Which chocolate protein shake is best?

Your body requires protein to build muscle. And while professional athletes have trainers and dieticians to help them get enough protein to optimize their workouts, other people have to find high-quality protein on their own. Whether you want to build muscle mass or your doctor recommends you eat more protein, a daily protein shake can give you enough nutrients to be strong and healthy.

If you want a delicious chocolate treat that packs a whopping 32 grams of protein into each delicious serving, the Muscle Milk Pro Series Knockout Chocolate Protein Shake is for you.

What to know before you buy a chocolate protein shake

Your goals

If you already have clear goals and want to figure out how to achieve them, you’ll have a better idea of how much protein you should eat. If you’re not sure what your goals are, consider what  you want to accomplish. If you wanted to lose weight, you might pick a different chocolate protein shake than if you wanted to add muscle or balance out your diet.

Protein source

Protein shakes utilize protein from various sources. Select the protein source based on any dietary preferences or food allergies. Some of the most common protein sources are egg whites, soy, pea protein, whey and hemp. A few protein shakes mix their protein sources, so check the label if you have any dietary restrictions or concerns.

Ready-made vs. DIY

Ready-made, single-serving chocolate protein shakes are more convenient and easier to take on the go. It’s easy to figure out what kind of nutrition you’re getting, too.

But DIY protein shakes allow you to tailor the shake to your taste and fitness goals. Just add protein powder and some of your own ingredients to make a delicious shake. You can adjust the amount of protein per shake, too. Protein powders are generally very low in sugar, which gives you more control over how much sugar you eat.

What to look for in a quality chocolate protein shake


Many commercial chocolate protein shakes have a lot of sugar, some even more than a doughnut. Look for low sugar options or sugar derived from stevia or monkfruit.

Amount of protein

At a minimum, your chocolate protein shake should have at least 20 grams of protein per serving. If you want to add muscle or your doctor recommends extra protein in your diet, you can look for shakes with up to 32 grams of protein.

Added vitamins and minerals

Adding vitamins and minerals like B12 and magnesium helps your body build muscle faster. Vegans, in particular, benefit from protein shakes that have added vitamins and minerals, which may be hard to find in a plant-based diet.

Non-GMO and artificial ingredients

The best chocolate protein shakes use non-GMO ingredients. These are free from chemicals, preservatives and toxins, which practically defeat the purpose of the shake. Look for shakes that are free from unnecessary ingredients and fillers.

Screened for banned substances

Professional and college athletes who routinely drink protein shakes need to make sure whatever they put in their bodies is not on the banned substances list. Look for National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International)-approved shakes to ensure you’re not accidentally eating a banned substance.

How much you can expect to spend on a chocolate protein shake

The price varies depending on the brand, ingredients and type of shake. You can expect to spend between $2-$6 for a single serving or $20-$40 on a dozen or so servings.

Chocolate protein shake FAQ

Can you drink a protein shake every day?

A. Generally speaking, this is safe for most people. However, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor to determine if a daily protein shake is a healthy choice for you. They can also help you determine your daily protein needs.

How much protein should I eat each day?

A. This depends on your level of activity and health goals. As a general rule, less active adults should get around 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight. For example, a person weighing 165 pounds needs 60 grams of protein per day to maintain good health. These numbers double for athletes, and people over 50 need to increase their protein intake to maintain muscle mass.

What are the best chocolate protein shakes to buy?

Top chocolate protein shake

Muscle Milk Pro Series Knockout Chocolate Protein Shake

Muscle Milk Pro Series Knockout Chocolate Protein Shake

What you need to know: This low-sugar, protein-packed shake is a great option for everyone.

What you’ll love: It has 32 grams of protein per single-serve shake and just one gram of sugar. It’s also fortified with calcium and vitamin D for bone and muscle health. And if you need an NSF International certified option, this one is free from over 200 banned substances.

What you should consider: Some users received shakes that were well past their expiration date.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top chocolate protein shake for money

Evolve Plant-Based Double Chocolate Protein Shake

Evolve Plant-Based Double Chocolate Protein Shake

What you need to know: Vegans will appreciate this mocha-flavored, plant-based shake.

What you’ll love: It has 20 grams of non-GMO pea protein, plus 10 grams of fiber. It’s also a good source of calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and zinc. It’s free of artificial flavors or colors.

What you should consider: Some people felt this shake had a gritty texture.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

PaleoPro Ancient Cacao Protein Powder

PaleoPro Ancient Cacao Protein Powder 

What you need to know: This is the best chocolate protein powder if you want total control of your diet.

What you’ll love: The protein comes from egg whites and grass-fed beef, plus it contains collagen for healthy skin, hair and nails. It has no sugar, dairy, whey, soy, additives or fillers. The monkfruit extract gives it a mild sweetness. Each serving contains 26 grams of protein.

What you should consider: While it’s listed as gluten-free, it was processed on equipment that also manufactures products with gluten. This is not safe for people with celiac disease or gluten allergies.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.