isolate form from BulkSupplements

30g ~ 1oz ~ 1/4 cup

26g

Protein

0g

Carbs

0g

Fats

110

Cal

If you are looking for the best protein powder for teens for the money, then BulkSupplements may be exactly what you need. Available in quantities ranging from 3.5oz (100g) to a whopping 44-lbs (20kg) pack! And since they are selling in such quantities, they can offer you one of the best prices around, regardless of the amount you are getting.

Let's have a look at the ingredients. BulkSupplements' whey isolate is made of only two ingredients: whey protein isolate, and sunflower lecithin for better mixability. That means it is gluten-free, soy-free, and has no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or any type of fillers. And it is so efficient that we included it in our article for the best protein powder for crossfit.

As you can see, there is no flavoring. You can only get this protein supplement unflavored, which is ideal if you are planning to add it to smoothies, coffee, or other recipes. However, if you are looking for a flavored protein powder, then we recommend you to check others on this list.

Pros

  • Best value for the money
  • Only two ingredients
  • Doesn't alter the taste of food

Cons

  • No flavor variety
BulkSupplements Whey Isolate
Getting the best protein powder for teenagers doesn't have to be expensive. With BulkSupplements you can get a quality, affordable, and clean protein powder to help you meet your daily protein intake for optimal development. To purchase this product on Amazon, press on the button below.

Best Vegan Protein Powder For Teens

Vegan protein powder for teenagers by Truvani

30g ~ 1oz ~ 1/4 cup

19g

Protein

4g

Carbs

2.5g

Fats

115

Cal

Truvani offers what we deem to be the best vegan protein powder for teens because their supplement has all the essential amino acids to make up a complete protein. Drawing its protein from three different and organic sources, organic pea, organic pumpkin seed, and organic chia seed, we feel like Truvani is the perfect choice for any teenager who wants a plant based fueled harmonious development.

This protein supplement is available in four different flavors and has anywhere from five to seven ingredients, out of which three are represented by the protein source. With ingredients such as organic banana powder, organic peanut flour, or organic alkalized cocoa, you can rest assured that your protein is naturally flavored.

In terms of sweetness, it is achieved through the use of organic monk fruit extract. Therefore, there is no artificial food product in this powder. We like it so much that we even featured it in some other of our posts, including the one about the best gluten free protein powder.

Pros

  • Complete source of protein, yet vegan
  • Made of minimal ingredients
  • All ingredients are organic

Cons

  • Some deem the product as too expensive
Sale
Truvani Plant Based Protein Powder
We believe this supplement from Opportuniteas to be the best gluten free protein powder overall, because it is high in protein, has a good protein to calorie ratio, and minimal, high-quality ingredients. Press the button below to purchase this protein powder on Amazon.

Most Popular Protein Powder For Teens

Optimum Nutrition whey protein supplement for teens

30g ~ 1oz ~ 1/4 cup

24g

Protein

1g

Carbs

1.5g

Fats

120

Cal

Not long after you decide to supplement your protein intake, you will find your way to Optimum Nutrition. This powder is one of the most popular protein supplements on the market, thanks to its value for money. The protein is high quality, and the ingredients are minimal.

Furthermore, you can get the Gold Standard whey protein powder in 10 different flavors, so there is something for everyone. Regardless of your choice in terms of flavor, you are sure to get a delicious and protein rich supplement.

However, we will point out that the flavors are sweetened with artificial sweeteners. Therefore, if you are against these types of sweetening agents, we recommend you to look elsewhere. For instance, you could check our article on the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners by pressing here.

With that being said, we will do our due diligence and tell you that there is not enough data to support that artificial sweeteners are harmful.

Pros

  • True and tested for years upon years
  • Big variety of flavors
  • Minimal ingredients with no fillers

Cons

  • Sweetened with artificial sweeteners
Sale
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
If you are looking for the best protein powder for teenagers, then the true and tested Gold Standard from Optimum Nutrition may be the right choice for you. This popular powder has been on the market for years on end, and people are still raging about it. To find out more about this product, press the button to learn more on Amazon.

Best Tasting Protein Powder For Teens

Tub of light protein from Isopure

30g ~ 1oz ~ 1/4 cup

24g

Protein

2.4g

Carbs

0g

Fats

108

Cal

Being on the search for the best tasting protein powder for teens can be difficult. However, with enough patience you may stumble upon a product like the Isopure Infusions.

This protein powder is made of only a handful of quality ingredients and is naturally flavored and sweetened with natural ingredients like stevia leaf extract, citric acid, and some vegetable juice for coloring. That's it; no gluten, no soy, no lactose, no fillers or additives.

