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?
Table of Contents
- Best Paleo Friendly Protein Powders
- Our Methodology
- Why Protein Powder Ingredients Are So Important
- Frequently Asked Questions about Protein Powder
That’s where the best paleo-friendly protein powders, including paleo protein bars and paleo friendly protein shakes, come in.
Best Paleo Friendly Protein Powders
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.
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.
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is a near-perfect, paleo-friendly protein powder that 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 its 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 adding a hefty 20 grams of pure grass-fed beef collagen to your daily paleo elixir easier than ever.
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
- 1 Simple Ingredient: Collagen Peptides is a premium powdered supplement that features hydrolyzed...
- Easy To Use: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is easily digested and dissolves in cold or hot...
- High quality: Sourced from the hides of grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine to ensure a high quality...
Left Coast Performance Organic Bone Broth Protein
What we like about this brand is that it’s made from organic, grass-fed beef and is free from added carbs and sugars. So that means not just low carbs, but no carbs at all! 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 the best paleo-friendly protein powder comes from PaleoPro. PaleoPro Protein Powder 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.
When asking Jason Cage, a personal trainer and gym instructor of over a decade, on his #1 paleo protein powder, this was his choice:
“The best Paleo Friendly Powder for me would be the PaleoPro Powder. This is predominantly because of the fact all the animals used in the creation of this powder are grass-fed.
Why is that important? Well, as you know, the paleo diet is all about unprocessed foods that we would have consumed many years ago. It is exceptionally difficult to find anything that hasn’t been processed to a degree these days.
But with grass-fed animals, this ensures an optimal paleo-friendly protein powder that maximizes all the advantages of the paleo diet.”
However, a couple of things that concerned us about the product are the eggs, which remain controversial in 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
- 26 grams of PROTEIN per serving, contains no sugar, no whey, no soy, no gluten
- Made from pastured grass-fed beef and eggs, no added hormones
- Feed your muscles properly with this protein featuring paleo ingredients
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 will 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 want 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
- ➕ Source of Protein - Beef Protein Isolate, a paleo protein powder, is a high quality source of...
- 💪 Increases Muscle Mass - Beef Protein Isolate Powder, available in bulk protein powders, is a...
- 🏃 Supports Muscle Recovery & Endurance - After a strenuous and hard workout, your muscles need...
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 various 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. Just Google any paleo protein shake recipe, and you’re good to go!
- 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
- BONE BROTH FORMULA – Get all the benefits of the ancient superfood our ancestors used to consume...
- BREAKTHROUGH PROTEIN FORMULATION - When it comes to protein content, this formula is twice as potent...
- NUTRIENT PROFILE– Formulated from concentrated chicken bone broth, our bone broth protein powder...
Perfect Keto Collagen Peptides Protein Powder
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
- Practical Powder: Dissolves easily into any drink, hot or cold. Mix into water, coffee, shakes,...
- MCT: Unlike competitors, each scoop has 10g of collagen & 5g of pure MCT oil powder, which supports...
- All Day Energy: Use in the morning to start your day or as pre-workout fuel. Comes with an included...
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 top 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-to-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
- One of the best paleo friendly protein powders for weight loss
- High in sodium (naturally present in egg whites)
- Unflavored but not “tasteless”
- Not suitable for people with egg or nut allergies
- Paleo Protein Powder Is Soy Free (Egg Whites) From USA Farms (30 Servings Total)
- Unflavored - Instantly Mixes In Water (GMO Free) (2 Lbs) IKDiet Phase 1 Compliant
- Two Ingredients: Egg White Powder & Sunflower Lecithin (381mg Sodium Naturally Occurring)
Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel
Up next in our ranking of the 10 Best Paleo-Friendly Protein Powders comes from Primal Kitchen. 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.
Amine Rahal, a Toronto based entrepreneur who is passionate about fitness, diet and health, recommends Primal Kitchen, especially if you also want to improve muscle recovery:
“I’m a fan of Primal Kitchen’s products, including Collagen Fuel. It tastes great, is packed with muscle-building peptides and amino acids, and mixes really well with coffee. I recommend adding a scoop to your morning coffee if you’re serious about improving your muscle recovery.”
- Quality ingredients
- Mixes well with coffee
- Stick packs are convenient
- Only 10 g protein per serving
- Taste is hit or miss depending on flavor
- DAILY COLLAGEN: Add to coffee or smoothies to help support hair, skin, and nails
- NO DAIRY COFFEE CREAMER: Delicious vanilla coconut flavor made with creamy coconut milk powder
- KETO CERTIFIED, PALEO FRIENDLY: Made without gluten, refined sugar, dairy, whey, or soy ingredients
EQUIP Prime Protein
Coming in ninth place for our ranking of the best paleo-friendly protein powders is none-other than EQUIP Prime Protein.
The product is made from 100% grass fed beef protein—a definite plus—and 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
- A Mighty Amount of Protein in Every Scoop: Every serving of Prime Protein contains 3.5 oz of...
- Optimize Your Workouts: Beef protein is packed with the collagen, gelatin, and micro-nutrients your...
- Tastes Just Like Dessert: With 6 flavors to choose from, you can add Prime Protein to any drink or...
Nutiva Organic Plant Protein Smoothie
Rounding out our top 10 Best Paleo-Friendly Protein Powders is the flagship product from Nutiva: Organic Plant Protein Smoothie. This keto-friendly organic paleo protein powder is the best paleo vegan protein powder, 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, making it the best vegan protein. Plus, it’s naturally flavored and sweetened with monk fruit so you won’t have to worry about artificial ingredients in this formula. This further makes it one of the top paleo friendly protein powders out there!
- 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
- Delicious source of plant protein, amino acids, vitamins, and probiotics for shakes and smoothies
- Ideal addition to vegetarian, vegan, whole food, soy-free, dairy-free and gluten-free diets
- Makes a delicious and creamy meal replacement, can be used for clean on-the-go energy, and supports...
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 spend their entire paycheck on a tub of protein powder!
Our list of the top paleo-friendly protein powders won’t leave your paleo 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.
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, thickeners, gums, and artificial sweeteners.BPA
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.
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 unknowingly harm 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.
Even when choosing a paleo protein powder, Jason recommends paying attention to the production process:
“When choosing a Paleo Friendly Protein Powder I always look at how the animals used in production have been fed and reared. This is because, without optimal conditions during this process, a lot of animals used in production are fed terrible foods.
This then goes on to affect the powder you will be consuming in the paleo diet, which is all about unprocessed and healthy foods.”
Frequently Asked Questions about Protein Powder
Is Bone Broth Protein Paleo?
What Makes a Protein Powder Paleo-Friendly?
What are the Best Paleo-Friendly Protein Powders?
What Is a Paleo Substitute for Whey Protein?
What Protein Can You Eat on Paleo?
Is Pea Protein Allowed on Paleo?
The best paleo-friendly protein powders are dairy, soy, gluten, and additive-free, focusing on high-quality sources like grass-fed beef collagen and plant-based proteins.
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides stands out as the top choice for its clean, versatile, and easy-to-digest qualities. These powders cater to the modern paleo lifestyle, offering a convenient, toxin-free way to meet protein needs while adhering to paleo principles.