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 at that time. Protein was and is an essential aspect of the paleo diet, from thousands of years ago and until 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 paleo-friendly protein powders, 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 Paleo Protein Powders (2021)
1 - PaleoPro Paleo Protein Powder (Editor's Choice)
PaleoPro claims to derive their paleo protein powder from organic beef, whole eggs, and egg whites.
They also state that the cows are pastured and grass-fed and the beef is only subjected to 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 this paleo protein powder 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 aspect in the reviews.
- Free of antibiotics and hormones
- No soy, whey, lactose, sugar or gluten
- Sourced from grass-fed beef protein
- 100% free of genetically modified organisms
- Can be a bit grainy for a protein powder
According to the label, a serving of this paleo protein powder provides 26 grams of high potency beef protein that will find its way quickly to sore and strained muscles to help restore and rebuild them to a bigger, leaner, and stronger state.
2 - Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 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 powder 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 paleo protein powders rich in collagen available too.
- Provides 11g of collagen protein per serving
- Excellent for skin, hair and connective tissue in muscles and joints
- Has anti-aging properties to help you appear younger
- No artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives
- Only available in chocolate flavor
So, that’s the area where Transparent Labs has helped fill with this collagen booster and paleo-friendly protein powder.
3 - Orgain Organic Protein™ Plant-Based Protein Powder
Orgain Organic is known for the quality of their supplements, and thousands of customers report that their paleo protein powder is one of the best protein powders on the market.
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 paleo protein powder delivers 21 grams of organic pea, chia, and brown rice protein as well as 2 grams of fiber and 4 grams of fat.
They also claim that it's 100% free of dairy, gluten, GMOs, and artificial ingredients, on top of being vegan- and vegetarian-friendly and kosher. This paleo protein powder is also easy to mix into a protein shake and snacks.
- Uses all natural stevia instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners
- Won’t ever generate a reaction in the lactose intolerant
- Super easy to mix with a mild taste that won’t overwhelm, according to user reviews
- Marketed as a true paleo protein powder
- Like most paleo protein powders, it can be a bit chalky
As one online reviewer put it: "If you’re looking for the best paleo-friendly protein powder that would have made your ancestors stand up and take notice, Orgain Organic is just the one for you."
We also ranked Orgain Organic at the top two list of gluten-free protein powders.
4 - Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein Powder
One of the best ways to get a complete dose of collagen protein is through animal bone broth protein powder.
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 of this paleo protein powder 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 positive results in both appearance and joint health.
- 20g of collagen protein per serving provides 20 different amino acids
- Low in fat and carbs to not mess with your diet
- Gluten-free making it suitable for one of the most common food intolerances
- No artificial sweeteners, colors or additives
- Not the easiest to mix among paleo-friendly protein powders in the list
As an athlete, your joints come under a lot of strain, and just taking the usual protein powders won’t help you to repair all areas of your body. Taking this paleo protein powder can make a difference in providing support for muscle growth and recovery.
5 - Equip Prime Protein
According to the company website, Equip paleo protein powder 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, on top of being a lactose intolerant-friendly protein powder. Equip is made with 100% grass-fed beef protein 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 paleo protein powders on the market.
Reviews are also stating that it manages to turn the tables on the typical challenges with taste and flavor with protein powders by including modest amounts of the all-natural sweetener stevia as well as natural vanilla flavorings.
- Strikes the proper balance between muscle and collagen
- No artificial preservatives, binders or artificial coloring
- Source cattle are grass fed as well as antibiotic and hormone-free
- 100% milk and lactose-free
- Not the cheapest paleo protein powder out there
For many people, this paleo protein powder has become a highlight of their day rather than a chalky ordeal to be endured.
6 - Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel Whey Protein Powder
While taking protein powder as a meal replacement is not a new concept, Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel claims to do it as well or better than any other brand.
Based on the product description, their paleo protein powder is made with whey-derived protein from natural coconut milk.
It's low in sugar, low in carbs, and rich in essential probiotics that aid in digestion to help maintain a healthy, efficient stomach and intestinal environment.
A lot of customers report that Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel Protein Powder 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.
- Provides generous amounts of whey protein isolate
- It also exhibits extreme bioavailability
- Probiotics keep your GI tract healthy and efficient
- Taste might take some getting used to
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 Egg White Protein Powder
Julian Bakery says 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, which you can get by simply mixing one scoop with water or any other beverage of choice.
