The 7 Best Keto Protein Powders of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Find out what to look for and what to avoid

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Our Top Picks
Made with less than 10 ingredients and nothing artificial, this is a solid protein powder option for keto diet followers.
It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly.
Sweetened with stevia, it will satisfy a sweet craving without added sugar or carbohydrates, so you stay in ketosis.
A high-quality, no-nonsense collagen protein powder, it's keto-friendly, non-GMO, dairy- and gluten-free, and Whole30 approved.
This powder is non-GMO and contains minimal ingredients, with an added bonus of probiotics.
This is made with a proprietary blend of plant-based protein sources, including pea protein and hemp protein.
This powder is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and made with various plant-based protein sources.

The ketogenic (or keto) diet is a very low carbohydrate, high-fat diet, which forces your body to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose (sugar) from carbs. If you’re following a ketogenic diet, you may have difficulty finding a keto-friendly protein powder. This is because many protein powders contain a significant amount of carbohydrates. 

On a ketogenic diet, only about 5 percent of your daily intake should come from carbohydrates in order to keep your body in ketosis, or the sensitive fat-burning cycle. For this reason, it’s important to select a protein powder with plenty of fat and protein and minimal carbohydrates.

What to Look for in Keto Protein Powders

Protein Forms:

Protein powders come in many forms, including concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates. Protein concentrates are made from extracting protein from whole foods and contain 60 to 90 percent protein and 20 to 40 percent fat and carbohydrates. Protein isolates are filtered more and supply 90 to 95 percent protein with very little fat and carbohydrates. Protein hydrolysates are formed by heating the protein with acid or enzymes, which breaks the bonds between amino acids, making the protein assimilate more quickly into your body and muscles. 

When following a ketogenic diet, look out for the form your protein powder comes in because it’s important to choose a protein powder that is very low in carbohydrates. If you select a protein concentrate, the product may be high in carbohydrates relative to sources from protein isolates or hydrolysates.

Added Sugar:

Many protein powders on the market now are sweetened zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit extract. When possible, avoid products with other artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols.

Some protein powder products may contain added sugar, which is something to steer clear of on a ketogenic diet. Sugar is a carbohydrate, so it will significantly increase the amount of carbs in your protein powder. It’s best to limit added sugar in the diet regardless of whether you follow a keto diet, so this tip applies to everyone.

Additional Ingredients:

Some protein powders contain additional ingredients that have added health benefits. If you are interested in getting more out of your protein powder, try one with ingredients like BCAAs, MCT oil, probiotics, or prebiotics.

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

Here, the best keto protein powders:

Best Overall: Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Protein Mix, Chocolate Coconut

Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel is a versatile protein powder that comes in different flavors and can be stirred into liquid or blended into smoothies, oatmeal bowls, and more. The protein source in Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel comes from collagen peptides, which may benefit hair, skin, bone, and joint health.

This collagen protein powder is keto-friendly, with just 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving and no added sugar. It is sweetened with monk fruit extract and is free of dairy, soy, and whey. Made with less than 10 ingredients and nothing artificial, this is a solid protein powder option for keto diet followers.

Best Budget: Terranics Multi Collagen Powder

Protein powders and supplements can be quite expensive. For a high-quality keto-friendly protein powder at a more affordable price, try Terranics Multi Collagen. This powder's protein source is a mixed blend of collagen from fish, beef, chicken, and eggshell sources. Besides the collagen blend, the only other ingredients are vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) and biotin, a B vitamin.

One serving of this collagen protein powder provides 10 grams of protein. This powder is flavorless and odorless, so you can mix it into just about any food or drink. It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly.

Best Tasting: Perfect Keto Collagen Protein Powder with MCT Oil

Salted Caramel, Cinnamon Toast, and Peanut Butter are just a few of the collagen flavor offerings from Perfect Keto. Their collagen protein powders taste amazing and dissolve easily into any liquid, oatmeal, or yogurt.

Sweetened with stevia, Perfect Keto collagen powders will satisfy a sweet craving without added sugar or carbohydrates, so you stay in ketosis. In addition to 10 grams of collagen, each serving of Perfect Keto contains 5 grams of MCT oil powder, a type of fat that can be converted into ketones in the liver to be used as energy in ketosis.

