Raise your hand if you’re a vegan who’s sick of people asking you how you get enough protein. Everyone knows by now that there are *plenty* of ways to get protein on a plant-based diet. That said, a vegan protein powder can help you meet your needs in a pinch.
And, yes, dietitians say they’re legit. “Some misconceptions about vegan protein powders are that they don’t provide enough protein, and that they won’t keep you full,” says New York City-based nutritionist Carolyn Brown, RD. However, today’s vegan protein powders do both.
First of all, many vegan powders contain 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving, which is totally on par with most popular whey protein powders, Brown says. (Whey protein is made from dairy, btw, so it’s totally not vegan.) Plus, many plant-based powders also provide some fiber, which helps them keep you fuller, longer—and boosts their nutritional value, adds nutritionist Priya Khorana, RD.
Oh, and about that flavor issue: While vegan proteins long had a rep for tasting pretty revolting, times have changed. You’ll find newer plant proteins in flavors like salted caramel, coconut, or even chai.
When hunting for vegan protein powder, consider these three major factors: protein content, types of proteins used, and sweeteners. First, look for at least 15 to 20 grams of protein per serving, suggests nutritionist Charlotte Martin, RDN, CPT.
Then, since most plant-based protein sources are “incomplete” (meaning they don’t contain all of—or enough of—all nine essential amino acids), opt for a protein powder made out of multiple sources, she says. Soy is the lone “complete” option, so you’ll find lots of combos made out of hemp, brown rice, and pea protein to ensure your powder provides all of the aminos your body needs.
Finally, limit any added sugar to five grams per serving, max. “I steer clear of artificial sweeteners since some research suggests they may have negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria, and appetite,” says Martin. Instead, opt for natural, zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit.
Whether you’re spiking your smoothies, iced coffee, or pancake mix, today’s vegan protein powders are better than ever—and totally worth your while, whether you’re a carnivore or not. Here are 15 vegan protein powder options you’ll drool over.
“This is one of the best-tasting plant-based protein powders I’ve ever tried,” says Martin. “A blend of pea, flax, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia seed proteins, it’s delicious.”
Plus, it contains heart-healthy fats and two grams of fiber per serving.
Rave review: “This is the only protein powder that has such a delicious balanced taste, and I tend to not like sweet or flavored protein powders at all.”
—Lisa A., amazon.com
Per serving: 170 calories, 6 g fat (4 g sat), 9 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 190 mg sodium, 20 g protein
This organic powder contains more than 20 different organic superfood ingredients, a complete amino acid profile, and digestive enzymes, so it’s as good for your system as it is delish in milk and smoothies.
Rave review: “This has to be the plant-based protein I’ve ever had. It is so smooth, I bought chocolate flavor and I love it.”
—Jennifer V., vitaminshoppe.com
Per serving: 130 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g sat), 5 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 390 mg sodium, 22 g protein
“This quality blend of pea, navy bean, sprouted lentil bean, sprouted garbanzo bean, and cranberry seed proteins provides over five grams of BCAAs, which help boost muscle growth,” says Martin.
It also packs probiotics, which keep the immune system and gut strong, and turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Rave review: “It tastes great with rice milk and even with water…and easily mixes together with just a spoon.”
—Madeline A., amazon.com
Per serving: 170 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 7 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 180 mg sodium, 30 g protein
“A colleague who works with professional athletes turned me on to this vegan protein powder,” says Maggie Moon, RD. “A blend of plant proteins from peas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and alfalfa make it a complete protein source.”
This powder also has tart cherry for recovery, turmeric to fight inflammation, and probiotics to assist the gut.
Per serving: 160 calories, 3 g fat (0 g sat), 4 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 410 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 30 g protein
“This powder gets its protein from a variety of sprouted, gluten-free grains and seeds,” says nutritionist Kelly Jones, RD.
(Research suggests sprouted grains may improve absorption of protein and other micronutrients.)
“This powder also contains both digestive enzymes and probiotics to further support gut health,” Jones adds.
Per serving: 110 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g sat), 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 180 mg sodium, 22 g protein
Two scoops of this plant-based powder deliver 20 grams of protein and zero added sugars (it’s sweetened with stevia). Made from a combination of yellow pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, sunflower seed protein, and cranberry seed protein, it delivers all nine of the essential amino acids, which Martin says is a must.
It’s also got a blend of mushroom extracts, which could have additional health benefits.
