Jaquish Biomedical

The Best Dairy-Free Protein Shakes in 2022

Dairy-free protein powders and shakes are more common than ever before. This means you have many options to find the perfect blend that works for your unique needs.

A lot of people worry about getting enough protein after adopting a dairy-free diet. If you’re not getting enough protein from your daily meals, adding protein powder can be an easy and convenient fix to fill in the missing protein grams.

In the past, protein powder was viewed as something only bodybuilders looking to bulk up would use. Today, protein powder and shakes have evolved to be healthy zero sugar meals and snack replacements.

In this article, we’ll talk about some frequently asked questions about dairy-free protein powders and shakes and look at the best options available. We’ll cover the basics about protein powders, what makes each type different, and why in particular, dairy-free options are now in such high demand.

Banner with Dr. Jaquish with Fortagen and descriptive list
Why Do People Use Protein Powder?

Why Do People Use Protein Powder?#

Protein powder is one of the world’s most used nutritional supplements. Protein itself is an essential macronutrient that helps your body build muscle, repair tissue, and make enzymes and hormones. The reasons why people use protein powder range from gaining muscle and weight to losing fat and getting essential nutrients.

What are the Health Benefits of Protein Powder?

What are the Health Benefits of Protein Powder?#

Protein is a foundational nutrient that every human needs to survive. In the past, humans mostly got protein from hunting. After farming developed, humans started getting protein from plants and animals raised on those farms. Today the benefits of supplementing with protein remain the same, but we now have cleaner versions of protein customized and packaged for everyone to accommodate any allergy or philosophy on where you should source your protein.

Protein for Weight Management#

Protein for Weight Management

When you eat protein-rich foods or supplement with protein you’ll feel fuller longer. Feeling full keeps you from overeating when you do eat and curbs the urge to snack.

The Journal of the American College of Nutrition conducted a 2018 review that showed supplementing with protein may reduce body weight and total fat mass in people who are overweight or obese.1

Protein for Muscles Gains#

Protein for Muscles Gains

Muscle growth is impossible without protein. Athletes and gym enthusiasts have known this truth for decades, and it shows. An analysis of nearly 50 studies supported the use of protein supplementation for muscle gains.

Protein supplementation for muscle growth is equally effective in both men and women. However, as people age, their protein requirements will increase to yield the same results when compared to younger people.2

Protein Powder for Nutrition#

Protein Powder for Nutrition

The recommended daily protein intake for people age 19 and over is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. People who find it challenging to meet the daily recommendation through a whole foods diet often choose to add a protein shake to their daily routine.

If you’re an athlete or older adult, you’ll likely need to exceed the recommended daily amount. Today’s protein blends also come with other essential nutrients you might not be able to satisfy through your daily meals.

Fortagen 5x more efficient banner
Types of Protein Powder

Types of Protein Powder#

When protein powders first emerged, whey protein powder was essentially all you could find. But like all products, protein powder has evolved, and the types of protein powders on the market have expanded.

Common types of protein powders you’ll find include:

Whey Protein#

Whey Protein

This water-soluble milk-based protein is the traditional favorite among athletes and bodybuilders looking to bulk up and gain weight. It’s considered a complete protein, which means it contains all of the amino acids the human body needs. Most people can absorb whey protein without issues unless they’re lactose intolerant.

Casein Protein#

Casein Protein

Casein is rich in glutamine, an amino acid that can speed up muscle recovery after exercise. Casein is a byproduct of dairy, so it’s not something that works for vegans or people with milk allergies. The body digests casein slowly, so it’s a good idea to take it at night.

Soy Protein#

Soy Protein

Soy is a popular alternative to whey and casein for people who don’t consume dairy. Soy contains all the essential amino acids. Soy is a popular choice in Eastern countries.

Pea Protein#

Pea Protein

Many plant-based proteins and dairy-free protein powders are made with pea protein. Pea protein is a high-quality alternative to soy and dairy-based proteins. Pea protein is a good source of amino acids; however many pea protein powders are high in sugar due to the processing methodology.

Protein usability of Fortagen with percentage banner
How Much Protein Do You Need?

How Much Protein Do You Need?#

A Harvard Health article noted that a good rule for determining daily protein intake is multiplying your body weight in pounds by 0.36. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim for about 54 grams of protein each day.

However, this is based on how active you are. If you’re not moving much, you’ll need less protein and the opposite if you’re working out and getting daily exercise.3

Can you Get Enough Protein Without Dairy?

Can you Get Enough Protein Without Dairy?#

If you’re new to a dairy-free diet, you might be worried about getting enough protein. Milk and eggs are staples for getting protein, but where will you get your protein if you cut those out? Don’t worry, there are plenty of protein sources for a dairy-free diet.

  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Meat & Poultry
  • Soy
  • Quinoa
  • Dairy-free protein powders
What's the Difference between Whey, Lactose-Free, and Non-Dairy Protein Powder?

