But the fact of the matter is that none of us really need these powders to meet our daily protein needs — but we sure do find them helpful. On top of that, protein powders can help you lose weight, build muscle, and slow down aging. However, not all protein powders are created equal.
When you’re on a low-carb or ketogenic diet, you need to watch out for things like sneaky carbs in protein powders. Yes, protein powders will often have some amount of carbs in them. And I also need to mention quality — the best low-carb protein powders will provide high-quality protein along with added benefits in the form of vitamins, minerals, MCTs, and even ketones.
With all that considered, here are a couple of the best low-carb protein powders to consider buying in 2020.
1. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, making up 30% of its dry weight. It helps keep your skin, bones, joints, and hair strong. But since collagen production declines with age, many take supplements like Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to stay youthful.
Besides its anti-aging benefits, this product is also popular among low-carb dieters. It’s virtually just concentrated collagen in powder form (or capsules) and a touch of vitamin C to help with its absorption. That means there are no carbs in this product. On the downside, it also won’t provide any fat.
Being virtually flavorless, you can use this one in sweet and savory combinations. It blends seamlessly into smoothies, shakes, teas, coffee, soups, and more.
2. Ancient Nutrition KetoCOLLAGEN Powder
Another neutral-tasting powder that you can rely on. This product is also made with collagen peptides to provide you with a one-two-punch of anti-ageing and fitness benefits. But what’s really great about it is the addition of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
MCTs are a special class of fats that research shows are particularly ketogenic, i.e. they support ketone production. Besides that, MCTs are known to affect mitochondria, the powerhouses of your cells, in a way that leads to better workouts and brain functioning.
Ancient Nutrition’s collagen powder provides 13g of protein in a scoop along with 3g of ketogenic fats. The powder dissolves easily into almost any food or beverage, so you can use it in smoothies and shakes but also pancake batter, cookies, and soups.
3. Kiss My Keto – Keto Collagen
Want your collagen peptides to have a little flavor to them? Well, Kiss My Keto offers peptides in chocolate and birthday cake flavors.
This is a brand completely dedicated to the keto lifestyle, and their collagen peptides are no different. At 1g of net carbs and 5g of MCT powder in a scoop, this supplement will keep you in ketosis while helping you meet your protein needs. The collagen used in this product is from pasture-raised cows, which makes this particular source of collagen one of the healthiest and safest to add to your diet.
There are around 25 servings in one container, with each serving providing 9g of protein along with calcium and sodium. It’s best blended into nut milks or smoothies. However, it is possible to use it in dessert recipes for extra protein.
4. Isopure Zero-Carb, Keto-Friendly Protein Powder
It’s all in the name — a protein powder that does not contain any carbs and lots of high-quality protein. The protein used here is whey protein isolate. Isolates are the purest protein sources, and whey isolate is often 90% pure protein. It’s great for lactose-intolerant folks since the process of making it removes much of this milk sugar.
This product also contains essential vitamins and minerals, which makes it a fantastic meal replacement. However, it is pretty low in fat, which some keto-ers might find discouraging.
Nonetheless, it’s one of the best ways to meet your protein needs on a keto diet. Just mix it with water or other beverage in a shaker or blender. The product is available in a wide range of flavors, from alpine punch and cookies & cream to Dutch chocolate and vanilla salted caramel.
5. Ketologie Keto Shake
What makes this product stand out from the rest is its fat content. Around 75% of this powder is fat and only 19% of it is protein. But that’s a good thing when you’re trying to get most of your calories from fat — like when you’re on a keto diet.
The fat in this product you get in the form of coconut oil powder. Coconut oil is a natural source of MCTs, which I already mentioned are great for staying in ketosis. The protein is hydrolyzed bovine collagen, which, although not a complete protein, is great as a supplemental source.
What’s more, the extra fat in this one makes it addictively creamy. And natural chocolate and strawberry flavors are a definitive win.
Shop Ketologie Keto Shake
6. Sunwarrior – Warrior Blend Organic
Try this one if you’re looking for a plant-based, organic protein blend.
