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…

Protein-Powders1

 

    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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1,759 Responses to “The Healthiest Protein Powders On the Market”

  1. Vegan Steven

    I think #3 is a good one, especially if you make shakes. I’ve ordered #3 many times. Hemp, unlike some other plant proteins is nearly a “complete protein.” That’s important to know, because an incomplete protein is of no use. I like to mix my hemp powder with some banana, carrots, water, and some berries. Makes a beautiful morning drink :). See more vegan protein powders here: http://proteinpowderforvegans.com/

    Reply
    • Susan bethards (to Vegan Steven)

      I really need a meal replacement I can mix in the car after excerising. I had ordered 310 nutrition and thought I had finally hit the jack pot on an organic, healthy, meal replacement drink that actually tasted good enough to consume. I began to do more research and was dissapointed with a few questionable ingredients used for thickeners in 310. The taste was adequate and actually did keep me full without the highs and lows of other shakes.
      Now I remain clueless. I have started a eating plan and need a easy,safe shake to drink right after excerise. I live pretty far away to rush home to make my own. Any help from any of you all would be greatly appreciated.

      Reply
      • Nicole (to Susan bethards)

        Although it’s not a powder, Organic Valley has 2 ready to consume protein shakes available: Fuel (for pre and post workout) and Balance (breakfast/snack for moms on the go). Organic, gluten free, GMO free, milk from organic grass fed cows.

    • Cindee (to Vegan Steven)

      I was seriously considering the hemp powder until I read that it contains Inilin. I’ve read the pros & cons & that has changed my mind until I learn more about the facts/possibility of leaky gut from Inulin intake.

      Reply
      • Aracely ( to Cindee) (to Cindee)

        Hi, you did explain eunogh. I will like to know more about the subject if hemp protein contains or not the leaky gut? Thanks

  2. Valerie McCullough

    I’ve been doing my own research on vegan & gluten free protein powders. After a ton of work, I finally found 5 protein powders that are all vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and non-GMO. We should all be able to enjoy the benefits of protein powder without the worry of harmful additives. :)

    Check out my top 5 vegan & gluten free protein powder picks here:
    http://oregaknow.com/fitness/best-gluten-free-protein-powder-list/

    Reply
  3. nicole

    Has anyone tried or know if the garden of life raw fit is good? It is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, usda organic, and non gmo verified. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Fawn (to nicole)

      They were sited for lead in their product

      Reply
      • Tammi (to Fawn)

        But their lead levels are no more than you would get in a single daily serving of vegetables. So unless you’re giving up veggies too, the powder should be fine.

  4. Wendy

    What are your thoughts on Orgain Organic Protein plant based powder? Everything I’ve read about it, it’s great, but would love your thoughts on this product. I too, will not do artificial anything and certainly avoiding GMOs!

    Reply
    • Deanna (to Wendy)

      I’m curious about the Orgain Organic Protein plant based powder as Wendy noted also. Please give us your thoughts. I wonder about the fact that it contains “Natural Flavors” (what’s that?) and Stevia. Seems like everything else looks heathy.

      Reply
      • Nash (to Deanna)

        Natural Flavors is a legal name food producers are allowed to use for MSG (monosodium glutamate). Do a search for Dr. Blaylock and MSG to find all the ‘legal’ terms the industry is allowed to use to poison our foods.

    • Carrie (to Wendy)

      Would love to know your thoughts on Orgain as well.

      Reply
      • Dee (to Carrie)

        I would also like to know what you think of Orgain. Thank you

  5. Maria Ines

    Hi Vani,
    I know you are a fan of beachbody workouts and I am wondering what you think of their shakeology product? And how it would compare with your number 1 & 2 protein powder shakes?
    Thanks!
    Maria

    Reply
    • April (to Maria Ines)

      I would like to know what you think of the Shakeology product also.

      Reply
    • Carrie (to Maria Ines)

      I have several friends pushing this on me, but from what I have read it isn’t all cracked up to up to what they pitch – would love to get your feedback too.

      Reply
      • Lori (to Carrie)

        I am also curious to hear your review Vani on Shakeology and also on Vega One All In One (which is comparable to Shakeology minus it doesn’t contain MSM and Vega One has only 1gr of sugar vs 6gr of sugar like Shakeology. Please let us know. I want to consume the right protein powder not junk. :) THANKS!

