DietGluten-freeIs Whey Gluten-free?

Is Whey Gluten-free?

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David Larsen
I’m a husband, dad, food blogger, photographer, writer, social media boss, entrepreneur.

The wave of gluten-free products does not seem to slow down even after how many years. One of the gluten-free products at the forefront would be whey. There are a lot of contentions surrounding whey products especially the question, is it really gluten-free? 

To know more about this question and to be enlightened with some whey products that you often see and even use, here are all the FAQs about gluten-free whey. 

is whey gluten free top

What is whey made from?

Whey is basically the watery portion of milk after it is curdled and strained. Milk is 80% casein and 20% whey.

The whey is then isolated and processed to make whey powder which is the base component of almost all protein shakes used by bodybuilders in fast muscle build-up and as a substitute for dairy and carbonated drinks. 

Whey can be made into isolates, concentrates, and can be modified to enhance enzymes for bodybuilding and for protein buildup. Some also come dried and are incorporated into baked goods. They are also turned into ice cream and other tasty products that everybody could enjoy without guilt. 

Is whey gluten-free?

whey protein

In principle, whey is gluten-free. You would find that there are variants of whey. There is the whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate and they are all gluten-free. But when the whey concentrate is made into protein powders, it becomes a different story.

Whey is one of the most popular base components of protein shakes and other fitness products, however, due to product competition, preservatives, stabilizers, and sweeteners are often added. 

Sometimes, it might even be cross contaminated with glutenous compounds because of shared facilities for whey manufacturers. The point is, not all whey products that claim to be gluten-free are really gluten-free. 

Is whey dairy-free?

Because whey is derived from milk, it is not considered as dairy-free. The good news is that the dairy content has been significantly lessened because as have been covered here, whey is the watery portion of milk and does not contain that much dairy compared to casein, another component of milk.

Because of this fact, you have to take whey with caution especially if you have dairy allergies. As such, it is still very important for you to research the product or contact its manufacturers for your safety. 

Is whey lactose-free?

No. Straight from the cow or goat, whey contains 75% of lactose. When processed through whey isolates, the lactose content is diminished by 30-40%.

This is still significant for people with lactose intolerance. As such, if you are suffering from lactose intolerance, it might be best if you look for vegan alternatives for your protein powder to prevent adverse effects. 

Is whey safe for people with celiac disease? 

Given that whey is generally gluten-free in all of its forms (dried, concentrate, isolate, hydrolysate), it is safe to say that it is good for people with celiac disease. However, it should be taken in moderation if you have dairy and lactose intolerance because again, whey is derived from milk. 

When the slightest reaction occurs, it is recommended that people with celiac diseases, dairy allergies, and those with lactose intolerance switch to whey isolate or just ditch whey altogether and go for non-dairy protein powders. 

Is it safe to take whey even without workout? 

whey in workout

Yes. As a matter of fact, the effect of whey protein without workout is very underrated. Experts assert that consuming whey products without training have a significant effect on weight loss especially in curbing cravings.

It is also efficient in lessening experiences of indigestion. As such, it is recommended for people suffering from being overweight and are obese. 

How to tell if whey protein powder is gluten-free

The best way to tell if whey protein powder is gluten-free is if it is certified by a third-party seal. This means that aside from the company and the USDA, it should also be claimed as gluten-free by organizations such as the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). 

In the US, a whey protein powder is considered gluten-free if it was tested and certified to contain less than 20 million parts per million (ppm) of gluten. The GFCO poses a stricter standard of less than 10 million ppm. Other than these certifications, there is no other way for you to know if a whey protein powder is gluten-free. 

Best gluten-free whey protein powders

As have been mentioned, choosing gluten-free whey protein powders can be a risk sometimes. If you are a newbie in the field, you should have at least a working list of where to start looking. To help you with that, here is a list of the best gluten-free whey protein powders. 

