I've been covering protein powders for many years now, and these are the best dairy free protein powder options you can choose from based on my experience and research.

If you've been hitting the gym recently and trying to eat a healthier diet, chances are good that you have looked into whey protein powders. Whether you're tracking macros or just finding out how beneficial protein actually is, it's a fun journey to go on and it's rewarding when you find the right supplement.

These are a popular nutritional supplement for everyone from serious bodybuilders to ordinary folks who just want to get healthy and find a reliably clean and easy to obtain protein source. And, we use many of these protein powders in our healthy recipes, like this peanut butter protein cookies recipe.

However, one of the main drawbacks of whey protein powders is their dairy content. Just one serving can be enough to upset the digestive system, which leads people to give up this supplement after one or two uses.

It's a waste of money in addition to being uncomfortable, but the good news is that there are alternatives.

When you choose a dairy-free protein powder, you can enjoy all of the benefits of ingesting a complete amino acid profile with none of the discomfort that can come from consuming dairy products. This list is somewhat similar to our best vegan protein powders for women, which most of those are lactose free options as well.

What Makes Protein Powder Dairy-Free (Lactose Free)?

People who are sensitive to lactose or want to avoid dairy products for another reason frequently find that it's difficult to locate products that don't contain milk or a related ingredient. This is especially true with protein powders as most of them are based on whey.

The good news is that there are dairy-free alternatives that will help you toward your goal of building lean muscle and help you to manage your weight. A dairy-free protein powder essentially is a product that doesn't contain milk that was obtained from a lactating animal such as a cow or a goat. Both whey and casein are derived from cow's milk, and these are two of the most popular and frequently used ingredients in typical protein powders.

Many plants are excellent alternative sources of protein. These include brown rice, peas, hemp and soy. People who are lactose intolerant or have another dairy allergy may experience bloating, gas and diarrhea when they ingest dairy products. Choosing dairy-free protein powders that are derived from plants can make these issues disappear.

Why do these problems with dairy products occur in some people? It typically is because these people do not have a sufficient amount of an enzyme known as lactase in their small intestines. Lactase is critical to the proper digestion of the lactose that is found in dairy products. Without enough lactase, the colon is left with unabsorbed milk sugar that it cannot process. Discomfort invariably ensues.

One of the main components in whey protein powder is the watery portion of milk known as whey. This ingredient is 75-percent lactose, but it will be filtered before being incorporated into a protein powder. The final amount of lactose in whey protein powder is accordingly lowered, but this isn't enough for many people.

The protein in a dairy-free protein powder may not be quite as efficient as that in a whey-based protein powder, but this does not mean that it is ineffective. That is especially true when you consider that you probably won't keep taking a whey protein that makes you feel sick. If the plant-based protein is effective and doesn't negatively affect your digestive system, you could keep using it with positive results over the long term.

One problem that many people have when they look for a dairy-free protein powder is finding a product that has a complete amino acid profile. This means that the protein source in the powder contains all nine of the essential building blocks of muscle.

While it is true that many single sources of plant-based protein do not contain all nine amino acids, many of the best dairy-free protein powders on the market today feature a mixture of two or more plant-based protein sources so that they have a complete and well-balanced amino acid profile.

How I Found The Top Dairy Free Protein Powders

A quick glance around the Internet reveals hundreds of possible choices for dairy-free protein powders. However, these are not all of equal quality.

The seven products listed here were chosen based on the quality of the ingredients and the transparency of the manufacturers. I was looking for lactose-free protein powders that offered complete amino acid profiles and organic, natural ingredients.

Moreover, I conducted an in-depth study of the macros for each product. Each selection boasts an excellent amount of protein, which is the number-one concern in any plant-based protein powder. Also examined were the amount of fat and carbs per serving. Products that offered an impressive amount of protein without going overboard on the fat and carbs tended to score higher.

The amount of calories was an additional consideration, and the selections that are highlighted here range from a slim 85 calories to a relatively hefty 190 calories.

Price was another guiding factor in my search. The cheapest options do not always afford the best nutrition, but some of the products still seem just a tad overpriced. Accordingly, I tried to find a balance between price and quality, which was not always easy.

