Protein Powder Without Arginine?

Man making protein shake.

Are you spending hours of your precious time searching for a protein shake or protein powder without arginine? If you are, that tells me a few things about you right off the bat.

1. We have a lot in common. (I searched like a mad woman; hence, this blog.)

2. You’re into health and fitness. You workout. Probably one of two categories: 

A) You lift weights and/or do crazy circuit training and maybe even obstacle course races like Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Superhero Scramble, Battle Frog, etc. etc etc. or

B) You’re not an exercise fanatic, but you’re conscious of what you eat and/or are trying to be!

3. You found out you have a new life-long best friend named Herpes.

Yep, me too. And I know you’d much rather prefer if your protein powder was your body’s friend and not its enemy. (Too much arginine = hello living hell. I get it!)

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

In a nutshell, I’ve been in your shoes, learned the hard way, then FINALLY found a protein powder with a good arginine to lysine ratio that has not caused me ANY problems. If you’re short on time and want to go straight to it, here you go. It’s available in two sizes, 2lbs or 5lbs:

Note: This is my current recommendation. They stopped producing the original one I found, so I had to redo my search all over again from scratch!

If you want to know more about me and how i found it, keep reading…

In 2012, I discovered that I had become part of the 25% of adults who are labeled, shamed, and ridiculed for something they unknowingly came into contact with. If you’re reading this, that’s probably you too. And more likely than not, you’re not posting all over social media about it either.

The first year was absolute hell – a roller coaster of pain, both physical and emotional: denial, anger, frustration, blame, regret, and depression. Now? Acceptance, understanding, peace, encouragement, optimism, and confidence.

Part of my journey through those emotions was coming across a website that helped me connect with people who had already gone through what I was experiencing, and offered tons of resources and support. I spent HOURS on the site at the beginning, absorbing as much information as I could, to try and make sense of what was happening to me, and to find that light at the end of the tunnel.

My time on the site eventually faded, only visiting when I had a new idea or question. November 2014 was one of those times. I (finally) started strength training again and needed to find a protein powder to assist me in building lean muscle.

I used to take a whey protein powder (Publix Greenwise Chocolate Protein Powder – OMG it was delish!), but had since given it up entirely to avoid unleashing the fury inside of me courtesy of Mr. Arginine. So, I found a thread on the site where people posted, asking the same exact thing – they were looking for a protein powder that did NOT contain arginine. (What? It doesn’t exist?! Uggghhh!!)

I realized through that thread that it was OK if the protein powder had arginine, as long as it had the same amount or MORE lysine. Unfortunately, every freakin’ protein powder people recommended on that thread turned out to be crap! Ok, at least for me they did because they were full of artificial sweeteners or a bunch of other unnatural stuff that I didn’t need or want in my body. So I did my own research, found one that was good, and replied to the thread with my findings.

Here’s what I posted: 

“Hi everyone! I found a good protein powder with more lysine than arginine and thought I’d come back on this thread and share. I read this page in-depth over the past few weeks and researched every protein powder people mentioned here, but none of them quite fit what I was looking for. Either I couldn’t find the ingredients online, the lysine/arginine ratio was out of proportion, there were artificial ingredients, or there were just a bunch of ingredients that I didn’t know what they heck they were, so I definitely wasn’t going to put it into my body.

This was my herpes-friendly protein powder criteria:

  1. Must have more lysine than arginine (or be pretty darn equal).
  2. Must not contain any crazy chemicals, artificial flavors or sweeteners. (As “natural” & organic as possible).
  3. Must not contain a bazillion added ingredients that I can’t even pronounce and have no interest in.
  4. Must not be crazy expensive.
  5. Must not taste like donkey butt.

After researching all of the protein powders listed here and having no luck, I went to Sprouts and other local organic markets and read the back of every protein powder they had. Of course, I declined whenever the store employees offered to help me find a protein powder to meet my needs. What the heck was I going to say??

Employee: “Can I help you find something miss?”

Me: “Yes, I’m looking for a protein powder with more lysine than arginine.”

Employee: “That’s interesting, why?”

Me: “Oh, you know, because I have the herps and too much arginine makes me break out down there.”  (pointing down, nudge nudge, wink wink)

Yeah, no thanks, lol. After reading a slew of labels at multiple stores, I ended up finding one at Sprouts. It’s the ONLY one I’ve come across so far that has a good lysine/ arginine ratio. I haven’t found one that has no arginine at all (I think I read somewhere that it’s not even possible). I was reluctant to buy a whole canister of it just in case it caused a breakout, so I bought one of the sample packets for a couple dollars to try it out. (Especially because I wanted the chocolate flavor and you know what they say about chocolate too, lol.) I am happy to report: NO BREAKOUT! I went back to Sprouts a week later to buy the full size, and believe it or not, they’re going to stop carrying it soon!!  I ended up finding it online though, and it’s actually cheaper anyway, so SCORE! Okie dokes, I hope this helps save someone else out there some precious time!”

So that’s how it happened. I finally found an awesome protein powder with a good lysine/arginine ratio and I wanted to share it with the world. Since my original finding, the company stopped carrying it, so I had to redo my search for a high lysine low arginine protein powder all over again!

The one I’m currently loving is the one I mentioned above, Levels Protein Powder, however I get the 5lb one because it’s a little cheaper. There are 28 servings in the 2lb and 71 servings in the 5lb. That breaks down to $1.24 per serving for the 2lb and $.98 per serving for the 5lb, for a per-serving-savings of $.24. That might not sound like much, but if you have one serving per day like I do, you will save appx $7.20 per month, which adds up to $87.60 per year! (That covers one of my streaming subscriptions, thank you very much!)

I hope this post was helpful for you! I will be posting lots more about the lysine arginine ratio in protein powders specifically as well as in food in general. If you have a question, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message through my Contact Page

UPDATE: **HEADS UP!!** Do NOT put hemp hearts/hemp seeds in your protein shakes/smoothies. At the beginning of my post-herpes weight training journey (a.k.a. before i knew better), I bought some raw, shelled hemp seeds to add to my protein shakes because everybody raves about how healthy they are and all that awesome omega 3 and 6, etc. You guys can guess what happened, so I researched it and yep – “hemp seed has exceptionally high levels of the amino acid arginine.”  I can’t believe I didn’t think to research it first, so hopefully my experience can save someone else out there from making the same mistake!

Lysine-Arginine Blogger

I’m just a regular person who learned the hard way that too much arginine causes herpes outbreaks. I found real solutions that have worked for me to prevent outbreaks for years. My mission is to share everything I've learned with as many people as possible, to prevent them from going through the same pain and suffering I did. Because once you know what to do, you won't have to suffer anymore!

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