7 Best Paleo Protein Powders in 2024

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko (5 years as FPA-Certified Nutritionist, MS in Sports Dietetics)

The best paleo protein powder combines a healthy protein source like beef, broth, or egg white protein with collagen to provide multiple benefits to the user. A paleo friendly protein powder is also low in fats and added sugars, which keeps the calorie count down, as well. Paleo protein shakes should also mix and taste well through natural flavors and no artificial sweeteners. Lastly, a paleo diet protein shake should be free of sources like grain, whey, and several plant-based proteins, too.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Transparent Labs Collagen Hydrolysate.


The primary aim of the protein is to help promote vitality as collagen peptides have been shown to combat aging symptoms like wrinkly skin, muscle aches, joint pain, and brittle/thinning hair.

best paleo protein powder

Top 7 Best Paleo Protein Powders Reviewed

 

PorductTotalTaste/
Flavour
Nutrition Label TransparencyFat
Content Transparency
MixabilityValue for Money
Transparent Labs Collagen Protein58910101010
PaleoPro Protein56.58109.51010
Active Stacks Beef Protein561010999
Equip Foods Prime Protein55.59109.599
Vital Protein Collagen Peptides54.598.59.599
Design for Health Protein5499999
Left Coast Performance Protein53.58.51098.58.5
Transparent Labs Collagen Hydrolysate
  • Purpose of the Protein: Muscle Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Hydrolyzed Bovine Collagen
  • Serving Size: 30 grams
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.16
  • Protein-by-Weight-Ratio: 33%
  • Protein: 10 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Added Sugar: 0 grams
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, Terron Beckham, Paul Sklar, and Sean Harris.

Transparent Labs Collagen Hydrolysate only has 45 calories and comes with 10 grams of protein. The overall Protein-by-Weight-Ratio is 33 percent, the rest is made up of 2 grams of carbohydrates as the protein has no fat or added sugars and 11 grams of hydrolyzed bovine collagen.


The primary aim of the protein is to help promote vitality as collagen peptides have been shown to combat aging symptoms like wrinkly skin, muscle aches, joint pain, and brittle/thinning hair.


Along with vitality benefits, the protein is also meant to enhance joint function and integrity. Collagen peptides have been clinically tested to show that they can treat joint issues and mobility.


The hydrolysate form of collagen helps with the mixability and absorption of the protein powder.


The protein is free of artificial sweeteners, coloring, and preservatives. Instead, it uses natural flavors, stevia, and cocoa powder.


The protein only has a chocolate flavor. So, if you’re someone who likes more variety and options, you might find that lacking here. But the chocolate flavor tastes really good because of the natural flavors, stevia, and cocoa powder.

58Expert Score

The Transparent Labs protein is free of artificial sweeteners, coloring, and preservatives. Instead, it uses natural flavors, stevia, and cocoa powder.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Fat Content Transparency:
10
Mixability:
10
Value for Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Only 45 calories

  • Promotes vitality and better joint function

  • Hydrolysate form makes it easy to mix and absorb

Could be better:

  • Limited flavor options

  • Low Protein-by-Weight-Ratio

2. PaleoPro Protein Powder — Runner Up

PaleoPro Protein Powder
  • Purpose of the Protein: Muscle Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Lean Beef Protein & Egg White Protein
  • Serving Size: 30 grams
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.43
  • Protein-by-Weight-Ratio: 86%
  • Proteins: 26 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Added Sugar: 0 grams
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by Athletes: Lisa Reed and Adrienne Daly
customer show her paleopro pack

photo by nhhnutrition

PaleoPro Protein Powder is gluten and dairy free, while also having zero sugar, soy, and grains. Instead, the protein powder has 26 grams of lean beef protein and egg white protein, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat. The overall calorie count is 120, so the Protein-by-Weight-Ratio ends up being 86%.

The entire protein is only made up of 6 ingredients: Beef protein isolate, egg white protein, cocoa powder, natural flavours, monk fruit extract, and sunflower lecithin.

So, you won’t find any artificial sweeteners, colouring, or preservatives. The sunflower lecithin is often added to protein shakes to help with the mixability of the protein. That’s the reason why it’s one of the 6 ingredients as you shouldn’t have any protein clumping after mixing the shake thoroughly.

