Best Keto Protein Powder

Getting your protein before and after your workout is just as important for keto dieters as it is for everyone else. However, finding a quality protein powder that is low enough in carbohydrates to meet keto requirements isn’t easy.

Just one sip of a high carb protein powder could easily bump you out of keto. In this article, we’ll review the 5 best keto protein powder across 5 different categories so that you can get your protein in while staying low carb and maintaining ketosis.

TL; DR: What You Need to Know

Keto protein powders are those that contain very little or no carbohydrate content. The following types of protein powder are the best to go for when you are on the ketogenic diet:

  • Whey Isolate – Whey isolate has had the milk sugar, or lactose, removed. It contains 35-80% protein by weight. Most brands will provide you with around 25 grams of protein and 3-4 grams of carbs. [1]
  • Casein – Casein is a slower digesting form of protein that has also had the sugars and fats removed. Some casein powders have a carb content as low as 2 grams. [2]
  • Egg ProteinEgg protein powder is great for keto followers because eggs are very low in carbs. Again you can expect carb counts as low as 2 grams of carbs per serving with egg protein. [3]
  • Collagen Protein – Collagen protein powder is made from such animal byproducts as cowhide and chicken bones. They are almost 100% carb-free. [4]
  • Plant ProteinUnflavored soy protein isolate is particularly low in carbs, as is pea protein isolate, which typically contains just 1-2 grams of carbs per serve. Rice protein isolate is another good option for keto followers. [5][6][7]

Keto protein powder promotes muscle gain, enhanced protein synthesis, and post-workout muscle recovery. It will also help with weight loss, which is important to many keto dieters.

Protein is very satiating so that it fills you up. On top of that, every ounce of added muscle tissue on your body will boost your metabolism, so that you are burning more calories at rest.

Finally, protein is the most thermic of the three macronutrients. That means that it takes more energy in the form of calories to consume protein than it does for carbs and fats.

 

Comparison of the 5 Best Keto Protein Powders

Best Overall
Perfect Keto
1
Best Overall
Perfect Keto

Perfect Keto Whey is made with 100% clean, keto friendly ingredients. It’s very low in carbs and tastes great. The added MCTs increase your workout focus and reduce hunger pangs.

Whey Isolate
2 Flavors
Grass Fed
15 g Protein
$38.99/Tub
Best Custom
True Nutrition
2
Best Custom
True Nutrition

True Nutrition is unique in that it allows you to customize your protein powder to your unique tastes and personal health needs. They offer a variety of low carb protein powder options that are optimal for keto dieters.

29 Protein Source Options
Lots of Flavors
Friendly For All Diets
12-29 g Protein
$6.99-$36.49+/ 1lb Protein
3
Best for Gaining Muscle
Bulk Supplements - Beef Protein Isolate

Beef protein isolate is extracted from beef meat. It contains 0 carbs and has been shown to support muscle growth, weight and immune functioning.

90% Bovine Isolate
Unflavored
Ideal for Paleo
27 g Protein
$30.96/33 Servings
Best for Weight Loss
Bulk Supplements - Egg White
4
Best for Weight Loss
Bulk Supplements - Egg White

Bulk Supplements Egg White Protein comes from the albumin of the egg, which is where the highest protein content comes from. This portion is also virtually carb free.

Egg White
Unflavored
Ideal for Fat Loss
25 g Protein
$16.96/8 Servings
Best Plant-Based
Performance Lab
5
Best Plant-Based
Performance Lab

This is an organic rice protein is the only rice protein that has been patented for enhanced athletic performance. The leucine contained in it absorbs 30% faster.

Oryzatein® Brown Rice
Single Flavor
Vegan Friendly
20 g Protein
$59.00/Tub

What is Keto Protein Powder?

 

Keto protein powder is a protein powder that meets the requirements of followers of the ketogenic diet. This diet requires followers to consume fewer than 25 grams of carbohydrates per day.

With that much being found in one serving of some protein powders, it is vital that keto followers know how many carbs in their powder. With most of the carbs that are added to protein powders coming from sugars that are used to enhance the taste, many keto protein powders are unflavored.

Why Use Keto Protein Powder?

Keto protein powders allow you to get your body’s pre and post-workout protein requirements into your body without blowing out your carb limit. Combining high-quality protein with a low carb count, you will be able to more effectively lose weight and keep it off.

Keto-friendly protein powders are also more likely to be free of sweeteners, flavor, and additives, making them much better for your overall health.

Who Should Use Keto Protein Powder?

