The Healthiest Protein Powders On the Market

Years ago, I started adding a very delicious vanilla whey protein to my smoothies that I got from GNC. I was religious about using this one brand, and when they suddenly discontinued it, I became outraged!  I called every GNC in town searching high and low for it. It was the best tasting whey protein on the market and I didn’t want to go on a hunt for another kind. Well… long story short, I got to the botttom of why they discontinued it – the health department found rat droppings in samples of the protein at the manufacturing plant! WHAT. I’d been drinking rat droppings for all those years? @#$%&%&*^%^$$!

Needless to say, I have never looked at protein powders the same again. I research the heck out of them before I ever consider putting them in my body.

The key to finding a high quality protein powder is figuring out the right questions to ask…. Is it organic and free of pesticides? Is it GMO free? How is it processed? Does the processing retain it’s nutritional quality, vitamins and minerals? Does it contain artificial or refined sugars? Do they have heavy metals?

Yes…I said heavy metals. Consumer Reports conducted an eye-opening investigation that revealed that several popular highly processed protein powders like Myoplex, Muscle Milk, Designer Whey and GNC brand all contained arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Yikes.

This is just another reason why it is incredibly important to know what you are buying, where it is from and how it is produced.

So today…I want to share with you my Food Babe approved list of protein powders that are free of pesticides, GMOs, all those nasty chemicals and other grossities…



    1. Health Force Nutritional’s Warrior Food Extreme ($45.99 from Amazon for 45 servings) – This company practices the highest quality processing methods and uses ingredients that are beyond organic – holding the word “organic”  true to it’s original meaning which they call “TruGanic.” This includes authentic standards for production, non-toxic cleaning agents and pest control, electromagnetic radiation, processing agents additives, air quality, and actual verification of purity. The protein here is half “enzyme active” sprouted brown rice and half hemp seed based. The addition of organic raw vanilla and a little raw whole leaf stevia make it tolerable to consume even by itself without any add ins.
    2. Tera’s Organic Whey ($25 from Amazon for 12 servings) – There’s a lot of controversy about whether or not to consume whey within the health food community and from what I have researched – the benefits of consuming whey are valid for muscle building, muscle recovery and weight management. It just depends on what kind of whey you get and from where. You either you can pick low quality heat processed alkalinity stripping whey protein isolate – or you can pick cold processed whole food whey concentrate made from organic fed cows not treated with growth hormones or antibiotics. Tera’s whey is actually made in small batches and takes considerable care in how the whey is processed. Tera’s whey also comes in some very delicious flavors like blueberry and coffee that are real food based – not loaded with ambiguous “natural flavors.”(One caveat, I’d like to mention – if you decide to go with a whey protein, it’s crucial to maintain a diet high in other plant-based foods. This whey, although a good product that retains its nutritional profile, can be acid forming in large quantities just like a diet with an over emphasis on meat and dairy. Remember keeping your body alkaline is key to avoiding disease and eating a diet full of plant based foods is the only way to keep it that way.)
    3. Nutiva’s Hemp Protein – ($21.99 for 30 servings) – The ingredient label of this very nutritional protein supplement has one beautiful ingredient “organic hemp seeds.” This protein powder may not be for everyone, because the taste is definitely something to get used to.  But when combined with the right tasty ingredients like fruit, raw cacao and/or almond butter, it can be very appetizing. Finding the right balance of hemp protein to additional ingredients is the key to enjoying this rich in Omega 3 fatty acid supplement.
    4. I have removed Garden of Life from my approved protein powders due to a recent controversy surrounding new laboratory results released by Consumer Wellness Center Laboratories by Natural News.

I’d love to know if you have tried any of these before or found any protein powders you like better.  Please leave a comment and let me (and others) know.

Bottoms up!

Food Babe

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1,543 Responses to “The Healthiest Protein Powders On the Market”

  1. Jeff

    My concern with rice based protein is the amount of arsenic. Doesn’t matter if it is organic or not. And I believe brown rice has more than white.

  2. Melissa Casatelli

    I recently started using a vegan protein powder, Juice Plus Complete. It is a natural whole food based shake mix. It is gluten free, non-dairy, contains 13g of plant based protein, and 8g of fiber. It is available in french vanilla and dutch chocolate flavors. Mixed with unsweetened almond milk it is absolutely delicious!! Have you reviewed this product? Thanks!

  3. Andrea

    I was wondering what you thought about Isagenix and Purium? Thank you!!

