Check out the best protein powders without soy

It seems like soy is in everything nowadays, from your breakfast cereal to the oil your sardines are packed in. Even protein powders have soy ingredients now, especially soy lecithin, which is just as bad for you as any other form of soy. Most low quality protein brands are cut with soy fillers to get the costs down and the profits up, since soy is much cheaper to use than pure whey or other protein sources like hemp or peas. If you avoid soy in the rest of your diet (you should!) then you ought to find a good protein powder without soy as well. This is especially important if you’re vegan, since many vegan protein brands use soy as their protein source, which is not really a good idea!

The table below lists the best protein powders without soy; many of them are vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free as well. A few are even raw and organic. For more information about the risks of soy in your protein shake, and for details about each category of soy-free protein, keep reading after the table.

Pure Therapeutics Daily Vegan Protein Vanilla Flavor
NutraBio 100% Whey Protein Isolate
Paleo Protein Egg White Powder
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 50 Protein Supplement

What’s So Bad About Soy Anyway?

Soy is a well-known hormone disrupter, which imitates estrogen in your body. As the following chart displays, soy produces estrogenic activity in your bloodstream over one million times greater than an egg does.

Estrogenic Effect of Soy and Other Foods

Both Men and Women Need Balanced Estrogen Levels

Estrogen, although an essential hormone for both men and women, must remain carefully balanced with the other hormones. When estrogen is artificially raised out of balance by soy consumption, the effects can be very bad, ranging from fat gain to brain fog to increased risk of breast cancer. Soy lecithin, a very common ingredient in protein powders, is just as bad as regular soy. Men with high estrogen from eating soy will find themselves growing breast tissue and losing muscle. Although a healthy level of estrogen is important for women, when estrogen is imbalanced with other hormones thanks to an artificial boost from soy, cancer risk goes up, it becomes difficult staying trim and fit, and anxiety becomes very common. The body’s hormone system is a finely-tuned machine, and when it is thrown out of balance by artificial disruption like processed soy intake, the results can be very bad. Avoid soy!

breast cancer from soy.JPG


The artificial estrogen-like compounds found in soy protein are called phytoestrogens or isoflavones. Basically, these are molecules which resemble real human estrogen so much that when you consume them in your soy protein shake, they go into your bloodstream and act like extra estrogen, causing a feminizing effect in men and a hormonal imbalance in women leading to increased bodyfat and cancer risk among other things.

Soy lecithin contains soy oil which includes the compounds, campesterol, beta-sitosterol, and stigmasterol. These compounds, called phytosterols, are also very estrogenic and block healthy testosterone production as well.

shopping for produce with no soy.jpg

Toxic Anti-Nutrients – Soy Protein Is a Disaster!

Estrogenic effects aren’t the only issues with soy protein powder, soy also contains several antinutrients. Soy is very high in phytates, an indigestible midly toxic substance that blocks the absorption of key nutrients, like zinc, which most Americans are very deficient in. Soy also contains substances called goitrogens, which harm the thyroid affecting overall vitality, hair growth, height, and much more. According to one study, “the possibility that widely consumed soy products may cause harm in the human population via either or both estrogenic and goitrogenic activities is of concern.”

Soy Lecithin – What It Is and Why It’s Bad for You

Soy lecithin is a byproduct of the production of soy oil. It is an ingredient found in nearly all protein powders, even ones marketed as non-soy, like most whey protein brands. So why does whey protein contain soy lecithin? Soy lecithin is blended with the protein during the manufacturing process so that the finished product isn’t clumpy when you make a protein shake with it. Typically, a normal whey protein will contain between 0.5% and 1.5% soy lecithin, which is actually quite a lot considering that soy’s estrogenic effect is actually millions of times greater than most other foods. (see the chart linked above)

There are other ingredients that can be used to keep protein powder from being clumpy, but soy lecithin is the cheapest one so supplement companies nearly all use it, despite its estrogenic, antinutritional healthy dangers. You should look for sunflower lecithin instead, a much better alternative that a few higher quality protein powder makers are now using.

say no to soy beans.jpg

Sneaky “Lecithin” Labels, Beware!

