If you’re affected by diabetes, you know it’s difficult to build muscle or lose weight. Diabetics cannot maintain normal levels of blood sugar. Their body does not process it correctly and blood glucose levels can get too high, causing serious health complications.(1)
For this reason, if you’re diabetic, your dietary options are limited and must be monitored daily.
If you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, lose weight or build muscle, you know that protein is important.
The question then becomes, what is the best protein powder for diabetics?
In this guide we will review the top choices and give you the answer to that question.
Let’s get started!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Quick Answer – The Best Protein Powders For Diabetics
- NutraBio Grass Fed Whey Isolate Protein Powder (Editor’s Choice)
- Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder
- Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder
- Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
- Musclegen Research Genepro Protein Powder
- Pure Label Nutrition Origin 100% Grass Fed Whey Isolate Protein Powder
- NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder
- NOW Sports Nutrition Micellar Casein Protein Powder
- Biochem Sugar Free 100% Whey Isolate Protein Powder
Reviews – Best Protein Powders For Diabetics
1. NutraBio Grass Fed Whey Isolate Protein Powder (Editor’s Choice)
Ever since people noticed NutraBio and their extreme label transparency, a wave of companies has followed their lead, manufacturing high quality products with fully disclosed labels.
Let me be clear, NutraBio was doing it before anybody.
Their Grass Fed Whey Isolate Protein contains 25g of pure whey isolate per serving. There’s not much else in this product. It’s 100% sugar free, 100% fat free and only 1g of carbs.
It’s naturally sweetened using stevia (125mg) and monk fruit (160mg). This product also has 450mg of natural flavoring, and that’s it.
How’s that for knowing what’s in the protein you’re buying?
NutraBio Grass Fed Whey Isolate Protein is ideal for diabetics. This is a fast digesting protein, making it a great choice for morning use and post workout use.
Also, it’s a good choice for use in-between meals. This is our best overall protein powder for diabetics.
- 25g Whey Isolate Protein Per Serving
- Zero Sugar & Zero Fat
- Just 1g Of Carbs
- Naturally Sweetened With Monk Fruit & Stevia
- Some Users Have Complained It Doesn’t Dissolve Well
- Some Users Don’t Like The Taste Of The Unflavored Version
2. Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder
Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder is one of the best protein powders available for diabetics or anyone who wants a premium quality protein.
The Unflavored version of this product has zero sugar, zero carbs, zero fat, and nothing artificial. Other flavor options include Alpine Punch, Mango Peach, Strawberries ‘N Cream, and Banana Cream, and may contain up to 1g of carbs.
This powder is a great choice for bodybuilders and athletes because it contains 25g whey isolate protein, including 5.5g of BCAAs, per serving. As any bodybuilder or athlete should know, BCAAs are a very important part of the protein synthesis process, often referred to as muscle growth.
They also play an important role in post-workout recovery as well as muscle preservation while training or dieting. Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder is so good that it almost upsets our pick for best overall protein powder for diabetics.
In fact, you can’t go wrong with this powder.
Whether you’re a bodybuilder, athlete, fitness enthusiast, following a diet program or want a high quality protein as part of your diet, Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder is a great choice.
- 25g Whey Isolate Protein Per Serving
- Zero Sugar, Carbs Or Fat
- Mixes With A Spoon
- Tastes Good
- Some Users Don’t Like The Taste Of The Unflavored Version
3. Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder is a 100% organic powder that provides 22g of protein. The protein complex is an exclusive combination of pea, sprouted brown rice and 12 additional organic beans, seeds and grains.
It also includes a probiotic and digestive enzyme blend. This is a clean protein, there is nothing artificial in this product.
While it can be used by anyone, it’s designed for those individuals choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s also a great choice for bodybuilders and athletes that want an organic, raw natural protein source.
It comes in Vanilla, Chocolate, Vanilla Chai & Unflavored, so you can flavor it any way you like. It also works great in most recipes. Usually, plant-based proteins are not known for their amazing taste, and that’s the case with this product.
Still, with this kind of commitment to quality and the fact that it’s organic, raw and all-natural, Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder is the best protein powder for diabetics who want a plant-based protein source.
