Wellness

14 Best Grass Fed Whey Protein Powders 2021

When it comes to choosing the best grass-fed whey protein, we’re fortunate that there are several options available.  While difficult to find quality a few years ago, many amazing offerings are now at our fingertips. However, who has time to sort through all the new brands and products to figure out which is best?

Should you be purchasing a grass fed whey protein isolate or a concentrate?

What is the major difference between the current products on the market? Is there such thing as a clean grass fed whey that also has flavor? We have researched, mixed, blended, shaken, and tasted every grass fed whey protein powder imaginable to determine exactly who makes the best grass fed whey so you know which products may work best to suit your individual needs.

How Were the Best Grass Fed Whey Protein Powders Selected?

While there are a lot of great products out there, this is the cream of the crop.  These companies are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest. So, what exactly sets these companies apart?

Here are the qualities we investigated and questions we asked:

  • Who is using the best manufacturing practices such as cold ultrafiltration?
  • Who is using the least amount of ingredients possible?
  • Who is using organic ingredients? (Check out one brand that uses vanilla bean sourced from Madagascar below!)
  • Who has the best agricultural practices?
  • Humane practices of livestock
  • Taste
  • Other- Is the company socially responsible? What other qualities set them apart?

Why Should You Choose Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate Over Traditional Whey

We previously discussed the benefits of butter from grass-fed versus indoor mixed fed cows in our post about Bulletproof Coffee.  Does it matter just as much when consuming Whey Protein?  Absolutely.

If you take a look at various labels of protein powders, you will see the macronutrient similarity (protein, carbohydrate, fat) between grass-fed whey isolate to traditional whey protein isolate.  However, a closer analysis reveals major differences that can add up when it comes to health.

Improved Fat Quality in Grass Fed Whey Protein

Grass fed cows produce milk with higher concentrations of β-Carotene (the precursor to Vitamin A), unsaturated fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which are healthy components of fat.[1,2,4]  In fact, CLAs have been shown to have many positive effects including being anticarcinogenic and helpful in regulating the immune system and type II diabetes.[4]

When comparing nutrition labels of a grass-fed whey concentrate vs. one from non-grass fed cows, a comparison shows higher cholesterol and lower calcium.  Why? Because indoor fed cows have more of the unhealthy fat and less of the CLAs, omega fatty acids, and beta carotenes that are necessary for optimal health.

Overall Nutritional Quality of Grass Fed Whey vs Traditional Whey

Is there really a higher nutritional quality in grass fed protein powder vs conventional protein powder?

Without a doubt.

The value of minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese tend to be higher in grass-fed milk, especially when produced from cows grazing in a perennial ryegrass pasture.[3]

Also higher in grass-fed organic dairy is α-tocopherol, iron, and conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). CLA is a fatty acid found in meat and dairy products with many purported benefits such as assisting with weight loss while maintaining lean muscle mass and controlling type II diabetes. [6]

Grass fed dairy has also been shown to have high amounts of unsaturated fats such as PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids).  PUFAs and MUFAs have been shown to be helpful in many ways including reducing the risk of heart disease, improving blood pressure, and improving blood lipid levels. They are actually considered an evidenced-based component of life-prolonging therapies for heart failure.[7,8]

Organic milk has a higher proportion of PUFA to MUFAs and of n-3 FA than conventional milk. Organic milk also contained a consistently lower n-6:n-3 FA ratio (which is considered beneficial) when compared to conventional milk. [9]

Cold Processed Grass Fed Whey vs High Heat Processed Whey

Most consumers seeking out a grass-fed protein powder are well educated on the different properties that make for the highest quality product.  So, a majority of grass-fed protein powders will advertise producing their whey protein with terms such as “cold-processed”, “un-denatured, cold-processed”, “micro-filtered”, “ultra-filtered”, and “low-temperature drying techniques”.

While most consumers know this probably produces a better product, what does it really mean?

Its well understood that using heat destroys the nutritional content in food. However, some form of processing is required to make the product safe for consumers.

In the U.S., the Department of Health and Human Services provide standards and regulations for dairy to be sold in an effort to protect the public.  An outline of these regulations can be found in their document, the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance.

Some countries actually require high heat processing for dairy to be sold and don’t provide their farmers the flexibility to use cold processing of their dairy.  Fortunately, many countries producing grass-fed whey protein powder such as in the U.S., allow farmers the option to use cold filtration processing to purify the milk of harmful pathogens without disturbing the taste or nutritional qualities.

