What is the best keto protein powder?
Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition
Our unflavored protein powder is the best keto protein powder. It is additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. This makes it perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you.
“With literally just 1 ingredient and no additives and no dairy, I never have to worry about my stomach hurting after a protein shake.”
drink wholesome is the best keto protein powder.
What is the keto diet?
The keto or ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, high fat diet that puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. It has been shown to help with weight loss and is recommended by a growing number of health and wellness professionals. The standard ketogenic diet involves significantly restricting carbohydrate consumption. In order to do so, most people have to pay close attention to what they eat.
The most common approach to the keto diet involves sourcing 70-80 percent of calories from fat, and 5-10 percent from carbs, and 10-20 percent from protein. For a 2000-calorie diet, this translates to about 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrate, and 75 grams of protein. For some people, eating 75 grams of protein per day is a hard number to hit, which is where protein powder can come in handy. Adding a scoop of protein powder to your diet is an easy way to ensure that you are meeting your protein goals.
Is protein powder keto?
Some protein powders are keto-friendly, others are not. Our vegan protein powders, for example, contain 10+ grams of carbohydrates per serving. This is too many carbs for someone on the keto diet. Our unflavored egg white protein powder, however, contains only 1 gram of carbohydrate. You can therefore add it to your smoothies and baking for a keto-friendly protein boost.
Keto diet followers are often surprised to learn that most protein powders contain carbohydrates. They also need to be reminded that a few carbs in their protein powder is not the end of the world. Simple carbohydrates from fillers and added sugars are not good for you, but complex carbohydrates might be a sign that your protein powder is minimally-processed, which is great news. All of our protein powders, for example, contain a few carbohydrates because we use minimally-processed ingredients. Other protein powders may have fewer carbs, but they are made with heavily-processed protein concentrates or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein.
What is the best protein powder for keto?
Although stripping away fats and carbohydrates might seem like a good thing to someone on the keto diet, it is not. I will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming protein powder. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food.
The long term implications of eating processed foods are still not well understood, but more and more research is finding that it can alter the composition of your gut microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food), and lead to permanent gut damage. Moreover, accumulating research shows that disruptions to the composition and function of the gut microbiome can play a role in the development of a number of chronic diseases. Drinking a keto protein shake made with protein isolates and concentrates may therefore do more harm than good. This is why I recommend that you make your own keto protein shakes with a simple protein powder like drink wholesome. Keep reading to learn more.
Why drink wholesome?
drink wholesome is additive-free.
One of the reasons why we make the best keto protein powder is that we do not use food additives. Most protein powders, on the other hand, are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a protein shake every day), and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain.
Food additives are hard to digest, and sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, causing bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation. In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine and trigger the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.
Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:
acacia gum, artificial flavors, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum
When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, additives are ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to avoid when buying protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.
Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.
drink wholesome is made with real foods.
A final reason why we make the best keto protein powder is that we do not use protein isolates. As you just learned, protein isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming protein powder.
If you think about it, your gut was designed to digest naturally occurring foods, not laboratory formulated imitations, so if you feed it anything but real food, it might get upset. The long term implications of eating processed foods are still not well understood, but more and more research is finding that it can alter the composition of your gut microbiota, and lead to permanent damage to your gut microbiome.
Your gut does more than just help you to digest food; it protects against pathogens, educates your immune system, and affects directly or indirectly most of your physiologic functions. Disruptions to the gut microbiome have therefore been linked to the development of many chronic diseases. It follows that it is in your best interest to avoid protein powders made with protein isolates.
Instead of using protein isolates, we make the best tasting keto protein powder with whole egg whites. Whole foods contain a variety of enzymes and other digestive aids that help to break down the food, making it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients. Protein isolates and concentrates, on the other hand, have been stripped of these digestive aids, making them harder for the body to digest and absorb.
Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for your gut. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, naturally alkaline, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein.
“I have ulcerative colitis and this is the only protein powder that doesn’t upset my stomach. The flavor is neutral and you can barely notice it in smoothies.” -Mia
drink wholesome is the best keto protein powder.