Lowest calorie whey protein powders.

Whey protein supplements with the least calories per serving and per 100g of protein.

Product Weight Pro Cals Cals/Serving Price
1 Nutrisport Whey Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Isolate
1.00kg 86.00g 402 kcal 187 kcal £16.99
2 Dymatize Elite Whey
Elite Whey
2.27kg 77.50g 368 kcal 190 kcal £42.75
3 Reflex Instant Whey
Instant Whey
2.27kg 80.00g 388 kcal 194 kcal £41.75
4 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
[Optimum Nutrition]
Gold Standard Whey
2.27kg 76.90g 374 kcal 195 kcal £47.50
5 Maximuscle Promax
2.40kg 81.00g 400 kcal 198 kcal £59.95
6 Sci-MX Ultragen Whey
Ultragen Whey
2.28kg 78.00g 389 kcal 199 kcal £41.95
7 MyProtein Impact Whey Protein
Impact Whey Protein
2.50kg 78.67g 393 kcal 200 kcal £27.79
8 PHD Nutrition Pharma Whey HT+
[PHD Nutrition]
Pharma Whey HT+
2.27kg 74.00g 380 kcal 205 kcal £46.20
9 MyProtein True Whey
True Whey
2.27kg 76.00g 392 kcal 206 kcal £39.99
10 MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Hardcore
Nitro-Tech Hardcore
1.80kg 75.00g 390 kcal 208 kcal £42.99
11 XL Nutrition Xtra Whey
[XL Nutrition]
Xtra Whey
2.00kg 70.00g 386 kcal 221 kcal £26.94
12 Optimum Health Ultimate Whey Protein
[Optimum Health]
Ultimate Whey Protein
2.25kg 71.06g 402 kcal 226 kcal £27.99
13 MET-Rx Supreme Whey
Supreme Whey
2.27kg 66.80g 383 kcal 229 kcal £34.95
14 Maxx Essentials Whey Maxx
[Maxx Essentials]
Whey Maxx
2.27kg 70.59g 412 kcal 233 kcal £34.99
15 Boditronics Express Whey
Express Whey
2.25kg 73.00g 454 kcal 249 kcal £38.99
16 Gaspari IntraPro
2.27kg 69.00g 431 kcal 250 kcal £38.99
Lowest Calorie Whey Protein Powders

Summary: Find the whey protein powders with the least calories per serving (where a serving = 40g protein). Whey protein powder is an incredibly low-calorie source of protein, but here's a ranking of the absolute lowest calorie shakes anyway.

Is it worth worrying about calories in whey protein powder?

Yes and no.

  • Yes, because with whey protein you ideally want to get as much protein for as few calories as possible. If a powder has a lot of calories, it probably contains a bunch of extra stuff in it (e.g. extra carbs/sugars) that you don't want.
  • No, because whey protein powders are very similar these days. I wouldn't worry if one shake has an extra 10kcal or so than another. The difference is negligible.

If you're absolutely balls-to-the-walls strict about your calorie intake, then maybe you'll care about such tiny numbers of calories. However, 99% of people looking to build lean muscle or cut fat aren't in this category. Even if you're cutting and aiming for 2,000kcal/day – a relatively low amount – the extra 10kcal here and there isn't going to touch the sides.

As long as you're getting around 100kcal for every 20g serving of protein I wouldn't worry. All things being equal, I'd be more concerned about how good my whey protein tastes.

Whey protein supplement calorie benchmarks.

Here's how many calories you should be expecting to get from your different sized whey protein shakes.

Protein Calories Note
20g 100 kcal A small protein shake (~1 scoop).
40g 200 kcal A large protein shake (~2 scoops).

Most whey powders hover around the 100kcal for every 20g of protein. So if you find a tub of whey protein with much more than 100kcal in every 20g worth of protein you should be wary (or it's probably not whey protein – it could be casein or a blend instead, which both tend to have more calories).

Whey protein powder calories compared to whole food.

Here's a table that highlights how many calories come with every 1g of protein you get from different whole foods.

Nutritional information taken from http://nutritiondata.self.com
Food Calories per 1g Protein Calories per 20g of Protein
Protein Powder (ON Gold Standard Whey) 4.9 kcal 97 kcal
Chicken Breast 5.3 kcal 106 kcal
Tinned Tuna 5.3 kcal 106 kcal
Turkey Breast 6.1 kcal 122 kcal
Steak 7.6 kcal 152 kcal
Lean Mince (21% Fat) 9.4 kcal 188 kcal
Soybeans 10.2 kcal 204 kcal
Eggs 11.0 kcal 220 kcal
Cheddar Cheese 16.1 kcal 322 kcal
Whole Milk (100ml) 18.3 kcal 366 kcal
Peanut Butter 24.2 kcal 484 kcal

1g of protein on its own is 4 kcal, no matter where it comes from. This table just shows how many calories you have to take in of each food to get each 1g of protein, so the added presence of carbs and fats in each food increase the calories for every 1g of protein you get to over 4kcal (1g carbs = 7kcal, 1g fat = 9kcal).

Whey protein supplements deliver the most amount of protein for the lowest amount of calories compared to actual food like meat and fish. This is why whey protein is so good for building lean muscle or cutting (losing fat), as you can keep your protein intake high without over doing it on the calories.

Do not replace actual food with whey protein shakes. Just because it delivers the fewest calories per 1g of protein it doesn't mean you can throw proper food out of the window. That would be horrendous, as whey protein does not have all the essential nutrients that proper meat and vegetables will give you. Whey protein powder is called a supplement – and not a replacement – for a reason.

Useful links.