There is extensive research examining the effect of heat processing on whey protein.  A review of the effects of thermal processing on whey proteins demonstrated that several studies have proven that heat processing causes denaturing (destruction of the chemical properties) and aggregation (causing things to form into a cluster) of the proteins.[10]  Dairy from warmer climate countries, such as Brazil, has also been shown to exhibit lower nutritional quality including lower free essential BCAAs.[11]

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In addition to destroying the protein, heating has also been found to disturb the flavor of whey protein.  A 2013 study found that heating whey caused increased sulfur flavors in whey.[12]

Furthermore, when combined with acidification, which is often done in conjunction with heat processing, increased the cardboard, potato/brothy, and malty flavors in whey along with producing higher concentrations of aldehydes, ketones, and sulfur compounds.[12]  Hence why many grass-fed protein powder manufacturers will advertise producing their whey without acid or bleach processing.

A few other tidbits about cold processing:

  1. Cold processing is just as effective as heat processing in treating harmful, pathogenic microorganisms. [13,14,15]
  2. Cold processing of other foods has been shown to improve food quality and flavor. [6]
  3. Cold processing can inactivate microorganisms and enzymes that cause spoilage while preserving the nutritional and sensory quality of foods. [15]

Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate: What’s the Difference?

If you read the labels for grass-fed protein powder, you will notice two different types of whey protein are used: whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate.  What is the difference and why would someone prefer one over the other?

The answer lies in the mixing and manufacturing process.  During dairy manufacturing, its components such as fat and protein are mostly separated.  When the protein is separated, it consists of two different types of protein, whey, and casein.  Further processing makes a more pure product by dividing whey and casein thereby creating a “concentrate”.  This “concentrate” of whey still includes a bit of fat, naturally occurring sugar, and lactose, even though it is 80%+ protein by weight.

Whey concentrate is a mostly pure form (containing some fat, sugar/lactose) of whey and is typically a great product.  However, in this form, it does not dissolve or mix very easily as protein is by nature hydrophobic (it repels water. Think RainX on your windshield). So, while this is a great product, many do not prefer it as it does not dissolve or mix well.

Because whey concentrate is hydrophobic and quite pure, this often leads to an undesirable mixing and tasting experience for consumers. As a result, many manufacturers further refine the whey concentrate to its absolute purest form, isolate.  Through further refining, whey protein is separated from the remaining milk components by removing most of the fat and sugar/lactose. In this form, it is known as “isolate” as it has been mostly isolated from any other remaining milk components, thus making it 90%+ protein by weight.[17]

When looking at the labels of the cleanest grass-fed protein powders money can buy, the manufacturing difference between whey protein concentrate and isolate is clear.  Glancing at the label of an isolate, you will most often see 0g of fat and 0-1g of carbohydrates from sugar. A concentrate on the other hand, may contain a range of 2-3g of fat and 3-5 carbohydrates from sugar. Since an isolate has more protein by weight, there usually a few more grams of protein per serving.

Further analysis will reveal that many of the whey proteins that contain an added ingredient including those powders which including only two ingredients- whey and sunflower lecithin, that concentrate is used. However, when purchasing a product that has only one simple ingredient, then a concentrate is used.

So all in all, it is confusing but important to remember that whey “isolate” is actually the purest and most concentrated form. Although, you will rarely see isolate sold as the lone ingredient as it would be very difficult to mix.

The purest forms of grass fed protein powders that are sold as isolate usually have just one very small additive such as sunflower lecithin that helps the protein dissolve for easier mixing.

Why do Manufacturers use Whey Isolate More Often Than Whey Concentrate?

Being in an isolated form, protein powder manufacturers use isolate more often because it leads to more protein per serving.  So, it requires a smaller scoop to create their desired 20-25g serving size of the protein. This leaves more room for additives in the final product leading to better taste and consumer experience without taking up too much space in their packaging.

Through the use of isolate, additives such as sunflower lecithin, (added to reduce clumping) make for a better shake by means of better dissolution. Components such as lecithin can be added while still providing the customer with modest size packaging and serving sizes.

