After 15 hours of research evaluating 115 products, we picked Vega One Organic All-in-One Shake as our top choice.
Having a hard time finding the best vegan protein powder? We totally get it.
Choosing a quality plant based protein powder is tricky because whey-based powders dominate the supplement scene.
This is not surprising considering how many times you’ve probably heard, “but you can’t get protein from plants!” lecture from meat eaters.
But the truth is the best vegan protein powder options can let you get protein from vegan food - even if you avoid beans and tofu. In fact, you may even live a longer, healthier life than your carnivore buddies if you stick with vegan.
Here’s the deal:
Vegan protein powders get nutrients from peas, peanuts, pumpkin, hemp, chia seeds, and other nutritional powerhouses. If you don’t eat nuts or seeds, look for a vegan protein powder made from rice.
With so many vegan options available, you might be wondering which one is best for your nutritional needs. We’ll help you decide with our detailed list of the best vegan protein powders below. Spoiler alert: all of them taste great!
Naturally sweetened rather than flavored with Stevia. Allergy-friendly formula contains no gluten, dairy, or soy.
High price compared to other protein powders. Not organic, although the protein powder still contains high-quality ingredients.
Delicious! Protein-powder users say Nuzest Clean Lean Protein isn’t one of those chalky supplements you’ve gotta force yourself to choke down. And it’s not just for adults - parents happily report their athletic kiddos enjoy this protein powder in smoothies or almond milk.
We love that this Smooth Vanilla protein powder is naturally sweetened, so there’s no weird Stevia or sugar-alcohol aftertaste. If you aren’t a vanilla fan, you might prefer the Just Natural and Real Coffee varieties.
Texture: Dairy-free milk drinkers, take note: This vegan protein powder dissolves easily in liquid, so you don’t have to stir it super hard. For an extra-smooth drink, just scoop some powder in a blender and transform your Nuzest into a smoothie. Add ice or frozen fruits and veggies if you want a thick drink.
If you like simple supplements, Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is the one for you. The Smooth Vanilla flavor contains just 3 ingredients: Pea protein isolate, natural vanilla flavor, and thaumatin.
Not familiar with thaumatin? It’s a fruit protein isolate from the West African Katemfe fruit that lends a subtle sweetness to your protein powder.
Nuzest isn’t organic, but it uses non-GMO ingredients that are gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. In addition to being vegan, Nuzest is also a paleo-friendly dietary supplement. Just two scoops of this low-carb, low-fat protein powder deliver a whopping 20 grams of protein.
A 1.1 pound, 20-serving canister of this vegan protein powder costs around $45. Pricey, yes - but vegan fitness buffs say the cost is worth it.
Packed with amino acids, but low in carbs. No gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, or additives.
Unflavored, no-frills formula derived from a single ingredient. Many users consider this a perk rather than a negative quality, though.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, skip this vegan protein powder. It isn’t sweet at all, and it has been described as having an umami flavor.
Basically, this is the type of protein powder you either love or hate. If you can’t stand peas, you might not like this pea protein powder. Try mixing this vegan supplement with vegetable juice or broth if you can’t stomach it as-is.
Texture: This vegan protein powder mixes easily with almond milk or juice, but it lacks the smoothness associated with whey-based powders. This isn’t a big deal if you aren’t used to consuming dairy products anyway.
There’s just one: Pea protein. Seriously, that’s it - there aren’t any additives to extend the protein powder’s shelf life or artificial colors to make it look pretty.
That means you also won’t find any gluten, dairy, soy, or sugar in this vegan protein powder from BulkSupplements. What you will find are 24 grams of protein and 5 milligrams of iron per every 5-tablespoon serving.
It’s around $18 for 2.2 pounds of this vegan protein powder, which breaks down to approximately $0.02 per gram. You can use the money you save from this affordable protein powder to treat yourself; perhaps some new yoga pants or compression socks are on your wish list?
This dietary supplement has plenty of protein, but it’s also packed with probiotics and fiber. It's a Non-GMO Project Verified, USDA Organic, and Certified Gluten-Free product, so it makes sense that Men's Health awarded it "Best Ingredients" on its list of the best vegan protein powders.
Contains vitamin K derived from fermented soy, which is a bummer for vegans who follow a soy-free lifestyle. Doesn’t taste as good as some of the other protein powders on our list - but it's still tolerable without mix-ins.