Keto protein powder should be the protein of choice for followers of the ketogenic diet. Anyone who is following a low carb diet will benefit from keto protein powder. This includes bodybuilders who are dieting for a competition as well as people who are generally trying to lose body fat.

There are also some excellent plant-based keto protein powders that are ideal for people who are looking for a vegetarian alternative to animal-based protein powders.

When to Use Keto Protein Powder

Keto protein powder should be used every day. As far as the actual time of day to take it, that depends on what your goal is for taking your protein powder.

If your main goal for taking keto protein powder is to lose weight, we recommend replacing one meal a day with a keto protein shake. Doing so will boost your metabolism, reduce your total caloric intake, and help prevent in-between meal snacking.

If you are taking keto protein powder primarily to build muscle, then you should take your protein after your workout. This will saturate your muscle cells with the amino acids that it needs to replenish and rebuild your muscle tissue.

For a long time, it was believed that there was an anabolic window of between 15 and 60 minutes after your workout during which you had to get protein into your body to maximally benefit. Recent research, however, has debunked the anabolic window belief. It is now believed that you should get protein into your body within two hours of completing your workout.

There is one proviso to this guideline. If you are a person who works out on an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning, you should take your keto protein powder immediately after your workout.

Types of Protein Used in Keto Protein Powder

Keto protein powders use protein sources that have the lowest amount of carbohydrates and sugar. The seven most preferred types of protein used in keto protein formulations are:

  • Whey Protein Isolate – Whey protein isolate comes from cow’s milk. Unlike whey protein concentrate, isolate has had the milk sugars (lactose) and fats removed. This dramatically reduces the carb content. Whey concentrate contains between 35-80% protein by weight. It contains 3-4 grams of carbohydrates per serving and around 25 grams of protein.
  • Casein Protein – Casein protein is also derived from cow’s milk. It has also had the lactose and milk fats removed. This type of protein is much slower to absorb than whey protein, making it an ideal night time protein powder. It contains as little as 1 gram of carbohydrate per serving, with around 23-25 grams of protein.
  • Egg Protein – Egg protein is made from the yolks and whites of the egg, which have been dehydrated. They are naturally low in carbs, with about 2 grams of carbohydrates and 23 grams of protein per serving.
  • Collagen Protein – Collagen is a structural protein that is found in our hair, nails, skin, and joints. It lacks one of the essential amino acids so is not a complete protein source. Protein powder is made from such animal byproducts as chicken bones and fish scales. There are no carbs in collagen protein, which makes it an ideal keto protein powder ingredient.
  • Soy Protein Isolate – Soy Protein Isolate is made from ground soybeans. It is virtually carb-free and contains 90-95% protein by weight. However, some soy protein brands do include added sugars which dramatically push up the carb count, so be sure to check the nutrition label.
  • Pea Protein Isolate – Pea Protein Isolate is constructed from ground dried peas with the carbohydrates removed. This makes it very low in carb count. However, a number of manufacturers also add sugars to their products which will push up the carb count.
  • Rice Protein Isolate – Rice protein has become very popular due to its hypoallergenic properties. They contain around 80% protein by weight and 2 grams of carbs per serve due to the carbs being separated from the proteins.

Benefits of Using Keto Protein Powder

 

Keto protein powder has benefits for people who are trying to lose weight as well as those who are wanting to gain lean muscle tissue.

In terms of weight loss, keto protein powder is especially beneficial due to its low carbohydrate count. This will help people to deplete their body’s glucose stores in order to switch to fat burning.

Taking a keto protein powder as a replacement for one meal per day will increase your metabolism due to its higher thermic effect. It will also act as an appetite suppressant, helping you to curb in-between meal snacking.

Keto protein powder is great for muscle building. It will provide you with high-quality protein after your workout that will saturate your muscles with amino acids in order to rebuild and repair your muscle tissue. It will also increase protein synthesis.

Side Effects of Using Keto Protein Powder

One of the main side effects of protein powders is stomach upset caused by the milk sugars, or lactose, that they contain. About 65% of the population is lactose intolerant. Fortunately, the vast majority of keto protein powders do not contain lactose so this problem is eliminated.

Soy protein powder may lead to endocrine problems in some people.

Others may find that pea protein causes flatulence and stomach discomfort.

What to Look for in Keto Protein Powder

When you are shopping for a keto protein powder, you should go directly to the nutrition label and focus on the carbohydrate count. To be keto-friendly, it should not have more than 3 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

A good keto protein powder will not contain sweeteners, flavorings, or artificial additives. It should also have a high level of protein concentration. Look, too, for a healthy dose of fiber to aid with digestion and help with fat loss.

