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I have been a personal trainer and supplement store manager for over 10 years and have helped countless people buy their first tub of protein powder.
I get a lot of questions about Pure Protein because it’s one of those brands you see at retailers like Walmart or Target.
After buying a bottle and trying it for a month, here’s my honest opinion: I wasn’t a big fan.
- Pure Protein contains around 62% protein per scoop, but at nearly $2.00 per serving, it is twice the cost of other protein powders that have 90% protein.
- Pure Protein contains 6+ additives like thickeners and gums. In contrast, similar-tasting proteins have been able to do this with less than half the additives. In other words, it’s not a very ‘natural’ product.
- If you like thicker protein powders, Pure Protein did that well. It also blended easily into coffee, smoothies, and other recipes. That said, other protein brands surpass Pure Protein in nearly every category.
- The only reason to buy it is convenience if you’re already walking through the aisles at Walmart or Target.
Note: If you want an alternative, check out my review of Transparent Labs Protein. It’s a similar price point with a much higher protein percentage (93%). It’s also a more natural product, flavored with stevia, and is 3rd-party tested for purity.
Overall Rating: 3.0/5
Medical Disclaimer: The material presented in this article aims to offer informational insights. It should not be perceived as medical guidance. The views and writings are not designed for diagnosing, preventing, or treating health issues. Always consult with your physician prior to starting any new dietary or supplement routine.
About Pure Protein
Pure Protein is a definite supermarket brand, with its products lining the shelves of stores like Costco, Target, and Walmart.
This can be a great thing because it means that the product is highly accessible to most individuals without having to buy online and pay more money for shipping or wait longer for your product to arrive.
Pure Protein offers whey protein powder (the product that we are reviewing here), but they also offer ready to drink shakes, protein bars, and a selection of salty protein snacks like crackers.
Despite being active on social media, there isn’t a lot of extra content on their website in the way that we’ve seen other supermarket brands like Premier Protein have. Their lifestyle section offers a total of 3 recipes and 2 lifestyle articles.
These articles and recipes are not dated, so I don’t know if this is something they’ve just started (which would explain why there is so little as far as content) or if this is something they tried in the past and gave up on.
Overview of Pure Protein Whey
Pure Protein whey is a blend of whey concentrate and whey isolate offering 160 calories per serving.
As well as protein, it contains maltodextrin (a highly processed carbohydrate), two different thickeners (cellulose gum and xanthan gum), some added ingredients to improve texture, mouthfeel, and shelf life like dicalcium phosphate and calcium carbonate, as well as two artificial sweeteners.
The macronutrient breakdown of Pure Protein is:
- Protein: 25g
- Carbohydrates: 9g
- Fat: 2.5g
- Sugar: 2g
With 25g of protein per serving, this product comes in at 62.5% protein per scoop. Our criteria for a “reasonable” quality protein starts at 65%, so this product falls short of even our bare minimum standard for meeting expectations.
Normally you expect a cost trade-off when protein powders have a low protein content. At up to $2.09 per serving, Pure Protein is drastically overpriced for the amount of protein present in the product.
Highlights: What I Liked About Pure Protein
Pure Protein is available in a wide variety of retailers like Walmart, Walgreens, and Target. As such, it is generally easy to find in-person without having to buy online and pay extra for shipping or waiting for your product to arrive. This may be more accessible for people who are not comfortable shopping online.
While some retailers had limited availability at the time this article is being written, that’s reflective of the entire supplement industry in general and not just Pure Protein.
The more I researched, there really weren’t many redeeming qualities about this product.
It tasted fine, but the taste wasn’t remarkable. It did lend itself nicely to being added to other products (like coffee or smoothies), but ultimately there are better, cheaper, and higher-quality options available.
Drawbacks: What I Didn’t Like About Pure Protein
Low Protein Percentage
Pure Protein falls below our threshold of what constitutes a reasonable protein source, offering 25g of protein per 160 calories.
Based on our knowledge and experience, we’ve set the following criteria for assessing our proteins:
- Reasonable: 65-75% protein per scoop
- Good: 75-85% protein per scoop
- Great: 85% or higher protein per scoop
With only 62.5% protein per scoop, Pure Protein falls short of our acceptable criteria, making it a protein powder we don’t recommend investing in.
