What is the best protein powder for kid athletes?

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for kid athletes. It is made with a short list of simple ingredients so your kids can boost their protein intake without the extra processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powders are right for your kids.

Protein Powder Sample Packs

3 Protein Powder Samples


drink wholesome is the best protein powder for kid athletes.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

How much protein do kid athletes need?

Childhood is a phase market by growth and development. It is also the time when humans are very active. In the United States, 52.5% of kids participate in organized sports. With all this growth and physical activity comes a need for good nutrition.

Children need lots of protein, especially children who play sports. Exercise damages muscles, and protein helps us repair them. Without protein, children cannot grow and athletes cannot recover. Not eating enough protein can also lead to fatigue, weakness, thin hair, brittle nails, and dry skin.

The Dietary Reference Intake for protein for kids aged 4-13 years is 0.95 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. Kid athletes generally need a lot more protein than that, however, sometimes twice as much. They should aim to get as much of this protein as they can from foods like eggs, fish, and meat, but some kids (picky eaters, kids with dietary restrictions, etc.) may have a hard time getting enough this way. This is where protein powder can help.

Is protein powder good for kid athletes?

Adding a scoop of protein powder to a kid’s diet is a great way to ensure that he or she is getting the nutrition he or she needs to grow and succeed as an athlete. Protein powder can be added to oatmeal, yogurt, and other recipes. It can also be used to make protein shakes, which are incredibly convenient and easy to make. For kids who do not have enough time to eat a meal between school, practice, rehearsal etc., a protein shake can be a lifesaver. That said, not all protein supplements are created equal.


What is the best protein powder for kid athletes?

The best protein powder for kid athletes is made with a short list of simple ingredients. Short and simple is so important because many protein powders contain a cocktail of added ingredients that can cause painful gastrointestinal (GI) side effects and gut health problems. Some of the top offenders are emulsifiers like sunflower lecithin, thickeners like guar gum, sugar substitutes like sucralose, and flavorings, both artificial and natural. 

Gut health is super important for growing kids. The gut not only helps them break down the food they eat, but it also supports their immune, heart, and brain health. Avoiding protein powder ingredients that can alter the composition and function of their gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in the gut – should therefore be a priority. Keep reading to learn more.


Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder for kid athletes is that we do not use any food additives whatsoever. Additives, even in small amounts, can cause painful side effects.

Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

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

Food additives are not real food, which makes them hard to digest. Sometimes, incompletely digested food additives make the colon absorb too much water, resulting in diarrhea Other times, they linger in the gut, giving the gut bacteria to feed on them. As bacteria eat, they produce gas, causing bloating, gas, and stomach pain. Gas can also slow down the movement of food through the colon, causing constipation. 

Regularly eating food additives can disturb regulatory pathways in the intestines, causing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Food additives, especially artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, can also disrupt the gut microbiome. An disrupted gut microbiome is a leading cause of inflammation and linked to the onset and progression of several chronic diseases.

the alternative:

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

drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best protein powder for kid athletes is that we do not use dairy-based proteins like whey and casein. Whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, contain lactose. Lactose, the sugar in dairy, is notorious for causing painful side effects, especially for kids with lactose intolerance. 

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder for kid athletes is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Most other protein powders are made from these protein sources. Concentrates and isolates have been stripped down to just the protein. They go through a lot of mechanical and chemical processing, sometimes involving solvents like hexane. What you end up feeding your kids thus does not look like real food.

The digestive system is meant to handle naturally occurring, minimally-processed foods, not heavily-processed protein concentrates or isolates. This is why research suggests that regularly eating ingredients like these can change the balance of your gut bacteria. Once again, an imbalanced gut microbiome is something that all kids want to avoid.

Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder for kid athletes with egg whites and almonds. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are a gut-healthy alternative to protein concentrates and isolates. 

Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, egg whites and almonds contain enzymes that help you digest them. What is more, egg whites are low in fiber, low FODMAP, alkaline (maintaining healthy pH levels in your gut), and bioactive (promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria). In fact, our happy customers have reported fewer digestive issues with our egg white protein powders than with any other protein supplement.

For those who cannot eat eggs, our vegan almond protein powder is the best plant-based protein powder for kid athletes. Almonds are prebiotic, meaning they improve the diversity of the gut microbiome. They also promote regular and healthy bowel movements. In summary, our protein powders, because they are additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, are the best protein powders for kids.


my kids love it

“My kids absolutely love drink wholesome!!! It’s a super easy way to get them a healthy meal before school, and they rave about how good it tastes.” – Alie

Read more reviews or take the quiz.

Protein Powder Sample Packs

3 Protein Powder Samples


This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.