Top 6 Best Lactose-Free Protein Drinks of 2022

Top 6 Best Lactose-Free Protein Drinks of 2022

There are a variety of dairy free protein shakes ready to be purchased in person or online to meet any dietary needs. Following a dairy free diet shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on flavor and nutritional benefits to get extra protein in to meet your goals. Some ingredients on the nutrition facts label to look for in dairy free protein shakes are pea protein, soy protein and any nut milks such as cashew, almond or coconut. Those low in added sugar, and high in protein, are top things to consider when choosing a dairy free protein shake.

Lactose is a disaccharide made of two individual units; glucose and galactose. It is the primary carbohydrate in milk and can be found in almost all dry dairy products. You may even hear it called “milk sugar” on occasion.

Top 6 Best Lactose-Free Protein Drinks of 2022: Our Top Picks

Best Collagen Protein DrinkChocolate Vegan Plant Protein Shakes
Best Liquid Protein DrinkRipple Vegan Protein Shake
Best Water Protein DrinkIsopure Creamy Vanilla Whey Isolate Protein Powder
Best Powder Protein DrinkMuscleMeds, Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate Powder 56 Servings
Best Vegan Protein DrinkOrganic Chocolate Keto Friendly Vegan Protein with MCT Oil
Best Organic Protein ShakeOrgain Organic Vegan Plant Based Nutritional Shake

People with lactose intolerance may experience uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms after eating foods containing lactose. Lactose content can vary among different foods as the manufacturing process and time in processing and storage can cause a breakdown of the disaccharide.

1.Chocolate Vegan Plant Protein Shakes

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Made to the unique specifications of Olympic tennis champion, Venus Williams, Happy Viking superfoods provide sustained energy, lean muscle building, brain boosting power, immune support, collagen production, digestive health & more!

In the words of our legendary co-founder, ‘The better fuel we drink and eat, the better we perform and feel’. Happy Viking Superfoods are designed to help you with any goal, just like they helped Venus return after an autoimmune disease to be one of tennis’ longest playing champions.

Brown rice and pea protein keep you full all day long whether you’re enjoying as a snack on the go or blending to make a meal replacement shake.

2.Ripple Vegan Protein Shake

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Ripple is making waves and is popular among shakes because its pea formula is clean and protein-packed. Creamy and almost milkshake-like in texture when chilled, the Salted Caramel variety is divine and a solid stand-in for a sweet snack or dessert any day. Vanilla, coffee, and chocolate also earned high marks, with the only downside being the high sodium content in these shakes.

This was hands-down our favorite protein shake, flavor-wise. Creamy and almost milkshake-like in texture when chilled, the Salted Caramel variety is divine and a great stand-in for dessert any day. The Vanilla, coffee, and chocolate flavors also earned high marks, with the only downside being the high sodium content in these shakes.

3.Isopure Creamy Vanilla Whey Isolate Protein Powder

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ISOPURE ZeroCarb Whey Protein Isolate is just about as pure a protein powder can be. At 100 calories per serving, a whopping 25g of protein is delivered. Being that a 1g of protein has 4 calories, you can see that this is basically 100% protein. Being so, there’s zero lactose as there’s simply no room! Further, ISOPURE is loaded with a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent choice for those needing to make sure they get in all of their vitamins and minerals.

4.MuscleMeds, Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate Powder 56 Servings

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While some more brands are coming on the market, the most popular is definitely MuscleMed’s Carnivor Beef Protein Isolate. Carnivor has been on the market for quite a while and was one of the original beef protein isolates. Further, Carnivor has added creatine and BCAAs to raise the level of leucine. Still, being that it’s a beef protein, it also delivers other nutrients such as iron. MuscleMeds Carnivor delivers 23g of beef protein for every 120 calories.

