For our readers who are unaware of what exactly ‘EBT’ is, here you go. The Electronic Benefits Transfer system (EBT) enables beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to use their SNAP benefits for the purchase of food.
A participant’s SNAP EBT account is debited when they shop at a SNAP-authorized store, so the store can reimburse them for the food they purchased.
Yes. You can buy protein powder using your EBT card, but the restrictions apply. You can only buy the ones which are sold as food items and not supplements or vitamins. Another common query often asked is “Can you buy pre-workout with EBT?” Again, the pre-workouts are usually sold as supplements. So, you can’t buy them with EBT.
However, if a pre-workout is labeled as ‘Food Item’, you can surely buy it using your EBT. Now, if you’re wondering “Can you buy muscle milk with food stamps?” Firstly, it’s important to know that a food stamp is just another name for EBT. So, do not get confused.
Yes, you can buy muscle milk with food stamps but only if the label says, ‘Nutritional Facts’ or ‘Food Item’. If it’s being sold as a supplement, you’ll have to choose an alternative method for payment as EBT won’t help you with that.
Can You Buy Protein Powder with EBT?
Whether or not you can buy protein powder using your EBT Card totally depends on the type of protein powder you’re willing to purchase. There are different brands that sell their protein powders as different products. You’ll simply need to check the label of the protein powder.
If it says ‘Food Item’ or Nutritional Facts’, then yes. You can surely purchase it with EBT. But if the label says ‘Supplement Facts’, then you won’t be able to buy it with EBT. That’s because EBT is only eligible for food items. You cannot purchase any type of vitamins or supplements using EBT.
Can Protein Powder be Bought with Food Stamps?
Food Stamps, formerly known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, provide low- and no-income Americans with assistance for buying food which is basically the Electronic Benefits Transfer. And so, again, yes. You can buy protein powder with food stamps but of course not all of them.
If the one you’re looking for is sold as a food item, you can buy it with food stamps. But if it’s a supplement, then you can’t.
What Protein Powder Can I Buy With Food Stamps?
Every single protein powder that its manufacturing brand has labeled as a FOOD ITEM can be bought with food stamps. The main purpose is to assist the low-income people of the United States in buying food. And supplements or vitamins do not actually count as food items, and hence are made in-eligible to be bought using EBT.
Protein powders are sold as both, food items and supplements. And so, it totally depends on the brand itself if they manufacture the supplemental or nutritional protein powder.
But what’s important is, most of the protein powders are sold as food items. And so, you’ll be able to buy them using EBT.
EBT Eligible Protein Powders
To make it an easier search for our readers, we’re shortlisted some of the good-selling protein powders that are labeled as ‘Nutritional Facts’ and are definitely eligible to be bought with EBT.
- Muscle Milk Protein Powder
- TGS Natural Whey Powder
- Naked Whey – Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder
- F-Factor 20/20 Protein/Fiber Powder
- MusclePharm Combat Protein
- Optimum Natural Gold Standard
EBT Eligible Plant-Based Protein Powders
Now, the list of EBT eligible protein powders further goes down to two categories, one being the Plant-based protein powders and the other, Whey protein and Animal Protein powders.
Here are a few leading brands of plant-based protein powder with nutritional facts labels that can be purchased with EBT.
- Naked Pea Protein
- Optimum Natural Gold Standard
- Garden of Life Sport
- Garden of Life Meal Replacement
- Vega Sport Premium Protein
- NOW Sports Pea Protein
Can You Buy Creatine with Food Stamps?
Unfortunately, no. you cannot buy creatine with food stamps. Unlike the protein powders, which are sometimes sold as nutritional and sometimes, as supplemental facts, creatine is ONLY sold as a supplement as it does not qualify as food in any way. And because supplements are not eligible to be bought with food stamps, creatine is also not eligible to be bought with food stamps.
Can You Buy Vitamins with EBT?
The quick answer to this question is no, at least not yet. SNAP does not cover vitamins or dietary supplements, but there are plans to include them in the near future. Vitamins too are labeled as supplements so, you cannot purchase them with EBT.
Does EBT Cover Premier Protein Shakes?
Yes. Protein shakes are included under the list of eligible items that can be bought with EBT. Like protein powder, some protein shakes are marketed as food sources that contain nutrition labels, while others are marketed as supplements that include supplement labels.
Purchasing protein shakes is more difficult as compared to the protein powders since most of them fall under the supplement category rather than the food/nutrition category. Similar rules apply to protein bars, and the vast majority are considered supplements, thus not eligible for EBT cards.
Can You Buy Whey Protein with Food Stamps?
Yes. Whey protein products can also be bought with food stamps. Most of them are sold as ‘Nutritional facts’ and hence, are eligible with EBT.
Here’s a list of some Whey proteins by some leading brands that you may opt to.
- Isopure Low Carb
- Ascent Native Fuel Whey
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
- BSN Syntha-6 Edge
- Dymatize ISO100 Hydrolyzed
- Levels Whey Protein
- MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder
Can You Buy Meal Replacement Shakes with Food Stamps?
Yes. But the same condition applies for the Meal Replacement Shakes as for the Protein powders. When purchasing a meal replacement shake with EBT, you need to check if it is a food or supplement.
You can buy meal replacement shakes that are labeled ‘Nutrition Facts’ like food, but you cannot buy any meal replacement shakes that are supplements, since SNAP prohibits the use of food stamps to buy vitamins and supplements.
What Can be Bought with EBT?
Almost all the grocery food items (not the hot served food) for households can be bought using EBT. Here’s a list of types of items you can buy using EBT.
- Bread, grains, and cereals
- Dairy products such as milk and yogurt
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Food producing seeds and plants
- Fruits and vegetables
- Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
Can You Buy Protein Powder with EBT at Walmart?
Yes. As long as the protein powder you’re willing to buy is sold as a food item, you can buy it at Walmart. In fact, any grocery store in the entire United States would allow you to buy nutritional protein powders, as long as the store has been approved for the SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).
Can You Buy Herbalife with Food Stamps?
Herbalife is basically related to nutritional supplements, meal replacement shakes, multivitamins, etc. And so, for the purchase of Herbalife products with food stamps, you already know the conditions by now! If a certain product says ‘Nutritional Facts’ on its label, you can buy it with food stamps.
However, if the product says ‘Supplement Facts’, then of course you cannot buy it with food stamps.
Can You Buy Atkins Shake with Food Stamps?
Again, Atkins shake lies under the category of protein shakes and the shakes that are labeled as ‘Nutrition facts’ or ‘food item’ can be purchased with food stamps. Purchasing protein shakes is more difficult as compared to the protein powders since most of them fall under the supplement category rather than the food/nutrition category.
So, you’ll have to see it yourself if your concerned shake lies under the category of the food item.
Can You Buy Protein Powder with EBT – FAQs
This was all you need to know if you’re willing to buy protein powders or some other related item using your EBT. Simply look at the label of whatever product you intend to buy.
If it says, ‘Nutritional Facts’, that’s great! You can surely buy it with your EBT Card. And in case it says, Supplemental Facts’, then you’ll have to opt for some alternative payment method other than EBT.