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Whey is one of the most common types of protein used in protein powder, and it has many benefits.
In addition, given that whey is isolated from milk, it’s naturally gluten-free. However, you may wonder if this applies to all products that contain it, such as whey protein powders.
This article explains how to identify gluten-free whey protein powders.
Gluten in whey protein powders
Most whey protein powders contain additional ingredients, such as flavorings, stabilizers, or preservatives.
This means that some powders are made with gluten-containing ingredients.
There’s also a risk of cross-contamination with gluten if a whey protein powder is manufactured in the same facility as other products that contain gluten. This is a risk even if the product itself does not contain a glutenous ingredient.
Some whey protein powders contain gluten or may be contaminated with it.
How to tell if your whey protein powder is gluten-free
In the United States, if the label claims a product is gluten-free, that product must be made with gluten-free ingredients and contain fewer than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten (
These labeling requirements make it simple to identify gluten-free whey protein powders.
Furthermore, you can choose protein powders that have been certified gluten-free by a third-party organization, such as the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).
To receive the GFCO seal of approval, products must contain no more than 10 ppm of gluten. This is more stringent than the standard required by law.
If you are following a strict diet for celiac disease, you may want to contact the product manufacturer if you have any concerns or questions.
Ingredients to avoid
You should abstain from certain ingredients when following a gluten-free diet.
Avoid wheat, rye, barley, and all ingredients derived from them, such as wheat flour.
In addition, you should be aware of several tricky ingredients that contain gluten — despite appearing not to.
The following are some of these ingredients:
- brewer’s yeast
- graham flour
- hydrolyzed wheat protein
- modified wheat starch
- oats, unless they are certified gluten-free
- natural and artificial flavors
- certain types of food coloring
- modified food starch
These ingredients may be cause for concern in products that are not verified gluten-free.
That said, if they are listed on the label of a certified gluten-free product, the product and all its ingredients do not contain gluten.
Look for whey protein powders that are labeled gluten-free or have been certified gluten-free by a third-party organization. You should also avoid all ingredients made with wheat, rye, or barley.
Gluten-free whey protein powders
Here are a few examples of some gluten-free whey protein powders:
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder. This protein powder contains 24 grams of protein per scoop (30 grams).
- Naked Whey 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder. This product contains 25 grams of protein per 2 scoops (30 grams).
- Orgain Grass-Fed Clean Whey Protein Powder. This version contains 21 grams of protein per 2 scoops (41 grams).
These are just a few of the different brands and flavors of gluten-free whey protein powder available online.
There are many different varieties of gluten-free whey protein powders available online.
The bottom line
Whey protein is naturally gluten-free. However, many whey protein powders may contain added gluten or be cross-contaminated with it.
Look for protein powders with a third-party seal of approval, which ensures that a product meets strict criteria.
Several gluten-free whey protein options are available to help you build muscle and improve your performance.