Whey-milk-based gluten-free protein powders
Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein
BodyLogix Natural Whey
GNC Pro Performance Whey Protein
Isopure Natural Flavor Whey Protein
Muscle Milk
Quest Protein Powder
TGS Whey Protein Powder
Vegan whey gluten-free protein powders
Orgain Organic Whey Protein Powder
PlantFusion Protein Powder
MediPro Vegan All-In Protein Powder
Vega All-in-One Protein Powder
Flavored gluten-free whey protein
Impact Whey Protein
Diet Protein Blend
Total Protein Blend
Pea-Nut Square

All of these listed gluten-free whey protein powders have been duly certified by USDA and GFCO, the most reputable third-party seal for gluten-free products

Is gold standard whey gluten-free?

The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein is one of the products of the Glanbia company. The company and the website affirm that gold standard whey is gluten-free. However, because they admit alongside it too, that their facility is not 100% gluten-free because they also produce other nutritional products. 

It is recommended that the gold standard be taken in moderation and with caution if you are following a strict gluten-free diet as it appears that it may not be entirely gluten-free. 

Is whey gluten-free in ice cream?

Making ice cream using whey powder is one of the best things that you can do to spruce up your diet. If done right and with the right whey powder, ice cream can be gluten-free. If you are not so sure of doing some homemade gluten-free whey ice cream, you can go to the following stores or buy from these ice cream brands: 

  • Arctic Zero
  • Ben and Jerry’s
  • Breyer’s
  • Cashewtopia
  • DF Mavens
  • Haagen-Dazs
  • Jones’s Gelato
  • Luna and Larry’s
  • NadaMoo
  • So Delicious
  • Talenti
  • Turkey Hill Dairy

Is whey milk gluten-free?

whey milk gluten free

Essentially, yes. As a matter of fact, we have listed here some of the most reputable milk-based whey in the previous sections. But then again, flavored whey milk can be contentious as they may contain sweeteners and preservatives. If you are eyeing for gluten-free whey milk, buy only from certified products. 

Is modified whey gluten-free?

Modified whey is more commonly known as whey hydrolysate. This is achieved by altering or enhancing the properties of whey, specifically the enzymes needed for muscle buildup. Modified whey is then considered as more potent when it comes to protein needs than whey isolates and concentrates. 

The good thing about modified whey is that it is made gluten-free. But again, be cautions on what products to buy. Make sure that they are duly certified as gluten-free whey hydrolysate. 

Is vanilla whey protein powder gluten-free?

Yes, if they are bought from reputable brands. Vanilla whey protein is packed with more protein concentrates and isolates and natural vanilla flavor.

They do not come with added sweeteners and preservatives. Because of this, vanilla whey protein and other naturally flavored whey protein powders are more efficient in rapidly digesting protein. And yes, they are gluten-free as long as they are sealed well. 

Is dried whey gluten-free?

Yes, it is completely gluten-free. Dried whey is the most unprocessed whey product. It is cream-colored and has an earthy, bland taste used in baked goods.

It is also a potent ingredient in shampoos and conditioners as it improves hair health by reducing oil and grease in each strand. Dried whey is made by dehydrating freshy whey by pasteurizing it. It does not have sweeteners and preservatives. 

Some of the best dried whey gluten-free would be the following: 

  • Gold Standard Whey Protein
  • Platinum Hydrowhey
  • Garden of Life Dried Whey Protein Powder
  • Naked Nutrition Whey Protein
  • RSP True Nutrition
  • Raw Grass Fed Whey


is whey gluten free bottom

Ideally, whey protein should be gluten-free but because of many factors, it can be contaminated with glutenous products found in sweeteners, and preservatives. While there is no way for us to know if a whey protein product is gluten-free by basing it on taste and look alone, it is easy to spot which ones are indeed, gluten-free or not. 

Be keen and look for seals of gluten-free certification. The more seals, the more you can be sure that the whey you are buying is gluten-free. Nonetheless, these are all the things you need to know about whey and there are a lot of products to choose from. And if you are serious about whey, you can take your time to make the right choice.

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