It’s no secret that soy protein powders are controversial and are not really the best plant-based option for anyone.
For one thing, soy contains phytates that block nutrient absorption. This would generally render your protein powder useless and means that you won’t really be getting any of its benefits.
Despite this, it can be difficult to navigate the many protein powders in the market to make sure they’re free from soy. After all, they’re a fairly popular protein source and are used as instantizers.
In this review, we’ll take a look at 8 of the best soy-free protein powders on the market to help you soak up all the nutrients and minerals you need.
- 1. Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed – #1 Best
- 2. Performance Lab
- 3. Perfect Keto
- 4. VEGA®
- 5. Vital Proteins Collagen Whey
- 6. PlantFusion Complete
- 7. MusclePharm Combat
- 8. BulkSupplements Whey Concentrate 80%
8 Best Soy Free Protein Powder (List for 2022)
Despite the popularity of soy protein, which we often see used in tofu and other protein sources like soy sauce, It’s not really the ideal protein source you thought it was. Sure, it’s a viable option for anyone who wants to stick to a plant-based diet. But there are risks associated with taking soy supplements. Not to mention, it really isn’t the most effective source of protein.
Below, we’ve listed eight of the best products in the market that are 100% soy-free.
1. Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Non-Soy – #1 Best Soy Free Whey Protein
This whey protein isolate from the Transparent Labs Proteinseries is sourced from 100% grass-fed whey and comes in multiple adventurous and classic flavors. Moreover, they utilize all-organic ingredients and make sure that they don’t use artificial sweeteners and ingredients. This is not vegan protein powder-free soy-free and sustainably sourced from only the best dairy cows available.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Highest Protein By Weight Ratio – this organic protein contains 88% protein which means you’re getting a whopping 28 grams of pure protein per serving. This makes this powder versatile and ideal for any goal you may have, whether it’s weight loss or building muscle.
Summary: It is ideal for anyone who wants plenty of flavor choices. It’s a bit expensive, but you’re guaranteed a high-quality protein source with a high protein yield per portion. Moreover, it’s 100% sustainably sourced and all-natural. However, it is a bit high in calories so you might want to watch out for that.
2. Performance Lab – Best for Athletes
If you’re looking for a protein powder that is clean and effective, Performance Lab comes at a close second with its supplement designed for athletes. It’s plant-based and patented for athletic use, which allows you to push harder without feeling the repercussions too greatly.
Here are its best features:
Enhances Performance – this brown rice powder is designed to help serious athletes meet the demands of heavy workouts. It contains natural enzymes that help with digestion and is designed to boost your energy, strength, and overall endurance.
Summary: Although not ridiculously expensive, this supplementation is certainly not the cheapest. However, you are paying for a premium protein source that is effective, reliable, fully versatile and ideal for a multitude of uses.
3. Perfect Keto – Best for Keto Dieters
Sticking to a keto diet can be challenging. This is especially true if you’re surrounded by products that aren’t Keto-friendly. Luckily, Perfect Keto has been a leader in making powders that are low-carb, high in protein, and comprised of additional MCTs for serious health benefits.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Ideal Meal Replacement – it is ideal for anyone who is looking for an affordable meal replacement. Let’s face it; most people on the ketogenic diet are trying to shed some of that extra weight. This is an ideal meal replacement because it contains more than just protein to fill you up.
Summary: Let’s face it. They very rarely taste great. In fact, they mostly taste horrible. Despite that, and this protein powder not mixing well, it’s not a big enough turn off to put you off trying this product. It’s affordable, filled with great ingredients and delivers great results.
4. VEGA® – Best Vegan
This VEGA® contains greens and protein to help you fill up on your daily nutrients. It’s low in sugar content and contains 20 grams of protein per serving. Moreover, it comes in multiple flavor and size options, which really gives you free rein over what you want to do with it.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Highly Nutritious – this vegan protein contains very little sugar, is keto-friendly, and is packed with veggies and greens. Each serving gives you the same amount of iron that 5 cups of spinach or broccoli contains. Moreover, it also contains more vitamin K than a half cup of spinach.
Summary: It’s a great vegan protein for anyone who is looking for a highly nutritious meal substitute or something to help boost your daily nutrients. You’ll enjoy the nutrients that come with the greens and low sugar content despite its delicious flavors. However, it is quite high when it comes to calories so you may want to watch out for that.
