Does Oat Milk Have Protein? (Nutritional Breakdown)

Written by: Jeana Marie

Protein is an essential nutrient that helps keep your bones and muscles strong. Many people get about 16% of their daily recommended amount of protein from dairy products, like milk, yogurt, and cheese. 

However, if you are lactose intolerant, on a keto or paleo diet, focused on bodybuilding or strength training, or just prefer a plant-based lifestyle, you may drink oat milk instead of dairy. 

Since oat milk’s nutritional profile differs from cow’s milk, it’s crucial to understand how much protein is in it and how you can get the amount of protein your body needs daily.  

In this article, we’ll explain how oat milk is made, how much protein is in various oat milk brands, and how to decide whether or not it fits your nutritional goals.

Quick Answer

Does oat milk have protein?

Yes, oat milk has 2-6 grams of protein per serving depending on the brand.

What is Oat Milk?

Oat milk is a popular dairy-free alternative that has grown in popularity for several years.

With a market value expected to reach $7.8 billion by 2030, oat milk has nearly surpassed almond milk as the most preferred plant-based beverage in the U.S. 

Homemade oat milk is made by blending whole oats and filtered water, then straining the solids to get a creamy mixture. People sometimes add sweeteners like honey, agave, or coconut sugar or flavorings like cocoa or vanilla to create oat milk. 

Commercial manufacturers use the same basic process; however, many brands combine rolled oats (instead of whole grain) and water and mill them together into a smooth slurry for easier processing. 

Many manufacturers also use enzymes during oat milk processing to help make the product even smoother and more creamy. The enzyme a-amylase is used to break down the starch in the oats into maltose, a simple sugar that gives oat milk its sweet flavor and high carbohydrate content. 

Check out this video to see how we were able to recreate Oatly oat milk with the help of a-amylase!

Other brands, like Elmhurst 1925, use whole grain oats in their oat milk products.

To maintain the integrity of the oat grain, where most of the nutrients are stored,

Elmhurst uses a patented HydroRelease™ process that uses water to separate the nutritional components of the grain, allowing their oat milk to keep the vitamins and minerals intact.

Why Your Body Needs Protein

Protein is vital for your body, impacting muscle mass, appetite, and cellular growth and repair. Protein can also help regulate your hormones and red blood cell production, making it essential for your health and well-being. 

Protein is made of amino acids, which are responsible for helping maintain muscle mass and bone health.

Your body cannot synthesize these amino acids independently, so you must get them from the foods in your diet.

Your body also cannot store protein, so eating a little bit of protein at every meal is important so your body has it throughout the day.

The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for protein is about 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body mass at a minimum.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should try to get around 10% to 35% of their daily calories from protein, so your protein needs may vary based on age and body weight. 

On average, adult women between 14 and 70 have an RDA of about 46 grams of protein, while men between 19 and 70 have an RDA of 56.

However, most people's needs may be slightly higher based on body weight or activity level. 

How Much Protein is in Oat Milk?

Oats themselves have a decent amount of protein. They are made of around 11% to 15% protein, in addition to carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients.  Measured dry, oats can have around 5.9 grams of protein per 1 ⁄ 2 cup. 

Oat milk, however, has a different protein content due to processing and the amount of oats used in the product.

For instance, manufacturers use around 1 cup of oats to 2.5 to 3 cups of water. After straining, the final protein content in oat milk is much lower, depending on the brand. 

The following are a few popular oat milk products, along with their protein content and RDA percentage based on the average adult male and female RDA:

Oat Milk Brand


%RDA Adult Female

% RDA Adult Male

3 g



3 g



4 g



5 g



2 g



Protein in Oat Milk Compared to Other Milk Products

The chart above shows that oat milk typically has a few grams of protein per serving.

But how does it stack up against other plant-based beverages and dairy milk?

Below, we compare the protein content in one serving of Willa’s Oat M!lk Original with various milk options, such as almond, cashew, pea, hemp, and dairy. 

Keep in mind that the amount of protein in each type of milk varies depending on the brand. We've chosen brands with minimal additives and cleaner ingredients for this comparison.

Willa's Original Oat Milk

Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Almonds

4 g

5 g

Almond milk is a plant-based beverage made from almonds and water. While it has slightly more protein than oat milk, it isn’t enough to make an overall difference if you are paying close attention to your protein intake. 

