While shopping protein powders, most people are so hung up over the protein content that they hardly check the Nutrition Facts.
How much sugar does it contain?
What flavors does it use?
If it’s using artificial sweeteners, which ones?
What about sodium?
Not surprisingly, this is why brands manage to get away with mislabeling, under-dosing, adding tons of fillers and artificial flavoring that just bloat the powder.
One of the most crucial ingredients that you’ve got to watch out for is sodium.
What is Sodium?
Sodium is a mineral/electrolyte that serves some very important biological functions in the body.
It controls fluid balance, muscle function, nerve impulses and blood volume.
In fact, if the levels of sodium in your blood fall below a certain threshold, then it can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, confusion, weakness, and headaches.
In rare cases, it can even be fatal.
On the contrary, if the levels of sodium in your blood increase beyond a certain threshold, then the results are not nearly as dramatic.
It works slow and steady. Creeping up without you even noticing, until it starts to affect every major organ and bodily system.
While the terms salt and sodium are often used interchangeably, they aren’t really the same.
Salt or Table Salt rather, is Sodium Chloride of which only 40% is sodium while 60% is chloride. That said, it is the addition of table salt that results in the sodium content spike of many processed foods.
Why Sodium in Protein Powder is Not Ideal
Sodium is omnipresent.
It’s everywhere around you, hiding in almost every single packaged food on the supermarket aisle, often in copious amounts, despite there being tons of studies about its ill-effects.
It is estimated that the average American eats close to 3500mg of Sodium a day.
The maximum recommended intake is just 2300mg.
The ideal intake is much less, around 1500mg, especially if you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
For any packaged food to be considered low in sodium, it must contain 140mg or less of sodium. Most protein powder brands contain in excess of 400mg of Sodium in each serving.
If you are consuming, say, 1000mg of Sodium from the rest of your diet and you are adding three to four scoops of sodium-crammed protein powder, suddenly, that number spikes to extreme levels.
If you do the math, you might be surprised to know that many of us may be consuming almost 5000mg of sodium, every single day.
The question that a lot of people ask is, why is sodium added to protein powder in the first place?
That’s cause it’s cheap, it makes everything tastier and it adds to the shelf life. Three amazing qualities that any brand would love their products to have.
So you have tons of sodium sneaked into protein powders, which can instantly increase the amount of water pulled into your blood vessels, thereby increasing your blood pressure.
It will also make you bloated and puffy, which can give you a fake sense of ‘gains’.
Over a period of time, the constant elevated blood pressure can lead to hypertension, which is one of the leading contributors to cardiac disease, which in turn is responsible for close to 650,000 deaths in America every year.
The Best Low Sodium Protein Powders
When we set out to discover the best protein powders with low sodium, were we in for a surprise.
Most of the brands that we had used before had much more than the stipulated 140mg low sodium limit that we were looking for.
But after spending a few days scrutinizing ingredients labels, we found not one, but 8 protein powders, all with less than 140mg of sodium.
Strap in and enjoy the read.
1. GenePro Next Gen - Best Un-Flavored Low Sodium Protein Powder
Genepro Next Generation Protein Review
Sodium: 33mg only per Serving
With just 33mg of sodium in each serving, the GenePro Next Gen Protein powder has amongst the cleanest ingredient labels that we’ve seen in a long time.
The fact that it is flavorless, odorless and sugar free as well, means that there’s less junk in there to be worried about.
Each serving gives you 30 grams of high quality whey that has a whopping 91% absorption rate.
The powder mixes phenomenally well with water, juice or even soda. You can just add it to any beverage to increase the protein content without worrying about carbs or calories.
It is surpassingly low on carbs and is a perfect match for anyone looking for a low-calorie, low-sodium, high protein drink.
For example, if you have just undergone bariatric surgery or have gastric problems with conventional protein powders, this one will fit the bill.
One of the best parts is the Amino acid profile which is based purely on the protein. It is not spiked or altered in anyway. Like we said, really clean stuff.