5. Vital Proteins Collagen Whey – Best for Women
If you want healthy and strong mobility as well as glowing skin, this Vital Proteins is for you. With 10 grams of collagen protein per serving, you’ll enjoy seeing improved bone and joint health as well as stronger ligaments and tendons. This protein powder without soy is combined with whey protein, which ensures you get a high dose of protein as well with every scoop.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Filled With Vitamins – it contains a complete amino acid profile thanks to its collagen peptide and whey protein content. This guarantees that it’s filled with nutritious and beneficial vitamins.
Summary: This collagen and whey protein without soy blend is ideal for anyone who wants to look as healthy as they feel. You’ll feel better thanks to the hyaluronic acid that helps with joint and bone health as well as improving the overall condition of your skin. However, it does not taste very good on its own so it would be better to add this into your recipes.
6. PlantFusion Complete Plant-Based – Best for Sensitive Stomach
This PlantFusion Complete pea protein powder is ideal for anyone who tends to feel gassy or bloated after taking a protein shake. You’ll appreciate the fact that this product is 100% clean and contains no artificial ingredients. Moreover, it contains a blend of plant-based proteins that are good for you. These proteins are sourced from peas, artichokes, algae, and other organic superfoods.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Contains Digestive Enzymes – we found that this is the best choice for those who often suffer from stomach distress. It contains digestive enzymes that aid in digestion and helps you feel better after taking it.
Summary: This protein powder is ideal for anyone who is looking for something that is easily digestible and won’t cause stomach distress. It is made from a blend of organic superfoods and greens which allows it to give a high protein yield per portion. However, the flavored options do tend to be a bit sweet.
7. MusclePharm Combat
If you’re looking for something that will last longer in your system as opposed to lasting for only a couple of minutes, this protein powder is the best choice for you. MusclePharm Combat is a time-released protein, which means it is gradually absorbed by your body throughout the day. It’s ideal for muscle recovery but also for sustained muscle growth.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
High-Quality Protein – it contains 25 grams of protein per serving. It is sourced from five protein sources, which adds to its nutrition and gives you a complete amino acids profile. Moreover, it contains Glutamine.
Summary: You’ll have better luck drinking this protein powder mixed into complicated shakes than drinking it on its own. It tends to be a bit too sweet and a bit too watery on its own as well. However, it does contain a good bit of protein as well as other nutrients and your essential amino acids. If you’re an athlete, you’ll love its results if you drink it before bed.
8. BulkSupplements Whey Concentrate 80% – Best Budget Option
Who says protein powders need to be expensive? Or that they need to cost you a pretty penny just to be good? BulkSupplements put mediocre and overpriced powders to shame.
This highly affordable protein powder is ideal for anyone just starting out. Or someone who wants something a bit more sustainable and realistic. Because let’s face it, they can get quite expensive. Despite its affordability, this protein powder can deliver great gains and is incredibly versatile.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Highly Versatile: Don’t like drinking the same thing every day? No worries! This protein powder comes unflavored so you can mix it into anything you want. Add it into your cooking, your baking, your daily shakes, whatever you set your mind to.
Summary: I would not recommend taking this protein powder on its own. Moreover, the packaging definitely needs improvement. But aside from that, you’ll appreciate how affordable, yet effective this protein powder is. It just proves that you don’t need to break the bank to get results.
What are the Benefits of Taking Soy-Free Protein Powders?
Although soy protein is arguably not the most effective protein choice, not to mention the controversy that surrounds it in the health community, it is a complete protein. This means you’re getting a complete amino acids profile when you take soy protein. That’s all of your daily amino acids requirements that your body can’t produce on its own, fulfilled.
Having said that, soy remains controversial if only for the fact that it stops your body from absorbing nutrients and minerals that are otherwise essential to your health. That said, there are many benefits to steering clear of supplements that contain soy.
Here are my key takeaways:
- It can impact your hormone balance – phytoestrogens are found in soy. Specific phytoestrogens are known to bind with estrogen receptors in humans, which leads to hormonal imbalance. This means your estrogen levels will rise and could lead to problems that affect both men and women.
- Soy can block nutrient absorption – no matter how many nutrients and minerals are found in your protein powder, the presence of soy—and consequentially, phytates, make it difficult for your body to absorb them. This means your body will either throw away those nutrients or take incredibly long to absorb them.
