Skinny Yoked: In Pursuit of Lean Mass
beef standard protein powder

Top Beef Protein Supplement Brands Compared

The big world of beef proteins is scary. Cow? Chocolate? Drinkable? It doesn’t make sense yet it’s intriguing at the same time.

Skinny Yoked investigates the beef protein trend in 2020 and compares some of the biggest sellers to help you make informed decisions.

TL;DR: Beef protein powder has benefits that whey doesn’t. Our favorite brand we tested was Muscle Meds Carnivor Isolate powder. We recommend diversifying your protein sources, including whey, casein and beef.

Beef Standard vs. Musclemeds Carnivor vs. Muscletech Platinum Beef

Nothing get’s a man’s pulse quickening then the phrase “chocolate beef protein shake”.. or at least we get excited by the prospect of drinking our favorite meat.

There are many cases to be made in diversity and bioavailbility of nutrients in supplements, one of the reasons protein blends like Syntha-6 and Pro Jym are so popular.

Whey protein digests at a fairly rapid rate. The idea behind blends that include whey concentrate, whey isolate, egg white and micellar casein are that these different types of proteins all digest in different ways at different rates, thus prolonging MPS (muscle protein synthesis).

While egg/casein/whey combinations have been on the market for a while, a relatively newcomer has entered the scene and is making waves. Say hello to beef protein.

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Being a relatively new source of protein there aren’t that many makers. One of the most popular is Musclemeds Carnivor.

Another big brand to launch a line featuring protein is Musclepharm with their Iron Mass, which we did a long term review of here.

Still, there’s been a ton of speculation about the quality of these new beef proteins, as some have been found to be of less-than-desirable quality.

One brand that is completely transparent in the composition of their beef protein, and which has earned our enormous respect in doing so is Betancourt Nutrition with their [easyazon_link identifier=”B00RFU7KGK” locale=”US” nf=”y” tag=”skinyoke-20″]Beef Standard[/easyazon_link] protein.

betancourt beef standard reviewed

Can’t go wrong with “Prime Chocolate”. We weren’t big fans of the vanilla. When in doubt, always go the chocolate route!

So First Off, Who are Betancourt Nutrition?

When the founders this jacked, they probably know what they’re doing

Founded by former NPC bodybuilding champion Jorge Betancourt, the company was founded on the same principal that drives bodybuilding: “competition breeds success”.

This mindset has led Betancourt to produce some top quality products, and the best pure beef protein powder on the market. 

We reviewed Betancourt’s B-Nox before, an absolute powerhouse pre-workout that is actually a pre-workout AND testosterone booster all in one.

jorge betancourtFor example, while Musclemed’s Carnivor is probably the most famous beef isolate protein on the market, it’s largely due to having Kai Greene as a (former) brand representative than it is the actual quality of the product.

Kai has since gone on to found his own supplement line, Dynamik Muscle, which has plenty of rad pre-workouts and intra-workouts, but no beef protein mix, just whey

Musclemed’s Carnivor is full of all kinds of proprietary named ingredients that are more for marketing than educating consumers.

For example, reading the following excerpt leaves us more confused than it does excited about the product:

Anabolic Nitrogen Retention Technology™ (ANRT) Recycles Aminos and Minimizes Ammonia

ANRT is a major muscle building breakthrough in protein supplementation.

While protein is critical for muscle growth, it can sometimes actually decrease performance and muscle growth if nitrogenous waste products like ammonia are not recycled back into anabolic tissue building pathways or otherwise neutralized.

ANRT is specially designed to allow the recycling of aminos back toward the muscle building pathway and prevent the build-up of debilitating toxins such as ammonia.

ANRT nitrogen retention factors contained in CARNIVOR include GKG (glutamine-alpha-ketoglutarate), OKG (ornithine-alpha-ketoglutarate), AKG (alpha-ketoglutarate) and KIC (alpha-ketoisocaproate).

What does that even mean?

While Musclemeds goes on at quite length about the science behind Carnivor, how much creatine it has and how hydrolization is so much better than concentrate, they don’t ever specify what type of beef is used in Carnivor.

beef standard ingredient profile

And that’s a problem. When companies fail to fully disclose what’s used it’s usually for a good reason.

Competitors like True Protein and Universals 100% Beef Amino’s both have glycine and proline which suggests that while they are technically “beef” they are also likely composed not of the good red meat but instead gelatin or collagen from connective tissue and bones.

Why would beef protein makers use gelatin & collagen instead of real meat? Because it’s much much cheaper.

There are plenty of places to get cheap beef scraps, because they aren’t that popular with consumers. Grilled beef tendons anyone?

Now just because they don’t say what type of beef they use DOESN’T necessarily mean that they are using hooves and intestines, but if they are using only 100% real meat, then they’re marketing team needs to be fired and replaced with people who know how to shout about a good thing!

Innocent until proven guilty, so maybe Carnivor really is an exceptional product, but we still have to say “maybe” whereas with The Beef Standard we KNOW beyond a doubt it’s a solid product.

Betancourt hasn’t been shouting, but they have been very transparent in their marketing and deserve credit for that.

What Makes “The Beef Standard” So Dope?

