Can You Buy Protein Powder With EBT?

A lot of people in the US use EBT cards. However, some users do not know which articles they can buy using an EBT card.

What is EBT?

EBT is a government-funded program that allows low-income families to buy food, also known as electronic benefits transfers. EBT utilizes a debit card similar to a debit card to enable program members to purchase qualifying products, formerly known as food stamps, via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

I recently wrote an article showing how to track my EBT card in the mail. Now, we will write more about the EBT card application.

At the checkout counter, EBT benefits will be redeemed. The EBT card is transferred, and the costs of qualifying food products are deducted from the monthly benefits of the member. Almost any food (even plantation seeds) may be bought with EBT except hot meals.

Many products cannot be purchased with EBT benefits to ensure that the EBT benefits are not abused. Alcohol, vitamins and medications, cigarettes, and home goods are included. Protein powder is typically included in the supplement category and often can not be bought.

Let us see if EBT covers protein powder:

Can You Buy Protein Powder With EBT?

Yes, you can buy protein powder with EBT if the package label reads “Nutritional Facts.” In that case, protein powder is classified as a food that can be purchased using EBT. However, if the protein powder label reads “Supplement Facts,” it can not be purchased using EBT.

Premium shake nutrition facts

Some protein powder brands are classified as food, but some are classified as a supplement.

Evaluate the label on the back of the protein powder to see if it is available with EBT. For example, if the package heading states “Additional facts,” the supplement is regarded and cannot be bought with EBT. On the other hand, the protein powder is categorized by the label heading as a food, and EBT advantages might be utilized to acquire the product.

What protein powders can I buy with EBT?

You can buy the following protein powders with EBT:

  • Garden of Life Meal Replacement
  • Garden of Life Sport
  • KOS
  • NAKED Pea Protein
  • NOW Sports Pea Protein
  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard (100% Plant-Based)
  • Orgain
  • Vega Sport Premium Protein

Can you buy Whey protein with EBT?

Yes, you can buy Whey protein with EBT if the package label head reads “Nutritional Facts.” Some Whey protein powders are classified as food and can be purchased using EBT. However, if the Whey protein powder label reads “Supplement Facts,” it can not be purchased using EBT.

List of Whey proteins that you CAN buy with EBT:

  • Ascent Native Fuel Whey
  • BSN Syntha-6 Edge
  • Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed
  • Isopure Low Carb
  • Levels Whey Protein
  • MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder
  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard (100% Whey)

List of Whey proteins that you CAN NOT buy with EBT:

  • Ancient Nutrition Multi (Collagen Protein Powder)
  • Body Fortress
  • GENEPRO Protein
  • MuscleTech Nitro-Tech Ripped,
  • Pro Gym.
  • Vital Proteins (Collagen Peptides)


Can I buy protein shakes with EBT?

Yes, you can buy protein shakes with EBT if they are classified as food when the label head reads “Nutritional Facts.” ” However, if the shake’s package label head reads “Supplement Facts,” it can not be purchased using EBT.

Protein shakes that you can buy with EBT are:

  • 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

While your EBT cannot cover protein powder, protein bars or shakes can cover the same advantage for you. While many shakes and protein bars can be labeled in addition, powder, bars, and shakes can be covered, provided they include “nutritional” evidence on the bar.

Can you buy Slimfast with EBT?

Yes, you can buy Slimfast with EBT because it is usually classified as food and not supplemental. For example, if Slimfast is classified as “Nutritional Facts.” it can be bought using EBT, and if it is classified as “Supplement Facts,” it can not.

You can buy, for example, SlimFast Original Meal Replacement Shake Mix because it is classified as food.

Can you buy premier protein shakes with EBT?

Yes, you can buy a Premier protein shake with EBT (food stamps) because it is classified as food.  A premier protein shake is classified as “Nutritional Facts” and can be bought using EBT. However, if you see that shake is classified as “Supplement Facts,” you can not buy it using EBT.

Premium shake nutrition facts

For example,” Premier Protein 30g Protein Shake” is classified as food and purchased with EBT.

Premium shakes example that you can buy with EBT

Find alternatives for protein powder.

