Vegan protein powder is a great alternative for ensuring that you get enough protein in your diet. However, due to the childishly negative stigma surrounding veganism (seriously, why do you care what other people eat as long as they are a decent person?) cruelty-free diets face a bit of resistance from your average dude on the street. It doesn’t have to be this way, though and vegan protein powder is healthier for you, less dangerous than eating meat and can help you feel so, so, so much better every day. But there is a lot of competition and it can be overwhelming to get into it, so here are our picks for the best vegan protein powder.
This list has been designed to give you an idea of where to look if you are thinking about switching brands, exploring new flavors, or simply wanting to increase your protein intake, even if you don’t subscribe to a vegan diet, there is still some information that could be useful to you. Don’t be shy and check out the best vegan protein powders out there.
The Best Vegan Protein Powder
Getting your five-a-day is vital for achieving the best health possible, but we all know you don’t always have the time to eat a meal with all of the necessary nutrients that we hear so much about. This is one of the reasons protein powders have become so popular for those with busy lives rushing to and from place to place without even the smallest bit of time to themselves.
By combining the goodness of multiple Garden of Life products into one catch-all protein powder that includes fruit and vegetables, green juices, and live probiotics and enzymes, you can ensure that you will be fully energized to do whatever you need to do and avoid that slump that is always threatening to strike even when you feel as if you don’t even have time to think.
7 products in one
Convenient, organic raw shake meal
Boosts energy and builds lean muscle
1.5 billion live probiotics and enzymes supports digestion
- BrandGarden of Life
- Weight1.34 pounds
- Dimensions5 x 5 x 7.1 inches
Considered by many to be the best vegan protein powder available, this Amazon top seller, Orgain’s Chocolate Fudge flavored, plant-based protein powder is alkaline, affordable, and tastes so great you’re unlikely to realize it’s actually a protein powder, which is not something you can say for many powders on the market.
An excellent option for when you want to replace (some of) your regular meals with protein supplements, this powder avoids that pang of hunger that is experienced when using other products. If you are someone who is powerless against the mid-afternoon snack, you can consider investing in this powder to keep you on track and can keep you satisfied for up to 5 hours. It is also perfect for those who want to keep nourished when on-the-go between the office, gym, or just in your day-to-day activities.
Ideal for on-the-go nourishment
21 grams organic plant-based protein
5 grams organic fiber
150 calories per serving (20 servings)
Great to mix with water or milk
- Weight2.03 pounds
- Dimensions9.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches
Vega’s Protein & Greens vanilla flavored plant protein shake is packed full of fiber, which has proven to be an excellent option for people looking for additional protein in their diet. Bringing easy mixability that creates a nice, thick shake, the Protein & Greens shake is something that all vegans should consider introducing into their everyday indulgences.
Its key selling point is the taste, which is sweet but not too sweet and is both delicious and unique. Many people avoid protein powders – especially of the vegan kind – under the false assumption that it just won’t taste any good. However, those who take the time to do their research and explore the possibilities understand that there is a whole new type of flavor potential out there if only they would care to look.
20 grams complete protein
Non-GMO Project verified
Real plant based ingredients
- Weight1.67 pounds
- Dimensions5.2 x 5.2 x 9.1 inches
This Vega Sport product provides next-level protein for next-level performance and is considered one of the finest protein powders that are made from real, whole food ingredients. The vanilla flavor lends itself perfectly to be blended with other ingredients and requires just 10 ounces of water to achieve a perfectly smooth consistency.
It has also proven excellent for when you are feeling the lag of the day and require a quick boost to get you over the finish line. For increased effectiveness, it also doubles as the ideal formula to help rebuild muscles and support recovery following an intense workout.
50% daily intake of vitamins and minerals
All-in-one plant based protein powder
Pea, hemp and flax ingredients
- Weight1.83 pounds
- Dimensions5.2 x 5.2 x 9.1 inches
Calling your product the Gold Standard can backfire very quickly, but Optimum Nutrition has managed to deftly avoid any backlash regarding their product names by delivering something that, for many, is truly the protein powder that all others should aspire to. This powder is versatile enough to be a hit amongst both young and old and can help provide those essential greens for the fussier eaters among us.
Great for providing that extra kick of energy that everyone needs to get them through the day, the Gold Standard also comes with a delicious taste that gets the tongue wanting more in both shake and smoothie form. When mixed properly, it does not contain that bitty, chalky texture that so many other protein products suffer from. This ensures a satisfying experience with every drink and prevents you from avoiding drinking it even when you know you need to.
