What is the best soy-free protein powder?

drink wholesome is the best soy-free protein powder. It is made with a short list of simple ingredients and perfect for people looking to boost their protein intake without extra processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder without soy is right for you. 

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drink wholesome is the best soy-free protein powder.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What is soy? 

Soy is one of the most controversial foods. On the one hand, the soybean is a cheap, protein rich legume that contains little to no cholesterol or saturated fat, and lots of fiber, iron, and calcium. Soy protein is also one of the only complete plant proteins, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that the human body needs, but cannot produce on its own.

On the other hand, soy is an allergen, associated with adverse side effects, and the epitome of a genetically modified crop that has detrimental impacts on the environment and human health. Here are the top 4 reasons to avoid soy:

1. Soy is one of the “Big 8” allergens responsible for 90 percent of all food allergies.

2. Soy contains isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen similar to human estrogen. Soy isoflavones can bind to estrogen receptors in the body and cause weak estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity. Some research suggests that this can increase the risk of chronic diseases like breast cancer.

3. Soy, which is the largest source of protein for animal feed, is also second only to beef in terms of driving global deforestation and soil erosion.

4. Soy is one of the most genetically modified (GM) crops on the planet. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with GM crops, most GM crops are engineered to survive the direct application of herbicides and pesticides. This increases the likelihood that chemicals are used to grow your food, and that chemicals are in your food. According to the US Department of Agriculture, over 90 percent of soybeans grown on US farms are genetically engineered to withstand a herbicide called Roundup. Most GM soybeans therefore contain high residues of glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup, which is classified as probable human carcinogen.

What is soy protein powder? 

Soy protein powder is a protein supplement made from soybeans. Not only are soybeans affordable and high in protein, but they are also one of the few plant-based sources of complete protein. This, it would seem, makes soy protein powder a convenient source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Unfortunately, however, soy protein powder is not good for you.

Soybeans are high in protein, but not so high in protein that they can be used as a protein supplement. This is why soy protein powders are made with soy protein concentrates or isolates – soybeans stripped of everything but the protein. Making protein concentrates and isolates requires heavy mechanical and chemical processing. Sometimes, manufacturers use solvents like hexane to extract the protein. Soy protein concentrates and isolates thus look nothing like real food. 

Your gut can digest unprocessed or minimally-processed real foods, not artificial or refined ingredients. It is for this reason that eating protein concentrates and isolates may disrupt the composition of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food. This is a huge problem because your gut microbiome does more than help you to digest food. It also protects against pathogens, educates your immune system, and influences, directly or indirectly, most of your physiology. An unhealthy gut microbiome, it follows, is leading a cause of inflammation in the body, and has been shown to play a role in the development of several chronic diseases.

What is the best soy-free protein powder?

Just because a protein powder does not contain soy protein does not mean that it is soy-free. Many protein powders contain soy lecithin, an emulsifier. Sometimes manufacturers do not specify which type of lecithin they are using. If this is the case, check to see if “soy” is listed as an allergen. If it is, your protein powder contains soy lecithin.

Soy lecithin is by no means the only food additive to look out for when buying protein powder. Most protein powders contain a cocktail of emulsifiers, thickeners, flavors, and sweeteners, all of which can cause painful side effects. This is why the best soy-free protein powder is also additive-free. Keep reading to learn more.

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best soy-free protein powder is that we do not use food additives. Even in small quantities, additives can cause painful side effects, particularly for people with sensitive stomachs. 

Food additives, given that they are not real foods, are hard to digest. This means they spend extra time in your gastrointestinal tract, feeding the bacteria that live there. As they eat, gut bacteria release gas, so extra time to eat means extra gas. Too much gas can cause bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain, and even constipation by slowing down the passage of food through the colon. In some cases, incompletely digested food additives can have the opposite effect – causing your colon to absorb too much water. Now you may finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom.

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

In the long term, regularly eating food additives can disturb regulatory pathways in your intestines, leading to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Certain additives, namely artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, can also disrupt your gut microbiome.

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 without soy is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Whey and casein, which are byproducts of the cheese and yogurt production process, often lead to digestive discomfort. This is particularly the case for individuals with lactose intolerance, a condition affecting over one third of adults. Lactose-intolerant individuals struggle to completely digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you now know, eating foods that resist complete digestion can cause painful side effects.

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best non soy protein powder is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. As you just learned, these heavily-processed ingredients can wreak havoc on your gut microbiome. Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best soy-free protein powder with whole foods like egg whites and almonds.

Real food protein sources like egg whites and almonds contain a variety of enzymes and other digestive aids that help to break down food. Egg whites are also low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and alkaline, making them particularly easy to digest. In fact, our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with our egg white protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement. 

If you cannot eat eggs, our vegan almond protein powder is the next best thing. Almonds are prebiotic, meaning they can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. They also promote regular and healthy bowel movements. In summary, we make the best soy-free protein powder using gut-friendly, real food alternatives to protein concentrates and isolates. 


easy to digest

“I can’t have dairy, gluten, or soy, but I can have eggs, so this has been a game changer. I add it to everything. It’s an easy to add some protein to my diet. Easy on the stomach too.” – Martha

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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.