Isopure Infusions is available in 6 tasty and funky flavors. Ranging from citrus lemon to mixed berry, this protein powder is not boring. It comes in unique flavors, each more delicious than the previous one. No matter your choice in terms of flavor, your experience with Isopure Infusion will be very refreshing.

Pros

  • Unique flavors
  • Good protein to calorie ratio
  • Only a few ingredients
  • Light and fresh

Cons

  • Some people may find the flavors overpowering
Sale
Isopure Infusions
Isopure offers the best protein powder for teenagers, as far as the taste is concerned. Variety is the spice of life, and Isopure managed to change the game in terms of protein powder flavors, with the help of the Infusions. To find out more about Isopure Infusions, go on Amazon by pressing the button below.

Best Casein For Teens

Casein poweder for teenagers from Legion

30g ~ 1oz ~ 1/4 cup

22g

Protein

2.6g

Carbs

0g

Fats

96

Cal

Casein is a slow digesting protein, which is released in your bloodstream over a period of up to 8 hours. This property of casein makes it a great supplement to take before going to bed, because during sleeping hours your body goes into starvation mode.

The Casein+ from Legion is made with only a few ingredients: the casein powder sourced from cattle raised in Irish small farms, natural flavoring, and natural sweeteners. You can get it in three different flavors - vanilla, banana cream pie, and strawberry, each one delicious in its own way.

As far as mixability is concerned, we recommend you to avoid mixing this powder in a glass with a spoon. When we tried mixing it through stirring, it clumped up. However, with a shaker cup and a bit of brisk shaking we were able to fully dissolve the powder. And if you want to be a bit extra, a blender is an even better option.

Pros

  • Delicious taste
  • Variety of flavors (albeit, small)
  • No artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Doesn't mix well without a shaker cup or blender
Legion Casein+
The Legion Casein+ is a great casein powder for teens, because it has a good protein to calorie ratio and no artificial ingredients or any type of filler. With this supplement you will only get protein and natural flavoring and sweeteners. To learn more about the Casein+ protein from Legion, press the button below to go on Amazon.

Best Egg White Protein For Teens

Vanilla egg white powder from Jay Robb

30g ~ 1oz ~ 1/4 cup

21.8g

Protein

3.6g

Carbs

0g

Fats

109

Cal

A good alternative to whey or vegan protein is the egg white protein powder. Jay Robb takes our pick for the best egg white protein powder for teenagers, because it is made with just a few quality ingredients: powdered egg whites, sunflower lecithin for better mixability, xanthan gum for a fluffy texture, natural flavors, and a bit of stevia leaf extract for a sweet taste.

Reviewers across the internet are ranging about the egg white protein from Jay Robb. After tasting it we could see what the fuss was all about. Even though this powder is not our pick for the best egg protein, it was our pick for the most delicious. And when you are looking for a protein powder fit for a teen, then taste is a big factor you have to take into consideration.

You can choose from three different flavors, each enticing in its own way: chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. If you would like an unflavored protein though, Jay Robb also offers an unflavored version of this powder. No matter which one you choose, you are guaranteed to delight your taste buds with a tasty egg protein drink.

Pros

  • Very tasty
  • Can get it flavored or unflavored
  • Very few and quality ingredients

Cons

  • The ziplock bag doesn't always stay closed
Sale
Jay Robb's Delicious Egg White Protein
The best protein powder for teens doesn't have to be whey or vegan. With Jay Robb's egg white protein powder, you can enjoy an egg white supplement that is delicious, simple, and very similar to whey in terms of effectiveness. To learn more about this product on Amazon, press the button below.

Best Allergy Friendly Protein Powder For Teens

Allergy friendly protein OWYN

30g ~ 1oz ~ 1/4 cup

15.6g

Protein

7g

Carbs

3.1g

Fats

117

Cal

Suffering from allergies is no fun, especially when those allergies are food related. Thankfully OWYN, which stands from Only What You Need, managed to create the best allergy friendly protein powder for anyone, teenager or otherwise.

This supplement is vegan and draws its protein from pea, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. Additionally, it contains powdered kale, zucchini, broccoli, and spinach for a boost of vitamins and minerals, making it the ideal protein powder for teens. What it doesn't contain though are artificial flavors or sweeteners. The OWYN is naturally flavored with cocoa or vanilla extract, and sweetened with organic cane sugar.

So what makes it the best allergy friendly option? After production it is tested for traces of the 8 most common allergens: soy, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, gluten, and eggs. Therefore, if you suffer from any allergies and find it difficult to find a protein powder suited for you, then this one may be the perfect choice for you.