Complete Amino Acid profile to aid muscle recovery
24 grams of complete organic, plant-based protein
All-grain made with quinoa, buckwheat, chia, amaranth and millet
- BrandOptimum Nutrition
- Weight1.77 pounds
- Dimensions5 x5 x 8.5 inches
This amazing chocolate flavor raw protein powder infused with organic Peruvian cacao, Himalayan pink salt, coconut milk and a dash of organic stevia and monk fruit provides you with everything you could possibly need from a supplement. Standing high above less reliable products, this is a protein powder that is recommended by nutritionists and personal trainers alike to help you achieve the best lifestyle possible.
The sweet ingredients make it palatable for the majority of customers while also managing to not cause any stomach irritation that could put you off. The fruit and vegetable blend also eliminates the potential for off-putting grit that can turn even the most avid protein powder patron away.
5 protein blend: pea, flax seed, quinoa, pumpkin seed and chia seed
Healthy fibers and enzymes for comfortable digestion
All natural ingredients, gluten and dairy free
- Model794811988663 / 728653920413 / 728653920420
- Weight2.2 pounds
This non-dairy protein powder developed by Garden of Life has faced a bit of a backlash from long-time customers recently due to a formula alteration that they were not expecting and are not happy about. For those that have never tried it before, though, this should not be an issue, and the protein powder ticks a whole host of boxes that can help you hit your protein goals every day of the week.
Developed with powder quality in mind, Garden of Life’s Organic protein powder contains probiotics to aid in digestion for a more effective experience. This prevents bloating and helps you to get through your workout and feel more comfortable in the post workout phase when you are trying to relax at home. Additionally, it is packed full of vitamins A, D, E, and K which work together to keep your body working just the way you need it to.
Vitamins A, D, E and K
Perfect for post-workout recovery
Non-GMO whole food, gluten and dairy free.
- BrandGarden of Life
- Weight1.38 pounds
- Dimensions5.2 x 5.2 x 9.2 inches
There are many products that claim to be the best tasting vegan protein powder available, but while they might have a small number of people who agree, there are even more who need to mix it with all sorts of other ingredients such as peanut butter and bananas to achieve the taste they want. This is something that does not affect MRM’s Veggie Elite Performance protein, and so it is a protein powder option that you need to look into if you like your supplements without any fuss or frills.
A great substitute for people who struggle to digest certain nutrients, dairy or whey products, the Veggie Elite Performance has even the most underrepresented covered when it comes to ensuring a fully balanced diet and won’t wreak havoc on your stomach when you least expect it. By mixing great with either water or almond milk, it provides some of the best results in terms of both macros and taste and is ideal for the post workout chug to help support muscle growth. Its high volume means you can do this as much as 30 times per package.
Better digestibility than whey
Plant based and natural
Eggs, Dairy, Gluten and Soy free
Pea and Brown Rice protein
- Weight6 x 6 x 9.5 inches
This Purely Inspired Organic protein powder is hailed as America’s number one selling organic protein and is among one of the best vegan protein powders money can buy. Covering a wide range of bases with its on-the-go convenience, 20 grams worth of plant based protein, and 7 grams of fiber (while only having 2 grams of sugar), there is little to complain about with this product.
But, there will always be something to pick out. As with many of the products on this list, and protein powders in general, the taste can put people off. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue though and while it won’t inspire (ha) your taste buds, it will provide something else that is even more essential.
100% plant based
3 products in one
Perfect for healthy professionals, busy dads, students and those constantly moving to get their daily nourishment
Naturally flavored and sweetened
- BrandPurely Inspired
- Weight1.76 pounds
- Dimensions4.8 x 4.8 x 7.2 inches
Yeah, finally we’ve come to a product that doesn’t feel like it was designed using daisies, sunshine, or flowerpots (looking at you Garden of Life) or any of that airy-fairy nonsense that is too much of a stereotype of the vegan community. A brand called Sunwarrior conjures up images of flaming swords, blinding your enemies with solar flares, and a tan that puts the most passionate Muscle Beach patrons to shame.
Not that there’s anything wrong with all those Earth loving ideals, you are vegan after all, but it is nice to have a little bit of badass representation every once in a while. Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend is the ideal partner for your strength training regimen and, if prepared properly to your liking, does not come with that maligning protein aftertaste that so many of us reach the mere thought of.
Free of soy, sugar, gluten, GMOs and dairy
Redesigned scoop built in to the lid
Amplifies fitness levels and builds muscle
- Weight1.65 pounds
- Dimensions4.8 x 4.8 x 8.5 inches
ALOHA is a company that really appears to have the absolute backing of their customers even if these customers readily admit that flavor is not their strong suit (although their chocolate flavor seems to be a hit, broken clocks, and all that). Despite this, ALOHA’s plant based protein powder still packs enough benefits to overlook this unfortunate flavor failure by using 12 real ingredients, a complete amino acid profile, and omega-3s as well as coconut sugar instead of relying on artificial sweeteners.