It contains 0g of fat and and extra 2.5g of creatine per serving (this alone halves your spending on creatine). Better yet, it’s 100% lactose-free and dairy free which is backed by it’s Informed Choice Certification

5.Organic Chocolate Keto Friendly Vegan Protein with MCT Oil

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ALOHA, like Rebbl, contains coconut milk as one of their ingredients but is lower in calories, sugar and saturated fat. This product contains no soy, stevia, or sugar alcohols.

Ingredients (Vanilla): Fair trade coconut milk, protein blend (pea protein, brown rice protein) coconut sugar, blue agave inulin, coconut water, vanilla extract, natural flavor, potassium citrate, sunflower lecithin, gellan gum, monk fruit extract, medium chain triglycerides (from coconut oil)

6.Orgain Organic Vegan Plant Based Nutritional Shake

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Compared to the Orgain shake described above, this one would be a better choice in terms of weight loss. Why? Take a look at the nutrition facts below! With only 150 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 20g of protein, this shake is low calorie and high protein. However, the one downside for some would be the sodium content of this product.

Nutrition Facts (Creamy Chocolate): Filtered water, Pea protein, organic alkalized cocoa, natural flavors, organic high oleic sunflower oil, sunflower lecithin, trisodium phosphate, tripotassium citrate, gellan gum, monk fruit extract, Orgain organic fruit and vegetable blend, sea salt.

Who Should Use Lactose-Free Protein Powders?

Lactose digestion relies on the assistance of a friendly enzyme called lactase in the small intestine. Lactase breaks down the disaccharide into galactose and glucose, making them readily available for absorption.

With lactose intolerance, your body cannot produce enough lactase, and the lactose you ingest moves into your colon without being digested or absorbed. Lactase is the enzyme located on the brush border of the intestine where your gut’s bacteria interact with the unprocessed lactose and cause the signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance. These can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach cramps

Since most casein protein or whey protein powders contain lactose, those who have difficulty digesting the sugar will need to look for a lactose-free option. Like other protein powders, lactose-free powders can influence your fitness journey.

Finding the right protein supplement can be monumental, whether you desire to lose weight, build muscle mass, or simply boost your protein intake to meet your estimated nutrition needs.

How to Choose The Best Non-Dairy Protein Powder

Choosing the best protein powder for lactose intolerance will look different from person to person. This article shows that lactose-free protein powders can offer many health benefits beyond the eliminated disaccharide.

So, finding the best dairy-free protein powder that helps you meet your protein needs may also depend on other factors.

Since whey is traditionally sourced from cow’s milk protein, whey protein concentrate powders contain lactose. However, that’s not the case for all whey protein powders. When searching for a lactose-free whey protein, consider whey isolate powders. Whey protein isolate contains very little or no lactose as it is isolated during manufacturing.

If you prefer a protein supplement without whey protein, you may also consider other dairy-free powders from protein sources such as

  • Plant-based or vegan protein
  • Egg white protein
  • Beef protein isolate
  • Bone broth protein

Of course, finding the best-tasting dairy-free protein powder to fit your preferences might take trial and error. With so many flavor choices, you may decide to keep a few stocked in your pantry to keep some variety in your protein supplements.

If unsure which is the best non-dairy protein powder for you, consider meeting with your doctor or a registered dietitian to explore your options.

Benefits of Lactose-Free Protein Powders

Lactose-free protein powders can offer the same benefits as other protein powders, just without the gastrointestinal discomfort associated with lactose intolerance. Protein shakes can offer many benefits to your overall health. If you are lactose intolerant, a quality lactose-free protein powder can help you in ways similar to a standard protein[8] powder, such as:

  • Boost muscle recovery
  • Build or maintain muscle mass
  • Meet your vitamin and mineral needs
  • Eat complete proteins without excess calories

Using lactose-free protein powders allows you to enjoy the benefits of protein supplementation without the bloat and digestive distress that may come with lactose intolerance.

In addition to the plethora of health benefits lactose-free protein powders can offer, they can also benefit the environment. Since many lactose-free powders are dairy-free or do not contain milk protein, they put less strain on the environment.

