Is Protein Powder Natty? The Truth

In the ever-evolving realm of fitness and bodybuilding, protein powder has undeniably taken the stage as a go-to supplement for countless enthusiasts. Its popularity is soaring, as athletes and gym-goers alike seek to maximize their gains and enhance their muscle recovery. 

However, amidst this widespread acclaim, a cloud of skepticism looms over the nattiness of protein powders.

The question on many minds is, “Is protein powder natty?” Our investigation into the subject is sparked by this question, and we dive into the intricate web of misunderstandings and controversy surrounding this supplement.

Brace yourself as we dissect the naturalness of protein powder, unearthing the truth behind the buzzword “natty” and its implications in the fitness industry.

Within the realm of fitness jargon, the term “natty” has gained significant traction, often referring to individuals who achieve their physiques without the use of performance-enhancing substances. But is protein powder natty?

Continue reading as we set off on an interesting trip, removing the layers to expose the true nattiness of protein powder. 

Is Protein Powder Natty?

Protein powder natty

Protein powders are considered natty because they are not termed performance-enhancing drugs (PED). But, when it comes to naturalness, it doesn’t possess inherent naturalness or synthetic nature. Its source and processing methods determine whether it’s natural or not. 

Amidst the fervor surrounding the naturalness of protein powder, it is crucial to address the prevailing misconception head-on. The controversy swirling around this supplement stems from the diverse perspectives within the fitness and bodybuilding community.

To understand the concept of “natty” in the context of fitness, it is imperative to trace its origins. Derived from the term “natural,” being considered natty implies an individual’s commitment to building their physique without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs. 

When evaluating the nattiness of a supplement, a major element comes to play which is if a supplement is considered a performance-enhancing drug (PED). In protein powder’s case, it is not considered a PED, which means it is natty.

Related: Is Creatine Natty? The Truth about Creatine

Understanding the Terms: Natural, Organic, and Natty

To make informed judgments about protein powder’s nattiness and naturalness, it’s essential to clarify the definitions and distinctions of key terms: natural, organic, and natty. These terms hold significant weight in the context of dietary supplements and can greatly influence consumer perceptions. 


Now, let’s try and understand the term “natty.” In fitness and bodybuilding circles, being considered natty goes beyond the realm of labeling and certifications. It embodies an ideology of achieving physical prowess through natural means, abstaining from performance-enhancing drugs.

Individuals who aspire to be natty typically prioritize disciplined training, wholesome nutrition, and a commitment to holistic well-being.


When we speak of a product being “natural or herbal,” we often envision ingredients that are derived from natural sources, without synthetic alterations. However, the term lacks a universal standard and can vary across industries and regulatory bodies. 

In the realm of protein powder, a natural product may consist of minimally processed ingredients, devoid of artificial additives, flavors, or sweeteners.


Conversely the expression “organic” possesses a more exact meaning. It designates goods that comply with strict standards established by certifying institutions to guarantee the application of organic farming methods the lack of genetically altered organisms (GMOs) and minimal or no contact with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. 

It’s crucial to remember that organic certification mostly relates to the procurement and cultivation of ingredients rather than the processing or addition of extra additives to the finished product.

In an industry where the lines can blur, companies may employ strategic messaging to create a perception of naturalness, even if their products contain processed ingredients or artificial additives.

Thus, it becomes imperative for consumers to scrutinize ingredient lists, seek reputable brands, and rely on third-party testing and certifications for greater assurance.

Also Read: Why Does Protein Powder Make You Fart?

Is Whey Protein A Steroid?

Whey protein isn’t a steroid; it’s a milk-derived dietary supplement rich in essential amino acids. It promotes muscle growth and recovery. Steroids, in contrast, are synthetic compounds that mimic hormonal effects in the body.

As the debate surrounding the naturalness and nattiness of protein powder intensifies, it’s crucial to address a common misconception: the association between whey protein and anabolic steroids. Despite sharing the spotlight in the fitness industry, whey protein and steroids are distinct entities with different properties and effects. 

An important fact to consider is that whey protein is sourced from milk. It is an inclusive type of protein comprising all the indispensable amino acids necessary to foster the progress and mending of muscles. It undergoes a process of filtration and concentration to isolate the protein from other components like lactose and fats. 

The resulting powder is rich in proteins like whey isolate or whey concentrate, providing a convenient source of high-quality nutrition for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

On another note, anabolic steroids are manufactured materials that emulate the consequences of testosterone on the physique. Using anabolic steroids can make you unnatty. 

These compounds, when misused, can lead to significant health risks and are often associated with performance-enhancing practices outside the boundaries of natural physique development.

It’s important to distinguish clearly between whey protein and steroids, even if both are employed in the fitness industry. 

When ingested in the correct amounts and as part of a healthy diet, research has shown that whey protein can aid in muscle development and recovery without disrupting hormonal balance or creating significant health hazards. Contrarily, using steroids might have negative legal and medical repercussions.

Also Read: Can You Bring Protein Powder On A Plane?

Examining the Ingredients

As we now know that protein powder is natty, but when it comes to assessing the naturalness of protein powder, a critical aspect to consider is the roster of ingredients that make up these products.

By closely examining these components, we can gain valuable insights into their origin and their alignment with our personal preferences for natural supplementation. 

Protein powder products typically feature a core set of ingredients, with the star of the show being the protein source itself. 

