Protein powder is something that muscle-bound guys lifting weights in the gym would use, right? Well not quite! Sometimes, your kid, yes your kid, may need to have some protein powder for his healthy development. But, is it safe to give kids protein powder? Can it lead to any side effects?
Choosing a healthy protein powder for kids is a daunting task, one which is made tougher by the sheer volume of brands available. But, don’t worry! We at Injustice Stories have compiled a list of the healthiest protein powders for kids here. Also, we talk about the safety of protein powder for kids. So, read on and keep yourself informed.
What Is Protein Powder?
You can find three common kinds of protein powder in the market. Whey, soy, and casein protein. Doctors recommend the intake of whey, a water-soluble milk protein, for kids. Whey protein contains essential amino acids that can fulfill your kid’s dietary requirements.
Types Of Protein Powder For Kids:
Protein triggers the growth process and helps your kid develop strong muscles. But it is recommended to choose a high-protein and low-calorie protein powder for your little one, as it can fulfill the nutritional intake and your kid does not turn obese.
Here are some of the common variations of protein powder available in the market:
1. Whey Protein:
The protein derived from cow’s milk is best suited for small children.
Also called ‘complete protein,’ the whey protein supplies all nine essential amino acids to your kid’s body.
When the protein enters your kid’s bloodstream, it triggers the production of the amino acid leucine, which aids in building muscle.
2. Casein Protein:
The specific protein casein comes from milk and helps in efficient muscle building.
But your kid may feel difficulty digesting the Casein protein and it leaves him to feel fuller for a longer time span.
3. Soy Protein:
– While some swear by the many benefits of soy products, research does not have any conclusive evidence about soy protein’s goodness, especially for children. Soy is one of the eight major foods that most kids are allergic to. A significant majority of children who are allergic to dairy could also be allergic to soy, according to a study. Another study suggested that soy milk may not be as nutritious as dairy milk and kids who drank soy were shorter than the average height.
– So unless your pediatrician or nutritionist has recommended, use caution when giving soy products for your children.
Choosing A Protein Powder For Kids:
When you have settled in selecting the particular protein powder for your kid, you can find countless brands competing in the market.
Here are a few important factors to consider before choosing the particular brand for your kid:
If you have settled on buying the whey protein powder for kids, make sure that the ingredient whey isolate comprises in the product label (ingredient list).
Check the percentage of artificial sweeteners present in the protein powder. Avoid choosing the high ones, as they can elevate your kid’s carb intake and he becomes obese.
Pick a neutral flavor protein powder for children. The most versatile flavors are vanilla flavor and the unflavored ones.
Check that the protein powder your choice comprises of the protein isolates instead of the concentrates, as the isolates are a better and purer form of protein.
High sugar content in protein powder can hamper the metabolic rate of your kid and may only give a short-term energy boost.
Protein Requirements For Kids:
While protein triggers the growth process in kids, but children usually need less amount of protein than adults. When your kid’s age lies between 1 to 3 years, he should get 5-10% of calories from the protein. When he reaches 4 years and above, he should get 10-30% of calories from the protein. For adults, they need 10-35% of calories from the protein.
The protein requirements of your kid may entirely depend upon his age and weight. But in general, a 3-year old kid weighing around 30 pounds may need approximately 16 grams of protein every day.
Is Protein Powder Safe For Your Kid?
Under the normal scenario, your kid may get enough supply of protein through his daily diet that may include fruits, nuts, meat, and vegetables. Therefore, you do not need to include protein powder as supplements. When you start giving protein shake to your kid, the additional protein gets stored in the form of fat in his body and makes him obese. Moreover, a high intake of protein can also lead to kidney damage and dehydration.
TOP 12 best protein powder for kids
#Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey (Editor’s Choice)
If you’re looking for clean protein for your kids, this is what we recommend.
It has no artificial sweeteners, food dyes, gluten, and preservatives. It’s considered one of the cleanest proteins on the market.
With 28g of protein and 120 calories per serving, it’s made from naturally fed, hormone-free cow whey. Additionally, it contains 0g of fat and 1g of carbs, so it’s basically pure protein.
Transparent Labs Whey Protein
28g of premium whey protein isolates per scoop
100% grass-fed whey
Comes in four flavors: chocolate, strawberry, french vanilla, and salted caramel
No artificial ingredients, sweeteners, or colors
May be pricey for some people
Your kids won’t gag from the taste as it’s tasty with water or with milk. My favorite is the chocolate flavor, although there are other flavors like strawberry, french vanilla and salted caramel.
#Ora Organic So Lean & So Clean
If you’re one of those parents who have kids that won’t eat their greens, then you’re not alone.
We have yet to meet a kid who loves eating vegetables wholeheartedly, even though they need those to get the proper amount of nutrients in their bodies. What’s a parent to do?
