Are you trying to be more conscious of your nutrition? Perhaps you’re trying to go plant-based after years of eating animal products?
Whatever your reason, there are many benefits to switching to a vegan or vegetarian protein powder.
Did you know that whey protein very rarely provides more than just protein and your basic amino acid profile?
Vegan protein powders, on the other hand, are chock full of other nutrients and vitamins that are naturally-occurring.
Here are ten of the best vegan protein powders on the market today:
- 1. Transparent Labs Proteinseries – #1 Best-Tasting
- 2. Performance Lab – Cleanest
- 3. Orgain
- 4. Vega One with Sacha Inchi – Good Dairy-FREE Protein
- 5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100%
- 6. Ora Organic
- 7. BulkSupplements
- 8. Sunfood Raw – TOP Hemp Powder
- 9. VeganSmart
- 10. MyProtein THE Plant Protein
10 TOP Vegan Protein Powders (List for 2021)
Vegan protein powders are popular not only because they help you reach your daily protein goals even under a dietary restriction. They’re popular because they provide a clean and more sustainable alternative to the more popular brands.
Despite the nutritional value, some opt for a whey protein powder altogether because of the stigma that often comes with veganism.
Truthfully, there is more to veganism than just shunning animal meat. It provides a number of health benefits and is a more nutritional source of protein compared to the traditional whey.
Here are ten of the best products in the market that you’ll love:
1. Transparent Labs Proteinseries Organic – Best Tasting Protein
This Transparent Labs Proteinseries USDA certified 100% vegan rice and pea protein powder features a 2:1 blend of rice and pea protein. This improves the texture and overall digestivity of the blend in addition to its natural flavoring and sweeteners. This great-tasting blend is ideal if you’re into the usual vanilla and chocolate without artificial additives.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
High Quality Protein Source – in addition to its 4-gram fiber per serving content, this Transparent Labs yields 24 grams of pure plant protein per portion.
Summary: Although arguably not the best nutrition-wise, this blend does give you a good dose of fiber and protein together. It could be better refined because the texture is a bit gritty on its own. However, that doesn’t exempt the fact that it tastes excellent and doesn’t contain any unnecessary additives.
2. Performance Lab Soy-Free – Cleanest
Performance Lab organic brown rice protein features a patented blend that makes it ideal for any serious athlete who wants to see impressive results. Among these results are increased energy, better muscle recovery, and great muscle-building properties.
If you’re looking for something to replace your whey protein with the same—or arguably better results, then this soy-free protein powder by Performance Labs is the right choice for you.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Quick Absorption – this formula boasts a rice leucine component that allows your body to absorb it 30% better compared to whey. What does this mean for you? Your muscles will grow 30% faster with this plant-based protein than with your traditional whey!
Summary: This patented Performance Lab can get quite expensive (like a Garden of Life). However, it is the only formula patented especially for athletes. It absorbs 30% faster than whey protein and is just as excellent—if not better, at muscle building.
3. Orgain Organic Plant-Based – Best for Weight Loss
Orgain is a USDA-certified organic product that is made from all-organic pea, brown rice, and chia seeds proteins. This blend of pure plant protein (with 5 net carbs) and superfoods delivers a delicious and nutritious blend that results in healthy weight loss.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Healthful Option – this unique blend of plant protein and superfoods includes vegetables, herbs, greens, berries, fruits, grasses, and ancient grain, among others. This makes it an excellent source of nutrition and ends up being completely filling from one portion.
Summary: Despite the company’s claims of a smooth and easily mixable formula, it is still reasonably chalky. Not so gritty, just a bit powdery even when mixed. It’s also a bit too sweet, so it’s ideal to watch out for that. However, it is soy free and developed by a licensed doctor, so you know you’re getting nutrition with each portion.
4. Vega One with Sacha Inchi – Best Non-Dairy For Weight Gain
This Vega One shake is filled with just the right blend of nutrients, protein, and flavor. It supports healthy weight gain that leans toward building your lean muscle mass instead of accumulating fat. In fact, it helps you shed unwanted fat and replace them with healthy and strong muscles for that athletic, lean, and healthy body you’ve always wanted.
Here’s what makes it great:
Complete Nutrition – Vega One not only comes in eight delicious flavors including chocolate but it’s also packed with a ton of nutritional value. It contains 20 grams per scoop, a blend of vegetables and greens for added nutrition, probiotics for a healthy digestive system, 1.5 grams of Omega 3 ALA for your heart’s health, 6 grams of fiber and antioxidants.