Whey, casein, soy, pea, and other common protein sources all have different amino acid profiles and rates of absorption. While some of these sources, like whey protein, are derived from animal-based products, others cater to vegan or vegetarian preferences.

From taste and texture to shelf life, the elements utilized in protein powder production could influence numerous factors aside from just providing an adequate serving of protein. These components are broadly distinguished into two categories – natural and artificial.

Natural ingredients encompass substances derived from natural sources, such as plant extracts or natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. On the other hand, artificial ingredients include synthetic additives, flavors, and sweeteners, designed to enhance the sensory experience of protein powder.

It’s important to note that the inclusion of artificial ingredients does not necessarily imply that a protein powder is unnatty, unnatural, or unhealthy. Many reputable brands utilize artificial additives that have been thoroughly tested and deemed safe for consumption. 

While examining the ingredients in protein powder, it’s also crucial to address potential concerns associated with certain components. For those with certain dietary requirements or sensitivities, some protein powders, for instance, may include allergens like lactose or soy.

Also Read: Can You Mix Creatine With Protein Powder?

Is Whey Protein A Banned Substance?

Protein natty
Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Whey protein itself is not a banned substance. It is a commonly available and legal dietary supplement. However, specific formulations or brands of protein powder may contain banned substances if they are contaminated or intentionally adulterated. It’s important to choose reputable brands and check for third-party testing to ensure purity and compliance.

Amidst the discussions, a question often arises: Is whey protein considered a banned substance? It’s essential to address this topic to dispel any misconceptions and provide clarity on the status of whey protein in the realm of sports and anti-doping regulations. 

Firstly, it’s crucial to distinguish between whey protein, a widely consumed dietary supplement, and substances prohibited by sports governing bodies. While unadulterated whey protein isn’t a banned substance for athletes to worry about. 

They still need to be mindful of any potential contaminations or alterations present in the protein powders and supplements they consume. It is a legal and widely accepted nutritional supplement available for purchase over the counter.

To mitigate this risk, athletes should choose reputable brands that prioritize quality control and transparency in their manufacturing processes.

Also Read: Can You Mix Pre Workout With Protein Powder?

What makes you not natty?

Within the fitness and bodybuilding community, the concept of being “natty” carries significant weight, symbolizing a commitment to achieving physical prowess without the aid of performance-enhancing substances. 

However, it’s essential to recognize that certain factors can disqualify individuals from being considered natty, raising questions about the boundaries and definitions of naturalness. 

First and foremost, the use of performance-enhancing drugs is a clear disqualifier from being considered natty. By choosing to avail themselves of illicit substances such as anabolic steroids or growth hormones among others – individuals are capable of securing a biased upper hand for their muscular development journey. 

This advantage isn’t limited to just physical strengthening – it also has a bearing on retarding the recovery process if a mishap were to occur. Embracing these substances contradicts the core principle of natural physique development, which centers around harnessing one’s genetics and relying on hard work and dedication.

Furthermore, individuals who have undergone certain medical procedures or treatments that directly impact their physique may also be excluded from the natty category. 

For instance, individuals who have received hormonal replacement therapy, undergone certain surgeries, or utilized medical interventions that alter their body composition might be deemed non-natty due to external influences on their physical development.

The four major things that can make you not natty are – Anabolic steroids, SARMs, Growth Hormones, and Hormone Precursors.

It’s crucial to note that the definition of being natty can vary within different fitness communities and competitions. Some organizations may have stricter guidelines, disqualifying individuals who have used any form of supplementation beyond basic nutrition. 

Others may allow for the use of certain supplements or medications within specified limits while still considering individuals natty.

Also Read: Should I Drink Protein Shake After Cardio? Pros And Cons

Frequently Asked Questions

Also Read: How To Make Protein Shake Thicker: 10 Easy Ways


Throughout this blog post, we have embarked on a comprehensive exploration of the nattiness of protein powder, aiming to answer the burning question: “Is protein powder natty?” 

We have delved into various aspects, from understanding the controversies surrounding protein powder’s naturalness to examining the ingredients, and the concept of being “natty” within the fitness community.

The term “natty” has become synonymous with achieving physical prowess through natural means, devoid of performance-enhancing drugs. Protein powder is considered natty as it is not a performance-enhancing drug. However, the naturalness of protein powder is a complex and multifaceted topic. 

Understanding the definitions of natural, organic, and natty is crucial to navigating this subject. Natural refers to ingredients derived from nature, while organic implies adherence to specific farming and production practices. 

Natty within the fitness community denotes a commitment to natural physique development, but the boundaries can vary among different competitions and organizations.

Whey protein, a popular protein source, is natty and not a banned substance in sports. Athletes can safely incorporate whey protein into their nutritional regimens. 

However, they must remain alert about consuming reputable brands to avoid products that may be contaminated or adulterated with banned substances.


  • West DWD, Abou Sawan S, Mazzulla M, Williamson E, Moore DR. Whey Protein Supplementation Enhances Whole Body Protein Metabolism and Performance Recovery after Resistance Exercise: A Double-Blind Crossover Study. Nutrients. 2017 Jul 11;9(7):735. doi: 10.3390/nu9070735. PMID: 28696380; PMCID: PMC5537849.
  • Yanaihara N. Hormone precursors. Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1980 Jul;9(2):223-34. doi: 10.1016/s0300-595x(80)80031-4. PMID: 6249523.

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Bruno Morgan


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