The Best Lactose Free Protein Powder

Research shows that up to 75% of the population may have an intolerance to lactose. Almost all children have the necessary enzymes when they’re young to break down lactose.

However, as we grow older we tend to lose these enzymes and eventually become lactose intolerant. In fact, recently we’ve started to refer to those who still can digest milk as lactose persistent. [1]

So what does this have to do with working out and body building? Whey protein powder.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the vast majority of the population is lactose intolerant, whey protein powder is the most common protein powder on the market.

Fortunately, it’s no longer just whey protein powder that you’ll find stocked on your local supplement store or online, a wide range of vegan protein powders now are available. And, if you’re dead set on using whey powder there are certain types, which contain almost no lactose.

The Top Lactose Free Protein Powder

Pea Protein Powder

Pea protein powder is one of our favorites. It’s cheap and it’s easy to digest. Also compared to many other types of plant-based protein it’s got a great amino acid profile.

However, it is not a complete protein, which means you should consider buying a blend or mix it yourself with brown rice protein powder.

Brown Rice Protein Powder

Brown rice protein powder is traditionally blended with pea protein powder to provide a complete protein.

Aside from having to mix two protein powders to create a complete protein, the biggest downside of brown rice protein is it’s composition. It contains a solid amount of protein, but far less Leucine and slightly less Isoleucine and Valine.

Those of course are BCAA’s which are often hailed as the most important of the amino acids as they make up 35% of the protein found in muscle tissue.

Soy Protein Powder

There are a lot of good reasons to stay away from Soy. For starters it contains Phytic Acid, which can impair the absorption of zinc and iron two important minerals. It should be noted, there are lots of nuts and grains which contain Phytic Acid but Soy is one of the worst offenders.

Probably more alarming is the fact that it contains estrogen which impacts both men and women’s hormones. For men it causes a decrease in testosterone product; which is problematic. Testosterone is responsible for our sex drive and it plays a critical role in building muscle.

Odds are if you’re taking Soy protein powder you’re trying to build muscle, which is counter productive.

Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein powder is actually one of the better plant-based options. It contains all of the amino acids meaning you don’t have to mix or blend it with another plant based powder.

The downside? It is way less concentrated than other protein powders including whey, pea or brown rice protein powder.

Take for instance Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder, it requires 3 tbsp and only has 11g’s of protein. What’s the big deal? Well you’d need to take a 1/3 of a cup to match a typical serving from whey or pea protein powder.

Mixing a 1/3 of a cup of protein powder into any liquid isn’t very appealing. It also becomes extremely expensive when you start using an equivalent serving sized based on protein.

Whey Isolate Protein Powder

Okay, this isn’t exactly a lactose free option. It does however, contain far less lactose than other types of whey powder. Depending on how bad the situation is you might be able to get away with using a Whey Isolate Protein Powder.

What is Whey Protein Isolate?

Whey protein powder comes in three main forms; whey concentrate, whey isolate and whey hydrolysate. Whey concentrate is the least processed of the bunch, however it can contain the smallest percentage of protein powder.

Lower end concentrates only contain ~30% protein where as whey isolate contains 90% or more protein. The downside is in order to get the higher percentage of protein whey isolate is further processed.

This article​ does a nice job of explaining the downside of having the whey protein undergo additional processes. Of course, if you're lactose intolerant, you'll appreciate the trade-offs. The problem with most whey protein powder is they're often mixed.

Bulk supplements makes a clean whey isolate. Compare that to one of the more popular protein powder's on the market; Optimum Nutrition's Whey Gold Standard and you'll see the immediate difference. Optimum Nutrition's protein powder is a blend of Whey powder (to make it cheaper) . 

Reviews: Lactose Free Protein Powder

  • Pea
  • Brown RICE
  • SOy
  • HEMP
  • Whey Isolate

Bulk Supplements Whey Protein Isolate

$

This a clean whey isolate protein powder. It does use soy lecithin as it's emulsifier (makes it easier to mix) which isn't ideal. 

That being said, it's hard to find a cleaner whey isolate than Bulk Supplements. 

XWerks: Grow Grass Fed Whey Isolate Protein

$$

With 25g of protein all from whey isolate this is a great alternative if you're looking for something that is still healthy, but tastes a little bit better. I love that it's sourced from grass fed cows, I don't love the price point but overall this is a pretty damn good option.

If you can't hack the taste or the price of this, I suggest trying Legion Whey+ Vanilla Isolate Protein Powder.

[1] http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/what-is-lactose-intolerance