Best Protein Powders for Diabetics is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our editorial process here.

For many diabetics, finding the right protein powder that aligns with their unique dietary needs can be a daunting task. The market is flooded with countless options, and the stakes are high. After all, the wrong choice could lead to unforeseen health complications.

But what if there was a guide that not only understood your concerns but also had the expertise to recommend the best products tailored for diabetics?

Looking for the best protein powder for diabetics? We’re rounding up our top 5 protein powder picks to help narrow your choices faster. 

Why Trust Us?

At Drug Genius, we are committed to providing you with the most accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date information about protein powders. We have invested over 85 hours in creating our extensive protein powder database.

This database, which covers over 300 protein powders from leading brands worldwide, is the result of rigorous research, meticulous data collection, and thorough data cleaning.
We’ve delved deep into nutritional profiles, examined product labels, visited official websites, and even reached out to brands directly to ensure the accuracy of our information.

Understanding Diabetes and Nutrition

Diabetic Protein Powder

Navigating the vast world of protein powders can be overwhelming, especially when you’re diabetic. You’re not just looking for a high-quality product; you need one that aligns seamlessly with your health objectives and doesn’t compromise on flavor.

The looming concern? Selecting a protein powder that could adversely affect your blood sugar or fall short in delivering essential nutrients. It’s a genuine concern, and you deserve a solution that’s both safe and efficacious.

Drawing from our extensive experience of reviewing and testing over 300+ protein powders, we’ve meticulously curated a list that caters specifically to the diabetic community. Each recommendation upholds the highest standards of quality and safety.

This article speaks directly to diabetics and those who place health and wellness at the forefront. Whether you’re an avid gym-goer or someone seeking a dietary boost, we’re here to assist.

We resonate with the unique challenges diabetics confront when selecting dietary supplements. Our insights are grounded in comprehensive research, expert evaluations, and invaluable feedback from the diabetic community. Rest assured, you’re in capable hands.

Join us as we delve into the top protein powders tailored for diabetics, spotlighting their distinct advantages, key ingredients, and their potential to bolster your health aspirations.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. In diabetes, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin as it should, resulting in too much blood sugar in the bloodstream. Over time, it can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. With that considered, diabetes is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States.

Types of Diabetes

There are three principal types of diabetes: 

  • Type 1 diabetes – Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake), which hinders the body’s insulin production. It’s usually diagnosed among children, teens, and young adults and requires daily insulin supplementation.
  • Type 2 diabetes – In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t maintain normal blood sugar levels. Most people diagnosed with diabetes have this type as it develops over the years and is usually diagnosed in adults but with an increasing trend among the younger population in recent years. 
  • Gestational diabetes – Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women with no history of diabetes and puts the baby at higher risk for health problems like obesity or type 2 diabetes. Having gestational diabetes also increases the mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.


Prediabetes is a serious health condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Over time, it may develop into full-blown type 2 diabetes without proper treatment and lifestyle changes. The CDC shows that approximately 38.0% of all US adults have or have had prediabetes.

Importance of Nutrition in Diabetes Management

Healthcare providers prescribe people suffering from diabetes or prediabetes to a diabetes diet. A diabetes diet consists of healthy foods low in fat, calories, and sugar, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The amount of food is also controlled into certain amounts per meal and following fixed, regular mealtimes. The diet aims to control blood sugar and glucose, manage weight, and control heart disease risk factors.

Various studies have shown that protein supplements can help manage diabetes symptoms by regulating blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity. According to nutritionists and dietitians, protein-rich foods or supplements can greatly benefit people with diabetes since protein digests more slowly than carbohydrates and has a lower risk of blood sugar spikes.

Protein Powders and Diabetes

What is Protein Powder?

Protein is primordial in one’s health and the building block of life, given that every cell in the body has them. They play important roles in the body that help structure, function, and regulate tissues and organs. 

