Is there such a thing as too much protein? What about paleo friendly protein powders?
A healthy diet is, of course, a balanced diet. But it’s hard to go wrong with protein, as opposed to fats and carbs. We need a lot of it. But what’s the best way to get protein on a paleo diet?
That’s where the best paleo-friendly protein powders come in.
Hold on a second, a paleo-friendly protein powder? How does that work? Paleo, after all, means to eat as our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Were they mixing protein powder in their smoothies? It’s not exactly likely that they had smoothies, either.
But the fact of the matter is, paleo-friendly protein powders are a great way to get enough protein in your paleo diet for the way modern people live—largely sedentary, with periodic bursts of activities.
So if you’re looking for a way to get more protein into your paleo diet, choose from our ranking of the best paleo protein powders.
Key Takeaway: Paleo protein powders are free from dairy, soy, gluten, grains, added sugars and toxic additives. They are usually collagen or bone broth based, although some contain egg and fish protein.
The Paleo Friendly Protein Powders We RAVE About
Finding the Right Protein Powder For You
Looking for a new paleo protein powder but have no idea where to turn? We did the research for you. Here are the top 10 best paleo-friendly protein powders on the market.
We examined the countless products to determine which protein powder is best for a paleo diet plan. No more picking out random powders at the local supplement shop.
After thorough research and some diligent formula vetting, we chose the winner of the best paleo-friendly protein powder: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. It’s an excellent source of clean protein, with no added fillers.
You can mix it into just about anything and not even know that it’s there. This powder is a total win in our paleo book.
Key Point: This ranking presents the best paleo-friendly protein powders, and the best of these overall is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.
Why Protein Powder Ingredients Are So Important
You might be wondering how protein powders could be so different from one another. After all, aren’t they made up of the same stuff?
Unfortunately, you would be surprised at the number of toxins lurking in certain protein powders. Independent research found these three scary additions in many powders on the market, including those labeled “organic”: BPA, heavy metals as well as thickeners, gums, and artificial sweeteners.
- BPA (Bisphenol-A)
You’ve probably seen “BPA-free” cans and Tupperware in your local store. BPA is an industrial chemical used in making plastic and is highly toxic to humans. Studies find that BPA can interfere with hormones, leading to tumors, reproductive disorders, certain types of cancer, and even metabolic disorders like PCOS.
An independent study by the Clean Label Project found that out of 134 top-selling protein powder brands, 55% contained BPA. One powder even contained over 25 times the allowed limit in just a single serving.
- Heavy Metals
The same study above found highly toxic heavy metals in popular protein powders, which can cause kidney problems, vomiting, and liver damage. Chronic exposure to heavy metals leads to a buildup in the body over time; if you’re getting a daily “dose” from your protein powder, you could be unknowingly harming yourself.
- Thickeners, Gums, and Artificial Sweeteners
Many top-selling protein powders also contain thickeners and artificial sweeteners to improve taste and texture.
Studies show popular food thickening agents like xanthan gum, and artificial sweeteners like aspartame may contribute to flatulence, gastrointestinal discomfort, mood disorders, diarrhea, and even cognitive dysfunction.
Takeaway: There’s some really nasty ingredients that can make their way into low-quality protein powder formulas, which is why it’s important to vet a product before buying it.
The Best Paleo Protein Powders Don’t Contain Toxins or Additives
So, how do the other paleo-friendly protein powders stack up?
For one, they don’t contain the toxins and additives mentioned above. However, we also looked at other factors, such as value, when weighing our options on what’s the best paleo protein powder.
Below is our list of the top 10 paleo-friendly protein powders that won’t leave your protein shake gritty, chalky, or downright gross. Instead, these protein powders provide ample amounts of clean protein that goes great with any smoothie or plain liquid while staying true to the paleo diet.
Key Point: The best paleo protein powders don’t contain toxins or rogue ingredients. Instead, they will taste great and provide the benefits as advertised.
In case you were wondering how we went about ranking these paleo protein powders, here’s what we took into consideration:
- Ingredients: The ingredient list was the biggest factor in ranking the best paleo protein powders. We looked for protein powders that had minimalist formulas, being certain to avoid supplements with artificial ingredients and dairy/milk proteins.
- Protein Source Quality: Whether plant-based or beef-derived, we put quality at the forefront of our ranking methodology.
- Value: Affordability matters. No one should be spending their entire paycheck on a tub of protein powder!