Because protein powder may be somewhat costly unless EBT covers it, several inexpensive alternative options may be worth considering. Keep cooked eggs on hand to maintain your exercise vigor. EBT will protect them, and each dollar extends well beyond that. Peanut butter is usually a significant protein source and a weeks-long container. Stick a bit on a celery stalk, and anytime you need, you will have an EBT pick-up in mid-afternoon.

Make shakes of your protein.

You can always do it yourself if you want your protein shake covered by EBT. You may produce your shakes with some fruit, spices, and milk. Then, the blender and hand mixer is all you need. You will enhance vitality while you also benefit from all-natural components.

However, it is not a perfect alternative for EBT coverage; supplement coupons may often be found and sold. You could also buy EBT-covered food substitute shakes such as Ensure or Slim-Fast, so check these out too. If not, discounts can help offset the additional cost for certain goods.

Several sources of food

You may purchase food from any store that takes the cards using your electronic card, including meat, poultry, fish, veggies, or milk. However, defining what food is based on government criteria might be challenging. This is because Congress imposes these criteria, and the definition may only be modified by Congressional legislation.

  • Food Junk can be bought with EBT
  • You can buy seafood and steaks using EBT
  • Some energy drinks you can buy with EBT

What Can’t You Purchase with EBT?

The EBT program can not be used to buy hot meals or to eat anything on-site. This gives up the lunches in the restaurant and the hot chicken dinners at the store. You can’t additionally buy your EBT card with paper goods, clothes, pet food, vitamins, supplements, alcohol, and smokes.

Can you buy supplements with EBT?

You can not buy supplements with EBT because only food can be paid for using EBT, and supplements are not food and can not be purchased with EBT.


Other tribal communities, such as temporary aid for needy families, provide cash with an EBT card. This subsidy can be used for non-food products or money from an ATM instead of the SNAP food program. Learn how to enter an EBT card manually.

Restrictions on EBT cards

Distribution of Electronic Advantages or EBT cards to limited family groups for food purchases through a state-run aid program called SNAP. Since 2004, welfare payments in every US country have been replaced with the EBT card. EBT cards and food stamps work for the same purpose; however, the EBT card provides users greater confidentiality because it can be swapped through a credit card reader as a debit or credit card can be. Even if the EBT card offers greater comfort, there are still limits on what the EBT card may buy.

  • Purpose products and paper products

The SNAP scheme aims to enable families to eat even now under challenging circumstances. Thus, EBT cards may only be used to buy food and cannot be even if the articles appear essential to purchasing other home products. Items like paper towels, serviettes, and shampoos are not edible and cannot be bought with an EBT card. You have a cash, debit card, or credit card to pay for those things. Food banks in their region can seek families that cannot afford these products to provide them free or use a church group for donations.

  • Drinks on smoking, liquor, and energy

No customer may buy any form of tobacco, wine, and beer using an EBT card, even in states that offer these products in food shops. Tobacco and cigarettes are not listed since they are not available for consumption. While beer and liquor may be consumed, they are listed in the SNAP program as prohibited goods. Some goods are difficult to classify, like energy drinks. An EBT card is also available to purchase beverages with nutrient properties on the labeling as other foods and drinks.

  • Food for animals

Only FDA-approved foods that individuals can ingest can be purchased with the EBT card. Animal foods are limited to the EBT card and should be paid for differently. If families can no longer afford to buy anything, they might turn to local charities to obtain food for their animals. When a family finds itself in the challenging circumstance of not caring for their animal, they may also seek a no-kill shelter to turn their pet into it so that another supportive home can take care of the animal.

  • Hot meals

EBT cards are intended for the purchase and production of food. In particular food establishments, hot goods, e.g., chicken or Chinese food, can be delivered. The purchase of such products cannot be used for EBT cards. There may also be soft pretzel stands in some supermarkets, or quick food restaurants, in which the usage of EBT is prohibited. Persons with disabilities, homelessness, or elders may use an EBT card in eateries in rare situations. This depends on the state. If you are new to EBT benefits, contact a government employee in your region to see if you qualify.



Please you can read our article My EBT card Won’t swipe if you have a problem with your EBT card. Additionally, you can learn what you can buy with EBT at Sheetz.

Look at the list of Surprising Things You Can Buy With EBT.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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