I often get the question, what are the best whey protein alternatives for lactose intolerant? What are the non-dairy alternatives to whey protein, etc.?
I can’t afford a whey protein powder; what vegan food do I eat as a substitute for whey protein? I decided to write a blog about it to answer all these questions.
Whey protein powders are the most popular protein supplement, or you can say it is the most popular food supplement worldwide. As per the CAGR reports, the whey protein market is expected to reach $18 billion by the end of 2027.
Millions of athletes, fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and fitness-conscious people use whey protein daily to prevent muscle loss or to build new muscles.
Table of Contents
- Why whey protein is popular
- Best Non-Vegan Whey Protein Substitute
- Best Vegan Alternative to Whey Protein
- Best Whey Alternatives: FAQs
Reasons why whey protein is popular
- High-quality protein
- High in protein content and biological value
- Fast Digesting
- Comes in all price ranges
- Easy to carry
- Easy to prepare
- Great for muscle recovery and growth.
Out of all these qualities, High-quality protein, great biological value, and fast absorption are the most critical factors that make whey protein a favorite choice for everyone.
Whey protein is a milk byproduct. During the cheese-making process, the liquid and the cheese solids are processed separately, and then that liquid is used further to make the whey protein powder.
Whey protein is a versatile high, protein food, and you can mix it with anything. It’s fast to digest and tastes delicious.
Also, Read- Why is Soy Protein Isolate the Worst Protein Powder?
Since it’s a milk-based product, Vegans, people with lactose intolerance, or those allergic to whey protein find it hard to use whey protein; that’s why today I am sharing the seven best whey protein alternatives that you’ll love to try.
7 Best Whey Protein Alternatives for Lactose Intolerant
These whey protein alternatives are high in protein bioavailability and overall biological value of protein.
Let’s Learn more about these Alternatives food for whey protein powder. Firstly, I’ll share the best lactose-free alternative to whey protein.
Best Non-Vegan Whey Protein Substitute
- Egg Whites
When it comes to the biological value and lean protein content, egg white is one of the best foods as good as whey protein. For me, Egg whites are the best vegetarian substitute for whey protein. Egg whites are easy to cook, fast in absorption, and have a little carb and fat content.
One whole egg has about five grams of protein, and an egg white has four grams. One regular egg white has about four grams of protein and only 17 calories, making it a perfect whey protein alternative food for fat loss or lean muscle mass.
One Egg White Nutrition
- Calories= 17
- Protein= 4gm
- Fat= 0.1gm
- Sodium = 55mg
- Potassium = 54mg
- Carbohydrates = 0.2g
2. Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts are probably the best meat alternative to whey protein powder. If you love barbeque night, chicken breasts are the best high-protein food for you.
Chicken breasts are an easy, lean source of high-quality protein. If you’re non-vegetarian and have lactose intolerance, chicken breasts are probably the best lean protein food for you.
100grams of chicken breasts Nutrition
- Calories= 165
- Protein= 31gm
- Carbohydrates = 0g
- Fat= 3.6gm
- Sodium = 74mg
- Potassium = 256mg
With zero grams of carbs and 31 grams of protein, chicken breasts are the best lean meat alternative to whey protein powder supplements. It’s inexpensive, sustainable, versatile, and very useful food to maintain a healthy, high-protein diet.
It’s impossible to talk about fish, especially tuna when talking about high-protein foods that can be a good substitute for whey protein. I would rate tuna as the best sea high-protein and highly nutritious food alternative for whey protein powder supplements.
Loaded with healthy fatty acids like Omega-3, tuna can help you reduce Omega-6 and LDL cholesterol. More good level of HDL will lead to a healthy heart. Many studies have proven that eating good healthy fatty acids like Omega-3 can reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks.
Now, let’s take a look at Tuna’s macro profile.
100g Tuna Nutrition
- Calories = 120
- Protein = 26 gm
- Carbohydrates = 0gm
- Fat = 0.6gm
With only 120 calories and a massive 26 grams of protein, tuna is the best low-calorie, low-carb, and high-protein food alternative for whey protein.
If you’re on a keto diet, tuna is the best option you can get after whey protein powder. It’s called the same nutritional points as whey protein(low fat, low carb, high protein), and it’s easy to cook and digest as well.
4. Turkey Breasts
We have talked about six high-protein food alternatives for whey. Last but not least, I want to mention turkey breasts, which are also a great high-protein and low-calorie, low-carb whey protein substitute.
Turkey’s skin is high in fat, so you have to use it without skin to avoid unnecessary fat calories. White meat from Turkey is the best lean source of protein.
Tuna and turkey both have pretty much the same nutrition profile, however, turkey has a little more fat than tuna. Both are the best high protein food for fat loss, or to gain lean muscle, and the keto diet.
Skinless turkey has fewer carbs and fat than skin-on turkey meat. Now, let’s check the turkey breast nutrition profile.
100gm Turkey Breasts Nutrition
- Calories = 147
- Protein = 30 gm
- Carbohydrates = 0gm
- Fat = 2.1gm
100gm of turkey breasts have insane 30 grams of lean protein, which is fantastic. Turkey has thirty grams of lean protein at only 147 calories, making it one of the best high-protein alternatives for whey.
