The "paleo" in paleo diet refers to the Paleolithic period of human development which lasted from about 3 million years ago up through approximately 10,000 years ago.
It was also when agriculture put an end to the hunter-gatherer life for most humans. Protein was and is an essential aspect of the paleo diet, both thousands of years ago and today.
Many paleo adherents seek out protein supplements that will help them build stronger, leaner, more energetic bodies aside from following the strict diet plan.
To help you find the most suitable products, we have researched dozens of supplements, read thousands of online reviews, and engaged with people in diet and fitness forums.
So, if you’re looking for the top paleo protein powders, then take a look at the following research results.
Our Top 7 Paleo Protein Powders (2020)
If you're wondering which product makes the best compliment to this diet, read on because our extensive research has identified 7 options for you to consider.
#2 Transparent Labs
#3 Orgain Organic
#4 Ancient Nutrition
1. PaleoPro: Editor's Choice
PaleoPro claims to derive their paleo approved protein powder from organic beef, whole eggs, and egg whites.
They also state that the cows are grass-fed and pastured and the beef subjected to only minimal processing, so you get to enjoy optimal benefits without some of the additives you'll find in other competitors.
The product website also states that it also comes in a variety of different flavors with vanilla and chocolate being the two most popular, based on on the reviews we saw. The vanilla seems to be the particularly popular one.
Having read loads of reviews, we'd actually say it’s among the top two or three vanilla flavored protein powders. People really are commenting on this in the reviews.
According to the label, one serving provides 26 grams of high potency paleo beef protein powder that will find its way quickly to sore, strained muscles and help restore and rebuild them to a bigger, leaner, better state.
2. Transparent Labs Collagen Hydrolysate
One type of protein that is not recommended enough is collagen. You might hear it referenced in many cosmetic products where it is included to improve the appearance of skin and hair.
But, it has many more important roles to play that athletes and bodybuilders need to be aware of.
Your body’s reserves of collagen will deplete through aging and intensive training.
While wrinkles and lines might be something you want to avoid, it’s the connective tissue in joints and muscles that is far more important for an athlete.
Your normal recovery protein shake will work great for repairing and building muscles, but it’s not going to have the same effect on joints.
Aside from this product, there are many protein powders rich in collagen available too.
So, that’s the area that Transparent Labs has helped fill with this collagen booster.
3. Orgain Organic
Orgain Organic is known for the quality of their supplements, and thousands of customers report that their protein product is one of the best.
Plant-based protein is considered by many dieticians to be the purest form and provides a higher degree of bioavailability than you'll get from any animal-based variants.
According the manufacturer, one serving of Orgain Organic delivers 21 grams of organic pea, chia and brown rice protein as well as 5 grams of fiber and a scant 3 grams of carbohydrates.
They also claim that it's 100% free of dairy, gluten, GMOs and artificial ingredients on top of being vegan and vegetarian-friendly, kosher and easy to mix into a paleo protein shake.
As one online reviewer put it: if you’re looking for a supplement that would have made your ancestors stand up and take notice, Orgain Organic is just the one for you.
4. Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein
One of the best ways to get a complete dose of collagen protein is through animal bone broth.
This is a little unfortunate for vegans, but if you do eat meat, then this is a very good product to help you boost a vital type of protein.
According to the makers, each serving contains 20g of collagen, which is more than a lot of other competing products.
Users are also commenting online on how easy it is to digest and about positve results in both appearance and joint health.
As an athlete, your joints come under a lot of strain, and just taking the usual protein supplements, won’t help you to repair all areas of your body.
Related Article: Best tasting chocolate protein powder
5. Equip Prime Protein
According to the company website, Equip is sourced from pasture-raised beef and is 100% GMO, hormone and antibiotic free.
They also claim to have no artificial additives of any kind. It's also a lactose intolerant friendly protein powder. Equip is derived from 70% muscle and is similar in potency to bone broth protein powders.
Based on comments in diet forums, a lot of people say it is ideal for paleo dieters engaged in weight training as its purity and bioavailability are as high as any other beef sourced protein powder on the market.
Reviews are also stating that it manages to turn the tables on what is typically a taste-challenged supplement by including modest amounts of the all-natural sweetener stevia as well as natural vanilla flavorings.
For many people, this paleo protein shake has become a highlight of their day rather than a chalky ordeal to be endured.
6. Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel
Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel is marketed as a meal replacement and while that’s not a new concept, Primal Kitchen claim to do it as well or better than anyone.
Based on the product description, their paleo friendly protein powder is made with whey derived from natural coconut milk.
It's low in sugar, low in carbs and rich in essential probiotics that aid in digestion and help maintain a healthy, efficient stomach and intestinal environment.
A lot of customers report that Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel helps curb hunger cravings by making you feel satiated for longer periods of time than an ordinary carb-heavy meal would. And they also report that it doesn't load you up with calories in the process.
Some of you might ask: "is whey protein paleo?" And according to diet experts the answer is yes.
While research suggests many people in the paleolithic lacked the gene to process milk, the same cannot be said today.
And since paleolithic people were well aware of the benefits of breast milk, it doesn't take a scientist to figure out they may have sought milky sustenance from other mammals as well.
7. Julian Bakery Paleo Thin
Julian Bakery say they have invested a lot of time and effort with their high potency, high purity, probiotic-rich, paleo egg white protein powder.
The nutritional label indicates that each serving has 25 grams of protein and it suggests that you simply mix one scoop with water or any other beverage of choice.
Is it the best paleo protein powder? Maybe not quite, but it does look like one of the most concentrated ones available.
Julian Bakery claim to source their eggs from free range chickens that are never fed genetically modified foods.