- 22g Of Raw, Organic Plant Protein Per Serving
- Features A Protein Complex That Consists Of Pea, Brown Rice & 12 Organic Beans, Seeds & Grains
- Certified Raw Organic
- Nothing Artificial
- Not The Best Tasting Protein Powder
4. Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder is a popular product that provides 21g of organic rice, pea, and chia seed proteins per serving. This combination supplies a high quality, complete protein with a good amino acid profile.
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein contains zero sugar but does have 15g of slow digesting carbohydrates, and 5g of fiber, resulting in a carbohydrate blend that will not cause blood glucose spikes. That’s the most important consideration for anyone suffering from diabetes.
It’s also USDA certified organic, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and lactose free. It’s also soy free, certified kosher, non-GMO, carrageenan free, and contains no artificial ingredients.
If it has a downside, it only comes in one flavor, Vanilla Bean. You can bake with it or add it to the beverage of your choice. Since it does contain some complex carbs, it can be used as a meal replacement, and works great as a pre or post workout shake.
Overall, Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder is a good choice for anyone looking for a protein powder or a low carb meal replacement.
The fact that it’s sugar free, 100% organic and naturally flavored makes it a top contender in a protein powder for diabetics.
- 21g Organic Pea, Rice And Chia Seed Protein Per Serving
- Zero Sugar
- Contains 5g Complex Carbs & 5g Fiber
- You Can Drink It or Bake With it
- Only Comes In Vanilla Bean Flavor
5. Musclegen Research Genepro protein powder
Musclegen Genepro Protein is a “medical grade” protein for use by post-surgical bariatric patients.
It was also designed for individuals with digestive disorders. Genepro is unique among protein powders because the serving size is one tablespoon. That’s not a typo, one tablespoon is all that’s required to get 30g of organic non-GMO whey protein.
Genepro contains .6mg of sugar, .6 mg of carbs and .3 mg of fat. It’s non-GMO, gluten free and contains just 58.5 calories per tablespoon. It’s unflavored, so you can add it to anything. It also has a high absorption rate.
This protein is an ideal for diabetics, bodybuilders, athletes, or anyone who wants to add a low-calorie source of protein to their diet. Musclegen Research Genepro is advertised as the “next generation” of protein powder.
It stands alone as a highly concentrated, low calorie protein source. The product consists of instantized peptide whey and hydrolyzed whey isolate.
The Musclegen manufacturing technology removes all impurities and breaks down the protein, which already consists of small particles, into even smaller particles.
Genepro is the best choice for diabetics that are following a weight loss program.
- 30g Of Concentrated Whey Protein Per Tablespoon
- Only 58.5 Calories Per Serving
- High Absorption Rate
- Unflavored, While It Can Be Added To Anything, Some Users May Want More Flavor Options
6. Pure Label Nutrition Origin 100% Grass Fed Whey Isolate Protein Powder
All the protein powders on this list are of exceptional quality and purity. Pure Label Nutrition Origin 100% Grass Fed Whey Isolate fits right in with this trend.
This is a whey isolate that contains 24g of protein per serving with zero sugar, zero fat, zero fiber, no preservatives, and 1g of carbs. The protein is sourced from USA dairy farms using grass fed cows, mixes instantly and digests easily.
Origin comes in just 3 flavors, Vanilla, Chocolate and Unflavored. Pure Label Nutrition’s flavor system is highly rated which means the Vanilla and Chocolate powders taste delicious.
The Unflavored can be mixed into any beverage. Pure Label Nutrition makes primarily only protein, with Origin being their flagship product.
Origin 100% Grass Fed Whey Isolate Protein is a good choice for diabetics, fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, athletes and anyone who cares about quality.
The limited flavors are a downside. Yet, despite that, Origin is a top choice in a protein powder for diabetics.
- 24g Whey Isolate Per Serving
- No Sugar, No Fat, No Preservatives
- Mixes Instantly
- Limited Flavor Choices
7. NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder
NOW Sports Pea Protein was created for vegans and anyone who has problems digesting other types of proteins.
