Being a diabetic doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your health, lose weight and even build muscle.
You simply need to be more aware of what you are putting into your body. It is possible to lose weight and build lean muscle by using the best protein powder for diabetics.
Of course, there are many different products on the market; choosing the right one is not always easy; but with this guide, it doesn’t have to be hard.
Take a look at the following 11 protein powders; there is one there that will suit your needs perfectly, whether you want the best organic pre-workout option or the best vegan protein powder on the market.
It’s time to discover the truth; you can be a diabetic and take protein powder.
Top 11 Best Protein Powders for Diabetics Reviewed 2019
Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder
Review: This is one of the best diabetic protein powder options as it is unsweetened and can be easily mixed with anything.
It also has no fat, no carbs, and no sugar, making it one of the best protein powder for diabetics and weight loss.
- 26g protein.
- No carbs, fats or sugars.
- Tastes great.
- Easily mixed.
- Good value.
- Some have had issues dissolving this in water or hot liquids.
There really is little to fault this offering from Isopure. It’s great for diabetics, those with a gluten allergy, and can help you to lose weight while building lean muscle. It’s number 1!
NOW Sports Whey Protein Isolate Powder
Review: This comes in a variety of flavors and is very low in fat. It is a natural product with a very clean profile and well worth considering.
- 25g protein.
- Just 0.5g fat.
- Choice of flavors.
- Fast absorbing whey isolate.
- 2g sugar & 2.5g carbs.
- At the cheaper end of the protein powder scales.
While the array of flavors will help to keep this interesting, this is not the best option if you’re looking to lose weight.
In fact, the level of carbs and sugar should make you consider this as a temporary meal replacement; instead of a supplement.
Magnum Nutraceuticals Quattro Protein Powder
Review: With 30g of protein, this could be called the best protein supplement for diabetics available. Of course, there is a concern that 30g is pushing the upper limits of protein content.
25g-30g is the most you should absorb in one sitting; any more will not be absorbed by your body and will be wasted.
If you’re taking this with food you may be wasting protein.
- 30g protein.
- 4 sources of protein.
- 3 flavor options.
- Has superfood omegas; CLA & Flaxseed to boost the immune system.
- No BCAAs.
- Some people have commented on the taste; like melted butter.
If you’re looking for a protein powder that gives a little more then this could be the one for you.
The CLA and flaxseed provide fatty acids which can improve the effectiveness of your immune system while strengthening your bones.
MRM All Natural Whey Protein Powder
Review: This is a good protein powder for diabetics as it is completely natural. Knowing what you eat is important to maintain a balanced diet.
In addition, there are plenty of L-glutamines in this option which is essential to strengthening your body after exercise; making it perfect for the diabetic who wants to stay active.
- 18g protein.
- Contains L-glutamines.
- Has potassium.
- Digest-All mix to aid digestion.
- 5g carbs, 1g of fat & sugar.
- 30mg cholesterol; on the high side.
MRM is not yet a household name and with 1.5g carbohydrates, they may not the best diabetic product for weight loss. But, it is a natural product with a lot of positives; well worth a shot.
NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder
Review: This is vegetarian and vegan-friendly as well as being good for diabetics. The peas are certified as non-GMO
- 24g protein.
- Zero sugar.
- Low fat & carbs.
- Taste leaves a little to be desired.
- Not as much leucine as whey.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan then this has to be a top contender. However, it is important to note that leucine is an essential branch chain amino acid for muscle growth; you won’t find much of it in pea protein.
It is possibly the best option if you’re diabetic and lactose intolerant.
Biochem 100% Whey Sugar Free Protein
Review: This is a completely natural product with no fat, no sugar, and very few carbs. It also contains an array of extra nutrients to help ensure your body has everything it needs.
- 20g protein.
- Protein from grass-fed cows.
- Contains calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, & potassium.
- A wide variety of flavors.
- Vegan-friendly & gluten free.
