How To Choose The Best Low Carb Protein Powders For Losing Weight

More research studies now show that a diet low in carbohydrates is an effective way to lose weight.

However, lowering your carb intake can make you feel tired and hungry, something you want to avoid if your goal is losing weight.

That's why it's important to increase your nutrient intake from other sources, especially protein.

Protein is vital for cell repair and maintenance, muscle growth and a host of essential body functions. Furthermore, protein is an efficient fat metabolizer.

The best sources are meat, dairy, fish, and nuts. However, a low-carb protein powder is a convenient, time-saving option that ensures you're getting enough of this essential nutrient.

What's more, protein is an efficient appetite suppressor that will feed your hunger while you focus on losing weight.

Finding a low carb protein among the hundreds of sugar loaded protein powders isn't easy and the increased demand for low-calorie options means there's more choice than ever.

Fortunately, we've put together the 5 of the best low carb protein powders on the market. So, if you're looking to lose weight or struggling to get rid of that belly fat, then read on.

PRODUCT 

CALORIES

CARBS

PROTEIN 

FAT

PRICE

Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate

Dymatize ISO 100

120

2 g 

25 g

0 g

LEARN MORE 

Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder

Isopure Zero Carb

​105

0 g

25 g

0.2 g

LEARN MORE 

naked pea protein isolate powder

Naked Pea Protein

120

2 g

27 g

0 g

LEARN MORE 

Body Fortress Mass Gainer

Gym Vixen Whey Protein

96

0 g

24

0 g

LEARN MORE 

muscle tech mass tech gainer

Now Sports Egg White Protein

120

0 g 

16 g

0 g

LEARN MORE 

Isn't The Low Carb Diet Just Another Fad Diet?

The latest research (1) indicates otherwise.

In the past, established health authorities believed a diet high in fat was a fast track to obesity, heart disease, and stroke.

However, an increasing number of research studies reveal the low-fat approach isn't all that its cracked up to be.

It now seems more heath experts believe a low carbohydrate diet is a far more effective approach to losing weight, especially people who are obese.

What exactly is a low carb diet?

A low carb diet means eating fewer carbohydrates and eating more proteins, fats, and vegetables.

According to the guidelines, 20% of calories should come from carbohydrates while 25 to 30% of calories should come from protein.

As you're restricting carbohydrates, proteins become even more essential to maintaining a lean and toned body.

Ideally, you should be getting most of these nutrients from protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat, fish, and nuts. Of course, a lack of time and busy schedules can make this a challenge.

A randomized study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2) compared the weight loss between two groups of obese women. One group was on a low carb diet and the other on a low fat diet. After 6 months, the low carb group lost an average of 8.5 kgs compared with only 3.9 kgs for those on the low fat diet.

And if your proteins needs are higher because your goal is muscle preservation and growth, then relying solely on whole foods may not be enough.

If your target is 1,700 calories a day, you would need to consume between 106 and 127 grams of proteins.

At first, it may seem a lot, however, considering that a two egg omelet for breakfast contains only 12 grams of protein you would need to eat a lot of food to hit your daily protein needs.

In contrast, one scoop in a low carb breakfast shake gives you as much as 25 grams. It is possible to reach these calorie requirements without supplementing, but a low carb whey protein powder can save you a lot of time and effort.

Not only that, a low carb high protein powder supplement provides a highly absorbable form of protein that's also low in calories.

Dieting vs. Fitness Dieting

A low carb protein shake as part of a calorie restrictive diet will help you lose weight and is beneficial when performing low-intensity exercises or endurance training.

However, a low-carb protein supplement is not appropriate for high-intensity exercises such as sprinting or weightlifting. You need those extra carbohydrates to fuel maximum energy output.

How It Works: How Protein Speeds Up Fat Loss

There are several ways that a low carb protein supplement can help you lose weight.

Firstly, proteins are lower in calories than carbohydrates.

Secondly, proteins are harder to digest, so the body burns off more energy to break them down.

Thirdly, proteins suppress the appetite because they trigger the fullness receptors in your stomach.

What's more, protein digestion accelerates fat loss by increasing the body's metabolism and because muscle is heavier than fat, you're body needs to exert more energy to move and function.

When you consume more protein, you're increasing muscle composition and therefore, increasing fat metabolism

How To Choose The Best Tasting Low Carb Protein Powder

Choosing the best low carbohydrate protein supplement isn't a simple matter of the one with the lowest carbs.

You also need to consider how it tastes.

Don't expect low and zero carb protein powders to taste sweet and creamy like a chocolate milkshake. With all the fats and sugars stripped away, pure whey protein can taste bland and chalky.