Best Paleo Friendly Protein Powders
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
This near-perfect, paleo-friendly protein powder is unflavored and won’t change the taste of your shake or smoothie, making it a breeze to add to just about any liquid or semi-solid food. Vital Proteins is a renowned brand due to their extensive line of collagen peptide products.
Collagen is the single most abundant class of proteins in humans (and most animals). Our bodies rely on it for the health and vitality of connective, muscle, and epithelial tissues, especially the skin, hair, tendons, cartilage, bones, and joints. Basically, collagen is important stuff!
The conundrum is that collagen levels tend to decline fairly quickly as we age into our 30s and 40s. Hence, superficial signs of aging (e.g., skin wrinkles and hair loss/thinning) typically become apparent at these ages.
To make matters worse, the typical Western diet lacks collagen peptides. Fortunately, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides make it easier than ever to add a hefty 20 grams of pure grass-fed beef collagen to your daily paleo elixir.
Something we liked about this protein powder is that the collagen is hydrolyzed, meaning it’s easily digested and absorbed into the body.
Simply mix it in hot or cold beverages, including your morning coffee, tea, smoothies, or even whole-food recipes. This convenience is a definite plus. In addition, this protein powder supports gut health.
- Tasteless and versatile
- Grass-fed hydrolyzed beef (bovine) collagen
- Easy to digest
- A bit pricey
- Collagen isn’t ideal for post-workout recovery
Left Coast Performance Organic Bone Broth Protein
If you want to get your protein from bone broth, consider our second choice for paleo-friendly protein from the Left Coast.
What we like about this brand is that it’s made from organic, grass-fed beef and is free from added carbs and sugars. In addition, this product is guaranteed pure and manufactured at a GMP-certified facility in the USA.
Plus, the Left Coast formula is all about pure ingredients to heal the gut, avoiding ingredients known to sometimes cause stomach upset, such as guar and xanthan gums—both common ingredients in other protein powder formulas.
We also appreciate that the product is non-GMO, as well as gluten- and dairy-free. It’s also easy to blend in a shaker bottle or regular blender.
- Good for joints and gut health
- Grass-fed beef bone broth protein
- Limited branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) content
Our next pick for best paleo-friendly protein powder comes from PaleoPro. This is a great basic option for paleo dieters, especially those who want a protein shake after they hit the gym. What we like in particular is that It’s made from grass-fed beef and egg protein, so it’s an easy-to-digest option with a well-rounded profile of amino acids.
The grass-fed and pasture-raised beef and egg proteins used in the powder are air-dried, and then ground into a fine powder.
A couple things that concerned us about the product, however, are the eggs—which remain controversial in terms of paleo friendliness. Nevertheless, egg protein is generally a great source of complete protein.
The fact that this powder also contains monk fruit extract to help keep carbs down is something to consider. Be sure to taste-test monk fruit before purchasing this protein powder as it can be a bit too bitter for some.
- Great post-workout protein powder
- Naturally flavored and sweetened
- 26 g of protein per serving
- Bitter aftertaste
BulkSupplements Paleo Beef Isolate
Fourth in our ranking of the best paleo-friendly protein powders is Paleo Beef Isolate from BulkSupplements.
This basic beef protein powder is going to give you the best bang for your buck, since it’s cheaper than many other options in our ranking.
A definite plus side to the product is that it’s also a solid post-workout supplement, designed to increase muscle recovery and support iron absorption. The powder is also lactose-, sugar-, and gluten-free.
BulkSupplements Paleo Beef Isolate might not be your top choice if you are looking for something with anti-aging health benefits, but it’s a great option for those who just want a basic paleo protein powder.
- Good protein for active paleo enthusiasts
- 27 g of protein per 30 g serving
- Beef aroma can be unpleasant
- May cause flatulence
- Not as easy to digest for some people
Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein
Coming in fifth in our ranking of paleo-friendly protein powders is the Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein Powder. Dr. Josh Axe, famous for his love of bone broth, created this line of paleo-friendly bone broth protein powders himself.
In addition to all the other benefits of a paleo-friendly protein powder, this is a great option for anyone looking to support gut, skin, joint, muscle, and immune health. This powder also contains collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, chondroitin, and minerals, making it quite the “superfood” supplement for paleo fanatics.
Another positive is that the product comes in an array of flavors that taste great in coffee or even mixed into coconut flour pancakes. And of course, it’s easy to mix into protein shakes, smoothies, juices, or whatever else might strike your fancy.
