Everyone should keep track of their nutrition and for a diabetic, this becomes even more important. Since a lot of protein powders are full of junk like unnatural colors and flavors, it becomes even more important to find a specific product that is suitable, with a close eye on the sweeteners and sugar content.
Because it is such an important decision, we have created a list of the best protein powders for diabetics. Each one has a solid reputation and most are made by brands that have a wide variety of products. You’re not going to find a lot of sugar here, but each one is packed full of protein to help turn the hard work in the gym into muscle mass.
Quick Summary of Best Protein Powder For Diabetics
Editor’s Choice: Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, Natural Unsweetened
Natural and unsweetened, this is the best protein powder for diabetics. The ingredients are also organic so are high quality and there are 21 grams of quality protein in each serving. It is made from pea protein, brown rice protein, and chia seeds and 150 calories per serving.Dairy-free, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free, with no artificial ingredients, it is popular with a varied demographic of people who have specific dietary needs and can be mixed with water or milk/milk alternative and is ideal for building muscle, muscle recovery, and as a meal replacement. We like that there is no filler in there, only quality natural ingredients, and whilst some brands do include more protein, this is an excellent alternative for those who want a quality, organic protein powder suitable for diabetics.
- 21 grams of protein
- 150 calories
- Vegan friendly and gluten-free
- Great for muscle recovery
- No filler ingredients
Best Low Sugar: Whey Protein Powder by Pure Protein, Gluten Free, Vanilla Cream, 1.75lbs
Although this product does contain sugar, there is only 2 g per serving so it can still be suitable for a lot of diabetics. With 25 g of protein, it helps to build muscle effectively and there are also only 160 calories per serving, which is low compared to a lot of the alternatives. Made from 100% whey protein with no soy protein, it is low in fat at 2.5 g a serving.The vanilla cream flavor is pleasant enough and it has everything anyone needs for added strength and vitality in the gym, especially because of all the amino acids included. It can be used at any time of day and with this 1.75 lb tub, there is plenty enough for many post-gym protein fixes.
- 25 g of protein per serving
- Only 160 calories
- 100% whey protein
- Tastes good
- 2 g of sugar
Best Egg White Powder: Julian Bakery Paleo Thin Protein Powder | Egg White | Unflavored
An unflavored protein powder using egg whites to bring the muscle building, it delivers 25 g of protein per serving. Each pack contains 30 servings of this unflavored protein powder that is a good option for diabetics. Because it is keto-friendly and mixes instantly with water, it is also useful for those on different kinds of diets and there is no fat or sugar to worry about.Essentially, this is two ingredients, egg whites and sunflower lecithin, containing a natural balance of protein and BCAA’s. There is 381 g of natural sodium which is understandable given the protein source is from egg whites and despite this being the main ingredient, it has pretty much zero taste so can be added to a smoothie or a recipe.
- 25 g of protein per serving
- Contains 30 servings
- Two ingredients, egg whites, and sunflower lecithin
- No fat or sugar
- 318g of sodium although naturally occurring
Best Flavor: Forzagen Vegan Protein Powder
With just 1 g of sugar per serving, this is a good protein powder for diabetics and is gluten-free, soy-free, and organic. There are around 27 servings in each tub and every one includes 20 g of protein. The vanilla milkshake flavor is pleasant of this vegan-friendly protein powder and it is made up of a pea protein, brown rice, and quinoa isolate blend.We like that there are no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors to worry about and with antioxidants included, it is good for overall health. The low sugar content can help avoid any glucose spikes and the protein content can be put to good work in the gym to help with lean muscle mass. Some people found that with the consistency, adding a little more water helped to stop it from collecting at the bottom of a shaker
- 20 g of protein
- 1 g of sugar
- Vegan and organic
- No artificial sweeteners
- Still has 1 g of sugar
Best For BCAA’s: Inno Supps Clean Vegan Protein
With no added sugar and only 2 g of fat, this is fast becoming one of the best protein powders for diabetics. With no artificial sweeteners, the 25 g of protein is generous and should be easily tolerated by most people. Vegan friendly and non-GMO, it has a pleasant enough chocolate brownie flavor that is not full of additives.This includes 4 g of BCAA’s for muscle building and recovery and there are additional probiotics in the formula for healthy digestion and immune system support. Using the likes of pea protein, this manages to remain a clean protein powder and is both soy-free and contains a generous 25 servings.
