Lactose-Free Protein Powder: 10 Best Options to Choose in 2022

a red pack of lactose-free protein powder
David J. Sautter post Reviewer
The article is verified by David J. Sautter
NASM Personal Trainer, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, ACE Sports Conditioning Specialist, NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist, BA in Professional Writing

Table of Contents

Are you lactose intolerant? Have you noticed any stomach issues whenever you eat or drink something with dairy in it?

Dairy can cause abdominal discomfort due to the presence of lactose, the sugar found in milk. If you are one of those people affected by it, you may have noticed that some protein powders can also cause an upset stomach. 

But that doesn’t mean you have to stop having your post-workout protein shakes.

In this article, we will look at the best lactose-free protein powder options available on the market. You’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of lactose-free protein supplements without suffering any side effects.

Which Protein Powders Are Considered Lactose-Free?

There are countless protein powders available on the market nowadays, but most of them are sourced from milk, such as whey and casein protein powders. 

Because of their origin, they often contain traces of lactose, especially if manufactured in environments where milk is handled for the production of other products. 

The level of purification that has been performed during extraction also plays an important role. Usually, “concentrate” proteins contain more lactose than “isolated” or “hydrolyzed” alternatives, as their extraction process is less meticulous. 

However, if handled well by the manufacturers, whey isolate proteins can be lactose-free. Other lactose-free protein powder options include the following:

  • Egg protein
  • Plant/vegan protein blends
  • Collagen (animal and marine sources)
  • Nuts
  • Insects (e.g., crickets) 

These sources of protein are particularly important for those suffering from lactose intolerance. This condition occurs in the majority of adults due to a physiological reduction in the lactase enzyme following weaning. 

Lactose is a disaccharide, which is a sugar composed of two molecules: glucose and galactose. A lack of lactase means that our body struggles to break down, digest, and absorb this milk sugar, resulting in abdominal discomfort and gastric distress. 

People who suffer from this intolerance would therefore benefit from consuming protein powders that do not contain lactose. Vegans can also benefit from lactose-free protein blends, as plant-based proteins don’t contain any lactose.

10 Best Lactose-Free Protein Powders

Here are the best lactose-free protein powder options that we found based on their level of bioavailability, support for fitness goals, brand reputation, and user reviews. 

Optimum Nutrition — Gold Standard 100% Plant

a pack of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant protein, lactose free protein powder

This vegan blend is made with a mix of plant proteins, including rice, pea, and Sacha Inchi. They provide all of the essential amino acids, making it a great alternative to whey protein for those who are lactose-free or vegan.

Pros:

  • Complete amino acid profile
  • 24 grams of protein per serving
  • Natural flavoring
  • Provides 100% of vitamin C daily requirements 

Cons: 

  • Only two flavor options (vanilla and chocolate)
  • Some people report it to have a chalky and overly sweet taste
  • Mixability is not that great

BioTech USA — Iso Whey Zero

a pack of BioTech USA Iso Whey Zero_lactose free protein powder

While this is a milk-based protein, it has gone through rigorous filtering so that the lactose has been fully isolated and disposed of, giving you high-quality proteins from milk without the risk of upsetting your stomach.

Pros: 

  • Very high bioavailability as whey is one of the most bioavailable proteins [1]
  • Provides all essential amino acids

Cons:

  • This powder is fairly costly compared to other lactose-free powders offering the same amount of product per tub

Muscle Meds — Carnivore Beef Protein Isolate

a pack of Muscle Meds Carnivore Beef Protein Isolate_lactose free protein powder

This innovative protein is obtained from beef, a high-quality protein source. This powder is designed to be 350% more concentrated in essential amino acids than a sirloin steak. [2]

Pros: 

  • High concentration of essential amino acids
  • Free from fat, gluten, lactose, and sugar
  • Many available flavors

Cons: 

  • Some people find it hard to digest
  • It’s not as bioavailable as ultra-filtered whey

Ancient Nutrition — Bone Broth Protein

a pack of Ancient Nutrition - Bone Broth Protein_lactose free protein powder

Protein obtained from chicken bone broth, making it a great lactose-free and paleo option. It also contains collagen, which supports joint health. [3] [4]

Pros: 

  • Claims to support your joints, inflammation responses, and your gut
  • Free from GMOs
  • Can be added to warm drinks 

Cons: 

  • Low mixability
  • Some flavors present an unpleasant aftertaste

Universal Nutrition — Egg Pro Protein Powder

a pack of Universal Nutrition – Egg Pro Protein Powder_lactose free protein powder

This is one of the best protein powders for lactose intolerance, as it is obtained from egg whites. Eggs are classed as the golden standard of naturally occurring protein sources, with very high bioavailability and digestibility, making this option a great way to get in some high-quality protein. [5]

Pros: 

  • Easy to digest
  • High bioavailability and protein quality
  • Good mixability

Cons: 

  • Only two flavors are available
  • Some people complain about the overpowering taste of artificial sweeteners

Kaged — Plantein

a pack of Kaged Plantein_lactose free protein powder

This premium vegan protein is made from peas, peanuts, and quinoa, and it’s a great lactose-free option as it is designed to have the same amino acid profile of whey isolate.

Pros: 

  • Amino acid profile equal to that of whey
  • Naturally flavored
  • Provides all essential amino acids 

Cons: 

  • Only 15 servings per tub
  • Few flavors available

Orgain — Organic Vegan Protein Powder

a pack of Orgain – Organic Vegan Protein Powder_lactose free protein powder

This organic plant-based blend is made with different plant protein sources and offers 21 grams of protein per serving along with fiber.