  6. Sandra

    Have you tried Sunwarrior before? It looks like good stuff…claims to be raw, vegan and non-gmo!
    http://www.sunwarrior.com

    Reply
  7. kim

    Hi! I am looking at all these protein shakes. Alot if them are made of rice. I have backed off from rice because of the arsenic levels in rice. Do you believe that arsenic levels in rice ate dangerous to humans? How would I tell if the whey in my protein drink is ok?

    Reply
    • Rona (to kim)

      Rice is also high on the glycemic index. If you are trying to loose weight. I would avoid it.

      Reply
  8. Britt

    This is by far my favorite. I trust what goes into my body when consuming his products. Its tasty and I have experienced wonderful life changing results. He also has other fantastic products. In searching through the web. I have not found anything that remotely compares. I have looked but have always came back here. His story is also amazing. I recommend anyone looking for the real deal out there to try his product.

    Reply
    • Amy (to Britt)

      @britt. Which is your favorite?

      Reply
      • Britt (to Amy)

        I believe he only carries the chocolate silk now. It was a lot more popular then the vanilla. It tastes fantastic and I personally used it for a meal replacement since I had a hard time eating breakfast in the morning anyways.

    • Fred (to Britt)

      Britt, we still don’t know what product you’re talking about?

      Reply
      • Britt (to Fred)

        Oops, I apologize I thought I attached the link to his site.
        Here it is: http://thepeopleschemist.com/whey-advanced/
        He used to be a chemist and worked for big pharma. I own his book about over the counter natural cures. It has changed my life. I have personally tried his products and they as well have made me feel like a different person. He offers free healthy recipes and advice. Definitely worth checking out. Surf around on his site and see for yourself. Hope you like it.

  9. Kelle

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to bring to your attention that I clicked on the link to the article about Garden of Life. They’ve changed the article and updated it. Garden of Life has agreed to do their own testing and has agreed to make sure the metals are below a certain level.

    Reply
  10. Becky

    My family and I use ProPeas by the AIM Company and we love it. Every other powder I’ve tried always has a funny after taste. This one tastes so much better and doesn’t have crazy ingredients in it. I don’t think I’ll ever use anything else.

    http://www.theaimcompanies.com/products/propeas/powder.aspx?prodcode=5321E&lid=183

    Reply
  11. Katie

    I love fit365 and orgain

    Reply
  12. lori adams

    I believe Arbonne’s protein shake measures up to these! tastes great too. GMO free, rice, pea and cranberry. 20 grams of protein. it is 3.7 cents per gram per container, but that’s the retail price. you can get it much cheaper through a distributor who knows about good deals! I look forward to drinking mine every day! contact me for more information. loriadamsIC@gmail.com

    Reply
  13. Holly

    HI FoodBabe! Have you heard of Purium superfoods? It is an organic, nonGMO vegan superfood. I will give you a $50 gift card to try the products!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxrOkZ4rTC8

    Reply
  14. M Ring

    I have been using whey factors protein powder. It taste good and seems to be natural but I’m no expert. What do you think Food Babe. Doctor discovered that I had a Thyroid problem and put me on Armour…have gained quite a few pounds and would like to have a good protein powder option in the morning before I go to school.

    http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Factors-French-Vanilla-2-Pound/dp/B001FXOE1M/ref=pd_sim_hpc_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=01WGK858DMB7YR7887MT

    Reply
  15. Joanne

    Food babe,
    I just reviewed the information from the site you mentioned and Warrior Food doesn’t show much difference in heavy metal content from Garden of Life products– it has less arsenic but otherwise is comparable to Garden… Are there different types of Warrior food?

    Reply
  16. Brad Tharp

    http://www.naturalnews.com/043759_Garden_of_Life_RAW_Protein_heavy_metals.html#

    Just wanted to follow up with your quelling of #4. I realize that it isn’t a guarantee until July 2015, but they have agreed with Dr. Adams on rigorous standards. Anyway just wanted to share. I am sure you probably are aware and this reply is probably a moot point, but thanks for all the pioneering you do on this front. Have a blessed day!

    Sincerely,
    Brad Tharp

    Reply
  17. Sharon

    Thank you for posting about this. I found sucralose is in the powder I’m using. So i have since thrown it out. Have you heard of Orgain? Costco carries it.

