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The Russ List reveals the 5 best whey protein powders of 2020. Does your current whey protein supplement make the cut?

the russ list 2020

This article:

9 min read

Let’s talk whey protein…

We all use it. We all love it.

But here’s the thing…

With every supplement claiming to be “the best”, it’s no wonder most people have no idea if they’re using the right whey protein supplement to match their training goals.

Now, what if there was a quick way you could just jump to the absolute cream of the crop and cut out all the nonsense? That would make grabbing the best supplements VERY EASY… and NOW YOU CAN!

I call this The Russ List, and it’s my comprehensive breakdown on the best whey protein supplements of the year. Each product is built to match different goals (bulking, cutting, meal replacement, etc) and you can rest assured that if a product has been named here then it’s worth its weight in gold.

As we work through the list, we will eventually name a “winner”.

Further reading >> If you enjoy this article on the best whey protein powders of 2020, you’ll like my write-up on the top 10 pre workouts of 2020.

what is the best whey protein

The Russ List


This is my choice for anyone who is training on a budget.

Myprotein have established themselves as a brand you can trust when it comes to whey protein supplements that don’t break the bank. While you won’t see any of the special features in the products which rank higher, it’ll certainly do the job and the monetary saving more than makes up for it.

Total Protein Blend has 25 grams of protein, which is ideal, and the scoop size is only 30 grams which gives us an 83% protein-per-serving ratio. It’s real no-nonsense stuff!

The formula consists of 5 different types of protein, too: whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, hydrolysed whey protein, milk protein concentrate, and micellar casein. Blends like this are popular because they promote a slower release of amino acids, but I wouldn’t expect too much from it in this case. The doses of each protein source aren’t disclosed, but it’s safe to assume the majority comes via whey protein concentrate because this keeps the cost down.

This product really shines when we look at the price, MyProtein always have a special offer on, so you can grab a huge 5kg tub of Total Protein Blend for about £50, which is INSANE VALUE. Most products in this price range taste someone took a dump in a shaker full of wallpaper paste, so this is EASILY the best whey protein supplement for those training on a tight budget.

You can buy this product HERE.

  • 25g protein per serving.
  • 83% protein-per-serving.
  • 1.2g carbs & 1.4g fat per serving.
  • Great price.
best whey protein supplements 2020



Ouch! Many people would have expected Pro JYM to win this, but it didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I love the JYM brand. I believe that Dr. Jim Stoppani really changed the game in 2014 when he launched JYM Supplement Science, his transparent labels killing off sub-par supplement manufacturers in the same way Nirvana killed hair metal.

Pro JYM still holds up well in 2020 thanks to its superior protein blend which consists of whey protein isolate, micellar casein, milk protein isolate and egg protein. Protein blends are slightly better for muscle growth versus whey alone (thanks to their staggered release of amino acids), and Pro JYM is giving us a great combo of fast-release, medium-release, and slow-release sources of protein. There’s 24 grams of protein per serving, too, which strikes the “sweet spot” for creating the optimal anabolic response.

The doc makes the bold move of excluding whey protein concentrate due to the digestion issues it presents for trainees with lactose intolerance. This elevates the product price, but if you usually feel bloated or unwell following your whey protein shake you’ll appreciate this move A LOT.

So why isn’t it number 1 on the list?

Well, a 24g serving of protein is part of a huge 36g scoop, meaning Pro JYM only has a 67% protein-per-serving ratio. We’re getting a lot of filler in each shake, which definitely helps with the taste (Pro JYM is possibly the best tasting whey protein of all) but offers little else other than making your tub run out faster. At £50 for a 1.8kg tub, you can get better elsewhere in 2020.

Buy this product HERE in the UK and HERE in the USA.

  • 24 grams of protein per serving.
  • Excellent blend of whey protein isolate, micellar casein, milk protein isolate and egg protein for a timely release of amino acids.
  • 4g carbs & 2.5g fat per serving.
best whey protein supplements 2020

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey


Optimum Nutrition have been at the top of the supplement industry for DECADES.

Gold Standard Whey isn’t strong enough to defeat the two products ahead of it on The Russ List this year, but it’ll probably sell more units than either of them, because it’s a great supplement and Optimum are a very well known brand. In many respects, they’re the Nike of the fitness world – and Gold Standard Whey is their Air Jordan.

Heck, even casual gym-goers will recognize the infamous red & black design!

We get 24 grams of protein in each scoop, with a 76% protein-per-serving ratio, and the formula is a blend of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. This could be improved further by replacing the whey concentrate for a slow-release source like casein, but who am I to tell Optimum they need to change a product that’s consistently ranked among the world’s best-selling protein powders year-on-year for almost 20 years?!

Buy this product HERE in the UK and HERE in the USA.

  • 24g protein per serving.
  • 76% protein-per-serving ratio.
  • Blend of whey protein isolate & whey protein concentrate.
  • Just 3g carbohydrates & 1g fat.
best whey protein 2020

love life supplements primal one review


Now we’re at the real “cream of the crop”.

