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gluten free protein shakes

Best Gluten-Free Protein Powders (Summer 2019)

When you’re looking for gluten-free protein powder, it can be annoying to slough through descriptions. To speed up the process, we’ve curated this list of the best gluten-free protein powders.

Farther down, we’ve laid out the research-backed benefits of protein powder, as well as recommended doses for weight loss, muscle gain, and more.

Top 12 Best Gluten-Free Protein Powders

Best Whey Gluten-Free Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition – Gold Standard Whey

Gluten-free

5g BCAAs

Lots of flavors

Complete protein

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
24g
protein
3g
carbs
1g
fat
118
calories

Protein Sources: Whey

Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard whey protein is the go-to for many athletes. They offer one of the best whey gluten-free protein powders, making this an easy pick for those who are gluten intolerant. Each serving also has over 5 grams of BCAAs, boosting its muscle-building potential.

BOTTOM LINE

This is an excellent gluten-free whey protein powder, great for any goal.

Runner-Up Whey Gluten-Free Protein Powder

Isopure – Gluten-Free, Zero-Carb Whey Protein Isolate

Sale

Gluten-free

Lactose-free

Zero carbs

Keto-friendly

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
24g
protein
0g
carbs
0g
fat
97
calories

Protein Sources: Whey

Isopure is another highly reputable protein powder brand. This zero-carb, gluten-free whey protein powder was a tough contender against Optimum Nutrition, so it deserves a runner-up shout-out. It’s a great choice for athletes and amateurs alike.

BOTTOM LINE

This zero-carb, gluten-free whey protein powder is a great pick for weight loss and lean gains.

Best Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Protein Powder

PlantFusion – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Protein Powder

Sale

Gluten-free

Soy-free

Dairy-free

Vegan

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
23g
protein
2g
carbs
3g
fat
129
calories

Protein Sources: Pea, artichoke, sprouted amaranth, sprouted quinoa

For those who are lactose intolerant, PlantFusion offers an excellent gluten- and dairy-free protein powder. This complete protein is free of all common allergens, including soy, rice, eggs, nuts, and fish. It’s also 100% plant-based and vegan-friendly.

BOTTOM LINE

This gluten-free, dairy-free protein powder is a great option for some vegan protein.

Best Soy-Free, Gluten-Free Protein Powder

Vega – Soy-Free Plant-Based Protein & Greens

Sale

Gluten-free

Soy-free

Non-GMO

Vegan

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
20g
protein
6g
carbs
0.5g
fat
110
calories

Protein Sources: Pea, sacha inchi, hemp seed, sprouted whole grain brown rice

Although soy is a complete protein, some people are not a fan of its purported phytoestrogenic effects. To answer this, Vega offers this great soy-free, gluten-free protein powder. It’s also packed with nutritious greens like alfalfa and spinach.

BOTTOM LINE

This nutritious, soy-free protein powder is a great pick for anyone trying to avoid soy.

Best Gluten-Free Meal Replacement Shake

RSP TrueFit – Gluten-Free Meal Replacement Shake

Gluten-free

12 fruits and veggies

Probiotic

Non-GMO

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
15g
protein
8.5g
carbs
2g
fat
104
calories

Protein Sources: Whey

Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to cook a meal, so it can be helpful to have a delicious meal replacement shake on hand. Packed with protein and probiotics, this gluten-free meal replacement shake is a great option.

BOTTOM LINE

This gluten-free meal replacement shake is a great pick for on-the-go nutrition.

Best Gluten-Free Paleo Protein

Gluten-Free Collagen Peptides

Gluten-free

Paleo-friendly

Non-GMO

Grass-fed

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
27g
protein
0g
carbs
0g
fat
108
calories

Protein Sources: Hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides

Collagen peptides are a popular protein supplement among the paleo community. Luckily, they are naturally gluten-free. With no fillers, these hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides featured in our paleo protein powder guide are a great option for some gluten-free paleo protein.

