We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.(Last Updated On: August 18, 2023)
Recently, the popularity of vegan protein powders has skyrocketed as more people turn to plant-based diets for various reasons. Because of this uptick, hundreds of options have flooded the market. We’ll help you narrow down those choices with our top picks for the best plant-based protein powders.
As you explore the world of vegan protein powders, it’s essential to consider factors like taste, texture, nutritional value, and the specific needs of your body and fitness goals. These plant-based protein powders can be just as effective in providing the essential nutrients your body needs for muscle growth, recovery, and overall health.
Our Top Picks
Best Chocolate Plant-Based Protein
Truvani Organic Vegan Protein Powder Chocolate or try the Truvani Sample Pack!
Best Vanilla Plant-Based Protein
Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Powder, Vanilla Bean
Best Unflavored Plant-Based Protein
Isopure Unflavored Vegan Protein Powder
Best Chocolate Plant-Based Protein Powder
If you’re looking for a delicious plant-based protein powder that’s free of additives and fillers, Truvani Organic Vegan Protein Powder Chocolate is a great option.
- High-quality ingredients
- No artificial sweeteners or additives
- Certified USDA organic
- A sample pack option to try different flavors!
- Expensive compared to other protein powders
Truvani Organic Vegan Protein Powder Chocolate is free of soy, wheat, dairy, gluten, and stevia, and uses organic monk fruit for a touch of sweetness.
The protein powder is certified USDA organic and non-GMO, making it a great choice for those who prioritize clean eating. The rich flavor of the protein powder isn’t chalky or grainy , making it a better choice than others on the market. The simple ingredients and straightforward label make it an easy choice for our best plant-based chocolate protein.
Best Vanilla Plant-Based Protein Powder
If you’re looking for a delicious vanilla vegan protein powder, Orgain Organic Sweet Vanilla Bean Protein Powder is a great option for you!
- 21g protein and 5g fiber per serving
- Highly rated (over 50,000 reviews!)
- Some may find the vanilla flavor too sweet
Orgain Organic Sweet Vanilla Bean Protein Powder is smooth and delicious, without the chalky taste of so many others. Packed with 21 grams of protein per serving, it’s a great choice for the entire family, including kids.
We love to mix ours with fresh strawberries, ice, and almond milk – it tastes like a milkshake! These are great for meal replacement, smoothie boosters, muscle recovery, and pre or post workouts.
Best unflavored plant-based protein powder
If you’re looking for a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes, Isopure Unflavored Vegan Protein Powder is a great option for you.
- A complete protein.
- Free of gluten, soy, and dairy
- Unsweetened and unflavored
- Some reviewers say there is still a slight flavor
Isopure Unflavored Vegan Protein Powder is a complete protein, which makes it a great option for people who are looking to build muscle or maintain their current muscle mass. It’s also free of gluten, soy, and dairy – perfect for people with dietary restrictions or allergies.
One of the best things about Isopure Unflavored Vegan Protein Powder is that it is unsweetened and unflavored, making it a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. You can add it to smoothies, oatmeal, or even baked goods to increase their protein content.
- 20g protein per serving
- Green vegetable ingredients
- Keto-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO
- Chocolate flavor can be too sweet
- May need to use a blender or shaker bottle for a smooth consistency
Vega Protein and Greens Chocolate is a versatile protein powder that can be mixed with water or your favorite non-dairy milk for a quick and easy protein shake, or you can blend it into a smoothie for a more filling and nutritious meal replacement.
One thing to keep in mind is that Vega Protein and Greens Chocolate does contain stevia, which some people may not like the taste of.
If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious vegan protein powder, KOS Plant-Based Protein Powder is a great option.
- Peruvian cacao and Himalayan salt
- No Erythritol
- 5 protein blend
- The powder sometimes doesn’t mix well without a blender
KOS Plant-Based Protein Powder is responsibly sourced with nearly every ingredient being certified organic and free of gluten, dairy, soy, hormones, artificial sweeteners, colors, and GMOs. It also has powerful digestion support by DigeSEB, a proprietary digestive enzyme blend.
