Hydrolyzed Beef Protein Powder is a relatively new and popular food supplement. In this article, learn the basics about beef protein powder, including how it compares with other types of protein powders, how to choose the best brands, and the potential health benefits of using it.

blue scoop with protein powder on a tabletop.

Beef protein powder is reasonably new to the market. It is rising in popularity, particularly as a protein source for those who have food sensitivities or who follow a paleo or real food diet.

A paleo diet focuses on foods that could have been gathered by hunting and gathering during the Paleolithic era, such as meats, fish, fruits, and vegetables.

Beef protein powder is also a great alternative to whey or milk-based protein for people who are sensitive to dairy products.

Most beef protein powders are low in both fat and cholesterol. They can be used for:

  • The development of lean muscle mass,
  • to assist with weight loss,
  • to support the immune system,
  • and to help maintain healthy bones, hair, nails, and skin.

Note: while this blog post is sponsored by Equip Foods, all opinions are my own.

How it is made

The basic process for making beef protein powder begins when the various cuts of beef are boiled in large vats.

The resulting liquid – rich in protein and amino acids – is then skimmed to remove most of the fat. Finally, it is spray-dried to create beef protein isolate powder.

Since beef protein comes from animals, it’s important to look for a high-quality beef protein that is sourced from grass-fed cows. One of the best ways to identify this is by the price – in many cases, cheaper brands will be made with animals that may not have been grass-fed.

But you should also check the amount of protein delivered per serving. This will be higher in a good quality beef protein powder (something in the region of 24-28 grams of protein per a 30 gram serving or about 1 scoop). 

My favorite brand of beef protein powder comes from Equip Foods. Equip Foods Prime Protein is the top pick on my list of the best paleo protein powders.

I personally use the unflavored version, but it also comes in flavored versions including vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and peanut butter (coming soon).

equip foods prime protein infographic.

Nutritional profile

A good quality beef protein isolate is rich in amino acids, including arginine, alanine, glutamic acid, glycine, and proline.

In addition to helping your body build protein, these nutrients have been shown to:

Beef protein powder also contains:

Leucine – This is a nutrient that helps our bodies metabolize protein. Without it, there would be little point in consuming large quantities of protein as our bodies wouldn’t be able to use them effectively.

Isoleucine – Another amino acid, this increases the uptake and the usage of glucose during exercise.

Valine – This helps boost energy levels and support muscle coordination.

Depending on the brand you choose, you can expect to consume between 20-28 g of protein per serving, with a very small amount of carbs or fat.

Potential Benefits of Beef Protein Powder

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the basics of beef protein powder including how its made and its nutritional data, let’s look at some of the benefits of using it in your diet.

1. It is dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, and nut-free

Beef protein generally has one main ingredient: beef protein! This means that it is very clean and appropriate for a lot of people who may have food allergies.

Traditional protein supplements – whey in particular – can cause all sorts of problems in sensitive individuals. These include bloating, gas, rashes, and congestion. This is because milk is the top food allergen.

On the other hand, beef is an uncommon food allergen, so it may be safer for many people as opposed to protein powders that are made from dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, grains, or legumes.

2. It is a complete source of protein

Beef is an animal protein which contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs.

Beef protein powder is also a complete source of protein, unlike many other protein powders such as pea, pumpkin seed, or hemp protein. Even the popular collagen protein brands are not a complete source of protein.

The Equip Foods Prime Protein has 20 grams of complete protein and about 100 calories for every one (21 gram) scoop. Some of the nutrition data varies by flavor, but this is a good average.

3. It comes from a whole food source

Beef protein powder generally has one main ingredient, so it is more natural than many types of products.

As with any food products, it’s important to read the label. If you can’t pronounce or understand the ingredients, then it is likely a highly processed food.

With most unflavored beef protein brands, the ingredient label is simply beef.

Flavored versions may include ingredients such as stevia, cocoa powder, coconut milk powder, and others, so be sure to always read the ingredient label.

4. Beef protein blends well

Beef protein powder is great to have at home because it blends really well.

It can be blended into a smoothie and – when paired with ingredients that complement its flavor – can be virtually undetectable. This is great for picky eaters or people on the go who need a protein boost fast.

Some recipes that are great with a scoop of Equip Food Prime Protein include: Mango Peach Smoothie, Strawberry Blackberry Banana Smoothie, Chocolate Cherry Smoothie, and Strawberry Protein Smoothie.

strawberry protein smoothie in a glass on a tabletop.

5. It can help improve lean muscle mass

At least one research study showed that consumption of beef protein powder after a resistance training workout can lead to a “significant increase in lean body mass compared with baseline.”

This means that people who are trying to increase their strength can benefit from adding a quality protein powder to their diet plan.

6. It can help increase protein intake for seniors and other people who need more protein

As we age, we need more quality protein because our ability to use protein diminishes. But, it’s not always reasonable to assume that seniors and others with increased protein needs can simply eat more meat.