Potential Side Effects

Lactose-free protein powders are generally considered safe for most healthy adults. However, high doses of any protein powder can result in unwanted side effects.

For example, consuming too much protein powder can affect your appetite and cause a decrease in your intake of whole foods. Poor nutritional intake can cause headaches, nausea, and tiredness.

Plant-based protein powders tend to have a higher fiber content, which could cause side effects when taken in large doses. These side effects can include bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Ease into a high fiber intake by gradually increasing the daily dose and combining it with enough hydration.

Before starting any new dietary supplements, discussing potential side effects with your doctor is important to decide if they are appropriate for your health.

Furthermore, continue that conversation with your doctor if you begin taking a lactose-free protein powder and notice an onset of unwanted side effects. Very sensitive individuals may want to take the product Lactaid to break down the lactose in their system. Lactaid is over-the-counter and can be added to food or taken orally.

How Much Should I Take?

Nutrition needs are very individualized and can be influenced by several factors, including body composition, medical history, and activity level. Therefore, discussing your nutrition needs with your doctor or registered dietitian is important.

A commonly recommended serving is one to two scoops per day; however, every protein powder has it’s own recommended serving size. Therefore, it’s important to follow the serving instructions on the packaging. Adding a protein shake might be unnecessary if you already meet your protein needs through whole foods.

Of course, remember that protein supplements should not regularly replace meals. Many protein powders suggest intake after a workout to help promote muscle recovery.

Your recommended serving might vary depending if you take lactose-free protein powder for weight loss or muscle gain. Either way, you must listen to your body and adjust your nutritional intake as necessary.


Protein powder is easily the most common supplement on the market. However, protein powder isn’t really a “supplement” as it’s simply protein from real food that has been processed to be easily consumed. And in reality, that’s what protein powder is; it’s an easy way to get your protein in. It’s healthy and convenient.

Further, when compared with other food sources, strictly from a stance of their protein content, it’s actually very cheap. Why it’s so popular is resistance training generally eats much higher amounts of protein than their sedentary counterparts. Studies show that weightlifters should eat between 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight for optimal results.

This can be quite a bit to eat from real food, not to mention expensive. Therefore, this is where a high quality protein powder can be very useful. To be clear, you do not need protein powder and you definitely shouldn’t rely on protein powder. However, having 1 or 2 scoops after your workout can be very beneficial and save you a bit of cash (and time).


Lactose is actually pretty unique in the nutrition world as it is the only source of carbs that can be consumed from animals, specifically from dairy. Lactose is found in the milk of most mammals, and it’s what gives the milk a bit of a sweet taste. Even though it’s only found in dairy food, many of our food products contain dairy so you can find lactose in quite a bit of our normal diet.


In order to break down lactose properly, the body needs a specific enzyme in the small intestine called lactase. When you drink milk, lactase is responsible for breaking lactose down into glucose and galactose for your body to utilize. No problem there. However, if your body lacks lactase, lactose cannot be broken down into the smaller constituents to be absorbed into the intestinal wall. Therefore, lactose goes straight to the colon and wreaks havoc.

If you are lactose intolerant, you will likely experience some, or all, of the following symptoms.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Nausea

None of that sounds fun, and you’re surely not going to want to continue drinking your protein shakes. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do to change course if you find that milk is making you excessively gassy. Your only option is to limit your lactose intake as much as possible which is why we listed the best lactose-free protein powders above.


Finding out if you’re lactose intolerant is pretty easy if you don’t want to go the medical way. The easiest method is to eat dairy products and see your reaction. The only downfall of this is that sometimes the amount of food you eat will affect how bad your response is. For example, a sip of milk probably won’t do much. Therefore, if you try this, eat regular quantities of your food.

Regardless, if you find that you consistently get an upset stomach, go ahead and take products containing lactose out of your diet.

Did the symptoms get better? Worse? Or stay the same? Depending on the answer, you can take a pretty good guess as to where your relationship with lactose falls.