(Usual disclaimer: FWDfuel Sports Nutrition is a participant in the Emerson Wellevate Associates program as well as the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)

The Best Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder List

1. SFH RECOVER Whey Protein

  • Most powerful post-workout protein shake money can buy
  • Includes Co Q-10, leucine, creatine, d-ribose, L-carnitine, and FruiteeX-B
  • Sourced from ethically treated New Zealand cows grazing outdoors year-round and never given hormones 
  • Outstanding taste and mixes easily with water 

Ready to taste the future of protein powders?  Ready to recover quicker than you ever have from workouts?  Interested in simply mixing one scoop or packet of powder into a shaker instead of having to mix 7 different supplements together?   

Here it is.  SFH Recover Whey Protein is the new king of post-workout protein powders.  This powder starts with their bas grass fed whey sourced from ethically treated New Zealand cows graze outdoors year-round and never given growth hormones.  From there, this powder adds leucine and creatine to assist with muscle recovery, d-ribose and L-Carnitine to restore lost ATP in muscle, Co Q-10 (helps all cells recover, especially the heart), and FruiteX-B (a patented vegan mineral complex clinically shown to improve joint discomfort)[21] 

2. Vital Proteins Collagen Whey Protein

  • One of the only brands to combine collagen and whey into one supplement
  • Includes hyaluronic acid which helps support joint health
  • Includes the probiotic bacillus coagulants to aid digestion and overall health
  • Sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows from Brazil.

A newcomer on the list this year, Vital Proteins Collagen Whey Protein is an awesome combination of grass-fed whey protein with collagen peptides as well as hyaluronic acid and probiotics.  If collagen protein is new to you, let us help explain the hype.

Collagen is a fundamental component of our skin, hair, nails, and joints. So, while it does not help with muscle building, it helps a lot with appearance (skin/hair/nails) and more importantly for active individuals, joints.  The research on collagen appears to be quite strong and a few highlights include:

  • A randomized placebo-controlled study found that 12 weeks of consuming 2.5g of collagen resulted in improved skin elasticity, roughness, density, and hydration that was sustained after 4 weeks of discontinuation of its consumption.[22] 
  • A 24-week randomized, placebo-controlled study on athletes with activity-related joint pain without any evidence of joint disease (i.e. arthritis on x-ray) found consumption of 10g of collagen led to a decrease in joint pain at rest as well as with standing, walking, running in a straight line, and when changing directions.[23] 

Long story short, there is substantial, high-quality research published and currently being done to show the support of collagen for everything from joint pain to skin, hair, and nail health. So, it makes sense to combine it into a whey protein powder for active individuals to essentially provide a combination of muscle recovery from whey protein and joint recovery from the collagen.

If you’re someone with joint pain, have a concern about the future of your joints due to the nature of your activity (i.e. distance runner, life-long basketball player, etc.) or a family history of joint issues such as osteoarthritis (this is the #1 reason why I personally consume collagen regularly), or you’re interested in improving your complexion, Vital Proteins Collagen Whey is an awesome option. Don’t forget that it has some probiotics in there to help with digestion and gut health too which is a nice bonus!

Looking for another idea of something new to try? Check out their Vital Performance Protein Powder which combines 25g of Lactose-Free Milk Protein Isolate Powder with 10g Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides and amino acids!

3. SFH FUEL Whey Protein

  • NSF Certified for Sport- great for athletes who’re drug tested
  • Great for in-between workouts with MCTs and fiber to keep blood sugar stable and hunger at bay
  • Outstanding taste and mixes easily with water 

Using the standard SFH PURE Whey Protein as its base (a really outstanding grass-fed whey protein btw) but taking things a step further by combining coconut milk for its medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) and apple pectin for fiber, SFH FUEL Whey Protein is a really unique protein powder and perfect for in-between workouts.  

4. NAKED Nutrition Naked Whey (Unflavored)

  • NSF Certified for Sport- great for athletes who’re drug tested
  • Best option for the athletes wanting something PURE
  • Best brand & price when buying in bulk
  • Only brand to sell 5 lbs sizes

When it comes to pure products, NAKED Nutrition is at the front of the pack. If you’re looking to take your diet to the level, then focus on using ultra-clean products like this one.

NAKED produces products that are just what they advertise- completely stripped of any added substances, artificial flavors, etc. They don’t even contain stevia for flavor or sunflower lecithin as a binding agent which

are often still used by many highly reputable and clean- focused brands.