Heck, the top 2 products on my list are so far ahead of the competition, it’s not even fair to call it a competition.

We start with Love Life Supplements, a UK-based manufacturer who have quickly established themselves as the ‘go to’ brand for athletes who want premium-grade ingredients without the filler.

I often sing LLS’ praises on my social media pages, because they’re really good at what they do – let’s face it, the fitness industry is choc-full of companies trying to sell bulls**t products to the masses. These guys stand out because they’re gong in the opposite direction, deliberately spending more time and more money formulating top of the range supplements, and I’ve seen them wipe the floor with the competition as they’ve grown in popularity in the last three years. I predicy very big things for Love Life Supplements.

Primal One received an excellent 4 stars from me in my official review, making it the highest rated protein supplement on the site at the time. Alongside the 20 grams of protein in each scoop, we also get a prebiotic blend, a probiotic blend, vitamin D3, chia seeds collagen, and digestive enzymes.

The only thing keeping it off top spot in The Russ List this year is the fact that it’s not for everyone…

You see, alongside all the great ingredients above we also get a f**king massive 12 grams of MCT powder!

If you’re the type of person who struggles to hit their fat target each day (or you’re following a low carb, high fat diet) then THIS is the protein supplement for you. But if you’re not, you may find the 10 grams of fat in each shake too much.

Buy this product direct from the company HERE.

  • 20g protein per serving.
  • Top quality protein from grass-fed cows supplied by Volac.
  • A massve 12g MCT powder per serving, making this the best whey protein powder for those on a low carb / high fat diet or ketogenic diet.
  • A product with stacks of additional health benefits thanks to the inclusion of chia seeds, vitamin D3, curcumin ,and digestive enzymes.
  • No thickeners, emulsifiers, or added sugars.

Nutrabio Muscle Matrix Protein review


All hail NutraBio. They are the true kings of whey protein.

In my list of the best pre workout supplements (where they came #2) I said “NutraBio are such a good company they’d likely hit the top 5 in any supplement category”, and they’ve proven me right by TOPPING the whey protein list.

Many people falsely credit Dr. Jim Stoppani for being being the first to use transparent labels and clinical doses, but those “in the know” are aware that NutraBio have been doing this since way back in 2001.

In fact they had a bit of a run-in about this issue, after the doc claimed his protein company is the only product which doesn’t hide the formula behind a proprietary blend. Alongside AML founder Steve Blechman, NutraBio’s Mark Glazier is probably the most important guy in the supplement industry, so he took exception to those remarks and beautifully destroyed Stoppani’s claims in this video. The whole situation just made NutraBio more endearing.

But none of this would matter if the products didn’t deliver.

And they do. They always do.

NutraBio Muscle Matrix provides you with 25 grams of high quality protein per serving, and has an 80% protein-per-serving ratio (tremendous given the quality of the ingredients). The protein blend consists of 14.19g whey protein isolate and 10.81g micellar casein, which is a PERFECT fast/slow combo.

Well done, NutraBio.

I guess if I’m going to pick a fault I could say it’s expensive – but if you’re wanting LITERALLY the best whey protein supplement on Earth, then you obviously have to pay for it!

NutraBio are champions of The Russ List 2020, and are officialy “my pick” as the best whey protein powder.

You can buy this product from HERE in the UK and HERE in the USA.

  • 25g protein per serving.
  • 80% protein-per-serving ratio.
  • Just 2g carbs & 0.5g fat.
  • Excellent blend of very high quality whey protein isolate and micellar casein.
  • No filler ingredients at all.
  • The most open label on the market. NutraBio even have their products third-party tested and make the results available on their website.

what is the best whey protein

The 5 Best Whey Protein Powders Of 2020

So there you have it, the best of the best. Here’s the full list:

  2. Love Life Supplements PRIMAL ONE
  3. Optimum Nutrition 100% GOLD STANDARD WHEY
  4. JYM Supplement Science PRO JYM

If you’ve got a contender you’d like me to consider for next year, drop it in the comment section and I’ll take a look.

>> Read Next: The Russ List 2020: Top 10 Pre Workout Supplements.

Who Is Russ Howe PTI?

russ howe pti

Featured in Men’s Fitness magazine and voted in the world’s top 50 fat loss coaches by HuffPost, Russ is among the UK’s most subscribed personal trainers with 104,357 people getting his free weekly fitness tips e-mail.

In the gym, clients range from busy parents, to models, to athletes and actresses. Russ also worked alongside the UK government for 8 years in a venture combating childhood obesity in England.

Outside of the gym, he’s a proud Dad to three young boys.

You can get more tips by joining the e-mail newsletter above, and you can instantly access full workout plans by hitting the button below!



  1. Ray avatar

    The shock on my face was REALLLLL when I say Pro Jym isn’t #1! Looks like there are a few good brands I had no idea existed 🙂

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