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4 Best Beef Protein Powders in 2024

There are plenty of reasons why you may not want a dairy-based protein shake. Whether you’re allergic, or lactose intolerant, there are more alternatives available than plant-based shakes. In this article, we’ll be covering the 4 best beef protein powders available today. 

Before getting into our list, it’s worth noting that unlike whey and most plant-based blends, these meat-based protein powders are not a complete protein, as it’s missing the essential amino acid tryptophan. However, it is especially high in amino acids glycine and proline, which promote the production of collagen in the body. 

Our team of certified nutritionists and professional athletes has reviewed 10 products and the best ones made it to this list. We’ve based our evaluations on 5 key factors and we have spent 2 weeks testing most of these products out. Additionally, we have also analyzed hundreds of online user reviews. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section because our list is regularly updated.

4 best beef protein powders

Top 4 Best Beef Protein Powders Reviewed

  1. BulkSupplements Beef Protein Isolate – Top-Pick
  2. Carnebolic by Ultimate Nutrition – Runner Up
  3. Equip Foods Beef Protein Isolate – Best Tasting
  4. MuscleMeds Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate – Informed Choice Certified
ProductTotalMacro
Breakdown
Taste /
Flavor
MixabilityNutrition Label
Transparency
Value
for Money
BulkSupplements48108.59.59.510
Ultimate Nutrition47.510999.59.5
Equip Foods46.599.59.59.59
MuscleMeds4698.59109.5
TOP PICK

1. BulkSupplements Beef Protein Isolate

BulkSupplements Beef Protein Isolate
  • Best For: Fat Loss, Gaining Muscle, Recovery
  • Serving Size: 30g
  • Protein per Serving: 25g
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio: 83%
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Added Sugar: 0g
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.27
  • Company Founded: 2006
  • Recommended by Athletes: Jovan J. Campbell, Adam Montrose, Shayne Kawika

Starting off our list is our pick for the best beef-based protein powder, which comes from Bulk Supplements. Although this doesn’t have any flavor variety, it does deliver some of the highest protein content on our list. 

Each serving contains 110 calories, which is about the average for our list. This product  contains no carbs, no fat, and 25g of protein in each serving. This will make it a good choice for anybody looking for a keto-friendly supplement. 

One of the biggest downsides here is the lack of flavor variety. All the other options on our list have a good amount of different flavors to choose from, but you’ll be stuck with unflavored protein with Bulk Supplements. This may be a big drawback, especially considering the typically unpleasant taste of beef protein. 

It’s also worth noting that this is the simplest formula on our list, containing only 1 ingredient – beef protein isolate. 

Finally, in terms of price, Bulk Supplements protein will cost you ~$1.27 per serving if you buy the 1kg bag. While it will be significantly cheaper if you buy a larger size (5kg, or 20kg), it will be more expensive if you buy a smaller size (100g, 250g, or 500g). With this being said, buying a smaller package may be ideal if you just want to try this supplement out.

48 EXPERT SCORE

Bulk Supplements offers a simple, no-nonsense beef protein isolate powder with a no-carb formula perfect for keto diets.


Macronutrient Breakdown:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Simple, single-ingredient formula
  • Good value for money
  • Wide range of package sizes available

Could be better:

  • Only comes unflavored
  • Smaller package sizes are significantly more expensive
Runner Up

2. Carnebolic by Ultimate Nutrition

Carnebolic by Ultimate Nutrition
  • Best For: Fat Loss, Gaining Muscle, Recovery
  • Serving size: 28g
  • Protein per Serving: 24g
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio: 86%
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Added Sugar: 0g
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.17
  • Company Founded: 1979
  • Recommended by Athletes: Chitrika Bhansali, Elisabeth Akinwale, John Prather

Taking the runner-up spot on our list is Carnebolic hydrolyzed beef protein powder, which offers a solid keto-friendly macro breakdown, great value for money, and a solid amount of flavor variety. 

Carnebolic also has a fairly standard calorie count of 100 calories per serving. Similar to bulk supplements, there are no fats or carbs, with 24g of protein. Although this is lower than Bulk Supplements, because of the smaller serving size, Carnebolic still has a slightly higher protein-by-weight ratio. 