- It’s a well-established allergen – you may or may not be allergic to soy. Despite that, it doesn’t discount the fact that soy can cause a myriad of problems that are physically prevalent. For example, acne, asthma, and a host of other skin allergies like eczema.
- It is usually highly processed – let’s get one thing straight: YOU DO NOT NEED YOUR PROTEIN TO BE INSTANTIZED. Got it? Well. It might make your protein powder easier to mix, but it’s completely necessary. There are plenty of options that are easy to mix without using soy to instantize it. Furthermore, soy is usually highly processed. Which, I don’t have to tell you twice, isn’t a good thing in any case.
That said, there are certainly ways soy is used that aren’t completely bad for you. However, it wouldn’t really be worth your time to research it for hours when there are other, more effective options in the stores. Take Transparent Labs, for example, they produce a high-quality protein powder that is soy-free and contains all of your essential amino acids.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Pea Protein Soy Free?
There are some pea protein powders that are soy-free. However, that doesn’t mean that all of them are. Take your time to review the ingredient list and make sure that soy is not included. That said, it is a viable vegan option for anyone who is looking to stick to a plant-based diet.
Does Whey Protein Powder Contain Soy?
Some whey powders use soy to instantize their formula. This makes it easier to mix the powder. However, not all whey powders contain soy. That said, there are definitely whey powders that do not contain soy.
Is Soy Protein Powder Bad for You?
This is a widely debated topic. But if you’re asking me and other professional health buffs, you’ll hear the same answer: soy is not worth your time. While it may not immediately be bad for you, it can lead to a host of health issues in the long run.
Does Soy Cause Weight Gain?
Like any other protein powder (Like Orgain Organic with 7 grams of fiber ) out there, it can help with healthy weight gain. The only issue is that you’re likely not absorbing any other nutrient into your body whenever you take soy protein or powders that contain soy.
User Reviews, What Customers are Saying?
Going soy-free is a decision that you need to make right now. If you value your health and your money, soy products are not worth the investment. Hear a hundred other customers and me out:
- Soy is NOT essential to your diet. Contrary to its popularity, soy is not an essential protein. In fact, even if you are a vegan, there are many other alternatives that are much more nutritious. For example, mushrooms and cauliflower.
- There are many plant-based alternatives that are better than soy. If you’re strictly vegan, I suggest a blend of pea and brown rice protein. You’ll also find success with hemp protein, which is more easily digestible compared to soy.
- Soy can cause stomach distress, liver failure, and a myriad of other health complications. Numerous studies show what constant soy protein intake does to your body. Aside from acne, asthma, and skin conditions, you’re more likely to have digestive issues with soy in your diet.
- Choose something unflavored. If you want to get something that is as pure as it gets with all of the benefits, make sure you go for an unflavored powder. Yes, the chocolate milkshake flavor is tempting, but it’s not really that versatile.
- Start with sample size, if possible. If you’re just testing out the waters—so to speak, it’s important to try and buy the smallest pack available. This will help you minimize your costs when you’re not yet sure which product to buy.
- Choose something safe, natural, organic, and hormone-free. You may not know it, but some things you should look for is a Non-GMO assurance, or if you’re lactose intolerant, look for something gluten-free dairy-free, and lactose-free.
Summary: Overall, you should really just stay away from any protein powder that contains soy. It’s honestly not worth your attention. That said, there are plenty of options in the stores. Make sure you’re buying something that is right for you and wil cater to your specific goals and dietary restrictions.
Where to Buy
There are many retailers that carry soy-free protein powders. I’d start with GNC and Amazon since they carry many choices and some of the most popular brands in the stores. Moreover, you could also try shopping at Walmart.
Does Whey Protein Have Soy?
Ingredients are the key to a great product. Soy is a component of many protein products. Soy protein, however, may be highly problematic for some individuals, and it can be an easy choice for those trying to avoid or manage soy sensitivity or allergy. Per the FDA’s definition of soy protein, if Soy protein isolates contain soybeans and at least 2% of soy protein, then they are not considered to be a protein or protein-based products, and they are not allowed to carry the “Whey Isolate” or “Whey Concentrate” label.
It is important to note that soy is found in many soy products, including meat alternatives, tofu, textured vegetable protein, baked beans, and a wide variety of commercial soyfood products, such as veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and low-fat bean dip. If you have a sensitivity or allergy to soy, then Soy protein isolate is unlikely to be a good option for you. If you want to avoid soy entirely, however, there are a number of alternatives that can help you meet your nutritional goals. Gluten-free. If you are sensitive to gluten, it is likely best to choose a product that does not contain any gluten. Several brands of protein powders are available that are manufactured with only protein ingredients, and none contain gluten.