2. Norcal Organic - Best All Natural Organic Low Sodium Protein Powder
Norcal Organic Whey Protein Review
Sodium: 40mg per serving
Norcal Organic is an all-natural, organic whey protein powder that uses one of the cleanest sourced whey in the industry.
To be honest, we were a little skeptical since Norcal does not add any colors, flavors or preservatives in their powder. How would it mix, or taste?
Quite surprisingly, it tastes just like full cream milk. The texture is creamy and delicious.
The added organic sunflower lecithin makes the powder extremely easy to mix with water or milk, even if you do not have access to a blender.
It is sourced from Northern Californian farms that use grass-fed whey devoid of any rBGH/rBST hormones, that’s processed without using acids or bleaches.
Each serving gives you 21grams of quality protein.
While that might seem to be low as compared to most run-of-the-mill whey protein powders, we’ve come to realize that when it comes to protein, more is not always better.
It’s the quality of the protein that matters more than the quantity, and this is amongst the best that you can buy.
At just 40mg/serving, the sodium content is extremely low as well.
3. ProMix Protein - Best Grass-fed low sodium protein powder
Promix Protein Review
We like the ProMix Grass-Fed, undenatured protein powder for two reasons.
- With just 60mg of Sodium per serving, it’s perfect for this list of best protein powders with low sodium.
- It is the only brand that offers 3rd party verification for its concentration of Glutathione, which many experts tout to be the best antioxidant.
In addition to this, each serving of the powder gives you 25 grams of grass-fed whey sourced from Northern Californian farms. Completely free of corn, soy, gluten, hormones, antibiotics and all other shit that have tainted the dairy industry beyond repair.
There are 5.9 grams of BCAAs each serving, which avoids the need to add them separately to your diet.
Just 0.75% sunflower lecithin is added to increase the solubility and this makes it extremely easy to get your shake on-the-go.
The texture is amazing and it is available in four flavors, Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter and Vanilla. Oh, there’s also the unflavored version.
Despite the flavoring, all of these are very low in sugar as well.
Clean, every day whey protein!
4. Garden of Life - Best Plant Based Low Sodium Protein Powder
Garden of Life Protein Review
If you have lactose intolerance or are looking to avoid dairy products in general, then you’ll love this plant-based protein powder from Garden Of Life.
It uses pea-protein, which is considered to be amongst the best sources of plant-based protein. Each serving gives you 15 grams of pure, USDA-certified organic protein.
Again, that might not be as much as what you’d get with normal whey. But a plant-based protein with low sodium is a difficult checklist. This one ticks both. Also, it’s sugar-free.
Each serving has just 80mg of sodium. Even if you take two scoops to increase the protein intake to 30 grams, you will still be consuming just 160mg of sodium, which is a lot lesser than what a 1 oz. bag of potato chips contains.
In addition to the protein, the Garden of Life sport protein powder also contains 5 grams of BCAAs and a blend of antioxidants sourced from berries, Apples, Cherries and Turmeric.
The BCAAs help in quicker recovery while the antioxidants help protect free radical damage that can be caused due to vigorous workouts.
If you are looking for a certified clean, vegan protein source, this is your best bet.
5. Naked Whey - Cheapest Low Sodium Protein Powder
Naked Whey Protein Review
If you are looking to get your daily protein intake without spending an arm and a leg, then you’ll love this whey protein powder from Naked Whey.
It is cheap, it is effective and it uses premium-quality, grass-fed whey sourced from family-owned farms in the United States. That’s Northern California to be more precise. Not Wisconsin, where the pasture-time for cows is very limited.
The cows in Northern Californian farms on the other hand spend 19+ hours a day on pasture and this is considered to be one of the most important factors that affects the quality of Whey.
There are no additives, no flavoring, no GMO, no SOY, no growth hormones and no junk. Just pure whey protein that’s rich and creamy in texture.
It is available in four flavors in addition to the unflavored version, which seems to be fast gaining popularity amongst athletes.
The Whey is cold-processed and there’s no acid or bleach involved which can contaminate it. Also, there’s 5.9 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs in each serving, which helps amplify recovery.