  • Builds muscle mass – Eating adequate amounts of protein-rich food sources or taking protein-based supplements can help build and maintain muscle mass and growth, especially during strength training. 
  • Hastens muscle recovery –  Protein is known to speed up muscle recovery from injuries. On the other hand, insufficient protein intake slows wound healing and may even result in muscle mass loss.
  • Reduces appetite and hunger levels – Protein helps you feel full with less food by reducing levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and increases peptide YY levels, a hormone that makes you feel full to reduce your appetite and food cravings.
  • Helps with weight management – Eating a healthy amount of protein increases one’s metabolism and alters several weight-regulating hormones.
  • Promotes skin and bone growth and development – Since protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin, it’s especially integral for optimal nail and hair growth and skin health.

Sources & Types Of Protein

There are various protein powder sources; the most common ones used in protein powder supplements include:

Animal-based proteins 

  • Whey –  This milk-based protein is the most popular protein powder because it effectively promotes muscle protein synthesis and lean muscle mass growth.
  • Casein – Casein is another milk-based protein that effectively boosts muscle mass growth. It differs from whey because it’s digested more slowly than other proteins, which helps reduce appetite and promote better metabolism.
  • Egg – Eggs are a rich source of protein. The egg white and the yolk contain protein, but the amount of egg white (albumen) is greater than the yolk, which has a greater protein concentration than the albumen.

Plant-based proteins 

  • Soy – Soy protein is the primary protein in soy-based foods like tofu, tempeh, and soy milk. It’s one of the more widely available and affordable plant-based protein sources. 
  • Peas – Pea protein is a high-quality vegan protein sourced from yellow peas, rich in branched-chain amino acids and other minerals. 
  • Nut & seed – Nuts and seeds like hemp, chia, pumpkin, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower, flax, and sesame seeds are particularly rich in protein and other important nutrients.
  • Grain – Protein-rich grains include cornmeal, wheat berries, quinoa, rice, millet, couscous, and oatmeal. 

These protein sources are classified into two types – complete and incomplete proteins. A complete protein contains all amino acids, while incomplete proteins don’t. All animal-based proteins are complete proteins, but some plant-based ones are incomplete protein sources, so they must be combined with other complete plant-based proteins like soy, pea, and seed in the right proportion to obtain a complete profile. 

A healthy and regular protein intake is ideal for one’s overall health, especially for athletes and physically active people with higher protein needs. But its benefits aren’t limited to the fit and healthy…

The Best Protein Powder for Diabetics – The List

1. Essential Elements Protein Powder

Essential Elements Protein Powder

Essential Elements’ 100% organic protein powder helps ensure your body always has enough protein to achieve your wellness goals. It improves workout performance, supports healthy muscle recovery, and works best for a diabetes diet too. 

The formula contains sacha inchi seed, yellow pea, pumpkin seed, and brown rice, which are excellent plant-based sources of proteins, amino acids, naturally occurring omega-3s and important minerals. 

Despite its sugar-free formula, Essential Elements doesn’t sacrifice taste; its vanilla flavor, as its name suggests, is pure and unmistakable. It’s also available in chocolate. 

What We Like

  • Plant-Based Protein Sources: Diabetics often need to be cautious about their intake of animal-based products due to the potential for saturated fats which can impact insulin sensitivity. The protein in this product is derived from Pea, Pumpkin, Rice, and Sacha Inchi, which are plant-based and typically have a lower glycemic index. This means they release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly, aiding in stable blood sugar levels.
  • Low Caloric Content: With only 80 calories per serving, it’s easier for diabetics to manage their daily caloric intake. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for diabetics as excess weight can lead to increased insulin resistance.
  • Acacia Prebiotic: Good gut health can influence blood sugar control and insulin function. The inclusion of Acacia as a prebiotic promotes a healthy gut flora, which can indirectly support better blood sugar regulation in diabetics.
  • No Added Sugars: The natural “Very Vanilla” flavor provides taste without the addition of sugars. Added sugars can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, so a product without them is beneficial for diabetics.
  • High Protein Content: A higher protein intake can slow the absorption of carbohydrates, leading to a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels post-meal. With 15 grams of protein per serving, this powder can help diabetics manage post-meal blood sugar spikes.
  • Free from Common Allergens: Many diabetics also deal with associated health conditions or sensitivities. Being gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, soy-free, peanut-free, shellfish-free, and vegan means fewer potential triggers for related health issues.