Does Rice Protein Have Soy?
Contrary to the results of our previous article, it seems that there is no threat of soy protein blend from vegetarian sources. A 2006 study in China indicated that soy protein and soy isoflavones may be interchangeable. According to the article, the researchers were surprised to find that beans, soy, and tofu have the same amount of isoflavones as soy milk. This was especially surprising because most foods, such as tofu, are used for making soy milk. However, beans and beans are different enough to provide the essential nutrients necessary for healthy absorption.
Does Lentils Contain Protein? Lentils are primarily consumed for their fiber and are considered a type of whole grain. They are classified as “green” food, since they contain higher levels of phytonutrients, such as antioxidants, that may help prevent chronic diseases. This study found that when lentils are roasted, a short cooking time may result in a high amount of cysteine. Cysteine is an amino acid that may be dangerous for those who have Celiac disease if it is not properly filtered from the food during processing. Due to this small amount of cysteine, though, the researchers were not concerned with the results.
Do All Protein Powders Contain Soy?
Just because a protein powder says it doesn’t contain soy doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t contain soy. In fact, one of the most popular powders, Soylent, contains small amounts of soy, and other companies make their powders without soy to align with the current scientific consensus that soy consumption doesn’t negatively impact health. And in some cases, soy is the protein the manufacturer deems most easily digestible for its users. Bottom line: If you’re allergic to soy, steer clear of any powders labeled as soy-free or no soy. As noted by the Weston A. Price Foundation, protein powder producers have the right to exclude specific powders from their products, but “consumers should be able to find out which ones, and whether a specific product contains a potentially allergenic protein.
Is Soy Bad in Protein Powder?
Protein supplements are made up of three main ingredients, whether it’s protein, creatine, or anything else. But who wants to know how all those different sources of protein come together to make their protein powder? It seems like a lot of people really care, so I’ll tell you a little about the proteins themselves. Here’s the breakdown of protein: Ethanol, Casein, and Gluten. This first part of the protein breakdown includes glucose, lactose, and casein. Gluten is short for glutenin. Glucose is the star product in most supplements, and it’s usually a combination of glucose and fructose. Lactose is the main source of fructose, which makes it digestible. But I’ve heard stories of people taking a sugar-free protein.
Does Garden of Life Protein Powder Contain Soy?
As you can see, the ingredient list is incredibly short, which is where the confusion occurs. A company called Garden of Life provides the soy protein for the product. Yes, there’s soy protein. There’s also soy flour and sweetener. The biggest ingredient in Garden of Life protein powder is vegetable and egg fiber. Vegetable and egg fiber contains soy protein, but it also contains guar gum, as well as various other ingredients that the label does not describe.
This is the only ingredient that is listed in excess, not on the label. The rest of the ingredients can be found in the ingredients database. Here’s what it says about guar gum. Guar gum is one of the few ingredients in this product that doesn’t require any explanation, as it is widely used in all sorts of non-dairy products. We have listed a healthy dose of it.
Final Words. What is the Best Soy Free Protein Powder?
Overall, numerous studies support the fact that soy can be harmful to your health. If you’re a health buff like me, it’s seriously not worth the risk. Especially not with so many alternatives in the market.
Despite its popularity, you need not worry. No matter your dietary choices, there is something that is suitable for you. Protein powders are highly popular and helpful for anyone who needs to incorporate more protein into their diet. Below are some of our top picks:
Transparent Labs 100% is the best choice because it is a high-quality protein source with a complete amino acid profile. Moreover, it’s ideally processed so that it won’t trigger lactose intolerance issues.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that is ideal for Keto diets, Perfect Keto Whey Protein is a great choice. It comes in three flavor options: chocolate, natural vanilla, and unflavored, which allows you to switch it up whenever you need to. It is packed with MCTs that boost focus and keep you full longer.
Now, if you’re under a strict budget, or are looking for something that’s effective and won’t break the bank, BulkSupplements Whey Concentrate is a great choice. It’s arguably the cheapest option on the list. Despite its affordable price, it’s still one of the best in the market when it comes to efficacy.
Ultimately, it all boils down to your preferences. No matter which product you choose, we’re confident we’re pointing you in the right direction with the choices listed above.