While the FDA requires that protein powders declare whether or not their product contains soy lecithin (look for it on your protein powder’s label), it seems that some companies are trying to slip into a gray area and avoid this regulation. Several protein powders available on the market claim that their product contains “lecithin” and don’t mention whether it is soy lecithin or otherwise. Lecithin does not exist by itself, it must be derived from some product or other, whether it is sunflower lecithin or soy lecithin. It’s a safe bet that if your protein powder mentions “lecithin,” it is probably soy lecithin, since soy lecithin is the cheapest for manufacturing by far. Some protein powders don’t mention lecithin at all in their ingredients list. Unless your protein powder is impossibly clumpy, it is very unlikely that it doesn’t contain some sort of lecithin. If the supplement company won’t even mention lecithin on the label (which is illegal) then they are hiding something, probably the fact that they use soy lecithin! Stay safe out there and do your best to avoid this junk!

Soy-free Vegan Protein Powder – Yes It IS Possible!

Although many protein powders now have soy in them, there are quite a few high quality protein powders without soy. Our list includes a good whey isolate product without soy, but if you want to avoid whey as well as soy, perhaps because of lactose intolerance, you could try pea protein. Pea protein is hypoallergenic and great for people who react badly to other, heavier protein shakes. It’s actually one of the best vegan protein powders for weight loss. Protein shakes that contain soy will have a fat retaining effect, due to the estrogenic effect of the soy. You don’t have to worry about that with pea protein.

lets get fit at

No Peas, Please!

If the idea of drinking powdered peas gives you the willies, but you still want a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free protein powder (the list of benefits just goes on and on!) then another good plant-based protein powder is hemp. Hemp protein has all the same benefits of pea protein; it’s hypoallergenic, soy-free, and it’s a great protein source for vegans as well.

Vitamin J to Improve Memory – Updated 2018

Vitamin J, otherwise known as choline, could be considered the forgotten vitamin as its more famous brothers Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and others soak up the spotlight. This is a shame because Vitamin J is an essential nutrient and is quite important for healthy function, especially of the memory. Older people are especially at risk of Vitamin J deficiency. If you are elderly, you should consider supplementing with Vitamin J in order to maintain a healthy brain and keep your memory sharp. Ideally you would get your Vitamin J from foods high in this nutrient, such as beef liver or egg yolks. However for many people this is impractical. These people should use Vitamin J supplements. (Typically sold as “choline” – don’t worry, it’s the same stuff!)

ImageProduct DetailsSoyCholine
NATURE'S WAY Choline 500mg 100 TabletsNo500mg
Alpha GPC Choline Supplement, Pharmaceutical Grade, Made in USANo300mg
N/ANOW Foods Choline and Inositol, 100 Capsules / 500mg (Pack of 2)Unknown250mg

Vitamin J, or choline, is very important for the brain. It is a critical component of the brain neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, which facilitates intelligence, memory, and even improves your mood. For this reason, supplementing your diet with Vitamin J has been shown to cause improvement in these areas.

natural exercise

Vitamin J deficiency is especially high among elderly people. Shockingly, one study found that 90% of older people have too little Vitamin J in their diets. Since the elderly are already at risk of memory loss, this makes Vitamin J deficiency a big problem for this group. A healthy diet containing enough nutrients and protein is critical for elderly people to stay fit and well.

Gymnast on pommel horse at

Vitamin J also is critical for burning fat. It speeds up the body’s metabolism and improves the efficency of the fat-burning mechanism. Of course, the critical ingredients for any fat loss are a healthy diet and lots of exercise, but supplementing with Vitamin J does seem to help. One study found a rapid drop in body fat from supplementing with Vitamin J (choline) in just one week! Effect of Choline Supplementation on Rapid Weight Loss and Biochemical Variables Among Female Taekwondo and Judo Athletes

Best Protein Powder for Elderly People in 2018

A high protein intake is important for everyone, but it is especially critical for elderly people. Studies have shown that as your body ages, you begin to digest protein less efficiently, which means the daily protein requirement for seniors is higher in order to maintain the same health and strength of a younger person.

How much protein do older people need?

