If you're a regular supplement user like me, the biggest choice that you usually have to make when buying protein powder is whether to get chocolate or vanilla (cookies & cream if you're feeling particularly zany). You'll probably end up getting whey, soy, or casein. But wait, are there other kinds? you ask. Oh yes, reader.
There are two categories of protein powder: animal-based and plant-based. Among the most popular animal-based protein powders are whey, casein, and egg white. Soy protein falls under the plant-based section and is by far the most popular, with pea, rice, and hemp protein following right behind.
If you didn't know that some of the protein powders I just mentioned even exist, then prepare to have your idea of what protein powder is be challenged. Without further adieu, here are the top ten strangest protein powders on the market.
This brand has the most unique protein powder flavors I have ever seen. Notables include Cake Donut, Cinnamon Graham Cracker, Key Lime Pie, Mocha Cappuccino, and Rocky Road. 100% whey, 100% tasty.
Moon Juice is sporting a plant-based, brown rice protein powder that contains actual reishi mushrooms and a fungus called cordyceps. The company claims that these two ingredients aid one's immune system, liver, kidneys, adrenals, stamina, and muscles.
You may enjoy getting your protein via greek yogurt, but have you ever considered doing so in powder form? Jarrow has you covered. This unusual protein powder is both animal and vegetable-based, containing whey, casein, AND soy. But you better like coconut cream–that's the only flavor it comes in.
Thought that animals and vegetables were the only ways to get protein? Well now fruit is getting in on the action, particularly cranberry seeds. These protein vessels are ground up to create a truly different protein powder.
In addition to helping you make those gains, this protein powder contains all of the nutrients of a cranberry, including antioxidants and omega 3, 6, and 9.
We find our next weird protein in the form of a slimy, blue-green, freshwater plant called spirulina (a form of algae). Algae contains about 60% protein, which is more than red meat. The plant is also a nutritional powerhouse; it contains antioxidants and all nine essential amino acids. It almost seems like the stranger the protein powder, the healthier it is.
This is not just any milk-based protein. This goat-milk protein powder contains both casein and whey. Apparently, goat milk produces a finer curd which is more easily digestible than cow's milk—so if you've got a sensitive tummy, go goat.
This powder is not just animal-based...It's actual animal. This powder supposedly has a higher concentration of protein than steak and even whey isolate. Where's the beef? Well, potentially in a fine powder.
Add yet another fungus to the list. We usually see this product in baking as a leavening agent. But this yeast, coming in both powder and flake form, isn't used for stirring into your drink.
It's typically sprinkled on foods like popcorn or salad. Don't get it twisted though, yeast is powerful—this nutritious seasoning has more protein gram-for-gram than whey powder.
Consuming bone broth is currently a hot health trend, but it is now being dehydrated and made into a protein powder that still carries all the health benefits of the liquid form. This protein powder is gut-friendly (easy to digest) and full of nutritive minerals that support the joints, skin, and muscles. You even lift, bro(th)?
Easily the most bizarre way to consume protein. I now know why the category is called animal-based protein and not just mammal-based protein. There must be a reason that this powder isn't as common as whey or soy—I mean who wouldn't want to recover from a workout by slurping down ground-up thorax mixed with water?
However, the strangest protein may be, overall, the most common; about a third of the planet utilizes bugs as a protein source. This insect powder comes from all sorts of critters: crickets, locusts, and silkworms.