Prepper must-haves: Here’s why you need protein powder in your food stockpile
By Zoey Sky // Dec 06, 2021

Protein powder is popular among health enthusiasts because this dietary supplement can help promote weight loss and help you tone your muscles. But protein powder isn't just for athletes or bodybuilders.


Before SHTF, you should stock up on protein powder so you have access to this versatile ingredient. (h/t to

Why is protein important?

Every cell in your body contains protein. Protein plays a role in immune health, cell creation and repair, and cell growth and development.

Nine of the amino acids that you need, known as the building blocks of protein, are essential because you can only get them from food.

Protein has an important role in your overall well-being. When SHTF and your mental and physical health is at risk, having protein powder in your stockpile can help ensure that you maintain proper nutrition.

Incorporating protein powder into your diet also offers three benefits:

  1. Eating protein-rich foods and taking supplements can help you feel fuller for longer, which can help prevent frequent snacking. With protein powder and a balanced diet, you can maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.
  2. Protein powder can promote muscle growth because protein supplements significantly improve muscle size and strength in healthy adults who lift weights or do other forms of resistance exercise training.
  3. Protein powder also helps help repair damaged muscles and tissues. When you exercise regularly, using protein powder can help speed up your recovery from muscle soreness.

What is protein powder?

Protein powder is the powdered form of protein that comes from different sources like plants or eggs. Manufacturers use different processing methods to extract protein components from the source material and dry them to produce the powdered version.

There are two main categories of protein powder: plant-based and animal-based.

They have three common forms:

  1. Concentrates are cheaper because they’re the least processed. However, this means concentrates have a lower percentage of protein per serving and higher quantities of fats and carbs.
  2. Isolates contain a higher concentration of protein and fewer fats and carbohydrates. Manufacturing protein isolate takes longer, but it provides more protein per serving, making it more expensive than protein concentrates.
  3. Hydrolysates are the most processed form of protein powder. The amino acids are already broken down so it's the most absorbable version, but it's also the most expensive form of protein powder.

Plant-based protein powder

If you prefer a plant-based protein powder, your options include hemp, pea, peanut, rice and soy. Note that only soy protein powder contains all nine essential amino acids.

Animal-based protein powder

Animal-based protein powder is made from casein, collagen, egg white and whey.

  • Casein comes from milk and is a complete protein. It's digested more slowly than whey.
  • Collagen is not a complete protein because it's missing one essential amino acid. While useful, its amino acid content fulfills a different function in your body.
  • Egg white protein is an easily digestible, complete protein.
  • Whey protein is a complete protein made from milk. It’s readily digested and more popular than other protein supplements. Additionally, it can result in a greater sense of fullness.

Both plant- and animal-based protein powders are available in different flavors. Some flavors, like chocolate or strawberry, can be used for baking or for pancakes.

When buying protein powder, avoid products that include filler and additives.

How to use protein powder when SHTF

Protein powder should be part of your preps for several reasons:

  1. It's easy to use. You don't need to cook it, and you can use it to make smoothies. Alternatively, you can give meals a protein boost with a scoop of protein powder.
  2. It's easy to store. You can stock up on protein powder by storing it in an air-tight container kept in a cool, dark room.
  3. It's a convenient protein source.
  4. Ounce for ounce, protein powder is cheaper than most meats and poultry.
  5. It's lightweight and portable. If you need to bug out, a bug-out bag with protein powder and other supplies in it will be lighter than a bag with canned foods.
  6. You can use protein powder when cooking for picky eaters. If your child has sensory processing issues, you can cook with protein powder to ensure that they’re still receiving the necessary nutrition in the foods they can eat without making a fuss.
  7. Sick or injured patients can easily consume foods made with protein powder. They don't have to be chewed, and protein powder provides important liquid nourishment for healing.

Not sure how to use protein powder? Try these suggestions:

  • Add it to beverages like coffee and cocoa.
  • Add it to low-protein meals like pancakes or waffles.
  • Use it to make filling smoothies and shakes.
  • Add it to pasta dishes.
  • Use it while baking.
  • Use it while making sauces and creamy soups.
  • Add it to other carb-heavy foods like mashed potatoes or oatmeal.

How to store protein powder in your survival stockpile

The shelf life of protein powder varies, but it can last nine months or more in your stockpile. Protein powder will last longer depending on the additives.

Always check the date on your containers and rotate your supplies to prevent food waste. (Related: Food supply tips: Survival foods that will last longer as powder.)

Protein powders are low-moisture products. When stored unopened under the right conditions, you don't have to worry about bacterial growth. However, once opened, protein powder will be exposed to air and moisture, so its quality will gradually decrease. If your stock smells or tastes bad, get rid of it.

Considerations before stocking up on protein powder

Protein powder is generally safe for consumption, but here are some things to consider if you're not used to consuming this supplement:

  • If you have food allergies or sensitivities, check the ingredients of products before purchasing. Some products may be manufactured in facilities that also process allergens.
  • If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, choose plant-based versions, like pea or soy.
  • If you have diabetes, choose low-sugar and low-carb versions.
  • Avoid protein powder with lactose sugars or other ingredients that can aggravate your condition if you have lactose intolerance or irritable bowel system (IBS).
  • If you have kidney disease, choose products with lower protein content.
  • If you're consuming protein powder for the first time, note that it can cause side effects like diarrhea and constipation. Balance protein powder with nutrient-dense foods rich in healthy fats, carbs and dietary fiber to address these conditions.

Tips for stocking up on protein powder

If you're interested in adding protein powder to your survival stockpile, try it out first before buying in bulk.

Purchase some small containers and experiment with recipes your family likes. If you like them and there are no adverse reactions, learn new recipes to boost your intake of protein.

Just like how preppers only store food that their family likes to eat, you should only stock up on enough protein powder that you know your family can consume after SHTF. Try different flavors and learn how to make desserts or savory dishes with flavored protein powder.

Once you've found products or flavors that your family prefers, stock up on protein powder before SHTF.

Visit to learn more about other items you should stock up on before disaster strikes.

Sources include:

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