Instead, protein supplements such as protein powders and protein shakes have been shown to be effective in helping these groups of people reach their protein needs.

For instance, just imagine that you don’t have a huge appetite. Would you be more likely to eat a big piece of meat or a protein shake?

Most people find the idea of drinking a shake more appealing and manageable. This is where a smoothie made with a scoop of beef protein powder can really make a difference.

7. It can provide additional iron

At least one study showed that beef protein supplementation can increase ferritin levels more than whey protein powder supplementation.

This is particularly useful during exercise as it assists with transporting oxygen around the body and helps prevent fatigue.

Helping to increase iron levels could also be beneficial for pre-menopausal women as iron is lost during menstruation.

See my related articles on the best vitamins for women over 30 and the best vitamins for teenage girls.

8. It allows you to enjoy the health benefits of red meat without the potential disadvantages

Lastly, one of the potential advantages and even health benefits of consuming a quality, grass-fed beef protein powder is that you get the benefit of the complete protein and amino acids without the fat and cholesterol.

For people who are watching their fat and cholesterol intake, this is a huge plus!

For instance, one scoop of Equip Foods Prime Protein is about the equivalent of consuming 4 ounces of red meat, but with only about 100 calories and almost negligible saturated fat and cholesterol.

Cons of Beef Protein Powder

Now that we’ve reviewed the benefits of beef protein powder, you may be wondering what are the drawbacks? Let’s review some cons of this product.

1. It is not appropriate for vegan or vegetarian diets

It may be obvious, but beef protein powder is not suitable for people who do not consume animal products for ethical or religious reasons.

See my full post about the potential dangers of a vegan diet.

2. It can be expensive, particularly the high-quality brands

It should also be pointed out that you get what you pay for when it comes to beef protein powder (and most foods). If you want a product that comes from grass-fed animals and has been tested for heavy metals and other contaminants, then you are likely going to pay more.

That’s one reason why I’m excited to share a 15% discount code with you for Equip Foods products. Use the code CLEANEATING at checkout to get your savings.

3. The texture may be less smooth than other protein powders

It should also be noted that beef protein powders work best when blended as opposed to simply shaken with water. I find that the powder gets blended really well in a blender, and even makes the smoothie fluffier than normal.

But, don’t expect to just add a scoop of beef protein powder to a glass of water. Ideally, you would add it with other ingredients to a quality blender to ensure it gets fully incorporated.

4. It may be harder to determine the source of the powder

Again, you need to be careful when choosing the brand of beef protein powder to add to your diet.

You don’t necessarily want to choose the cheapest brand as you may be getting an inferior product that comes from questionable sources without any quality testing.

Stick to quality brands like Equip Foods to avoid fillers, anti-nutrients, and heavy metals.


How does beef protein powder compare to whey protein powder? 

One study that looked into the effects of beef protein isolate and whey protein isolate supplementation on lean mass and strength in resistance-trained individuals found that both lead to “significant increases” in lean body mass and reductions in body fat.

Another study looked into the effects of beef, chicken, or whey protein on body composition and muscle performance. It was found that when the protein content is high, the source of that protein – whether meat or dairy – is less relevant. The recommendation was that:

Individuals looking to optimize body composition should consume ample protein postworkout, but the source of protein can be self-selected by the individual’s preference.”

This means that some of the most important factors that might make beef protein a better choice than whey include:

  • Dairy/lactose intolerance and the need to avoid dairy products,
  • the desire to follow a paleo diet,
  • and the aim to cut carbs and cholesterol.

How does beef protein powder compare to pea protein powder?

In general, pea protein is lower in protein than beef. The leucine content is roughly equivalent. Additionally, pea protein is not considered a complete protein where beef protein is complete.

Nevertheless, pea protein remains a good choice for anyone wishing to avoid animal products. Just like whey, it has been demonstrated to promote strength, performance, body composition, and muscular adaptations.

What is the difference between beef protein powder and collagen protein?

Collagen is a type of protein that also comes from animals. It has various roles throughout the body, connecting tissues, giving them structural support, and assisting with our immune response. 

However, collagen powder produced from cows is not the same as beef protein powder. That’s because it contains different amino acids than beef protein powder and is not considered a complete protein. Its uses, therefore, are different too.

Collagen powder is designed to:

The role of protein powder, however, is to:

  • Help you build muscle in conjunction with resistance training
  • Make meals and shakes more satisfying
  • Provide protein in diets where it may be lacking (particularly vegan or vegetarian diets)

Best Beef Protein Powder

You may have already concluded that my favorite brand of Beef Protein Powder is the Prime Protein from Equip Foods. It is a quality brand from grass-fed beef that has a clean list of ingredients.

I also included the unflavored version of Equip Foods Prime Protein on my list of the Best Protein Powders for Pregnancy.


Whether you are on a restricted diet or you simply want a clean source of protein powder, consider adding Beef Protein Powder to your diet. It has research showing that it can significantly increase lean body mass and it is lower in allergens than many other types of protein powders.

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Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.