At between $2.00 and $2.58 per serving, but only offering 62.5% protein per scoop, Pure Protein is way overpriced and more expensive than the highest quality proteins on the market.
With other brands that are this low in protein percentage, we’ve seen the cost per serving float around $1.00 per serving. On the Pure Protein website, their 1.75lb size is listed at $41.89 for a 20-serving tub, making it more expensive per serving ($2.09-$2.13) than the highest quality whey protein we’ve reviewed.
For context, the Transparent Labs Whey Isolate which is 93% protein per scoop and one of our highest rated protein powders costs between $1.75 and $2.00 per serving.
On Amazon, the chocolate flavor of Pure Protein was available for $30.18 compared to the vanilla listed at $46.48. There was no indication of why the price was different.
I also found it listed on the walmart.com website for $37.99 for 19 servings (around $2.00 per serving) or $30.99 for 12 servings ($2.58 per serving).
It felt like the wild west trying to find consistent pricing for this product anywhere, but regardless of where I looked, the cost of Pure Protein powder was still substantially higher than proteins which are higher quality with fewer additives.
Lots of Added Extras That Don’t Contribute to Nutrient Content
Pure Protein contained several different thickening agents (cellulose gum and xanthan gum) as well as ingredients to help with shelf life and emulsifiers (sunflower lecithin, soy lecithin, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate). We’ve seen other brands achieve similar textures and mixability with fewer ingredients.
We don’t expect every protein powder to adhere to standards like Naked Whey where they use zero additives. However, having multiple sources of gums/thickeners, emulsifiers, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners does seem excessive.
This is where the cost/quality trade-off typically comes into play. Ingredients like sunflower lecithin cost more than their soy lecithin counterparts, so by using less expensive ingredients, companies can keep the cost of their overall products low.
As we’ve already discussed, this didn’t happen with Pure Protein.
Pure Protein Review: My Experience
I tried Pure Protein in several different ways: As a post-workout protein, as a breakfast supplement, as part of a smoothie, and mixed into coffee.
The limited flavor options (only chocolate and vanilla) might deter some consumers from looking for something that tastes great mixed with only water. I didn’t mind the vanilla flavor, but it definitely wasn’t memorable.
I actually didn’t mind it as a post-workout option. With 9g of carbs, it provides a bit extra for replenishing muscle glycogen compared to other powders.
As a breakfast supplement, the satiety effect was moderate. I felt comfortable for a couple of hours after drinking it, and I think the thickness that it has when mixed even with just water definitely helps with that. It felt like I was drinking something substantial.
For a smoothie or coffee additive, it did add a nice texture and creaminess to both. With the low protein content, though, as well as the higher carb content, it might be more difficult to fit this protein powder in your day if you are counting macros.
For instance, the protein powder has 9g of carbs per serving, and a half cup of blueberries has around 11g. I felt like I had to choose between using this protein powder and adding fresh fruit to my smoothie, which resulted in me losing the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that come with the blueberries.
How Does Pure Stack Up Against Our Criteria For Whey Protein
At FeastGood, we have 8 different criteria for ranking whey protein powders. Here’s how Pure Protein Whey Powder stacked up:
Nutrition Label Transparency
Our rating: 3/5
While they clearly disclose the use of artificial flavors on their label, there’s no indication as to how much is used (a courtesy other supplement companies have started using). They also advertise their product as 100% whey which can be misleading for consumers who don’t understand what that claim means.
I have a sensitivity to companies who advertise their products as “100% Whey Protein” because this is misleading for a lot of consumers. Many people would see this label and think that the powder contained within the tub is 100% protein, when in fact protein makes up around 60% of the powder.
What the claim “100% Whey Protein” actually means is that the only kind of protein they use in their product comes from whey, as opposed to using a blend of protein from a variety of sources like milk, egg, casein, or plants.
Fortunately, many people like yourselves are reading articles like these and becoming informed on what to look for and how to analyze nutritional supplement labels, but not everyone has that kind of accessibility.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: As a quick aside, my label from this product purchased in Canada does display how much acesulfame-potassium (60mg) and sucralose (10mg) are in each serving. My label also lists ingredients differently than those I found on the Pure Protein website and amazon, so I can’t say for sure which product would arrive if you ordered it.
