With the most recommended sources being from dairy and animal sources, getting a good amount of protein into the diet is a particular challenge for vegans. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t benefit from the convenience and simplicity of protein powders. There is a wide range of vegan protein powders on the market, the quality of which vary markedly. In this article, we’ll identify the seven best vegan protein powders that are out there, so you can make an educated buying decision.
|Top Vegan Protein Powders||Why It Is Best||Our Rating|
|Orgain Organic Protein powder||21 grams protein, Low carb, Zero sugar, Good taste, Well priced||★★★★★|
|Vega One Organic Protein Powder||Omega-3 fatty acids, Probiotics||★★★★★|
|Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Vegan protein powder||24 grams protein, no additives||★★★★★|
|Vega Protein & Greens||Spinach, organic kale, broccoli||★★★★★|
|KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder||5 plant based organic protein sources||★★★★★|
|Plant Fusion Complete Plant Protein||Only 120 calories, easy to digest||★★★★★|
|Organic Vegan Protein Powder||27 grams protein, spirulina||★★★★★|
Orgain Organic Protein Powder
- 21 grams of protein
- 3 grams of carbs
- zero grams of sugar
- Good taste
- Well priced
The protein powder in Orgain Organic Protein powder comes from a range of plant-based sources, including organic pea, brown rice and chia. It also contains 5 grams of organic fiber and just three grams of net carbs, making it ideal for people on a low carb diet. You get a full 21 grams of protein per serving that delivers 150 calories and 0 grams of sugar. This powder comes in a two-pound tub and is available in two flavors – creamy chocolate and vanilla bean. You can also get the product in a larger 2.74 pound tub.
As with all vegan protein powders, the taste of Orgain Organic Protein Powder is quite different than what you may be used to with whey or casein based powders. However, the taste of Orgain is quite pleasant. It mixes well, producing a non-gritty, smooth textured drink that goes down very easily.
Our Favorite Feature . . .Great source of organic fiber!
Vega One Organic Protein Powder
- 20 grams of protein per serve
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- 5 flavors
You get an all-in-one blend of vital anti-oxidants, vitamins and protein with Vega One Organic Protein Powder. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and minerals. The 20 grams of protein per serve is derived from organic pea protein, organic sunflower seed and organic pumpkin seed sources. These sources also provide you with 50% of your DV of 8 vitamins and minerals, derived from all natural plant sources. Vitamin C is provided by Arecola cherry juice, while Vitamin A is added by way of carrot juice.
The folks at Vega One have recently revamped the flavour options on Vega One. You can now choose from French Vanilla, Chocolate, Plain Unsweetened, Mocha, Chocolate Almond or Berry. The new formulation has been getting some mixed review online, but the overall consensus is that it mixes well even in a blender bottle, and produces a creamy consistency and tastes pretty good.
What we love . . .Contains omega-3 fatty acids!
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Vegan Protein Powder
- 24 grams of protein per serve
- No flavors, colors or additives
- 100% of DV for Vitamin C
- Good source of Vitamin B12
Here we have one of the most popular and widely respected bodybuilding supplement companies putting out their own brand of vegan protein powder. This immediately establishes credibility, so is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Vegan protein powder as good as you would expect from the company that produces the world’s most popular whey powder? Well, in terms of taste, it doesn’t match up to the whey version, but that really goes without saying, as all vegan powders are going to struggle to compete with milk based proteins on the flavor stakes. However, this protein is pretty impressive.
With ON Gold Standard Vegan powder you get 24 grams of protein per serve, sourced from a blend of organic pea, organic rice, organic sacha inchi. There are no artificial, colors, flavors or sweeteners in this product. In addition to the 24 grams of protein, each serving delivers 100% of the Daily Value for Vitamin C, and is an excellent source of vitamin B12. It also contains a gluten free complex which is a blend of ancient grains and pomegranate powder.
What We Love . . .Provides Daily RV for Vitamin C!
Vega Protein & Greens
- 20 grams of protein per serve
- Spinach, organic kale, brocolli
- 6 flavors
- Mixes well
The protein blend that makes up Vega Protein & Greens comes from pea, flax, hemp, and sacha inchi protein. You get 20 grams of protein per serve, along with a good dosage of your daily veggie and greens requirement. Every serving will provide you with spinach powder, organic kale powder, organic alpha grass powder and broccoli. Each scoop of Vega Protein & Greens contains just 110-120 calories and zero grams of sugar. Each 26.8 oz tub provides you with 25 servings.
Vega Protein & Greens is a Non-GMP Project verified, gluten free, and vegan certified shake. It comes in the following flavors; vanilla, chocolate, berry, natural, coconut almond and tropical, all of which are quite pleasant (but not outstanding). The powder mixes well, without leaving any clumpiness or residue.
Our Favorite Feature . . . Great Source of Greens!
KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
- 20 grams of protein per serve
- Blend of 5 plant based sources of protein
- 6 grams of healthy fats
- Omega-3 fatty acids
A five protein blend goes into making KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder. The protein sources are 100% non-GMO Pea, Flax Seed, Quinoa, Pumpkin Seed and Chia Seed. All of these sources are USDA organic, gluten, soy and dairy free. KOS comes in two flavors – vanilla and chocolate. The chocolate flavour is infused with organic Peruvian cacao, organic Himalayan pink salt, organic coconut milk, a dash organic stevia and organic monk fruit to produce aa very tasty shake.