However, there is a beef aftertaste that persists, which might not be to everyone's liking. Also, the taste has a grittiness to it, which might not sit well with some.

As for the flavours, PaleoPro offers 3 unique choices with Aztec Vanilla, Ancient Cacao, and Mayan Mocha. But if you just want something plain and simple, you can also pick plain naked.

As for the value for money, you can either get a 16-ounce packet or a 1-pound pack, with the price difference being minimal between the two. The 26 grams of protein is quite high for a paleo protein shake, so you’re getting your money's worth.

56.5Expert Score

The entire PaleoPro protein is only made up of 6 ingredients: Beef protein isolate, egg white protein, cocoa powder, natural flavours, monk fruit extract, and sunflower lecithin.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
8
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Fat Content Transparency:
9.5
Mixability:
10
Value for Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • High protein portion per serving

  • Comes with unique flavor options
  • Lecithin helps with the mixability

Could be better:

  • Beef aftertaste 

  • Gritty texture 

Active Stacks Beef Protein Powder
  • Purpose of the Protein: Muscle Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Beef Protein
  • Serving Size: 28 grams
  • Price Per Serving: ~$2.28
  • Protein-by-Weight-Ratio: 78%
  • Proteins: 22 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Added Sugar: Not Specified
  • Recommended by Athletes: Juli Bauer Roth and Kelli Bettridge
customer shows active stacks bottle of protein

Made of just four ingredients, the Active Stacks Beef Protein Powder provides 22 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fat. The sugar quantity is unknown as they don’t specify it on their label. Also, compared to other paleo proteins, 4 grams of carbs is on the higher side. However, if you’re looking for a meal replacement paleo shake, then the 4 grams of carbs can come in handy.

The protein is meant to help you build muscle while renewing your skin and joints. The latter is accomplished through the naturally occurring collagen and BCAAs, which are included in the shake. There is also a boost of glycine, which is supposed to help you sleep and improve your cognition, as well.

It comes without any artificial sweeteners, colouring, or preservatives. Instead, the protein is sweetened with just de-bittered stevia leaf extract. As for the flavours, you only have the choice between chocolate and vanilla. The chocolate flavour is supposed to taste like dark chocolate and is smooth as Active Stacks even promises no chalkiness or gritty texture.

However, there could be some potential mixability issues as the protein has no lecithin or hydrolysate form.

As for the value for your money, the price per serving of the protein is higher than other paleo options. However, you’re getting a shake with just 4 ingredients, which can make it easier to use the protein in various forms including in baked goods.

56Expert Score

The chocolate flavour is supposed to taste like dark chocolate and is smooth as Active Stacks even promises no chalkiness or gritty texture.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Fat Content Transparency:
9
Mixability:
9
Value for Money:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Uses only 4 ingredients 

  • No chalkiness or gritty texture

  • Boost of glycine

Could be better:

  • Higher price per serving 

  • Possible mixability issues 

Equip Foods Prime Protein

  • Purpose of the Protein: Muscle Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Beef Protein Powder Isolate
  • Serving Size: 30 grams
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.8
  • Protein-by-Weight-Ratio: 70%
  • Proteins: 21 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Added Sugar: 0 grams
  • Recommended by Athletes: Maria Emmerich and John Lindsey 

customer show her cooking with equip protein

photo by kamptidbits

Equip Foods Prime Protein contains 3.5 oz of grass-fed beef and 21 grams of protein with each serving. Along with 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0.5 grams of fat, and has no added sugars. The protein is also free of soy, dairy, egg, gluten, or whey.


The protein comes with collagen, micro-nutrients, and gelatin in order to help repair and build muscle tissues and improve joint integrity.


The protein uses no harmful oils or artificial flavouring. Instead, the shake is flavoured with stevia to sweeten the blend. They offer a few different flavours including chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry, vanilla, and an unflavoured option. The chocolate is supposed to taste like brownies if that’s what you enjoy.


However, one thing missing from the ingredient list is lecithin. So, there are mixability issues. You might need to blend the protein rather than shake it to make sure there isn’t any clumping.


