Unflavored vs Flavored Protein Powder

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Flavored or unflavored? Which is best? Here are a few of the pros and cons of each:

Unflavored Protein Powder


Unflavored protein powder has no strong taste or odor, this makes it extremely versatile for sneaking protein into any dish, from soups to desserts.

Amazing for Smoothies

Love smoothies, but don’t always want to be stuck with one flavor? Unflavored protein allows you to add any combination of ingredients you would like without producing questionable experiments (is chocolate and kale really the next great thing?).

Higher Protein Percentage

Unflavored protein powders shouldn’t have any additional ingredients, which means by weight they will contain more protein compared to flavored powders.

Minimal Ingredients

Unflavored whey protein powder should be just that, pure whey protein. The best unflavored whey contains no added ingredients, lecithins or flavorings, so you have no surprises to consider if you have allergies or strict dietary concerns.

On The Other Hand: No Flavor

Although unflavored protein powder is versatile, it needs other ingredients to give it a taste, so you will have to mix it with something to keep your taste buds happy.

Flavored Protein Powder

Great for Picky Eaters

Flavored protein powders tend to be sweetened and blended with recognizable flavors (Cocoa, Vanilla, etc), giving them a familiar, treat-like quality that picky eaters love.


When a protein powder is already flavored, you don’t have to add any additional ingredients. Just add the powder to your favorite liquid and mix.

Locked into One Flavor

Choosing a flavored protein does lock you into one taste from start to finish, so if you get tired of it, you are stuck.

Lack of Versatility

You can’t mix a chocolate flavored protein powder into savory dishes, so the use is limited — unless you are a seasoned experimenter.

Artificial Flavorings

Many protein powder manufacturers use artificial ingredients to flavor their protein powders. There are some brands that keep their ingredients listings clear and small but, apart from those you trust, you will have to be a label detective if you are trying to avoid artificial additives.

Which should you choose?

Depends on your goals and taste preference. If you are on the go or are dealing with picky eater(s), choose flavored. If you need versatility or get bored with the same smoothie easily, go with unflavored. To have the best of both worlds, you can always keep both on hand so you can choose depending on your mood.

Ronald K. Wright