Home » Blog » Best Protein Powder For Swimmers 

Best Protein Powder For Swimmers 

Today, athletes are bombarded with many protein powder choices, so picking the right for you can be overwhelming. We did the work for you, read on to learn about the best protein powder for swimmers!

We will teach you what to look for in a protein powder and how to decide if you need a protein powder to optimize your performance.

Keep reading our comprehensive guide on protein powders for swimmers that are free of artificial flavors and sweeteners!

Best protein powder for swimmers by eatswimwin.com. Pictured are two scoops of vanilla and chocolate protein powder.

What are protein powders?

Protein powder is a dietary supplement that typically comes in a powdered form. The powders are made by extracting protein from various sources, such as whey (a byproduct of cheese production), soy, casein (found in milk), or plant-based proteins like peas, hemp, or rice. 

Protein powder is a convenient way to increase protein intake, especially for those with higher protein requirements, such as swimmers and triathletes. 

Protein powder can also be used to support muscle growth and repair. Be sure to pair protein powders with carbohydrates to aid in post-workout recovery. 

Protein supplements can be most helpful for those who struggle to meet their protein needs through food alone.

What to look for in a protein powder?

We recommend athletes look for 3 main things when selecting a protein powder. 

  1. Third-party testing: NSF safe or sport, informed choice, or informed sport
  2. At least 20 g of protein per serving 
  3. Free of chicory root, sugar alcohols, dyes, gums, excessive fiber, and artificial sweaters that can upset your gastrointestinal tract (GI tract)

Aside from our top 3 recommendations for selecting protein powders for swimmers, we encourage athletes to purchase a small sample size if available to see if they enjoy the flavor and texture before committing to the product. 

Many protein powders are expensive, pick one that doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet! And if you can’t find one, keep in mind that you can eat enough high-quality protein through whole food sources!

Protein powders we recommend for swimmers 

It can be very difficult to find high-quality protein powders that do not contain artificial sweeteners, stevia, or monk fruit which can be hard on the digestive tract for some athletes. 

We also know many athletes do not care for the fake sweet taste so we compiled a list of high-quality protein powders for you that are third-party tested, have at least 20 grams of protein, and are free of ingredients that may upset your GI tract!

Whey protein powders for swimmers 

Here are 6 whey protein powders that we recommend for swimmers. Whey is a great protein powder option because it contains all the essential amino acids needed for building and repairing muscle. 

It also has a fast absorption rate and is rich in leucine which is an essential amino acid that stimulates muscle growth and repair. 

Whey isolate vs whey concentrate 

We recommend whey protein isolate over whey protein concentrate because whey protein isolate offers a higher protein concentration. If you are going to spend money on a protein supplement we want you to make sure you are paying for high-quality protein!

Whey protein isolate is also a better option for those who are lactose-intolerant as most of the lactose, if not all is removed during processing. 

Read below for 6 of the best whey protein powders for swimmers. 

*This section includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

AGN Roots Grass-Fed Whey

AGN Roots Grass-Fed Whey is a great protein powder for swimmers looking to boost protein intake for a source that is environmentally conscious. We like this protein powder because:

  • Informed sport certified 
  • >2 g of leucine per serving which stimulates muscle synthesis
  • 25 g protein per serving (2 scoops)
  • Only two ingredients: grass-fed whey protein isolate and sunflower lecithin 
  • Focus on sustainability practices 

This is a great protein powder for swimmers looking to boost protein intake for a source that is environmentally conscious. AGN Roots Grass-fed Why only comes unflavored. This protein powder also comes with a higher price tag. 

Ascent Native Fuel Whey 

Ascent Native Fuel Whey is a great protein option for swimmers because:

  • Informed sport certified 
  • 25g of protein per scoop
  • Certified gluten-free for those that need
  • No artificial flavors and sweeteners 

This protein powder also comes in many flavors: chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, cappuccino, lemon sorbet, vanilla bean, strawberry, and unflavored. Mix your protein powder with milk to increase the carbohydrate content. 