- Great flavor
- Made from real chicken bone broth
- Good for joints, gut health, and skin
- Contains guar and xanthan gum
- Aftertaste is a tad bitter
Meet your paleo and keto needs all at once with this protein powder, the sixth pick in our ranking of the top 10 Best Paleo-Friendly Protein Powders.
While it’s a bit of a fancier option than other products in our rankings, you’ll still get plenty of that collagen protein you need for gut, skin, muscle, and joint support. We also really like how the product uses medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) for added energy and fat-burning benefits.
In addition, the Perfect Keto company never uses dangerous substances and is certified with the Informed-Sport program.
- Added MCTs for energy
- Great for keto and paleo
- Delicious chocolate flavor
- Only 10 g protein per serving
- Only 12 oz per bottle
Julian Bakery Paleo Protein Powder
Are you the kind of person who’s always hungry? If so, check out Julian Bakery’s Protein Powder, seventh in our ranking of the 10 Best Paleo-Friendly Protein Powders.
We like this product because it helps curb hunger, especially when used in a shake as a meal replacement. This powder is made with easy-to-digest egg white protein from non-GMO chickens not treated with hormones or antibiotics, making it about as pure as egg white protein gets. This also has an exceptional calorie:protein ratio with just 108 calories for every 25 g of protein.
It’s also unflavored and unsweetened, with a slight taste of egg whites. We found that this product meshed well with almond or coconut milk to create a superb paleo meal replacement.
Keep in mind, however, that egg white protein isn’t paleo-friendly according to some of the more “hardcore” primitive diet advocates out there.
- Solid value
- Excellent protein:calorie ratio
- Great for people trying to lose weight
- High in sodium (naturally present in egg whites)
- Unflavored but not “tasteless”
- Not suitable for people with egg or nut allergies
Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel
Up next in our ranking of the 10 Best Paleo-Friendly Protein Powders comes from Primal Kitchen. Collagen Fuel is a great choice for anyone looking for a little extra flavor in their protein powder.
With Primal Kitchen, you can get all the health benefits of collagen peptides in flavors like chocolate and vanilla coconut. That means this powder tastes great in smoothies, shakes, or even in your morning cup of coffee. Consumers report the product mixes easily without clumping.
- Quality ingredients
- Mixes well with coffee
- Stick packs are convenient
- Only 10 g protein per serving
- Taste is hit or miss depending on flavor
EQUIP Prime Protein
Coming in ninth place for our ranking of the best paleo-friendly protein powders is none-other than Prime Protein.
The product is made from 100% grass-fed beef protein—a definite plus—and it is completely free of gluten, dairy, and soy.
This powder is also free from fillers and artificial ingredients, including hormones, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives, giving Prime Protein our paleo stamp of approval.
Note of Caution: The product is sweetened with stevia, which can be a drawback for some, and is a bit expensive when compared to other protein powders on the market.
- Features trademarked BeefIso Protein
- Stevia aftertaste
- …Did we mention the cost?
Nutiva Organic Plant Protein Superfood Smoothie
Rounding out our top 10 Best Paleo-Friendly Protein Powders is the flagship product from Nutiva: Organic Plant Protein Superfood Smoothie. This plant-based protein powder is vegan and keto-friendly, packing 21 g of protein from pea isolate, sunflower seed, hempseed, and pumpkin seed, all with just 110 calories per serving.
In addition, this superfood smoothie provides a range of essential micronutrients and antioxidants from whole fruits and vegetables, notably spinach, shiitake mushroom, broccoli, and blueberry. Plus, it’s naturally flavored and sweetened with monk fruit so you won’t have to worry about artificial ingredients in this formula.
- Protein from pea isolate, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds
- No soy, gluten, or dairy
- Good for gut health and regularity
- Flavor may be underwhelming to some
- Doesn’t mix great without a shaker cup or blender
- Probiotic dose is low
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Frequently Asked Questions about Protein Powder
Is Bone Broth Protein Paleo?
While bone broth itself is paleo-friendly, not all bone broth protein is made equal. The bone broth proteins we included here are all free from dairy, gluten, soy, and added sugars.
What Makes a Protein Powder Paleo-Friendly?
All powders need to be free from dairy, soy, gluten, grains, and added sugars. We also made sure that the products used high-quality protein sources such as grass-fed beef protein and chicken collagen peptides.
What are the Best Paleo-Friendly Protein Powders?
We gathered trusted reviews from across the internet and did our own ingredient research to determine the 10 best paleo-friendly protein powders around. The overall winner in this category goes to Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, but there were nine other close contenders as well.