- Very weak drink, you’ll be better off mixing it.
It’s worth noting that it does contain maltodextrin which is a sugar. However, that aside, this is a balanced, environmentally friendly product; which will help you to achieve your weight loss goals.
MusclePharm 100% Whey Isolate Protein
Review: MusclePharm appears on almost every best protein powder list, regardless of who it is designed to appeal to.
The main reason for this is that the product is well researched and designed with plenty of protein.
Although low in carbs it does have more than it’s counterparts; which means you’ll need to monitor the effects carefully.
- 25g protein.
- 300mg potassium.
- Low-temperature microfiltration to maintain the highest quality protein.
- Tested for banned substances.
- 100% money back guarantee.
- 3g carbohydrates; not high but one of the highest on this list.
- Does not mix well in cold water.
This product is a good option for anyone exercising and needing a boost straight after exercise.
The whey isolate absorbs quickly into your body, helping to repair muscle damage and reduce muscle soreness. The low carbs will also help to maintain energy levels.
But, thanks to the 3g carbs, it may be better used after exercise or instead of a meal; not as well as.
Sun Star Organics Pea Protein Powder
Review: The peas used in this product are non-GMO and of extremely high quality. It contains all 9 essential amino acids and a few other nutrients to help your body perform properly.
If you’re lactose intolerant, a vegan or even a vegetarian then this is a great protein powder for you.
- 21g protein.
- No added sugar.
- Dairy & gluten free.
- No preservatives or artificial colorings.
- Less than 0.5g fat and carbs.
- Doesn’t mix well with water.
Although this is a relatively new product it has the potential to be a good alternative to whey protein powders; while helping to maintain your blood glucose levels and weight loss goals.
Dr. Berg’s Meal Replacement Shake
Review: If you’re often limited for time then a meal replacement shake might be the best option for you; providing its part of a healthy diet.
This product is specially formulated to give you all the nutrients you need, while on the go.
It’s definitely worth a try.
- Zero sugar.
- Contains phosphorus and potassium.
- Very low in calories – 90.
- MCTs from Coconut oil powder.
- Uses Organic pea protein; ideal for vegans.
- 11g protein.
- Very thin which may make it difficult for you to feel full.
This is designed as a meal replacement so doesn’t include as much protein as many of the other options on this list. However, it is a good way to maintain your diet when you haven’t got time to prepare your lunch.
You’ll need to eat a balanced meal later in the day and perhaps use one of the other protein powders to ensure you have enough.
Quest Nutrition Protein Powder
Review: Quest has provided a protein powder that is low in carbs but high in protein with both an instant hit and a slower release; thanks to the addition of whey isolate and casein.
It favors a limited ingredient approach, encouraging a high ratio of protein to calories which will help to maintain your blood sugar levels and aid recovery after exercise.
- 24g protein.
- 3g carbs.
- Less than 1g sugars.
- Contains calcium, potassium & phosphorous.
- Contains stevia and sucralose.
- Doesn’t blend as well as it could.
This is a good, if little known, product. It does have room for improvement regarding the artificial sweeteners but will generally help you to burn fat and boost muscle strength without antagonizing your diabetes.
Paleo Thin Egg White Protein Powder
Review: If you’re lactose intolerant and looking for the next highest quality protein source, you need egg protein.
This offering from Julian Bakery has plenty of protein, very little sugar, and carbs, and contains just two ingredients, egg white powder and sunflower lecithin.
- 25g protein.
- Less than 1g sugars and carbs.
- Mixes easily with water.
This is a great option for lactose intolerant diabetics that want to mix their protein powder with a meal or water.
It has also been noted as being the gentlest form of protein; which is beneficial if you’re already suffering from lactose intolerance issues and diabetes. You don’t need to upset your stomach any further.
Your Quick Guide to Protein Powders for Diabetics
Having diabetes means that your body is struggling to control your blood sugar levels. This is why you need to avoid foods high in sugar and watch what you eat.