Pros: 

  • Organic
  • Gluten and soy free
  • Non-GMO
  • Good selection of flavors
  • Cost-effective compared to other options
  • Naturally sweetened

Cons: 

  • Contains a fair amount of stabilizers and emulsifiers
  • Gritty texture
  • Low mixability

Vital Performance — Lactose-Free Milk Protein Isolate 

a pack of Vital Performance – Lactose-Free Milk Protein Isolate_lactose free protein powder

This milk protein powder is fully lactose-free and provides 25 grams of complete, high-quality protein per serving.

Pros: 

  • 25 grams of protein per serving 
  • High bioavailability

Cons: 

  • Fairly expensive compared to other options
  • Grainy and chalky texture

Magnum Nutraceuticals — Quattro Lactose-Free Protein Powder

a pack of Magnum Nutraceuticals - Quattro Lactose-Free Protein Powder_lactose free protein powder

This lactose-free protein is made from the highest quality protein sources: whey isolate, milk isolate, micellar casein isolate, and egg protein isolate. It supports recovery by supplying 30 grams of bioavailable protein.

Pros: 

  • 30 grams of protein per serving
  • High-quality protein
  • High bioavailability
  • Designed to be digested and absorbed immediately and for hours afterward to provide a steady protein supply at regular intervals throughout the day, sustaining muscle synthesis and recovery 

Cons: 

  • Some consumers found the taste off-putting 

Entomo Farms — Organic Cricket Powder

A pack of Entomo Farms Organic Cricket Powder_lactose free protein powder

This product provides 100% pure cricket protein powder, which is a sustainable alternative to get in high-quality protein. [6] [7]

Pros: 

  • Very versatile as it can be used in shakes as well as in recipes
  • Sustainable source of protein
  • Provides all essential amino acids
  • 13 grams of protein
  • High in vitamin B12, iron, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

Cons: 

  • An unusual food source that can cause some controversy
  • More expensive than regular protein powders obtained from more traditional sources

How to Choose a Lactose-Free Protein Powder

Here are some tips to help you choose your lactose-free proteins:

Go with Isolates

Protein isolates are considered a higher quality form of protein than concentrates. This is because they have been extracted into a purer form and provide higher digestibility and bioavailability.

Opt for Bioavailability

Keep in mind the importance of bioavailability, which is the amount of protein that is usable by our body for physiological functions. Despite plant-based blends still being a great protein source, they tend to have lower bioavailability compared to their animal-sourced counterparts, such as eggs, beef, and lactose-free whey.  

Mix Your Plants

If picking a vegan protein powder, opt for blends made using different plant sources, as these tend to provide more essential amino acids and therefore provide better quality proteins.  

Does Your Shake Mix Well?

Mixability, or solubility, is also very important as a low mixability can not only make your shake unpleasant to drink, but it can also lower its absorption in your body. So make sure your protein mixes well with your liquids to increase your protein absorption. [8]

Check the Label

Check the labeling to always ensure the product you are picking up is free from lactose. Milk and dairy are commonly handled ingredients in the food industry so contamination can occur. 

In this case, it should be stated on the labels under the allergen section, but also double-check the ingredient list to ensure no lactose-containing item has been added to the protein blend. 

Is It Really Lactose-Free?

Some online information may lead you to believe that all whey isolate proteins are free from lactose due to their extraction process. However, be aware that, unfortunately, this is not the case. You can certainly find some lactose-free whey protein options on the market, but ensure that this is stated on the product labels or in the product description before purchasing it.

Look for the Essentials

If you want to build muscle, make sure to buy proteins that provide all essential amino acids to support both the growth and development of muscle tissue. 

If this is your goal, you should also pair your diet with a hypertrophy-focused workout program, which can easily be designed using a workout app. [9]

How to Mix Your Lactose-Free Protein

Whether you are about to have breakfast or a post-workout snack, the last thing you want to add to a protein shake for lactose-intolerant people is cow’s milk. This would defeat the purpose of consuming a dairy-free protein powder. If you’re intolerant to lactose, here are the best liquid alternatives to mix with your shakes: 

Water

Water is a great alternative, especially for those following a specific diet or training plan. However, mixing protein with water may not provide the best taste, so it is worth trying it out with a small amount of powder to avoid wasting the product. 

Plant-Based Alternatives

Plant-based milk has taken over the market in the past few years, so you should be able to find pretty much any type of plant milk you prefer: oat, hazelnut, almond, rice, coconut, etc.

However, these plant milks have different flavors and nutritional characteristics, so make sure to pick the one that you like the most or that is in line with your health and fitness goals. 

Lactose-Free Milk

Even if you are intolerant to milk, you can still enjoy cow’s milk as long as you pick the lactose-free version. This milk contains lactase, which supports digestion and prevents side effects by breaking down lactose for you. 

Final Words

Lactose-free proteins are widely available on the market, with new products coming out every year. Below are the key points from today’s article:

  • The majority of people start to develop lactose intolerance as they grow older.
  • Lactose-free protein powders are a great option for those suffering from this intolerance and vegans also need to ensure they are consuming protein powders obtained from plants.
  • There are many alternative protein sources for those avoiding dairy, such as eggs, beef, chicken, grains, nuts, and plants.
  • Opt for protein isolates over protein concentrates as they usually provide better protein quality and bioavailability.
  • If going vegan, choose a blend that is made with different plant-based sources, so as to have all essential amino acids and to improve overall protein quality.
  • Mixability and solubility of a powder can affect taste and texture but also absorption, so make sure to choose proteins that mix well with liquids.
  • Some whey proteins can be lactose-free, as long as they are certified and it is stated in the claims.
  • You can use different liquids as alternatives to cow’s milk to make your protein shakes, such as water, plant-based milk, and lactose-free milk.

The information provided on the site is for educational & informational purposes only. If you seek diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice or want to make significant changes in your diet and health-related routine, please, consult a medical professional or healthcare provider.

You may also like