Although the price per serving is a little high, the product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t like it. So there is no harm in trying it out and seeing for yourself.

55.5Expert Score

The Equip protein comes with collagen, micro-nutrients, and gelatin in order to help repair and build muscle tissues and improve joint integrity.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Fat Content Transparency:
9.5
Mixability:
9
Value for Money:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • Range of tasty flavors 

  • Comes with collagen, micro-nutrients, and gelatin

Could be better:

  • Doesn’t mix as well so might require a blender

  • Has a strong stevia taste that might not sit well with everyone

Vital Proteins Natural Whole Nutrition Collagen Peptides

  • Purpose of the Protein: Muscle Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Bovine Collagen Peptides
  • Serving Size: 34 grams
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.2
  • Protein-by-Weight-Ratio: 52.9%
  • Proteins: 18 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Added Sugar: 0 grams
  • Company Founded: 2013
  • Recommended by Athletes: Jennifer Aniston and Vale Genta 

customer show her meal and vial protein

Vital Proteins Natural Whole Nutrition Collagen Peptides comes with 20 grams of Collagen per serving, which is supposed to improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails while enhancing bones and joint integrity. The product contains zero carbs, fats, and added sugars. But comes with 18 grams of protein. However, the label’s calorie count isn’t accurate as the 18 grams of protein would equal over 100 protein percent of calories if you stick with the labeled 70 calories.


The powder does include 100% daily value of vitamin C, which is supposed to aid collagen production naturally. Along with 80mg of Hyaluronic Acid that supports skin hydration and elasticity. The protein also comes with your typical amino acid profile.

As for the flavours, there are only two options, chocolate and unflavoured. If you like to mix your collagen with your coffee in the morning, then the unflavoured choice should be good because it doesn’t taste like anything and doesn’t have a chalky texture.


However, there can be potential mixing issues as there are no ingredients to make that process as smooth as possible. So, don’t be surprised if you find some chunks of protein here and there.


As for the price, at $1.2 per serving, it is one of the more budget-friendly options on the market.

54.5Expert Score

Vital Proteins Natural Whole Nutrition Collagen Peptides comes with 20 grams of Collagen per serving, which is supposed to improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails while enhancing bones and joint integrity.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9.5
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
8.5
Fat Content Transparency:
9.5
Mixability:
9
Value for Money:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • 100% daily value of vitamin C

  • Hyaluronic Acid supports skin hydration and elasticity

  • No chalky texture

Could be better:

  • The calorie count on the label isn’t accurate 

  • Might find protein chunks after mixing 

Designs for Health PurePaleo Collagen Protein Powder

  • Purpose of the Protein: Muscle Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: HydroBEEF Bone Broth
  • Serving Size: 30 grams
  • Price Per Serving: ~$3
  • Protein-by-Weight-Ratio: 70%
  • Proteins: 21 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Added Sugar: Not Specified
  • Company Founded: 1989
  • Recommended by Athletes: Adrian Vilaca and Jon McDowell

The designs for health PurePaleo Collagen Protein Powder uses hydrobeef bone broth to deliver 21 grams of protein with each serving, along with 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat and the added sugar isn’t specified. The hydrobeef is over 97% pure protein and comes with branched chain amino acids for better recovery after your workout.


The product is free of GMOs, dairy, and gluten. While containing true collagen peptides to support connective tissues.


As far as the taste is concerned, the protein comes in 3 flavors, chocolate, vanilla, and an unflavoured option. The protein is sweetened with stevia and after mixing, there is no chalky taste or strange texture. However, the shake can be a bit foamy after mixing, so you would need to wait a little while to drink it.


As for the value for your money, the price per serving is $3, which is on the more expensive end of things. But you are getting a high-quality product with 97% pure protein and collagen peptides.