- 25 g of protein
- 2 g of fat
- No added sugar or artificial sweeteners
- 4 g of BCAA’s
- Could be a bit pricey for some
Best Low Ingredient : Eat the Bear, Whey Isolate Protein Powder
This low sugar formula is made from 100% whey protein and is keto-friendly, with just 1 g of sugar per serving. We like that there are only 100 calories per serving and it is made from all-natural ingredients. Both gluten and lactose-free it is non-GMO and uses only 5 ingredients or less so expect no filler like a lot of the other brands out there.With just 1 carb per serving, there are 24 g of protein to get into those muscles after they have worked hard in the gym. The ice cream sandwich flavor is pleasant and doesn’t have an aftertaste. For affordable protein powder, it has a lot going for it, not to mention the fact that it is free from banned substances which is to be expected from such a natural formula.
- 100% whey protein
- 100 calories
- 24 g of protein
- Good value
- Still has 1 g of sugar
Protein Powder For Diabetics Buyer’s Guide
This is a particularly important section since it details the ins and outs of the more suitable products. Ordinary protein powder could be potentially dangerous for a diabetic so to avoid a glucose spike, reading the label becomes more important than ever. To help make this decision easier, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
It details everything there is to know about protein powder and ways to make a sensible purchase. By the end of it, finding the perfect way to get those gains will be a lot easier.
What To Look For In A Protein Powder For Diabetics
Low To No Sugar
Depending on the severity of diabetes a person has, and other aspects such as their weight and lifestyle, it is possible to use a protein powder with low sugar. There are plenty of brands that include just 1 g per serving which should be well tolerated by a lot of diabetics, but this should still be after consulting a doctor.
This is why it is best to use brands that do not include any added sugar in their formula. This can help to make sure the body does not need to offset the glucose increase.
Of course, a protein powder needs to be able to help the user reach their fitness goals and a big part of this is with the protein content. The more protein the better and good value usually starts at around 20 g per serving. Some brands will go up to 25 g and just beyond but anything around this amount is going to go a long way towards reaching those muscle-building goals.
The carb content of the protein powder for diabetics should also be low to none. Of course, there is going to be something in the formula that contributes to the carb content but make sure it is from a source that is well tolerated. To help avoid blood sugar increasing to concerning levels, read the label and look out for the type and amount of carbs.
The value of protein shake centers around how much you get for your money. Once you find a product that has the right ingredients, it is always a good idea to stock up so you aren’t caught short. A tub with 30 servings or above is always a good start.
Artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners are to be avoided, especially by diabetics. Some products say they include natural and unnatural flavors which may or may not be tolerated so well, be artificial sweeteners are to be avoided without question. Make sure the protein powder is also non-GMO, and if necessary, gluten-free.
This is difficult to gauge without trying for yourself but certain brands are known for their taste and also those that are not. It can be difficult to change this as a diabetic as sweetening it at home is not such a simple task but trying it with a milk or milk substitute instead of water can help.
Can Diabetics Drink Protein Shakes?
Although it depends on the formula, yes they can. It is not a good idea to try any protein powder without reading the label first but anything with too much sugar or carbs can cause glucose spikes.
With a little research, it is possible to find a protein shake that is well tolerated, especially those that are unsweetened or with barely any sugar per serving.
Can Diabetics Take Whey Protein?
As long as they are not lactose intolerant, yes they can. Because whey protein is created during the creation of milk, there is no other reason why this type of protein powder should not be suitable by itself. When mixed with other ingredients such as sugar and carbs it can become unsuitable but there are plenty of whey protein powders that are fine for a diabetic to consume.
What Type Of Protein Powder Is Best For A Diabetic?
The source of protein shouldn’t impact the suitability of the product, it is more the other ingredients that can be a concern. Still, whey protein has been found to be the most effective for muscle recovery and repair. Other types of protein powder are still effective with the vegan-friendly pea and rice protein powders being popular and effective.
Can Protein Raise Blood Sugar Levels?
Unlike carbs and sugar, protein has not been found to raise bloody sugar levels. This makes it suitable and necessary for a diabetic in the same way that it is for someone who does not have diabetes. For the most part, it doesn’t raise blood sugar in any way that should be a concern but it is still important to check with a doctor if you are unsure.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Protein Powder?
The benefits of taking protein powder are the same for a diabetic as someone without diabetes. The main reason people consume protein powder is for building muscle, but there are other benefits such as reducing appetite between meals which can prevent snacking (especially beneficial if these are often filled with sugar), as well as strengthening bones.
Can Someone With Diabetes Still Build Muscle?
There is no reason why a diabetic cannot build muscle, it just means that it is important to keep an eye on the ingredients being consumed. The goals remain the same and the work still needs to be put in at the gym but nothing is stopping a diabetic from building muscle.
What Is The Best Protein Powder For Diabetics?
After considering a lot of low to no sugar protein powders, we found the best option to be Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder, Natural. Because it is unsweetened, it is a sensible choice although we still recommend consulting a doctor before consuming it. Using pea and brown rice protein, it manages to provide 21 g of protein per serving and there are no filler ingredients which is something that can be expected of a lot of the low-quality options out there.