When looking for a protein powder without soy, there are several options to consider. Soy is one of the most common allergens found in protein powders, so it’s important for those with soy allergies or sensitivities to find an alternative protein source. The good news is that there are many high-quality soy-free protein powders on the market today.
One of the most popular types of protein powder, whey protein is a complete protein derived from milk. It contains all 9 essential amino acids needed to support muscle growth and recovery. Whey protein is quickly digested and absorbed by the body, making it ideal for use before or after workouts. Most whey protein powders do not contain any soy ingredients, making them a good choice for those avoiding soy.
Whey protein comes in three main forms: whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate. Concentrate contains the most fat and carbs, isolate has more protein per serving, and hydrolysate is rapidly digested. When selecting a whey protein, check the ingredients list to ensure no soy-derived ingredients like soy lecithin or soy protein. Opt for brands that state their whey is soy-free or suitable for those with soy allergies.
Benefits of Whey Protein
- High in essential amino acids
- Quickly absorbed
- Supports muscle protein synthesis
- Can aid weight management
- Mixes easily into shakes and smoothies
Top Soy-Free Whey Protein Powders
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey
- Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate
- Ascent Native Fuel Whey
- Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate
For those avoiding dairy or soy, pea protein powder is an excellent plant-based option. Pea protein is made from yellow split peas and contains all 9 essential amino acids. It has a high protein content and is easily digested. Pea protein has a smooth, mild flavor that mixes well into shakes, smoothies and baked goods.
Compared to whey, pea protein is lower in the amino acid leucine, which plays a key role in muscle protein synthesis. However, pea protein can still help build and maintain muscle, especially when paired with resistance training. It’s also a good source of iron, making it great for those who lead active lifestyles.
Benefits of Pea Protein
- Plant-based and dairy-free
- Hypoallergenic and contains no soy
- High in branched-chain amino acids
- Has a smooth, neutral flavor
- Easy to digest
Top Soy-Free Pea Protein Powders
- Nutiva Organic Pea Protein
- Naked Pea Protein
- Anthony’s Pea Protein
- Now Sports Pea Protein
Hemp protein powder is extracted from hemp seeds and boasts a complete, plant-based protein source. Containing all 9 essential amino acids, hemp protein supports muscle recovery after exercise. It has a mild, nutty flavor that can easily be blended into shakes or smoothies.
Compared to other proteins, hemp protein is lower in leucine. But it contains the branched-chain amino acids isoleucine and valine. Hemp protein offers additional nutrition, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, magnesium, iron and zinc. It’s versatile and easy to digest.
Benefits of Hemp Protein
- Complete plant-based protein
- High in BCAAs
- Rich in omegas and minerals
- Easily blended and digested
Top Soy-Free Hemp Protein Powders
- Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah!
- Navitas Organics Hemp Protein Powder
- Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein
- Jarrow Formulas Hemp Protein
Egg White Protein
Egg white protein provides a soy-free protein source for those with soy allergies or intolerances. Egg white protein powders are made from egg whites that have been dried and pulverized. Without the egg yolk, they provide a lean source of complete, high-quality protein.
Egg white protein contains all the essential amino acids needed to promote muscle growth and recovery. It’s quickly absorbed, making it a good pre- or post-workout option. Egg white protein has a neutral taste and can easily be added to smoothies and shakes.
Benefits of Egg White Protein
- Complete, high-quality protein source
- Rapidly digested and absorbed
- Mixes easily into beverages and recipes
- No soy ingredients
Top Soy-Free Egg White Protein Powders
- NOW Sports Eggwhite Protein
- Jay Robb Egg White Protein
- MRM Nutrition Egg White Protein
- Muscle Feast Egg White Protein
Other Soy-Free Protein Powder Options
In addition to the sources above, there are other soy-free protein powder options to consider:
- Brown Rice Protein: Plant-based protein made from brown rice that’s hypoallergenic and easily digested.
- Collagen Protein: Provides amino acids that support joint and skin health; mixes easily into drinks.
