Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk, milk protein, and other related products.
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which an individual cannot digest lactose. These individuals often experience cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, etc.
According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 65% of the adult population suffer some degree of lactose intolerance.
That’s an impressive statistic when you think about it.
Many supplement makers have responded by producing complete protein powders that are lactose-free.
We’ve put these lactose-free protein powders to the test and compiled a list of the ten best protein powder options for your consideration.
Our Top Lactose-Free Protein Powders
1 - Transparent Labs Protein Series Organic Vegan (Editor's Choice)
Transparent Labs’ rice and pea protein powder are one of the most raved complete protein supplements today due to the essential amino acids. Aside from having 24 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving, it also is GMO, gluten, and preservative-free.
Aside from being a dairy-free protein powder, it also uses all-natural ingredients, with no artificial sweeteners and flavorings while containing 100% organic rice and pea protein contents.
The right mix of rice and pea protein powders makes a smooth and blendable texture, which I enjoy. I find that this one has the consistency that I like the most -- a quick shake on my blender bottle, and I’m good to go.
- 100% free of gluten and lactose
- 24 grams of high potency plant-based protein powder in each serving
- Has all organic ingredients and amino acids
- Dissolves easily in your favorite beverage
- Protein powder costs a little more but it’s worth it, especially if you buy in bulk
If you’re looking for a true lactose-free protein powder that’s going to ramp up your muscle building efforts, here it is. It's also natural, ensuring you never suffer from unwanted side effects mostly found in products with excessive artificial compounds.
2 - Evlution Nutrition Collagen Peptides
Evlution Nutrition has produced a protein powder that is also GMO-free and devoid of artificial ingredients.
It’s good for both skin and bones and also manages to produce robust muscle growth. They accomplish this by leveraging the collagen peptides found in bovine collagen hydrolysate.
Collagen peptides are easily absorbed by the body and go right to work synthesizing collagen fibers that promote healthy skin and strong, flexible bones .
That’s important because once a woman passes 30, her bones start to get brittle.
- 10 grams of protein and 11 grams of collagen peptides in each serving
- Promotes the development of supple moisture-rich skin
- Completely free of artificial ingredients and GMOs
- Protein powder may cause some people to have a mildly upset stomach
EN Collagen Peptides Protein Powder is a simple product with a simple mandate: to help people with lactose intolerance get stronger while looking and feeling better.
3 - Opportuniteas Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate
This protein powder is not only lactose-free—it’s also packed with 28 grams of whey protein per serving and is free of GMOs, artificial flavors, and gluten.
Since this protein powder has no taste, it doesn’t interfere with the flavor of other drinks you mix it with.
It plays so well with other foods and scored big points with our testers.
- 100% gluten and lactose-free protein powder
- 28 grams of highly effective whey protein per serving
- No added flavorings or GMOs
- The protein powder packaging is relatively small
You won’t find many gluten-free, protein powders with a higher than usual protein load and a generous amount of calcium.
This is indeed a high-potency, protein powder made from grass-fed whey that will improve your performance in the gym and enhance your overall health.
4 - Muscle Feast Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate
Muscle Feast is loaded with a grass-fed whey protein powder of more than 20 grams per serving.
It also contains zero saturated fats and a minuscule 0.2 grams of carbohydrates. If you’re on the keto diet and want to stay compliant, this supplement is good news.
We found it tasty and effective and were impressed that it didn’t produce the kind of bloated feeling that sometimes accompanies protein shakes.
Unlike casein, whey protein works quickly. Our testers were impressed by the muscle-building results after a couple of weeks of use.
- With almost no carbs, this protein powder is perfect for keto dieters
- Extremely high bioavailability means bigger muscles fast
- Low in sugar, sodium and saturated fats
- Protein level has dipped slightly from earlier versions
- A bit pricey
This is a high-quality gluten-free, lactose-free protein powder that’s going to make low-carb dieters especially happy.