Fat Content Transparency
Our rating: 4/5
Pure Protein clearly indicates how many grams of fat (2.5g) and saturated fats (1g) are in their product but provides no indication about unsaturated fats or trans fats. (We can infer that they are zero, but it’s not outright written).
This is another area where my label differs from the one found on the website.
If you look at the photo from the website, you see that they only include Total Fat and Saturated Fat, but mine does state the amount of Trans Fats (0g). This is likely due to legal differences in labeling standards between countries.
Our rating: 2/5
The use of a dual protein source (concentrate and isolate) can be beneficial because it helps bridge the gap between quality and price, it has a high carbohydrate content and more added ingredients than we’ve seen in any other whey proteins.
These aren’t ingredients that are harmful, per se, but if you are trying to minimize added ingredients and choose a product that prioritizes whole, natural foods then this is not the product for you.
Protein Percent of Calories
Our rating: 2/5
While it doesn’t have the lowest protein percentage we’ve seen (that title belongs to Muscletech Grass Fed Whey so far), it still falls below our criteria for an acceptable percentage of protein per scoop at 62.5%.
Our rating: 3/5
The taste wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t enough to turn us off of the product. Ultimately, it was unremarkable.
Our rating: 4/5
When shaken with a traditional protein shaker, there were some small clumps left over, but few enough that it didn’t detract much from the overall experience. When a blender was used, the product mixed completely with a nice, frothy texture.
As a personal note, I did like this small addition to the label in regards to mixing your protein.
Texture (Thick or Thin)
Our rating: Thick
Pure Protein mixed up thicker than any whey protein powder I’ve tried. I found that I wanted to dilute it with extra water to make it easier to drink, but the thicker texture did make it feel more satisfying when consumed as part of a meal.
Our rating: 2.5/5
On its own, Pure Protein provided about 90 minutes to 2 hours of satiety. When used as part of a meal or blended into a smoothie, the level of satiety increased to close to 3 hours (or more, depending on how large the meal was).
This is pretty typical of a whey protein powder. Since whey protein digests at a rate of around 10g per hour, it’s expected that a product with 25g of protein would provide some satiety for nearly two hours.
Who Is Pure Protein Whey For?
Pure Protein is for:
- Someone who hates online shopping. Because this product is available in most commercial retailers, it’s easily accessible for people who can’t or don’t want to order online or are intimidated by traditional supplement stores.
Who Shouldn’t Take Pure Protein Whey?
Pure Protein Whey protein is not for:
- Almost everyone. Not that it is going to be harmful to any specific population, but I can think of a better option for nearly every single use case.
Pure Protein Customer Reviews
Despite my hot takes, Pure Protein still comes highly rated on amazon with a 4.5/5 star rating based on over 21,000 reviews.
Most of the positive reviews spoke to its good taste when added to other things like smoothies, Greek yogurt, and oatmeal.
A lot of the reviews also provided positive feedback, mixed in with negatives.
As this reviewer states:
Love the way this tastes. Awfully expensive though. Price went up too! Will be looking around for a better price elsewhere.
For a bit more insight into what customers are liking about Pure Protein Whey, we can see the breakdown of the ratings on Amazon:
- Easy To Use: 4.4/5
- Value for Money: 4.3/5 (We respectfully disagree)
- Flavor: 4.2/5
There was no additional rating information available on the Pure Protein website.
Pure Protein Promotions & Discounts
When you shop directly from Pure Protein’s website, you can buy bulk quantities of 2-3 tubs at a time, saving you between $5 and $8 on your order.
They also offer a subscribe and save feature where you can save 10% and set up your own autoship delivery schedule.
Amazon offers a similar subscribe and save feature, where you can save 5 to 10% off of your order, depending on how many items you subscribe to.
Truthfully, if you want to find Pure Protein at a cheaper price I recommend shopping around on a few websites before you buy. The 1.75lb tub ranged from $26.99 (on Amazon) to $42 – $46 (on Amazon and Pure Protein website), and a variety of price ranges in between.
Where To Buy Pure Protein?
As far as having reliable inventory, I recommend shopping either Amazon or the Pure Protein website. It’s also likely that you can find this product at local supermarkets and pharmacies like Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS.
Pure Protein Alternatives?