Best Vegan Alternative to Whey Protein
5. Soya Chunks
Since a massive population of vegetarians and vegans worldwide cannot eat eggs or meat or dairy products like whey, cheese, milk, etc. for them, soya chunks are the best high protein non-dairy alternative to whey protein powder.
Soya chunks look like a puffball. Although it’s not a lean source of protein, they have a significant amount of protein.
Soya chunks are made using oil-free soy flour. Popularly known as vegetarian meat, it’s a nutritional lactose-free whey protein alternative for vegans.
100gm Soya Chunks Nutrition
- Calories= 345
- Protein= 52g
- Carbs= 33g
- Calcium= 50mg
Also, Read- Is it safe to eat raw Nutrela Soya Chunks?
6. Vegan/ Plant-Based Protein Powders
Vegan protein powders are the best whey protein substitute for vegans or people on a plant-based diet. The vegan protein industry is enormous, and it’s growing more than ever. Climate crisis, animal care consciousness, and pop culture have impacted people’s adaptation to a plant-based lifestyle.
Today, there are hundreds of plant-based protein powder supplements in the market, and they offer exciting quality protein supplements that fill your protein requirements. These vegan protein powders are generally made using peas, hemp, brown rice, soy, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Since plants alone don’t have all essential and non-essential amino acids, supplement brands use two or more ingredients to make the complete amino acid profile. If you want to build muscles, you must have all twenty amino acids.
Nutrition Profile of Ghost Vegan Protein Powder
One serving of Ghost vegan protein has
- Calories = 120
- Protein = 21 gm
- Carbohydrates = 6 gm
- Fat = 1.5 gm
- Extra added Sugar = 0
- Saturated Fat = 0
Vegan protein powder is not as lean as whey, but the overall offering is quite good. Twenty-one grams of protein at 120 calories is fantastic. You can use vegan protein powder in your after-workout shakes, or you can make smoothies, desserts, etc.
If you are vegan and don’t want to use any vegan protein powder, tofu is your go-to high-protein plant-based vegan alternative to whey protein for you. Tofu is made from condensed soy milk during the cheese-making process, and it is high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbs.
Also known as soya paneer(soy cheese), tofu is quite popular Asian food that is getting massive popularity in the Western world.
There is a misconception that tofu or any soy products can decrease the production of testosterone and can cause side effects like gynecomastia(man boobs), which is not valid. You can watch the following video to debunk all myths.
100gm Tofu Nutrition
- Calories = 140
- Protein = 17 gm
- Carbohydrates = 6 gm
- Fat = 9gm
You can look at the overall macros, and it’s not a lean source of protein. However, it has 17 grams of protein at 140 calories, which is decent for vegan plant-based food. There aren’t many plant-based foods with high protein content at a low-calorie count.
Best Whey Protein Alternatives: FAQs
What is the best natural alternative to whey protein after a workout?
I would say that egg whites are the best natural post-workout alternative food for a whey protein shake. Egg whites are a lean source of protein that contains three to four grams of protein and zero grams of carbs and fat.
Is whey protein powder a healthy way to gain muscle?
Yes, Whey protein is a healthy and high-quality protein source to build muscles or lose fat. The biological value and the bioavailability of whey protein are much higher than regular foods. One regular whey protein powder has 24 grams at just 120 to 130 kcal.
Can we build muscles without protein supplements?
Yes, you can build a good amount of lean muscles without using any protein supplement. If you can get your overall macros from your food, there is no need to spend money on protein supplements.
Supplement means a supplement to something. Protein supplements like whey protein can only help you achieve your daily protein. The use of whey protein doesn’t guarantee muscle building or fat loss.
Is it okay to take a mass gainer as an alternative to whey protein powder?
No, it isn’t. You can’t replace mass gainers with whey protein powder. Mass gainers have a lot of calories and carbs and moderate whey protein, while whey protein powder is a lean source of protein that has a few carbs, fat and overall calories. Read More here.
How do I find a good source of protein for a vegetarian? And which food is a good source of calcium?
There are plenty of protein sources for vegetarians: cottage cheese, soya chunks, tofu, legumes, chickpeas, milk, and many more. As far as calcium is considered, milk and its by-products like cottage cheese yogurt are rich in calcium.
Is whey protein safe to consume?
Yes, whey is safe, Whey is a milk byproduct and it is made during the cheese-making process. Anyone from the age of fifteen can use whey protein powder in their diet, shakes, or however, they like. If you are using a verified and original product, there is no proven negative downside of the whey protein powder supplement.
Best Whey Protein Alternatives Conclusion
No doubt, whey protein is the best high-quality protein supplement for muscle building or fat loss out there. Millions of people use whey protein worldwide. Since many people struggle with milk byproducts like whey and want an alternative to providing them with sufficient protein, I wrote this blog.
I recommend these seven high-protein foods that you can include in your diet to complete the protein requirement. These seven foods are the best alternative to whey protein powders. If you like the meat-based diet, you can adapt almost all the seven foods, and if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can use eggs, soya chunks, or tofu to complete your daily protein.
You can build muscles or lose fat without whey protein powders. Supplement means a supplement to something. You can’t lose fat on fast/junk food, and supplements are not magical that will do everything for you. Protein supplement is good only if your overall diet, workout, and recovery are proper.
I hope this blog helped you. If you have any doubts, you can ask them in the comment section.