This product has significantly more flavor variety than Bulk Supplements, with 6 options to choose from. Although it has standard flavors like chocolate and vanilla, it has 4 fruitier flavors as well. In our opinion, because of the strong taste of beef protein, chocolate will likely be your best bet. Also, it’s odd that there’s no unflavored option available for those who want to add their own flavoring. 

One downside when comparing Carnebolic to Bulk Supplements is the ingredient list. Our top pick is a single-ingredient, all-natural supplement, while this contains several artificial sweeteners and dyes. Keep this in mind if you’d prefer to avoid ingredients like sucralose and acesulfame potassium. 

Finally, at ~$1.17 per serving for the 60-serving container, this is a slightly more budget-friendly option than Bulk Supplements. Just keep in mind that the 30-serving option will be more expensive if you want a smaller container.

47.5 EXPERT SCORE

Carnebolic offers high protein content, great flavor variety, and a fair price – just be aware the formula does contain some artificial ingredients.


Macronutrient Breakdown:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • High-protein macro breakdown
  • Good flavor variety
  • Good value for money, especially for the larger package size

Could be better:

  • Formula contains some artificial ingredients
  • No unflavored option available
Best Tasting

3. Equip Foods Beef Protein Isolate

Equip Foods Beef Protein Isolate
  • Best For: Fat Loss, Gaining Muscle, Recovery
  • Serving size: 21-26g
  • Protein per Serving: 20-21g
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio: 77-95%
  • Carbohydrates: 0-3g
  • Fat: 0-2g
  • Added Sugar: 0g
  • Price per Serving: ~$2.27
  • Company Founded: 2016
  • Recommended by Athletes: Maria Emmerich, Jamie Reisinger, Dr. Stephanie Estima

Next on our list is Equip Foods’ Beef Protein Isolate, which has some of the best flavor variety on our list. Just keep in mind that the high price point of this grass-fed beef protein powder may not make this an ideal option for everyone. 

Keep in mind that this is the first option on our list to contain some carbs and fats in certain flavors, although not likely enough to make it unsuitable for those on keto. Each 90-110 calorie serving is broken down between 0-2g of fat, 0-3g of carbs, and 20-21g of protein. Keep in mind that Prime Protein still has a solid protein-by-weight ratio at 82%, making it similar to the top 2 picks on our list, despite a slightly lower amount of protein per serving. 

Equip foods protein instagram
Photo by @equipfoods

Prime Protein has some of the best flavor variety on our list, containing 7 unique flavors, including unique offerings like peanut butter and salted caramel. They also have an unflavored option available for those who want to keep it simple. 

Despite all the different flavors, Prime Protein still offers a simple, all-natural formula. Most of the sweetening comes from stevia and other natural flavors instead of artificial ingredients. 

Finally, at ~$2.27 per serving, this is easily the most expensive product on our list, being over twice as much as some of the other options. However, considering the excellent flavor variety and high-quality formula, this price may still be worth it to some.

46.5 EXPERT SCORE

While it comes at a premium price point, Prime Protein delivers excellent flavor variety and a high-quality beef protein formula.


Macronutrient Breakdown:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Naturally flavored formula
  • Excellent flavor variety
  • Especially high protein-by-weight ratio in some flavors

Could be better:

  • Most expensive option on our list
  • Macros vary from flavor to flavor
Informed Choice Certified

4. MuscleMeds Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate

MuscleMeds Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate
  • Best For: Fat Loss, Gaining Muscle, Recovery
  • Serving size: 29-33.9g
  • Protein per Serving: 23g
  • Protein-by-Weight Ratio: 68-79%
  • Carbohydrates: 3-6g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Added Sugar: 0g
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.07
  • Company Founded: 2008
  • Recommended by Athletes: Robert Willmote, Julia De Pompeo, Cenat Ricardo

Closing off our list is MuscleMeds’ Carnivor beef protein, which is an Informed Choice Certified option. While this does work out to be the cheapest option on our list, it does have some downsides largely related to its macro breakdown. 

For a 110-120 calorie serving, you’ll be getting no fat, 3-6g of carbs, and 23g of protein. It’s worth noting that Musclemeds has the worst average protein-by-weight ratio on our list. Also, while you may still be able to make higher-carb flavors like chocolate and vanilla caramel work on a keto diet, with 6g of carbs per serving, they wouldn’t be ideal. 