While NAKED grass fed whey protein may not mix or taste as great as other options (works great if you just use our favorite blender: the Vitamix S50 which is powerful and compatible with their blender cups), your body will LOVE this stuff. It is protein in its most uncontaminated and sparkling clean form. You simply can’t find a protein powder that’s any purer. Click here to get 10% off any Order with the coupon code NAKED10.

5. Propello Life Non-GMO Whey Protein

  • Sourced from ethically treated New Zealand cows grazing outdoors year-round and never given hormones 
  • Includes MCT’s making it great for in-between workouts and stabilizing blood sugar 
  • A small, family-owned company that partners with and supports their local Special Olympics branch
  • Outstanding taste and mixes easily with water 

A new company on our list with really unique protein powders, Propello Life West Indies Cocoa Grass Fed Whey Protein as well as their Vanilla Bean is worth checking out.  

With the addition of MCTs (though only half as much as the SFH FUEL Whey Protein) and just a small amounts of guar gum, tapiaco matlodextrin, and larch arabinogalctan to add thickness as well as improve mixing, this is one of your best options for a protein powder that mixes easily and tastes great in just a shaker bottle.

Bonus: Though not a protein powder, be sure to check out the vegan Propello Life REJUVENATING AMINOS as well.  Available in three flavors: cherries + vanilla, pineapple mint + tea, and lemon lime + mint, this is absolutely the tastiest way to get your BCAA’s in throughout the day or before/during/aftere your workout.  I personally put a scoop of Propello Life REJUVENATING AMINOS Cherries + Vanilla in my water bottle to sip on throughout the day after hard workouts.  Even better, they claim their BCAAS are, “Vegan BCAAs – most branch chains amino acids are sourced from human hair, hog hair, or bird feathers; ours come from vegetables.”

6. Garden of Life SPORT Certified Grass Fed Whey

  • Best option for serious athletes
  • NSF Certified for Sport certification- assures athletes being drug tested the product is clean
  • Only grass fed protein powder to be Non-GMO project verified
  • USDA Organic
  • 6 g of BCAAs vs 4.7g in the non sport whey
  • 4g Glutamine
  • 2 billion CFU of the clinically studied probiotic B.lactis BL-04 added which has been shown to support immune health during intensive workouts.
  • Contains “Organic Creamer Flavor”, erythritol, and stevia
Tub of Garden of Life SPORT Certified Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder

Garden of Life went the extra mile to set its SPORT Certified Grass Fed Whey apart from their mainstream offering as well as other brands.  There are several ways they stand out, including using Truly Grass Fed Certified Whey, adding glutamine and glutamic acid, adding probiotics, and having BOTH NSF Certified for Sport and Informed-Choice.org Trusted by Sport certifications.

What does it mean to have the Truly Grass Fed Certification?  Well, if a cow is raised in the northern United States where there may be rough weather or snow from November to April, do you think the cows are really going to be able to feed year-round on grass?

Truly Grass Fed is an independent company that provides certifications to Irish farmers who meet their standards.  These standards including having an average of one cow for every two acres, being Certified Animal Welfare Approved, growth hormone rBST-free, antibiotic-free, and non-GMO Project Verified.  Yes, those are some high standards.

Taking things a step further, dairy from Ireland is extremely high quality since the cows feed on grass year-round. Of course, it helps that the Irish climate allows for continuous grass growth.  Truly Grass Fed farmers are committed to sustainability and must be certified by the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme which aims to help create a sustainable milk supply with a minimal carbon footprint.

Lastly, the dairy from a Truly Grass Fed certified farm is all 100% traceable as every single cow in Ireland is required to have a unique barcode to track where every single batch of milk comes from.[16]

If you’re an athlete, especially one why may be subject to drug testing such as collegiate or professional athletes, having NSF Certified for Sport and Informed-choice.org Trusted by Sport certification is crucial.  Most supplements and protein powders are not regulated or tested so there is no way to know exactly what you’re getting when you buy them unless there is some sort of certification to back them. There is no higher certification than NSF Certification for Sport.

One final huge bonus for athletes is that Garden for Life SPORT Certified Grass Fed Whey adds 6 g of BCAAs and 4g of Glutamine to powder.  They also add BCAAs to their non-SPORT whey, but it only contains 4.7g. You will also see a 2 billion CFU of the clinically studied probiotic B.lactis BL-04 added which has been shown to support immune health during intensive workouts.

The only additional suggestion we might make in order to make this suitable for high-intensity athletes is the addition of carbohydrate to the shake as 6g/serving is fairly low for most athletes. Enjoying a piece of fruit with your shake or adding a beverage that contains a higher amount of carbohydrate would allow for a better macronutrient ratio for recovery.