Reviewers also say that it has no discernible flavor, so it won’t mess up your favorite recipes. The ingredients list is simple and states that it contains only paleo egg white protein powder, sunflower lecithin and a small amount of natural sodium.
Sprinkle it on your steak, mix it with your scrambled eggs or use it to make some tasty shakes.
As one reviewer summed it up: It's low carb, packed with probiotics, sugar-free and never leaves an aftertaste.
Why Should You Add This to Your Diet?
Things to Consider When Choosing a Paleo
Not all paleo protein shakes are diet-friendly. For instance, casein is considered outside the bounds of this diet due to its high lactose content.
Below are several things you’ll want to keep in mind when shopping for the best paleo protein powder.
Frequently asked questions
Is whey protein OK for paleo diet?
Yes, whey protein is OK for the paleo diet as long as it’s very high-quality isolate.
A lot of people will argue that because most whey-based supplements are derived from dairy, it’s a no-go for any true paleo efforts. And strictly speaking, those people are right, as you do want to avoid dairy products.
However, because a high-quality whey isolate will be pretty much pure amino acids, with hardly any lactose remaining, you will be avoiding all the bad things in dairy. It’s not going to mess too much with your diet efforts.
Is hemp protein Paleo friendly?
No, hemp protein is not Paleo friendly, and despite many advantages, you should not use this as the main source for your intake.
That being said, of all the plant-based protein powders, it is probably one of the best because it has a complete amino acid profile. For anyone who wants to reduce animal product intake, it’s a pretty good option and will also provide a decent boost of fiber and omega fatty acids.
As a secondary source in limited amounts, it’s OK, but you’re better off staying with animal-based ones we highlight above.
See related post: Hemp Protein vs Whey Protein Powder: Benefits & Side Effects
How much protein should I eat on Paleo?
On Paleo, you should aim to take in between 90 and 120 grams of protein for women and 100 to 130 grams for men per day.
However, if you’re in a bulking phase at the gym, then you will need considerably more than this. Working this out will depend on many factors like your height, weight, lean mass goals and the amount of time you spend training.
The good news is that the above list of best paleo protein powders are often used by bodybuilders and are regularly recommended in the online forums we researched.
Is pea protein powder Paleo?
Yes, pea protein powder in small amounts is paleo-friendly.
For many dieters, it is one of the better plant-based options, even though it doesn’t have a complete amino acid profile. Getting all your protein needs from animal products can be very difficult for most people, so adding some plant diversity can help.
This is especially the case for bodybuilders who may need to take multiple protein shakes a day. The advantage pea protein brings is that it’s basically allergen-free, which is not the case in casein, whey, and soy.
Can you have pea protein on paleo diet?
Yes, you can have pea protein on the Paleo diet, but you should aim to keep it to a minimum.
Sticking with a mix of animal and seed-based protein is still the best option, but as with all the macros you take in, a bit of diversity is going to be a very good option.
Of all the available plant proteins, pea is one of the easiest to digest and process in your body. If you do look for a bit of diversity, then make sure you buy a product that is 100% organic, as this has a significant benefit on the quality of the protein.
Is egg white protein Paleo?
Yes, egg white protein is Paleo-friendly and quite often used in supplements.
It’s a great non-meat option that a lot of people choose to help reduce a meat-heavy meal plan. Especially for bodybuilders who have a very large protein need, this is one of the better options to not overdose on beef and chicken.
You can easily get 6 grams of protein from a medium-sized egg by just using the egg white. A lot of people add these raw to shakes, but if that doesn’t sound appealing, then you can easily cook the whites for breakfast or lunch.
Is Grass Fed Whey protein Paleo?
Yes, grass-fed Whey protein can be Paleo-friendly as long as it’s a top quality isolate.
The higher the quality of the isolation process is the purer the whey will be. This means that practically all lactose has been removed and you really should be left with just the amino acids.
Is it the best paleo protein powder option? No, not the best, but it’s an excellent choice if you need some diversity.
Is sprouted brown rice protein Paleo?
No, sprouted brown rice protein is not ideal for Paleo dieters.
Even when sourced from organic brown rice and totally isolated, it’s not a complete enough amino acid profile. This means you will be missing some of the important chains needed by your body.
It’s fine to take in small amounts, just to have a little bit more diversity from other foods, but if you’re looking for plant-based options, then pea protein may be a better option for you.
Is stevia in protein powders good on Paleo?
Yes, all-natural stevia in protein powders is good for Paleo, but it’s important to note that it doesn’t really provide nutritional value.
Stevia is used as a natural sweetener which is always better than either sugar or some of the chemicals used in so many foods these days. The important thing to look out for is that the ingredient label specifically states that it’s natural stevia, rather than some artificial stuff created in a lab.
While unflavored and unsweetened options are better for adding to smoothies and snacks, if you want to just have a quick shake after the gym, a little bit of sweetness will go a long way.
Vegans might be interested in reading this article: Guide to vegan bodybuilding supplements
And The Winner Is...
While all the paleo protein powders featured here are high-quality supplements, my personal favorite and go-to would be the protein powder by Paleo Pro.
Apart from the high protein count per serving (26 g), this product also tastes particularly good especially with flavors like Ancient Cacao and Mayan Mocha. Ancient Cacao tastes like "swiss miss hot chocolate”. It didn’t taste sweet like other protein powders do.
Paleo Pro is also vegan-friendly. It's gluten, soy, dairy, and GMO-free and won't produce unwanted side effects in the lactose intolerant.
The marketing material doesn’t hide behind fancy advertising and ripped models, but instead focuses in on the actual ingredients which is usually a good sign.
Make sure to buy it from the actual website as they’re a lot of copy cats out there.
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