What’s the Difference between Whey, Lactose-Free, and Non-Dairy Protein Powder?#

Whey protein is sourced from milk, thus, it’s definitely not a dairy-free protein option. If you’re vegan or on a dairy-free diet you’ll want to skip whey protein.

Lactose is the sugar found in milk. Just because a protein powder is labeled Lactose free protein does not mean it’s dairy-free. Lactose-free only indicates that the lactose has been removed from the product, but the source can still be dairy-based.

Even if a product is labeled “non-dairy,” you should proceed with caution. The label of “non-dairy” means that the product can contain 0.5% or less milk by weight, in the form of casineates or casein. Only the label “dairy-free” means zero dairy in a product.

Fortagen logo on black background with models on the sides banner
Do dairy-free Protein Powders offer Complete Nutrition?

Do dairy-free Protein Powders offer Complete Nutrition?#

The term “complete nutrition” is in reference to a food that has an adequate amount of the nine essential amino acids your body needs. These essential amino acids are those that our bodies can’t produce on their own, forcing us to get them through food to stay healthy.

Keep in mind that although you need all nine amino acids, you don’t necessarily need to get them all simultaneously with each meal. You can get them throughout your day over different meals.

Whether or not your dairy-free protein powder offers complete nutrition will depend on the brand. Many dairy-free protein powders on the market today are created with complete nutrition profiles.

What is in a dairy-free Protein Powder?

What is in a dairy-free Protein Powder?#

If dairy-free protein powders don’t contain whey or casein, you’re probably wondering where the protein comes from. Dairy-free protein powders come with a number of different ingredients that contribute to their overall protein profile.

Most dairy-free protein powder will contain plant proteins like pea, hemp, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, soy, chia seeds, and other vegan-friendly proteins. Some are blends and others will use just one dairy-free protein source as its base.

Different Types of Dairy-Free Protein Powders

Different Types of Dairy-Free Protein Powders#

With the number of dairy-free protein powder options out there, it can be difficult to know which is the best one for your lifestyle and diet. We’ve compiled a list of the best dairy-free protein powders options to choose from, categorized by their base ingredient.

Pea Protein Powder#

Pea Protein Powder

Pea protein powders are made by extracting protein from yellow peas. It’s one of the most widely used dairy-free protein powders because it’s plant-based, vegan friendly, and packs about 15 grams of protein for every 20 grams of powder.

Hemp Protein Powder#

Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein is derived from the seeds of hemp plants and is a growing dairy-free source of protein. Hemp protein tastes nutty, is easy to digest, and has around 15 grams of protein for every 30 grams of powder.

Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder#

Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder

As you probably guessed, pumpkin seed protein powder comes from pumpkin seeds. The protein powder is nutty, and offers 20 grams of protein for every 30 grams of powder. It’s high in magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source for omega fatty acids.

Brown Rice Protein Powder#

Brown Rice Protein Powder

Brown rice protein is derived from extracting rice proteins from sprouted brown rice. It serves up 25 grams of protein for every 30 grams of powder. This protein is one of the highest plant-based sources of protein available. Some people find brown rice protein easier to digest compared with alternative dairy-free protein options.

Soy Protein Powder#

Soy Protein Powder

Soy Protein Powder comes from soybeans. Soy protein delivers 23 grams of protein for every 30 grams of powder. As much as people love soy protein, it’s become a controversial ingredient in recent years. Soy has been shown to affect your hormones, and if you have issues with your thyroid it’s recommended to avoid soy. Soy also contains phytates, which have been shown to decrease mineral absorption.

Sunflower Seed Protein Powder#

Sunflower Seed Protein Powder

Sunflower seed protein is made by extracting proteins from sunflower seeds. Sunflower seed protein powder offers 15 grams of protein for every 30 grams of powder. The flavor is mild and nutty. The downside is this dairy-free protein alternative doesn’t offer much protein per serving when compared to the other options.

Fortagen with grey background and descriptive list banner

Chia Protein Powder#

Chia Protein Powder

Chia protein powder comes from extracting proteins from chia seeds and removing the oils. The high protein and high fiber powder has an earthy flavor but only offers 10 grams of protein for 30 grams of powder, making it one of the lowest protein per serving options on the list. However, chia does come loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Sachi Inchi Protein Powder#

Sachi Inchi Protein Powder

Sacha Inchi is a seed that’s converted into protein powder. The lesser-known protein source provides complete nutrition and fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Each serving brings 16 grams of protein for every 27 grams of powder.

Plant Protein Blend Powders#

Plant Protein Blend Powders

Plant protein blends are made by combining different high-protein plants. They may combine any protein powders on the list above, and often add other fruits and vegetables to create a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Collagen Protein Powder#

Collagen Protein Powder

Collagen is the most common protein found in the human body. It helps us keep our skin, hair, and nails healthy and many use it to help support joint function. Collagen protein powder is made from animal tissues, so it’s not vegan-friendly. Most collagen protein powders offer about 18 grams of protein for every 20 grams of powder used.