    • NJDMS (to Andrea)

      I 2nd this question! I have been drinking Isagenix for a while…maybe a shake a day for a few months. I’m currently pregnant and I have a friend at work who is pregnant. We both asked our Dr.s if they thought it was safe, and we were both told it was. However, I don’t necessarily trust everything Dr.s say!

      Please let us know what you think of this product. ASAP would be good, cause every day with my baby in my belly counts a LOT…even more than I usually watch out for just my husband and myself!

  4. joey

    I love how I stumbled across your website. This is definitely something I’m passionate about seeming that there are an overwhelming market of artificial protein powders. Have you heard of healthy n fit 100% egg white protein powder? What are your thoughts? NaturalNo Artificial Flavors, Sweeteners or ColorsAdvanced Dietary SupplementHighest N.P.U.Highest P.E.R.Laboratory Tested and AssayedThe First, The Original, Best SellingFact -Healthy ‘N Fit® pioneered and developed the first 100% Egg Protein over 30 years ago. Since then we have been the leader in egg protein technologies. Our product contains 100% egg white proteins and peptide bond amino acids, as well as the natural enzymes Papain and Bromelain..Fact – Healthy ‘N Fit® was the first company to introduce an all natural egg protein to the market. Our product is free from artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors and preservatives. The chickens our eggs come from are not given hormones (in compliance with the USDA regulations for all eggs). This product contains no added sugars, sugar alcohols, fats, salt, milk, proteins, gums, fillers, gluten or wheat ingredients. All the amino acids in this product are n atural.Fact – The protein efficiency ration (P.E.R.) and the Net Protein Utilization (N.P.U.), are both renowned and proven scientific methods for rating the quality of a protein and how well the human body can utilize that protein. No other product available has a higher P.E.R. (3.9 or greater) or N.P.U. (94%) than Healthy ‘N Fit® 100% Egg Protein.Fact – A protein’s Chemical Score is based on the amino acid profile. Egg protein is considered a nearly perfect source of protein because its amino acid profile most closely matches that needed by the human body. Therefore, egg protein has been given a rating of 100 in the chemical score. *Below is a comparison of the chemical score of some other proteins:Healthy ‘N Fit® 100% Egg Protein 100% – HighestFish Protein – 70%Meat Protein – 69%Milk & Egg Protein (with 10% egg) – 66%Soy Protein – 47%Fact – The most logical choice for building and maintaining lean muscle mass is Healthy ‘N Fit® 100% Egg Protein. This statement is not based on biased opinion but…FACT.While Healthy ‘N Fit® 100% Egg Protein is totally instant and delicious by itself, of you desire you can blend some delicious drinks of your own, or try our protein shake recipes.

  5. Barbara Grinde

    You need to add SISELean to this list. In all my research it is the best and purist protein powder on the market. Absolutely no toxins including the packaging. By using this product with my workouts I lost 3% body fat in 3 months! A great meal replacement, weight loss, building lean muscle product. Thank you.

  6. Susan

    If you don’t think artificial sweeteners are dangerous. Watch the DVD “Sweet Misery” (Amazon)

    Look up articles on Dr. Mercola’s website, or Dr. Horowitz at He states that diet products are weight bearing and the most dangerous substance you can ingest.

    • Susan (to Susan)

      Aspartame is broken down into 3 parts which consist of Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, and Methyl Ester. When swallowed, Methyl Ester immediately turns into Methyl Alcohol (a.k.a. Methanol, a.k.a. Wood Alcohol). This substance is very poisonous to the human body. Aspartame has been linked to 92 different medical symptoms, some of which are also associated with Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia. A predominant number of these symptoms are neurological problems.

      Also check out the DVD “Sweet Remedy” at Dr. Mercola’s website.

  7. Susan

    Aspartame is broken down into 3 parts which consist of Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, and Methyl Ester. When swallowed, Methyl Ester immediately turns into Methyl Alcohol (a.k.a. Methanol, a.k.a. Wood Alcohol). This substance is very poisonous to the human body. Aspartame has been linked to 92 different medical symptoms, some of which are also associated with Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia. A predominant number of these symptoms are neurological problems.

    Also check out the DVD “Sweet Remedy” on Dr. Mercola’s website.