Pros

  • Tested for the 8 most common allergens
  • Complete source of protein even though vegan
  • Contains powdered greens for a boost of vitamins and minerals

Cons

  • Fairly low in protein
OWYN Allergy Friendly Vegan Protein
If you suffer from allergies, then OWYN may be the right protein powder for you. Being tested for the 8 most common allergens, having no artificial sweeteners and flavors, but with a boost of minerals and vitamins from the Superfood & Greens Blend, this protein powder is ideal for any teenager. Press the button below to learn more about OWYN on Amazon.

Cleanest Vegan Protein Powder For Teens

Clean vegan protein powder for teens from Ora

30g ~ 1oz ~ 1/4 cup

20g

Protein

4.5g

Carbs

2.5g

Fats

120

Cal

Ora is a vegan protein powder that sets itself apart from the competition by having all of its food ingredients organic. Therefore, we believe that this product is the best protein powder for teens who are looking for a clean source of protein. Additionally, it has all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

The Ora draws its protein from six different organic sources: pea, rice, cranberry, sacha inchi, hemp, sprouted quinoa. With this supplement you are sure to get a punch of nutrition with every single scoop.

Regarding the flavor, there are three different options for the Ora: vanilla, chocolate, and French vanilla. All of these have been naturally flavored and sweetened with organic brown rice syrup, organic monk fruit extract, and organic stevia leaf extract. No matter your choice in terms of flavor, you will experience a delightful and healthy drink.

Pros

  • All food items in this powder are organic
  • Complete source of protein even though vegan
  • Sweetened with natural sweeteners

Cons

  • Some people can feel a gritty taste
Ora Lean, Clean, Organic Protein
If you are looking for the cleanest protein powder for teenagers, then Ora may be the right choice for you. Not only is it plant based but all its ingredients are organic, with no trace of artificial sweeteners or flavors. Press the button below to purchase this protein supplement on Amazon.

Why is protein important for teenagers?

Whether you are a non-athlete or athlete teen, protein plays a tremendous role in your development. There are three main areas influenced by your protein intake:

  • Muscle growth
  • Weight management
  • Brain capacity

Muscle growth

Protein is made-up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of all muscle tissue. Whether you are training or not, your muscles need protein to maintain their size and shape.

As you can see, this doesn't only apply to people who are doing resistance training.

Teenagers are still in their development stages, therefore their muscles are developing naturally.

To support your development as a teen you have to consume the appropriate amount of protein every single day. Check below to see the recommended intake of protein.

Weight management

Some teenagers may have issues controlling their weight. And it's no wonder; all the fluctuations in the hormones can have their toll on your body and weight management.

Eating enough protein can help you in multiple ways.

Firstly, protein keeps you satiated for a longer period of time. This in turn minimizes the chances of binge eating or cravings.

Secondly, when paired with resistance training, protein can help you build muscle mass. Muscle mass is more metabolically active than fat tissue, so your basal metabolic rate increases, meaning that you will burn a higher amount of calories at rest.

Brain development

Teenage years are some of the most important in terms of development. Studies, such as this one from 2008, concluded that diet and the consumption of protein, as well as other factors such as exercise and sleep, have an effect on brain development.

Amino acids help with more than building muscle. Another function of amino acids is making up neurotransmitters which help different parts of the brain communicate with each other.

After reading this, it may be easier to understand how a diet deficient in protein can have negative effects on your body. Whether you take it through a balanced diet or by supplementing with protein powder, meeting your protein requirements is a vital part of your development.

What are some good sources of protein?

Picture of tupperware with meals prepped in advance

Even though this is an article about the best protein powder for teenagers, we believe that in an ideal world, everyone would take their protein from food.

However, that is not always an option and people resort to supplements.

In this part of the article, though, we want to present the best sources of protein, in hopes that people will stop using supplements as crutches for a poor diet.

Animal based protein sources

An undeniable fact is that animal sources of protein are superior to vegan sources. Their protein per calorie rate is better, and they are very low carb, low fat, high protein.

These sources are:

  • Lean meat like chicken, beef, and certain pork cuts
  • Fish or other type of seafood
  • Dairy products like milk, cottage cheese, yogurt
  • Eggs

With these in mind, we also understand that not everyone eats meat or animal products. For this reason, let's have a look at the best protein sources for vegans.

Plant based protein sources

Even though no one plant has all the essential amino acids on its own, eating a varied vegan diet will provide all the amino acids necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

Here are the best sources:

  • Quinoa
  • Soy product like tofu, tempeh, and edamame
  • Pseudocereals like amaranth and buckwheat
  • Ezekiel bread
  • Seeds like hemp seeds and chia seeds
  • Lentils
  • Rice and beans
  • All types of nuts and seeds

The plus side of eating a solely plant based diet is that you will get more vitamins and minerals than most people who are on a diet consisting of meat. The reason is very simple: in a way, you are forced to eat your veggies, while meat eating individuals rarely pair their steak with veggies.