We’ll be honest: This shake doesn’t taste as great as some of the other options on our list of faves, especially if you aren’t used to eating healthy food. It’s not super sweet, and you can definitely taste some of the plant-based ingredients. If you hate the taste of this protein powder, try mixing it with juice or dumping it in a smoothie.
There are 4 flavors available for Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement Shakes: Vanilla, Chocolate, Vanilla Chai, and Lightly Sweet. The Lightly Sweet is best if you want something that won’t overpower other ingredients in a smoothie.
Texture: Thick and slightly gritty. You can mix this protein powder with water or dairy-free milk, but we recommend adding it to a blender with some sort of liquid if you want a semi-smooth texture. Otherwise, you may end up with some lumps and clumps.
This raw organic meal replacement boasts 44 superfoods, including pea protein, chia seeds, cauliflower, blackberries, and blueberries. You won’t find a healthier vegan protein supplement, at least not as far as nutrient-rich, minimally processed ingredients go.
Two scoops of this gluten-free protein powder gives you 20 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. Probiotics support your digestive system, while vitamin C strengthens your immune system.
Expect to pay somewhere between $24 and $45 for this raw organic meal replacement powder depending on size and variety.
Strengthens your body with alkalizing greens from natural sources. A kosher, gluten-free protein powder that’s Certified Organic by CCOF.
Some folks dislike the earthy taste of this superfood supplement. It’s also a bit hard to mix with cold beverages.
Some people love the earthy taste of this plant-based protein powder, while others complain that it’s way too strong. Cacao powder lends a rich flavor to the Chocolate variety, which helps mask ingredients like broccoli, wheat grass, and spinach.
Texture: The texture of this green protein powder is okay if you stick it in the blender with veggies or fruits. You can also mix it with water, juice, or nondairy milk if you don’t mind a few clumps. Reviewers complain that it doesn’t pair well with cold beverages.
This protein powder is packed with alkalizing goodness. It boasts a nutrient-rich blend of broccoli, spirulina, spinach, flax seeds, beets, carrots, and numerous other organic plant-based ingredients enhanced with natural chocolate flavor. There’s no added sugar, and all of the ingredients are gluten free.
One serving alone gives you 2 grams of protein, which isn’t much when you compare it with other protein powders on our list. However, you get plenty of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and potassium if you consume this antioxidant-filled supplement. This protein powder is geared toward people who value overall wellness, not people who just want to load up on protein.
Prices range from $15 to $45 for this vegan superfood supplement.
Not sure you’re ready to pay that much? Request a sample pack for just $2.
Crafted with natural vegan ingredients. Versatile powder works well in smoothies, juice, water, nondairy milk, or vegan baked goods.
No major issues, although some customers complain the chocolate option tastes a bit salty due to its organic Himalayan pink salt content.
Health-minded vegans rave about the delicious taste of KOS organic protein powder. Organic Stevia and monk fruit lend a satisfying sweetness that mingles beautifully with creamy coconut milk and Himalayan pink sea salt, disguising the pea protein and pumpkin protein that sometimes dominate vegan supplements.
This is definitely one of the tastiest - possibly even the best tasting, depending on your palate - vegan protein powders out there.
Texture: KOS boasts a super-smooth formula that blends easily, whether you stick it in an actual blender or just grab a spoon and stir it into some almond milk. The unpleasant grit and clumps associated with many vegan protein powders are not an issue with KOS.
This KOS protein powder is loaded with vegan yumminess, including coconut milk, coconut sugar, flax seed protein, pea protein, quinoa protein, pumpkin seed protein, and Stevia. There’s also a powerful DigeSEB Enzyme Blend that helps your body absorb nutrients, so you can maximize your nutritional benefits with every sip.
Since it’s a vegan supplement, you won’t find any dairy products. It’s also gluten free and soy free, which is a relief to many vegans with allergies. Each 170-calorie serving contains 20 grams of protein and half of your daily recommended value of vitamin C.
A 30-serving canister of this vegan superfood supplement will set you back about $40. You can reduce the cost by choosing the Subscribe and Save option on Amazon.
Suitable for meal replacement or as a post-workout drink. Made with organic, non-GMO ingredients that taste great together.
The supplement is sweetened with sugar alcohols which may cause bloating or indigestion in some people.
This is a decent-tasting protein powder that generally isn’t described as chalky. Some reviewers compare it to Garden of Life’s protein powders, especially the vanilla varieties.
There are multiple flavors to choose from, including Chocolate Fudge, Vanilla Almond, Vanilla Bean, Cookies and Cream, and Peanut Butter. The last two aren’t flavors commonly found in gluten-free protein powders, so this brand is great if you’re looking for something new.