Tool Tip

When taste isn't important, choose a sugar-free protein powder with no carbs. This will keep calories down to an absolute minimum.

Manufacturers add chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavored sweeteners to improve the taste and texture, but this adds useless nutrients and extra calories.

Ideally, you want 2 grams or less of carbs per serving.

Artificial Sweeteners

To improve the taste and lower carbohydrates, many supplement manufacturers fill their protein powders with artificial sweeteners.

That's why it's a good idea to check the label. The most common artificial sweeteners used in low carb protein supplements are the following:

Many low-carb protein powders contain artificial sweeteners

  • saccharin
  • acesulfame
  • aspartame
  • neotame
  • sucralose

Of course, improving the taste is a  good thing however, artificial sweeteners do have their downsides.

According to a report published by the Harvard Medical School (3), regular consumption of artificial sweeteners can increase cravings for sweet foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. What's more, artificial sweeteners can be addictive.

If you can only take a sweetened low carb protein supplement, then opt for one containing a natural sweetener such as stevia, which is also FDA approved.

Protein Quality

The quality of the protein is another vital factor to consider.

Higher quality proteins are easily digested and utilized by the body more rapidly.

Protein quality is determined by 2 factors;

  • Amino acid profile and 
  • absorption rate 

Quality proteins also have a superior range of amino acids, the essential nutrients for body maintenance, repair, and muscle growth.

However, not all protein sources are considered equal.

Protein is either sourced from animals or plants. Although animal proteins are superior to plant-based proteins, it doesn't mean you shouldn't use them. You just need to eat a wider variety of them to get the optimal amount of amino acids.

According to the PDCAASS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score - the recognized standard that evaluates protein quality), whey isolate, whey concentrate, casein and egg whites are the highest quality protein sources.

Key Takeaways

Getting your proteins from whole natural foods is important but not always easy. If your diet is insufficient, a carb free protein powder is a convenient way to get all the high-quality proteins you need.

The highest quality protein source is whey protein and in particular whey protein isolate powder which is also low in calories.

Plant-based proteins may not provide the full spectrum of amino acids that animal proteins do, but they're still a high-quality source of protein. They're also naturally low in carbs and easier to digest.

With most of the sugars and fats removed protein shakes with no carbs can taste bland. If you need sweetness opt for a protein powder that contains natural flavors or sweeteners.

Top 5 Low Carb Protein Powder Supplements

Finding the best low carb or zero carb protein powder isn't easy.

To help you out, we've narrowed down five choices we consider to be the best low carb protein powders regarding quality and price.

We've also listed each product's pros and cons to help you make a better-informed decision on the best low carb protein powder that suits your specific needs.

Lastly, we've left you with our personal favorite from the bunch.

Top 5 Low Carb Protein Powder Reviews

Dymatize ISO 100% Whey Protein Isolate 

ISO 100 by Dymatize Nutrition contains 25 grams of 100% pure hydrolysed whey isolate - the highest grade and most digestible and fast absorbing whey protein. ISO 100 is a very low carb protein supplement with only 2 grams of carbohydrates. The amino acid profile is also impressive with 5.3 grams of BCAA's per serving. If the taste is a determining factor, you'll be glad to know Dymatize is a brand known for its good tasting and mixing protein powders and this hasn't changed according to recent customer feedback. You also have 12 delicious flavors to choose.

Cost per serving: $0.94

Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Isolate Powder

Overall Rating

CALORIES 

120

CARBS

2 g

PROTEIN

25 g

FATS

0 g

Pros 

  • 100% Whey Isolate 
  • 2 g of carbs per serving
  • 5.6 g of BCAA's
  • Zero Fat
  • Contains natural sweetener Stevia
  • Good taste and mixer 

Cons 

  • ​Contains artificial sweetener Sucralose
  • Contains Soy

Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein Isolate by Natures Best

Each scoop of Isopure zero carb protein powder contains 25 grams of fast absorbing whey isolate. The sugar and carb free formula makes this a smart choice if you're watching your sugar and carb intake. You also get a high concentration of essential BCAA's for muscle repair and growth. The full spectrum of multi-vitamins and minerals will keep the body healthy and help boost recovery times. What's more, the zero carb formula is lactose-free ensuring smooth and trouble-free digestion. Sodium is often added to improve the taste. However, Isopures sodium levels are quite high at nearly 2.5 g of sodium per scoop.