Enter Ora Organic Vegan Protein Powder. Made with organic superfoods and packed with greens, this protein powder is a great way to get essential nutrients into your kids’ bodies, even if you have a hard time getting them to eat vegetables.
Ora Organic Protein Powder – Vanilla
21 g of organic protein
Mixes very well with water, milk, and food
Only 120 calories per scoop
No fillers (only 1g of sugar)
Maybe a unique taste to your kid.
Since it tastes great even without added sugar, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives, kids will see it as a treat. Also, it mixes well with whole or almond milk.
A bonus is the added digestive enzymes in this protein powder that will help your kids say goodbye to tummy issues — a welcome development for any parent anywhere.
#BPI Sports ISO HD
What’s good about BPI Sports Best Protein is its perfect blend of whey isolates and hydrolysates.
It allows the protein to be easily absorbed into your kids’ bodies so they can get the nutrients that they need right away.
Its muscle-building properties are also especially beneficial for their age because this is when they are most prone to growth disorders and nutrient deficiencies.
Also, we all know that kids are notoriously energetic, and they expend most of this energy by exploring the world around them and engaging in physical activities.
BPI Sports ISO HD Whey Protein
25g of 100% premium whey protein isolates
No fillers (only 2g of sugar)
Contains fast-absorbing protein
Wide range of delicious flavors
Your kids may binge on this delicious drink.
BPI ISO HD assists in muscle recovery so they can continue enjoying their playtime activities with their friends and playmates.
Add to that the fact that this protein powder also tastes good and that it contains no fillers, so your kids will probably enjoy it.
#Paradise Herbs Orac Energy
Paradise Herbs Orac Energy has beneficial probiotics, contains no artificial ingredients, and is gleaned from certified organic sources.
If you’re concerned about the quality of the supplements your children consume, this Paradise Herbs powder should help you rest easy.
While not specifically designed as one of the protein drinks for kids, it’s actually a natural fit given the purity of its composition and its overall effectiveness.
Paradise Herbs Orac Energy protein supplement powder for toddler
Orac Energy from Paradise Herbs helps your kid recover faster from those days when they push themselves physically and won’t cause them to experience bloating or gas.
Free of animal products and artificial fillers
Contains no artificial sweeteners
Does not cause bloating or gas
Makes delicious protein drinks for kids
Lacking in calcium and some other minerals
It’s going to cost a bit more than some other brands, but it’s worth it to know your children are getting the extra protein they need with none of the fillers, sugar and artificial additives they don’t need.
#Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey protein powder for toddlers is high in branch chain amino acids that stimulate muscle growth.
But, before you start thinking your child is going to be transformed into the Hulk, remember that kids’ muscles are constantly growing and evolving.
In fact, kids and their boundless energy put far more stress on their muscles than adults ever will, which is why protein is so important for their health to begin with.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder for Kids(Double Chocolate Flavor)
This type of whey protein for kids has been shown to support a healthy immune system, support fat burning and promote the production of important antioxidants.
Highly effective for kids
High concentrations of protein and glutamine
5.5 grams of important branched-chain amino acids
Makes a great tasting shake
It’s going to cost more than some others
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard is also quite flavorful, and it mixes well with a shake, so they are not likely to reject it.
Pro JYM contains slow, moderate and fast-digesting proteins that help promote long-term synthesis and healthy muscles.
Another great thing about Pro JYM is what it doesn’t contain. There are no “spiking” ingredients. These are sometimes added to the powder because they’re an inexpensive way to boost protein levels.
The problem is those spiking ingredients don’t often provide any actual nutritional value.
JYM with Whey supplement
So, we may be able to say that it’s 15% concentrated but because it contains beta-alanine, creatine or other spiking agents, the effective percentage of protein is actually much lower.
Mixes well with shakes or other food
No spiking ingredients like creatine
3 types of protein for well-balanced digestion
One scoop per day should do it
Costs a bit more than some others
Includes non-dairy creamer for some reason
Pro JYM then is great for keeping track of just how much nutrients your kid is actually getting, which makes those drinks seem all the more sensible.
#SOURCE ORGANIC PREMIUM PEA PROTEIN ISOLATE
The ingredients are as simple as the packaging. It contains only 1 ingredient— organic yellow pea protein isolate.
It is gluten-, soy- and dairy-free as well as suitable for vegans and vegetarians. It has no sugar, no preservatives, no artificial anything. Just simple clean protein.
It is strongly suggested you mix it into a fruit smoothie or juice, as the flavor might not be loved by kids. The flavor isn’t strong, but not pleasant on its own. However, it easily mixes into drinks and smoothies without clumping.
Organic, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free.
Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Only 1 ingredient.
Blends easily into smoothies and drinks.
Must be mixed into a fruit smoothie or drink for the best flavor.
