Paleo protein powder is a special type of protein supplement that’s compatible with the paleo diet.
This means it’s naturally sourced and low in carbohydrates and sugar content, which translates into easier weight loss, retention of lean body mass while dieting, and better maintenance of weight loss after a diet.
Many paleo protein powders are compatible with ketogenic diets thanks to their high protein content and very low carbohydrate content.
Palo protein powders tend not to have artificial flavors and sweeteners as part of their formula, eschewing these ingredients for natural herbal extracts for flavoring and sweetening, if any flavoring or sweetener is present at all.
We’ve reviewed and ranked the ten best paleo protein powders on the market according to quality.
1. PaleoPro Protein
PaleoPro has a super-simple and extremely effective protein powder that’s made up of a blend of beef protein and egg white protein.
With just a touch of natural flavors and monk fruit for flavoring, plus sunflower lecithin for easier blending, this paleo-friendly protein is fantastic if you want to keep to the strictest paleo standards possible: it’s derived only from direct animal products, not from whey.
Thanks to no unnatural ingredients and an extraordinarily high protein content, it’s our top pick.
2. Necessity Nutrition Grass-Fed Bone Broth Protein
Bone broth is a paleo-friendly source of protein that’s extremely concentrated, providing more protein pound for pound than any other source of supplemental protein.
This paleo protein powder uses just one ingredient, and that’s bovine broth protein concentrate. This means it’s highly pure, though the lack of any emulsifier means it is a little tricky to mix into shake.
Still, for paleo enthusiasts looking for a straightforward and simple protein supplement, this one is hard to turn down.
3. Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein
Ancient Nutrition makes a very solid bone broth protein powder supplements that’s somewhat unique in its use of chicken broth instead of the more typical beef broth.
It’s flavored with cocoa powder, stevia, and monk fruit extract, and its inclusion of xanthan gum as an emulsifier makes it much easier to blend into a shake or a smoothie. It’s very hard to find any flaws with this paleo protein powder.
4. Julian Bakery Paleo Protein
Julian Bakery Paleo Protein is egg-based, with egg whites delivering all of the protein content of this protein supplement.
Flavoring is simple and natural, coming from cocoa powder and monk fruit extract. It’s a solid blend, though it would be nicer if it came in a tub instead of a resealable zipper bag.
5. Get Brothed Bone Broth Protein
Get Brothed makes a chicken-based bone broth protein powder that’s paleo friendly and flavored only with cocoa powder, monk fruit extract, and stevia extract.
It blends up easy thanks to guar gum and xanthan gum, so it’s a pretty good addition to any paleo or keto diet routine.
6. Cognitune Bone Broth Protein
Cognitune offers a clever combination of bone broth protein and turmeric to boost your cognitive function and immunity.
Turmeric is a widely-known “superfood,” and in combination with the protein from bovine bone broth, Cognitude can help you sharpen your thinking as well as your physical performance—particularly if you take it in the morning right after getting up. If you want to incorporate turmeric into your supplementation routine in an easy and seamless way, this is the paleo protein powder for you.
7. Judee’s Egg White Paleo Protein
Judee’s makes a giant-sized bulk bag of egg white protein, combined with a small amount of sunflower lecithin to foster easy mixing into shakes, smoothies, and more.
While the resealable zipper bag can be a bit cumbersome, the option of buying in bulk (up to 40 pounds!) is a real draw. If egg white protein is just what you need, then this is the paleo protein supplement for you.
8. BulkSupplements Paleo Beef Protein Isolate
BulkSupplements has a pretty respectable paleo protein powder that’s derived from beef protein isolate, but some other companies have a leg up when it comes to ingredient sourcing and ease of use.
Even so, it’s not a bad pick if a paleo-friendly protein isolate is all you need.
9. Perfect Keto Protein Powder
Perfect Keto is a good choice for people who go paleo in order to maintain a ketogenic diet. Its inclusion of MCT oil along with hydrolyzed protein means that it provides a lot of fat for fuel.
The downside, and the turnoff for many people who are not on a keto diet, is that the MCT oil dilutes the protein content—this protein powder is only about two-thirds protein by weight.
10. Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel
Primal Kitchen Primal Fuel, though billed as a paleo-friendly protein powder, doesn’t quite measure up compared to a lot of other options on the market. Why? First, some hardcore paleo purists would object to using whey protein as the base of this supplement.
Whey protein is derived from dairy, which some do not see as “truly” a paleo food. Second, this protein powder doesn’t work well with keto or low-carb diets.
It uses coconut milk as a natural flavoring agent, which is fine, but the sugar in the coconut milk pushes carbohydrate content up to nine grams of carbohydrate per serving. That’s high enough to rule this out for a low carb or keto diet, in all likelihood.