- Beef Protein: Isolated from beef and provides essential amino acids for muscle repair and growth.
- Fish Protein: Quickly-absorbed marine proteins sourced from fish like tuna, salmon, cod and tilapia.
- Protein Blends: Combine various soy-free proteins like pea, rice, hemp and egg white protein.
Other Considerations When Choosing a Soy-Free Protein Powder
When evaluating soy-free protein powders, there are several factors to keep in mind:
- Amino Acid Profile: Ensure the powder contains ample amounts of essential amino acids, especially leucine.
- Digestibility: Look for highly digestible forms like whey protein isolate, egg white protein or collagen.
- Taste: Select flavors you enjoy and mix well into foods/drinks.
- Other Ingredients: Avoid additives like sugars, fillers, artificial flavors and preservatives.
- Third-Party Testing: Opt for powders that have been third-party tested for purity and accuracy.
How to Choose the Best Soy-Free Protein Powder
When selecting a soy-free protein powder, follow these tips:
- Read the label carefully. Scan ingredients lists to ensure no soy-derived ingredients like soy protein, soy lecithin or soybean oil.
- Look for allergen statements. Choose brands that clearly state the powder is soy-free, plant-based or safe for those with soy allergies.
- Consider your needs. Select a powder that offers the amino acid profile, digestibility, taste and other benefits you’re looking for.
- Research the brand. Opt for transparent brands that voluntarily third-party test for purity and label accuracy.
- Compare cost per serving. Calculate the cost per serving of different sizes and brands to find the best value.
- Try samples if available. Purchase single-serve packets or samples to test different products before buying a large tub.
The 6 Best Soy-Free Protein Powders
Based on quality, transparency, value and nutritional profile, here are the 6 best soy-free protein powders:
|Protein per Serving
|Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate
|– Grass-fed whey sourced from small dairy farms
– Non-GMO and free of artificial sweeteners/dyes
– Third-party tested
|Ascent Native Fuel Whey
|– 100% grass-fed whey isolate
– rBST-free and no artificial ingredients
– Tested for 120+ banned substances
|Nutiva Organic Pea Protein
|– USDA organic and non-GMO
– Mixed plant-based proteins
– Tested for contaminants
|Navitas Organics Hemp Protein Powder
|– USDA organic and non-GMO
– Cold-pressed seed powder
– Sustainably sourced
|NOW Sports Eggwhite Protein
|– Pure egg white protein isolate
– Various sizes from 1 to 10lb
– Unflavored and flavored options
|MRM Veggie Protein
|Mixed Plant Proteins
|– Pea, rice, hemp and chickpea protein
– Vegan and non-GMO
– Tested for purity
Frequently Asked Questions
Is whey protein soy-free?
Yes, whey protein is derived from milk and does not contain soy. When selecting a whey protein powder, check the ingredients to ensure it does not contain soy-based additives.
What are the best soy-free protein powder brands?
Some of the best soy-free protein powder brands include Optimum Nutrition, Dymatize, Isopure, Ascent, NOW Foods, Nutiva, Garden of Life, Bob’s Red Mill and Anthony’s. Always check the label to confirm the powder you select is soy-free.
Are pea protein and hemp protein soy-free?
Yes, both pea protein powder and hemp protein powder are completely plant-based and soy-free. They make great alternatives for those with soy allergies or intolerances.
Is egg white protein powder soy-free?
Yes, egg white protein powders are made solely from egg whites and contain no soy ingredients. They are a good option for those allergic to soy.
What can I use if I can’t have whey or soy protein?
Good soy and whey-free protein options include: pea protein, hemp protein, egg white protein, collagen protein, rice protein, beef protein and blended plant proteins.
The Bottom Line
Finding a soy-free protein powder is easy with so many high-quality options available. Whey, pea, hemp and egg white protein powders all provide ample protein without the addition of soy. When comparing products, be diligent in checking labels for soy-derived ingredients. Select a powder suited to your needs and preferences for the best results.