This product contains one ingredient, Yellow Peas, and supplies 24g of pea isolate protein per serving. There’s zero sugar and just 1g of carbs, making it a great choice for diabetics.
Pea Protein is a little high in sodium, however, with 320mg per serving.
In most plant-based protein powders, pea is combined with brown rice and perhaps one more source. Pea isolate protein on its own is a high quality, complete protein that has a good amino acid profile and digests easily. In fact, this is considered an intermediate digesting protein, slower than whey but faster than casein.
That makes NOW Sports Pea Protein an optimal choice for morning and post workout use, especially if you do not use whey. It’s also a good choice for use in between meals.
If there’s a downside, it’s the flavor options, there’s only one: Unflavored. You can add it to the smoothie or shake of your choice but on its own, the taste leaves a lot to be desired.
- 24g Of Pea Isolate Protein Per Serving
- Zero Sugar – Only 1g Of Carbs
- Complete Protein With A Good Amino Acid Profile
- Digests Easily
- There’s Only One Flavor
- Not The Best Tasting Protein
- High In Sodium
8. NOW Sports Nutrition Micellar Casein Protein Powder
NOW Sports makes a full range of protein powders, from whey to pea.
Their Micellar Casein Protein Powder provides 19g of high quality milk protein per serving with less than 1g of sugar and carbs. This powder has less than 1g of fat and, unlike their Pea Protein Powder, is low in sodium with only 65mg.
Micellar Casein is a high-quality milk protein that is known for its slower digestion speed. This makes it the perfect choice to use before bed and for anyone who cannot get to a pre-planned meal on time.
While these are key times for bodybuilders and athletes, anyone can benefit from the slower digestion speed, especially dieters who are following a calorie restricted meal plan.
Like their Pea Protein Powder, Micellar Casein Protein Powder is unflavored, with no other flavor options. This means you can mix it with your smoothie or shake without any flavor impact, but it’s not going to be great on its own.
With virtually zero sugar, this is a good product for bodybuilders, athletes, fitness enthusiasts and dieters who want a slower digesting protein.
- 19g Of Slow Digesting Micellar Casein Protein Per Serving
- Less Than 1g of Sugar And Total Carbs
- Low Fat
- Only One Flavor Available – Unflavored
9. Biochem Sugar Free 100% Whey Isolate Protein Powder
Biochem Sugar Free 100% Whey Isolate Protein Powder contains 20g of whey isolate protein with zero sugar and less than 1g of carbs.
This powder is designed to be used by bodybuilders and athletes, but it’s also meant as a meal replacement that can be used by anyone. It’s keto friendly, making it a great addition to a weight loss program.
Biochem Sugar Free 100% Whey Isolate Protein Powder is sourced from grass-fed, hormone-free cows. This product contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners or fillers.
It’s part of a line of “functional” protein powders that includes protein with joint support ingredients, inflammation support ingredients and energy ingredients.
This is the sugar free version. As far as flavors go, there’s Choco Sugarfree, Coconut, Matcha Tea, Coco Coconut, and Vanilla. This is a micronized protein that can be easily mixed into your favorite smoothie or shake.
Biochem Sugar Free 100% Whey Isolate Protein Powder is a well-rounded choice that fits in with any lifestyle, especially a healthy one that includes weight management.
For that reason, it’s a top contender for diabetics who are following a weight loss plan.
- 20g Of Whey Isolate Protein Per Serving
- Sourced From Grass-Fed, Hormone-Free Cows
- Good Flavor Options
- Some Users Feel The Vanilla Flavor Tastes Bland
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Protein Powder For Diabetics?
TYPES OF DIABETES
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot use the insulin it makes.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas and is one of the body’s primary anabolic hormones. Yet, it can be problematic. The body uses carbohydrates for energy.
In fact, all carbs from the foods we eat are broken down into glucose in the bloodstream.
In normal cases, insulin allows glucose to be transported from the bloodstream into the cells in the body to produce energy.
If your body can’t produce insulin or use it effectively, it leads to raised glucose levels in the blood. Over time, high levels of blood glucose damage the body and cause various organs and tissues failure.