But, if you choose the best protein powder brands for diabetics you can use these supplements effectively and safely.
Here are the most important things to consider when choosing the best protein powder for diabetics.
Types of Protein Powder Available
You may be surprised by how many different types of protein powders are actually on the market. Each type has its own role and purpose:
- Whey Protein – Whey is the most commonly known. It is taken from milk and absorbed very quickly by the body. It can be further refined into isolate or hydrolysate; both of which are purer forms and can be lactose-free.
- Casein – Casein is also derived from milk but it has a much slower absorption rate. This makes it a good choice in the evening to keep your muscle repair going overnight.
- Soy – This is a plant-based protein and considered to be a high-quality protein. It doesn’t generally offer as much protein as whey but it is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
- Egg – Eggs are high in protein and fat; that’s why you can eat too many of them. But, the powder form removes most of the fat giving you good quality protein which is great for vegetarians and those with milk allergies.
- Pea – Pea protein is an increasingly common type of protein which is moderately high in protein, (compared to whey), and suitable for vegetarians, vegans and anyone with allergies.
Benefits of Protein Powder for Diabetics
There are several benefits to taking a protein powder, some are relevant whether you have diabetes or not:
- Boosts muscle repair.
- Strengthens bones and muscles.
- Can help to reduce blood sugar levels when eating; this applies to whey protein.
- Reduces appetite between meals; helping to prevent you from consuming sugary snacks.
Powder Choices for Type 2 vs. Type 1
The best choice of protein powder for diabetics is whey. As research demonstrates taking whey can help to reduce blood sugar levels at meal times.
This makes it the best choice. However, if you have lactose intolerance you can opt for egg or even soy.
However, it is also possible to get whey protein without lactose; it will need to be whey isolate or hydrolysate, and not the concentrate form.
Let’s take a look at the most commonly asked questions; if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for then contact me for honest advice.
Is Protein Powder Bad for Diabetics?
Too much protein is bad for anyone and diabetics are no different. In fact, a diabetic has the same protein need as a non-diabetic.
The difference is that, at mealtimes, extra protein can help you to keep your blood glucose levels lower.
However, eating more food is likely to increase the number of carbohydrates and sugar you’re consuming; negating the effects of the additional protein.
That’s where protein powders come into their own. By using low fat, low carb, and low sugar powder you’ll be increasing protein without the negative effects of additional food.
Of course, in most cases protein powder is not intended as a meal replacement; it should be part of your diet to ensure you get all the nutrition you need.
Can Diabetics Take Whey Protein?
Whey protein is actually found in milk curds; a side effect of the milk creation process. As a milk product, it can be an issue for lactose intolerant people; although it depends which type of whey protein you use; as discussed above.
Assuming you’re not lactose intolerant or you choose a whey isolate powder, you can take whey protein; you simply have to choose the best whey protein powder for diabetics; as shown by the list above.
Is Whey Protein Safe for Diabetics?
Yes! In fact, the best whey protein powder for diabetics has been shown to give a 28% lower blood sugar level when you consume the whey protein with your food!
In fact, the whey protein actually improves insulin response, helping to alleviate the effects of diabetes. It may not be a cure but it will certainly help you to manage it.
Which Type of Protein Powder is Best for Diabetics?
The key when looking at the different powder options is the amount of sugar in the mix. The higher the sugar levels, the more your blood sugar will become elevated and the more difficult it will be to control.
Providing you take a low, or no sugar protein powder, and one that you are not allergic to; you can actually choose any of the protein powders on offer.
Final Thoughts on the Best Protein Powder for Diabetics
For many people, diabetes is easier to control than you think.
When you have reduced insulin sensitivity, the addition of protein to your diet can actually lower blood sugar levels and still provide the fuel your body needs to operate.
All you need to do is choose the best protein powder for diabetes on this list that fits with your circumstances and goals; then take it in accordance with your exercise regime; if you have one.
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