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9 Natural Whey Protein Alternatives

Consider these natural whey protein alternatives for meeting your daily protein needs. Vegans, and those with food allergies, sensitivities, and lactose intolerance can consume these supplements for their post workout.

A bowl of whey protein powder surrounded by high protein foods.

For a long time, whey has been the go-to protein powder for those looking to bulk up their muscles. Whey protein shake does help with muscle recovery and gaining muscle mass but it can also be expensive. Some nutritionists also advise a balanced diet while vegans won’t tolerate dairy-based powders.

Fortunately, there are natural alternatives out there that compare favorably to whey and are not as expensive. Check out your other options below.

Related: Types of Rice | Types of Eggs | Types of Milk | Types of Peas | Types of Beans and Legumes 

1. Brown Rice Protein Powder

Forzagen Vegan Protein Powder Organic - Dairy Free Protein Powders | Organic Plant Based Protein Powder | Extracted from Quinoa Brown Rice Pea Protein | Perfect Vegan Meal Replacement Vanilla

Source: Amazon

This is a high-protein powder which contains a complete protein. It also has a lot of iron, only two grams of carbs per tablespoon, and absolutely no fat. There are different types of rice in addition to brown rice used for making protein powder, but brown rice is generally thought of as the healthiest option. Researching brown rich protein powder is easier when you learn the following advantages and disadvantages to using this type of protein powder.


  • Perfect for both vegetarians and vegans
  • Offers numerous benefits for lowering blood pressure, promoting a healthy liver, and much more
  • It helps you maintain healthy cholesterol levels


  • Does not always contain all nine essential amino acids
  • You may have to add other protein powders to it to get the effect you want from it
  • In certain people, it can have negative side effects, such as stomach problems

There are other protein powders made with other types of rice, but most experts agree that brown rice is overall the healthiest.

2. Casein Protein Powder

Casein protein powder on a scoop beside a glass of milk on saucer and a board with the word Casein written on it.

This type of powder contains 80% milk and not the over-90% amount found in whey powders. It contains all nine essential amino acids and promotes bone health because of the high amount of calcium found in it. It builds muscle a lot faster, and can even improve your metabolic rate. It can also prevent your enamel from disappearing, making it a great dental product as well. Below are some advantages and disadvantages of this type of protein powder.


  • It can keep you feeling fuller longer than other types of protein powders
  • It gives you extra energy that you feel for long periods of time
  • Excellent in promoting weight loss


  • If you’re allergic to dairy, it can cause negative side effects
  • It is lower in leucine than other protein powders
  • It can be a little more expensive than other types of protein powders

3. Egg White Protein Powder

A scoop of egg white protein powder beside a bowl of organic eggs.

Egg white protein powder is easily absorbed into the body and usually results in little to no waste. They have no fat and cholesterol and very few calories. It has a lot of protein in it and has other nutrients as well. If you’re considering using it on a regular basis, it is good to keep in mind the following tips.


  • Its protein is very high in quality, and there is a lot of it
  • There are minimal carbs in this type of powder, so it can help you reach your weight-loss goals
  • It has high amounts of Vitamins E, B, A, and D


  • It is best to cook it first because consuming the raw powder can result in a biotin deficiency
  • Egg white protein powder may contain traces of pathogens such as Salmonella
  • Certain hormones and antibiotics may be found in this type of powder

4. Goat Milk Protein Powder

Naked Goat - 100% Pasture Fed Goat Whey Protein Powder from Small-Herd Wisconsin Dairies, 2lb Bulk, GMO Free, Soy Free. Easy to Digest - All Natural - 23 Grams of Protein - 30 Servings

Source: Amazon

Goat milk is an excellent nutritional source for those people who are allergic to dairy products, including milk and soy. In fact, goat milk has been found to be beneficial for people with a multitude of allergies, since very few people are allergic to it. There are many pros and cons to using this type of protein powder, which include the following:


  • It can be consumed by people who are lactose-intolerant, and it can be made into milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • It has essentially no harmful ingredients in it
  • It does not have to be homogenized, so it is very healthy


  • It can be a bit pricier than other types of protein powder
  • It is not nearly as readily available as other types of powder, and, in fact, it can be difficult to find
  • It is not recommended for people with thick blood, because it increases your hemoglobin

5. Hemp Protein Powder

A wooden scoop and bowl of hemp protein powder beside a barbel.