Cost per serving: $0.92

Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder

Overall Rating

CALORIES 

105

CARBS

0 g

PROTEIN

25 g

FATS

0.2 g

Pros 

  • 100% Whey Isolate 
  • Zero Carbs
  • Sugar Free
  • Lactose Free
  • Low Fat
  • 5.5 g of BCAA's
  • Multivitamins and minerals
  • Good taste and mixer 
  • Contains L-Glutamine
  • Vegetarian Friendly

Cons 

  • ​High in sodium
  • Contains artificial sweetener Sucralose
  • Contains Soy
  • Not manufactured in a GMP compliant facility

Naked Pea Protein Isolate

Naked Pea Isolate Powder is a 100% naturally based low carb protein supplement and a great choice if you're vegan or lactose intolerant. Its free from dairy, gluten, soy, artificial sweeteners and ingredients are sourced from non-GMO crops grown in the US and Canada. Although plant-based, Naked Pea delivers 27 g of protein and an impressive 5.7 grams of BCAA's per serving to promote lean muscle mass. There are only 2 grams of carbohydrates and zero saturated fat. You wouldn't expect a 100% natural product to taste like Ben & Jerry's mint chocolate chunk, and Naked Pea is no different. As a pure protein supplement, it's more suitable for vegans and vegetarians whose taste buds aren't obliterated with over sweet processed foods. Compared to other protein supplements Naked Pea Protein offers excellent value for money at only 72 cents per serving.

naked pea protein isolate powder

Overall Rating

CALORIES 

120

CARBS

2 g

PROTEIN

27 g

FATS

0

Pros 

  • 100% Pure Pea Protein 
  • 2 g of carbs per serving
  • Low Fat 
  • 5.7 g of BCAA's
  • Diary and Gluten Free
  • Soy Free
  • GMO Free
  • No additives
  • Vega and Vegetarian Friendly

Cons 

  • ​High in sodium
  • Bland taste

Gym Vixen Premium Zero Carb Protein Powder For Women

Gym Vixen's low-calorie formula is designed to help women maintain a lean and toned body. Each serving has 24 grams of fast absorbing whey protein isolate.There's no carbs, fats or sugar which makes Gym Vixen an excellent choice for the female athlete or fitness enthusiast who wants a lean body without the bulk. Gym Vixen's Carb free protein powder contains vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, vitamin D, and calcium which are often missing from the female diet.The lactose-free formula makes this an easy to digest protein powder. The use of the artificial sweetener sucralose may be an issue for some. Its not cheap, but not surprising when you consider the high-quality ingredients used in this premium supplement.

Cost per serving: $1.50

Gym Vixen Premium Zero Carb Sexy Whey Protein Powder For Females

Overall Rating

CALORIES 

96

CARBS

0

PROTEIN

24 g

FATS

0

Pros 

  • 100% Premiun Whey Isolate 
  • Only 96 calories 
  • 6 g of BCAA's
  • Zero Carbs
  • Zero Fat 
  • Sugar Free
  • Contains Folic Acid and Vitamin D
  • Mixes well

Cons 

  • ​Contains artificial sweeteners and flavors
  • Expensive

Now Sports Egg White Protein Isolate Powder

If you're sensitive to dairy, Now-Sports Egg Protein Powder offers a quality dairy and lactose-free alternative. The pure egg protein is sugar-free with no artificial sweeteners and flavors.The zero carb and fat formula has only 75 calories per serving to control weight and build lean muscle. We've reviewed the flavorless option because it's lower in calories. However, this egg white protein powder is available in two flavors - vanilla and rich chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth, the flavorless option may be too unpalatable. You can remedy this by adding a sugar-free syrup. The Torani brand has an excellent range of sugarless flavors. Egg white powder isn't as easy to mix and has a tendency to clump. Mixing the liquids at room temperature can help. Use a mixer ball in your shake bottle as this produces a smoother texture.

Now Sports Egg White Protein Isolate Powder 100% pure

Overall Rating

CALORIES 

120

CARBS

0

PROTEIN

16 g

FATS

0

Pros 

  • Pure Egg White Protein
  • Only 75 calories 
  • Less than 1 g of carbs 
  • Zero Fat 
  • Dairy and Lactose Free
  • Sugar Free
  • No artificial sweeteners or flavors
  • Good value

Cons 

  • ​Bland taste 
  • Tendency to clump when mixing
  • Some may experience excessive wind

References:

(1) ​New England Journal of Medicine - A Randomized Trial of Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity.

(2) The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism - A Randomized Trial Comparing a Very Low Carbohydrate Diet and a Calorie-Restricted Low Fat Diet on Body Weight and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Healthy Women.

(3) Harvard Medical School (Harvard Heath Publications) - Artificial Sweeteners: Sugar-Free, But At What Cost? July 16, 2012.

Gene Dasci
 

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