For a raw, organic option, the Garden of Life plant-based protein powder is a great option with thousands of reviews.
- 22g plant-based protein
- Mixes easily
- Third-Party Certified
Garden of Life Organic Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder is made at low temperatures, providing digestive enzymes like lipase, lactase, and papain plus live probiotics for easier digestion and proper absorption, which we love.
The product also delivers nutrients you need with 1g total net carbs, along with being sugar-free and Non-GMO project verified.
If you’re an athlete looking for a clean option, Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Vegan Protein Powder could be the right choice for you.
- Similar amino acid profile to whey protein, making it an easy transition for athletes
- Amino acids and BCAAs
- Unflavored may not appeal to everyone
Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Vegan Protein Powder is a high-quality protein powder that is perfect for athletes and those looking for a clean, plant-based protein source. The powder is free of synthetics, fillers, and animal products.
Medium-chain triglycerides from coconut work synergistically with the other ingredients to create a unique vegan protein that is rich in amino acids and BCAAs.
While the unflavored option may not appeal to everyone, the powder is easy to mix with other ingredients to create a delicious smoothie or shake.
With a balanced flavor and real ingredients, EarthChimp Organic Vegan Protein Powder is a great choice.
- Not too sweet or artificial
- Real cocoa, fruits, flax, turmeric, and cinnamon
- 20g plant-based protein
- 1 billion probiotics
- Some people may find the taste too bland or not sweet enough
EarthChimp Organic Vegan Protein Powder is a versatile shake that can be used as a nutritious breakfast smoothie, a grab-and-go shake at work, or a post-workout recovery shake. It’s made from organic plant-based protein sources and contains no added sugar or sugar alcohols, no gums, no carrageenan, no added salt, no soy, and no dairy.
The protein powder is made in Ireland and comes in a 32-ounce container with 26 servings. It’s non-GMO and gluten-free.
If you’re looking for a vegan protein powder that’s easy to digest, PlantFusion Complete Vegan Protein Powder is a great option.
- 21g protein
- Five different plant proteins, BCAAs, and glutamine
- Digestive enzymes to help prevents gas or bloating
- Can be too sweet for some
PlantFusion Complete Vegan Protein Powder is a clean protein powder without fillers like acacia fiber and rice dextrin. It’s also free from dairy, gluten, and soy, making it a good option for those with allergies or sensitivities. In addition to being a great source of protein for smoothies and shakes, it also works well in recipes and baking.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free, vegan, and keto-friendly protein powder, Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein is an excellent choice.
- Premium pea protein isolate from Canada
- Unflavored and unsweetened
- Might require a blender or shaker for smoothness
Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein is made from high-quality pea protein isolate, which is gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan. You can use it to make protein shakes or smoothie bowls, but we find it’s best in baked goods and protein bars.
Why add Protein Powder into Your daily regimen?
Protein is essential for maintaining, repairing, and growing tissues, hormones, and the immune system in our bodies. By adding plant-based protein powder to your daily regimen, you ensure that you’re getting a sufficient amount of protein from a source that’s both environmentally friendly and nutritionally dense.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
It’s important to consume a sufficient amount of protein based on your individual needs. Here’s a general guideline for determining your daily protein intake:
- Sedentary adults: 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.36 grams per pound)
- Conversion to pounds: Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms. Multiply that value by 0.8 to determine the recommended protein intake in grams.
- Conversion to pounds: Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms. Multiply that value by 0.8 to determine the recommended protein intake in grams.
- Active adults: 1.2 – 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.54 – 0.91 grams per pound)
- Conversion to pounds: Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms. Multiply that value by the recommended range (1.2 to 2.0) to determine the recommended protein intake in grams.
Keep in mind that these values may vary depending on factors such as age, sex, and specific fitness goals.
Why Plant-Based Protein Powder?
