The Best Low Carb Protein Powder For Men (Keto-Approved!)

Did you know your protein powder may actually be undermining your ketogenic diet?

Protein shakes are a helpful convenience food, but sugar, fillers, flavoring, and even active ingredients can throw off the 70/20/5 ratio of fat/protein/carbohydrates that raise your blood ketone levels to achieve a ketogenic state.

We’ve searched far and wide and come up with some suggestions to keep you burning fat and building muscle.

The Top 5 Rated Low-Carb, Keto-Friendly Protein Powders

More About the Keto Diet and Keto-friendly Protein Powders

Following a ketogenic diet requires a delicate balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates. While a ketogenic diet is typically classified as a “low carb diet”, it is just as important that people on a ketogenic diet do not consume too many proteins.

An excess of either carbs or proteins can disrupt the body’s state of ketosis and cause a backslide.

The video below details one keto dieter’s personal experience through the first 7 days of the plan and why consistency is a must on a keto diet.

Protein supplements are intended to increase protein intake, usually to help with fitness objectives like building muscle. With a ketogenic diet, however, the primary objective is fat loss.

Most people on a properly executed ketogenic diet will not lose muscle mass, but they may have trouble building up more or gaining weight. Because of these differences, many protein supplements are not good for people on a keto diet.

Add some fat to your protein.

The keto diet has people add a large amount of fat while cutting back on carbohydrates and protein in their diets to force the body into a state of ketosis, where the body burns fat instead of carbs or muscle for fuel. This “adding fat to lose fat” approach has been proven effective at weight loss and fat loss, with studies showing that it also reduced triglycerides and boosted “good” HDL cholesterol.

When it comes to protein shakes on the keto diet, the problem is that most protein powders:

  1. Are low fat, and;
  2. Contain carbohydrates.

This is not ideal when your keto diet requires that fats make up about 3/4 of your daily caloric intake and carbohydrates are kept to an absolute minimum. That macronutrient balance is what kicks the body into a ketogenic state.

The protein powders recommended here can help keep you on track with your keto diet, mostly by being low in carb, but in some cases, by having some good fats added in. For the rest, just whip up a smoothie with some of your favorite fats, keep the carbs out, and you should be good to go.

Whatever the case in regards to how you like your protein powder, we’ve specifically picked these to be mostly natural, mostly keto friendly, and NOT full of BS filler and marketing hype ingredients. 

We’re not about that here, and we know one of our top 5 picks will work for you.

How To Pick A Keto-Friendly Protein Powder

When choosing a protein powder while on a ketogenic diet, you want to look for protein powders that can keep your macronutrients in balance. The qualities to look for are protein powders that are:

  1. Low-carb
  2. Do not contain added sugars
  3. Do contain added fats (like from coconut oil or from high-fat protein sources like red meat)

The importance of getting the macronutrients right on the keto diet cannot be overstated. The effectiveness of the ketogenic diet depends on overriding the body’s standard process of converting glucose to energy via the pancreas to converting fat to energy via the liver. When the macros are right this process happens efficiently. When the macros are wrong not only will ketosis fail to kick in, but the overall plan can become dangerous and unhealthy.

If you are on the keto diet, it is important not to just eyeball your nutrition. Know the ratios and use a tool like My Fitness Pal or Lifesum to track your food intake and make sure that you are striking the right balance between fats, carbs and protein. If you eat more than the allotted amount of carbohydrates or protein you risk the body going out of its fat-burning ketogenic state and the associated issues with metabolizing such an extreme diet. The ketogenic diet was developed as a medical treatment, not a fad diet. It should be treated as such.

Skip The Keto Protein Powders If…

Not everyone is a candidate for the keto diet. You should skip the ketogenic diet and these keto protein powders if any of the following applies to you:

  1. You have gall bladder issues
  2. You have a fat metabolism disorder
  3. You are trying to gain weight
  4. You are trying to gain muscle
  5. You do explosive sports or fitness activities like sprinting or power lifting

Top 5 Low-Carb Protein Powders

The best low carb protein powder for a keto diet will contain:

  1. Protein
  2. Low carbohydrate content
  3. And maybe even extra fat

These formulas are recommended if you are on a ketogenic diet.

Protein / Carb / Fat

24g / 3g / 1.5g

Price

$

Our Rating

This is pretty much the top protein powder on the market. Best selling, loads of flavors, really non-offensive ingredient list. It’s cheap and it works. 

It doesn’t have the added fats that some others so, and it does have a few grams of carbs, but for the price and for the fact that it just plain works, you can easily slot this into a keto diet.

The flavors are pretty decent, although they occasionally tweak their lineup and sometimes change sweetening agents and digestive enzymes. So just be aware of what their latest formulation is.

Works perfectly fine in all types of mixing situations, though I actually use this stuff in coffee and oatmeal. Fine as a drink by itself, though, too.

Pros

  • TASTE: Many protein powders taste downright awful regardless of which flavor you try. This usually isn't the case with Optimum Nutrition. You can buy any one of their several-dozen flavors and be almost guaranteed a good taste. Just get a small tub first before committing to the 5 pounder. 
  • NON-OFFENSIVE: OK, yes, this is a Pro. There's so much other crap on the market that is full of BS, so it's nice to see an industry leader selling a ton of pretty plain, boring product. No stupid ingredients, no ridiculous marketing claims.
  • ALWAYS AVAILABLE: In this low-carb protein market, this is actually important. Low-carb or keto offerings are so new that many of the companies offering them are new, too. This means they haven't all got their production cycle down, which could leave you scrambling for a replacement if you go to order and they're out of stock. ON is pretty well too big for that to happen.
  • VALUE: No fillers, no marketing claims, and yet it works. And for way cheaper than most other proteins, especially those on this list. If you're looking for one that will just do the job without breaking the bank, this is it.