#GRASS FED WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE
This unflavored protein powder contains just 2 ingredients: whey protein isolate and less than 1 percent of non-GMO sunflower lecithin. That’s it.
This whey protein isolate is made from milk from hormone-free grass-fed cows. Kids will not only get a healthy dose of protein but calcium and vitamin A as well.
The powder mixes easily into your kid’s favorite smoothie or drink and can be added into your kid’s favorite recipes like pancakes. Since it is unflavored, it is more versatile than other protein powders.
Only two ingredients! No sugars, sweeteners or preservatives!
Gluten-free and non-GMO.
Unflavored making it versatile to put in virtually any drink, smoothie or food.
Made from milk from grass-fed hormone-free cows.
It takes a while to mix into drinks.
#BARE NECESSITIES KIDS SHAKE VANILLA BEAR
Kids not only love the taste, but you’ll love the fact that it contains no artificial sweeteners, colorings or preservatives. It also includes 11 vitamins and 5 grams of fiber.
This protein powder features pea protein and collagen protein. It does contain 5 grams of coconut palm sugar but is gluten-, dairy- and soy-free. All ingredients are organic and do not contain any GMOs.
One scoop will provide 10 grams of protein and can be easily mixed in smoothies, yogurt or in a dairy-free milk of choice.
Kids love the vanilla taste!
All organic and non-GMO ingredients.
No artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives.
10 grams of protein per serving.
Gluten-, dairy- and soy-free.
Suitable for kids ages 2 and up.
On the expensive side.
#ORGAIN ORGANIC PLANT BASED VANILLA PROTEIN POWDER
One serving of this protein powder will give you 21 grams of plant-based protein that comes from peas, brown rice and chia seeds. And with zero sugars, it is a healthy protein powder choice for kids and even yourself.
This organic protein powder is soy-free, gluten-free and vegan. It contains no GMOs and is naturally sweetened with stevia. It also is a good source of fiber and has 5 grams per serving.
A serving size is 2 scoops, making it easy to cut a serving in half for your child.
Plant-based protein for peas, brown rice and chia seeds.
No artificial ingredients
It has 5 grams of fiber in it.
Gluten-free and soy-free.
It contains no sugar. Sweetened by stevia.
Good vanilla taste.
Mixes well into drinks and smoothies.
It might be a little too sweet for some.
#GARDEN OF LIFE RAW ORGANIC PROTEIN, VANILLA
If your little one has a sensitive tummy, this particular protein powder has probiotics to make digestion a little easier. It’s also full of vitamins including Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin E and more.
The ingredients list might seem a little daunting to look at, but it contains all organic, natural ingredients. The 22 grams of protein per serving comes from a variety of plant-based sources including pea, brown rice, various grains, chia, and others.
It also has a variety of probiotics and enzymes (3 billion CFUs) to help your little one digest this powder. Mixed in water, this protein mix flavor wasn’t a huge hit, but blended into smoothies it worked great.
No sugar, dairy or soy.
It contains probiotics for easy digestion.
Organic and non-GMO.
Contains vitamins such A, D, E and K
The flavor wasn’t great when mixed in water. Best mixed in smoothies.
#OPTIMUM NUTRITION 100% WHEY PROTEIN POWDER, DOUBLE RICH CHOCOLATE
You don’t need to be looking to increase muscle mass to take this protein powder. This whey protein powder is great for kids. Even the pickiest eater will love the double chocolate flavor all while getting the protein their growing body needs.
One scoop of this powder is packed with 21 grams of protein and only 1 gram of sugar per serving. We don’t love that it does contain some artificial flavor, but for the extra picky eater, this chocolate taste might win them over.
Packed with protein in one scoop.
Tasty chocolate flavor kids will love.
Only 1 gram of sugar.
It contains artificial flavor.
Q: Can my child have too much protein?
A: Yes! Too much protein in your child’s body can make their kidneys work overtime and potentially make kids dehydrated. If using a protein powder supplement for your child, be sure not to give them too much and stay within the recommended range of protein which as previously mentioned is 1 gram of protein for every 2.2 kg of body weight.
Q: My child doesn’t like shakes or smoothies. What else can I put protein powder in?
A: While a go-to for protein powder is to make a protein shake or smoothie, most protein powders are versatile enough to add to many more things! Here are some ideas:
Add a scoop to your child’s yogurt or pudding.
Add it to waffle or pancake batter.
Make protein balls. (Here’s a recipe!)
Add a scoop to cookie or muffin batter for protein-powered treats!
Mix into your child’s oatmeal.
Choosing the best protein powder for kids along with knowing the correct amount of protein your child needs is essential if you want to add it to their diet. Sticking with protein powder with as few ingredients as possible and no added sugars or artificial ingredients is key.
I hope you find the right protein powder for your children!