The Best Gluten-Free Protein Powders for 2021 – Plant and Animal Proteins

Gluten intolerance can be a big deal for some. You may need to find the best supplement for muscle gain, weight loss, or just to get your nutrients, but gluten-free. Therefore, I will be reviewing the best gluten-free protein powder.

Some of us are gluten intolerant and don’t even know it. So in addition, we will talk more about what gluten is, gluten intolerance and its effects, and how to avoid product with gluten.

What is Gluten Free Protein Powder

Gluten, a family of proteins, is found in certain grains, including barley, spelt, rye, and wheat. Among all these grains, wheat is the most common and contains the most amount of gluten. A true protein powder without gluten has been manufactured without a trace of gluten on any equipment used to manufacture it.

Gluten contains two primary proteins, gliadin, and glutenin. Between the two of these, gliadin is often pointed to as the cause of gluten’s adverse effects.

Gluten may have gotten its name from its glue-like property that gives dough elasticity and allows the bread to rise when baked. Gluten is also responsible for the bread’s satisfying and chewy texture. I imagine that some don’t care for gluten just because of its ugly name.

Best Gluten Free Protein Powders for 2021

There are not a lot of great protein powders on the market that are truly “certified” Gluten Free. Most protein powders that claim to be free of gluten have not been certified by a third party.

Many times these gluten-free claims on the label are false because they will use the same equipment that processes foods that contain gluten. This results in cross-contamination, leaving small amounts of gluten in their other products.

Here are the quick links to my favorite “certified” gluten-free protein powders. I will discuss each of these later telling you why they are on my list of favorites.

Image Product Price Buy
Gluten Free Protein Powder - all natural protein powder IsoPure Protein Powder $ CURRENT PRICE
Protein Powder That Doesn't Cause Bloating - Orgain organic protein powder container Orgain Organic Protein Powder $ CURRENT PRICE
Protein Powder That Doesn't Cause Bloating - Vega sport protein powder Vega Sport Protein Powder $$ CURRENT PRICE
Gluten Free Protein Powder - Vega one organic berry Vega One All-in-One Shake $$$ CURRENT PRICE
Gluten Free Protein Powder - container of collagen peptides Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides $$ CURRENT PRICE
What Is The Best Low Calorie Protein Powder - garden of life whey protein powder Garden of Life Sport Grass Fed Whey $$ CURRENT PRICE

Gluten Intolerance

While gluten is safe in general, some people develop gluten sensitivity due to existing health conditions, including wheat allergy, gluten sensitivity, and celiac disease. The last one being the most severe kind of gluten intolerance.

Celiac disease is a kind of autoimmune disorder affecting one percent of the population. These effects can be similar to dairy or lactose intolerance.

It happens as the body sees gluten as a threat or invader. This is why the immune system acts to protect the body by attacking the gluten and the gut’s lining. Nutrient deficiencies happen when the gut wall has sustained damages, which lead to a heightened risk of many diseases, serious digestive problems, and anemia.

The milder form of gluten intolerance affects up to 13 percent of the population and can still affect one’s health. Both forms of intolerance can cause a variety of symptoms, which include the following:

  • Bloating. This is one of the most common complaints of people with gluten intolerance, but this is also a common problem, which root causes differ. The condition makes your belly feel swollen after you have eaten.
  • Abdominal pain. Up to 83 percent of people with gluten intolerance experience abdominal pain after consuming gluten. This is also a common problem, which can be caused by other factors aside from gluten.
  • Constipation and diarrhea. Glucose-intolerant people can experience them, and the more frequent they happen, the more alarming they become. As you continue to dispose of waste uncontrollably, you lose electrolytes and suffer from fatigue and dehydration.

What is a Gluten-Free Protein Powder?

Protein powders are an essential part of many weight loss programs and offer more benefits than helping you shed off the pounds. Post workout protein powders are essential for muscle growth, especially after exercise.

They give you an energy boost, provide nutrients, and can also be taken as substitutes for your meals. They are usually mixed with shakes, smoothies, milk, or water. 

The market has overwhelming choices of protein powders intended for a variety of uses, including those following a gluten-free diet.

What Is The Best Egg White Protein Powder - eggs without yolks - woman drinking pre workout

Benefits of Protein

Protein, whether in the food you eat or as a protein powder supplement, is one of the most important nutrients for many processes in the body. Proteins are comprised of the body’s building blocks known as amino acids. They are vital for the body to perform its functions, including building muscles and tissues.