  8. Jennifer Burth

    Hi! I have been doing a lot of research on Body By Vi and Advocare which has a great get fit challenge. These options seem like such a great way to incorporate healthier diet and good tough cardio to really blast fat and calories. It seems like most people in the healthier Organic world do not agree or support these meal replacement shakes. I know nothing is perfect but could you recommend a combination of ingredients such as a protein powder/superfood concoction I can throw in the blender and drink as a filling meal replacement that is low in calories and would be sufficient nutrient wise as well? It would be breakfast ;) Thanks so much for any other information you can provide!

  9. D R Spencer

    An Amazon reviewer tested a couple WarriorForce products in May 2014 and found lead, cadmium and tungsten.

  10. Augustin

    If a cockroach doesn’t eat it, i wont either!

  11. Robin

    What about Arbonne protein? Have a woman at work that’s selling it and I don’t know if it’s worth the price. It’s quite expensive which I don’t mind if it’s really as good as they say.

    • Amber (to Robin)

      What’s the pricing on the Arbonne stuff? I’ve loved Melaleuca products, but I do have a friend involved with Arbonne. Haven’t talked much with her about it, but your comment made me wonder.

      • Robyn (to Amber)

        It is $69 for 30 servings. I was just doing more research this morning.

      • Pkipsi06 (to Amber)

        Is there a product line that tells you what is in the arbonne protein shakes?
        Love Melaleuca protein shakes and for the price, its worth it because I know exactly what is in it! 34$ for 30 servings at Melaleuca.

      • Jenn (to Amber)

        You can become a preferred client in order to receive 20% off with Arbonne. The shakes are delicious and yes there is an ingredient list available. As a consultant and consumer I have been using the shakes for about 5 years and will not use any other kind. Hope that helps with your decision making.

  12. jennifer

    What do you think of Plant Fusion protein powder?

    • michelle (to jennifer)

      I am also interested to know about plant fusion.

  13. Jim Trouba

    Your website doesn’t surprise me at all. Everybody wonders why everyone is having health problems and getting sicker at a youngher age. I suppose the powder I’m taking is just as bad. Do you have anything on “Isopure zero carbs” product. i’m working on gaining about 20 lbs of muscle. It takes meat and dairy to get the results I want in a timely fashion. It definately is results oriented. Of everythiing I have researched, this is one of the best and purest on the market from a bodybuilders perspective. However I will change companies in a minute to find a product like Isopure with out all the dreadful ingredients that you have mentioned on your website. Thank you Jim

    • Sandi (to Jim Trouba)

      Hi Jim. I use a protein powder with no chemicals, no hormones and New Zealand grass fed whey. Lots of body builders use it with great results.

  14. kd3569

    Food Babe, have you reviewed RealMeal GF? Can’t find any REAL reviews, just rehashes of the company line. Has anyone tried it, had good/bad results?

  15. Aaaaa Aaaa

    Any thoughts on the Costco chocolate organic protein powder?—2.74-lbs.product.100121465.html

  16. Erik

    Thanks for the article. There are so many powders to choose from. Did you notice the update the the research you mentioned on brand #4? It was updated a few months ago and seems that the company is correcting things by 2015. (so they say).

    “I have removed Garden of Life from my approved protein powders due to a recent controversy surrounding new laboratory results released by Consumer Wellness Center Laboratories by Natural News.”

  17. maria p

    I have a 14-year old son who I interested in working out and bulking up a bit; what healthy protein powder-product would you recommend? after reading your blog I’m concerned about what he might be putting into his body!!
    please advise

  18. Natalie Ezelle

    I just read your article on 100 Days of Real Food on the Protein Powders. I am curious on your review of the following: It Works and Advocare. I also saw someone post something about Juice Plus, which I take so I am interested on your take on that as well… Thank you!

  19. Brooke

    My 13 yr old son wants me to buy afterburnfuel for his birthday he’s been working out. Please i lost my father & brother to cancer I will not lose my son, but i need to know some safe protein shakes for my teen to take or he will be so disappointed.

  20. tori

    I drink shakeology proetin shakes. I.used to.drink.the animal based protein from shakeology now I drink the vegan plant based ones!

  21. sharon

    hello, Has anyone heard of the 310 Shake meal replacement? and what are your results on it? Thank you

  22. sharon

    Hello, Has anyone heard of the 310 Shake meal replacement? and what are your results on it? Thank you.

  23. A L Key

    Has anyone checked out the Bio Trust low carb protein powder?

  24. heather

    Hi foodbabe!
    I’m curious about your opinion on the PlantFusion protien powder. I’ve read that even the unfavored version does contain stevia. A friend of mine had it and I tried hers. I was very impressed by how fine of a power it was and how well it blended into my smoothie. It’s probably the only powder I’ve seen/tried that wasn’t gritty AT ALL.