As an extra bonus, look to see if the product contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which help with digestion and improve cognitive functioning.

Ingredients to Avoid in Keto Protein Powder

The key ingredients to avoid when shopping for a keto protein powder are artificial sweeteners. Particular bad ingredients to look out for include saccharin, sucrose, and aspartame.

You should also avoid vegetable oils and fats which may be added in order to improve the consistency and mixability of the powder.

You also need to avoid added glucose and stay well away from powders that use milk solids and skim milk powders.

How Did We Research the Best Keto Protein Powder?

In order to research the best keto protein powder, we brought to bear the combined experience of our fitness experts, who researched the latest scientific studies relating to this topic. They identified and extensively studied the 10 best keto protein powders on the current market, carefully reviewing their ingredient profiles and user reviews. From that, we narrowed it down to our favorite brand in each category.

Supplements to Take with Keto Protein Powder

While a high-quality protein powder should be a mainstay of your supplement program, there are a few other supplements that you should tack along with it:

  • Creatine – Creatine is a compound that is able to replenish your body’s ATP system, which is the main energy source for your workout. It will also help you to recover more efficiently from your workout. Take 5 grams of creatine per day. [8]
  • Beta-Alanine – Beta-Alanine is an amino acid that has been shown to have some unique benefits for people who work out. It can help you build more lean muscle tissue, reduce exercise-induced fatigue, and boost training performance. The recommended dose for muscle gain is 4 grams per day. [9]
  • Branch Chain Amino Acids – The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are made up of leucine, valine, and isoleucine. Supplementing with BCAAs may improve muscle synthesis, speed up post-workout recovery, reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and help with fat loss. We recommend taking 6 grams of BCAAs daily, at a ratio of 2:1:1 in terms of leucine, valine, and isoleucine. [10]
  • Glutamine – Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body. However, it is quickly used up when you work out and so needs to be replaced in order to keep the muscles full and the body in an anabolic state. Supplementing with glutamine after your workout will allow you to do that. Take 10 grams of glutamine in the hour after your workout for the best results. [11]

Take-Home Message: What Makes the Best Keto Protein Powder?

Keto protein powders are ideal for all followers of the ketogenic diet. However, they are also very beneficial for anyone who is trying to lose weight or generally keep their carbohydrate count down.

The best keto protein powder will have no more than 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving, while keeping the protein count relatively high (15 grams per serve or more). It will be free of artificial sweeteners or other additives and may be fortified with extra beneficial compounds such as MCTs.

Best Overall
Perfect Keto
1
Best Overall
Perfect Keto

Perfect Keto Whey is made with 100% clean, keto friendly ingredients. It’s very low in carbs and tastes great. The added MCTs increase your workout focus and reduce hunger pangs.

Whey Isolate
2 Flavors
Grass Fed
15 g Protein
$38.99/Tub
Best Custom
True Nutrition
2
Best Custom
True Nutrition

True Nutrition is unique in that it allows you to customize your protein powder to your unique tastes and personal health needs. They offer a variety of low carb protein powder options that are optimal for keto dieters.

29 Protein Source Options
Lots of Flavors
Friendly For All Diets
12-29 g Protein
$6.99-$36.49+/ 1lb Protein
3
Best for Gaining Muscle
Bulk Supplements - Beef Protein Isolate

Beef protein isolate is extracted from beef meat. It contains 0 carbs and has been shown to support muscle growth, weight and immune functioning.

90% Bovine Isolate
Unflavored
Ideal for Paleo
27 g Protein
$30.96/33 Servings
Best for Weight Loss
Bulk Supplements - Egg White
4
Best for Weight Loss
Bulk Supplements - Egg White

Bulk Supplements Egg White Protein comes from the albumin of the egg, which is where the highest protein content comes from. This portion is also virtually carb free.

Egg White
Unflavored
Ideal for Fat Loss
25 g Protein
$16.96/8 Servings
Best Plant-Based
Performance Lab
5
Best Plant-Based
Performance Lab

This is an organic rice protein is the only rice protein that has been patented for enhanced athletic performance. The leucine contained in it absorbs 30% faster.

Oryzatein® Brown Rice
Single Flavor
Vegan Friendly
20 g Protein
$59.00/Tub

References

See all references
[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11158939/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303863/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/
[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7884536/
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4307635/
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5302255/
[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18156666/
[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20479615/
[10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16365096/
[11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11822473/

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