Of course, it would be a disservice to overlook things like taste, chalkiness and grittiness. Many people who have tried plant-based protein powders in the past have expressed an extreme dislike for the flavors and textures of these products. The items that made it to the final list here seem to have much better consistency and flavor. In fact, many of the options have several taste varieties available, leaving the consumer free to find a profile that they prefer.

Here’s The Best Dairy Free Protein Powders

Here is my list of the top seven contenders for the best lactose-free protein powders.

1st phorm vegan power pro protein powder non dairy

If you follow a vegan lifestyle or you are simply looking for a dairy-free protein powder, this looks like an excellent option. A short list of ingredients, a complete protein profile with all nine essential amino acids and an absence of allergens make 1st Phorm's Vegan Power Pro a winning choice. Those who are focusing on their macros ratio will be pleased as well since this formula is all about the protein with only a minimum of fats and carbs.

The Formula

The problem with many dairy-free protein powders is that they have an extensive list of ingredients that are difficult to pronounce and identify. Not so with this selection as the ingredient list is short and sweet.

These ingredients are pea protein isolate, brown rice protein, cocoa powder, Stevia, xanthum gum and natural flavors. There's nothing else in this clean formula. Note the presence of both pea protein isolate and brown rice protein. That's how this product is able to deliver a complete protein that doesn't require you to find another additive or supplement to make this a complete protein powder.

What I Like

1st Phorm Vegan Power Pro is pretty impressive for what's not included in the formula. That means no soy, gluten, artificial sweeteners, animal products, artificial dyes or colors. The all-natural and organic formula is also completely non-GMO.

Helpful ingredients include a digestive enzyme blend, a blend of phytonutrients and a green superfood complex. These additional components help to combat free radicals in the body and and bring balance to pH levels so that you can recover more efficiently even after the toughest workout. Intended mainly for people who are leading a plant-based lifestyle, this also is an ideal choice for anyone who is lactose intolerant but still wants access to an effective protein powder.

Several flavors are available. These include French toast, key lime pie, iced oatmeal cookie, chocolate mint cookie, chocolate frost and vanilla crème. With so many options, chances are good that everyone can find a flavor that appeals to them.

Reviews suggest that 1st Phorm Vegan Power Pro is mainly neither chalky nor gritty and mixes well in just about everything.

What I Don’t Like

Most companies will give you a slight break on price if you opt to subscribe to regular deliveries of their product, but 1st Phorm doesn't seem to follow this practice right now. It's a little disappointing that loyal customers don't get a bit of a financial incentive to reward their repeated purchases.

Also, this entry comes in a little lower in terms of protein content when compared with other entries on this list. At 19 grams of protein per serving, only the Clean Simple Eats entry has a lower protein content at 18 grams. Nonetheless, few competitors can match the relatively low fat and carbohydrate content at two grams and three grams, respectively. The 100 calories per serving metric is impressive too.

Cost and Where to Buy

At the 1st Phorm website, you can buy a single tub of this protein powder for $54.99. This will give you 30 one-scoop servings at an approximate per-serving price of $1.83. If you decide to subscribe, you can get new deliveries at either 14-day or 30-day intervals for the same price.

kos dairy free protein powder

This is the only plant protein powder that is sold by this company, but it comes in an impressive array of flavors that include blueberry muffin, salted caramel coffee and chocolate peanut butter. There's even an unflavored variety so that you can mix this dairy-free protein powder into practically anything without affecting the flavor.

This vegan product contains no soy or dairy. It's also gluten free and certified organic by the USDA as well as being manufactured in the U.S.

The Formula

Ingredients in this formula are relatively few. They include pea protein, quinoa, chia seed, flax seed, coconut sugar, sea salt, Stevia and monk fruit extract. Also in the formula are digestive enzymes such as protease and amylase that are designed to make protein easier to digest.

What I Like

I love that the people at KOS have taken the time and trouble to ensure that their formula provides a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids. The price of the product is relatively reasonable, and you get a decent discount if you subscribe. The ingredient list is not as short as that of 1st Phorm, but it's not excessively long, nor does it contain anything that's really objectionable.