Among the 20 amino acids in the body, eight cannot be produced by the body. These are referred to as essential amino acids, of which infants have nine. You have to get these amino acids from your diet. Incomplete proteins don’t have all eight of these amino acids, that complete proteins have.

Many plant food sources, for example, have incomplete proteins so be sure to check out each one individually. Most animal food sources do have complete proteins.

Types of Protein Powders

The majority of the protein powders sold in the market are made from cow’s milk. You can also find vegetable-based or soy-based proteins. Some kinds contain another type of protein derived from cow’s milk called whey. However, the milk derivative called casein is something you need to avoid when following a gluten-free diet.

Protein powders contain various types of proteins that I will list here:

  • Protein Isolates. It is highly processed, pure, and contains almost a hundred percent protein. It is common to find whey protein isolate and soy protein isolate in protein powders.
  • Protein Hydrolysates. They are easier to digest and absorb by the body since the proteins have already been broken down. You will find protein powder products with whey protein hydrolysate and soy protein hydrolysate, typically used by athletes to give them an instant energy boost.
  • Protein Concentrates. The most common of this type is whey protein concentrate, a byproduct of producing cheese. This is a cheaper alternative to the other kinds of protein powders.

When it comes to the best type, no one will know this but you. The effects vary depending on the individuals and their requirements. However, on this website, I have information on every protein source that you can get in protein powder form. I also write about each benefit that protein powder can be used for.

Some users prefer powders with added minerals and vitamins that they take as a complete replacement for their meals. They choose this despite the ingredients undergoing various artificial processes. Some users prefer unprocessed powders, including whey concentrates without flavors. Some users prioritize looking into powders free of soy, dairy, or gluten.

Protein Powders to Avoid

You have to take note that not all products claiming they are gluten-free are completely free from gluten. You have to take a closer look into the ingredients, especially if you have celiac disease and other forms of gluten sensitivity. Here are some important factors to look out for:

  • Products with gluten-free labels cut contain barley grass and wheatgrass, which contain gluten.
  • Products completely free from gluten ingredients but did not undergo testing for gluten. They may be subjected to cross-contamination of gluten.
  • Products containing maltodextrin. This highly processed ingredient may not contain too much gluten that can cause harm. Although if you are extremely sensitive to gluten no matter how much you’ve taken, it is best to stay away from anything with maltodextrin.
Gluten-Free Protein Powder - Gluten Free on chalk board

Choosing the Right Gluten-Free Protein Powder -Plant and Animal Proteins

You can consider the following when choosing which protein powders will help you achieve your health or body goals faster:

Incomplete or Complete Proteins

Complete proteins contain all eight essential amino acids your body needs. They are found in animal protein sources, such as egg white protein powders, casein, whey, and meat.

Incomplete proteins lack one or more of these essential amino acids and are found in plant-based sources. It is important to note that certain vegan foods contain complete proteins, such as chia seeds, brown rice, pea protein, quinoa, hempseed, and soy.

While some plant-based sources, such as hemp, contain complete proteins, they also have low levels of some of these essential amino acids. To make up for the weakness of the ingredient, you have to take other protein sources to make sure you are getting complete proteins.

For example, if you consume hemp protein powder, you will need to incorporate other complete protein sources, such as lentils or quinoa, into your diet.

Whey as a Gluten-Free Source of Protein

This is one of the best protein powders for people with gluten intolerance. Whey is also one of the least expensive, best-tasting, and most effective muscle-building protein sources. It is gluten-free but checks the labels of the products to be sure.

Taking Gluten-Free Protein Powder

How often and how much of these powders you consume will depend on your goal and why you are taking them in the first place. Here are some ideas depending on the goals of the user:

Muscle Building

If you want to build up your muscle mass, you have to get your body weight. For every pound of your weight, you will need 0.73 to 1.1 grams of protein powders. You will take the supplement daily. You also need to increase your intake if you are into an extreme workout and weight lifting.

Developing larger muscles for both men and women results in faster burning of calories. This means that you will burn more calories the more muscles you have. Muscles are hungrier for calories than fat, which means you’ll be able to burn calories even while resting when you have muscles.

The right time to take the powder, in this case, is after each workout session. By doing so, the protein supplement will help achieve the following:

  • Less delayed onset of muscle pain
  • Lower risk of muscle damage
  • Better performance and increased strength
  • Better production and storage of muscle energy called glycogen
  • Faster development of muscle mass
  • Faster synthesis of muscle protein

Weight Loss

The same rule applies here that you will need more protein intake the more you engage yourself in rigorous physical activities. For every pound of your weight, you will need to take 0.36 to 0.73 grams of protein. You may also want to check out protein powders without carbs and fats and have low-calorie content.