54Expert Score

The Design for Health protein is free of GMOs, dairy, and gluten. While containing true collagen peptides to support connective tissues.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Fat Content Transparency:
9
Mixability:
9
Value for Money:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • 97% pure protein

  • Collagen-specific amino acids

  • Easy to absorb

Could be better:

  • High price per serving rate

  • Can get foamy after mixing

Left Coast Performance Protein Powder

  • Purpose of the Protein: Muscle Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Beef Bone Broth
  • Serving Size: 21 grams
  • Price Per Serving: ~$2.57
  • Protein-by-Weight-Ratio: 100%
  • Proteins: 22 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Added Sugar: 0 grams
  • Recommended by Athletes: Patrick Maese and Tara Lynn

customer shows her coffee and left coast protein

Left Coast Performance Protein Powder is USADA certified and derives its protein from beef bone broth. Each serving contains 22 grams of protein and only 90 calories. The protein has no extra carbs or sugars, so you’re getting 100 percent Protein-by-Weight-Ratio.


There are no thickening agents like guar gums or xanthan gums, which they claim is the reason why you’re less likely to feel bloated or have any stomach issues after trying their shake. It is also free of GMOs, gluten, and dairy.


It also comes with 13 grams of collagen, which is what makes it a joint-friendly protein, along with having vitality benefits.


The protein comes in vanilla, chocolate, or unflavoured options. But, there seem to be some mixability concerns as they recommend blending their product. And to blend it on a lower setting to avoid foaming.


Also, the protein has a strong taste to it, which can overshadow other flavors and many have found the taste to not be that good. This could be concerning because the price per serving of the product is $2.57.

53.5Expert Score

Left Coast protein has no thickening agents like guar gums or xantham gums, which they claim is the reason why you’re less likely to feel bloated or have any stomach issues after trying their shake. It is also free of GMOs, gluten, and dairy.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
8.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Fat Content Transparency:
9
Mixability:
8.5
Value for Money:
8.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • USADA certified

  • No thickening agents so you shouldn’t feel bloated 

  • 13 grams of collagen

Could be better:

  • High price per serving ratio

  • Protein has a strong taste

Why Should You Consume Protein On Your Paleo Diet?

Can Help You Lose Weight or Maintain Weight Loss

If you’re on a Paleo Diet and are looking to either lose weight or maintain your current weight, it can be a great idea to supplement your diet with protein shakes. The reason for this is that protein is considered more satiating that both fat and carbohydrates. This means that when you have protein, you feel more satisfied afterward, which can stop you from snacking or eating soon after.

This can be good for both losing weight and maintaining your weight as you’re likely to eat fewer calories.

So, you can curb your cravings for different types of food by making sure you have an optimum amount of protein daily.

Stabilize Blood Sugar

Another reason to make sure you’re having plenty of protein while on a Paleo Diet is that protein can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. This takes place because protein breaks down into glucose much more slowly than carbohydrates. This slower process helps with the stability of blood sugar levels, which can lead to positive changes in your metabolism, and inflammatory and cardiovascular markers, along with many other benefits.

athlete ready to start training holding protein in hands

Build Muscle

If you live a largely sedentary lifestyle, then you could be fine with 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Especially if you have no major stress in your life and aren’t ill.

But for athletes, the protein count is much higher. If you want to build muscle then you would require somewhere between 0.5 grams to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This can be quite a lot to get through your typical Paleo Diet. That’s why protein shakes are often used to supplement your diet.

Tips From the Champ

The muscle-building aspect is perhaps the main reason why many individuals, especially athletes on a Paleo Diet require adequate protein. Protein is the building block of your muscles, so you require enough of it to maintain your muscle mass and promote muscle growth. How much protein you need will depend on the individual and your lifestyle.

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

How to Find the Best Paleo Protein Powder?

Protein Source

With a Paleo Diet, you’re trying to avoid dairy products. This can be tricky as a vast majority of protein powders are made of whey or casein protein, which are both sourced from dairy. Also, paleo protein needs to be grain free protein powder, too.

So, instead, you would want to look for a protein powder that is derived from beef protein isolate. Additionally, collagen peptides from fish and/or beef work as well.

Other options can be egg white protein, hemp protein, and even pumpkin seed protein.


Aside from whey and casein protein, you should also avoid any soy protein if you’re on a Paleo Diet.

