Protein Powder for Diabetes: What are its Benefits and Side Effects?


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health


4 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes are major types of diabetes
  • Eat protein supplements for diabetics to keep a check on your blood sugar
  • Consuming high fiber food for diabetes helps maintain blood sugar levels

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can cause kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and blindness. It occurs if your pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or when your body does not use the insulin effectively [1]. If you have diabetes, maintaining normal blood sugar levels may become difficult for you. However, you can handle it with good dietary choices.

For instance, protein-rich foods help people with diabetes as they take longer to digest and reduce the rate at which blood sugar rises. Read on to know about the best protein powder for diabetic patients and find out the benefits of having protein powder for diabetes.

Additional Read: 6 Sugar-Free Breakfast Recipes for a Healthy Diabetes Diet

Benefits of Protein Powder for Diabetes

A 5-week study on 12 people with type-2 diabetes found a 40% decrease in glucose response in people who followed a high protein diet. The research concluded that a high-protein diet lowers glucose levels after meals and improves overall control of glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes [2].

Similarly, a study conducted in 2017 on 22 people with type 2 diabetes showed similar results. The findings reflected that consuming whey protein can help you manage type-2 diabetes. It also showed that this protein can stimulate insulin secretion and triglyceride levels in people with normal or lower body weight. However, the results were predicted to be the opposite for obese people [3].

While it does have its benefits, you should do your research before consuming any protein supplements. These usually have unique nutritional values and you should pick one that best meets your dietary needs.

Best Protein Supplements for Diabetics

  • Whey protein

A milk-based protein that gets absorbed fast, boosts your muscle growth, and helps in recovery.

  • Casein protein

It works gradually to build muscle mass and helps you lose weight.

Protein powder for diabetes

  • Egg protein

With it, you can keep yourself full without affecting your diabetes. You can also get the benefits of all nine essential amino acids.

  • Pea protein

It helps build muscle and serves as a vegetarian option.

  • Hemp protein

Consuming this can reduce the pain of diabetic neuropathy.

  • Brown rice protein

Regular intake can reduce your chance of getting affected by diabetes.

  • Mixed plant proteins

An ideal dietary option to control diabetes if you are a vegan.

Protein powder for diabetes

Effects of Protein Powder on Blood Sugar

Protein powders in general are low in carbohydrates. These usually do not contain more than 12g of carbohydrates per serving. However, protein powders such as mass gainers may contain more, and are not good for diabetics. Your risk of having high blood sugar increases with a higher number of carbohydrates.

You may need to regulate blood sugar levels with a significant amount of insulin if you consume such protein powders. However, taking a protein powder with low carbs can also lead to a blood sugar spike due to the amino acids present. Some amino acids like glucogenic amino acids in whey protein powders get converted into glucose. This can increase your blood sugar levels.

The alternative for this is to consume plant-based protein powders that may not have the same effects as they lack glucogenic amino acids. Plant-based protein powders contain a high amount of ketogenic amino acids that cannot be converted into glucose. It is important to ascertain how a certain protein powder may affect your blood sugar. Test your blood sugar levels before and after consuming the particular protein powder, and shortlist the ones proving beneficial in controlling your blood sugar.

Additional Read: 5 High Fiber Foods for Diabetics to Keep Blood Sugar Levels in Control

To keep your diabetes in control, make sure to have a sugar-free breakfast, exercise regularly, and consume high-fiber food for diabetes. For all types of diabetes, it is always better to talk to an expert before you take any protein powder. Book a doctor appointment on Bajaj Finserv Health for proper guidance and recommendation, and manage your diabetes stress-free. health insurance for diabetic is one of the best options to protect yourself from diabetes. 

Published on 17 Dec 2021Last updated on 12 Dec 2022

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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