The best natural protein powders you can buy


The best natural protein powder overall

The best natural protein powder overall
Why you’ll love it: Naked Whey is made with one ingredient and it has 25 grams of protein per serving without any unwanted and unnecessary additives.

While there are a lot of different types of protein powder out there, whey remains the most popular and the most common. A protein found in milk, most people quickly and easily digest whey. It’s loaded with amino acids that promote muscle growth and recovery, and it helps reduce appetite.

Unfortunately, far too many whey protein powders are full of artificial colors, flavors, and cheap whey protein, as well as preservatives and other unwanted chemicals. But not Naked Whey. It has only one ingredient, and that’s whey protein. While it is available pre-flavored for convenience, the best way to buy it is as unflavored powder, which mixes nicely into your favorite milk alternative, water, smoothie, or even juice without chalkiness or unpleasant taste.

Naked Whey is entirely sourced from 100% grass-fed cows living on small dairy farms in California — no unhappy bovines here. The protein powder is cold-processed to keep protein chains intact, and is GMO free, gluten free, soy free, and growth hormone free, as well.

Happy reviewers on Amazon give the protein powder high marks. The powder has more than 1,400 reviews and an average of 4.5 stars.

Of course, every product has its downsides, and Naked Whey is no exception. Several buyers complained that it is a bit tough to mix, and unless you use a blender or shaker, you can expect the powder to clump. If you are lactose-intolerant, you might struggle to digest the whey protein.

Pros: Very high quality whey protein powder with absolutely no unnecessary ingredients

Cons: Can be tough to mix, expensive, some people have a hard time digesting lactose

Buy a 5-pound jar of Naked Whey Unflavored Protein Powder on Amazon for $89.99

The best natural casein protein powder

The best natural casein protein powder
Why you’ll love it: Sourced from grass-fed cows with minimal additives, Legion Casein+ is as close to natural as you can get when it comes to this slow-absorbing protein.

Casein is another milk protein, but unlike whey, it digests slowly. That makes it perfect for use before bed or for recovery after a tough workout. It’s tough to find all-natural casein protein powders, however, because on its own, casein doesn’t taste too good, and tends to have a gritty texture, and so most companies add flavor or other better-taste-and-texture additives.

Legion Casein+ is as natural as you’re going to get when it comes to casein protein, and provides 26 grams of protein per serving. It has only a handful of ingredients: micellar casein — this is the full casein protein in its natural form, and is easily digested — sourced from grass-fed cows living on small dairy farms in Ireland, soy lecithin to improve texture, natural flavor (either cocoa powder or vanilla), sea salt, and stevia leaf extract.

That means you get highly digestible protein powder that tastes pretty darn good, mixes into a creamy texture with your favorite milk alternative, smoothie, juice, or water, and leaves you feeling satisfied overnight while your muscles improve themselves after a hard day’s workout.

What the product doesn’t contain is GMOs, added hormones, artificial flavors or colors, fillers, or antibiotics. If you have a tummy that doesn’t do well with lactose, you’ll love that the micellar casein is lactose-free. It comes in two flavors, chocolate and vanilla, and according to pleased customers, both taste pretty good.

A few reviewers did complain that the protein powder was chalky, especially if mixed in a shaker instead of a blender.

Pros: Micellar casein, no lactose, few extra ingredients, nothing unnecessary or artificial, best protein to drink before bed

Cons: Can be a little chalky or lumpy if not mixed in a blender

Buy a 2-pound jar of Legion Casein+ in vanilla or chocolate on Amazon for $39.97

The best natural goat milk protein powder

The best natural goat milk protein powder
Why you’ll love it: If you love the muscle-boosting powers of whey and casein, but have a hard time digesting milk from cows, it’s time to try Mt. Capra Double Bonded Protein.

While goat milk does contain lactose, the molecules are far smaller than lactose from cow’s milk, and so it’s much easier for the human body to digest and absorb. Mt. Capra Double Bonded Protein is sourced from grass-fed goats raised in the Pacific Northwest, and has no preservatives, GMO’s, artificial flavors, or other unwanted additives.

You get a one-two punch of both casein and whey protein in this powder, so you get all of the immediate muscle-building benefits of whey and the longer-acting muscle-restoring qualities of casein.

In the words of Eat This, Not That!, who chose the product as a best protein powder, “This powerful protein combines the best of both worlds in protein supplementation through a natural blend of casein and whey proteins. Using a combination powder allows whey to trigger muscle-building stimulation, while casein inhibits factors that lead to muscle breakdown.”

Each serving of the powder, which comes in chocolate or vanilla, provides a full range of all the essential amino acids plus 20 grams of protein. Go ahead and add it to water, or use the powder to fuel up your smoothies, hot cereal, or even pancake batter.

