Hours of Research
Throughout my teenage years, I have always been lean and rawboned and I have always been bullied for my sleek appearance. So when I finally decided to deal with all this, one of my pals suggested that I use protein powders.
"Are protein powders necessary"? Scientists suggest that a daily average of 52 g for boys or 46-48 g protein for girls is optimal and preferably this should be provided by whole food such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
But if you have a busy routine or you are sick of following the same diet then you can go for supplements since they have lots of flavors to freshen your taste buds. Also, protein shakes are digested by body in 1.5-2.5 hours compared to 2 days taken in digesting the protein content of food.
So, let's find out what is the best protein powder for teens.
When you buy Transparent Labs' 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Concentrate, you get the benefits of natural protein that has been filtered and isolated without any additional fillers or chemicals. Your protein intake will be boosted and your muscles will grow stronger.
• Contains 24 grams of protein per serving
• Only natural ingredients
• Low in carbs, making it the perfect choice for anyone on a strict fitness plan
#2nd Best Choice
The most trusted protein powder for teens with excellent overall performance, nutrition profile, and growth results. The best protein powder on this list.
• An excellent supplement for teens .
• A perfect proportion of protein to help you get the most out of your workout .
• Creates feeling of "filled tummy", ideal choice for weight loss.
#3rd Best Choice
Casein containing protein powder that is much softer on the stomach compared to whey protein.
• It is tasteless so it can adjust in any type of intake you want.
• Contains calcium to keep your bones strong
• Helps in maintaining weight and build muscle mass
The Best Protein Powders for Teens
Protein per serving - 24g
Calories - 130
Carbs - 2g
Fat - 2.5g
Flavor - Strawberry Cheesecake, Cereal Splash, Milk Chocolate, Mocha, Salted Caramel, French Vanilla
Protein source - Whey protein
Type - Concentrate
The Performance Lab Protein Powder is a top-tier protein supplement made by Opti Nutra Advanced Nutraceuticals.
A perfect supplement product for teens, the Performance Lab protein powder contains brown rice protein. Brown rice is considered one of the best protein sources to build muscles and has a high potential of promoting growth.
This way, the supplement supports muscle growth and can help you in your weight loss journey. It offers 20g protein- just perfect quantity as doctors suggest that 20g of additional protein per day is optimum for muscle gain. 
Protein per serving - 26 grams of protein
Calories - 110
Carbs - 2 grams
Fat - less than 1 grams
Flavor - Flavourless
Protein Source - Whey Isolates
Type - Isolate
The Whey Protein Isolate is a top-tier protein supplement made by Hard Eight Nutrition LLC dba Bulk Supplements.
A perfect supplement product for teens, the Soy Protein Isolate is rich in BCAAs and 100% vegan. It is a complete protein that may help with muscle recovery after a workout.
This way, the supplement supports muscle growth and can help you in your weight loss journey. It offers 25g protein- just perfect quantity as doctors suggest that 25g of additional protein per day is optimum for muscle gain. 
Protein per serving: 25 grams of protein
Flavor: No added flavor
Protein source: Whey (milk)
Unlike many other protein powders out there, this one gets its protein from casein, a milk protein that is easily digested and is not known to have any adverse effects. I, myself, found casein much softer on the stomach than whey protein.
Another distinguishing feature of casein is that it is slowly absorbed, requiring 2-4 hours to get digested, making it a strong candidate if you take your smoothie or shake before bed. Since it is slowly absorbed, it is available to the body for a longer time. 
It contains branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) that are required for muscle building, acting as a ladder to help you climb towards your goal.
The casein protein powder assists in general development of lean muscle mass at a faster rate and muscle recovery after workout. It contains 45% of daily required calcium, thus playing a major role in keeping your bones stronger as young athletes.
Protein per serving - 24g
Calories - 120
Carbs - 3g
Fat - 1g
Flavor - Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Chocolate Caramel, Orange Ice Cream, Fruity Cereal Splash
Protein source - Whey protein
Type - Concentrate
Authentic Whey protein powder for teens is a great-tasting, low-carb, high-quality whey protein supplement made from pure milk, so it contains natural levels of essential amino acids. It's the perfect choice for anyone who wants to maintain or improve their overall health and well-being through an active lifestyle.
This protein powder helps with building muscular strength, repairing damaged muscles and tissues, and improving immunity. Besides, it tastes great!
This whey protein powder can be used to fortify your recipes or simply be mixed with water, milk, almond milk, or in a smoothie. It is also great for making pancakes, muffins, cakes, and more!
Protein per serving: 26 grams of protein
Calories: 120 g
Carbs: 0 net carbs
Fats: 1 g
Flavors: Ancient cacao, Azter vanilla, Mayan mocha, Mocha mint, Plain naked
Protein source: Beef and eggs
As mentioned above, this protein powder obtains its proteins from beef and eggs that the company proudly claims to be grass fed and pastured.
This protein powder has large amounts of protein content.
It is free from soy, making it an option to consider for people allergic to soy beans. Moreover, it does not contain whey. The eggs and meat are made sure to be obtained from cage free and non GMO animals.
It is very flexible to use and is fully compatible with keto and paleo diets.
Not to ignore, it is gluten free and does not contain dairy products, ultimately, not containing lactose. So, it is fully safe to use even for the lactose intolerant people.
Protein per serving: 22 grams of protein
Flavors: Chocolate, vanilla, vanilla chai
Protein source: Organic peas
Ora Organic is USDA certified organic protein powder and is easily mixable in water and milk.