For those interested in the sodium content, it’s just 45mg. For 25 grams of protein, that’s extremely low.
6. Nutricost whey Isolate - Cheapest all natural flavorless low sodium protein powder
Nutricost Whey Protein Isolate Review
Affordable, clean and all-natural, if that sums up your protein powder wishlist, then here’s Nutricost, one of the best protein powders with low sodium.
This is just pure Whey protein. It is unflavored, it has no additives and it is undenatured.
Completely non-GMO and Gluten-free as well.
Mixes perfectly without leaving large chunks of undissolved powder. You can top it up with fruits, veggies or any of your preferred flavoring methods.
For those who prefer to pamper their taste buds, the Nutricost Whey is also available in Chocolate and Vanilla flavors. The reason why we prefer the unflavored version is because of the sodium content.
The unflavored one has just 65mg of Sodium in each serving whereas the Vanilla has 160mg and Chocolate has 180mg.
With 25 grams of Whey protein in each serving, and just 1 gram of Carbohydrates and 1 gram of sugar, it is perfect for weight watchers or anyone who’s looking for a low-carb option.
Despite being one of the cheapest Whey protein powders in the market currently, Nutricost doesn’t cut corners. Its Whey is sourced from North American farms only, from pasture-grazing, grass-fed cows.
7. Now Sports Whey Isolate
Now Sports Whey Protein Isolate Review
This Whey Isolate Powder from Now Sports is amongst the most popular ones used by athletes and bodybuilders alike.
For starters, it contains 25 grams of Micro filtered whey protein in each serving. It’s unflavored, without any added sugar or artificial sweeteners even. There’s a tiny bit of Sunflower Lecithin for its solubility and you’ll be surprised at how easily this blends with water even with a shaker.
The Whey is premium quality and does not contain any GMO, steroids, soy or antibiotics. It is Kosher with Diary and perfect for athletes on the Ketogenic diet as well.
Coming to the sodium, there’s just 45mg in each serving, which is amongst the lowest that you can find.
While it does contain BCAAs, which we believe is naturally-occurring from the Protein, we weren’t able to find the actual concentration. That’s not a biggie though, is it?
If you were looking for the best Whey Protein powder with low sodium, from a reputed brand, you’ve just found it.
Best Protein Powder with No sodium
There are certain health conditions that demand a high protein intake with absolutely no added sodium.
For example, certain liver diseases or muscle wasting conditions like cachexia caused due to cancer.
Even some athletes who are closely monitoring their sodium levels for contest prep look for protein powders with no sodium.
Here’s one of them.
Native Organic Hemp - Top Protein Powder with Zero Sodium
Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Review
Not only does this Nutiva Native Organic hemp powder give you 15 grams of protein in each serving, you also get 8 grams of dietary fiber, which is 32% of your daily recommended intake.
Bump that to two scoops and you’ve got 30 grams of protein and 64% of your fiber intake, which will keep you feeling full and prevent overeating.
If you are watching your weight or looking to lose weight even, Nutiva organic hemp is a great choice.
Oh, it’s just 9 grams of carbohydrates in each serving, which is perfect for LCHF diets as well as for the Ketogenic diet.
Before we forget to mention, it is completely sodium-free.
Hemp Protein is terribly underrated. But it’s fast becoming one of the most popular sources of botanical protein and is considered to be even better than peas.
If you still haven’t tried it, give it a shot now.
Best Low Sodium Meal Replacements
A lot of working people as well as athletes these days look to replace one or more of their meals with meal replacement powders.
We aren’t really talking about the meal replacement shakes of yore which were crammed with calories and sugar and junk.
Modern day meal replacements boast of ingredient labels cleaner than you think. These have tailored macro and micronutrient ratios, are low calorie and are even low sodium as we just found out.
However, when it comes to meal replacement shakes, 140mg is almost impossible to find. Well, almost.
Instead, 350mg of Sodium is considered to be a decent enough value to go by.
Here are the best of low sodium meal replacement powders.
1. Garden of Life Meal Replacement
Garden of Life Meal Replacement Review
How about some super foods to go along with your daily mid-day meal? That’s what you get with the Garden of Life Meal replacement shake.