Paleo protein powder benefits and side effects
Paleo protein powder can help you improve your strength, lose weight, and maintain a lean and athletic physique.
Protein powder by itself helps a lot with athletic performance, but what are the advantages of keeping it paleo-friendly?
The low carb and low sugar composition of paleo-friendly protein powders gives them a distinct advantage for anyone who cares about body composition, whether you are an athlete or just someone looking to drop some body fat.
Paleo protein powder can help you lose fat and spare muscle. Research has found that taking a protein supplement during the course of a weight loss program has two parallel and useful effects: first, it increases the amount of fat mass you lose, and second, it helps you preserve muscle mass while losing weight.
This was the conclusion of a study published in 2008 by Joy Frested and other researchers (1). In the study, 158 obese volunteers were given either a protein supplement or a placebo supplement with an equal amount of calories as part of a 12 week weight loss program.
After the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the protein supplement resulted in greater amounts of body fat lost, and a smaller amount of muscle mass lost, compared to the group that received the placebo.
The authors surmised that the increased protein intake in the diet provided by the protein supplement shifted the body’s weight loss priorities from muscle to fat.
Paleo protein powder can help you maintain weight loss. One of the most attractive features of a paleo protein supplement that’s high in protein and low in carbs, sugar, and additives is that it not only helps you lose weight, but keep the weight off as well.
One study that demonstrated this effect was a 2005 paper in the British Journal of Nutrition that investigated the effects of adding 30 grams of protein intake per day to the six-month period following a weight loss program in a group of overweight subjects (2).
This was compared to a control intervention that had no alteration in their post-weight loss food plan. The researchers found that the protein group regained an average of less than two pounds during the six-month weight maintenance phase, while the control group regained almost seven pounds.
Greater protein intake limits hunger and prevents gaining body fat. Another study published in the International Journal of Obesity took a closer look at how adding protein to your diet can help after a period of weight loss (3).
This study took a group of overweight and obese subjects who had followed a low-calorie diet for four weeks and were starting a three-month weight loss maintenance program.
Half the subjects received 50 grams of supplemental protein every day, while the other half followed a standard post-weight loss dietary plan.
The researchers found that, at the conclusion of the study, the subjects who had received the supplemental protein in their diet had regained, on average, 50% less weight than the people who received the standard post-weight loss dietary intervention.
The researchers connected this with protein’s ability to lower your levels of hunger, increase your sense of fullness, and shifting weight regain from fat to muscle. This last point is well worth considering, because if you are gaining muscle mass after a weight loss program, that’s not a bad thing—gaining fat mass is the problem.
Like with other protein powders, paleo protein powder is extraordinarily safe—because it’s derived directly from healthy foods like beef, chicken, and eggs, there are side effects of note.
The only exception would be in the very rare case of someone who is both allergic to eggs and chooses an egg white based paleo protein powder.
This is an easy problem to avoid, though; there are plenty of great paleo protein powders that use beef or chicken as their base material.
The only group of people for whom paleo protein does not offer many options are vegans, but in this case, there are plenty of great vegan protein powders that are plant-based that you can check out.
The optimal dose of paleo protein powder is going to depend on whether you are using it primarily for athletic endeavors or for weight loss and weight maintenance.
The latest guidelines for protein intake for athletes is as follows: 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day if you are training for endurance events, and 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day if you are training for strength, speed, and power events, according to a review article in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition (4).
If you are really looking to put on muscle, it may be desirable to aim for slightly higher protein intake, more on the order of 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day.
For weight loss and weight loss maintenance, recommended intakes are in the range of 30 to 50 grams of protein per day. Note that this is raw protein, not grams of protein powder. Paleo protein powders are often over 90% protein by weight, so the numbers are pretty close, but that’s not always the case.
In terms of when to take a protein supplement for weight loss and weight loss maintenance, it is best to take your paleo protein supplement in the morning and at some point in the afternoon or early evening before dinner.
Taking protein in the morning jump-starts your body in the morning, and the hunger-suppressing effects of paleo protein will help keep your caloric intake low at breakfast, lunch and dinner if you follow these dosing recommendations.
Paleo protein powder, with its low carbohydrate content and extremely high protein content, is an excellent way to build muscle, lose body fat, and keep off the weight you’ve worked hard to lose.
Paleo protein powder keeps you from getting hungry, and it’s useful for both serious athletes and regular people looking to get healthier and improve their body composition.
For weight loss and weight maintenance, between 30 and 50 grams of protein per day seems to be the right dosage, while for athletes, recommendations are based on your body mass.
Regardless of whether you’re using it for performance or health, paleo protein powder is a valuable addition to your diet.