What are the drawbacks of this whey?  We prefer not to see erythritol (may cause gut issues), stevia (increases desire for sweet), and vague flavoring like “organic creamer flavor” on the label.  Also, if you’re a bit of a light sleeper or caffeine sensitive, it may be wise to be careful taking this in the evening as their chocolate flavor contains 10mg of naturally occurring caffeine.

7. Garden of Life Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder, Chocolate Peanut Butter

  • Best option for a (organic) peanut butter lover
  • Certified USDA Organic and American Humane Certified
  • Non-GMO Project Verified  (only grass fed whey with certification according to manufacturer)
  • Cows graze on grass “at least 300 days a year” [18]
  • Probiotics and Enzymes: Added probiotics and enzymes to promote digestion.
  • Traceable: Each ingredient we use is fully traceable back to seed and farm it was grown on.
  • The company uses only renewable energy
  • Certified B Corporation that focuses to balance purpose and profit
  • Kosher
Picture of a tub of Garden of Life Chocolate Peanut Butter Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein powder

Garden of Life Organic Grass Fed Whey Protein is a bit different from its SPORT Certified version. For starters, it’s certified organic and instead of being sourced from Ireland, its sourced from California where they claim the cows graze on grass at least 300 days of the year and when feed is supplemented, it’s certified organic. It’s also missing Glutamine and has a lower BCAA content.

Similar to the SPORT Certified protein powder it has added probiotics, is American Humane Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Kosher certified.  Unlike the SPORT protein, which only comes in chocolate and strawberry, their Organic Grass Fed Whey powder also comes in chocolate peanut butter, lightly sweet, vanilla, and strawberry.  We aren’t big fans of the erythritol, and stevia, but I’m personally a big fan of anything with peanut butter so if you’re looking for a great tasting, grass fed protein powder, and don’t want to take the extra step to add powdered organic peanut butter, this is an amazing choice.

An added bonus to buying any Garden of Life product is that you are supporting a very socially responsible and humane company.  As a business, they are a Certified B Corporation that focuses on balancing purpose, they use renewable energy, and this specific protein powder is American Humane Certified.

8. Built By Strength Grass Fed Whey

  • Great for those looking for guidance or to build a relationship with a company
  • NSF Certified for Sport certification- assures athletes being drug tested the product is clean
  • Uses Organic Cocoa
  • Money-back guarantee on all products

Another newcomer to our list, Built By Strength Grass Fed Whey is unique in its goal to build a relationship and support its customers.  This is done various ways including through the “Learn” section on their website with recipes and resources to a rewards program that allows you to earn points in numerous ways.  In fact, you can ear rewards points simply by interacting with Built By Strength on social media.  

So, if you want to build a relationship with a company that has your best interest in mind or simply a high-level athlete looking for a protein powder that is NSF Certified for Sport (certified to be free of banned substances) then check out the organic Belgian chocolate grass fed whey by Built By Strength as they aim to help you achieve your goals and reach your peak potential, not just to sell a product.   

9. Opportuniteas Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate & Concentrate

  • Great option for everyone
  • Cold processed, non-GMO
  • 1% of all sales to nonprofits
  • Transparent company with great customer service
Picture of Opportuniteas brand grass fed whey isolate protein powder

In a highly competitive field, Opportuniteas Grass-Fed Whey sets itself apart with outstanding customer service in addition to having a quality product.  First, they’re completely transparent about their products, processing, and are quick to answer any questions you might have. Wondering if they produce one without any lactose? They’ll point you to their whey isolate which has the lactose removed and is usually well tolerated even by those with a dairy sensitivity.

Looking for one with the least amount of processing and absolutely no other ingredients other than whey?  They’ll point you to their concentrate which is nothing but pure whey.

Don’t like GMO ingredients?  Don’t worry, their products are 100% non-GMO.  Even the sunflower lecithin, which is less than 1% of their isolate product, is non-GMO and they are clear about only using it to make mixing easier. Remember, whey isolate is naturally hydrophobic, making it difficult to blend in water.

Next, I LOVE protein powders sold in a resealable pouch. Why?  Multiple reasons.

Have you ever opened a new container and looked for the scoop and its nowhere to be found?

