Best Plant Based Protein Powder
Protein is an essential macronutrient we all need, and one which can be hard to come by if you adhere to a plant-based diet.
There’s no need to worry about eating copious amounts of tofu or legumes though, since plant-based protein is a fantastic way to get protein in your diet.
You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic or weightlifter to enjoy the benefits of protein powder either, it can be enjoyed by anyone as part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain body weight and potentially put on muscle too.
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Plant Based Protein Powder Picks
- Best of the Best: Garden of Life Raw Organic
- Best Bang for Your Buck: Orgain Plant Based
- Best Hemp Protein: Nutiva Organic
Best Plant Based Protein Powder Reviews
Garden of Life Raw Organic (👑 Top Pick)
The best plant based protein powder has to be Garden of Life’s raw organic protein. This vanilla flavoured protein powder is blended into a fine texture, and can add a tasty hit of flavour to just about any drink – including smoothies. If your diet is dairy-free, then you’ll be pleased to know this powder mixes well with almond milk too, and is very palatable. Even if you’re not a fan of plain vanilla, you can choose the chocolate, vanilla chai, or unflavoured options.
The base of this protein powder is a combination of peas, brown rice, sprouts, and buckwheat. Peas are one of the best ingredients for plant-based protein powder since they contain many of the amino acids you would associate with a complete protein. This means that supplementing with this powder will be just as good as taking whey protein, perfect for maintaining weight or building muscle. What’s more, with both sizes, you will get an impressive 22g of complete protein in a single serving, so that should be plenty to keep you going and ensure you’re satiated for a long time after.
Also within this plant-based protein powder are a variety of vitamins such as A, D, E, and K along with 3 billion CFU prebiotics. These extra nutritional benefits can help your body function at its best despite whatever your diet may currently be lacking.
This plant-based protein from Garden of Life is available in both a 10 serving and 20 serving sizes, so you don’t have to invest in the larger quantity if you just want to give it a try at first.
- 10 or 20 serving sizes
- 4 flavours to choose from
- Main ingredients: peas, sprouts, legumes.
- 3 billion CFU live prebiotics
- 12 Non-GMO enzymes
- 22g protein
Orgain Plant Based
If you’re sold on the benefits of plant-based protein, but you’re on a budget, Orgain could be just what you need to get started with the supplement.
Offering great value for money, Orgain’s organic protein comes in a decadent creamy chocolate fudge flavour which should whet the appetite when the time comes to take it. As well as tasting great, this protein powder boasts high-quality ingredients which contribute to a complete plant based protein. These include peas, brown rice, and chia seeds among others. With a single serving of this powder you can expect 21g of protein, which is a respectable quantity. This should be more than enough to sustain you as a meal replacement drink, should weight loss be your main goal.
This powder is free from all the ingredients you potentially want to avoid, such as GMO, gluten, and artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives. Most of the ingredients they use are certified organic too, so you can be sure that they are all as good as it gets as far as the quality is concerned. Orgain have also managed to create a great-tasting protein powder, without adding sugar. This is not only an impressive feat, but will help you curb any cravings and help preserve your teeth.
- 20 servings
- Creamy chocolate fudge flavour
- 21g of protein in each serving
- Main ingredients: peas, brown rice, chia seeds
- Free from GMO, gluten, artificial preservatives, and sugar.
The first (and best) hemp powder on this list, Nutiva organic plant protein is a fantastic substitute for whey protein. This plant protein comes in a standard vanilla option, which may seem a bit bland for some, but provides a subtle hint of flavour without overpowering the drink you decide to mix it in. It’s also available in the more indulgent chocolate flavour, in case you’re interested in something a little more tasty.
This protein powder stands out from others on the market due to its high-quality, and the inclusion of extra nutritional value in the form of omega-3 fats and antioxidants. Nutiva ensures great quality largely through their cold press extraction process which doesn’t subject the ingredients to harmful substances. There is also a decent amount of other nutrients and beneficial ingredients like vitamins and probiotics to add a health kick to your smoothies. As for how much protein you can expect in each serving, it’s around 22g, which is a respectable amount.
Nutiva organic protein is perfect for any lifestyle, no matter how strict, since it’s vegan-friendly, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. The company works with certified organic farmers, and are free from GMO and grown in a sustainable way. The containers are BPA-free too and recyclable.
- 20 servings
- 22g protein in a single serving
- Vanilla or chocolate flavouring
- Main Ingredients: Hemp, pea, sunflower, pumpkin
- Source of omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and probiotics
- Suitable for all lifestyles
What To Look For When Selecting Plant Based Protein Powder
1) Protein Per Serving
One of the most important factors to consider when picking out a plant-based protein powder is how much protein you’ll get with each serving. The ideal amount is around 22g in a single serving.
If you’re looking for the most value for your money and the most protein with every scoop of powder, then you’re going to want to exclude those powders which have less than 20g of protein per serving.
The reason for this is that those with less protein per serving are less concentrated, and might be using filler ingredients in the powder, which isn’t going to help you hit your protein goals.