Alternative for Quality: Transparent labs
If you’re comfortable spending around $2 per serving anyhow, I recommend grabbing the Transparent Labs Whey Isolate.
This product tastes great, has no artificial flavors or colors, and comes in at around 90% protein per scoop, offering 28g per 120 calories.
Transparent Labs Isolate is also available in 9 different flavors, including cinnamon toast, mocha, chocolate peanut butter, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.
Alternative for Saving Money: Gold Standard
Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey offers a similar blend of protein, using both whey isolate and whey concentrate. It also offers a similar protein content per scoop at 24g and between 75-80% protein per scoop depending on the flavor.
- Check out my review of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Protein
Despite being both higher in overall protein percentage, and having over 15 flavor options to choose from, it can be purchased for around $1.65 per scoop. (This cost goes down closer to $1.20 if you invest in the 5lb tub upfront).
This price point – just over $1.00 per serving – is much closer to what I would have expected from Pure Protein.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is Pure Protein Made?
Pure Protein’s headquarters are in Holbrook, New York. I could not find any additional information in regards to their warehouses, or whether they are made in a facility that is cGMP certified.
What Is Pure Protein’s Shipping Policy?
Pure Protein offers free shipping within the contiguous US on orders over $85. They offer scaled shipping charges between $9.95 and $15.95, plus an additional $15 charge for deliveries to Hawaii or Alaska. Pure Protein currently does not ship to P.O. boxes, APO/FPO, or international addresses.
What Is Pure Protein’s Return Policy?
If you are dissatisfied with your product for any reason, you can return it within 90 days of purchase. They will either refund you for the original purchase price, or replace your product.
Is Pure Protein Third Party Tested?
I could not find any information indicating that Pure Protein is third party tested.
Is Pure Protein Good For Weight Loss?
Because it is relatively low calorie and has 25g of protein, Pure Protein could support your weight loss goals. It offers decent satiety to help keep you in a calorie deficit when used as part of a snack or meal.
Is Pure Protein Keto Friendly?
Despite having only 2g of sugar, Pure Protein does have 9g of carbs which might make it difficult to fit into a keto diet. I recommend finding a protein powder with 3g of carbs or fewer to stay keto friendly.
Is Pure Protein Gluten Free?
Pure Protein Whey is gluten free and doesn’t indicate on the label that it is manufactured on equipment that handles gluten-containing ingredients. As such, it should be safe for individuals with a gluten sensitivity or intolerance.
What Are The Best Ways To Mix Pure Protein Whey?
Pure protein can be mixed with a glass and spoon, shaker cup, or blender. It dissolves more completely with a shaker cup or blender, but mixes up thick and creamy regardless of the method used.
What Flavors Are Available For Pure Protein?
Pure Protein Whey is only available in Vanilla and Chocolate flavour.
Does Pure Protein Make You Gain Weight?
Being low in calories, fat, and sugar, Pure Protein is unlikely to contribute to weight gain. By adding more protein to your day overall, you can support lean muscle building. Ultimately, whether Pure Protein causes weight gain or weight loss will be dependent on your activity level and total daily calorie intake.
Can you use Pure Protein as A Meal Replacement?
Pure protein is too low in total calories to be considered a meal replacement. Add it to a smoothie with fruit and healthy fat, stir it into oatmeal or yogurt, or drink it with water paired with a side salad to make a fully balanced meal.
When Is The Best Time To Take Pure Protein?
Pure Protein can be taken any time of day, whenever additional protein may be desired. Consider adding it to meals, between meals, or post-workout to enhance recovery.
How To Contact Pure Protein
If you want to order products by phone, they can be reached weekdays between 6am and 11pm ET or on weekends between 8am and 7pm ET at 1-855-972-0583 (Toll free).
For inquiries about an online order, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone the toll free number above.
For all other inquiries, you can reach them through their contact page found here, or at 1-800-854-5019 (Toll Free).
Pure Protein Powder
Pure Protein whey is a blend of whey concentrate and whey isolate offering 160 calories per serving.
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About The Author
Jennifer Vibert is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nutrition Coach, and supplement store manager. She has a Bachelor of Kinesiology with a major in Fitness and Lifestyle and a minor in Psychology from the University of Regina. She is a Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition, with a passion for helping clients learn the fundamentals of nutrition and supplementation in order to build healthy, sustainable habits.
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