Gu Roctane Recovery Protein Mix

Gu Rocate Recovery Protein Mix is ideal for post-swim practice recovery because:

  • Informed choice certified 
  • 20 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, and 230 mg of sodium per serving
  • Caffeine-free and gluten-free
  • No artificial flavors or sweeteners 

A serving of this protein drink paired with fruit can be a great recovery snack. The sodium helps to replenish electrolytes and the carbohydrates help to repair muscles. This protein powder comes in vanilla bean and chocolate smoothie flavors.

Klean Athlete Isolate

Klean Isolate is our personal favorite protein powder for swimmers, especially swimmers competing as NCCA college athletes! We recommend Klean Athlete Isolate is a great protein powder for swimmers  because:

  • NSF certified for sport
  • >2 of leucine per serving and made with  whey protein isolate
  • 20 g protein per scoop 
  • No artificial flavors or sweeteners 

The unflavored contains no stevia, monk fruit, or other artificial sweeteners. However, the strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla flavors do contain monk fruit and stevia which are not inherently “bad” but may not be tolerated as well for some athletes. 

Now Whey Protein Isolate

NOW Whey Protein Isolate is a cheaper, high-quality protein powder we can confidently recommend for swimmers because: 

  • Informed sport certified 
  • >2 g of leucine per serving 
  • 25 g of protein per scoop 
  • 2 simple ingredients whey protein isolate and sunflower lecithin <1%

We have not tried it for ourselves but our athletes tell us this product blends very well and because it is unflavored is great mixed in juice, with milk or even added to oatmeal! This is also a more affordable whey protein isolate option. 

Protocol Whey Protein Isolate 

Protocol Whey Protein Isolate is another unflavored protein powder we recommend for swimmers.

  • Informed sport and informed choice 
  • >2 of leucine per serving 
  • 25 g of protein per scoop 
  • 2 simple ingredients whey protein isolate and sunflower lecithin <1%

This is not our first choice recommendation due to the high price tag.

Plant-based protein powder for swimmers 

If you are a plant-based athlete or prefer plant-based protein we recommend making sure your plant-based protein powders are not high in heavy metals. You can check to see if the brand test for heavy metals or view the heavy metal testing done by consumer lab. 

We also recommend drug tested athletes avoid plant-based protein powders that contain hemp to prevent the risk of a failed drug test. 

Naked Pea

It can be hard to find plant-based protein powders with no additives or artificial sweeteners! Naked Pea is one of our go-to recommendations for athletes looking for a vegan protein powder without the added sweeteners because:

  • Informed choice
  • >2 g of leucine
  • 27 g protein for two scoops
  • Vegan and certified gluten-free 

This plant-based protein also comes in vanilla, chocolate, and unflavored! 

Now Sports Nutrtion Pea Protein 

Now Sports Nutrtion Pea Protein can be a great option for swimmers who follow a vegan diet or have a milk protein allergy.

  • Informed choice and informed sport
  • >2 g of leucine
  • 24 g of protein per scoop 
  • Vegan

We have not had the chance to try this protein but it is a more economical plant-based-protein option. However, Amazon reviews regarding the taste and mixability of this product are highly variable. 

How much protein do swimmers need?

Protein needs for swimmers can vary greatly depending on fitness levels and level of training. 

For general guidelines, we recommend swimmers consume 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (1).

For a 150lb athlete, this is equivalent to about 82-116 grams of protein per day.

Use our Protein Calculator For Athletes to calculate how much protein you may need! 

Do swimmers need protein powders?

Swimmers do not need protein powders. BCAA’s such as leucine and protein are naturally in whole foods. 

And often, protein through food sources such as poultry, fish, meat, nuts, legumes, and dairy are cheaper!

However, if protein powders are a more convenient way for you to meet your daily protein needs, then we hope this protein powder for swimmers guide is helpful!

The bottom line 

Swimmers who follow a balanced diet can typically meet their protein needs through food alone. However, if you’re struggling to meet your protein needs, especially post-workout, a protein powder supplement can help.

Whether you prefer animal-based or plant-based protein powders, there are plenty of choices available to suit your needs. 

Don’t forget to combine your protein powder with a carbohydrate source after intense swimming sessions. We hope this protein powder guide for swimmers helps you to better fuel your training!

Other Posts You May Like

The Best Supplements for Swimmers

Ultimate Hydration Guide For Swimmers

What to Eat Before Swim Practice (20 pre-swim snack ideas!)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top