KOS organic plant based powder also includes healthy fibers and digestive enzymes to improve the efficiency of your digestive system. Each serving of KOS delivers 20 grams of protein, 170 calories, 6 grams of healthy fats, around 9 grams of carbohydrates and a single gram of sugar. The carb level in the vegan protein powder is higher than most of the others that we reviewed. That makes it good as a post workout shake, when you need to replace the glycogen that you have expended during your workout. This product also includes omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and branch chain amino acids.
What We Love . . . Omega 3’s and Healthy Fats!
Plant Fusion Complete Plant Protein
- 21 grams of protein per serve
- 120 calories
- Easy to digest
- 5 tasty flavors
- 4.5 grams BCAA
- 3.5 grams Glutamine
Each one pound tub of Plant Fusion Complete Plant Protein provides you with a complete plant based vanilla bean protein powder. You get 21 grams of protein with every serve for a calorie cost of 120 calories per serving. This blend of protein is easy to digest, even for people with sensitive stomachs based on their proprietary blend of enzymes. Plant Fusion comes in five flavors, each of which are pretty tasty. You can choose from chocolate, chocolate raspberry, vanilla bean and natural unflavoured. You can buy this product in four tub sizes; single sample, 12 count, one pound and two pound.
Each serving of Plant Fusion provides you with 4.5 grams of branch chain amino acids and 3.5 grams of glutamine to enhance muscle growth. It also contains a proprietary blend of enzymes to support efficient digestion and to help with sensitive stomach issues. This product is free of all major allergens.
Our Top Feature . . . Range of tasty flavors!
Organic Vegan Protein Powder
- 27 grams of protein per serve
- Includes spirulina
- 6 grams of BCAAs per serve
- Low carb
- Zero sugar
- 3 tasty flavors
BN LABS are the people behind Organic Vegan Protein Powder, high quality premium plant based protein powder. The protein blend for this powder is sourced from pea protein isolate, brown rice protein, and hemp protein. Also included are spirulina powder, cocoa, guar gum, natural flavors, stevia and coconut cream. Each serving provides you with 27 grams of protein, which is the highest of any of the vegan protein powders we have reviewed. You also get six grams of branch chain amino acids and zero grams of sugar. This is a very low carb product with just 3 grams per serving. All of the ingredients in this product are organic and non GMO, dairy, soy, gluten and are lactose free.
BN LABS Organic Vegan Protein Powder comes in three tasty flavors; chocolate, vanilla and caramel latte.
Our Best Feature . . . A huge 27 grams of protein per serve!
Vegan Protein Powder Buyer’s Guide
The vegan protein powder market is growing rapidly with established companies identifying a new market segment with ready cash. Buying any type of protein powder can be a confusing task with so many different brands to choose from. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll identify the key things to look out for.
The first thing you need to do when selecting your vegan protein powder is to decide what you want it for. Are you after a pre or a post workout shake? If you want it as a post workout drink, you should look for a powder that contains more than the usual amount of carbohydrates, as you will need them to replace the glycogen that you have used up during the workout. However, if you are using it at any other time, you will probably want to look for a powder that contains less than 7 grams of carbs per serve to avoid excess insulin release.
You will want to avoid a vegan protein powder that has been fortified with artificial sweeteners, colors or flavorings designed to enhance the flavor and look of the product. You are far less likely to get these in a vegan product but you still need to be wary. Look for products that are sweetened naturally with stevia.
Look for a vegan protein powder that has been fortified with branch chain amino acids. These are the three essential amino acids leucine, valine and iso-leucine which are vital to muscle growth and repair. A powder that has 5 grams of added BCAA’s is what you’re looking for.
You should be after a vegan protein powder that provides you with a minimum of 20 grams of protein per serve. Ideally, that protein should be sourced from a mixture of such plant sources as Pea, Flax Seed, Quinoa, Pumpkin Seed and Chia Seed.
Glutamine is another amino acid that is vital to the muscle growth and repair process and that you should expect to see fortified in your vegan protein powder. Ideally, around 4 grams should be added to the blend.
Vegan protein powders don’t, as a rule, taste as good as those that are made from whey or casein protein. It’s important, then, to find a brand that you are going to like. It doesn’t matter how high the quality of the protein is if you can’t stand the taste of it. You might want to buy a small sample pack first to check it out. Alternatively check online reviews about the taste.
How much protein powder do I need to take in order to gain muscle?
The general guideline is one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, then you will require 200 grams of protein per day. However, your intake needs to be spread out over the course of the day. Aim to eat 5-6 protein based meals each day. A 200-pound guy who was eating 6 times per day, would take about 35 grams per meal.
What proportion of your protein intake should be in the form of shakes?
It depends what your goal is. If you are building muscle, you will want to take the majority of your protein calories in the form of whole foods. The body, after all, was designed to operate on whole foods. The great benefit of protein powders is that it makes it easy to get your protein into your body. You should have a shake immediately after your workout and one other time throughout the day at the most.
If you are using protein powder as a meal replacement, you should have it to replace one or two (but no more) meals each day.
The vegan protein powder market is rapidly expanding and ranges in quality from great to ghastly. Our tour through the best of the pack has led us to declare that Orgain Organic Protein powder is the best vegan protein powder on the market at the moment. It delivers 21 grams of high quality protein sourced from a variety of organic plants sources. It is low in carbs, contains zero grams of sugar and comes in at a pretty competitive price point. It is also among the best tasting of all the vegan powders that we surveyed.