Some customers have mentioned how they like to look past the price due to its immense quality and considering this tub only comes with 15 servings you won’t get as much value for money as you would with other products. However, this is more than made up for how great you will feel after just a few days of using ALOHA’s protein powder. ALOHA also develops its products to be stevia free, preventing the powder from walking that fine line between sweet and far too sweet.
12 real ingredients used
Ideal for vegetarians, vegans, celiacs and paleo diets
Can be used in smoothies, shakes and baking
- Weight1.14 pounds
- Dimensions8 x 4 x 5 inches
Amazing Grass might sound like an uninspired dispensary in California, but this health food company actually focuses on a different kind of green to help you get through the day. Their Protein Superfood Powder is full of alkalizing greens, seven to be exact, as well as nine nutrient-dense fruit and veggies, 3 grams of fiber, and less than a gram of sugar.
Considered by some to be the best vegan protein powder on the market, you will never feel better than when using this as a supplement in your everyday life. You can choose to mix it into shakes, sprinkle some into your morning coffee or whip up a smoothie to carry you through the day. Whatever you choose, you will get home feeling just as fresh as you did when you woke up that morning.
All-in-one nutritional protein shake with 20 grams of protein
7 alkalizing greens, 9 nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, 4 carbs and 3 grams of fiber
Great for both pre and post workout
Stir and shake, blend or bake
- BrandAmazing Grass
- Weight12 ounces
- Dimensions7 x 4.2 x 4.2 inches
Vegan Protein Powder Buying Guide and FAQs
Benefits of Vegan Protein Powders
If you are somebody who has never embraced a vegan diet before, you might be asking ‘So what are the benefits of vegan protein powder, anyway?’ and, even if someone had explained it to you in the past, there’s a chance you probably weren’t paying attention, such is the curse of vegan advice. But here’s an idea: hear them out, it might give you some useful information.
This Health Trends article on vegan protein powder goes into more informed detail than we ever could, but it is beneficial to understand that just because this protein comes from a plant doesn’t mean it is not effective.
Vegan protein powder is not just beneficial because it doesn't involve animal products, although that does help. In fact, it helps the body just as effectively as more popular and established whey protein that is found in other shakes - probably the ones you associate with the hulking masses at your gym.
Vegan protein powders mostly rely on plant based protein to supplement the absence of meat in your diet and these proteins have proven to be excellent appetite suppressors, which can help you to lose weight. Furthermore, vegan-friendly soy protein can help to build muscle as effectively as animal protein does.
But these ingredients will not only help you look good, they will help you feel good too. Plant protein helps reduce the risk of cancers (soy), heart disease (hemp) and it is also high in fiber which is highly beneficial for digestion and for lowering cholesterol levels. For these reasons alone vegan protein powder seems like a very attractive option, doesn’t it?
Types of Plant Based Protein
Plant based protein might sound a bit confusing to someone who has done absolutely zero research into it. Some plants contain the nine essential amino acids (which we’ll discuss below, patience) which qualify them as complete proteins. These include soy and quinoa and can help you get as much protein as you need, but this might get a tad monotonous if you are solely eating these every day.
There are some plant products that are missing some of these amino acids, though, so it is important to have a varied diet. To have a substantial idea of what plant products you can include in your diet to ensure that you get as much protein as possible without eating meat.
- Hemp seeds - complete protein 5g of protein per teaspoon
- Chia seeds - like Hemp seeds, rich in fiber and omega-3, 2g of protein per teaspoon
- Tofu, Tempeh or Edamame - Soy products, rich in protein, varies between these three products.
- Lentils - red or green, it doesn’t matter! 8.84g of protein per ½ a cup. Great for adding in curries, stews or salads
- Chickpeas - 7.25g / ½ cup, very versatile.
- Peanuts (unsalted) - protein and healthy fats, 20.5g / ½ cup and peanut butter is also rich in protein, containing about 8g per teaspoon
- Almonds - 16.5 g / ½ cup, also good for vitamin E
- Spirulina - a supplement to put into smoothies, water or fruit juice, it is a blue or green algae, but don’t let that put you off, it’s good for you we swear!
- Quinoa - 8g per cup, complete protein, Great in salads, soups and stews
When looking to increase your protein intake, any of these plant products are perfect for ensuring that you get the protein you need and you can find tons of recipes to help you mix it up.
Ingredients To Look For In Vegan Protein Powders
When choosing your vegan protein powder you need to look for ingredients that will help benefit you. There is a wide variety of ingredients in these powders and so you might find that some do not agree with you the way that you hope.
Depending on what your goals are, you need to find a powder that will help you achieve these goals. When wanting to build muscle mass, finding soy-rich powders are ideal. If you are looking to lose weight, then high-fiber ingredients such a berries will aid you in shedding those pounds. Other ingredients include pea protein, hemp, soy, chia and potato, which are typically found in the best vegan protein powder that you can purchase.