You think to yourself, do I dig my hand in there?  Do I use a knife or spoon to dig around and pull it up?  Or maybe just use a scoop from another container…until you finally find your original scoop after a third of the container is gone. And of course, you soon realize the scoops are two different sizes.

Having a pouch allows you to gently squeeze the pouch to feel where the scoop is and then push it to the top. #winning

Adding more to my love of the pouch is the feasibility when it comes to travel.  Ever travel and want to take your protein powder with you? Trying to decide how many scoops to bring and which container to bring it in since you can’t fit the bulky tub in your bag?  Should you use a ziplock bag or a plastic container? Well, no need to worry about that with a pouch. Is Opportuniteas the only company to sell their powder in a pouch? No, but I had to put my rant about how much I love protein powder in a bag instead of a tub somewhere. 

It’s the little things…

Ok, now onto the product.

Picture of Opportuniteas brand grass fed whey protein concentrate protein powder

Both of their unflavored whey proteins, grass-fed whey isolate and grass-fed whey concentrate, mix and taste as good as you’ll find. If you’re going to mix in a shaker bottle, like all concentrates and most isolates, you should anticipate clumpiness. If you use a high powered blender (we use a Vitamix) you can mix either one, including concentrate, nicely in just a few seconds. I personally prefer the concentrate since it has only one simple ingredient.

Like many brands in this crowded field, they use cold processing immediately after collecting raw milk from (no added hormones!) Wisconsin cows.  They only pasteurize their whey once and do not use any artificial flavorings, sweeteners, or GMOs.

Lastly, and most notably, this company is part of 1% for the Planet which means they donate 1% of all their sales to nonprofits.  Once again, in a crowded space, it’s little things like this that make you choose one brand over another and why we rate Opportunitites Grass-Fed Whey Protein as one of our top picks for best grass fed protein powders.

10. MATTOLE VALLEY NATURALS, Matcha

  • Best option for the matcha lover
  • Sourced from south Australian cows which graze outdoors year-round on pesticide-free pastures
  • Family owned and sustainably produced facility  
  • All products are hand-crafted and organic or “wild harvested
  • All packaging 100% recyclable
  • Uses “raw superfoods” such as pure birch Xylitol for sweetener
Can of Matolle Valley Naturals Matcha Flavor Grass Fed Whey Protein

Talk about a company going the extra mile.  Along with Opportuniteas, the Mattole Valley Naturals is a brand that sets itself apart with an extra clean product and being environmentally friendly.  In fact, they’re one of the most environmentally focused brands you will ever find. All Mattole Valley Naturals products are handmade in Sasnta Barbara, California. Completely free of fillers and use only organic or wildcrafted ingredients makes them as clean as it gets.  Furthermore, they promise to have products completely free of growth hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, pesticides, and gluten. Lastly, with their Mattole Valley Naturals Sustainable Living Project, they aim to create an environment of living symbiotically with the land which included solar panels, compostable toilets, and a rainwater cistern to limit waste.  

Mattole Valley Naturals offers its grass fed whey in vanilla, matcha, raw cacao, and plain. We would really like to highlight the matcha flavor as they’re the only brand we’ve found with such a offering.  If you’re looking for great flavor, clean ingredients, an environmentally sustainable product, Mattole Valley Naturals should be one of your top choices.

11. Opportuniteas Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate, Iced Coffee

  • Best option for coffee lovers
  • Cold processed, non-GMO
  • Convenient packaging for travel and for finding the serving scoop
  • 1% of all sales to nonprofits
  • Transparent company with great customer service
Picture of Opportuniteas brand Iced Coffee flavored grass fed whey protein powder bag.

Looking for a high-quality grass fed whey that also packs some flavor without a bunch of artificial sweeteners or additives?  Bored with the traditional vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate? Check out Opportuniteas Iced Coffe Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate which contains just 3 ingredients: whey protein isolate, coffee extract, and non-GMO sunflower lecithin.  Mixes and tastes great with water, but unbelievably delicious with vanilla almond milk!

12. Tera’s Organic Grass Fed Fair Trade Certified Dark Chocolate Cocoa

Looking for a socially conscious company that puts a little heart into their product?  This is the craft beer version of whey protein.

