The Best Protein Powder Backpacking 

What is best protein powder for backpacking? 

Drink Wholesome is the best protein powder for backpacking. It is made (by hand in the USA) with 100% real foods – no chalky protein isolates, no added junk, just real foods.

Drink Wholesome is best protein powder for backpacking.

Protein powder is a great thing to bring backpacking, especially long distance backpacking. Hiking up and down mountains for 6-10 hours a day with 30 pounds on your back is not light work. It takes a toll on your muscles, which need lots of protein to repair themselves. This is where protein powder comes in. 

Normally, I recommend that you get as much of your protein as you can from normal food. This is not possible when packing, however, which is why I encourage hikers to turn to protein supplements. Protein powder is lightweight and can be mixed with just water (or added to oatmeal). This makes them an excellent way to boost your protein intake while backpacking.

Ultralight backpacking meals do provide protein, but not enough. Backpackers need anywhere from 1 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For a 150 lb male, this can amount to over 130 grams of protein. No backpacking meal is going to give you that much. 50 grams of protein powder, on the other hand, is going to give you the protein you need to stay strong and healthy.

Before you go ahead and start stuffing your pack with protein supplements, however, you should read some ingredient labels. Not all protein powders are created equal. 

I encourage you to search “protein powder” on Amazon.com, click on one of the first search results, and look at the ingredient list. Chances are high that it contains a cocktail of food additives including (but not limited to) artificial sweeteners, artificial and “natural” flavors, colors, preservatives, anti-caking and gelling agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners. 

As a rule of thumb, avoid ingredients you cannot pronounce or find in your kitchen. Not sure what to look for? Here is a list of the most common additives in protein powder: 

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

*Natural flavors are NOT natural.

protein powder supplement

Most food additives add little to no nutritional value to your protein powder and can cause side effects. Although they are not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, they can add up quickly, especially if you drink a protein shake every day. At higher quantities, food additives can be bad for you.

For instance, because highly processed food additives look nothing like real foods, we have trouble digesting them. As a result, the trillions of bacteria in our guts have more time to eat and more time to release gas. This gas can cause bloating and discomfort. This is the last thing you want while backpacking.

Finding an additive-free protein powder is hard. Finding an additive-free protein powder that actually tastes good is next to impossible. This is because most protein powders are made with protein isolates stripped of everything but the protein. 

Unlike real foods, protein isolates are missing the healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and other nutrients that make food taste good. If you have ever had a chalky protein shake, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Protein isolates are listed on the ingredient list as “whey protein,” “pea protein,” and “soy protein,” as opposed to “milk,” “peas,” and “soybeans.” 

You want a backpacking protein powder that tastes good, especially because you will be mixing with water. Think twice before spending your hard earned dollars on a supplement that tastes like chalk. Avoid protein isolates. 

Drink Wholesome is the only protein powder made in the United States with 100% real foods, foods close to nature. Our chocolate protein powder, for example, is made with egg whites, coconut, cocoa, and monk fruit. Real food ingredients like these are better for you and better tasting. Food additives or protein isolates are not real foods, not even close. 

The main ingredients in Drink Wholesome are American raised/grown egg whites and chickpeas. Both have a smooth texture and neutral flavor with little to no aftertaste. This makes them a delicious alternative to the gritty, chalky protein powders that you are probably used to. 

The egg whites we use are particularly delicious because they were broken, pasteurized, and dried less than twenty four hours from when they were laid. The result is a flavor without the saltiness or sulfur “eggy” notes typical of eggs. Order samples to see for yourself. 

Add Drink Wholesome to the list for your next backpacking trip. Most distance backpackers, especially thru hikers, are protein deficient. Let us help you take care of yourself. 


You are reading an article by Drink Wholesome, a small company from New Hampshire. Drink Wholesome has taken a fundamentally better approach to protein powder by using 100% real food ingredients. Research suggests that ingredients like these are better for you than the highly processed food additives found in most protein supplements. They are also far better tasting than the chalky protein isolates that you are probably used to. Order samples to see for yourself.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.

Drink Wholesome is the best protein powder for backpacking.