The Beef Standard is Betancourt’s beef protein supplement that has zero gelatin, zero collagen, zero cholesterol, and zero fat. It also contains 3 grams of naturally occurring creatine (found in red meat)

If you haven’t heard of Betancourt, they’re pretty legit. All of their products are. B-Nox Androrush, their pre-workout is loaded with all the good stuff like Tuarine+Carnosyn, 3 forms of creatine, L-Tyrosine, L-Arginine, and a full BCAA profile. Additionally they stand out by adding some other dope ingredients like ZMA, Beet Root, Q10 and Bioperine.

SY has used both B-Nox Androrush (Read our full review here) and The Beef Standard for more than a year and have fallen in love.

How Does It Stack up Against Muscletech’s 100% Beef, Carnivor or Olympian Labs?

Another great beef protein actually comes from Muscletech, who are also surprisingly forthcoming about the fact that their beef protein also contains zero collagen or gelatin.

Both Muscletech’s Platinum 100% Beef and Betancourt’s Beef Standard share servings size, brown rice for the filler and 3 grams of creatine.

However, we think Beef Standard has a slight edge over Muscletech here simply because they regularly come in at about $4 cheaper AND have their trademarked Superserum, which is a

Bovine Serum Albumin Concentrate protein rich in peptides and growth factors. It is a fast absorbing protein with a minimum of 10%  IgG (immunoglobulin- a protein used by the immune system) , 60% Albumin and 5% Transferrin.

Olympian Labs also touts the benefits of Transferrins in their “Muscle Plasma Protein Technology” which, while still not fully tested, is supported by research indicating the benefit of such transferrins in maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal lining and thus increasing the absorption of amino acids, fats and carbs.

Pretty delicious and nice carb profile we must admit..

Table could not be displayed.

So, in the world of beef proteins there are 3 solid candidates to choose from:

  • Olympian Labs Beef Protein if you want to gain mass
  • Muscltetech’s Platinum 100% Beef if you want to pay $4 for the Muscletech brand
  • Betancourt Beef Standard for if you want a high quality, pure beef protein at the best available price.
  • Carnivor if you love Kai Greene (even though he left Musclemeds when he created Dynamik Muscle)

*Bonus Tip: Mix Whey Protein With Beef Protein for a Double-Tap (a.k.a the ultimate protein stack)

If you’re still skeptical about the benefits of beef proteins as there isn’t nearly as much research on the long term benefits compared to whey, then consider buying both a quality whey or whey-blend protein AND a quality beef protein and mixing them for added bioavailability and stacked absorption rates.

The Skinny Yoked favorite protein shake recipe currently is:

1-Scoop Syntha-6 Chocolate Peanut Butter OR 1-Scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey


1-Scoop Betancourt Beef Standard


Mix with 2% milk (to really pack on them gaaaaaaains)

(Pop it in the freezer 15 minutes before the gym to get it all cooled down and ready for you to slam post-workout.)

With these blends you’re either getting every possible protein source under the sun in the case of the Syntha-6 + Beef Standard blend or ultimate reliability and glutamine supplementation with the O.N Gold Standard + Beef Standard (we’re daring to call this the “double standard”) blend.

Last update on 2020-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Comments (12):

  1. Milton M.

    November 24, 2018 at 7:36 am

    What about side effects? Does Beef Protein increase acne?

    • Erik Bowitz

      November 24, 2018 at 7:40 am

      I didn’t experience any different side effects from beef protein vs whey protein. I’d say I have normal skin, occasional pimple, but didn’t see an increase or decrease when going between beef and whey.

  2. Adelaide Garrett

    November 24, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Great post! I’ve been wanting to try a beef-sourced protein powder for a while but haven’t just because the thought of chocolate cow in a jug is a bit scary. Going to give it a shot with a 2.5lb tub..

  3. Daniel Diaz

    November 24, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    What are the benefits of a beef protein isolate compared to a whey isolate?

    • Erik Bowitz

      November 24, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      For one, it’s a different protein source. Getting protein from multiple sources has long been a thing in bodybuilding, why brands like Syntha-6 are so popular. The idea is the different digestion and absorption rates keep aminos trickling in to muscles over a longer period of time, resulting in a more (longer) anabolic window. With isolate however, I believe both beef and whey would be fast digesting, so not sure there would be a massive benefit. If they are similarly priced give it a try and see for yourself!

  4. Nell A.

    November 24, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Man I tried this and hated the flavor

    • Erik Bowitz

      November 24, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      Hey, the beef ain’t for everyone! Maybe you can give Carinvor from Musclemeds a shot, or Muscletech’s beef protein a try. Or just stick to whey 🙂

  5. Ollie Chambers

    November 24, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Great post, hard to find anyone talking about beef for some reason..

  6. Luke B.

    November 24, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    What about Equip Foods Prime Protein?

    • Erik Bowitz

      November 24, 2018 at 11:55 pm

      It looks great, especially it’s from grass fed cows which produces a higher quality meat. Give it a try and let me know how it is!

  7. ellen l

    November 24, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    I’m doing the ketogenic diet, would beef protein powder fall into my diet restrictions?

    • Erik Bowitz

      November 25, 2018 at 12:06 am

      I believe it would yes, just check the label and make sure there aren’t any added carbs or carb-derived starches.


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