Seniors need at least half a gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight, according to Protein Requirements and Recommendations for Older People. For example, a 120 lb 80 year old woman should try to get a minimum of 60 gram from protein in her diet every day. Since chewing can become difficult for seniors, and appetite often lessens with age, it’s challenging to get this much protein from whole foods like meat or cheese. You’d have to eat about three chicken drumsticks a day to get 60 grams of protein, which is out of the question for an older person who’s on a soft food meal plan, perhaps because of tooth loss or other issues. This is where liquid nutritional supplements like protein shakes become lifesavers!

protein is great from a shake or a drumstick at
Delicious, but not easy to eat if you can’t chew.

Protein isn’t just for bodybuilders; modern protein shakes are perfect for anyone who needs a little extra help supplementing their food. Hypoallergenic, high quality protein sources make the best protein powders to add to a senior’s meal plan. The following brands are great choices; more detailed information is available after the chart.

Digestive Enzymes
Pure Vegan IntestiCleanse Chocolate Protein Powder
NutraBio 100% Whey Protein Isolate
Paleo Protein Egg White Powder
Pea Protein Isolate - Vegan, Non-GMO, Lactose, Soy and Gluten FreeYesYesNo

Why do elderly people need protein?

For seniors, eating plenty of protein is critical for muscle retention and bone strength, but also for the health of your hair, skin, and even your brain! The amino acids contained in protein form the building blocks of all the tissue in your entire body, so when you don’t get enough protein in your diet, there are bad effects all over, including easy bruising to your skin, hair loss, slow wound healing, increased fatigue, and even loss of appetite.

Whey Protein

A shake made from whey protein powder is the most common type of protein drink. You probably drink whey everyday in its un-separated form in milk. When milk is made into cheese, the curds and whey are separated from each other. Manufacturers save the whey from cheese production because it is actually one of the best, highest protein ingredients available. Whey is a good source of protein for seniors, partly because of its unusually high leucine content. Leucine, an amino acid found in protein, is especially important for muscle retention in older adults. More detailed information is available in the following study: “Greater stimulation of myofibrillar protein synthesis with ingestion of whey protein isolate v. micellar casein at rest and after resistance exercise in elderly men.” chocolate protein shake

Dairy-free options

Unfortunately, whey isn’t an option for everyone, whether because of lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy. Protein powders made from other ingredients, such as peas, eggs, or hemp, all make good alternatives to whey. Pea protein and hemp protein are both hypoallergenic, which makes them a very safe choice for elderly people with sensitive immune systems. protein made from fresh peas.jpg

Probiotics can help older people digest protein

All human beings have colonies of bacteria in our digestive systems. This sounds pretty bad, but in reality these little microbes are essential for a healthy digestive system. Unlike harmful bacteria that cause sickness, probiotic bacteria are meant to be in your stomach. Foods, including protein, cannot be properly digested and used by your body unless you have healthy gut bacteria. If you’re having a hard time digesting a protein shake without feeling a bit ill (or worse) you might want to look into probiotics. One of the simplest and most effective ways to add probiotics to your diet is to eat some sauerkraut or kimchi every day. (Note: be sure it’s unpasteurized as the pasteurization process kills nearly all probiotic content.)

Protein is essential, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle

It’s important to keep in mind that protein won’t solve all our problems, important as it is. Older people need exercise, hydration, and sleep as well, to keep themselves strong and healthy. Protein can help keep muscles strong, but we need to exercise those muscles too! A healthy, balanced diet is very important as well, since protein is not the only nutrient we need to get. It’s just as important to eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and sources of good dietary fat, like fish, grass-fed meat, or even avocados. That being said, a good protein drink can be a godsend for a chewing-impaired elderly person! supports elderly exercise.jpg

We wrote this article hoping to make a real difference in the lives of seniors trying to avoid muscle wasting and other nasty health problems that come with low protein intake. If this helps just one elderly person out there, then we’ve succeeded!

Diet Tip to Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time

No matter what training method you use, you will lose fat the fastest when you eat a clean, muscle-retaining diet. You should eat at least 1.5 times your bodyweight in grams of protein every day. Get as much as possible from whole food sources such as meat, eggs, and milk, and fill up the rest with high quality protein powder. For example, if you weigh 200 lb, you should eat 300 grams of protein. Protein actually has a thermic effect, meaning that the digestion process for protein actually burns more calories, boosting your metabolism and speeding up fat loss. Most fat-loss diets tend to be lower in carbohydrates, but make sure that you have some around the time that you train. This will give you the energy you need to lift heavy, as well as the fuel needed to let your muscles recover after you train. Try to drink a gallon of water a day to further stimulate fat loss and avoid injury.