5 - Legion Whey+ Whey Protein Powder
Legion Whey+ Whey Protein Powder is derived from Irish cattle, known for the lack of bovine genetic tinkering that sometimes occurs with other breeds.
A highly pure whey protein isolate gets right to work repairing overworked muscles after a strenuous exercise.
Our testers reported less soreness the day after pushing things in the gym. And that’s what you want from a lactose-free whey isolate protein powder.
Another thing our testers appreciated was the very discrete taste that allowed this lactose-free protein powder to mix well with a wide variety of different liquids, fruits, and the like.
- Zero saturated or trans fats
- Only 2 grams of carbs per serving
- Reduces soreness and recovery time
- Sourced from genetically pure Irish dairy cows
- Relatively high sodium content for a protein powder
- Contains Stevia
At 25 grams per serving, Legion Whey+ Protein Powder also provides one of the most significant protein doses on the market.
6 - Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydrowhey
While all the powders on our list will help you build muscle, Platinum Hydrowhey from Optimum Nutrition stands out, especially in that respect.
One 39-gram scoop contains 30 grams of high-potency hydrolyzed whey protein isolate. Whey protein isolate wastes no time getting to work and has the essential amino acids and BCAAs to build muscles.
This supplement was what the doctor ordered for the serious workout freaks among our test group.
The tiny 4 grams of carbs also means it will fit neatly into any keto or Atkins dieters' plans.
- An amazing 30 grams of protein in each serving
- Complete amino acids and BCAAs
- Without a doubt the serious weight lifter’s best choice
- Speeds recovery while reducing soreness
- More expensive than other lactose-free protein powders
- The vanilla flavor should be rethought
If you’re lactose intolerant but determined to pack on the muscles, you can’t go wrong with ON Platinum Hydrowhey.
You can also watch this review about this lactose-free protein powder and learn more about how it can help your muscle gain. Be sure to check out our comparison between BCAA and whey protein supplements.
7 - Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate
Dymatize ISO 100 drops 5.5 grams of muscle-repairing branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) into every serving. The best lactose-free protein powder is the result that essentially eliminates that sore, stiff feeling so many people suffer after lifting.
While Platinum Hydrowhey from Optimum Nutrition will build pure bulk faster, it can’t compete with Dymatize to alleviate the worst symptoms of overexertion.
Overall, ISO 100 provides 25 grams of whey protein isolate per serving. That’s 25 grams of lactose-free protein powder that’s also void of saturated fat.
- 5.5 grams of BCAAs for fast, effective recovery
- Work your muscle as much as you want and still feel great the next day
- 25 grams of hydrolyzed whey protein isolate per serving
- Only 2 grams of carbs for those on the keto diet
- Contains soy and some artificial flavoring
It also has only 2 grams of carbs, ideal for low-carb dieters.
But beyond its ability to facilitate repair and recovery, it also digests quickly and won’t leave you feeling bloated. Something our testers all commented on.
8 - About Time Whey Protein Isolate
“About Time” refers to the fact that until now, there have been virtually no soy-free whey protein powders. This whey protein isolate is not only lactose and soy-free—it’s also sugar-free, hormone-free, and contains no genetically modified organisms.
While some of our testers complained that it seemed to have too much Stevia in it, it has other things going for it that still make it a good recommendation as far as we’re concerned. And being soy-free is the biggest one.
But there’s more to it than that. It also provides a generous 25 grams of protein per serving, has a complete amino acid profile and BCAAs to promote rapid recovery, and is free of gluten, cholesterol, and added sugars.
- 25 grams of high potency whey protein per serving
- Mixes well with a variety of different beverages
- Soy-free. ‘Nuff said
- If you aren’t a fan of Stevia you may have a problem with the taste
While we’re not crazy about the Stevia or the so-so mixability, those seeking a soy-free and lactose-free protein powder now have something to call their own.
9 - Yuve Vegan Plant-Based All-in-One Shake
It’s no secret that this type of supplement isn’t known for its taste. In fact, for the most part, our testers all preferred it when manufacturers left their protein powders unflavored. The thinking being that no taste is better than bad taste.