    Reply
  18. dre

    What about green supplements like those by Amazing Grass when in a pinch then adding a fresh nuts for protein or there Amazing Meals Protein line. http://amazinggrass.com/index.php?p=view_category&category_id=14&option_36=Original#simple_filter

    Reply
  19. Cara

    Food Babe – check out the brand http://www.aloha.com – they have one of the cleanest proteins on the market! Plus use code “nature” to get 10% off your first order. Would love to see what you think of their protein.

    Reply
    • Meg (to Cara)

      I received the free trial and I really like the products, however, the price is high

      Reply
  20. Donna Allen

    We all seem to have a favorite protein shake here is the one I use siselean and why.
    No heavy metals , lactose is removed it has a high-end protein they utilizes Micellar casein bonded with calcium ions and whey protein concentrates (this means that they are natural, highly purified, and super filtered at low temperatures to save and concentrate the effective properties within them). They contain an exquisite array of highly potent natural peptides and polypeptides offering spectacular, unparalleled support for fat burning, lean tissue building, and appetite control.
    You can find it at http://www.nowtoxicfree.com

    Reply
  21. Deanna

    After trying many different proteins, I still love Garden of life products, and it’s the only protein I can get the kids behind, since they are gluten, vegan ect free. Love the taste, and loaded with all vitamins, minerals, and pro-bionics, plus the formula for taking your body to an alkaline state.

    Reply
  22. SLW

    my favorite protein shake is Profit. It tastes better than any other protein shake I have had. There is a link to an ingredient list at this link: http://frugalhsmom.myitworks.com/shop/product/315/

    Reply
  23. Lori

    Since this report was published back in 2012, can you give an update on the BEST protein powders out there?

    I am also curious to hear your review Vani on Shakeology and also on Vega One All In One (which is comparable to Shakeology minus it doesn’t contain MSM and Vega One has only 1gr of sugar vs 6gr of sugar like Shakeology. Please let us know. I want to consume the right protein powder not junk. :) THANKS!

    Reply
  24. Mary-Anne

    What are your thoughts on the Shakeology line from Beach Body? It’s touted as a super food meal replacement but the price tag makes it unappealing to me, yet the hype around it has me reconsidering. I did try a few samples and could only tolerate the vanilla. I still prefer eating rather than drinking my food, but on those days when you need a grab and go meal I was using Vega. So disappointed to see it has GMO’s *sigh*

    Reply
  25. Doug

    Has the verdict on RAW Fit been updated Ms Food Babe or still on the x’ed list?

    Reply
  26. Alex

    I have tried these proteins but I think Organic Food Bar’s Raw Vegan Protein in chocolate flavor is the BEST tasting and highest quality there is, hands down. Seriously, try this stuff. I mix mine with apple sauce and its soooo good. Its cheapest here: http://adamshealthsupply.com/products/organic-food-bar-raw-vegan-protein-chocolate

    Reply
    • Nash (to Alex)

      Be careful taking a chocolate flavored (sugar) powder and adding more sugar (apple sauce). Remember ‘sugar is sugar’ no matter what form it comes in and eventually Candida points it’s ugly head :-) Best

      Reply
  27. Barbara

    I am looking for a Whey Protein that is safe and does not contain any soy products at all. I am on thryoid hormone and do not want to worry about it interferring with the absorbtion of the hormone. I am on a limited income so a product offers quality, quantity , and choice (I would like it to be unflavored so I can add my own)at the lowest possible price. If someone knows of one I would appreciate to hear about it. I would prefer to go pick it up in a store rather than ordering online and waiting. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  28. Sidra

    Hi!

    Just wanted to post this link to the update of Garden of Life protein powder…. I found it by clicking on the link posted about how they had high heavy metal results. It looks like they resolved this issue and are one of the only companies in the protein powder industry to achieve the lowest ratings of heavy metals… Interesting!

    http://www.naturalnews.com/043759_Garden_of_Life_RAW_Protein_heavy_metals.html

    Reply
  29. 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.

    Reply
  30. 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.

    Reply
  31. Tracy (to Rita S)

    AGREE with you Rita!

    Reply
  32. Cathy (to Tracy)

    I also agree with you, Rita.