Gymnast on pommel horse at

The Three Rules of Building Muscle Fast

Every day, millions of people pack gyms all across the world trying to build up their bodies. Depressingly, most of them look exactly the same year after year, completely failing to build any muscle despite thousands of wasted hours. Does this mean that building muscle is a mysterious process, only possible for a few rare genetic freaks? Not at all! Gaining muscle is simple, as long as you follow a few simple rules.
Before you can understand the first rule of muscle, you need to know a few things about the muscles themselves. All your muscles are made up of thousands of long fibers that contract to move your body. These fibers are slightly torn when you lift heavy weights. Your body doesn’t like having weakened, torn muscles, so it immediately goes to work rebuilding these fibers to be capable of handling that weight without being torn again. The result is a slightly bigger and stronger muscle. What most gym-goers don’t realize is that the cycle of tearing and rebuilding can be performed over and over again, until your muscles are as big as they can get.
After the muscle has rebuilt itself, the weight you lifted in your first workout will no longer overload the fibers. To continue making muscle gains, you must use slightly more weight in your next workout. If you keep using the same amount of weight, your muscles will have no reason to grow. You should progressively increase the overload to your muscle fibers every time you work out. While other forms of exercise, such as calisthenics or running, can also cause muscle fibers to tear, lifting weights is the most efficient way to constantly increase muscular overload. You can always add another 5 pounds of weight in your next workout and cause the growth process to occur again; it’s less simple with other forms of exercise.
For the rebuilding process to occur, the body must have the nutrients it needs to make new muscle fibers. For body tissue to grow, it needs more food to provide energy, so you need to eat significantly more than you are used to. Because muscles are primarily made up of protein, most of this extra food should be high in protein, such as meat, milk, or peanut butter. If you tear your muscle fibers with heavy weights and then fail to give your body the nutrition it needs, you will start to lose the muscle you already have.
Most muscle regeneration occurs during sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will have less muscle growth. When you start lifting heavier weights, you will probably find you need more sleep. This is your body telling you it needs time to build the muscles you want.
There are three rules for building muscle. First, progressively increase muscle fiber overload by lifting slightly more weight in every workout. Second, eat much more than you are eating right now, preferably healthy, high-protein food for best results. Finally, get enough sleep to give your body time to build muscle. As long as your workout program and diet respect the three rules, you will build muscle.
hard work protein powder different angle

The Best Protein Powder for a Sensitive Stomach – updated 2018

The wrong protein powder and a sensitive stomach just don’t mix. If you’re on a high protein diet but suffer from stomach problems after consuming protein, you’ll need to switch to a protein source your body handles well. That probably means no more whey protein. The best protein powders for sensitive stomachs are dairy-free, gluten-free, hypoallergenic, and use only high quality, pure ingredients. The following protein powders meet all of these requirements. Below the list, we’ve provided detailed information about each category. We also dive into the science behind protein digestion and include some tips for improving your ability to digest protein – that means less bloating and gas, and more nutrients being used by your body.

Dairy-freeGluten-freeDigestive Enzymes
Pure Vegan IntestiCleanse Chocolate Protein Powder
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 50 Protein Supplement
Pea Protein Isolate - Vegan, Non-GMO, Lactose, Soy and Gluten FreeYesYesYesNo

How lactose-intolerant people can prevent gas from protein shakes

Let’s look at the main reasons people have stomach distress from protein powder. One of the most common causes is lactose intolerance. Whey protein, the most popular form of protein powder, is a dairy product and therefore it contains large amounts of lactose. Unfortunately, many people (actually the majority of the earth’s population) just cannot digest lactose very well. Lactose intolerant people get symptoms such as bloating, cramping, gas, and nausea after consuming lactose. Sound familiar? Some individuals even get acne from lactose. Even if you can handle small amounts of lactose, chances are you will not do very well with big doses of it every day, like you’re getting from your protein shake. For lactose-intolerant people, we’ve made a list of whey protein alternatives.