Almond milk is lower in carbohydrates though, making it a good option if you need fewer carbs due to dietary needs.

Note: Many of the almond milk brands commonly found in grocery stores like Silk or Almond Breeze have considerably less protein than oat milk.

Willa's Original Oat Milk

Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Cashews

4 g

4 g

Oat milk and cashew milk both have 4 grams of protein. 

Like almond milk, cashew milk is lower in carbohydrates than oat milk; however, if your focus is on protein, there isn’t any difference per serving between this and oat milk.

Willa's Original Oat Milk

Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Hazelnut

4 g

2 g

Hazelnut milk is made of hazelnuts and water. 

Because hazelnuts have less protein than other nuts like almonds or cashews, this beverage is low in protein at only 2 grams.

This means oat milk may be the better choice to add more protein to your plant-based milk intake.

Willa's Original Oat Milk

Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Walnuts

4 g

3 g

Similar to hazelnut milk, walnut milk is also low in protein. It has just 3 grams, while oat milk has 4 grams of protein. 

Still, there isn’t much difference between the two options besides a higher fat content in milk walnuts versus higher carbs in oat milk.

Willa's Original Oat Milk

Goodmylk Hemp Mylk Concentrate

4 g

7 g

Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds, which contain healthy omega-3 fats and lots of protein. 

Just one serving has 7 grams of protein versus oat milk's 4 grams. Hemp milk may be a better choice to boost your protein intake over oat milk.

Willa's Original Oat Milk

Pea Milk

4 g

8 g

Similar to hemp milk, pea milk has a good amount of protein per serving.

For just 8 ounces, pea milk has 8 grams of protein, double that of oat milk.

If you’re looking for a plant-based milk to increase your protein intake, pea milk is the way to go.



Oat Milk

4 g

Fat-Free Skim Milk

8.26 g

Whole Milk

7.69 g

2% Milk

7.99 g

Unsurprisingly, dairy milk has a higher protein content than oat milk.

Most dairy milk, including skim, 2%, and whole, has around 8 grams of protein per serving, similar to pea milk or hemp milk.

These milks are also a good vitamin D and calcium source, although oat milk can be fortified with these nutrients. 

Is Oat Milk Ideal for Those With High Protein Needs? 

If you have high protein needs, for example, you are pregnant or breastfeeding or are a bodybuilder or athlete, you may wonder if oat milk fits in with your nutritional goals. 

Research shows that athletes may need up to 3.5 grams of protein per kg of body weight (that’s versus .8 grams for non-athletes).

Even those with moderate exercise levels may benefit from eating 1.3 grams of protein per kg of body weight. 

Children between 4 and 8 years have an RDA of about 19 grams of protein per day, and pregnant or breastfeeding women need about 71 grams per day. 

If you have a higher protein need, you can definitely incorporate oat milk into your diet.

Like most nutrients, however, you shouldn’t rely on one option, such as dairy, hemp, or pea milk, to get your protein needs.

While these beverages may give you 8 grams of protein to oat milk’s 4 grams, the difference is minimal if you supplement protein. 

That being said, if you’re drinking multiple servings of milk to reach your protein goals, the numbers can quickly add up.

For instance, 2 servings of hemp milk will give you 14 grams of protein, while 2 servings of oat milk would only give you 8 grams. 

If you have special dietary needs, it’s best to work with a dietitian or your doctor to determine which foods fit best with your overall goals. 

Final Thoughts on Protein and Oat Milk

While oat milk contains protein, it’s typically a small amount, based on the brand.

With about 2 to 5 grams total, you can only get a small percentage of your daily RDA of protein from this beverage. 

Other plant milk, like pea and hemp, contain higher protein content and may be ideal for those looking to sustain a plant-based diet while subbing out dairy milk.

However, you can enjoy oat milk as part of a balanced diet, supplementing protein in other ways, like protein powder, beans, and legumes. 

If you eat meat, foods like chicken, salmon, beef, and pork contain high amounts of protein, whereas vegetarians and vegans may opt for tempeh or tofu.

Either way, oat milk has a little bit of protein that can support your daily needs as part of a well-rounded nutrition plan.

About the Author

Jeana Marie is a freelance digital content writer. Her writing focuses on mental health, self-improvement, and healthy living. When she's not writing, Jeana enjoys spending time with her daughters and discovering new coffee and herbal tea flavors.