For people with dietary intolerances, vegan protein powders are excellent for maintaining a balanced diet. If you have issues with dairy, gluten or similar food allergies, the vegan option will probably seem like a lifesaver and prevent any uncomfortable stomach issues that might occur with other powders.
Depending on how vegan you are, some protein powders might contain traces of certain foods that do not fall under your definition of vegan, such as honey. This is similar to online recipes created by people who use vegan protein powder but aren’t strictly vegan themselves. As with all things online, make sure you read these recipes carefully to ensure that you don’t accidentally consume something that doesn’t align with your diet.
Important Amino Acids
Amino acids are something that you’ve probably heard a lot about as you have gone through school or seen on supposedly healthy food ads but aren’t all that sure what they are (don’t worry, a lot of us are the same). Amino acids are considered the building blocks of protein and muscle tissue and many plant based protein products contain at least a couple of these essential amino acids.
Products like quinoa are complete proteins, containing all essential (the key word here) amino acids, which are:
If you don’t understand what any of these words means, don’t worry about it, but just know that they are good for you in helping to provide you with the most sufficient protein intake. Some plant-based products do not contain all of these amino acids, so you will need to supplement other ingredients into your diet to achieve this.
If you are looking for a one-stop-shop for the most protein-packed foods, beans are an excellent choice for getting everything you need to be protein rich.
Vegan Protein Powder FAQs
Q: Is Vegan Protein Powder Better Than Whey?
A: The health industry has two primary protein supplements that are used by a wide variety of people who are focused on their health and nutrition. These products are whey protein powders and vegan protein powders.
Whey protein is the most popular in the industry and if you know someone who used protein powder, they are probably using whey as a pre and post workout boost. There is nothing wrong with that, whey has its benefits and for those who aren’t on a strict vegan diet, it is often all a matter of preference.
But whey is made with dairy products and this can cause issues with lactose intolerance sufferers or people who are allergic to dairy. There is also such a wide range of whey products that you might end up with a cheaper brand, which may not have been developed under FDA standards and could be hazardous to your overall health.
With vegan supplements, you avoid the risk of contracting high cholesterol, heart disease and will not suffer from inflammation which can happen with whey protein due to its animal-based ingredients. But there are benefits from either side. Whey will provide more complete proteins while vegan is better for digestion.
We’re not saying that one is better than the other. Some people just enjoy whey more than vegan and vice versa, but what we are saying is that the industry standards for vegan protein powders, as well as their all-natural ingredients, are something to consider if you are concerned about knowing exactly what put into your body.
Q: Will I Get Enough Protein From Vegan Protein Powder?
A: You probably won’t get all of your required protein from vegan protein powder, but you will get enough that it will be easier to make sure that the rest of your diet can fulfil these protein needs. Many people use protein powders to supplement parts of their diet that they know they cannot or are unwilling to sustain, whether it is due to laziness or dietary restrictions, so the powders that they choose are typically high in protein in order to alleviate this issue.
As with all diets, it is the types of food that you put into your body that will determine whether or not you will get enough protein. If your diet generally consists of foods with high salt, sugar and carb content, then you probably won’t get enough protein in your day-to-day so it would be wise to seek out foods that are high in protein to combine with your regular diet. Male vegans need an average of 63 grams of protein per day to adequately fulfil their protein requirements.
If you are unsure whether or not you will get enough protein from your powder alone and want to explore meal plans or recipes to help you achieve your protein needs, then consider checking out this page for some information on protein and possible meals that might be helpful.
Q: How Much Protein Do I Need Per Serving?
A: The protein powders that you purchase will have a spoon that comes with the tub which will give you a decent indication of how much protein you need per serving. One spoonful of this powder is considered a single serving but you can put as much or as little as you want it your shakes, smoothies or baking to suit your needs.
Typically, these vegan protein powders offer 20 grams of protein with each serving, but you can choose to double or half these servings if you want.
As mentioned above, the average vegan male requires 63 grams of protein per day. If you separate this into meals, that is 21 grams of protein per meal, assuming you eat three meals a day. With this, you can see that the amount of protein per powder serving is sufficient for proving as much protein as you need. You can also replace meals with protein shakes or smoothies while still remaining full until the next meal.
However, this is only really beneficial when you are looking to build muscle mass and does not provide you with as much of a balanced diet as need unless the protein supplement you are using is one of those 3-, 4-, 5- or whatever in-1 products that provide enough of everything else, as well.
You don’t have to stop at 21 grams, though. If you need to snack on protein rich foods throughout the day, then feel free. This is also helpful if you miss your protein intake for one meal and need to make it up before the next. It is important to remember that everybody is different, though so do not take everything said here as gospel. For the most comprehensive idea of what your needs are, consult a qualified nutritionist to get an idea of your protein needs as well as anything else you might be concerned about with your diet.