The proteins are sourced mainly from peas along with many others. It does not have any artificial ingredients. Moreover, since the proteins come exclusively from plants, they make sure not to cause bloating.
The important aspect to be noted is that they are tested and proven to be safe against heavy metals.
Moreover, this quality protein powder is fully compatible with your keto diet plan.
Protein per serving: 24 grams of protein
Protein type: Isolate
Carbs: 2g net
Flavors: Chocolate, cinnamon crunch, cookies and cream, multipurpose, salted caramel, vanilla milkshake.
Protein source: Milk
The Quest Nutrition Protein Powder extracts the essential proteins from milk. I found it very creamy just like a milkshake. There were no issues of mixability or grainy texture. The range of flavors offered is just hard to ignore.
It has a combination of fast and slow absorbing proteins containing 60% whey isolate that is quickly absorbed and is readily available to make up for your post-workout fatigue.
The remaining 40% is casein that is slowly absorbed and is available to the body for a longer time, keeping your energy levels boosted.
Buying guide - How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for Teens
Due to a lot of products in the market and use of very intricate language, it became very difficult for me to choose the right protein powder for myself. Since I have gone through this hustle, I have made some points you should consider and save yourself some time.
Identify your goal
The first thing you should know before selecting a protein powder is to know what you want to achieve. These are some of the goals that adolescents set for themselves according to my research.
To add some weight to your body and build muscle, you should go for whey proteins. Among the whey proteins, there are concentrate, isolate and hydrolyzed whey proteins with concentrate having the highest protein content.
Whey has all essential amino acids and helps in gaining muscle. It contains amino acid lecithin that provokes the protein synthesis at molecular level. 
Whey concentrate is best for this purpose since it also contains fats and carbs in addition to proteins.
If you are looking for protein supplements to assist you in weight loss journey, you should go for whey isolate since they contain virtually no fat and carbs, but pea and other plant based protein supplements are another choice too. 
The aim is to replace carbs and fats with proteins. They lower down the release of the hormone responsible for provoking hunger and keep the satiety index high, giving you a feeling of full belly.
If you are a vegetarian, you should clearly not opt for beef or eggs based protein powders nor the milk containing powder. Instead, you should go for plant based protein powders as the one I have mentioned above.
Keeping your health first
Normally there are very narrow chances of diabetes in teens but there is a condition called MODY (maturity onset diabetes of the young) that happens in young age.
So it is better to consult your physician before taking any sort of proteins to roll out any such possibility. If such a condition exists, then go for protein powders that have very low carbs content in particular.
Don’t overburden your body with proteins
The recommended daily average (RDA) value for teens is about 52 grams for boys and 46 grams in case of girls. 
Normally if you are taking an adequate amount of meals then this requirement is met by food. But if you are not able to take enough or proper meals then you can try protein powders to fulfill this protein requirement.
Addressing the controversies
When I shared with my parents that I am going to use protein powder, they were seriously annoyed and forbade me clearly since the society has many rumors in the air about the harmful effects of these supplements.
These rumors are baseless as these supplements contain protein mainly that is beneficial for the body.
But there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed here. Many protein powders contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, BPA (bis phosphoenol-A); used to make plastic. These heavy metals cause serious health problems such as organ damage and cancer. 
The most important aspect to consider is to keep in mind the RDA values and try not to exceed them in order to gain more muscle or boost up your journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do protein powders really help in building muscle?
Yes. Since most protein powders contain essential amino acids, they help the body in making muscle by stimulating synthesis of many substances required for protein synthesis.
What is the difference between whey and casein protein?
Whey is an immediate source of protein for the body and is digested immediately. On the other hand, casein is a slowly digested protein taking 2-4 hours for digestion. Casein normally remains available to the body for a longer time than whey.
What are the different types of whey?
Whey is the liquid portion of milk that is left out during the process of making cheese. Three types of whey proteins are normally available; concentrate, isolate and hydrolyzed.
Isolate whey has the highest protein content i.e 90 to 95% and has virtually no fat and carbs.
Concentrate whey has 80% proteins along with lactose and fats and is budget friendly. Hydrolyzed whey has 85 to 90% proteins, low in lactose and contain partially digested proteins so they are expensive.
What are the uses of different types of whey?
Isolate whey is ideal for muscle building and weight loss. Concentrate whey is best for muscle gain and weight gain too. Hydrolyzed whey is normally used for medical purposes.
Are protein powders essential to build muscle mass?
No. Studies reveal that teens are still able to build muscle by fulfilling their protein requirement through natural substances. But if you have a busy routine and follow a proper diet plan then protein powders are an easy option for you.
For those who want to lose weight, my vote of confidence is with Performance Lab Protein Powder and Transparent Labs Protein Powder. It offers the right amount of protein preventing your body from protein overdose. It is completely organic with decent amount of BCAAs to stimulate muscle repair process. It creates a feeling of satiety, lessening your hunger pangs.
My choice for those who want to put on weight is Casein Protein Powder since it is made of casein, available to the body longer than whey and helps in muscle recovery as well as promotes muscle development. Above all, it is much softer on the stomach than whey!
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3. Juha J. Hulmi, Christopher M. Lockwood, Jeffrey R. Stout, Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein, retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20565767/
4. Paige E. Miller, Dominik D. Alexander, Vanessa Perez, Effects of whey protein and resistance exercise on body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24724774/
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