What I Don’t Like

This product from KOS is pretty calorie heavy at 160 calories per serving, yet it only contains 20 grams of protein per serving. This means that there's a lot more going on here in addition to protein. Nine grams of carbs and six grams of fat account for much of this discrepancy. This amount of protein may be totally fine for the average person who wants to improve overall health and fitness performance, but if you're a more serious athlete, you may want to look elsewhere.

Additionally, the KOS protein powder does not appear to have the best mixability, which can be a huge detriment for people who are already concerned about plant-based protein powders being chalky or gritty.

Cost and Where to Buy

On the KOS website, you can make a one-time purchase of a single package for $49.99, two packages for $94.98 or three packages for $134.97. Each package features 28 servings. If you purchase a single package, you're paying about $1.78 per serving. You also have a subscribe and save option that gives you 15-percent off. Accordingly, you'll pay $42.49 for each package for a per-serving price of $1.51.

clean simple eats vegan protein dairy free

This macro-friendly product offers a modest 18 grams of protein and 115 calories per serving. With nothing artificial and no added sugars, this is a healthy choice for the average person who wants to exercise and get healthier.

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The Formula

This product mainly gets its protein from hemp protein isolate. There's a digestive enzyme blend to help your body process the product, and you get five grams of fiber in each serving. Beware the presence of sugar alcohols. These can be a significant cause of stomach upset.

What I Like

Clean Simple Eats strives to provide products that contain only the highest quality ingredients. That's certainly true in this case, and the formula offers a complete protein source.

What I Don’t Like

This product may be all-natural, but it does contain sugar alcohols. If you are avoiding protein powders that have dairy because they upset your stomach, then be advised that sugar alcohols are notorious for causing the same problems.

Cost and Where to Buy

A single container of this dairy-free protein powder can be purchased at the Clean Simple Eats website for $54.99. That purchase will get you 30 one-scoop servings, with each serving priced at approximately $1.83. You can save 10-percent when you subscribe, making each delivery cost $49.49 for a per-serving price of $1.64.

future kind dairy free protein powder

At 85 calories per serving, this is the slimmest offering on this list. It also has no carbohydrates and just one gram of fat while also promising 20 grams of protein. You don't get a lot of flavor options, but the taste generally is good.

The Formula

This all organic product relies mainly on non-GMO yellow pea protein. The other ingredients are Stevia, organic flavors and guar gum.

What I Like

The incredibly succinct list of ingredients is impressive. Future Kind definitely isn't playing around with a bunch of unnecessary fillers and additives. If you are really focused on macros, this could be an excellent choice. A substantial source of iron, many vegans will find that they feel more energized with regular use of this dairy-free protein powder. This product additionally is quite affordable.

What I Don’t Like

The lack of flavor variety may be a drawback to some. Plus, users may find that they don't feel as full with use of this protein powder as it lacks carbs and fat.

Cost and Where to Buy

At the Future Kind website, you can make a one-time purchase of this protein powder for $59.99. This includes approximately 34 one-scoop servings that each cost $1.76. However, this website offers a 17-percent discount for anyone who subscribes to automatic refills. This brings the cost of one delivery down to $49.79, which means that each serving will run you $1.46.

transparent labs dairy free protein

This organic, soy free vegan protein powder is low carb and packs in a whopping 24 grams of protein per serving. With 130 calories and two grams of fat, this offering from Transparent Labs is something you can feel good about putting in your body.

The Formula

This dairy-free protein powder has two sources of protein: pea protein isolate and rice protein. The other ingredients are Himalayan rock salt, Stevia, natural flavor and pure vanilla sugar.

What I Like

Despite the short list of ingredients, this product provides a complete protein. The low carb count and the sky-high protein content are other factors that are impressive. The company's name is one that they appear to strive to live up to. It's rare to see a product with such precise measurements. With prices that are pretty low, this is a high-quality protein source at an attractive price point.

What I Don’t Like

Surprisingly, the formula contains no vitamins or minerals. Additionally, the manufacturer notes that the product may have been produced on equipment that is regularly exposed to common allergens, which may be a problem for some.