BOTTOM LINE

These collagen peptides are an easy pick for some paleo-friendly protein.

Best Gluten-Free Bodybuilding Protein

Legion – Gluten-Free Whey+ Protein Powder

Sale

Gluten-free

Non-GMO

Grass-fed

Lactose-free

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
23g
protein
3g
carbs
0g
fat
104
calories

Protein Sources: Whey

Legion is a fairly popular brand for bodybuilding protein, and their Whey+ powder is a great gluten-free pick. If you’re looking to bulk up or pack on lean mass, this is an easy choice.

BOTTOM LINE

For current and aspiring bodybuilders, this whey protein is a great gluten-free pick.

Best Unflavored Gluten-Free Protein

Naked Whey – Pure, Unflavored Whey Protein

Gluten-free

Soy-free

Non-GMO

Single ingredient

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
25g
protein
3g
carbs
2g
fat
120
calories

Protein Sources: Whey

Naked is known for their single-ingredient protein powders, and their whey protein is no different. This is 100% grass-fed whey protein powder, with no gluten, soy, or flavorings. It’s a super clean, unflavored protein, great for any goal.

BOTTOM LINE

Naked Whey delivers one of the best unflavored gluten-free protein shakes.

Best Gluten-Free Vegan Protein

KOS – Organic, Vegan Protein Blend

Gluten-free

Non-GMO

Organic

BCAAs

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
15g
protein
7g
carbs
4.5g
fat
131
calories

Protein Sources: Pea, flax seed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, chia seed

We’ve previously featured this powder in our vegan protein powder guide, and that’s not without good reason. KOS delivers some of the best vegan, gluten-free protein powder on the market, available in chocolate and vanilla. If you’re looking for vegan protein, look no further.

BOTTOM LINE

This is an easy pick for high-quality, vegan, gluten-free protein.

Best-Tasting Gluten-Free Protein

Isopure Infusions – Light, Fruity Whey Protein Isolate

Sale

Gluten-free

Lactose-free

Tasty

Easy mixing

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
24g
protein
2.5g
carbs
0g
fat
108
calories

Protein Sources: Whey

Isopure Infusions’ gluten-free protein shakes are mysteriously delicious. These fruity flavors mix up into a light yet protein-rich whey isolate drink. And it does all that without any artificial flavors or colors.

BOTTOM LINE

This is a delicious, light, and fruity gluten-free protein shake that’s great for any goal.

Best Gluten-Free Keto Protein

Perfect Keto – Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides

Gluten-free

Keto-friendly

Grass-fed

MCT oil powder

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
18g
protein
1.5g
carbs
7g
fat
141
calories

Protein Sources: Medium chain triglycerides, hydrolyzed collagen powder

Featured on our complete keto protein powder guide, Perfect Keto’s grass-fed collagen peptides are a great pick for keto-friendly, gluten-free protein. It’s also supported with MCT oil powder to help boost a state of ketosis.

Take a look at our MCT oil guide for more information and top picks.

BOTTOM LINE

This is a great gluten-free pick for anyone on a ketogenic diet.

Best Gluten-Free Egg White Protein

MRM – Natural Egg White Protein Powder

Sale

Gluten-free

Dairy-free

Zero fat

Zero carbs

30g 1 oz 1/4 cup
21g
protein
2g
carbs
0g
fat
91
calories

Protein Sources: Egg white

Featured in our egg white protein powder guide, MRM’s natural egg white protein is a great gluten-free pick. It’s dairy-free and has no fats or cabs, making it a great choice for weight loss and lean gains.

BOTTOM LINE

This lean, gluten-free egg white protein powder is a great complete protein source.


Choosing the Best Gluten-Free Protein Powders

Picking the best gluten-free protein powder for your goals isn’t always easy. Here are a few considerations to bear in mind.

Complete vs. Incomplete Proteins

Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 8 amino acids that the body can’t produce and must come from diet—or 9 if you’re in infant, which you probably aren’t. These are called essential amino acids, and proteins that contain all 8 are called complete proteins.