    Reply
  33. Mopey (to Gerald Minniti)

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

    Reply
  34. 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”.

    Reply
  35. brian (to Gerald Minniti)

    GMO, cold processed, No chemicals etc.
    http://proteinpowder.mercola.com/pure-protein.html

    Reply
  36. roseann (to Gerald Minniti)

    Your comment is misleading and can adversely affect people’s health. Artificial sweeteners do very definitely cause adverse affects on health.

    Reply
  37. Robert C Griffin jr (to Gerald Minniti)

    Nah, they jus taste like crap!

    Reply
  38. Chris (to Gerald Minniti)

    I will assume you are a plastic surgeon who also believes it is safe to implant peoples bodies with cancer causing agents also…….

    Reply
  39. Karen Nolen (to Gerald Minniti)

    False. False. False. It took Nutrisweet 10 years to get on the market because of cancer found in the animals they were testing it on

    Reply
  40. hector (to Gerald Minniti)

    TO GERALD MINNITI …..AS A SURGEON IN THE MEDICAL FIELD I WOULD LIKE TO ASK U HOW MANY HOURS OF NUTRITION YOU TOOK DURING MEDICAL SCHOOL ? BUT I BET U TOOK ORGANIC CHEM 1 AND 2 …..UR POST IS MISLEADING BY BEING A PHYSICIAN IN A WAY U BELONG TO THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY O WHO DID U THINK FUNDED UR SCHOOL AND WHO DID U THINK HELP DESIGN THE CLASSES U TOOK AND WHO DO U THINK IS A MEMBER IN THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF UR SCHOOL….THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY IS THE ANSWER…….LETS LOOK AT THE WORD ARTIFICIAL ONLY THATS IT SOUND HEALTHY TO YOU ? I WILL ENCOURAGE U TO EAT ASPARTAME AS UR NEW SOURCE OF SUGAR AND LET ME KNOW IF U DEVELOPED HEADACHES OVERTIME , TAKE SPLENDA AND SEE IF OUT OF THE SUDDEN U HAVE MORE NEED TO EAT CARBOHYDRATES …..DID U KNOW HOW SUCRALOSE WAS DISCOVERED ? WHO DID IT ? WHO PROTECTS IT ? WHY DID U THINK ASPARTAME IS BANNED IN OTHER COUNTRIES ? THE WHOLE POINT HERE IS TO TELL U THAT IS PLENTY OF RESEARCH AND INFORMATION ABOUT ARTIFICIAL SUGAR AND COLORANTS LIKE BLUE#2YELLOW# 6 RED 40 AND THEY TOTAL DETRIMENTAL IMPACT IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND HUMAN HEALTH …….I BET THE HOSPITAL U WORK AT FEED THEIR PATIENTS WITH GMO HIGH FRUCTUOSE CORN SYRUP BASED OSMOLITE FROM ABBOT LABORATORIES ….OR ENSURE NESTLE …..STOP READING PHARMACEUTICAL LITERATURE AND READ THE TRUTH AND BEST OF ALL SINCE U R CONFIDENT THAT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE EAT IT YOURSELF IMPLEMENT YOUR DIET WITH IT AND LETS SEE HOW HEALTHY YOU GET ……IM A PHYSICIAN MYSELF AND IM ON OF THOSE FEW TRYING TO CONNECT MEDICINE WITH TRUE ORGANIC NUTRICION AND USE NUTRITION AS IT ALWAYS SHOULD BE THE BASE TREATMENT FOR THE HEALING OF THE BODY ,MIND AND SOUL…..HOPE U ALSO BECOME ONE OF THOSE PHYSICIANS …..BEST REGARDS AND SUCCSESS IN YOUR PRACTICE….

    Reply
  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 ;)

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  43. Susan K (to Gina)

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

    Reply
  44. Gloria (to Augustin)

    I was diagnosed with lupus ( the external kind) several years ago. I used to get lumps under my skin that would last for two or three weeks then go away, usually having several all the time. I read aspartame exacerbates the symptoms of lupus, so I eliminated it from my diet…..symptoms all but gone. Now instead of three lumps at a time coming and going, I probably don’t get them more than one or two a year, if that.

    Reply
  45. CWS (to Augustin)

    Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, not a component of all artificial sweeteners. Everything you said in your comment is wrong.

    Reply

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