The best paleo protein powder
Paleo eating is all about swapping processed food for nutrient-dense whole foods that energize your body. This diet eliminates additives, preservatives, sugar and other artificial ingredients and builds in a rotation of meat, vegetables, seeds, nuts and legumes. While eating these ingredients is generally all you need, sometimes a paleo protein powder can give you an extra boost.
For a quick shot of protein that can be taken in a plain glass of water, Paleo Pro Store Aztec Vanilla PaleoPro Protein Powder is a good choice.
What to know before you buy a paleo protein powder
Type of protein
Protein powders utilize a wide variety of protein sources. Not all of them are animal-based, and which one is best for you may vary depending on other health concerns and dietary preferences.
The most common protein sources include:
- Whey: It’s milk-based and not appropriate for vegans or those who are lactose intolerant. Because this uses dairy, paleo purists avoid it.
- Casein: Taking this slow-absorbing protein before bed gives the body more time to process it.
- Beef: Beef protein powders may not taste as good as other options. This has some of the highest levels of protein of all powders and has near zero carbs or fat.
- Egg: Egg protein powder is more expensive. But it’s also low in fat and carbs and comes with other beneficial vitamins and minerals.
- Soy: Soy has a ton of amino acids and is a good option for vegetarians and vegans. However, some people avoid soy due to its potential interaction with hormones.
- Pea: This protein is isolated from golden pea husks. It is a good choice for vegans, vegetarians and those who are lactose intolerant.
- Hemp protein: Hemp protein has tons of fiber and beneficial omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
Each protein powder should come with a scoop that measures a specific amount of powder to get to the nutritional information on the package. If you prefer to supplement with just a single serving of powder per day, make sure that’s possible with the brand you select.
Price per serving
Protein powders can get expensive, and it can be hard to make a one-to-one comparison when the protein is different and the serving size varies.
If you are on a budget, take the time to calculate the cost per ounce. This gives you a better idea of how much you are spending.
Paleo protein powder features
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and artificial colors, flavors and preservatives should not be anywhere on your paleo protein ingredients list. Look for organic certification and pasture-raised sources of protein, too.
Free from common allergens
Because the ingredient list of protein powders is typically long, scan it carefully to make sure it’s free from common allergens. These include:
If you find a type of protein powder you like, make sure it comes in a variety of flavors. This lets you shake things up from time to time.
Not interested in flavors? Look for paleo protein powders that have an unflavored version.
Paleo protein powder cost
There's a wide price range that depends on the type of protein in the powder and the size of the container. Expect to spend 97 cents-$3 per ounce.
Paleo protein powder FAQ
What are the basics of a paleo diet?
A. In general, the paleo diet restricts food to anything that can be hunted or foraged. This includes:
- Lean meat
- Nuts and seeds
It restricts all processed foods such as dairy products, legumes and grains. Sugar of any kind is also not allowed.
The goal is to reduce the number of net carbohydrates to fewer than 150 per day if weight loss is the goal and 300 if gaining muscle mass is important.
Are pea and milk-based protein powders considered paleo?
A. Although dairy and legumes are not typically a part of the paleo diet, some people incorporate these protein sources in their powders.
Peas and other legumes do contain what are considered toxic antinutrients, but they are less present in the young peas used in protein powders. The cooking process also deactivates these toxins.
Milk-based powders containing whey and casein are also controversial, but those who take them believe the high protein content is a good trade-off. Look for higher fiber counts that get you closer to zero net carbs per serving.
How do you incorporate protein powder into your diet?
A. Some people simply add a scoop of protein powder to a glass of water and drink it before a workout or as a morning snack. But that's not all you can do.
- Add it to chia puddings made with coconut milk.
- Mix it with your morning coffee or tea.
- Sprinkle it over low-carb fruit.
- Bake it into paleo-friendly bars for recovery snacks.
Which paleo protein powder should I get?
Best of the best paleo protein powder
Paleo Pro Store Aztec Vanilla PaleoPro Protein Powder: available at Amazon
Our take: If you like to take a protein powder straight mixed with water, this dissolves well.
What we like: One serving has 26 grams of protein. It is created from pasture-raised grass-fed beef and egg white with no added hormones. This has zero grams of net carbs. It comes in four flavors and is also available unflavored.
What we dislike: The flavor is not for everyone. Some people reported a salty taste.
Best bang for your buck paleo protein powder
Smart 138 Pure Egg White Protein Powder: available at Amazon
Our take: It does not get much cleaner than this. This protein powder has just two ingredients.
What we like: It is made from non-GMO egg whites and sunflower lecithin. It has no artificial sweeteners or flavors or colors. Each serving has 27 grams of protein. It contains no gluten, soy or dairy.
What we dislike: This must be mixed and flavored with something to make it palatable.
Honorable mention paleo protein powder
Our take: This is a great option for vegans and vegetarians.
What we like: This contains a mix of plant-based protein that includes pea, brown rice and chia seeds. Each serving has 21 grams of protein and low net carbs. Has no added sugar and is soy-free, kosher and non-GMO. It is also available in a chocolate peanut butter flavor.
What we dislike: Some users wanted more peanut butter flavor.
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Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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