Can You Buy Protein Powder With Food Stamps? Answered

Scoop of protein powder

Short Answer

You can buy certain types of protein powder with your EBT card. SNAP benefits aren’t valid on vitamins or supplements, so the protein powder must be marked with “Nutrition Facts” rather than “Supplement Facts” to be eligible.

Can You Buy Protein Powder With EBT?

Whether you can buy protein powder with your EBT card will depend on the exact product you’d like to purchase.

Some protein powders are sold as food, while others are sold as supplements. While you can buy most grocery items with your EBT card, you can’t buy vitamins or supplements.[1]

The protein powder you’re interested in must be considered a food item to be EBT-eligible.

One way to check this is to read the label on the back of the product. If the label is titled “Supplement Facts,” this product is considered a supplement, and you can’t buy it using SNAP benefits.[1]

For example, Pure Protein whey powders and CVS store brand whey protein have “Supplement Facts” labels and will require a different payment method than EBT.[2][3]

If the label says “Nutrition Facts,” you should be able to purchase the powder with your EBT card (as long as the store accepts EBT and its checkout system recognizes the product as EBT-eligible).[4][5]

None of the benefits agencies we contacted were able to provide a complete list of approved protein powders.

However, if you have a question about a particular product’s EBT eligibility, you can check the label, contact your local benefits agency, or email your question to the USDA through the agency’s Ask the Expert tool.

Can You Buy Other Supplements With EBT?

The same rules that apply to protein powders apply to other supplements you want to purchase with SNAP benefits: you can’t use your EBT card to buy any item considered a vitamin or supplement.[1]

Certain protein bars are eligible for EBT if they have a “Nutrition Facts” label.[4]

This same distinction applies to weight loss shakes and ready-made protein drinks, such as Ensure, which you can purchase with EBT (as previously reported).

For more information on non-supplemental items eligible for SNAP/EBT, check out our research on what you can and can’t buy with EBT.


4 comments


  • EDWIN

    Last month I brought regular Six Star 100% Creatine Monohydrate and chocolate Muscle Milk with my EBT. This month I was not able to buy it again.

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Lindsey Desmet

      Hello, Edwin! Muscle Milk has a Nutrition Facts label, but Six Star 100% Creatine appears to be marked with a Supplement Facts label, which makes it ineligible for EBT. The rules have not changed since our article was published; EBT is valid on nutritional items, but not supplements. For official guidance on which items are eligible for EBT, you can use the USDA’s Ask the Expert tool (linked early in the article) to submit your question. We have updated our article to include information about Ask the Expert.

  • Chante

    Since isopure zero carb has a nutrition fact label, I am able to purchase that eith ebt…correct?

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

      Hi Chante,

      Yes, that’s correct. You should be able to purchase it with EBT.

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