Have you ever wondered if you can buy protein powder with EBT? The answer is a little complicated, because protein powder is technically edible but it isn’t a traditional food. We’ll show you which protein powders are EBT-eligible and how you can tell the difference.
What is protein powder?
Protein powder is a powdered protein that is made from plants, eggs or milk. Plant-based protein powder can be made from soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, or hemp. This product is often used as a nutritional supplement.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people often use protein powder to improve athletic performance, address nutritional deficiencies, gain weight, and even recover from burns.
What is EBT?
EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer. This is the way that many federal benefits programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) are distributed. EBT provides recipients with convenient cards that function like debit cards at most major retailers and other participating stores.
Often, when people use the phrase EBT, they are referring to SNAP. It is more common for people to receive SNAP benefits than other EBT benefits like TANF.
A lot of people have questions about what they can do with EBT. That’s what we specialize in here at Low Income Relief, so be sure to check out this comprehensive list of EBT discounts and hacks!
Can you buy protein powder with EBT?
The answer is that yes, you can buy some protein powders with EBT but not all protein powders are EBT-eligible. It depends on the brand and the label used on the product.
That’s because some protein powders are considered food items and others are considered supplements. SNAP EBT benefits can only be used to purchase eligible food items, so it really depends on which type of protein powder you’re buying.
Some companies prefer to market their products as supplements, which will make them ineligible for food stamps. Others recognize that protein powder is also a food and market their products accordingly. The company and their marketing choices have a lot of impact on whether or not the item is considered a food or a supplement.
How can I tell which protein powder brands I can buy with EBT?
According the federal food stamps law, only items with a nutritional facts label are EBT-eligible. Nutrition facts labels are placed on food items, but supplement facts labels are placed on items that are being sold as supplements. Any protein powders that have a supplement facts label will not be EBT-eligible.
In order to buy protein powder with EBT, you have to choose a brand that is being sold as a food item and not a supplement.
Here’s a list of EBT-eligible protein powder brands.
There are some protein powder products that are generally considered EBT-eligible:
- BSN Syntha-6
- Drink Wholesome
- Garden of Life
- Keto Science
- Muscle Milk
- Optimum Nutrition Gold
- Premier Protein
- Pure Protein Powder
- Purely Inspired
- Quest Nutrition
- Vega Essentials
You can buy protein powder with EBT on Amazon from these brands as well!
Which protein powder brands are NOT EBT-eligible?
Unfortunately, there are many brands that are not eligible for purchase with food stamps. If you’re a fan of the following brands, you may want to consider switching to an EBT-eligible alternative from the previous list.
- Ancient Nutrition Multi
- Body Fortress
- Colossal Labs
- LADDER Sport
- Pro Jym
- Sports Research
- Sunwarrior Warrior Brand
- Vital Proteins
Where can I buy protein powder with EBT?
Most major grocery retailers accept EBT for eligible purchases. You can also purchase protein powder online from retailers like Walmart and Amazon.
Here’s a list of grocers that accept EBT and may have protein powder in stock:
- Dollar General
- Fred Meyer
- Trader Joe’s
- Whole Foods
Unfortunately, you will usually not be able to purchase items at supplement stores like GNC, Super Supplements, or other health food stores. These retailers are usually not set up to process EBT payments, so they cannot accept your SNAP funds even if they sell eligible items.
FAQs about Buying Protein Powder with EBT
We’ve been asked a lot of questions about purchasing protein powder with food stamps benefits, so we wanted to address the most common answers here. If you don’t see an answer to your question, feel free to ask us in the comment section!
Does it matter if it’s plant-based or animal-based?
No. The only thing that matters is whether or not the product is considered a food item. Both plant-based and animal-based protein powders can be considered food. The source of the protein does not matter.
Can I use EBT to buy protein powder online?
Yes! There are many online retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, that accept EBT for online protein powder purchases. In fact, here’s a list of EBT-eligible protein powder on Amazon for your convenience.
However, you need to make sure that you’ve selected the right seller, as only items shipped from Amazon itself are EBT-eligible. You cannot order with EBT from third-party sellers.
How can you tell the difference between a nutrition and supplement facts label?
When you look at the facts label, the word “nutrition” or “supplement” will be featured prominently at the beginning of the chart. You simply need to check the chart at the back of each package to determine if it is supplement or nutrition facts.