It isn't the best paleo protein powder, but it seems to be one of the most concentrated ones available.
Julian Bakery claims to source their eggs from free-range chickens that are never fed genetically modified foods.
Users 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.
- 25 grams of egg white protein with each serving
- Sweetened with organic paleo-friendly stevia
- Makes excellent shakes and smoothies
- 100% free of antibiotics and hormones
- The quality ingredients cost a bit more
Sprinkle it on your steak, mix it with your scrambled eggs, or use it to make some tasty protein shakes.
As one reviewer summed it up: "It's low-carb, sugar-free, packed with probiotics, and never leaves an aftertaste."
Why Should You Add This to Your Diet?
There are a variety of different reasons why someone on this diet might seek to supplement with a paleo friendly protein powder. (1)
- They may wish to lose weight. A high protein, low-carb diet has been shown to be extremely effective in promoting weight loss.
- They may be in training - Whether you’re a bodybuilder, runner or football player you need sufficient nutrients to restore damaged muscles and build newer, stronger ones. The best paleo-friendly protein powders can help athletes get the nutrients their bodies crave.
- They may have blood glucose issues - A high protein, low-carb diet can also help stabilize blood glucose levels in people with diabetes or other blood sugar-related conditions.
- They may be sick or injured - When recovering from serious injuries the body often needs more than an average amount of nutrients. Many paleo protein powders can provide that.
Many Americans believe protein powders can help with weight loss, building muscle, and health improvement. They have become a convenient breakfast drink and often consumed after a hard workout for muscle repair.
- Darla Lea, Very Well Fit
Things to Consider When Choosing a Paleo Protein Powder
Not all paleo protein powders are paleo 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.
- The fewer ingredients, the better - Remember we're aspiring to eat like our distant ancestors, so we want to limit the number and type of additives in any paleo-friendly protein powder to an absolute minimum with nothing artificial in the mix.
- Vegan or not - A lot of paleo-friendly protein powders make no secret of the fact that they’re sourced from beef protein. This obviously won’t do for vegans. Fortunately, Orgain Organic is here to answer the call with their vegan, paleo-friendly protein powder.
- Level of bioavailability - Plant-based proteins are renowned for their high degree of bioavailability, meaning you don't need as much to see the same result you'd see from animal-based proteins like beef protein. Basically, for the same amount of product, you digest a lot more of the protein. Make sure you keep that in mind when comparing prices.
- Taste - It is never going to be ice cream. But that doesn’t mean you have to hold your nose when drinking your paleo protein shakes. Most of the powders featured above will provide little by way of taste, and in this case, that's not such a bad thing.
- Quality Isolate - This refers to how precise the manufacturing process is. The best paleo protein powders should contain only the amino acids, as that’s all you’re interested in.
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 protein powders are derived from dairy, which is 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 up your diet efforts too much.
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 protein 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 a paleo diet?
On a paleo diet, you should aim to a daily protein intake of between 90 and 120 grams for women and 100 to 130 grams for men.
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-friendly?
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 powder brings is that it’s basically allergen-free, which is not the case in casein, whey, and soy.
Can you have pea protein on a paleo diet?
Yes, you can have pea protein on a paleo diet, but you should aim to keep it to a minimum.
Sticking with a mix of animal and seed-based protein powder 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-friendly?
Yes, egg white protein is paleo-friendly and quite often used in protein powders.
It’s a great non-meat protein powder 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 egg white protein from a medium-sized egg. A lot of people add raw eggs 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-friendly?
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 essential 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-friendly?
No, sprouted brown rice protein is not paleo-friendly.
Even when sourced from organic brown rice and totally isolated, it does not provide a complete range of essential amino acids. 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 protein powders, then pea protein powders may be a better option for you.
Is stevia in protein powders good on a paleo diet?
Yes, stevia in protein powders is good on a paleo-diet as long as it's all-natural. 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 protein powders 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.
And The Winner Is...
While all the paleo-friendly protein powders featured here are high-quality supplements, my personal favorite and go-to would be the paleo protein powder by PaleoPro.
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.
PaleoPro paleo-friendly protein powder is also suitable for vegans and is free from gluten, soy, dairy, and GMOs, therefore it won't produce unwanted side effects for people suffering from lactose intolerance.
The marketing material doesn’t hide behind fancy advertising and ripped models, but instead focuses 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.