You do get the highest amount of flavor variety on our list with 9 different options. However, it’s worth noting that Musclemeds only provides the unique nutritional information for 5 of the flavors on Amazon, so the macros may vary slightly from the numbers provided above. 

Similar to Carnebolic, this formula is far from simple, containing several artificial ingredients including sucralose. It does appear this product also contains some creatine and BCAAs, although it’s unclear how much you’ll be getting. 

At ~$1.07 per serving, this is the cheapest option on our list, making it a great budget pick. However, be sure to keep the macro breakdown and formula in mind when making your decision.

46 EXPERT SCORE

MuscleMeds is still a great budget option despite having a less-than-ideal macro breakdown and formula.


Macronutrient Breakdown:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Excellent flavor variety
  • Budget-friendly pick
  • Informed Choice Certified

Could be better:

  • Formula contains several artificial filler ingredients
  • Macro breakdown is fairly high in carbs for certain flavors

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What are the Reasons for Choosing Beef Protein?

You may be wondering, “What’s the point of beef protein?” While whey protein will likely be a better option for most people, some people can’t use whey because of dairy allergies or intolerances. If this is the case, beef protein is a good alternative, especially if you’re not a fan of plant-based shakes. 

1. Milk Allergy

First, while it’s most common in children, milk allergies can affect anyone. Keep in mind that this isn’t the same as milk/lactose intolerance, which we’ll be covering more in-depth below. The main difference is that intolerances are related to the gastrointestinal tract, while allergies are related to the immune system.

Intolerances are typically caused when there are too few or too many enzymes in the digestive tract, leading to certain nutrients not being completely digested. Intolerances are commonly much less severe than allergies, which can be life-threatening. 

preparing beef protein

Some common milder symptoms of milk allergies include hives, nausea, diarrhea, and a rash. More severe symptoms include anaphylaxis, which includes chest tightness, and difficulty breathing. Anaphylaxis can be fatal if not treated properly. 

Someone who wants a high-quality protein powder with a milk allergy is limited to either plant-based options, or animal-based alternatives like egg protein, or, as we’re covering, beef protein.

2. Dairy/Lactose Intolerance

Much more common than milk allergies is lactose intolerance. This is when your body is unable to digest dairy products containing high amounts of lactose. It’s thought that lactose intolerance affects 30 to 50 million Americans, with most being of African or Asian descent. 

Symptoms of lactose intolerance are often much milder than allergy symptoms. They commonly include bloating, diarrhea, and gas after the ingestion of dairy.

While dairy-free protein powders (beef, plant-based, egg, etc.), will always be safe for lactose-intolerant individuals, did you know that whey isolate may also be fine? This is because whey isolates are highly filtered, often leading them to be nearly 100% lactose-free. Certain whey isolates will have specific lactose-free labels to indicate this. However, especially if you’re sensitive, it may be best to avoid dairy products altogether, making beef protein a good alternative.  

3. Dislike of Plant-Based Protein

Overall, for most people who can’t consume dairy for whatever reason, plant-based protein will typically be the go-to alternative. However, many people dislike the taste and texture of plant-based protein, which is why beef protein is a great alternative. 

It’s worth noting that although most plant-based proteins contain all 9 essential amino acids, beef protein does not. However, animal-based protein is typically more bioavailable than plant-based protein. As a result, neither will necessarily be as optimal for building muscle as whey. 

Still, if you find plant protein unpleasant, remember that non-dairy, animal-based protein is always an option, whether it’s beef or another alternative like egg.

How to Choose the Best Beef Protein Powder

Before deciding on a beef protein, there are a few characteristics you’ll want to consider. Mainly, think about your own dietary needs, and what you plan on using beef protein for.

1. Macro Breakdown and Formula

First, it’s a good idea to compare the protein content of different beef proteins to decide which has the best value for money. We recommend comparing the protein-by-weight over protein by serving, as this will usually be a better indicator.

Also, especially if you follow a keto diet, be sure to keep a close eye on the carb content. While most beef proteins are keto-friendly, if you heavily restrict carbs, you’ll want to double-check this. 

beef protein drink in glass

Finally, be sure to check the ingredients list to make sure you’re ok with everything included. Some of the options on our list contain artificial ingredients like sucralose and artificial dyes. If you’d prefer to avoid these, consider a supplement with a simpler formula. 