There are two main types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
If you have Type 1 diabetes, it means your body does not make insulin.
This is because your immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-making cells in your pancreas.
Type 1 diabetes can appear regardless of age, but is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults.
Individuals suffering with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to stay alive.
Type 2 Diabetes
This is the most common type of diabetes. If you have Type 2, your body does not make or effectively use insulin. This problem is known as insulin resistance, which means the body resists the effects of insulin.
This can eventually lead to serious problems with the pancreas.
One of these problems is that the body will produce even smaller amount of insulin, causing blood glucose levels to rise even higher. While Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age, even childhood, it occurs most commonly in middle-aged and older people. (1, 2)
TYPES OF PROTEIN
In today’s world, most people understand how important protein is. This is especially true if you’re a bodybuilder, athlete or fitness enthusiast with the goal of building muscle. If your goal is weight loss, protein is just as important. Many people simply want to eat healthier whether they work out or not, and that goal includes good sources of protein. (3,4)
Here is a look at the types of protein available for diabetic individuals. The truth is, there’s several good choices:
Whey Protein Isolate – Whey isolate has had all the lactose (milk sugar) and fat removed, resulting in the highest quality protein available. Isolate can have a weak, thin taste, and it’s a fast digesting protein. That can be both good and bad depending on your goals, but when it comes to a superior protein that can be used for any purpose, you can’t beat the quality of whey isolate.
Milk Protein – As long as it is sugar free and low to no carbs, this is an excellent protein because it digests slowly. This means it fits in well with active lifestyles and as a before bed protein source. If you work a long day or are in school all day and have troubles getting in your meals, this type of protein is a lifesaver because it can stay in your system for as long as 6 hours. That’s important for anyone but if you’re a bodybuilder or athlete, that’s huge.
Pea Protein – This is a good source of protein for individuals following a vegan lifestyle or who wish to avoid dairy products. It’s usually combined with brown rice protein to create a complete protein source. Pea protein comes from yellow peas and has been the subject of research despite being relatively new. (5) There’s a lot of choices in plant protein but this is the most common plant protein source.
Brown Rice Protein – This type of protein is usually combined with pea protein. This combination creates a complete protein with a good amino acid profile because each one offsets the nutritional shortcomings of the other. Brown rice protein is naturally free of sugar and very low carb, making it an option for diabetics, but it needs to be in a formula where it’s combined with pea or some other high-quality plant protein source.
To Wrap Up
There’s no doubt that living with diabetes can be challenging. You must live with it every day.
The good news is you can still get the most out of life by following your medical practitioner’s guidance and making sure you know what you’re putting in your body.
When it comes to the best protein powder for diabetics, there’s several good choices available.
Your first obligation is to choose a powder with no sugar and low to no carbs.
For example, NutraBio Grass Fed Whey Isolate Protein is the best overall protein powder for diabetics because it is such a high-quality product.
NutraBio has single handedly forced the industry to revamp the nutritional information they put on their labels. That’s huge, because you as the consumer have the right to know exactly what you are paying for.
For those individuals that want a plant-based protein source, Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder is the best protein powder for diabetics. It has a unique protein complex that goes beyond merely combining pea and rice proteins.
This impressive product combines Pea, Brown Rice & 12 Organic Beans, Seeds & Grains to create a one of a kind protein complex.
Musclegen Research Genepro earns the distinction of being the best choice for diabetics who want a powder as part of a weight loss program.
With 30g of protein per tablespoon, it’s highly concentrated and only has 58.5 calories per serving.
This is because it was designed for medical purposes, specifically patients recovering from bariatric surgery and digestive issues.
Don’t let diabetes slow you down. As you can see, you have some great choices when it comes to protein.
Use this guide to help you find the best protein powder for diabetics!
- Nutrition and Diet Therapy, Cataldo, DeBruyne and Whitney, “The Chemists View of Protein” p.80-81
- What Is Protein Synthesis. (2015, December 27). Retrieved May 02, 2017, from http://www.proteinsynthesis.org/what-is-protein-synthesis/