Best Low-Calorie Protein Powder

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By Jack Cincotta, MS

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

best low calorie protein powder

Protein powders are supplement staples and don’t seem to be going anywhere for the time being. This makes sense. After all, protein powders act as a convenient, pretty low-cost way to get more protein into your diet in order to support muscle growth, recovery, and other areas.

However, some protein powders are filled with sugar and excess calories, and thus may not be the best choices if you’re looking to maintain your weight or lose fat. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of low-calorie protein powders out there that can provide a boost for your muscles without affecting your waistline or metabolism.

In this article, we’re going over the top four low-calorie protein powders to buy that can best suit your needs and fitness goals!

Best Low-Calorie Protein Powders

We won’t keep you waiting. Our top four low-calorie protein powders are:

  • Crazy Nutrition Tri-Protein
  • Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate
  • High Impact Plant Protein
  • Live Conscious Protein

Crazy Nutrition Tri-Protein

Best Overall

Crazy Nutrition Tri-Protein is a high-quality protein supplement with different forms of protein such as whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate and casein. 

These are designed to deliver fast, moderate, and slow-digesting sources of protein (hence the “Tri” in Tri-Protein) for maximum muscle support.

Each serving delivers 24g of protein and only has 110 calories, less than 1g of fat, and about 2g of carbs. Plus, Crazy Nutrition Tri-Protein has added digestive enzymes for gut health.

crazy nutrition tri protein

Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate

Best Whey

Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate contains an impressive 28g of protein per serving. It comes from fully grass-fed, grass-finished cows for superior nutrients and overall quality.

There is only 120 calories, 1g of carbs, and no fat per 1-scoop serving. And Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate is also Informed Sport Certified and free from all artificial ingredients.

Not to mention it comes in 12 delicious flavors, such as Chocolate Peanut Butter and Cinnamon French Toast.

transparent labs whey protein isolate

High Impact Plant Protein

Best Plant Protein

High Impact Plant Protein by Power Life is a great plant protein powder with 15g of protein coming from pea, rice, mung bean, and other quality sources.

This formula also has HMB and vitamin D3 for added muscle support, as well as digestive enzymes and marine algae for overall health.

High Impact Plant Protein is also very low-calorie at only 80 calories per serving, with just 1g of fat and 4g of carbs per serving.

High Impact Plant Protein

Live Conscious Protein

Best Value

Live Conscious is an organic, non-GMO, quality protein. Each serving offers 15g of protein, which comes from pea, brown rice, sacha inchi, and pumpkin seed.

It only uses natural flavors, doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients, and is free of major allergens.

Additionally, Live Conscious Organic Protein has only 80 calories, 3g of carbs, and 0.5g of fat per serving. The regular price is about $2 per serving, but with their bulk and subscription options you can lower the cost down to just $1.45 per serving.

live conscious organic protein

What are Low-Calorie Protein Powders?

Low-calorie protein powders are protein supplements specifically formulated to contain high amounts of protein with little to no carbs and fats, which results in fewer overall calories.

Typically, these supplements are under 150 calories per serving. They provide around 15 to 30g of protein and usually less than 5g of both carbs and fats.

People choose low-calorie protein powders in order to provide high amounts of protein without adding in unnecessary calories. So this is usually a good option for anyone who wants to be careful with their diet, including bodybuilders, weightlifters, athletes, and general health enthusiasts. 

This is in contrast to mass gainers or other high-calorie protein-based supplements which are typically only used by people looking to gain a lot of weight in a relatively short period of time.

Benefits of Low-Calorie Protein Powders

Low-calorie protein powders have many possible benefits. For example, even though they’re low-calorie, they’re high in protein. And this can provide benefits for muscle growth, strength, and recovery. 

Not to mention the protein can help keep you fuller for longer, which can reduce cravings and help you stick to your diet plan (if you have one). Over time, this can also lead to weight loss support.

Additionally, low-calorie protein powders can help you hit your daily protein requirements. Oftentimes, bodybuilders, weightlifters, and other athletes have a hard time consuming enough protein through food alone, especially during intense training periods. So, these low-cal protein supplements can make it easier to hit your goals, which can be a great help especially if you get sick of chewing and eating regular food.

How to Choose the Best Low-Calorie Protein Powder

In order to choose the best low-calorie protein powder, there are several factors to consider.

First, consider the type of protein you want. There are many low-calorie options for plant proteins, whey protein, and mixed protein supplements, so take time to figure out which one you prefer the most.

Next, the dose of protein per serving is important. Aim for around 15 to 30g of protein per serving. The exact dose you need depends on body size, activity level, workout intensity, and how much protein you get through your normal diet. But this range is a general target that can help meet the needs of most people.

Also, quality is highly important, which is why the low-calorie protein powder you get should be:

  • Made in a cGMP, FDA-registered facility
  • Free from artificial ingredients
  • Properly tested for purity, safety, and potency

Other features that may be important to you, depending on individual preferences are:

  • Organic
  • Vegan
  • Paleo/Keto-Friendly
  • Non-GMO
  • Grass-Fed (if using whey)
  • Full label transparency

Finally, if taste is important to you, it’s important to look for protein supplements that have a variety of available flavors. Reading the product reviews can also help you determine if people like the taste or not. 

Low Calorie Protein Powder

Additional Information (FAQ)

How many calories are in low-calorie protein powders?

This varies a little bit from one product to the next. But generally, most low-calorie protein powders are less than 120 calories per serving, and typically have fewer than 5g of both carbs and fats per serving. 

When should I take low-cal protein powders?

For best results, low-calorie protein powders can be taken with breakfast, in between meals, or post-workout. 

Their high protein content may help to curb hunger and reduce snacking, despite the low total number of calories. 

Who are low-calorie protein powders best for?

Low-calorie protein powders are best for people who want to boost their protein intake without adding in excessive amounts of calories, carbs, and fats.

As such, they may be good options for bodybuilders, especially during a cut or maintenance phase. Beyond this, these protein powders can be great for anyone who’s concerned mainly with just getting enough protein in their diet but still wants to watch their overall calorie intake.

Are there any people who shouldn’t use low-calorie protein powders?

These protein powders may not be the best choice for people who want to pack on a lot of muscle and weight. If you’re trying to gain significant amounts of weight, it’s best to choose a higher-calorie protein powder such as a mass gainer.

With that said, you could also make your own mass gainer by using the low-calorie protein powder and combining it with whole foods, such as fruit, milk, and peanut butter (which makes a nice smoothie).

How do I know which form of protein is best for me?

The main forms of protein powders are whey, milk, casein, and various plant proteins such as pea or brown rice.

If you have a lactose intolerance, it’s best to either choose a plant protein or whey protein isolate, which is much lower in lactose. 

If you have a dairy sensitivity or allergy, then you need to go with a plant protein.

Otherwise, if you don’t have any issues with dairy or lactose, any of the whey or casein protein options are fine. Some products also use combinations of whey, casein, and milk protein which is an effective combo too. 

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Jack Cincotta, MS

Jack Cincotta is a certified holistic health coach through AFPA and a board-certified holistic health practitioner through AADP. He has written hundreds of articles on nutrition and supplementation. Jack has a M.S. degree in Psychology and is passionate about researching the science behind nutrition. He often uses research-backed supplementation protocols for many of his clients to optimize results.