1. Vegans and vegetarians: Plant-based protein powders are perfect for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, as they offer a complete protein source without any reliance on animal products.
2. People with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies: They do not contain dairy or lactose, making them a great option for those who cannot consume whey protein due to allergies or intolerance.
3. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts: Plant-based protein powders are an excellent addition to any fitness regimen, as they aid in recovery and muscle growth after workouts.
4. Environmentally conscious individuals: They have a lower environmental impact compared to animal-based proteins, resulting in a more sustainable choice for the planet.
Top Vegan Protein Powder Choices
One popular option for vegan protein powder is pea protein. This protein source is made from yellow split peas and offers a great amount of protein per serving. A quality option for pea protein is NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder. It has a good amino acid profile, and it’s an excellent choice for those looking for an unflavored option. You can easily mix it with your favorite smoothie ingredients, or simply add it to water or plant-based milk.
Mixed Plant Proteins
Mixed plant protein powders combine different protein sources to provide a more complete amino acid profile. Some of the best vegan protein powders in this category include Truvani Organic Vegan Protein Powder and Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Powder. These options deliver excellent taste and a balanced nutrient profile, making them a great choice for your daily protein needs.
Derived from hemp seeds, hemp protein powder contains essential amino acids and is a great source of healthy fats and fiber. Although its protein content is lower than that of other options, it is still a solid choice for those looking to diversify their protein sources. One excellent hemp protein option is Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder.
Rice protein powder is made from rice (typically brown rice) and is another excellent plant-based protein option, particularly for those with allergies or sensitivities to other protein sources. A popular rice protein powder is Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder. This product has an impressive low FODMAP, and it provides a great alternative to traditional protein powders for individuals with dietary restrictions.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Vegan Protein Powder
When selecting a vegan protein powder, it’s important to pay attention to the protein content per serving. Different powders have varying levels of protein, depending on the source. For example, pea protein powder typically contains a higher amount of protein than rice protein powder. Aim for a powder that provides at least 20 grams of protein per serving to support your nutritional needs.
Taste and Texture
Finding a vegan protein powder that tastes great and has a pleasant texture is essential, as you’re more likely to consume it consistently. Vegan protein powders come in various flavors and consistencies, so try a few different options to find one that you enjoy. Some popular flavors include chocolate, vanilla, and various fruit options. Don’t be afraid to try a new flavor or texture; you might just discover a new favorite.
Certifications and Labels
Look for vegan protein powders with credible certifications and labels that confirm the product meets your dietary requirements and ethical standards. Examples of certifications and labels to look for include:
- Vegan: Products certified vegan do not contain animal-derived ingredients and are not tested on animals.
- Organic: Organic certification ensures that the ingredients used in the product are grown and processed without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms.
- Non-GMO: A non-GMO label indicates that the product does not contain genetically modified ingredients.
- Gluten-free: If you have a gluten sensitivity or prefer to avoid gluten, look for a protein powder that is labeled gluten-free.
Lastly, consider the price of the vegan protein powder. The cost can vary greatly between brands and types. Compare the protein content, taste, texture, and certifications of a few options within your budget to determine the best overall value. Remember, investing in a quality protein powder can have lasting benefits for your health and fitness goals, so it’s worth spending a little extra for a product that meets all your criteria.
Fun Ways to Use Vegan Protein Powder
Adding vegan protein powder to your daily routine can be fun and creative. Not only can it help you meet your nutritional needs, but also provides a versatile ingredient that allows you to create delicious recipes. Here are some exciting ways to incorporate vegan protein powder into your meals and snacks.
1. Smoothies and Shakes: One of the most popular ways to enjoy vegan protein powder is incorporating it into your smoothies and shakes. Add a scoop of protein powder, along with your favorite fruits, leafy greens, and non-dairy milk or water for a nutritious and tasty drink.
