Guide to Beef Protein Powder for Bodybuilding

Bodybuilders are always looking for the ideal supplement to help them maintain the muscle mass they work so hard for in the gym. There seems to be a different type of protein powder on the market for every athlete, so which reigns supreme? Whey protein has long dominated the market, but beef protein powder is an excellent alternative.

What is Beef Protein Powder?

Beef protein powder is exactly what it sounds like: beef is dehydrated and processed (available in both flavored and unflavored forms) into a fine water-soluble powder that can then be blended or shaken into your liquid of choice. It’s typically sourced from lean cuts of beef, like the ones you buy at the grocery store for lunch and dinner.

What are the Benefits of Beef Protein Powder?

There are many benefits of adding a beef protein powder to your diet. First, beef proteins are dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, and nut-free, making them great choices for athletes on strict dieting protocols or with sensitive bodily symptoms like those that have food allergies.

One of the most common complaints about powdered supplements is that they are unpleasant to take, which means athletes don’t always stick with them. Beef is also one of the protein sources that dissolves completely in water, meaning there is no gritty texture or unpleasant aftertaste to deal with. The best supplements, after all, are the ones taken consistently and not just sitting idly in a cabinet.

Beef protein is notably stacked full of amino acids among whey protein alternatives. Whey protein does contain more amino acids than beef. But beef protein still covers the bases, for the most part, in essential building blocks for muscle gain and recovery. The one amino acid it’s lacking in is tryptophan (as seen in the table below). 

EAAs in Beef Protein vs. Whey Protein
Amino AcidsBeef Protein (g/100g) Whey Protein (g/100g)
Methionine 1.21.74

Studies also find it to be equally effective as whey for muscle building, meaning you aren’t making any compromises. [1]

What’s the Difference Between Beef Protein and Whey Protein?

Whey and beef protein are two of the most identical protein sources on the market today. They digest at nearly the same rate, with whey being slightly faster digesting. Both proteins are packed full of amino acids and other crucial micronutrients for lifters of all types, especially bodybuilders.

The most notable difference for many athletes is that whey protein contains lactose, a common digestive irritant and a source of bloating for some athletes. Beef protein is dairy and lactose-free

Is Beef Protein a Good Alternative to Whey Protein?

Beef protein is an excellent alternative for those looking to cut the whey out of their diets. It is a nutritionally complete protein that contains long-lasting amino acids to help bodybuilders reach their muscle-building goals.

These long-lasting amino acids are especially beneficial to athletes in cutting phases and where they may get fewer BCAAs and EAAs from their standard diet.

How Much Beef Protein Should You Take Per Day?

The average bodybuilding athlete will likely have a protein goal of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day. While powdered protein supplements can be great for bridging the nutritional gaps between meals, it’s always preferred that most of the daily caloric intake be from real whole foods during meals.

That said, many athletes comfortably consume 40 grams of protein per day from beef protein powder with no negative side effects because of how effectively it absorbs into the body.

When is the Best Time to Take Beef Protein Powder?

If you’re looking for a post-workout shake, beef protein digests nearly as quickly as whey, so it is ideal for recovery after training. Remember, if this quick digestion is the goal, you should mix your beef protein powder with water rather than blending it with other ingredients in a smoothie (like peanut butter or yogurt), which can slow digestion down.

Beef protein is also very easy on the stomach, so it is an excellent option for those who practice intermittent fasting or as the first meal of the day before something denser like oats.

Beef Protein Side Effects

You’ll rarely find an athlete with adverse side effects from ingesting beef protein, even those who have multiple shakes a day.  

Like any supplement, you will want to monitor your intake for any uncomfortable side effects like possible bloating or upset stomach. When taking any concentrated supplements like powdered proteins, don’t forget to drink plenty of water to aid with digestion.

Best Beef Protein Powders

To help you choose the best beef protein powder for your needs, here are three great options hand-picked by us.

Earth Fed Beef Collagen Protein
Earth Fed Beef Protein Powder

For the purists on strict paleo or ketogenic dies, Earth Fed is an amazing natural company. The Earth Fed protein powder is marketed as a collagen protein, but it’s sourced from beef with collagen as an added ingredient for an extra boost. This powdered grass-fed beef protein has very limited ingredients, and its beef is sourced from high-quality farms. Their protein is available in several flavors as well as unflavored options.

Bulk Supplements Beef Protein Isolate
Bulk Supplements Beef Protein Isolate Powder

When looking for the best ingredients at the best price, Bulk Supplements is a household name in the bodybuilding community. This company is no-frills, but they take their sources seriously and ensure all of their products go through thorough third-party testing. Their high standards mean you always get a great product.

True Nutrition Beef Protein Isolate
True Nutrition Beef Protein Isolate Powder

True Nutrition sells small 1lb bags of beef protein, which comes in dozens of fun flavors like spiced rum, fruity cheesecake, horchata, and more! If you have trouble finishing a large tub of protein because the flavor gets old, they are a great option to add some fun back into the daily protein shake.


If you’re looking to cut the dairy out of your diet, beef protein is probably the highest quality protein you’ll find to replace the whey in your cabinet. Beef protein is incredibly supportive of muscle-building goals and is quite cost-effective as well. 

Remember all good things in moderation, and be sure to prioritize protein from whole foods in your diet instead of letting your protein shakes do all the heavy lifting for you.

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