The ingredients in the plant-based protein will tell you a lot about its quality. One of the best foods for this type of protein powder is peas. While small and unassuming, peas provide a complete protein which can hold its own when compared against whey.
Other ingredients to keep an eye out for are hemp, sprouts, and soy. These foods will lend weight to the quality of the powder, and ensure that you’re getting the best protein possible and all the essential amino acids your body craves.
3) Nutritional Value
Next, you should pay attention to any extra nutritional value you can extract from the protein powder.
Since plant-based proteins are largely made up of vegetables, you can expect some additional benefits alongside the macronutrient. For example, some will be a good source of prebiotics or probiotics, while others have a high antioxidant content, and others still can provide you with omega-3 fats.
While these extra benefits aren’t necessarily essential in your protein powder, they can help you keep your body running optimally.
4) Lifestyle Suitability
If you’re taking plant-based protein you probably value certain lifestyles and diets, such as those free from dairy, gluten, and animal-based products. If this is the case, then you’ll need to double check that the protein you buy satisfies all of your criteria.
Even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, you might find that there is added sugar or Stevia in the protein powder which may be something you want to avoid.
While not the most important factor to consider, flavour should still play an important part in your decision-making process.
After all, protein powder is something that you’ll want to take on a regular basis. Can you imagine drinking a smoothie that’s been blended with a flavour you find repulsive?
Not ideal. As a result, browse the comment section and the company’s website and see what you can defer about the flavour profile of the powder if you’re really interested in finding the best flavour for you.
6) Value For Money
Some plant-based protein powders offer a lot greater value for money than others. If you’re looking to invest in a product that you will use over a long period of time, then it’s imperative that you pick one within your budget.
Bear in mind, this probably won’t be a one-off purchase, but more akin to a subscription. It’s worth doing some calculations before you buy to see if you can afford the protein powder over a period of several months at least.
Frequently Asked Questions About Plant Based Protein Powders
Are plant based protein powders better?
Plant based protein powders are better for those following a plant-based diet, and can be crucial in maintaining a healthy weight or building muscle.
Due to the lack of complete proteins available in the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, supplementing with protein powder can form an important part of the diet. This is especially true of anyone looking to develop muscle mass while sticking to plant-based products.
As for whether plant-based proteins are better than those made from whey, you’d have to say that many of them don’t quite offer the same benefits. This is due to the fact that whey is a complete protein and gives your body all the essential amino acids it needs to grow. Whereas many plant-based proteins only offer a few of these amino acids.
However, that being said, there are some plant-based proteins that can compete with whey. Soy proteins are one example, but it’s pea proteins that can really stand toe to toe with their whey counterparts.
So if you can get your hands on a quality pea protein then you will likely enjoy the same muscle building benefits as someone who is supplementing whey protein.
What is the healthiest vegan protein powder?
In our view, Garden of Life’s raw organic plant protein is the healthiest vegan powder.
A high-quality plant-based protein made from a base of peas, buckwheat, and sprouts, this powder can deliver just what your body needs.
There’s also a range of other nutritional benefits to this powder, aside from the protein. It wraps live prebiotics, vitamins, and enzymes into one easy to consume and delicious serving.
What are the negatives of protein powder?
The negatives of protein powder usually stem from consuming too much protein than the body can process.
Some of the side effects you can experience from taking on excess protein include nausea, fatigue, and headaches. You can also dehydrate yourself from consuming too much protein and not drinking enough liquids along with it.
Aside from leading to an overconsumption of protein though, protein powders can be packed full of ingredients which can cause your body harm. Sugar for example is commonly seen in many protein powder blends, and consumed in excess can obviously be an issue. This can ring especially true if you are taking the powder in an already sweetened drink.
You also have to be careful of artificial ingredients and stimulates which are added, that might affect your body in different ways. This can even include substances like steroids, so it’s worth taking a thorough look at the label before you decide to invest in a protein powder.
What does protein powder do?
Protein powder is a nutritional supplement that many people take in order to make up for a lack of protein in their diet, or simply to increase their intake of the macronutrient.
Protein powders can be used to address a deficiency of protein or to supplement weight and muscle gain, especially for those interested in fitness and weightlifting.
As a macronutrient, protein should be an essential part of any diet, alongside fats, carbohydrates, fiber and a few others. Its main purpose is to repair tissue and create enzymes, but it also plays an important role in the development of muscle.
By regularly consuming protein powder, there are a whole host of ways in which you can benefit. As well as being great for muscle growth, protein powders can also help stabilise your weight or help you to shed some pounds by making you feel fuller for longer. You can even help accelerate the recovery of muscles and tissues that are broken down through exercise, so you can get back to working out as soon as possible.
A Final Word on Plant Protein
Plant protein can provide you with a great way to supplement your protein intake without needing to consume dairy. If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly way to control your weight or build muscle, then it’s definitely worth a shot.
For detailed information, see these websites:
- Juicing for Health and Weight Loss – WebMD
- Is Juicing Healthier Than Eating Whole Fruits and Vegetables? – Mayo Clinic
- Is Juicing Good or Bad? – Healthline