Lifestyle

Looking for a Lighter Protein Drink? Try the Best Clear Whey Protein Drinks

If thick protein shakes aren’t your vibe, consider these drinks a tastey alternative.
By Taneia Surles, MPH
March 12, 2024

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Look, we get it.  There are way too many protein, creatine, and glutamine mixes to keep up with. Yet, many people rave that these are must-have drinks for their pre-and post-workout routines.

One protein mix that’s received lots of praise is clear whey protein or isolate. But what is it?

In simple terms, clear whey is a protein with a lighter formula that may have more health benefits than regular whey protein.

If you’re not a protein fanatic, it can be quite intimidating to sort through all the clear whey protein powdersand premade drinks on the market. Don’t stress—we’ve provided a list of the best clear whey protein drinks. 

If you’re looking to cut to the chase, we highly recommend Myoprotein Clear Whey Isolate.

Why You Should Trust Us

Hone Health is a team of health-obsessed journalists, editors, fitness junkies, medical reviewers, and product testers. We’ve spent hours researching whey protein, whey protein isolate, clear whey protein drinks, and why a person might prefer clear whey to traditional whey protein.

Scroll to the bottom for more on clear whey protein.

The Best Clear Whey Protein Drinks and Powders

Myprotein Clear Whey Isolate

Need a pick-me-up after a workout? Myprotein Clear Whey Isolate can give you a boost.

This mix is packed with 20g protein, 2g carbs, 4g amino acids, and glutamine, and is only 90 calories. If you’re looking to avoid sugar overload, you’re in luck, as this drink mix contains zero sugar. Instead of the typical chocolate or vanilla, it comes in several fruit-forward flavors. Mix one scoop into a 10- or 12-ounce water bottle for a clear, easy-to-drink post-workout sip. Plus, at $2 per serving, pricing feels more than fair.

Cost per serving: $2

Protein per serving: 20g

Flavors: Tropical Dragonfruit, Cola, Strawberry Kiwi, Strawberry, Peach Mango, and Sour Cherry

Pros
  • Fair pricing
  • Easy on the stomach
  • Loads of flavors
  • No sugar added
Cons
  • Light on non-protein macros
  • Not available in many grocery stores

Isopure Pure Clear Whey Protein Powder

This protein powder will make you feel like you’re drinking a cup of Kool-Aid or sucking on a Capri-sun pouch. It comes in various mouth-watering flavors, with each scoop containing 20 grams of protein and 80 calories. It also has only 1 gram of sugar and no artificial sweeteners or flavors.

You won’t have to worry about your drink containing 40 or more ingredients with really long names you can’t pronounce, as this powder only has five well-known ingredients.

Cost per serving: $1.75

Protein per serving: 20g

Flavors: Tropical Punch, Citrus Lemonade, Mango Lime, Mixed Berry, Pineapple Orange Banana, and Watermelon Lime

Pros
  • Flavor options
  • Affordable price per serving
  • Simple ingredient list
Cons
  • Tends to foam quite a bit

Ensure Clear Nutrition Protein Drink

Ensure’s Clear Nutrition drinks are designed more for meal replacement than a traditional protein shake, but the brand’s clear protein option still ticks most of the boxes. Each premade drink contains 8g protein, 37g carbs, and 180 calories, making it a handy pre- or post-exercise drink. Like most protein drinks (especially clear protein), they’re also fat-free. Available in blueberry or mixed fruit flavors, this 12-pack of clear whey isolate drinks can be a tasty way to quench your thirst and get your daily dose of protein.

If dairy upsets your stomach, these drinks will meet your needs, as they’re safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Cost per serving: $3.25

Protein per serving: 8g

Flavors: Blueberry Pomegranate and Mixed Fruit

Pros
  • Available everywhere
  • Very easy to drink
Cons
  • Pricier per serving than most
  • Significantly less protein than most options

Protein2o Whey Protein Infused Water

The Protein2o Whey Protein Infused Water is a solid option if you’re looking for more grab-and-go clear whey protein options. Available in four fruity flavors or as a variety pack, each bottle contains 15g protein, 70 calories, and 6g carbs. If you’re a vegetarian, these drinks will comfortably fit into your diet, as they are also sugar-, gluten-, and lactose-free and aren’t made with any artificial sweeteners.

Cost per serving: $1.27

Protein per serving: 15g

Flavor: Cherry, Dragonfruit Blackberry, Grape, Peach Mango, and Variety

Pros
  • Great flavor options
  • More protein than most pre-mixed clear protein drinks
  • Reasonable price
  • Available on Amazon
Cons
  • Harder to find in physical stores
  • No electrolyte support for post- or pre-workout

What Is Clear Whey Protein?

“Clear whey is typically just hydrolyzed whey protein isolate that’s almost pure protein with little to no lactose, carbs, or fats,” said Rachel MacPherson, CSCS, CPT, an exercise nutritionist, and macros-based nutrition coach. This protein often has a fruity flavor, resembling your favorite juice or regular flavored water.  

What’s the Difference Between Clear Whey Protein and Regular Whey Protein?

The texture is the most notable difference between clear and regular whey protein. “Clear whey is finer, mixes more easily, and tastes like juice rather than milk or cream,” MacPherson said. “It can be combined with water and still taste great.” If you’re not a fan of the thick formula of regular whey, you may want to give clear whey protein a try.

Is Clear Whey Protein OK If You’re Lactose Intolerant?

Let’s be clear (pun intended)—anyone who is lactose intolerant should be cautious with any type of whey protein. However, it does seem that clear whey may be safer for lactose-intolerant folks. 

“Someone who is lactose intolerant can take clear whey protein since the lactose content is minimal, but this will be [based on the] individual, and you should watch your body for signs of any reaction,” said MacPherson.