Peas are actually a great dairy and wheat-free protein source!

Whey protein allergy symptoms

Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant, you may be suffering from a whey allergy. Some people have such a bad allergic reaction to whey that they actually get a rash. Your allergy may not be this bad, but if your stomach feels upset after a whey protein shake, you should consider the possibility you’re allergic to whey. Here are some common symptoms of a whey protein allergy:

  • Bloating and gas within an hour of consuming whey
  • Stomachache and even diarrhea after consuming whey
  • Stuffed up nose (in conjunction with the other symptoms)
  • Excessive mucous in the throat after consuming whey
  • Sometimes coughing and sneezing will occur if the reaction passes to the lungs
  • Skin rash, for some people.

Gluten-free protein powder

People with gluten allergies have to avoid protein powders with wheat ingredients, which most cheap protein powders contain. You may not realize that you are gluten-sensitive, but it could be the cause of your upset stomach from protein powder.

  • Stomachache and bloating after consuming gluten
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • For some people, headaches and brain fog can also occur
  • Sometimes a skin rash as well

High quality protein powders made from pure ingredients only will typically be gluten-free. Cheaper brands often use filler ingredients, and often contain some amount of wheat – and therefore gluten.

Pure, natural, and hypoallergenic: These are the keys

If you aren’t lactose or gluten-intolerant but still have trouble digesting protein powder, you’re probably allergic to the highly-processed filler ingredients that are typically mixed into cheap protein powders. Unethical companies “spike” their protein powders with low quality, factory ingredients designed to trick lab tests to show a higher percentage of protein than the powder really contains. (You can read more detailed information about this at Jim Stoppani’s site here and you can see the results of a detailed lab test for protein spiking here.) Since your body isn’t really designed to digest these artificial ingredients, some of the protein powder goes undigested in your body, which causes gas, bloating, or worse. You can avoid this by using pure protein powders with no added ingredients besides the protein source. for protein rich meals
Your protein powder should be made from whole-food sources like these.

Artificial flavoring and digestive problems

One of the biggest culprits for sensitive stomachs are artificial flavors composed of sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are a type of chemical used as an artificial sweetener in many protein powders. They actually contain neither sugar nor alcohol, contrary to what you would expect. Nonetheless, they are not very good for you, and some people have a very bad reaction to them taking the form of stomach pain and nausea. Sugar alcohols are considered more healthy than regular sugar since they do not fully digest and therefore do not increase your blood sugar as high as sugar does. Unfortunately, this also means that they can cause great digestive distress since they are not fully absorbed by the small intestine and cannot be completely removed by the body without a lot of trouble. Your best bet is to just buy unsweetened protein powder and add something natural to it like cocoa for the taste.

Hypoallergenic protein powders are free from all ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, which is why we always recommend them to anyone with digestive symptoms after drinking protein supplements. Generally, the purer and higher quality the protein source, the better for those of us with gastrointestinal issues.

Probiotics: Essential for digestion

If you are confident that your stomach problems with protein powder aren’t stemming from a food allergy or intolerance, then it’s possible that you are suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The key to managing your IBS and still getting an adequate protein intake is to consume probiotics alongside the protein. There are colonies of beneficial bacteria in your gut, which are essential for digesting protein properly. Scientific studies have found that IBS sufferers have less of these beneficial bacteria than a healthy person. (Source: Probiotic Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.) Probiotics are a source of these beneficial bacteria – adding them to your protein powder can be just the ticket for smoother, pain-free digestion. Although you can buy probiotic supplements, by far the best source of probiotics is unpasteurized sauerkraut or kimchi.

sauerkraut for probiotics at

Digest the best, discard the rest

For many people, large doses of protein are simply too much to digest properly. In order to fully digest protein, your body creates stomach acid, primarily out of hydrochloric acid. There needs to be enough of this stomach acid in order to use a digestive enzyme called Pepsin. Pepsin is what your digestive system uses to turn the complex chemical structure of protein into simple building blocks that can be fully absorbed by your body. You can use the Heidelberg Test to diagnose if this digestion process is working properly. If you are having issues we strongly advise adding probiotics to your food as mentioned earlier. You can also use a protein powder like IntestiCleanse with digestive enzymes included, which gives the stomach the necessary ability to digest the amino acids in the protein.