2. Protein-Packed Pancakes: Give your breakfast a protein boost by adding a scoop of vegan protein powder to your pancake batter. Simply mix your dry ingredients with the protein powder and then add wet ingredients. Cook as you would for regular pancakes and enjoy with your favorite toppings.
3. Homemade Protein Bars or Breakfast Cookies: Control the ingredients in your protein bars by making them at home. Combine vegan protein powder with nut butter, rolled oats, and your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Mold the mixture into bars or balls, and refrigerate to firm up.
4. Protein-Enriched Oatmeal: Level up your oatmeal game by adding a scoop of vegan protein powder to your hot cereal. Mix it in after cooking the oatmeal, ensuring it’s well blended, and top with fresh fruit, nuts, or a drizzle of maple syrup.
5. Energy Bites: Make an easy protein-packed snack by mixing vegan protein powder with almond or peanut butter, rolled oats, and a natural sweetener like honey or agave syrup. Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls, then refrigerate or freeze for a convenient on-the-go treat.
High-Protein Foods That You May Already Be Eating
You might already be consuming some outstanding plant-based protein sources in your daily meals. If you have the time and energy, you can easily get enough protein from the foods you already have in your fridge.
Tofu, tempeh, and edamame: These soy-based products are among the most abundant protein sources in a vegan diet. Not only are they versatile and easy to incorporate into various dishes, but they also offer all essential amino acids.
Split peas and lima beans: Legumes are another fantastic source of plant-based protein. Split peas contain around 37% protein, while lima beans offer around 35%. Both are also rich in fiber, making them a satiating addition to your meals.
Here are more plant-based protein-rich foods you may already have in your diet:
- Lentils: High in protein, fiber, and iron, lentils pack a healthy punch in any dish you add them to.
- Chickpeas: A versatile bean that can be enjoyed in salads, roasted for a snack, or blended into delicious hummus.
- Quinoa: This gluten-free grain is a complete protein source, containing all nine essential amino acids.
- Nutritional yeast: Often used as a cheese substitute, nutritional yeast has a high protein content and is a valuable addition to many vegan recipes.
- Seeds: Chia, flax, and hemp seeds are all fantastic sources of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do plant-based protein powders compare to whey?
Plant-based protein powders, derived from sources such as peas, brown rice, and hemp, generally have a lower protein content compared to whey protein. However, they typically contain fewer allergens and are easier to digest for individuals with lactose intolerance or milk allergies. Additionally, they can still provide an adequate amount of protein to support muscle growth and overall health.
What are essential amino acids?
Essential amino acids are the building blocks of protein that your body cannot produce on its own, and therefore must obtain through dietary sources. There are nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. They play important roles in muscle growth, tissue repair, and overall health.
Which vegan protein powders offer a complete protein source?
A complete protein source contains all nine essential amino acids in adequate amounts. Soy, quinoa, and hemp-based protein powders are examples of complete vegan protein sources. Some blends also combine various plant-based proteins to provide a full amino acid profile, which enhances their nutritional value.
What advantages do dairy-free protein powders have?
Dairy-free protein powders offer several benefits, such as being suitable for people with lactose intolerance or milk allergies. They may also provide easier digestion and less bloating compared to whey protein. Additionally, vegan protein powders offer a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option compared to dairy-based proteins.
How effective are vegan protein powders for muscle building?
Vegan protein powders can be effective for muscle building if they provide an adequate amount of essential amino acids, particularly leucine, which is crucial for muscle growth. While the protein content in some plant-based powders may be lower than whey, studies have shown that consuming sufficient amounts of protein from various plant sources can still result in comparable muscle gains to those who consume dairy-based protein.
In your search for the best vegan protein powders, it’s essential to consider the factors we covered above such as:
- Protein content
- Protein source
- Flavor options
- What recipe you might use it in
- Amino acid profile
- Third-Party certifications or quality testing
By keeping these suggestions in mind, you can confidently select a vegan protein powder that will support your health and fitness goals while adhering to a plant-based lifestyle.
Happy protein hunting!