Most animal protein sources are complete proteins. This means that foods such as meats or whey, casein, or egg white protein powders are complete proteins.

On the other hand, most plant-based protein sources are incomplete proteins, missing one or more essential amino acid. There are a few vegan foods that are complete protein sources, though, such as soy, hempseed, quinoa, certain types of peas and rice, and chia seeds.

Note that some of these, such as hempseed, contain low levels of one or more essential amino acid. This means that although they’re complete, you’ll want to vary your protein sources to fill those weaknesses. So if you were taking hemp protein powder, you would want to ensure you’re also incorporating quinoa, lentils, or another complete protein in your diet.

Is Whey Protein Gluten-Free?

Whey itself is gluten-free. Whey is simply a byproduct of cow’s milk in the process of cheesemaking. Glutenous ingredients may be added to whey protein powder, but you can always check for gluten-free labels.

This is fortunate for gluten-intolerant people because whey protein powder is generally regarded as one of the best protein powders. There are plenty of good options, though, which you can read about in our complete protein powder guide.

Whey and hemp gluten free protein powders
Protein powders can be a great source of complete protein.

How to Take Gluten-Free Protein Powder

Once you’ve picked the best gluten-free protein powder for whatever your goals may, you’ll need to figure out how to take it. Here’s some helpful information on when to take your plant-based protein powder and how much to take.

How Much Gluten-Free Protein to Take

  • For Building Muscle

There has been a lot of research on the ideal amount of protein to take. If your goal is to build up muscle mass, that research has shown that it’s best to consume 0.73 to 1.1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight each day (or 1.6 to 2.4 grams per kilogram of weight).1A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults2Do athletes need more dietary protein and amino acids? And bear in mind that the more you lift weights and work out, the more protein you’ll need.

For building muscle with gluten-free protein powder, we would recommend Legion’s Whey+ protein powder .

  • For Weight Loss

If you’re wanting to lost fat, studies have demonstrated that consuming 0.36 to 0.73 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is best (or 0.8 to 1.6 grams per kilogram of bodyweight).3A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults4Dietary protein intake and human health. And with any protein recommendations, the more you work out, the more you’re wall to take.

For weight loss goals, we recommend MRM’s natural egg white protein pwwder, for its low calorie content and lack of fats and carbs.

To figure out your ideal protein intake, you can use our protein needs calculator.

When to Take Your Gluten-Free Protein

  • For Building Muscle

For anyone with a goal of building muscle mass, research has demonstrated the best time to take a protein supplement is right after each workout. Here are a few ways that can help boost your muscle-building potential.

Benefits of post-workout protein:

This is important for women as well as men, no matter the fitness goal. Since muscle is more calorie-hungry than fat, it helps to best your calorie burning potential (even when resting). So the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. For more information, you can read our guide on the best protein powders for women.

  • For Weight Loss

For anyone wanting to drop a few pounds, it’s still best to take your protein shake right after each workout. As touched on above, this helps boost muscle mass, which in turn helps with burning more calories.

For anyone who doesn’t work out, it’s best to drink a protein shake in between meals. Research has shown that this helps with losing more fat than drinking protein shakes with meals.14Effects of protein supplements consumed with meals, versus between meals, on resistance training–induced body composition changes in adults: a systematic review Of course, you’ll want to make sure you to go over your calorie goals.

For more information the best dosage and timing for gluten-free protein powder, check out our protein powder guide.


Brief Protein Overview

What if you’re on a gluten-free diet but you’re not sure whether protein powders are for you? Here’s a brief overview on protein itself to help you make an informed decision.

What Are Proteins?

As discussed above, proteins are made up of amino acids, the building blocks of the entire body. They’re used for all sorts of structures throughout the body, from building muscle tissue to tendons. They also play other important roles in many bodily functions.