Summary: This Vega One would be ideal for vegans if it weren’t manufactured in a facility that processes soy, dairy products and other allergens and diet-compromising food. That said, if you don’t mind it, this powder is more than just an excellent source of protein, nutrition and vitamins. It’s packed with healthy stuff that will only serve to keep you healthier and happier as you gain weight naturally and in a healthy way.
5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% – Best for Bodybuilding
This ON organic plant-based protein powder is ideal for any serious bodybuilder who wants to maximize their gains and put their health first. It gives you a whopping 24 grams, which is just as good as any traditional whey supplement.
Here’s what you’ll like about it:
Immuno-Support – This Optimum Nutrition is not only packed with protein and essential BCAAs, but it also contains vitamin C that helps support your immune system.
Summary: Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard is a good plant-based supplement for serious bodybuilders. It contains a good amount of protein per 1 serving and all the essential amino acids your body needs for muscle recovery. It also helps support your immune system with the added vitamin C which is always nice. However, it doesn’t leave a good taste in your mouth and it’s certainly a bit too sweet.
6. Ora Organic – Best for Pregnant
Ah, pregnancy. It can be difficult to get your daily recommended dose of protein especially if you’re experiencing morning sickness or aversion to different foods. This is where an Ora will come in handy. You can easily mix it into the meal you like without having to worry about consuming enough.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Formulated for Sensitive Stomachs – not only is this Ora ranked the top vegan protein powder for mothers and children, but it’s also formulated specifically for sensitive stomachs. It utilizes a blend of pea and rice protein mixed with digestive enzymes that make sure it passes smoothly without causing any bloating.
Summary: This Ora is designed for anyone who wants something all-natural that won’t have any adverse effects on your body. Protein is formulated to be safe for pregnancy and safe for children. However, customer service is a little bit difficult to deal with. That said, the product is excellent enough that you won’t need to deal with customer service unless absolutely necessary.
7. BulkSupplements – Best Budget Pea Protein
This BulkSupplements pea protein powder is ideal for anyone who wants to try a smaller pack before committing. It’s affordable, reasonably priced, and comes in a smaller pouch so you can try it out.
This BulkSupplements isolate powder is rich in amino acids that help in building muscles. Moreover, it’s also ideal for post-workout recovery and alleviating the strain from your muscles after a hard day’s work.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Guaranteed Purity – this powder contains zero additives and fillers. Moreover, it also comes in a factory-sealed foil pouch that keeps its freshness and guarantees that it isn’t tainted in any way. Moreover, it is guaranteed pure and is lab tested for verification.
Summary: It is notorious for causing digestive distress and gassiness. If you’re not deterred by that, the taste is a bit off-putting so you should consider mixing this into more new complex shakes that coil dmask its flavor. Despite that, it does have a high protein yield per portion and is quite affordable. It’s also ideal for anyone who wants to lose weight as it effectively curbs your appetite.
8. Sunfood Raw – Best Hemp Protein
Sunfood Superfoods Raw Hemp is an ideal option if you want something completely pure. It’s also cold-pressed so you know its digestive effects have not been tampered with.
Moreover, it’s easily digestible and filled with nutrients aside from protein and fiber. It’s ideal for anyone who is practicing a hypoallergenic lifestyle and would like complete nutrition from something that is as pure as it can get.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Complete Nutrition – aside from the fact that this product is easily digestible, it is also cold-pressed to preserve its nutrients and is guaranteed to have no additives. Even if you choose the flavored option, it is only flavored with all-natural ingredients like cocoa. Moreover, it has a slightly lower protein yield per portion at only 15 grams. That said, it does come with 7 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of Omega 6, and 0.6 grams of Omega 3 for a healthy heart.
Summary: This Sunfood Raw is best if you’re looking for something to add to your protein intake per day. It doesn’t have a high protein yield—in fact some would argue it’s lower than average, but it is filled with other nutrients like fiber and Omegas 3 and 6 that are healthy for your heart. Despite that, it tastes delicious, is easily mixable and ideal for anyone who wants a pure and unprocessed protein source.
9. VeganSmart – Best Organic Protein Powder
This VeganSmart all in one contains whole food ingredients and a whopping 20 grams of plant protein per 1 serving. It’s an ideal dietary supplement and meal replacement for anyone who wants to have an easy-to-grab meal on the go without having to worry about your protein and nutrient consumption. Moreover, it is ideal for anyone under a strict diet.