How to choose the best protein powder for teenagers?

Choosing a protein powder for teens is very similar to choosing a good overall protein powder.

You should be looking for high quality protein - like grass fed or organic in the case of vegan options -, as little sugar as possible, and a good protein to calories ratio. Depending on your preference, you may be in favor of or opposed to artificial sweeteners, which come with their own benefits.

Let's have a better look at what you should be on the lookout for when choosing a protein supplement for teenagers:

  • Quality of protein
  • Added sugar
  • Protein to calories ratio
  • Artificial sweeteners

Quality of protein

The most important part in a protein powder is, obviously, the protein. Any good supplement will have at least 80% of its contents coming from protein alone.

Therefore, we recommend you to pick a high quality protein coming from either grass fed cattle, in the case of whey protein, organic products, in the case of vegan protein, or free range eggs, in the case of egg white protein powder.

Added sugar

Sugar can appear under different names in ingredients lists. Whether it is cane sugar, coconut sugar, or any type of syrup, it is still sugar. Organic or not, the effects are the same.

For those who don't mind your protein powder containing sugar, just make sure it doesn't contain more than 4g per serving.

However, if you don't want sugar in your protein powder, yet you also don't want an unflavored supplement, then we recommend you to go for powders containing sweeteners. Mostly, we recommend natural sweeteners like:

  • Stevia
  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol
  • Luo Han Guo (monk fruit)

Protein to calories ratio

This ratio is, in our opinion, another way of looking at the quality of the protein powder you are about to purchase. The idea behind it is pretty simpleā€¦

When you get a protein powder, your main focus should be on the quantity of protein you are getting. Since 1g of protein equals 4 calories, the better the numbers add up, the more concentrated with protein the product is.

However, if the calories are high and the protein concentration is low, it means that other ingredients are taking over through an increased number of carbohydrates or fats.

The most common culprit in this instance is added sugar.

Sugar is a carbohydrate and, just like protein, 1g of carbohydrates equals 4 calories. Therefore, if you are getting a powder that contains say 10g of sugar per serving, which is usually 30g, you are getting around 140 empty calories per 100g just from the sugar.

For this reason, we recommend that you check the protein to calorie ratio, as well as the ingredients list to determine if there are other ingredients that are increasing the number of calories.

Artificial sweeteners

There is a lot of heated debate on whether artificial sweeteners are harmful for your health or not.

Unfortunately, scientific literature hasn't gotten to a conclusion yet, because the data pertaining to artificial sweeteners is still limited.

For this reason, we will not take sides in this debate.

However, we do know that for some people this is a very important matter. Therefore, we pointed out the few protein powders that contain artificial sweeteners in the list above. And for those who want to find their own ideal protein powder, we recommend you to be weary of the following artificial sweeteners:

  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Saccharin
  • Acesulfame potassium

And, perhaps, replace them with natural sweeteners like:

  • Stevia
  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol
  • Luo Han Guo (monk fruit)

How much protein powder should teens take?

The protein needs of a teen depend on whether he is an athlete or not. However, even though there is a difference, you will see that it is not major.

Athlete

A teenage athlete will not only burn more calories than their non-athlete counterparts, but will also need to repair his muscle tissue after training. For this reason, they will need a slightly higher protein intake.

Currently, the recommended protein intake for athlete teens is 0.45-0.6g of protein per pound of body weight, or 1-1.4g of protein per kilogram of body weight. (1)

This applies whether the sport they are practicing is resistance training or more cardio based.

Non-athlete

Teenagers who are not training on a regular basis not only have lower protein needs, due to the fact that their muscles don't have to be repaired after a workout, but their metabolism is also lower usually, because they don't carry as much muscle mass.

Interestingly enough, non-athlete teenagers need just a bit less protein than their athlete counterparts. To be more precise, we would aim for anywhere between 0.4-0.5g of protein per pound of body weight, or 0.9-1.1g of protein per kilogram of body weight. A clinical study suggests that both athlete and non-athlete teens have high protein requirements which don't seem to be related only to their physical activity. (2)

These amounts of protein can be easily met through a good diet. However, if for any reason that is difficult to achieve, supplementing with a protein powder for teens is a good idea.

Our verdict

Choosing the best protein powder for teens is no easy task, because there is a lot to take into consideration. However, we have done the work for you and found the Levels Grass Fed Whey Protein to be the overall best option.

Delicious, nutritious, minimalist, and without junk are just a few of the words that can describe this supplement.

However, if for some reason you feel like Levels is not the right choice for your particular case, there are 8 other supplements we have reviewed that should offer precisely what you need.

Over to you.