Cons

  • DIGESTION: Not a huge issue, but ON has recently removed Aminogen from their formula. Apparently it's useful for digesting the whey protein, and if you have issues with that sort of thing, then maybe you should be wary of the new formula. For most people, however, it shouldn't be a big deal.
  • NOT THE BEST RATIO: It's not bad, but obviously there's a couple carbs and almost no fat. But for this price, come on. 

Protein / Carb / Fat

21g / 0g / <1g

Price

$$$$

Our Rating

This organic grass-fed beef bone broth protein is an unflavored powder that contains only one ingredient: organic beef bone broth powder.

Because it is unflavored, this can be blended into sweet or savory liquids.

The collagen-rich bone broth formula may be beneficial for joint health, and also have digestive benefits.

Basically it’s an interesting single-ingredient protein source, which means no filler and nothing unnatural. It’s certified organic, potentially the only one of it’s kind using this exact ingredient.

Pros

  • ORGANIC
  • NO ADDITIVES OR PRESERVATIVES
  • PROTEIN SOURCED FROM GUT-FRIENDLY BONE BROTH
  • DAIRY-FREE

Cons

  • NOT SUITABLE FOR VEGANS/VEGETARIANS
  • UNFLAVORED, WON'T SATISFY A SWEET TOOTH

Protein / Carb / Fat

10g / 1g / 4g

Price

$$$$

Our Rating

Keto Protein Powder is developed specifically for people on a ketogenic diet, which is one of the only ones to specifically do so. The others excel in some form or another, but this and maybe our last offering are very much pro-keto. I mean, both the company AND the product have keto in the name.

The formula contains collagen protein sourced from grass-fed cattle, which seems to be pretty popular in these parts. Grass-fed = good, usually, though collagen is a pretty low protein form of protein, and may not have all the benefits that people usually think of. For example, just because collagen is good for joints, doesn’t mean it automatically get converted to collagen in the joints when you consume it.

Anyway, the pro-keto part of this recipe is that it contains MCT oil powder that boosts fat content. If you’ve had Bulletproof Coffee or the like, you know what MCT oil is, and you know its a delightful way to boost your brain power and get your fats.

This formula comes in one flavor, chocolate, which is created with cocoa powder and stevia, so it’s natural.

Overall, it’s OK and we like that it adds the MCT oil powder, but it’s just such a low protein content, you’re probably better off going with a cheaper option and buying a separate thing of MCT oil.

Pros

  • CONTAINS MCT OIL FOR EXTRA FAT
  • COLLAGEN FORMULA MAY BE GOOD FOR JOINTS, DIGESTION, ETC.

Cons

  • EXPENSIVE
  • NOT MUCH PROTEIN
  • COLLAGEN IS NOT THE GREATEST FORM OF PROTEIN

Protein / Carb / Fat

27g / 2g / 2g

Price

$$$

Our Rating

BN Labs’ Organic Vegan Protein Powder comes in four flavors, and is made from a blend of pea, brown rice, hemp, and spirulina protein, all of which are organic.

Sweetened with stevia, this powder has no added sugars. Being a plant-based formula, it obviously contains no dairy, soy, or gluten.

The only vegan/vegetarian friendly offering on our list, it actually packs a very potent punch, coming in at 27 grams of protein per serving. That’s the most on this list, and it all comes from non-animal sources.

While it’s quite a bit more expensive than Optimum Nutrition, it’s actually a fair bit cheaper than the second and third options on our list. 

If you’re vegan and looking for a low-carb protein powder, this is absolutely the one to get.

Pros

  • ORGANIC
  • VEGAN
  • SOY-FREE
  • DAIRY-FREE
  • LOADS OF PROTEIN

Cons

  • TASTE ISN'T GREAT
  • DOESN'T MIX VERY WELL
  • NO ADDED FATS

Protein / Carb / Fat

20g / 9g / 9g

Price

$$$

Our Rating

Primal Fuel Whey Protein Powder is a whey isolate protein with added coconut milk that’s sweetened with stevia.

The formula comes in two flavors: chocolate and vanilla coconut.

A compound from chicory root called inulin provides prebiotics for digestive support.

It’s basically a much better, in our opinion, pure keto protein powder than the first collagen option on this list.

It’s made with whey isolate, which is a form of protein with a very high protein/weight ratio, and it’s got almost no lactose in it which means it’s great if you’re lactose intolerant. 

The added coconut milk gives it some fat, 9 whole grams, which is a lot more than anything else on this list, and even though it’s got 9 grams of carbs, that’s offset at least a bit by 4g of fiber.

If you really want that all-in-one keto powder, this might be it!

Pros

  • ADDED COCONUT MILK FOR SOME GOOD FATS
  • PREBIOTICS ADDED
  • WELL-ROUNDED WITH PLENTY OF PROTEINS AND FATS

Cons

  • TASTE IS NOT ALWAYS GREAT
  • TEXTURE AND CONSISTENCY IS A BIT GUMMY
  • MAY BE MORE EXPENSIVE TO BUY THIS "ALL-IN-ONE" POWDER THAN BUYING YOUR PROTEIN AND FATS SEPARATELY

The Final Word

Alright, so we’ve given you 5 pretty darn good options, nothing with filler or BS marketing mumbo jumbo.

A couple options have added some fats, whereas the rest are mostly just here because they’re low carb, allowing you the freedom to get some much needed protein without ruining your macros for the day.

The best choice here may just be the run of the mill Optimum Nutrition, but we also really like the 20g of protein in the Primal Kitchen offering, especially since they’ve got 9g of fat in there as well. 

Basically you can’t really go wrong with one of our options, so check them out and decide, based on your lifestyle and goals, which one best suits you!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments