The best vegan protein powder
Whether you're looking to get ripped along with an exercise program or you simply want to boost your protein intake to a healthier level, vegan protein powder can help you do this -- and without dairy. Some vegan protein powder users choose it because they eschew animal products; others prefer it because they find it more digestible or effective.
Selecting the best vegan protein powder from all of the products on the market can be tough, but this guide can help you find the perfect option for your body and lifestyle. Our top pick is the Vega Sport Premium Protein, which packs 30 grams of protein into each serving.
Considerations when choosing vegan protein powders
Vegan protein powders can get their protein from a range of plant sources, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Most combine several protein sources for a balanced blend. We've listed some of the most common below.
Brown rice protein is free from most common allergens but only contains one of the nine essential amino acids.
Soy is extremely protein-dense, so it's an excellent vegan protein source for those who aren't allergic to it. However, it's often avoided due to misconceptions over the phytoestrogens it contains. Soy is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
Pea protein is ideal for people who can't tolerate soy or grains, plus it contains branched chain amino acids and plenty of easily digestible fiber. It does, however, tend to have a grainy texture.
Consider how many grams of protein you need to add to your diet each day before deciding on a protein powder. The majority of vegan protein powders contain between 20 and 30 grams of protein per serving.
You can find vegan protein powders in a range of flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, berry, and peanut butter. Some flavors are better suited than others to being mixed with additional ingredients.
Check what sweeteners, either natural or synthetic, your chosen protein powder contains. Some naturally sweetened powders include stevia instead, but the stevia aftertaste can be off-putting to some. If that's you and you don't mind the extra calories, look out for options that contain coconut sugar or agave nectar instead. Although natural, honey has no place in vegan protein powders as it's an animal product.
Since vegan protein powders are available in a range of package sizes, it's easiest to compare products by the price per ounce. This can range anywhere from $0.50 to $2.50 per ounce, depending on factors such as protein content, ingredient quality, and number of servings per pack.
Q. Are protein powders just for people who work out?
A. Although many protein powders are marketed toward people looking to build new muscle, they're by no means exclusively for folks who regularly hit the gym. The average person requires between 46 and 56 grams of protein per day, even without taking exercise into account. While there are plenty of vegan sources of protein out there (including tofu and seitan), some people still find it hard to pack in enough. Anyone can use protein powder to fill in the gaps and ensure they're getting enough protein on a daily basis.
Q. What should I blend my vegan protein powder with?
A. You can simply mix protein powder with water, but you'll get a bonus hit of protein by using non-dairy milk instead. Soy milk has the highest protein content -- seven grams per eight ounces -- while the same volume of oat and almond milk contains four and two grams of protein, respectively.
Vegan protein powders we recommend
Best of the best: Vega's Sport Premium Protein
Our take: With 30 grams of protein per serving, this powder is ideal for making serious gains.
What we like: Available in five flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and peanut butter. Includes probiotics. Non-GMO. Includes tart cherry for post-workout recovery.
What we dislike: Issues with consistency.
Best bang for your buck: Orgain's Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
Our take: This reasonably priced protein powder might have a lower protein content than some but is USDA-certified organic.
What we like: Choice of vanilla or unsweetened flavors. Includes a blend of pea, brown rice, and chia seed protein. One serving contains 35% of your recommended daily value of iron.
What we dislike: Only 21 grams of protein per serving.
Our take: This certified organic protein powder contains a respectable 30 grams of protein per serving.
What we like: Blends well and tastes good. Chocolate and vanilla flavors to choose from. Contains extra ingredients to aid in recovery after intense workouts.
What we dislike: Results in a fairly thin shake.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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