There are 20 total amino acids. Eight of these, called essential amino acids, cannot be produced by the body and must come from diet. (There 9 essential amino acids for infants.)

Complete proteins contain all 8 essential amino acids, and incomplete proteins don’t. Most animal food sources are complete, and most plant food sources are incomplete. There are exceptions to both rules, of course.

Benefits of Protein Supplements

The following information is summarized from our complete protein powder guide. Give it a read for more thorough information.

Athletics

  • Building and Preserving Muscle Mass

Research has shown that taking protein supplements in addition to working out (particularly lifting weights) leads to increased muscle mass.15Whey Protein Supplementation Improves Body Composition and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis16A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults

There are a few primary reasons behind this. One of the biggest is that drinking a protein supplement after working out has two immediate effects. First, the supply of amino acids from the protein stops the body from breaking down muscle. Secondly, the body starts to speed up muscle tissue synthesis (muscle creation) when supplied with plenty of amino acids directly following a workout.17Reduced resting skeletal muscle protein synthesis is rescued by resistance exercise and protein ingestion following short-term energy deficit.18Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids19Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive training in novice bodybuilders.20Effects of exaggerated amino acid and protein supply in man.

  • Boosting Performance and Decreasing Soreness

Protein supplements help with more than just building up muscle size. Research has demonstrated that drinking a protein shake after each workout can lead to increased strength, performance levels, and one repetition max.21A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults/mfn]21target=_blank ref=nofollow Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy with resistance training in elderly humans22Effects of resistance training and protein plus amino acid supplementation on muscle anabolism, mass, and strength

There are three major reasons behind this. First, protein supplements simply help the body produce more muscle tissue, as discussed above.

Second, drinking protein after an intense workout helps restore muscle glycogen, a primary energy source. 23Early postexercise muscle glycogen recovery is enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement24Carbohydrate-protein complex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise25Postexercise protein-carbohydrate and carbohydrate supplements increase muscle glycogen in men and women26Regulation of Muscle Glycogen Repletion, Muscle Protein Synthesis and Repair Following Exercise

And finally, post-workout protein also reduces muscle soreness. Since sore, damaged muscle fiber can’t perform as well as it normally could, reducing soreness results in increased performance and resultant strength gains over time. 27THE EFFECT OF A CARBOHYDRATE AND PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT ON RESISTANCE EXERCISE PERFORMANCE, HORMONAL RESPONSE, AND MUSCLE DAMAGE28Effect of milk-based carbohydrate-protein supplement timing on the attenuation of exercise-induced muscle damage29Acute milk-based protein–CHO supplementation attenuates exercise-induced muscle damage

SUMMARY

Taking protein supplements can help with gaining muscle mass, boosting performance, and decreasing soreness.

Weight Loss

Research has demonstrated that drinking protein shakes can help with reducing fat mass while increasing or maintaining muscle mass.30Whey Protein Supplementation Improves Body Composition and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis31A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study32Effects of protein supplements consumed with meals, versus between meals, on resistance training–induced body composition changes in adults: a systematic review

There are a few contributing factors here. The simplest is that protein shakes are filling, and can often replace unhealthy food choices. They can help with both appetite control and responsible dietary choices.

But beyond simple meal replacements, protein shakes help increase muscle mass, which in turns helps with burning fat.

Even at rest, muscle consumes more calories than fat does. This means that the more muscle tissue you have, the higher your resting metabolism. And the higher your resting metabolism, the easier it is to maintain a calorie deficit and burn fat.

SUMMARY

Protein supplements can help with losing fat and maintaining calorie-burning muscle mass.


Summary

Protein powders can be a great source of nutrition and a great way to hit fitness goals. Luckily, for those who are gluten intolerant, there are lots of gluten-free protein powders on the market.

For more information on protein supplementation, see our complete protein powder guide.

TOP PICK: Optimum Nutrition – Gold Standard Whey

Gluten-free

5g BCAAs

Lots of flavors

Complete protein



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