Best Collagen: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder

For a high-quality, no-nonsense collagen protein powder that is keto-friendly, go for Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. With 20 grams of collagen peptides per serving, this flavorless powder is easily mixed into your morning coffee or blended into a smoothie.

Vital Proteins uses collagen from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows to ensure the highest quality and sustainable ingredients. This powder is non-GMO, dairy-free, gluten-free, and Whole30 approved, in addition to being keto-friendly.

Best for Baking: Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein Powder

If you love to get creative with protein powder beyond shakes and smoothies, try Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen for a keto-friendly protein powder that you can bake with. It’s unflavored, so you can add it to keto-friendly pancakes, cookies, or any other baking projects.

This collagen protein powder is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised, cage-free, and cruelty-free animals. It’s a blend of collagen from four sources—cow, chicken, fish, and eggshell membrane. This powder is non-GMO and contains minimal ingredients, with the bonus of probiotics.

Best Dairy-Free: Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Chocolate

If you have to avoid dairy products in your diet, you can feel good about using Sunwarrior Warrior Blend protein powder. Made with a proprietary blend of plant-based protein sources, including pea protein and hemp protein, this product is perfect for avoiding dairy and staying in ketosis.

It’s vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and sugar-free because it’s sweetened with stevia. This protein blend includes branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which may increase muscle growth and decrease muscle soreness.

You can find Sunwarrior protein powder in five classic flavors—chocolate, vanilla, natural, berry, and mocha. None of the flavor offerings have more than 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving, allowing you to use this product while limiting your carbohydrate intake on a ketogenic diet.

Best Plant-Based: Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder

Many keto-friendly protein powders contain animal products from ingredients like collagen and whey. If you’re interested in a low carbohydrate, plant-based protein powder, try Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder.

This powder is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. It’s made with various plant-based protein sources like pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, sunflower protein, and alfalfa protein. Each serving provides 30 grams of plant-based protein and just 6 grams of carbohydrates (2 grams of which are fiber).

Final Verdict

If you have to choose one protein powder on this list, try the Sunwarrior Warrior Blend (view at Amazon) first. It’s keto-friendly while also being completely plant-based and gluten-free. It has the added benefits of BCAAs, MCT oil from coconut oil, and comes in different flavors, so you’re sure to find one you love.

FAQs

Can I use a keto protein powder to make a meal replacement shake? 

You can absolutely use keto protein powder to make a meal replacement shake. Remember that meal replacement shakes should still have a good balance of ingredients that keep you full, give you energy, and satisfy you for at least a few hours. For a keto diet in which you’re limiting carbohydrates, a shake should include a good balance of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Ensure the shake has enough calories to give you energy—about 300 to 350 calories or more to replace a full meal.

To make a keto protein shake, you can add healthy fats like coconut, avocado, or plain almond butter in addition to your protein powder. You should also include a fiber source, which helps keep you full and provides digestive and gut health benefits. Good sources of fiber that are low in carbs include non-starchy vegetables, almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and berries.

How do I bake with keto protein powder?

You can make many baking recipes keto-friendly by substituting flour with protein powder. This reduces the amount of carbohydrates and increases the recipe's protein content without greatly compromising on taste.

Baking with keto protein powder usually takes a little trial and error. One tip is to start by replacing one-third of the flour in a recipe with an equal amount of protein powder. If that works well, you can increase the amount of flour you replace with the protein powder next time you try it.

For most recipes, use an unflavored protein powder to maintain the original flavor of the baked good. You can also experiment with different flavors, like using chocolate protein powder for baking protein brownies.

What Experts Say

"Protein powders are a fast and easy way to get more protein into your diet. Whether you're always on the go or you're looking to power up your smoothie with more protein, protein powders are convenient. They can also help you get more nutrition into your diet as some contain added vitamins and minerals. Finding a protein powder made with simple ingredients and low in sugar is definitely something to look for when following the keto diet."—Maggie Michalczyk, RDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a Registered Dietitian, Alex Aldeborgh stays up to date on all the latest nutrition research, trends, and popular diet plans. She has experience counseling clients with various dietary needs and would feel completely comfortable recommending any of the above products to a client following a ketogenic diet.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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