Here’s why you’ll like it:
Highly Nutritious – this VeganSmart is filled with more than just a dose of protein. You’ll find that it’s also packed with digestive enzymes to prevent bloating, gassiness, and digestive distress. Moreover, it contains 19 different types of vitamins and minerals. It’s also packed with a whole food complex that gives you more than enough nutrition every day.
Summary: If you’re living outside the state of California, I’d suggest you take steps to have this powder checked. Environmental attorneys have filed a case against the company and won for cadmium and lead in their products. Aside from that, this VeganSmart does promise many benefits. However, I would be very careful with purchasing this product.
10. MyProtein THE Plant – Best Protein Powder for Men
This MyProtein plant protein powder comes in two delicious flavors including mocha and vanilla chai. It also comes in a clearly labeled size of 30 servings.
You’ll appreciate its easy mixability and the unique blend of three plant proteins that help you maintain healthy muscle mass while shedding those unwanted fats. It’s a great source of dietary fibers and packs more than the average amount of protein that can be found in traditional whey protein.
Here’s why we like it:
Supports Muscle Protein Synthesis – MyProtein is ideal for any type of activity. Whether you’re thinking of going mellow or working hard, it not only helps with muscle recovery, but also helps you maintain muscle growth, strength, and endurance.
Summary: On its own or mixed, this MyProtein needs some attention. It may cause you to be put off because of the grainy texture and strong stevia and monk fruit flavor. But if you can find a way to move past that, it’s an ideal choice that is filled with great ingredients and highly effective benefits.
Benefits of Taking Vegan-Friendly Protein Powder
If you’re unfamiliar with the effects of a vegan diet, let me break it down for you:
- Weight loss
- High protein source
- No bloating or gassiness
- Effectively builds muscle
- Great for overall heart health
- High in fiber
- Helps regulate cholesterol levels
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Excellent for your digestive health
Now that you get the gist of it, let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits and how plant-based protein powder delivers these benefits.
Vegan proteins effectively suppress your appetite. Raw vegan protein powders are a good meal substitute. The combination of fiber and protein makes it ideal for drinking in place of your traditional meals. This also lends some effect to its weight loss benefits.
Since you’re eating less solid meal and your body will be able to better process the protein and food source you’re taking in, your body will be able to digest it faster without storing any excess as fat.
Having said that, they are also great for your digestive health. Due to the added fiber content, some protein powders such as hemp are just as easily digestible as whey. What’s more, is plant-based proteins rarely cause digestive distress, unlike whey protein.
This supplementation is a good essential protein source. More and more brands are making sure that you’re getting as much if not more than the traditional 24 grams of protein per serving found in whey. Moreover, you’re also likely getting more than just high-quality protein per serving as vegan proteins usually contain a full amino acid profile, among other nutrients.
Summary: This supplementation have plenty of health-related benefits aside from it being a well animal-friendly option. More than veganism, it does help you reach a daily nutrient goal that you otherwise can’t reach with drinking a homemade protein shake made from whey. Because it’s such a high-quality ideal lean protein source, you are guaranteed a healthier alternative with more benefits compared to whey or meat protein.
Side Effects of Taking Vegan-Friendly Protein Powder
Generally speaking, vegan protein powders are known to have fewer side effects–if at all. That said, you should be careful of the ingredients that powder contains.
The only things you really need to be careful of are: overdosing and allergies. As with anything, you should be careful not to overdose on your everyday intake of supplements. This could potentially cause you more harm than good and could damage your kidneys, among other things.
Having said that, you should also be careful of the kind of plant protein you choose. For example, if you’re allergic to grains, you should probably opt for a grain-free protein powder. The same can be said if you have a nut allergy, you should stay away from almond protein powders.
Furthermore, a blend of pea protein and brown rice protein would be an optimal choice. You should also stay away from soy protein since they’re quite controversial and might not be the best source of protein.
Overall, plant protein powders are naturally safe to consume and are design for health and your overall well-being. If you’re worried about any ingredients that could possibly cause problems for you, it would be best to consult a physician.
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand you may have some concerns and general questions surrounding vegan protein in general. To help you, we’ve answered some of your most pressing questions below.
Is Vegan Protein Powder Bad for Your Kidneys?
On its own, it is not necessarily bad for your kidneys. However, you should be careful of your intake. If you constantly consume more than your body can take, you’re likely to damage your kidneys instead of helping your body be healthier.