Combining foods for better digestion

Combining your protein powder with a whole food source can also help you digest it better. Foods high in fat tend to digest slower, making them the best choice if you go this route. Peanut butter makes a perfect addition to protein powder in our experience!

peanut protein powder

Mix it up!

Finally, if you are mixing your protein powder with milk, the source of your stomach issues might not be the protein powder at all. It might actually be the lactose content of the milk that you are reacting to, especially if you are lactose-intolerant. Try goat’s milk instead; it contains a significantly lower amount of lactose than cow milk. Strange as it sounds, lots of people have been finding that replacing cow milk with goat’s milk actually helps their digestion a lot!

goats like protein from

Best Protein Powder for Acne Prone Skin – updated 2018

Your protein powder is making your acne problem worse; it turns out that you are probably right. More and more people (and not just teenagers and bodybuilders) are starting to have the frustrating experience of choosing between an acne-free face and their health and strength. Fortunately, you don’t have to make this choice. There are a few simple solutions for protein acne that don’t involve throwing out all your protein powder or starting horrible acne treatments like accutane. Below we have listed several brands and compared them on qualities relevant for acne-prone skin. For more detailed information, continue reading after the chart.

ImageProduct DetailsVeganHypo-
Pure Therapeutics Daily Vegan Protein Vanilla Flavor
NutraBio 100% Whey Protein Isolate
Pea Protein Isolate - Vegan, Non-GMO, Lactose, Soy and Gluten FreeYesYesNo
Paleo Protein Egg White PowderNoNoNo
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 50 Protein Supplement

The Problem

The biggest reason that everyone is getting acne from their protein powder is this: Major protein companies are using shockingly low quality ingredients in their factories. Unfortunately, over the last few years it’s becoming clear that many manufacturers are in the business of cutting costs by slashing the purity of their ingredients. This not only affects the amount of actual protein in the powder (that’s right, it’s very possible that you are getting cheated out of protein. Check this list of powders to see if you’re wasting money on counterfeit protein) but this unethical behavior also affects your health in general, and that includes skin health too. If you’re putting something in your body, it should be as pure and close to nature as possible, not some lead-filled, GMO sludge from China! The more natural a product, the less impurities and chemicals it contains. Unnatural ingredients like this absolutely increase your acne. (And by the way, the more natural protein you get, the better it’s gonna taste.)

You are going to pay more for a premium product, but trust us, it really is worth it. When it comes to your health, always get the best. That’s a rule to live by. Just browse around for protein powders and see what you can find. Two good things to search for are “GMO-free” and “grass-fed” and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a pure, natural product.

protein for acne
Stay natural, stay healthy!

Whey Too Much Lactose

Ingesting impure, unnatural ingredients isn’t the only culprit for those with acne-prone skin though. A pretty large number of people find themselves still suffering with acne, even when they cut out all the low quality, unhealthy, factory processed food from their lives. For these people, it’s very likely that whey protein itself is causing their acne. There’s two big reasons for this. Number one: Whey is a dairy product, and dairy is a big no-no for a lot of people with acne due to the lactose content. Some people can digest lactose perfectly well, other people (probably the majority of people) really can’t, and this inability to fully digest the lactose shows up as acne. The other reason that acne prone people should avoid whey protein is related to hormones, IGF-1 in particular. In addition to containing lactose, whey is also well-known for increasing IGF-1 production in your body. IGF-1 is a naturally occurring hormone, a form of insulin which causes muscle growth among other things. This is actually a big part of the reason why whey is so good for bodybuilding and strength training. Unfortunately, this is also the downside to whey for victims of acne. Recent studies have found that the IGF-1 which whey protein increases is also clearly linked to acne. (See below) This negative of IGF-1 doesn’t bite everyone, but if you’re one of the unlucky ones, then watch out! For still unknown reasons, it appears that women are significantly more likely to suffer from this annoying effect of IGF-1.

You don't have to live with acne to get strong.
You don’t have to live with acne to get strong.