Yuve Vegan Protein Powder is the one exception to that rule, however.
The makers here have gone to great lengths to infuse their plant-based, lactose-free protein powder with a chocolate taste you’ll remember for all the right reasons.
Yuve Vegan Protein Powder is a tasty treat that provides 15 grams of protein and a robust mixture of vitamins and minerals in every serving.
- Gluten, GMOs, soy, non-lactose protein powder
- 100% plant-based protein
- Chocolate flavor tastes great
- High in carbohydrates and salt
If there’s a downside here, it would be for some of the things they added to achieve that wonderful taste, including a lot of salt.
10 - BulkSupplements Soy Protein Isolate Powder
With all the emphasis on whey protein supplements, vegans often have difficulty finding a potent, vegan protein powder.
But they should be pretty happy with this one.
This best lactose free protein powder mixes well with most beverages (although it tends to mix thick, so be aware) and provides an impressive 27 grams of soy protein with every serving.
As with most Bulk Supplement products, there is little to no fluff here. Just high-quality soy protein isolate with the essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids that help stave off soreness and shorten recovery times.
- The most effective soy-based, non-lactose protein powder
- Rich in branched chain amino acids
- 27 grams of protein per serving
- Package doesn’t always reseal well
Our testers noted that other protein supplements did a better job helping you recover quickly. But for you vegans out there, this is about as good as you’re getting on a protein shake.
What to Look for in the Best Lactose-Free Protein Powder
Here’s what you should look for in a protein powder:
- 100% lactose-free - It’s important to remember that most lactose-free protein powders contain dairy—whey being the prime example. That’s because lactose is not milk but a type of carbohydrate found in milk. And it can be extracted . Some manufacturers do better than others in removing the lactose from the whey they use. So if you’ve chosen whey protein powder, make sure it’s 100% lactose-free and not just reduced lactose. Or you can opt to use egg protein powder instead. It can be a safe alternative for lactose-intolerant and those allergic to dairy products. A beef protein isolate powder is another good option for people who want or need to be 100% dairy-free. An example of this on our list would be Evlution Nutrition Collagen Peptides. For vegans, it would be best to pick a plant-based protein powder to make sure that it’s free of lactose and animal products. Most plant-based protein powders are made with more than one type of protein, like the Transparent Labs Rice and Pea Protein Powder, to have a complete amino acid profile.
- High in protein - The whole point of using complete protein powders is to ramp up your ingestion of protein to help you recover more quickly from strenuous workouts and build bigger, stronger muscles. Therefore, you’re going to want to see at least 15 grams of BCAA-rich protein in every serving. But beware of some products with lots of fillers and additives to bulk up the powder. Choose a complete protein powder with a short ingredient list and familiar names.
- Low in sugar - Sugar is counterproductive to your muscle-building efforts. Therefore, you want a lactose free protein powder with low sugar content. You should only use sugar to address the flavor. And even then, only used sparingly, if at all. Ideally, pick one with at most 5 grams of sugar per serving.
Benefits of the Best Lactose-Free Protein Powders
There are many benefits to taking lactose free protein powders, and these include:
- Lower risk of allergic reactions - Most protein powders on our list are also free of gluten and soy. It means they often pose less of an allergic threat than other types of complete protein powders. They’re also virtually free of side effects like bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach aches.
- Enhanced weight loss capabilities - lactose free protein powders also tend to be lower in calories, promoting lean muscle gain while discouraging fat accumulation, which is key to weight loss. The muscle mass gained from using these products will ensure a healthier body mass index (BMI).
High protein intake can boost your metabolism, helping you burn slightly more calories each day.
- Alina Petre MS RD, Healthline.com
- They contain fiber - Fiber is a type of carbohydrate the body has a difficult time digesting, yet it’s essential to a healthy digestive tract . People on the keto diet, in particular, don’t always get enough fiber and supplementing with lactose free protein powders can help provide it for them. With the right complete protein powder, you can still get enough fiber to avoid an upset stomach.