    I have tried the health force warrior food extreme but the extreme grittiness made me not want to take another sip.

  25. Rhonda

    Have you ever looked into Real Meal GF. I was wondering about this milk shake?

  26. Elisabeth

    What do you think about Larry Jordan’s Green Protein powder?

  27. Connie Johnson

    Just found your website! Love it! My question is, I’m using supper high protein powder ( that’s the name) 24 grams & also meyenberg powdered goat milk in my shakes. Are they good or bad?

  28. Trailblazer

    Your website is fascinating and very informative. I will be a regular reader and I thank you for all of the information you are providing to the rest of us.

    I am an avid trail hiker, and I just started working out again; I began taking protein for muscle growth and recovery. I found Rawfusion : Raw plant based protein fusion- natural chocolate, at Complete Nutrition. What are your thoughts about this product? Your insight would be very helpful.

    Thank you and look forward to reading what you think.

  29. S. N.

    What about the brand One World Whey? Has that been tested? It is whey protein from natural grass feed cows. They use a cold processing technique.

  30. Oscar

    What are your thoughts on a “Native Whey Protein Isolate”? It is made directly from fresh milk instead of the cheese by-product whey.

    It has the most superior amino acid profile I have found.

    Check it out :

  31. Mrs. WLM

    Lifelong struggle with health issues/autoimmune disease and trying to correct said issues. When a product has “sweetner (artificial or otherwise)”, my body responds with almost immediate IBD and Migraine. Its always interesting to discover that 50% of the time, the labeling practices “FORGOT” to put said ingredients in the product!!! Thanks Food Babe !!!!

  32. Stacey H

    I’ve been using GNC’s Lean Shake Burn last week & this week. I’m going to stop using it because it makes me feel constantly thirsty & nauseous. I’ve only used 1/2 a scoop instead of the recommended 2 scoops. Something just is really off, think I’ll go back to my morning steel cut oatmeal instead.

  33. Rebecca

    Where would I find the Nutiva hemp protein? I have an issue with dairy and would like to try a natural supplement. I work out frequently and believe a protein boost may help.

  34. Gerald Minniti (to Amanda)

    Hi Amanda,
    I am a surgeon in private practice. I am not beholden to any insurance company, pharmaceutical company, or corporation/company of any sort. I have devoted my life to science, and consume a large amount of literature involving medicine and nutrition.
    That’s correct, no evidence that artificial sweeteners cause disease in humans.

  35. Rita S (to Gerald Minniti)

    Gerald…curious if you have read fellow scientist and neurosurgeon, Dr. Russel Blaylock’s book, “Excitotoxins, The Taste That Kills” ? There is actually much scientific evidence on the effect of artificial flavorings, sweeteners, food colorings and effects in labortory research. Another great source is The Feingold Foundation, dedicated to providing parents of children who are diagnosed with autism, ADD, ADHD, etc. in managing thier child’s behaviors through nutritional helps. A friend’s child has such a diagnosis, when he eats organic and clean he is an easy kid, give him food that is artificially colored and flavored and he becomes a different person – angry, hard to handle – within minutes.
    I encourage you to look beyond what may be provided to you in a medical facility setting.

  36. Tracy (to Rita S)

    AGREE with you Rita!

  37. Cathy (to Tracy)

    I also agree with you, Rita.

  38. Mopey (to Gerald Minniti)

    Ants do not eat it. When they do….I will.

  39. Augustin (to Gerald Minniti)

    then you must not do your profession well and are certainly not educated as you should be. Artificial sweeteners contain Aspartame and Aspartame causes cancer. I know that and im no doctor, I would suggest you step out of your medical field as you are incapable and incompetent to practice what you so called “studied”.

  40. brian (to Gerald Minniti)

    GMO, cold processed, No chemicals etc.

  41. April (to Mopey)

    Mopey. No disrespect meant, but I’ve heard the same comment before and I’d like to respond to it. Although, like the ants, I wouldn’t touch artificial sweetener with a ten foot pole, I don’t think for a minute I’d eat dog food or rotten apple bits dropped on the sidewalk. Maybe you shouldn’t eat things only an ant will eat ;)

  42. Gina (to April)

    (To April) if an ant will eatdog food and rotten apples but not artificial sweetener, what does that tell you? No disrespect meant

  43. Susan K (to Gina)

    tells me that the ant is hungry … & still won’t eat the sweetner.


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