Chocolate Protein Drink Taste Test

I can be lazy about my nutrition after a hard workout. My solution? Having a quick, ready-to-drink protein shake waiting for me in my gym locker, car or home refrigerator.

I’ve bounced around over the years and tried different protein shakes. I’d test out new brands based on what I would find on my grocery store shelves, or in Costco or at my local convenient store.

After one sip you usually know whether you like the taste of the shake or not. For me, my opinion of protein shakes commonly falls into two extremes – either it’s something I regret buying a case of, or wished I’d bought more of and am already stressing about whether I’ll be able to find more of it again in the future.

I started wondering recently which of all the shakes I enjoyed consuming the most. I already had two of the four shakes listed below in my refrigerator. My husband Steve decided to join me in the chocolate protein drink taste test and in got added the Keto Chow and Premier Protein.

Muscle Milk Light

  • Calories – 100
  • Protein – 20 grams
  • Fat – 1 gram
  • Carbs – 6 grams
  • Sodium – 230 mgrams

Ensure Max

  • Calories – 150
  • Protein – 30 grams
  • Fat – 1.5 gram
  • Carbs – 6 grams
  • Sodium – 230 mgrams

Premier Protein

  • Calories – 160
  • Protein – 30 grams
  • Fat – 3 gram
  • Carbs – 5 grams
  • Sodium – 210 mgrams

Keto Chow – Chocolate 2.5 version

  • Calories – 295
  • Protein – 16 grams
  • Fat – 25 gram
  • Carbs – 7 grams
  • Sodium – 497 mgrams

FYI, the serving size for the nutritional information above = 11 ounces.

Blind taste test of 4 different chocolate flavored protein drinks.

How the test was conducted: It was a blind taste test (or as blind as two people conducting a test can make it!). We labeled the bottom of the glasses with numbers. My husband poured the drinks and then stepped out of the room. I then rearranged the drinks and placed them back on the counter.

We graded each drink on the following criteria:

  • Smell good neutral bad
  • Appearance good neutral bad
  • Taste good neutral bad
  • Texture good neutral bad
  • Salty v Sweet salty neutral sweet
  • Goopy thick neutral thin
  • After Taste y n
Appearances count. Though I never pour my ready-to-drink shakes into a glass. That would be wasteful of a perfectly clean glass!

I did feel that the appearance factor was unfair. Usually I’m downing these drinks in their containers and not pouring them into a glass and admiring their color. That being said, you can’t discount the visual appearance of your food or drinks. Food presentation is always being graded, whether you’re eating at a fine dining restaurant or your neighborhood potluck. Hence, we kept it in.

We used water as a palate cleanser between tastings. There is a big chocolate festival held in Seattle every year. Vendors from all over the nation come in and you can taste A LOT of different varieties of chocolate in a short period of time. They have water tanks throughout the hall. We followed their lead and went with water as well.

And the winner is…

Premier Protein was the clear winner for me. And my husband too!

Immediately after discovering which brand won I felt like I was betraying my beloved Muscle Milk Light and Ensure Max.

As my husband noted, you can tell which one we liked the most by how much we drank!

The Premier Protein smelled great, had a creamy taste, didn’t have an overly salty flavor and left you with a pleasant after taste. With 30 grams of protein per serving and only 160 calories this drink deserves top shelf space in my refrigerator.

One small caveat worth mentioning, the Keto Chow isn’t really a protein shake, but it was high in protein so we let it slide into the test. Plus, Keto-anything is hot right now…so I figured plenty of folks might be looking for a Keto shake mix to try. My husband drinks this brand frequently, so we had it readily available for the taste test.

Notable Mention

The Muscle Milk Light earned high marks for its bold chocolate-y smell. Unfortunately, it’s dark, bordering on murky, coloring was a big disappointment. Surprisingly, not all the shakes had a smell, which I thought was weird.

If you do decide to make the Keto Chow, know that we made the recipe using heavy cream as directed on the package. Apparently there is more than one way to mix this shake. Consider adding more water to the recipe than listed if you find that the recipe is too thick.

And with that, this chocolate protein drink taste test is officially over! Send me a message letting me know what your favorite protein drink is after a hard workout. I’m always up for trying new drinks and bars.

Chill. Shake. Drink. And be merry, my friends!