Protein powder in general is very helpful in supplementing extra protein intake, especially during a caloric deficit. I typically buy the cheaper stuff since I'm a student, and I never really thought paying twice the price with minimal difference was worth it. Is there really a big difference, like many sales workers try to convince you there is?
2Welcome to the FItness SE! A few point about your question; you have to include what's in the protein powders you want to discuss. Just telling us that they're expensive is far too vague. There's a large variety between different expensive powders, and some of them are expensive for no reason other than a high profit. Also, keep in mind that questions regarding nutrition alone are off-topic here. To avoid close votes, please make sure you angle it towards actual fitness and exercise.– Alec is on strike ♦Jan 12, 2020 at 4:15
I didn't realize that it could vary that much. I thought the price would pretty much determine the product you got for a given type powder (like whey). I know creatine monohydrate is pretty consistent between brands to the point where it makes no difference, is there a big difference between whey products, even in the same price range? My question is mostly related to diet so I guess I should ask somewhere else?– Colin HicksJan 12, 2020 at 5:22
1This is an international community. The powders you might be thinking off are unknown to most people here. Please give us details. I'm from Europe, as far as I know, in the us, because there is less regulation, protein powders are far worse than what we get. Please get specific here. Also, I don't think you are correct in saying that they are a great way to supplement in a cut, but again that's because where I come from, there is actual quality food that offer the same nutritional value - far better even than a lot of the cheap powders. As you can see, it varies a lot. And then there is taste– Raditz_35Jan 12, 2020 at 11:10
"Worth it" is a subjective stance. It also depends on what you're comparing. Are we talking some no-name protein powder vs. a premium whey isolate w/ creatine?– C. Lange ♦Jan 13, 2020 at 15:25
To give one of my favourite answers... it depends.
As a student, price is probably one of your main concerns, and if they're doing what you want them to do, then stick with the one you're using.
My friend buys his in bulk from either Bulk Powders or MyProtein (UK based), and they do him fine. They help him hit his protein goals and help reduce muscle soreness after a training session.
For myself, I've found that the cheaper brands that he uses can play havoc with my digestive system. I never figured out what it was in them that caused issues, it could be an intolerance to whey, it could be the sweeteners they use in some, it might be that I'm celiac and there's something in the packing process that contaminates them beyond my ability to tolerate. Whatever it is, I pay more for a vegan blend I've found that only uses a few ingredients and causes me no issues. For me, the extra money is worth it.
It could be that you find you can get your protein requirements in by buying cheap cuts of meat (the secret is to cook them for a loooooong time), tinned fish (I'd recommend sardines, not tuna) or cans of chickpeas if you're that way inclined, in which case, the protein powder probably isn't worth it to you.
I'd recommend experimenting (I think most companies do samples of protein powder fairly cheap), you might find that you're willing to pay a little more for one that tastes better.
(Just don't try unflavoured hemp protein, it's honestly one of the most disgusting things I've ever tried to stomach, plus when I dropped some on a tea towel, it bleached the colour out of it. I find that concerning.)
Firstly it's hard to answer your question based on the information provided as it only asks about higher versus lower prices and not about the types of protein you are looking at. Pricing for any products can be decided for a number of reasons and the most common being perceived value. That being said price alone doesn't necessarily determine the quality of the product especially in the supplement industry with so many competing products all boasting to be the best quality and very few standards that are easily measured by consumers.
As far as my recommendation for protein I would suggest looking at egg based protein powders. Eggs are the most complete form of protein and compared to whey of any quality will be superior as most whey proteins are of cheap quality despite marketing around them. All the best. Stay strong!