The best time to take the powders, even if your goal is to lose weight, is after you have exercised. This will speed up the development of muscle mass that leads to your body’s burning more calories.

For those who don’t work out but need to take protein supplements for a healthier lifestyle, you can take them in between meals as well.

Best Gluten Free Protein Powders

Don’t be fooled by “Gluten-Free” on the label of your protein powder. Supplement companies are not regulated to make correct claims on their own. Because of cross-contamination from using other gluten products at the same plant, protein powders must be approved by a 3rd party. This is very important, so below, I have listed only certified gluten-free protein powders.

#1. IsoPure Natural Protein Powder

Gluten Free Protein Powder -  all natural protein powder

All-natural means no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. Isopure Protein powder is also a fat-free protein powder with only 120 calories per serving as well as certified gluten-free. It’s high in protein, containing 25 grams of pure whey protein isolate.

There is an added mineral and vitamin blend including vitamin B’s to bring natural energy. Isopure all-natural whey is a great tasting protein powder that is sweetened with pure cane sugar. This is a naturally sweetened low-carb protein powder. This is the best protein powder for weight loss and muscle gain.


#2. Orgain Organic Protein Powder

Protein Powder That Doesn't Cause Bloating - Orgain organic protein powder container

If you visit this site, you will know that I’m a big fan of Orgain Organic plant based powder. Orgain was the first one in the organic plant-based game and continues to offer a quality product that is also certified gluten-free.

It contains 21 grams per serving made with pea protein, brown rice protein, and Chia seed protein. Orgain Organic Protein has only 150 calories and 4 grams of fat. Besides being gluten-free, it’s also certified organic and made using only natural flavors and sweeteners.


#3. Vega One Premium Protein

Gluten Free Protein Powder - Vega sport protein powder

Vega Sport Protein Powder contains 30g of plant-based protein that is sourced from pea, alfalfa, pumpkin seed, and sunflower seed to help build muscle. It also includes 2 billion CFU probiotics and contains 5grams of BCAA’s for muscle repair and recovery.

The Vega Sport Premium is low in fat, carbohydrates, and sugars. This plant-based protein powder is certified gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO. Vega Sport all-natural formula doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients or sweeteners.


#4. Vega One All-In-One Protein Powder

Gluten Free Protein Powder - Vega one organic berry

Vega One gets its all-in-one name from being packed with more vitamins, minerals, and Omega 3’s than most protein powders. In addition to this, it also contains probiotics and antioxidants. Vega One Protein Powder is USDA Organic certified, non-GMO, Vegan, and of course certified Gluten-free.

This plant-based protein powder contains pea protein, sunflower protein, and pumpkin seed protein. It contains all 21 Amino Acids in its 20 grams of protein per serving.  It surprisingly only has 150 calories with 4 grams of carbohydrates.


#5. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Gluten Free Protein Powder - container of collagen peptides

Vital Proteins brand protein powder is a little different than the others in this review but still certified gluten-free. It contains slightly less protein per serving at 18 grams but will give you healthier skin, nails, and healthier joints all at the same time.

This collagen peptide powder is sourced from hormone-free, grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle and it contains only 70 calories per serving.  This protein powder is all-natural dairy-free, sugar-free, and is paleo-friendly and keto-friendly.


#6. Garden of Life Certified Grass Whey

What Is The Best Low Calorie Protein Powder - garden of life whey protein powder

Whey protein is highly concentrated in amino acids and quantity of protein pound for pound making it the best protein powder for muscle growth. Garden of Life Grass Fed way is NSF certified gluten-free and has all-natural ingredients. These cows that the whey (milk) comes from, are free of antibiotics and hormones.

This Garden of Life Sport Whey contains 24 grams of protein per serving and is also packed with BCAA’s and glutamine. Lastly, this grass-fed protein even contains probiotics as an added bonus.

Gluten Free Protein Powder Wrap Up

My biggest take-away from this review is that a gluten-free protein powder needs to have a certification label on it by a third party and not just say “Gluten-Free” on the label.

Gluten-free proteins can come in both plant and animal-based sources. Therefore, I’ve discussed my favorite Whey (milk) protein powder as well as plant-based selections.

If you have any other questions about gluten-free or dairy-free protein powders, please leave a message below and I will respond.

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