In addition to 20 grams of clean, plant-based protein in each shake, there are 44 super foods.
There’s an organic fiber blend, an organic fruit and veggies blend, a raw organic greens blend, and a probiotic and enzymes blend.
Some of the ingredients in these blends alone make it completely worth it.
There’s spirulina, barley, wheat grass, Alfalfa, spinach, garlic, asparagus. We could go on forever.
Even the protein is a higher-quality, blended one, not just pea-protein which is usually the case. The protein sources include Brown rice, buckwheat sprouts, Amaranth and Quinoa amongst others.
Despite the addition of so many ingredients, many of them raw foods which warrant the use of sodium, the Garden of life shake contains just 140mg of Sodium and just 115 calories.
Even if you consume four of these in a day, you’ll be using just 560mg of sodium. In comparison, a Big mac has 460mg of sodium. Go figure.
This is one of the best meal replacements with low sodium.
2. Ensure Meal Replacement - Best Low Sodium Nutrition Drink
- Protein: 16 grams
- Carbs: 19 grams
- Sodium: 210mg
- Sugars: 4 grams
- Vitamins and Minerals: 27
- Calories: 160
Ensure Meal Replacement Shake Review
Hate carrying that meal replacement packet along to work or on the field?
Check out this ready-to-drink beverage which is essentially, a full meal in a bottle. It’s the Ensure Nutritional Shake and it’s one of our favorites.
It gives you 16 grams of protein, just 19 grams of carbs and merely 160 calories per shake. You get all 27 essential vitamins and minerals as well.
One of the challenges with convenient meals and takeaways is that it’s impossible to meet your protein requirements with it. That’s also a common problem faced by seniors, people who have health conditions that deplete appetite or anyone who works and finds it impossible to fix a meal.
Ensure’s Nutritional Shake allows you to meet your daily protein requirement without fussing over meal preps or counting calories. Just two of these shakes a day will give you 32 grams of protein while adding just 320 calories to your daily calorie count.
To add to this, there’s just 210mg of Sodium in each bottle.
It is available in four delicious flavors and the chocolate is our personal favorite.
If you are looking for a higher protein concentration, check out the Ensure Enlive which gives you 20 grams of protein in a shake.
Last but not the least, we have the mother of all meal replacement powders, Soylent.
This is the brand that revolutionized meal replacements in the United States, setting the tone for the bustling market that we see today.
Despite all the competition, it continues to be one of the bestselling meal replacement powders.
With Soylent, you get 20 grams of protein and 39 grams of carbohydrates with 400 calories in each shake.
The sodium content at 320mg is unarguably higher than most other options that we’ve listed here. But you’ve got to realize that this is a complete meal we are talking about.
If you take a Soylent shake, you won’t be feeling hungry for hours, which means that the chances of you munching on that salty snack are close to zilch. In other words, you are unlikely to eat more sodium.
Even if you take five soylent shakes a day, you still consume just 1600mg of Sodium, which is pretty close to the recommended intake for people with hypertension. So you are good to go.
In addition to this, each Soylent shake gives you 20% of your RDA of all essential vitamins and minerals.
That’s it folks. There are some terrific low sodium nutritional shakes in this list to suit all types of dietary and fitness requirements.
To summarize what you just read, our recommendation for the best low sodium protein powder is the GenePro Next Gen. 30 grams of Pure Whey Protein in each serving at just 33mg of Sodium. It’s a no-brainer choice. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better pick.
The only deterrent that someone could have is that the protein is not natural.
If all-natural is what you’re looking for, then check out the Norcal Organic one.
Completely organic, no antibiotics, flavors or additives. Gives you a decent 25 grams of protein and contains just 44 grams of Sodium. Not bad at all.
Our pick for the best meal replacement with low sodium is Garden of Life. 20 grams of protein, 44 super foods and just 140mg of Sodium. Hard to beat that. You can check out a detailed review of it over here.
If you have anything to add to this, do write to us or give us a holler in the comments box below.