Hemp protein powder is gaining in popularity, in part because it is a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is perfect for the recovery and growth of lean muscle tissue, and it has the following advantages and disadvantages:


  • It is an excellent source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which help the heart and joints
  • It has no additives or preservatives because of its natural nutty flavor, which is also delicious
  • It has a lot of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which helps build up lean muscle


  • There is a lot of fat in this type of powder, almost six grams per serving
  • The amount and quality of protein is very low
  • It doesn’t have that many vitamins and minerals in it

6. Lactose-Free Protein Powder

Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, Vanilla Bean - Vegan, Low Net Carbs, Non Dairy, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, No Sugar Added, Soy Free, Kosher, Non-GMO, 2.03 Pound (Packaging May Vary)

Source: Amazon

These are made just like other types of protein powder but without the lactose. If you are lactose-intolerant, your food choices are sometimes limited, but purchasing a protein powder that is specifically made for lactose-intolerant individuals allows you to enjoy the many benefits of protein powder without all of the nasty side effects. Below are a few of the pros and cons of this type of protein powder.


  • It has the same health benefits as other protein powders, but no lactose
  • Contains a lot of iron and vitamins such as B6, B12, D, and E
  • It will never make you sick or give you stomach problems


  • Some of these products are made with soy, which some people have negative side effects to
  • You have to research the product thoroughly to make sure no amount of lactose is in it
  • Because of some ingredients, it can sometimes cause certain side effects to occur

7. Pea Protein Powder

Top view of pea protein powder on a round container.

With nearly 25 grams of protein per scoop, pea protein powder is very similar to whey when it comes to potency. Recent studies have also shown it to be effective in helping people remain at a comfortable weight. It is a gluten-free product and has been proven to help improve allergies, mostly due to the fact that it contains no milk or dairy. It is also great for after-workout shakes, and it offers the following pros and cons:


  • It helps you lose and keep off your weight
  • It can be digested very quickly
  • It can help you recover faster from illnesses and injuries


  • Since it isn’t a whole food, it doesn’t offer complete nutrition
  • If you consume too much, it can wreak havoc on your kidneys
  • If you use it in place of other foods, you can be deficient in micronutrients

8. Plant Protein Blends

Two glasses of green smoothies against black background.

These powders are good for people who are unable to decide which protein source they like best. Many of these powders are a mixture of the protein from products such as hemp seeds, peas, and even cranberries. Plant protein blends can be consumed by both vegan and non-vegan dieters, and one of its main advantages is the fact that it usually has a delicious taste. Read on for more information on plant protein blends.


  • They are only made from natural plants
  • Great for growing lean muscle tissue
  • You don’t have to mix powders because it is already blended and contains natural foods


  • You have to thoroughly research the product to make sure you know what you are consuming
  • You have to read the labels carefully because the product might not be vegan, vegetarian, or whatever else you’re looking for
  • Some may take longer than others to absorb into the body

9. Soy Protein Powder

Scooping a tablespoon of soy protein powder from the package.

Soy protein is perfect for those who are trying to avoid animal-based protein supplements. It is low in fat, high in protein, and is very healthy for everyone. In fact, unless you have an allergy to soy, you can consume this product without any problems. Below are some pros and cons of consuming soy protein powder.


  • It can help you lose and keep off your weight
  • It can help prevent and fight off prostate cancer
  • It can lower bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol


  • If you have a pre-existing thyroid condition, this type of protein powder may make it worse
  • If men take too much of it, it can increase the size of their mammary glands
  • If you want soy that isn’t genetically modified, you have to read the labels to make sure, because much of it is NOT non-GMO