Nutritional Profile

Protein BlendAmount Per Serving
Organic Yellow Pea
Organic Brown Rice
Organic Sacha Inchi Seed(Plukenetia volubilis)
Organic Pumpkin Seed
19 g
Organic Tahl Gum (Acacia seyal)2.25 g


  • Made in the USA
  • Non-GMO
  • Third-party tested
  • 100% vegan
  • Allergen-free (Dairy, gluten, soy, nut, and shellfish)
  • No artificial colorants and flavorings
  • Zero sugar
  • Free shipping for subscribers
  • Free, easy cancellation
  • 365-day money-back guarantee


  • The flavor may be too strong for some users

2. Live Conscious Organic Protein Powder

Enjoy pure, plant-based protein with Live Conscious’s Organic Protein, made with a masterful formula of vegan proteins and superfoods to help you maximize your workouts and gain intense muscle gains and strength.

Live Conscious’ organic blend includes yellow pea and pumpkin seed – rich sources of plant proteins; sacha inchi seed, rich in amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids; and brown rice, a plentiful source of methionine. 

Organic Protein is available in vanilla and cacao, which most users find quite tasty. It uses stevia leaf as its sweetener of choice. 

Nutritional Profile

Protein BlendAmount Per Serving

Organic Yellow Pea
Organic Brown Rice
Organic Sacha Inchi Seed (Plukenetia volubilis)
Organic Pumpkin Seed
19.4 g
Organic Tahl Gum (Acacia seyal)2.25 g
Live Conscious Organic Protein Powder close up


  • Made in the USA
  • Uses safe and quality ingredients
  • Vegan
  • Zero sugar
  • Allergen-free (Dairy, gluten, soy, nut, and shellfish)
  • Non-GMO
  • No preservatives or fillers
  • Third-party tested
  • cGMP-compliant
  • Easy cancellation
  • Free shipping


  • Has a chalky texture.

3. Power Life High Impact Plant Protein Powder

High Impact Plant Protein boasts a unique blend of powerful plant proteins, vitamins, and digestive enzymes to strengthen and build muscles, boost physical strength, and support overall wellness and immune support. It also helps maintain a good weight and increases satiety for people with diabetes.

Power Life’s vegan blend of pumpkin, mung bean, flaxseed, and yellow pea; HMB and vitamin D3, which maintains lean muscle mass; pro hydrolase, which promotes healthy nutrient absorption and smooth digestion; chlorella supports whole-body wellness, and chromium transports amino acids to the muscles.


High Impact Plant Protein is available in vanilla and chocolate flavors. 

Nutritional Profile

Amount Per Serving
Protein blend
Vegan Protein Mix (ProteoSMART®)
– Flax
– Pumpkin
– Sunflower
Mung Bean Protein
15 g
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) (Plant Source)20 mcg
Calcium440 mg
Iron4 mg
Potassium360 mg
Power Life Plant Protein Powder close up


  • Made in the USA
  • Uses safe and quality ingredients
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO
  • No preservatives or fillers
  • No hormones and antibiotics
  • Third-party tested
  • cGMP certified
  • Offers 90-day moneyback guarantee
  • Free shipping


  • More expensive compared to most brands

4. Bulk Supplements Whey Protein Isolate 90%

Bulk Supplements’ Whey Protein Isolate Powder helps maximize your workouts by boosting physical performance, supporting healthy muscle growth and recovery, and promoting overall wellness and immune health. 

This protein isolate powder has a standardized 90% protein isolate content, which is purer than whey concentrate. The formula also promotes easier digestion and a lesser risk of bloating. 

Amino Acid Profile

Amino Acid Profile (Amount Per Serving)
Aspartic Acid9.8g
Glutamic Acid15g

*Essential Amino Acids

^Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)


  • Flavorless
  • Gluten-free
  • No additives or fillers
  • Zero sugar
  • Provides free shipping


  • Tends to clump when not mixed properly

5. XWERKS Grow Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

XWERKS Grow exclusively uses 100% pure grass-fed whey protein isolate with naturally occurring branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) thoroughly metabolized by the body and used as sources of muscle energy, which can help make strength workouts more effective and yield better, more visible results.

With over 25 g of protein and over 6g of BCAA’s per serving, it has almost no lactose, carbs, and fats. It’s also naturally sweetened by stevia leaf, which doesn’t greatly impact blood sugar levels. 