Fortagen with pink cup banner
The Best Dairy-Free Protein Shakes

The Best Dairy-Free Protein Shakes#

Although technically a protein shake is just another name for protein powder mixed with liquid, some people prefer skipping the mixing and buying a pre-made protein shake. Protein shakes are great for grab-and-go meals and snack replacements. So what are the best dairy-free protein shake options in 2002? Let’s take a look.

Orgain Organic Vegan Plant-Based Nutritional Shake#

Orgain Organic Vegan Plant-Based Nutritional Shake

This dairy-free shake delivers 16 grams of protein in each 11-ounce package. The protein shake is made using the company’s proprietary protein blend that includes pea protein, chia seeds, rice protein, and other ingredients. The shake is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

Vega Protein Nutrition Shake#

Vega Protein Nutrition Shake

This protein shake is dairy-free,vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. It serves up 20 grams of protein in its 11-ounce container. The shake is made from a combination of pea protein, coconut palm sugar, hemp protein, pumpkin seed protein, and other powders derived from fruits and vegetables.

Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Protein Shake#

Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Protein Shake

This vegan and dairy-free shake has 21 grams of protein in each of its 11 ounce servings. The shake is made mostly of pea protein. It’s organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

Evolve Protein Shake#

Evolve Protein Shake

Evolve Protein Shakes give you 20 grams of protein in each 11 ounce container. Most of the protein in this shake comes from peas. Like the others on the list, it’s dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

OWYN Vegan Protein Shake#

OWYN Vegan Protein Shake

This vegan and dairy-free protein shake contains 20 grams of protein for every 12 oz bottle. The protein sources in this protein shake are their own proprietary blend of pea protein and pumpkin seed protein. This is a great allergy-friendly option because it is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, peanut and tree nut-free, egg-free, and has non-GMO ingredients.

Fortagen with model and grey background banner
The Best Overall dairy-free Protein Shake for 2022

The Best Overall dairy-free Protein Shake for 2022#

Fortagen#

Nutrition per serving ( 1 scoop )

  • Sodium: 0 milligrams
  • Protein: 50 grams
  • Calories: 4
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
Fortagen

Fortagen tops our list for the best dairy-free protein shake in 2022. Not only does Fortagen contain zero dairy, the vegan protein powder delivers the most protein crushing the competition at 50 grams of protein per serving. It also doubles as the ultimate fasting protein powder due to its low calories and zero sugar.

Fortagen is a fermented protein source that is a far more efficiently extracted protein than isolates, concentrates, or hydrolysates. The fermentation process makes proteins more bioavailable, more gut-friendly, and lower in calories.

Fortagen is designed to offer the perfect essential amino acid profile. This means EAAs are presented in the precise ratio your body uses to build muscle. Other alternatives may offer all of the EAAs your body needs but are often in the incorrect ratios.

Perfect EAA Profile#

Most dairy-free protein shake options lack one or more of the essential amino acids, or come loaded with nonessential amino acids your body already has a surplus of.

Only when EAAs are delivered in the optimal ratio can the body make the best use of them. When EAA ratios aren’t optimized, your body may even borrow from muscle to help utilize branched chain amino acids you’re consuming in excess.

More Bioavailability#

When it comes to how your body reacts to different proteins, bioavailability is one of the most important metrics to consider. Fortagen is digested in under 30 minutes, while other dairy-free protein shake options can take up to 6 hours.

Easy Digestion#

Intestinal irritation to plant-based protein shakes is a common complaint. Seeds and legumes, when not fermented, can lead to bloating, gas, and discomfort. Fortagen is pre-digested through the fermentation process, resulting in smaller, more gut-friendly particle sizes.

Fortagen ready for the most efficient banner

Minimal Calories#

Many dairy-free protein shake powders come packed with calories and added artificial sweeteners.

If you’re on a calorie-restricted diet or intermittent fasting, typical calorie-packed dairy-free and lactose-free protein powders will hinder your progress. Fortagen has the lowest calories per serving at just four calories.

Insulin Response#

If you’re trying to lose weight and keep muscle, having a zero-carb/zero-sugar dairy-free protein powder with 50 grams of protein per serving is a game changer. Controlling insulin response is the key to losing fat, and if you’re fasting you’ll need to keep your protein intake high to fight off temptations to break your fast.

Faster Recovery Time#

The better your body can synthesis protein post-workout the faster it can recover. The secret to making it happen is having a perfect essential amino acid profile. EAAs offset muscle fatigue that slow down gains, but only when they’re consumed in the right combination–like they are in Fortagen.

Ready to Try the Best Dairy-free Protein Powder?

Ready to Try the Best Dairy-Free Protein Powder?#

See Fortagen #

Sources

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2017.1344591 ↩︎

  2. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/52/6/376 ↩︎

  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096 ↩︎