What Is Dairy-Free Protein Powder?

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  • Written By: Marlene de Wilde
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 10 January 2020
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Dairy-free protein powder is a protein supplement that does not contain any dairy products and so is suitable for those who are lactose intolerant. The various dairy-free protein powders are based on egg protein, soy, rice, peas and hemp. Many of these are also gluten free. Protein powders can also be made from whey but, as this is a by-product of cheese making, these protein powders would be unsuitable for those following a dairy-free diet.

Protein powder based on egg white protein is created by separating the yolk from the egg whites and converting the egg whites into a powder. There are usually no other ingredients so it is a very versatile powder. There are no carbohydrates and very little fat, and it contains the key amino acids (protein building blocks of proteins) that are essential for humans. One 300 gram bag of this dairy-free protein powder is equal to the whites of 34 eggs.

A popular dairy-free protein powder is that based on soy, though there are some who are concerned about the debate on whether soy is safe as a supplement and also the safety of genetically modified organisms. Soy based protein is high in quality and helps maintain muscle mass and lean muscle derived from defatted soybean flakes. Soy protein is also a vegan friendly option. As soy is an allergenic food, second only to peanuts, many people may not be able to digest this protein powder.


Rice protein powder is derived from brown rice, non-allergenic and has an amino acid profile similar to that of breast milk. This is a dairy-free protein powder that is often chosen by those who are lactose, soy and egg intolerant as it has a high nutritional value and does not irritate the stomach. There are some consumers who find the taste is not as good as they would like, even when it comes in flavored form, while others prefer it as it is easily digested.

Hemp protein is the basis of the final dairy-free protein powder available to the lactose intolerant. It differs from the other powders as it contains a lot of fiber, though the protein content is a little less. The powder may have a nutty taste and be a little grittier but for those for whom this is not an issue, hemp protein powder contains very low fat, no cholesterol, some sodium and a great deal of fiber. Hemp seeds also contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary for muscle repair.


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