Texture: Smooth and thick, especially if you combine it with fruit and coconut milk in a blender. You can also mix it with water or juice, but it might not turn out as smooth.
The ingredients are dairy free, soy free, and gluten free. Many vegans also like that there is no carrageenan, a controversial ingredient often used as a thickener in foods and supplements.
Unfortunately - or fortunately, depending on how you feel about sugar alcohols - this protein powder contains erythritol. It also has guar gum and acacia gum. All of these ingredients may cause digestive discomfort, especially if you fuel up with multiple servings of this organic protein powder each day.
On a positive note, each 150-calorie serving gives you 21 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. The protein comes from peas, brown rice, and chia seeds.
Prices vary drastically by flavor. Vanilla Bean costs around $28, while Chocolate Fudge is nearly $48 for the same size.
Made by Vega, a popular brand known for its quality vegan products. Non-GMO Project Verified, as well as certified vegan by Vegan Action.
Recently, Vega has received some major backlash from fans of the Clean Label Project. The Clean Label Project claims Vega uses too many body-damaging heavy metals in its products, but keep in mind other protein powder manufacturers have faced similar criticisms.
Nearly everyone likes the rich, creamy taste of Vega One Organic All-in-One Shakes. If you hate a certain flavor, don’t worry - you have 6 others to choose from.
There are classic flavors, like Chocolate and French Vanilla, as well as modern favorites like Coconut Almond, Berry, and Mocha. Try the unsweetened version of this all-in-one shake if you don’t like flavored dietary supplements. Some shake drinkers warn that the flavored varieties are a bit sweet.
Texture: This fine protein powder is great for mixing, shaking, and blending with warm or cold beverages. You can even use it as a flour replacement in recipes for gluten-free baked goods.
Ingredients vary based on which flavor you choose, but every variety contains non-GMO, gluten-free ingredients. These all-in-one shakes are fully vegan, with no dairy or animal byproducts.
A single serving of an organic Vega shake contains 20 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, plus Omega-3 ALA, probiotics, and antioxidants. This makes the shakes ideal for people who want to improve their overall dietary habits while incorporating more protein.
Price ranges from $30 to $100 depending on which size and flavor of Vega One protein powder you choose. A large tub costs around $46, which is a reasonable price when you consider what’s inside.
If you’re a vegan, you’ll know that the subject of protein will almost always come up whenever someone learns about your dietary preferences for the first time. Granted, people are more aware of the existence of protein-rich plants these days, but vegan protein sources are still usually shrouded in a cloud of ambiguity.
Whey and other animal-based protein sources may have an edge in terms of popularity, but that doesn’t mean that vegans are left without a viable way to ramp up their protein intake. Visit any health food store and you’ll see that dozens of vegan protein powders have hit the shelves in recent years. And, as any vegan will passionately assert, they can be just as good as conventional protein supplements.
If you want to know more about vegan protein powders, you’ve come to the right place! We prepared this buying guide to give you helpful shopping tips, valuable info, and expert-backed advice on how to make the most out of this vegan-friendly treat. Let’s go!
Amino acids are known as the building blocks of protein. The human body uses at least 20 different kinds of amino acids. However, 9 out of these 20 cannot be produced by the body on its own. As such, we largely rely on the food we consume to get our fair share of these essential amino acids.
Now, how does this figure in the topic of vegan protein powders?
Protein sources that contain all nine essential amino acids are called complete proteins. On the other hand, incomplete proteins contain some essential amino acids, but not all. Consuming complete proteins is generally regarded as a healthier practice than relying on incomplete proteins.
Here are some of the most common protein sources used in vegan-friendly protein powders.
From ready-to-drink milk to protein powders, soy is probably the most popular plant-based ingredient when we’re talking about alternatives to dairy. Since 1959, soy protein isolate has been used in food to help vegans achieve the recommended daily intake of protein.
Pros: Soy protein isolate is produced by processing defatted soy flour. In this process, non-protein components, fats, and carbohydrates are removed—resulting in a product that is 90% protein. The fact that it causes less gas compared to other sources, as well as its neutral flavor, are two pros that make soy protein isolate very popular.
Cons: Soy contains a good amount of protein for vegans, but it also contains phytoestrogens. Some believe that consuming lots of soy-based products can cause feminine characteristics in men, but experts maintain that in moderate amounts, soy is perfectly safe for everyone.