If the lactose content in whey protein is causing your acne, you don’t actually have to stop taking whey protein. All you need to do is use whey isolate instead of whey concentrate. These are both types of whey protein, but whey isolate has no lactose in it. Whey concentrate, the more common (and cheaper) form of whey protein, is chock-full of lactose. Whey isolate protein powder can be harder to find in stores, but it’s pretty easy to find online. We advise that those who suffer from chronic acne use a zero carb protein powder. Carbohydrates increase IGF-1 production, which we discussed above as a culprit for acne. Not many people realize that their protein powder probably contains quite a few grams of carbs, and even fewer people realize that this could be causing them to get acne! (it could be causing them to fail to lose fat, but that’s another story) So if you want less acne, buy zero carb whey isolate protein powder.

You’ve Got Options

Unfortunately, for some people, zero carb whey isolate just isn’t enough. If you find that you are one of these people and whey itself is causing your acne, then you need to try a different sort of protein. Fortunately, there are actually a ton of different sources used to make protein powder. Whey protein powder is by far the most popular, but this is only because it’s cheapest to produce. There are plenty of other types of protein powder that work just as well as whey. For acne though, we recommend you avoid any protein powder made with corn, wheat, or gluten. Just check the ingredients list for these three. Even if you don’t have a definite problem with these ingredients, it’s better to stay on the safe side here. A lot of people find that their immune systems can’t handle these common allergens very well. You may have been eating corn on the cob for years without realizing that it was responsible for your acne. It sounds silly, but it’s actually very possible!

Double_ring_leap best protein powder for skin
Unrelated picture. It’s just too cool to not share it!

Bro, This Shake is Egg-cellent

Egg protein is frequently recommended as an alternative to whey protein. It’s your best bet if you are very sensitive and break out easily, but still want an animal protein source. While it’s not unheard of to have an egg allergy (which can manifest as acne), it’s a lot more common to be allergic to whey. We advise that you experiment with your protein powder. Keep going down the line, choosing more and more hypoallergenic protein sources. Each time you change to a different protein powder, use it for a few weeks and see if effects your acne. Alternatively, you could skip all that and just choose the sure-thing, the near-guaranteed acne-free protein powder. Keep reading for that!

Hormones and Acne

It would be best to avoid soy protein if you get acne, since the phytoestrogen content of this protein source is well known to alter your natural hormone levels. Unstable, spiking hormones wreak havoc on those of us who get acne, as any teenager can tell you! However, if you still have your heart set on soy protein, you should choose soy isolate to minimize the potential damage to your skin. Soy isolate has the least phytoestrogen content of all soy proteins. You should know that there are a lot of other plant-based protein options available these days however.

Planting Your Flag Against Acne

If you still find yourself having acne trouble from protein powder, even after eliminating whey, soy, gluten, corn, wheat, and egg, then you should select a plant-based protein source such as pea protein, hemp protein, or rice protein. It is extremely rare to have any sort of allergic reaction, including acne, from these protein powders. Just make sure to avoid soy.

Of all these powders, the one most often recommended by severely acne-prone people is pea protein powder. Pea protein is virtually guaranteed to not give you acne, since it is almost completely hypoallergenic. This is why most people with bad protein related acne typically recommend pea protein powder as the best to avoid breakouts.

Clear Skin and a High Protein Diet – Yes It IS Possible!

Finding a protein powder that won’t cause you to get acne can be a seriously frustrating issue to face, especially if you are a teenager or someone just getting into fitness, but it really doesn’t have to be. All you need to do is identify the true source of your protein acne, and then choose a type of protein powder that doesn’t contain your banned ingredient! We hope that this guide will help you do just that. Keep in mind as well that you are not alone here. Getting acne from protein powder has actually become quite a common problem in the last few years. There are quite a few manufacturers out there producing lower quality protein with impure ingredients and for those of us prone to acne, this can spell disaster for our sensitive immune systems. You may have to spend a little more than you did in the past to get a high quality product for yourself, but we think you’ll agree that it’s worth it. Clear skin and a healthy body always are!

monika clear skin protein powder
Health is beauty.


For more information about the link between IGF-1 and acne, take a look at this study.

Correlation between serum levels of insulin-like growth factor 1, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and dihydrotestosterone and acne lesion counts in adult women.”