Cost and Where to Buy

Buy a tub of this rice and pea protein powder through the Transparent Labs website. A single tub holds approximately 30 one-scoop servings. A one-time purchase can be made for $49.99 or you can subscribe to get each tub for $44.99. That works out to be about $1.66 per serving at the one-time purchase price and approximately $1.49 per serving at the subscription rate.

just ingredients protein vegan

This formula has the second highest protein content on this list at 22 grams per serving. However, it also has the highest calorie count at 190 per serving. With 14 grams of carbs and six grams of fat, this may not be the best selection if you really want to focus on your protein macro.

The Formula

The ingredient list is fairly long but contains mostly good stuff. Protein sources include pea, pumpkin, mung bean and sunflower seed. Other ingredients include cacao, coconut milk, banana powder, coconut sugar, cinnamon, chia seed powder, Stevia, monk fruit and sea salt.

What I Like

The ingredients are excellent, combining to give you not only a complete protein source but also one that tastes great. The absence of sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners is appreciated as is the gluten-free formula.

What I Don’t Like

A single serving of this dairy-free protein powder is kind of a calorie bomb. While the 22 grams of protein is welcome, the excessive carb and fat content is a concern. It's pricey too.

Cost and Where to Buy

Visit the Just Ingredients website to purchase this protein powder. Make a one-time purchase of $59.99 for a package that has approximately 25 one-scoop servings. If you subscribe, you'll get each package for about $53.99. When you make a one-time purchase, you'll be paying approximately $2.39 per serving. You'll bring down the per-serving price to $2.15 if you subscribe.

orgain lactose free protein powder

Packing in 21 grams of protein, it's worth noting the 15 grams of carbohydrates and the four grams of fat that also are included in each serving. At 150 calories for each serving, this is one of the more calorie-heavy dairy-free choices for protein powder. When I wrote my Orgain protein powder review, the brand was just starting off - they've come a long way from back then!

The Formula

This product has the longest ingredient list featured here. A complete amino acid profile is provided by a combination of pea protein, brown rice protein and chia seeds. Other ingredients include acacia, natural flavors, xantham gum, guar gum, sunflower oil, rosemary extract and cocoa. Also on the list for most of the flavors is erythritol, a well-known sugar alcohol.

What I Like

With organic ingredients and 21 grams of protein, this product is a pretty good bet. The list of flavors is impressively long, and if you want to avoid the sugar alcohols that are in some of the flavors, you can opt for the natural unsweetened variety that is unflavored so that you can dress it up any way you like.

What I Don’t Like

Many of the available flavors contain sugar alcohols. While this ingredient can be tolerated by some users, it is infamous for causing many of the same digestive issues that plague people who are lactose intolerant. The carb content is pretty high too if you are looking for a protein powder that focuses more heavily on the protein.

Cost and Where to Buy

This protein powder can be purchased at the Orgain website. You can purchase ten single-serve packets for $30.99 if you want to give the product a try. Various tub sizes also are available. The smallest is 1.02 pounds and includes about ten two-scoop servings for $22.99. This works out to a per-serving cost of $2.29. A canister that is about twice the size sells for $33.99 as a one-time purchase for a per-serving price of $1.69. You can save as much as 35-percent by subscribing.


My favorite pick from this list is 1st Phorm Vegan Power Pro. Although it does not have the same amount of protein as selections like the one from Transparent Labs, the amount is still more than sufficient for most people who are not elite athletes.

Additionally, this product does not completely do away with fats and carbs, but it keeps them to a really low minimum. What this means is that this dairy-free protein powder boasts an excellent balance between protein, fats and carbs, with protein clearly taking center stage.

The Vegan Power Pro product also boasts a superior ability to mix into water, your favorite milk, protein shakes and other items. Most reviewers feel that the taste and mouth feel are excellent, with none of the grittiness or chalkiness for which many plant-based protein powders are known.

While this protein powder for lactose intolerant people doesn't have the shortest list of ingredients, it keeps things straightforward and simple. In fact, the additional ingredients all appear to be highly beneficial and designed to aid with healthy digestion and complete absorption.

I would like to see 1st Phorm offering its repeat customers a discount for their loyalty, but at an average serving price of $1.83, this product is less expensive than many of its competitors.

Give any of these dairy-free protein powders a try if you are looking for a healthy supplement to add to your fitness routine that won't upset your stomach.

About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Macro Coach, Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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