A person’s daily protein intake depends on how much protein they can burn through. An athlete’s natural protein requirement may be different from yours because of the strength training they go through.
Does Whey Protein Increase Belly Fat?
Dr. Anna Tyborowska from Creswell Whole Health Clinic shares her take on a commonly asked question around nutrition: Does Whey Protein Increase Belly Fat? If you have a belly and keep putting off the surgery to have it removed, I highly suggest you give this subject serious consideration. If you currently do not have a belly, you are much less likely to have a belly! Although it is a myth, protein shakes do contain calories (about 15 per 20 grams or 2g of protein). A 250 calorie shake will be 30g of protein, 2.5g carbs, and 11g of fat.
Although it is a myth, protein shakes do contain calories (about 15 per 20 grams or 2g of protein). A 250 calorie shake will be 30g of protein, 2.5g carbs, and 11g of fat. The misconception about protein and belly fat comes from the idea that protein will put fat on your belly. It actually will not. In fact, you should strive to make your fat cells disappear, not store more. It actually will not. In fact, you should strive to make your fat cells disappear, not store more. This myth seems to be growing since a few years ago when a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Is Vegan Protein as Good as Whey?
Definitely. In fact, it could even be better than whey protein if you consider its added nutritional value. For instance, some of them may have a slightly lower protein yield per serving, but they could also contain necessary vitamins like Omega 3s and 6s for your heart health or Magnesium.
Overall, it requires that you purchase the purest and most natural powders. Don’t even waste your time on artificial additives because you don’t need those.
What you should look for are great vitamins, nutrients, and possibly a naturally occurring digestive enzyme that will help your body digest and absorb the full benefits of your protein powder immediately.
What Ingredients to Look For?
There are three things you should look for in a basic vegan protein powder: high protein yield per serving, a complete amino acid profile, and digestive enzymes or added fiber.
These three ingredients are the most basic components you need to make sure you’re getting nutrition and that your body won’t have trouble with digestion since our bodies are more accustomed to digesting animal-based protein.
More than that, you could also look for added nutrients such as Omega 3s and 6s for your heart health. You could also look for added Manganese, Calcium, and many more.
However, you should make sure that there are no additives. It should be as pure and raw and natural as possible. Of course, if your protein powder is using Stevia, make sure they’re using the unprocessed version. More than that, if you opt for a flavored powder, make sure it’s flavored using natural ingredients like cacao for Chocolate, Vanilla Bean for vanilla, and so on.
Can You Build Muscle With Vegan Protein Powder?
Some of us are picky when it comes to our fitness. For others, it’s the kind of workout. Is it too fast? How many reps do I need to lift this weight? We want the best workout possible to see the best results, and being picky about every little thing in your workout is exactly what won’t help you out. In fact, there is a vegan protein powder that can help you get your fix in and give you results without making you work so hard.
Meet a vegan powder that can help you get a great workout without any soreness and the muscle-building capabilities that come with eating meat protein. What are you supposed to think of a vegan product when you first hear the term? Think that it’s a supplementation that’s not made from any animals at all? That’s definitely the case with Vea. Vea’s formulation is unique in that it only uses the pea protein. From the peas to the processing to the mixing to the packaging of the product, it’s all 100 percent vegan.
Vegan protein powders are ideal for anyone who would like to make the switch from animal-based protein to plant-based protein powders. Having said that, it’s also ideal for those who are lactose-intolerant or people who would like added nutrition to their daily protein smoothies.
Having said that, it is understandable that you might be doubtful of the efficacy. After all, most research focuses on the effects of whey protein instead of vegan.
However, there is enough research to back a vegan lifestyle and, in consequence.
Truthfully, there are more and more options for everyone who is interested. And any one of the ten products I’ve listed above will suit you just fine. In fact, it will suit you better than whey.
Some products are better in their respective aspects more than others to give you a clearer choice of what you need.
For example, I found that the Transparent Labs ProteinSeries Organic tasted the best out of the bunch. It’s ideal if you want something that won’t turn your stomach when you don’t have time to blend a protein shake or smoothie.
Orgain’s Organic Plant-Based Protein is a good choice for anyone who is trying to shed a couple of pounds. Its formulation helps you keep fat away while building lean muscle.
Overall, you’ll find many great options in the market if you want to switch to a vegan-friendly protein source. And any one of the ten products I’ve listed above is a well starting point in your search.