- Other nutrients - Many of the protein powders we tested contain supplemental vitamins and minerals that are important, especially for those who work out regularly. Some, however, are stripped down supplements with few, if any, complementary nutrients. Always read the label of your non-dairy protein powder to check if you are getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
- Higher quality protein - Research has demonstrated that plant-based protein is often more potent than animal-based protein. If your non-dairy protein powder is derived from plants instead of whey, it will take less protein to achieve the same results you can get from whey protein.
What is the recommended dosage of the best lactose-free protein powder?
The recommended dosage of whey protein powder is between 2 to 3 servings per day. It will depend on your current fitness goals.
For athletes and bodybuilders, the general rule for protein intake is 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilo of body weight per day. It is enough to provide optimal recovery and lean muscle gain. Those looking to bulk up will need a higher amount, especially for protein powders with a complete amino acid profile.
On the other hand, a slightly lower amount is recommended for endurance athletes, which is 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Can you eat whey protein if you’re lactose intolerant?
If you are lactose intolerant, you can eat whey protein concentrate as long as it had the lactose removed from it first. If you take a protein drink made with normal whey protein you can experience nausea, bloating, gas and other symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Make sure to check the label of any whey protein concentrate product to verify that it's 100% lactose-free. If you're unsure, look for the product online to discover its manufacturer's website. There, you will surely find its ingredients and nutritional profile.
All of the whey non-dairy protein powders on the above list have had most or all of the lactose removed from them and should therefore be safe. Egg, beef, and plant-based protein powders are also considered safe for the lactose-intolerant.
What are the possible side effects of consuming lactose-free protein powder?
The possible side effects of consuming lactose-free protein powder are few but may include mild gassiness or bloating. Also, a few whey protein concentrate and egg protein powders contain a substantial amount of fiber so some people may experience constipation when they take those.
How do I know if my protein powder is lactose-free?
To know if your protein powder is lactose-free, carefully check the ingredients to ensure that it doesn't contain any.
Suppose the ingredients list of your lactose-free protein powder mentions milk protein or casein protein. It's safe to assume that the whey protein powder is lactose-free. All protein shakes are derived from cow's milk which contains lactose.
When you see whey on the list, whether it's a whey protein concentrate, isolate, or hydrolyzed, it's not non-dairy protein powder. Most whey protein powders, especially whey protein isolate, put a lactose-free claim on the label if the lactose in the product is completely extracted and removed.
Other options for non-dairy protein powders are made with beef, egg white, or plant proteins.
Are lactose-free protein powders good for weight loss?
Yes, non-dairy protein powders are good for weight loss, especially when paired with a balanced diet and a healthy exercise regimen.
In general, regardless of the type of protein powder used, protein supplements are beneficial for weight loss because it helps you feel fuller for a longer time. And this leaves you with no excuse to overeat or snack at night.
But there's more to it than that. Protein is a building block of life and muscles, so it's essential to build and maintain muscle mass, especially if you're on a strict diet. Higher muscle mass is linked to a faster metabolism, resulting in higher calories available to be burned during any physical activity.
Lastly, this is specific to non-dairy protein powder as it tends to be lower in calories (40 to 150) than other types of protein powders since they don't contain as many carbohydrates and fats as the latter.
Our #1 Protein Powder for Lactose Intolerant People
Non-dairy protein powders, whether derived from whey protein, pea protein, egg protein or any other source, are a must-have supplement for health conscious individuals who cannot stomach lactose.
For those folks, Transparent Labs Organic Rice and Pea Protein is the most effective choice for getting the complete protein requirement to repair and replace overworked muscles.
This non-dairy powder is derived entirely from plant sources and natural ingredients and is a good source of complete protein and fiber. It mixes well with your favorite beverage, tastes great (I personally recommend the chocolate flavor), and works for a healthier digestion. It also lacks artificial sweeteners while having essential amino acids.
If you’re looking for a can’t-miss non-dairy protein powder, this one from Transparent Labs is as close as it can get.