People are often surprised when they hear about brown rice protein. After all, we’ve all been conditioned to view rice as sort of a downright equivalent to carbs. However, brown rice protein does exist—and it’s just as low in carbohydrates as other plant-based proteins.
Pros: Rice protein is free of gluten, lactose, FODMAPs, and other ingredients that are linked to gastric disturbances. It is hypoallergenic, which makes it an ideal protein source for people with food allergies.
Cons: Rice is an incomplete protein source. While rice protein is high in the amino acids methionine and cysteine, it is low in lysine.
Pea protein is obtained from field peas. As with soy and rice protein, starch and other fibrous contents are removed from peas—resulting to a product that is around 80% protein. That said, you don't have to worry about consuming too many carbs with pea protein powder.
Pros: Pea protein is easily digested by the body. Because it is dairy-, egg-, and soy-free, it’s a great candidate protein source for those who have allergies and/or an intolerance to the said ingredients.
Cons: Pea protein cannot deliver all of the nine essential amino acids on its own. It is rich in lysine but falls short in methionine and cysteine content. However, note that pea protein is usually combined with other plant-based sources in order to produce a final product that contains all nine essential amino acids.
Hemp is a fairly-new plant-based source of protein. This type of protein is extracted from the seed of the cannabis plant. But don’t worry, it won’t make you high! The cannabis variety used in making hemp protein contains very small amounts of THC.
Pros: Hemp protein contains good levels of all nine essential amino acids. It also contains fiber and a good ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation in the body. Compared to rice and pea protein, hemp is also a better source of minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Cons: Hemp is not the best when it comes to “protein density.” For example, a 30-gram serving of soy contains a comparable amount of protein to a similar serving of whey. However, a serving of protein powder derived from hemp contains as much as 44% less protein than soy. Both rice and pea protein powders also contain more protein than powder that’s made from hemp.
There are many online resources that give out information on how much protein you need in a day. However, you have to discern whether or not these resources apply to you as a vegan.
Conventionally, the recommended daily allowance for protein sits at around 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. However, experts who have looked specifically at vegan diets recommend that you consume a bit more protein than that.
Ideally, you should go for around 0.45 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This increase accounts for the fact that plant-derived protein is less digestible than animal-based protein.
Since vegan protein powders tend to be a bit pricier than their dairy-derived counterparts, you’ll want to exert a bit more effort to ensure you’re getting good value. When comparing your options, looking at the price and size is undoubtedly important. However, don’t forget to also consider the recommended serving size to get an idea of the number of servings you can get per pack.
Checking the amount of protein you'll get per serving is crucial to making a wise shopping decision. This becomes even more important if you’re an athlete or someone who’s trying to gain muscles.
If there’s one thing that the comparison above tells us, it’s that different vegan protein sources have their own pros and cons. Hemp may not have the highest level of protein, but it makes up for it in terms of added nutrients.
With that being said, you have to decide: Is having the maximum amount of protein per serving your sole basis? Or are you willing to compromise on protein content for additional minerals and essential fatty acids?
The whole point of protein powders—whether vegan or not—is to provide us with a way to meet our protein requirements easily. In this case, one basis of deciding if a vegan protein powder is well worth it is if it can deliver the same quality of protein as meat.
That said, it’s important that you find a vegan powder that can fill you up with all of the nine essential amino acids. When inspecting vegan powders, check the specific protein sources that were used in its production. This way, you’ll be able to tell whether or not you’re actually getting a complete protein.
As mentioned above, plant-based protein is not as palatable as whey. This means that vegan protein powders are more likely to contain additives like flavor enhancers and sweeteners just so they can be more appealing in terms of taste.
If you’re on a strict diet, you might want to be extra careful when scrutinizing ingredients lists. Also, if you want more bang for your buck, you should choose vegan protein powders that contain as little non-protein ingredients as possible.
As with whey protein, you should take your vegan protein powder after every training session. Your muscles are in dire need of amino acids at this time, and a protein shake will certainly give you what you need to jumpstart recovery and muscle building. Drink your protein shake within 30 minutes after your gym session to really get the most gains from your workout.
Using protein powder to make a pre-workout vegan shake is another great way to incorporate more protein into your diet. Make sure to consume the drink 45 minutes before exercise to enjoy higher energy levels and a better performance.
Even during rest days, a dose of your favorite protein powder will be beneficial. Starting the day with a high-protein breakfast will help improve the results of your weight loss and muscle building efforts.