Can You Buy Protein Powder with EBT (Food Stamps)?

Does EBT allow you to buy protein powder? Some protein powders are available with food stamps, but not all.

It’s a bit complicated because, although protein powder is edible, it’s not a traditional food.

Can You Buy Protein Powder with EBT (Food Stamps) 1

Find out why some protein supplements are EBT-eligible, and others aren’t.

With food stamps, you can purchase protein powder.

What is EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer)?

Electronic Benefits Transfer is an electronic payment system that allows participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) to purchase food with their SNAP benefits.

The SNAP EBT is deducted from the participant’s account when they shop at a SNAP-authorized store.

Can I Buy Protein Powder with EBT?

Protein powder IS eligible for EBT. Not all protein powders qualify for EBT. Food stamps can only be used to purchase protein powders that are sold as food.

EBT is not applicable to protein powders sold in supplements.

Some protein powders can be considered food, and others as supplements.

The SNAP EBT can only be used for eligible food items. So, it depends on the type of protein you buy.

Some companies market their products as dietary supplements. This will prevent them from being eligible for food stamps.

Some companies market their products as food, while others recognize that protein powder can be a supplement.

Marketing choices and the company’s marketing decisions greatly impact whether an item is classified as a food supplement.

Why Do Some Companies Label Their Products with The Nutrition Facts?

Our protein powders are labeled with “Nutrition Facts” because they look more like foods than supplements.

For example, our chocolate protein powder is made from egg whites and coconut with cocoa and monk fruit.

The majority of protein powders look nothing like food because they’re made with ingredients such as these:

acacia, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors; carrageenan; dextrin; dextrose; erythritol.; gum arabic; inulin; locust bean gum; maltodextrin; rice syrup solids; soy lecithin; silica; sucralose; sunflower lecithin; xanthan gum, xylitol

What Protein Powders Can I Purchase with Food Stamps (EBT)?

If you plan to purchase protein powder using food stamps, the product must be labeled with “Nutrition Facts”. Most vitamins and supplements cannot be purchased with SNAP.

Remember that SNAP (food stamps / EBT cards) are meant to help people buy food.

This is where we draw the line: does the product technically qualify as food?

It’s funny how protein powder can be considered both a food product and a dietary supplement.

Companies that produce protein powder have the option to choose whether they want to market it as a food or a supplement.

On the back of the packaging, it will say “Nutrition Facts”. If it is being sold as a dietary supplement, the label will read “Supplement facts”.

This post will explain why companies sell protein powders as supplements or food.

The majority of protein powders sold are food. Most protein powders are available with food stamps.

Visit the USDA Website for more information.

How Can I Determine if a Powdered Protein is Marketed as Food?

On the back of the packaging, you will find labels that state “Nutrition Facts” for protein powders sold in food form and “Supplement Facts” for powders sold only as supplements.

Can I Use EBT to Buy Protein Powder Online?

EBT cardholders are able to make online purchases at certain sites, such as Amazon.

These sites only accept EBT SNAP for SNAP-approved items. Any additional fees, such as delivery fees, must be paid using another method of payment.

You can purchase some protein powders using food stamps, but not others.

If you want to use food stamps to purchase a protein supplement, the label must say “Nutrition Facts”.

What Protein Powder Brands Can I Buy Using EBT Food Stamps?

In accordance with the federal law on food stamps, only products that have a nutrition facts label qualify for EBT.

Supplement facts labels appear on supplements, not on food products.

Supplement facts labels on protein powders will prevent them from being eligible for EBT.

If you want to purchase protein powder using EBT, then it is important to select a brand that is sold as food and not a supplement.

List of Brands of Protein Powders that are EBT-Eligible.

Some protein powders are eligible for EBT.

  • BSN Syntha-6
  • Drink Wholesome
  • Dymatize
  • Evolve
  • Garden of Life
  • Isopure
  • Keto Science
  • Muscle Milk
  • Optimum Nutrition Gold
  • Orgain
  • Premier Protein
  • Pure Protein Powder
  • Purely Inspired
  • Quest Nutrition
  • Vega Essentials

These brands also sell protein powder that you can purchase on Amazon with EBT!

What Protein Powders are not EBT-Eligible?

Some brands are not eligible to be purchased with food stamps.

You may want to switch to an EBT-eligible alternative if you are a fan of these brands.

  • Vital Proteins
  • Sunwarrior Warriors Brand
  • Sports Research
  • Pro Jym
  • MuscleTech
  • LADDER Sport
  • EarthChimp
  • Colossal Labs
  • Body Fortress
  • Ancient Nutrition Multi

Where Can I Purchase Protein Powder Using EBT?

EBT is accepted by most major supermarkets.

Protein powder can be purchased online at retailers such as Walmart and Amazon.

Here is a list that includes grocers who accept EBT and may also have protein powder on hand:

  • Winn-Dixie
  • Winco
  • Whole Foods
  • Wawa
  • Walmart
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Sprouts
  • Safeway
  • Publix
  • Kroger
  • Hy-Vee
  • Fred Meyer
  • Dollar General
  • Costco
  • Aldi
  • Albertson’s

You will not be able to purchase supplements at stores such as GNC, Super Supplements, or other health food shops.

They are not equipped to accept EBT payments, so even if the retailer sells eligible products, they will not be able to accept your SNAP money.

FAQ About Buying Protein Powder with EBT

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding purchasing protein powder using food stamp benefits.

Please ask your question in the comments section if you do not see it answered.

EBT Eligible Animal Protein Powders and Whey Proteins

These are the top brands of whey powder and other animal proteins with a Nutrition Facts label that can be purchased using EBT.

Links to Amazon for brands that accepts EBT.

  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard (100% Whey)
  • Dymatize ISO100 hydrolyzed
  • MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder
  • Isopure low carb
  • BSN Syntha-6 edge
  • Ascent Native Fuel Whey
  • Levels Whey Protein

Can You Buy Meal Replacement Shakes with Food Stamps?

It depends on the brand. EBT is available for shakes that are labeled “Nutrition facts” and sold as food.

EBT is not available for shakes that are sold with Supplement Facts and are labeled as supplements.

The answer to the question of whether meal replacement shakes can be purchased with food stamps is the exact same answer as that of protein powders.

EBT Eligible Meal Replacement Shakes

These are some popular meal replacement brands with a Nutrition Facts label, which are EBT-eligible.

These links will take you to Amazon, which accepts EBT:

  • 310 Meal Replacement Shake [Vegan]
  • Evolve Protein Shake [Vegan]
  • Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement Powder [Vegan]
  • IdealShake Meal Replacement Shakes
  • Labrada Lean Body Hi-Protein Meal Replacement Shake
  • MET-Rx Original Whey Meal Replacement Shakes
  • Orgain Organic Meal Replacement Powder [Vegan]
  • PlantFusion Complete Meal [Vegan]
  • Premier Protein 30g Protein Shake
  • SlimFast Original Meal Replacement Shake Mix

Bottom Line

EBT recipients can purchase food using SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.

You can’t use your SNAP benefits for vitamins or minerals supplements, but you can purchase protein powders that have a nutrition label.

EBT is also available for meal replacement powders and pre-mixed drinks such as Ensure.

Protein powder can be found in most stores that sell foods or on websites like Amazon that accept EBT.

Most people will find that a basic whey powder is the best way to boost their protein intake.


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