Although it’s more expensive than protein sourced from cow’s milk, most buyer reviewers feel it’s worth it.

Pros: A good alternative to cow milk, natural ingredients, both whey and casein protein

Cons: Some customers didn’t like the taste, a few complained it was hard to mix, expensive

Buy a 2-pound jar of vanilla or chocolate Mt. Capra Double Bonded Protein on Amazon for $65.25

The best natural vegan protein powder

The best natural vegan protein powder
Why you’ll love it: Vegan or vegetarian but looking for a protein powder? Orgain Organic Protein Powder is entirely plant-based to provide the muscle boost you want.

While milk-sourced whey and casein proteins are the most popular, there are many people who prefer an alternative to animal protein. Luckily, there are several plant-sourced proteins that are nearly as effective as animal proteins, and three of those plant proteins — hemp, brown rice, and chia seed — combine in Orgain Organic Protein Powder.

With no added sugar, all organic ingredients, a complete range of essential amino acids, and no gluten or soy, this is a protein powder that treats your body right, and tastes good, as well.

The powder is a top recommendation of, and the reviewer writes, “With 21 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and only 3 net carbs per serving, this tasty plant-based option is a winner."

Health website Verywell concurs, saying, “One of the best organic protein powders for athletes and active gym-goers just happens to also be plant-based.” Actual shoppers praise the organic powder as well.

Plus, there are four tasty flavors to choose from: vanilla bean, chocolate fudge, peanut butter, and chocolate peanut butter.

Pros: Organic and plant-based, creamy texture, good flavor, very digestible

Cons: Expensive

Buy a 2-pound jar of Orgain Organic Protein Powder at GNC for $36.99

The best natural hemp protein powder

The best natural hemp protein powder
Why you’ll love it: Hemp protein provides a hefty dose of omega-3 fatty acids and most of the essential amino acids, and Nutiva Hemp Protein makes it easy to enjoy this healthful plant protein.

Hemp is riding high on the popularity chart, and it’s no wonder. This plant has a wide range of applications for health and home alike. When it comes to protein powder, hemp continues to shine, providing not just plant-based protein, but also omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Just one serving of Nutiva Hemp Protein keeps you feeling full for hours, and provides 15 grams of protein.

Hemp protein mixes well into a variety of foods. Eat This, Not That! praised Nutiva Hemp Protein’s versatility, writing, “Your zucchini bread, smoothies, oatmeal, and pancakes will instantly get a nutrition upgrade with the addition of this hemp protein powder. In addition to serving up 15 grams of hunger-curbing protein, it also boasts 8 grams of waist-whittling fiber.”

What the powder doesn’t contain is any other additives beyond organic hemp: no added sugar, flavors, preservatives, or animal products. It’s best mixed into foods with plenty of flavor of their own, although some people simply drink it in water.

On the downside, some reviewers do say the powder is somewhat chalky.

Pros: Very digestible plant protein, no unnecessary ingredients, lots of fiber

Cons: Chalky texture, strong taste that isn’t great on its own

Buy a 1-pound jar of Nutiva Hemp Protein at GNC for $19.99

The best natural paleo-friendly protein powder

The best natural paleo-friendly protein powder
Why you’ll love it: PALEOPRO Protein Powder gives you the protein and nutritional punch of a steak and eggs breakfast without the plate.

Paleo-enthusiasts believe if our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t eat it, we shouldn’t, either, meaning that processed ingredients, dairy, grains, and anything artificial are no-nos. You won’t find any of those ingredients in PALEOPRO Protein Powder — nor will you find soy, whey, wheat or other grains, GMOs, added sugars, antibiotics, or hormones. What you will find is protein from grass-fed beef and eggs and natural flavors. That’s it.

Health site Happy Body Formula loves PALEOPRO Protein Powder, gushing, “We've got no soy, no whey, and no sweetener here. Say what?! This is a rarity in the protein powder game, so this brand is a clear winner to us when it comes to transparency and real food ingredients.” They add that the egg protein is from whole eggs, not just the whites, so you get the full range of vitamins and minerals from the yolk.

Each serving provides 25 grams of highly digestible protein. There are several flavors to choose from, as well as unflavored powder to add to your smoothies or nut milk.

Amazon shoppers mostly love this powder, though some reviewers did comment that the powder was a bit clumpy or hard to mix.

Pros: No whey or other dairy ingredients, very digestible, limited ingredients

Cons: Very expensive, chalky

Buy a 1-pound bag of PALEOPRO Protein Powder on Amazon for $37.49 and up, depending on flavor