However, this isn’t an exact science as there could be other factors at hand, such as an issue with another food, or you could have an underlying health condition such as Crohn’s disease or coeliac disease.

If you’re not sure and want to know for sure about health concerns, you need to see a gastroenterologists. They can run several more in-depth tests to verify whether or not you are lactose intolerant or perhaps have another issue going on.


Basically any protein powder that’s not whey will be completely lactose-free. This includes egg protein powder, beef protein powder, bone broth protein powder, and any type of vegan protein powder.

That said, even some whey protein powders are ok for people with lactose intolerance…


Because lactose comes from dairy products, the most obvious question about protein is; “does whey have lactose in it?” For those that aren’t aware, whey protein is produced straight from mammals milk, specifically cows. In fact, the milk from a cow is made up of 80% casein protein and 20% whey. Therefore, because whey protein is derived from dairy, whey protein powder MIGHT consist of lactose.

The amount of lactose found in whey protein will depend on what type it is as there are generally 3 versions

  • Whey Concentrate: Whey protein concentrate is the most basic type of protein powder and the most popular. When the whey is extracted from milk, it’s heated “as-is” without further processing. This is whey protein concentrate. It’s basically whey protein “as-is”. Being so, the vast majority of whey concentrate protein powders will have a protein concentration of 80-85% and lactose around 4-8% lactose. It contains about 5-10g per 100g
  • Whey Isolate: Whey isolate is a purer form of protein powder as it undergoes another step in the filtration process called cross-flow microfiltration. This basically strips some of the extra filler from whey protein concentrate. This leaves you with a protein concentration of 90% protein and a very low lactose percentage of around 0.8g per 100g.
  • Whey Hydrolyzed: Whey hydrolyzed is basically whey isolate that has been pre-digested. This means that the protein content is about the same as whey isolate (90-95%), but your body can absorb it much faster. It will contain the least amount of lactose.

So, as you can see, whey protein does contain lactose, but it greatly depends on what variation you get. Your reaction to drinking each type of whey protein can also depend on how sensitive you are to lactose. For example, if you have a very mild case, you could probably get away with drinking normal whey protein concentrate (assuming it’s at least 80% protein). At the same time, drinking the purest form of hydrolyzed could be too much if you are extremely sensitive.

What protein can I drink if lactose intolerant?

Whey protein

Whey protein offers significant benefits even for those with lactose intolerance. It’s a high-quality nutrition source that provides essential amino acids — in just the right amount — that are easily absorbed.

Can you get lactose free protein shakes?

Summary. – Dairy-free protein supplements are a good option for those who have trouble digesting the lactose and/or peptides in whey and other dairy-based powders. – Pea, rice, and hemp are among the best plant-based, dairy-free protein supplements. Good animal-sourced ones include egg white and beef protein isolate.

Does lactose intolerance affect protein absorption?

These findings suggest that dietary lactose may reduce the absorption of protein and fat, but not of calcium, in individuals with low levels of intestinal lactase activity.

What protein powder is best for lactose intolerance?

If you have lactose intolerance, plant-based protein powders or protein powders where the lactose has been isolated can be excellent choices for protein supplementation. Lactose-free protein supplements can include protein sources such as beef protein, whey protein isolate, and egg white protein.

Can you get lactose-free protein powder?

Yes, there are dairy-free or lactose-free protein supplements available. Before purchasing, it is important to carefully read the labeling to ensure the ingredients do not contain lactose.

What type of protein powder is lactose-free?

Whey protein isolate, beef protein isolate, egg white protein, and plant-based protein powders are all typically lactose-free. However, it is essential to read the label carefully to ensure the protein powder is lactose-free before buying it.

Are lactose-free proteins also dairy-free?

No, not necessarily. A lactose-free protein powder may still include dairy ingredients, just with the lactose removed.

Keywords in this article: Best Lactose-Free Protein Drinks

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