Yes, whey is gluten-free because the whey protein itself does not have gluten in it. You may see whey listed as “whey concentrate,” “whey isolate” or “whey hydrolysate” on the package. All of these forms of whey protein are gluten-free and are safe for people with celiac disease.
Is Whey Protein Powder Gluten-Free?
Not all whey protein powders are gluten-free. Powders like those used to help build muscle usually contain additional ingredients other than just whey. You should check the ingredients list of any whey powder before using it to ensure it is gluten-free. Dietary supplements like whey powders are not regulated by the government, so even if the name or brand of whey protein powder says “pure protein” or “100% protein” on the front, you will usually see several other ingredients than just whey when you read the back label. Because manufacturers use different ingredients to create each flavor of whey protein powder, be sure to double check the label of each different flavor before using.
Some whey protein powders contain the ingredient “glutamine,” which is derived from wheat protein. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity ('gluten sensitivity') should not use whey protein powder that contains glutamine. You can read more about glutamine and whey protein powders in Answers from a Dietitian.