No Added Sugars or Fake Sweeteners 

Sugar is often added by protein powder manufacturers to enhance the taste and texture. However, added sugars aren’t always healthy, and if you’re on a Paleo Diet, healthy eating is clearly your big concern. So, a protein that has a lot of corn syrup, fructose, and glucose syrup is best avoided. Instead, natural sweeteners like monk fruit, dried fruit, or stevia work.


Speaking of sweeteners, protein powders can also have a lot of artificial sweeteners like maltodextrin, aspartame, and Sucralose. These do have their own side effects, even though they help reduce the number of calories you’re intaking with your protein shake. But, it can be safer to go with the natural sweetener option in the long run.

Protein in a glass

FAQs

Are protein shakes OK on paleo?

Protein shakes can be perfectly fine on a paleo diet depending on the source of the protein and the sugar levels. Other than that, there are several benefits to making sure you are getting the proper amount of protein every day and a protein shake can help supplement your need. 

Is pea protein paleo approved?

Generally speaking, legumes aren’t allowed in a paleo diet and peas fall under the legume family. However, you have to be a strict follower of the paleo diet to abide by this because there are others who are willing to consume pea protein because of how rich in protein it is.

Additionally, if the pea protein is processed correctly, many of the antinutrients are reduced, which is the primary reason why pea isn’t typically considered paleo-friendly, to begin with. So, with the proper processing, you could have pea protein safely.

Is whey protein OK on paleo?

Paleo whey protein doesn’t go together. Whey protein is derived from dairy and dairy products are not considered paleo-friendly. So, no whey protein isn’t ok on a paleo diet despite it being a rich source of protein. 

Is plant-based protein paleo?

Traditionally speaking, the paleo diet encourages you to eat only low-glycemic plant foods. This excludes plant-based legumes, refined grains, and certain vegetables and fruits. So, it mainly depends on what kind of plant-based protein you are consuming. Protein derived from nuts and/or seeds can be considered paleo. 

Conclusion

Paleo approved protein powder is free of soy, gluten, dairy, and many plant-based protein sources as well. It should be low in fats and sugars, too. So you’re consuming a healthy portion supplement, which meshes with your overall paleo philosophy.

The best protein powder for paleo diet is Transparent Labs Collagen Hydrolysate.

What’s your favorite paleo protein source? Any unique smoothie ideas which include paleo protein? How effective has collagen been for your general health?

Let’s discuss all of this and any other questions you might have in the comment section below!

References:

  1. The Complete Paleo Diet Food List: What to Eat and What to Avoid // Eatingwell: https://www.eatingwell.com/article/290612/the-complete-paleo-diet-food-list-what-to-eat-and-what-to-avoid/
  2. Are Protein Powders Paleo? // Thepaleodiet: https://thepaleodiet.com/are-protein-powders-paleo
  3. 8 Paleo-friendly sweeteners // Deliciousliving: https://www.deliciousliving.com/special-diets/8-paleo-friendly-sweeteners/
  4. The Paleo Diet — A Beginner's Guide Plus Meal Plan // Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/paleo-diet-meal-plan-and-menu#meal-plan
  5. Know Your Macros: How Protein, Carbs, and Fat Fuel Athletic Performance // Iamherbalifenutrition: https://cutt.ly/f0Mwais
  6. How Much Protein Do You Need for a Sedentary Lifestyle? // Healthyeating: https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/much-protein-need-sedentary-lifestyle-3366.html
  7. Protein and Blood Sugar: How Protein Affects Blood Glucose // Nutrisense: https://www.nutrisense.io/blog/protein-and-blood-sugar
  8. 5 Reasons You May Need More Protein—Even on a Paleo Diet // ChrisKresser: https://clck.ru/337rxN

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

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.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
Oleksandr Maksymenko

Sports Nutritionist, MSc

Experience: 7 years

Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist, certified by FPA (Fitness Professional Association). Oleksandr adheres to the principles of evidence-based dietetics and instills in his clients a healthy relationship with food - without strict prohibitions on favorite foods and regular disruptions. His main task – not only get a result for you, but also maintain it for many years, enjoying tasty and delicious food.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by an expert with proven experience. When writing the article we've used our expertise and data from authoritative, scientific, and evidence-based sources. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles), PhDs in Sports Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCSs, physiotherapists, and others. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published