Amino Acid Profile

Amino Acid Profile (Amount Per Serving)
Aspartic Acid2662
Glutamic Acid4226

*Essential Amino Acids

^Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)


  • Exclusively uses whey protein isolate from grass-fed New Zealand cows
  • Keto-friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • Easily-digestible
  • Non-GMO
  • No eggs, nuts, or soy
  • Zero sugar and lactose


  • Not suitable for vegans

Factors to Consider

When choosing a protein powder, assessing your needs, dietary restrictions and preferences, fitness goals, and even taste preferences are important to help make the supplementation more effective and consistent. 

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Protein content – Always choose a protein powder with a high protein content per serving. It will help you better meet your daily protein goals, especially if you’re bulking or aiming to gain muscle.
  • Amino acid profile – Make sure that the protein source is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids to better enjoy protein benefits.
  • Taste – Taste is an important factor for consumers when deciding whether they like a product, as it helps the consumer take a liking to the supplement and ensure consistency in consuming and patronizing the brands
  • Sugar content – Avoid products with artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, agave, and brown rice syrup since they are harmful to people with diabetes.
  • Personal dietary restrictions (if any) – You may want to avoid certain protein powder types If you’re vegan/vegetarian, lactose intolerant, on a keto diet, or have food allergies. Always check the label for possible allergens.
  • Price per serving – Price per serving indicates the cost of each portion of a type of food. It is used most often when calculating the price of a single meal, making it a better measure of value than the upfront cost.
  • Price per protein gram – Checking the price per protein gram helps find the best protein-packed option that fits your budget.

How to Use Protein Powder in a Diabetic Diet

Incorporating Protein Powder into Your Diet

Protein powders are usually taken as a pre or post-workout shake/drink. You can also mix any flavor with protein powders as a smoothie base. Protein powders can also be added with oats, eggs, or diabetic-friendly fruits like berries, citrus, apples, and pears. 

Aside from protein shakes and smoothies, you can also mix your protein powders as a blended ingredient for any snack you choose, like oats, yogurt bowls, cookies, pancakes, waffles, and muffins.

Precautions and Side Effects

Protein powders are generally safe when taken properly. When taken in excess, however, it could lead to the following side effects:

Egg, nut, soy, and milk proteins (whey and casein) can cause allergic reactions in people with such allergies and intolerances against them, apart from personal and ethical concerns (vegans/vegetarians).

Some protein powders contain high amounts of sodium, which could lead to bloating and retained body fat. For example, pea proteins are notoriously high in sodium due to their extraction process.

Before starting any new supplement regimen, consult a healthcare professional or dietitian to discuss possible benefits and risks and get expertly-picked recommendations. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can diabetics use protein powder?

Protein powders can be included in a diabetes diet, provided they have low to zero sugar and low carbs and fats.

What should diabetics look for in a protein powder?

An ideal protein powder for people with diabetes should be low in sugar, carbs, and calories and high in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients.

Can protein powder affect blood sugar levels?

Protein powders can help regulate and stabilize blood sugar levels and diminish insulin sensitivity. 

How much protein should a diabetic consume daily?

For most people with diabetes, the recommended daily amount (RDA) of protein you need is the same as those without. 

Are there any side effects of protein powders for diabetics?

Protein powders with high amounts of carbs, fats, and sugars can negatively affect people with diabetes. It can also cause bloating, gas, and nausea in cases of overconsumption. 


  • Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy, often resulting in excess blood sugar in the bloodstream. Over time, it can lead to serious health problems.
  • Protein helps structure, function, and regulate tissues and organs. It also plays an important role in diabetes management by stabilizing blood sugars.
  • Protein powders can safely be added to a diabetes diet, provided that it’s low in fats, carbs, and sugars. 


Diabetes can make you more susceptible to various ailments, but with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle, it can be manageable and possible to live comfortably. Besides building muscle mass and improving physical performance, adding protein powders can also work wonders on a diabetes diet.

Always make an informed decision based on your health needs and preferences by researching a product to see if it meets them. You can also consult a trusted dietitian or healthcare provider to determine your best choice.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

Written by