Rave review: “The coffee flavor is present, but it’s a creamier flavor and not strongly ‘coffee.’”
—E. Angulo, amazon.com
Per serving: 175 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 12 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 320 mg sodium, 20 g protein
A major perk of hemp protein: It delivers all nine essential amino acids.
“I love Nutiva hemp protein because it has 15 grams of plant-based protein and five grams of fiber per serving,” says nutritionist Jessica Jones, RDN. This one-ingredient protein powder also contains zero sodium, which is great for anyone following a low-sodium diet.
Per serving: 120 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g sat fat), 7 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 15 g protein
Although not a blend of different protein sources, Ripple’s protein powder has a short ingredient list and is lower in carbs than many other options, says Martin. It’s also free of added sugar and low in calories.
Rave review: “LOVE this stuff. The first non-dairy protein powder that does not have any grit.”
Per serving: 110 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 4 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 390 mg sodium, 20 g protein
“I love that this protein has added superfoods, which provide some health-supporting antioxidants, plus digestive enzymes, which help you digest protein and fiber to minimize uncomfortable digestive symptoms like gas and bloating,” says Martin. (Good to know, since this powder is higher in fiber than most.)
Rave review: “I tried it once and liked it but, after going back to my regular powder I can now say that I prefer this one…After switching up I was able to determine that the other powder which I also loved made me gassy. MRM is easier to digest.”
—C. Trott, amazon.com
Per serving: 150 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 7 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 5 g fiber, 240 mg sodium, 22 g protein
“Sunwarrior’s proteins are a good value, and my clients like the taste, texture, and digestibility,” says Randall Evans, RDN.
Made with fermented pea protein, goji berry protein, and hemp seed protein, it also contains MCTs, making it a good option for keto eaters.
Rave review: “I love this protein powder. Every day for the past three or four years, I’ve mixed one scoop with vanilla almond milk and a splash of water to make my favorite breakfast shake. It tastes great and is not grainy in texture.”
Per serving: 100 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 18 g protein
If you sometimes get an upset stomach when you try protein powder, opt for something simple.
In this powder, “the only ingredient is organic yellow pea protein isolate, and you have no added flavorings or sweeteners,” says Amy Gorin, RDN, a nutritionist in New York City area. The tasteless powder is relatively low-calorie and blends well into any smoothie.
Rave review: “I have tried other organic pea proteins before and I just keep coming back to the NOW. I put it in my green power smoothie daily. I never have any after-taste of any kind.”
Per serving: 80 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 230 mg sodium, 15 g protein
“With only 12 real ingredients in this protein, you can rest easy knowing that what you’re putting your body is made of only the best stuff,” says nutritionist Elizabeth Shaw, RDN.
Plus, it has a complete amino acid profile and omega-3s (a perk many plant-based proteins don’t offer).
Rave review: “This protein powder mixes amazingly, tastes super rich and creamy, and [doesn’t] make me feel like [I] ate a constantly inflating balloon. [I] add almond milk, a banana, flax meal, hemp seeds, chia, and coconut oil.
—P. Bateman, amazon.com
Per serving: 120 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 220 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 18 g protein
Nutritionist Starla Garcia, RD, owner of The Healthy Shine, recommends this plant-based protein because it contains four grams of fiber per scoop and more vitamins and minerals than many other options.
Although it’s pricey, many Amazon reviewers say it’s the best plant-based option they’ve found.
Rave review: “Been searching for the right plant-based protein powder that doesn’t taste too sweet, has good and safe ingredients, and doesn’t bother my stomach. Been on this a month and no issues. Taste really good.”
—Amazon Customer, amazon.com
Per serving: 140 calories, 2.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 9 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 340 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 20 g protein
“The protein-to-calorie ratio in this powder is excellent,” says Suzanne Dixon, RDN. “Plus, it offers four grams of fiber, which is about 15 percent of your daily needs.”
Don’t worry, it mixes well, too, so it won’t be all grainy in your post-workout smoothie.
Per serving: 120 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g sat), 6 g carbs, <1 g sugar, 250 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 20 g protein
“This option has a great protein-to-calorie ratio, very few carbs, not much fat, and tastes good, too,” says Dixon. The Creamy Vanilla Bean flavor works well with most ingredients, like fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds.
Per serving: 120 calories, 3 g fat (0 g sat), 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 390 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 21 g protein
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