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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1,597 Responses to “The Healthiest Protein Powders On the Market”

  1. kathleen

    I am looking to add a little more protein to my diet and I was looking at this and what is your opinion on it ? I want to make sure it’s a safe and quality product .

    Thanks so much

  2. Gregg Wirth

    Have you ever heard of a company called Zija. Their products are based on the Moringa Oleifera plant which is the most nutrient dense botanical on earth. It contains 90+ verifiable nutrients. They have a Protein drink called Prime90. It contains less than 10 ingredients. It is all natural. All organic to UK standards.
    Here’s more info:

  3. Melony Rodriguez

    Hi food Babe,what is affordable protein powder for my whole family to take.our youngest is 4.thank you for improving and educating others on healthy products.

  4. Christine P

    Tera’s whey is a staple in my house….. Love it!

  5. Susan

    I have used JayRobb powders and fell they are pretty clean. What do you know about them?

  6. Cathy

    How about this protein powder:

    • Ellen (to Cathy)

      I use Jay Robb vanilla whey powder and love it. Anything hidden here Vani ???

  7. Laura

    Hi Food Babe!

    What are your thoughts on
    Orgain, organic vegan protein powder? Sold at costco online.
    I think it’s a newer product

  8. Nadya

    Have you ever tried Isa Lean Pro shake from Isagenix? its not only the great taste but it contains all essential nutriens for the body. Its a complete meal replacement and the source of protein come from New Zealand where the food standarts are the highest in the world, No comparison with protein produced in America. If anyone is enterested , feel free to contact me or check my website YES i work with this company now after i saw result on myself, my family and people i work with as a personal trainer. Its a really great product!

  9. Monica

    How do you feel about Shakeology? Its so expensive and I’m not sure that is it is worth the cost. I just need something in the morning to hold me over 2-3 hours and if I do shakeology I don’t take any other vitamins beside Chorella. What do you think?

  10. Peggy T.

    I have been using Nutiva’s Hemp High Fiber Protein powder. My daily smoothie includes lots of fresh fruit along with things like yogurt, almond milk and green & and red powders. I love it. Especially with the addition of organic Hemp Oil. I would highly recommend Nutriva. I like that they are organic.

  11. Kim L

    I have been using a whey protein powder called RealMeal GF could you tell me what you think of this one. It says it’s from grass fed cows and no Hormones ,pesticides ,antibiotics, no gluten.

    Kim L

  12. Connie

    I have been using Amazing Grass Amazing Meal , Pomegranate Mango, and really like it. Does anyone have any feedback on this company’s products?

  13. David

    The whole idea of using protein powders might need some further research. I was just recently reading that ALL protein powders contain free aspartic acid (as in aspartame) and free glutamic acid [or glutamate?] (as in MSG / monosodium glutamate). If I remember correctly, the processing these powders all(?) receive breaks down natural bonds and “frees” the nasty substances in question. (Sure enough, I looked on my protein powder label and it listed “aspartic acid.” I promptly tossed it in the garbage. Not all protein powders give such a complete breakdown of the ingredients. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t in there.) I believe I was reading about this on (yes, that spelling is correct – “dog” as in canine). Dogtor J (John Symes) writes a lot about glutamate and aspartate, both of which are excitotoxins (per Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.). Dogtor J also offers a Glutamate Aspartate Restricted Diet, nicknamed the G.A.R.D. diet.

    Best Wishes,

  14. amanda

    What do you think about PlantFusion?

  15. Holly

    Juice Plus is the only protein drink I will use. Non-Gmo, etc… I also use a protein calculator that is very helpful to actually know how much protein your body needs, based on weight and level of exercise.

  16. American

    How about Vitamin Shoppe’s Soy-Free Vegetable Protein powder?

  17. Emily

    What about the Vega brand? It’s on sale at my Whole Foods right now!

  18. candra

    I am currently taking s hakeology chocolate vegan but it cost so much. I was looking at the health force website but they have so many im ablittle confused which one would be best for me… im 27 female and go to the gym 3 to 4 times a week. Im looking for a meal replacer for breakfast or a after workout shake. Im interested in vegan or vegetarian and organic ingredients. .. I dont have any allergies that I know of… what would u recommend?


  19. Ruby

    What is your opinion on Arbonne’s Essential Protein Shake Mix? Thank you!

  20. Carine

    Hi – Recently discovered Vega. But, so confused between Vega One, Vega Sport, Vega Protein and not sure if they are on the “avoid” list! I don’t particularly want to consume GMOs, but it’s the additional additives in these powders I worry about. Have you looked at the Vega line?

  21. Rose

    How do you rate Spiru Tein products, particularly vanilla whey? Thanks

  22. dawn

    I am still trying to find a good organic gluten free chemical free soy free protein shake… I saw this one… Jarrowa Formula brown rice protein powder. . Any thoughts?

  23. Sarah

    Hey food babe! I really love the blog, you provide such a value resource for women.

    I am trying to do the same, but for women’s fitness!
    I want to provide a place for women that allows them to gain knowledge and learn about the wrong information that is out there.

  24. Ebba

    Would love to see you review doTerra’s vshake! It’s their vegan protein powder and I’ve really enjoyed it!

  25. Jules

    What about the products offered by Reliv International? Have you reviewed them?

  26. Edgar

    So what about this….
    MET-Rx Protein Plus

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. Tracy (to Rita S)

    AGREE with you Rita!

  30. Cathy (to Tracy)

    I also agree with you, Rita.

  31. Mopey (to Gerald Minniti)

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

  32. 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”.

  33. brian (to Gerald Minniti)

    GMO, cold processed, No chemicals etc.

  34. 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.

  35. 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 ;)

  36. 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

  37. Susan K (to Gina)

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


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