2. Consider the Flavor and Taste

Next, be sure you’re choosing a flavor that you’ll enjoy using. Beef protein has a fairly strong taste, even when it’s flavored. As a result, it may be best to blend with additional ingredients such as fruit and nut butter to create a more palatable drink. Keep in mind that unflavored beef protein may be a useful protein-rich addition to broth or soups!

It’s always a good idea to check the reviews of a supplement to gauge what its flavor will be like. While taste is largely subjective, this should give you a decent idea of what to expect, as well as which flavors are best. 

What Do You Need to Know if you are Choosing your First Beef Protein?

Before buying beef protein, it’s important to understand that there are a few reasons it’s much less popular than dairy-based and plant-based alternatives. 

First, beef protein is not a complete protein like most other alternatives. Beef protein does not contain any tryptophan, which is one of the 9 essential amino acids. Despite this, current research suggests that there isn’t a major difference between whey and beef protein supplementation when it comes to body composition. 

beef protein powder in scoops

In addition to this, and arguably more importantly, beef protein just doesn’t taste very good. Especially when compared with the rich, creamy texture of whey protein, beef can’t compare. Although it can be palatable, especially if you choose a flavored supplement and mix it with other ingredients, don’t expect anything too delicious! 

Is Beef Better Than Whey?

In short, no, whey will be a better choice for the vast majority of people. 

Beef protein isn’t a complete protein, whereas whey is. However, as mentioned above, current research suggests that despite this, both provide similar effects on body composition when compared to no protein supplementation. 

Still, in terms of taste and texture, whey is a far superior option. Although taste is largely subjective, you’d likely be hard-pressed to find someone who prefers the taste of beef protein over whey. 

preparing beef protein drink

With all this being said, beef is still a valid alternative to whey, especially in the case of dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. Even so, most people who can’t tolerate dairy will likely prefer plant-based protein over beef protein shakes when it comes to taste and texture. 

FAQ

Is Beef Protein Powder Good?

While beef protein can certainly be an effective alternative to whey when necessary, it’s tough to say that its taste is in the same league as whey or even most plant-based proteins. Taste is largely subjective, so it’s worth giving beef protein a try to see if you enjoy it. However, if you’re used to whey protein, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll prefer beef protein when comparing the 2. 

Is Beef Protein just Collagen?

No, collagen is different from beef protein. Collagen is most commonly used to support joint health, while beef protein is marketed more as a fitness supplement. While these are slightly different supplements, beef protein is still high in glycine and proline, which are both necessary amino acids for collagen production in the body. Still, these 2 supplements have very differen tnutrient profiles, so beef protein likely doesn’t have many of the same benefits as collagen.  

Is Beef Protein Powder Safe?

Yes, it appears beef protein is completely safe. With this being said, if you’re concerned about any potential contaminants, double-check any beef protein products for third-party certifications like Informed Choice. 

Conclusion

While beef protein will likely never overtake whey as the most popular type of protein on the market, it’s still worth considering as an alternative. Although it’s not a complete protein, research still suggests that it’s similarly effective to whey in terms of body composition. Also, its high glycine and proline contents may make it conducive to collagen production.  

With this being said, arguably the biggest drawback to beef protein is its taste. While some people may enjoy it, there likely aren’t many people who would find it more appealing than whey protein. 

Overall, if you’re interested in giving beef protein a shot, consider checking out BulkSupplements Beef Protein Isolate.

Have you ever tried beef protein? What’s your opinion on beef protein vs. whey? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1. Health Library, “Milk Allergy,” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/11315-milk-allergy (Accessed Jan. 11, 2024)
  2. Victoria Louwagie, “Food Intolerance or Food Allergy?”, Mayo Clinic Health System, https://sncs-prod-external.mayo.edu/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/food-intolerance-or-food-allergy (Accessed Jan. 11, 2024)
  3. Stefania Manetti, “Amino Acids”, UFHealth.org, https://ufhealth.org/conditions-and-treatments/amino-acids (Accessed Jan. 11, 2024)
  4. Pedro L. Valenzuela, et. al, “Does Beef Protein Supplementation Improve Body Composition and Exercise Performance? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials” Nutrients. Jun; 11(6): 1429. (2019).
  5. The Nutrition Source, “Collagen,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/collagen/ (Accessed Jan. 11, 2024)

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All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

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Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Nutrition and Sport Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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