  • Best option for chocolate lover
  • Best option for staying Kosher
  • Socially responsible using Fair Trade cocoa
  • Certified USDA Organic, artisan crafted, cold pressed
  • Non-GMO
Can of Tera's Organic Fair Trade Certified Dark Chocolate Grass Fed Whey Protein

Tera’s is a small company that sources their dairy from local farmers in Wisconsin.  When they say they use high-quality ingredients, they mean it. They’re a rare company to take the extra socially responsible step to use Organic Fair Trade Certified Dark Chocolate as the flavoring in their chocolate offering.  With only 4 ingredients in their flavored whey (organic whey concentrate, organic Fair Trade Certified cocoa, organic stevia, and sunflower lecithin), this is hands down your best choice if chocolate is your jam.

13. Amazon Elements Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

  • Most affordable option for the cost-conscious consumer
  • Includes whey sourced from Ireland
  • ISO accredited third-party lab tested to validate purity
  • Non-GMO
  • Uses “Natural Flavor” as well as nonorganic xanthan gum and stevia
Tub of Amazon Elements Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate.

Looking for a budget friendly option?  While prices can change and coupons or promotions will bring down the cost of some of the other offerings, the Amazon Elements Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is likely your most consistently affordable option.

Available in “natural” chocolate and “natural” vanilla, though it is unclear where the cocoa or vanilla is sourced from, Amazon’s Elements grass fed protein powder is an amazing option considering that it uses dairy from Ireland, is Non-GMO, and endorses third-party testing.  They even go on to claim that “During the winter, our cows consume a diet of grass silage collected from the fields during summer, plus vitamins and minerals for proper nutrition.”

While there are many great things to say about this protein powder, we aren’t big fans of the “natural flavor”, xanthan gum, and stevia leaf extract, especially with some of the ingredients being sourced from China. Yet at the same time, it’s hard to punish this company for disclosing where ALL their ingredients are from considering most of the brands using these same ingredients are likely sourcing them from the same place. The only difference is they not as transparent.  Amazon Elements just happens to list it right on the web page.

We highly discourage regularly using a protein powder or consuming additives such as stevia consistently as some studies have found it to be mutagenic. In other words, it may cause changes to our DNA (though more recent studies have found this to not be true).  Other studies have found that stevia can cause lesions in peripheral blood, liver, brain, and spleen cells.[19]

Even if not mutagenic, non-nutritive sweeteners can increase a person’s desirability of sweet or sugary foods, thus increasing caloric intake and risk for potential negative health consequences down the road such as diabetes. So, if a sweeter taste is your desire, lets focus on adding flavor with low-glycemic fruits such as berries.

14. Tera’s Organic Grass Fed Bourbon Vanilla Whey

  • Best option for vanilla lover
Can of Teras Organic Grass Fed Bourbon Vanilla Whey Protein powder.

Not a chocolate lover? Looking for a vanilla option without tapioca fiber, gum acacia, xantham gum, erythritol, stevia extract, or some other vague ingredient like “natural flavoring”?

Check out their Organic Bourbon Vanilla Grass Fed Whey. Inspired by pastry chefs, this delicious powder is made with organic vanilla sourced from Madagascar.  Concerned about staying Kosher? All Tera’s whey options are certified!

The Final Verdict on Grass Fed Protein Powders

So many options out there, which one should you choose?

Well, we encourage you to go the route of the least ingredients. Personally, we have found that if you tolerate whey and are willing to use a blender such as Vitamix, the grass fed whey concentrate with one single ingredient mixes beautifully and tastes great. For those who have a more sensitive gut, consider adding almond milk and a bit of Low FODMAP fruit to allow for easier digestion without neglecting taste. If you still find that you don’t feel great after the shake, it might be time to strongly consider trying an elimination diet in order to see which food(s) is causing your symptoms. Many drink whey protein without even realizing they are reacting!

As you can see, we love products without added ingredients and we try to stay on that road to the best of our ability.

If you’re not going to use a blender and want something with great taste, don’t be afraid to upgrade to one of the flavored options on this list.  Every option on this list is excellent and will help you get one step closer to a clean, whole-food approach to post-workout recovery.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to improve the health of a friend or family member, don’t forget to share this article with them.  Also, if you’d like to get a closer glimpse of what we’re up to, learn some amazing recipes with 5 ingredients and less, or discover fun facts on how to improve your health, check us out on Instagram under the name FWDfuel.     

Have you tried any of the powders in this article? What is your favorite? Do you have any go-to recipes to share? Leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you!

References

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Source
14 Best Grass Fed Whey Protein Powders 2021 is written by Michael Bogden for www.fwdfuel.com

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