It’s made with organic pea, goji berry, and hemp protein, which together make for a great amino acid profile. Sunwarrior specifies that this product contains 6g of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are essential amino acids that some studies show support muscle growth. Its total protein count is 19g in a serving.
Another noteworthy feature here is the addition of organic MCT oil. This and its low carb count of only 1g net makes it truly keto-friendly.
The product is available in chocolate, berry, mocha, vanilla, and natural flavors. It dissolves seamlessly into water and beverages. But, of course, you can also use it in low-carb baking, if you like.
7. Quest Nutrition Protein Powder
Now, if you’re looking to build muscle on a low-carb diet, this should be your go-to protein powder. It includes both whey and casein proteins.
Whey is a quick-digesting protein, whereas casein is slow-digesting. The reason this is important is because quick-acting whey can help speed up post-workout recovery, while casein can help your body build muscle as you sleep according to some studies.
A scoop of this product will give you 24g of quality protein, which is impressive compared to other powders of its kind. And you’ll also get only 2g of net carbs to keep you in ketosis. The product is available in a range of flavors, including vanilla milkshake, salted caramel, peanut butter, and more.
8. Vega Sport Premium Protein
Are you an athletic, vegan, keto eater? Then this premium protein powder will help keep your fitness levels up and your ketosis optimal. A serving contains 30g of protein from peas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and alfalfa. Additionally, it has probiotic bacteria because gut health is extremely important.
The product is made from non-GMO sources and contains tart cherry and turmeric extract, which Vega Sport claims boost recovery. The likely reason being that both have anti-inflammatory properties.
You’ll find this product in chocolate and vanilla flavors. The company says this powder is keto-friendly, but suggests that you add coconut oil when making a shake or smoothie with this for extra fat.
9. RSP Nutrition AvoCollagen
A unique and truly keto-friendly supplement, AvoCollagen combines collagen peptides with avocado oil powder. RSP Nutrition claims that these ingredients promote healthy skin, hair, and nails while supporting strong bones and joints. The product also packs quality fats to keep you energized on your low-carb lifestyle.
One serving of this powder will give you around 10g of protein and 4g of fat, which I think is pretty good considering that protein intake needs to be moderate on a keto diet. If you’re someone who’s not athletic but wants to add protein powder to your regimen, then this is a good option.
The supplement is sold in chocolate and vanilla flavors but is also available unflavored. It’s great dissolved in plain water or dairy or non-dairy drinks.
10. Vaxxen Labs Keto Whey Protein Powder Blend
Vaxxen Labs created this source of complete protein with keto dieters in mind. But besides being a low-carb product, this powder blend also contains a blend of herbal extracts, organic mushrooms, BHB salts, nootropics, and insulin-sensitizing ingredients. All this makes this product a superfood in powder form.
There are 15g of protein from whey, beef collagen, and bone broth in a scoop and less than 1g of carbs. There is also 10g of fat from grass-fed ghee and coconut oil along with potassium and sodium for electrolyte support. The herbal extract blend will keep your blood glucose healthy while the BHB salts will help you stay in ketosis.
The product is available in chocolate peanut butter flavor. Add it to shakes, smoothies, pancake batter, or keto desserts.
Protein powders are not just for bodybuilders. Many people nowadays use protein powders for weight loss, appetite support, and as convenient meal replacements. The same holds true for keto eaters who need protein like anybody else.
However, many protein powders are high in carbs from added sugar or lactose. That’s why keto-ers need to be careful about their choices of protein powders and shakes. The best ones will be fairly low in carbs — below 3g in a serving. But the best ones will provide additional keto benefits like MCTs, probiotics, fiber, BHB salts, and more.
The products listed here are some of the best on the market. If you’re considering adding any of them to your daily diet, make sure that the protein you’re taking in fits your keto macros. Or, make sure that you’re not relying on them too much for nutrition. Remember, protein powders are still supplements and you still need to get most of your nutrition from real foods.