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Buying guide for Best vegan protein powders

Despite what some people believe, a plant-based diet isn’t inherently lacking in protein. However, if you're trying to build muscle or you know you’re not consuming enough protein (such as beans, tofu, and seitan), you may need to supplement your diet with vegan protein powder. Whereas non-vegan protein powder usually relies on whey protein, vegan protein powders tend to use various legumes and seeds for protein.

Although all will give you the same or similar results, we think it's wise to learn about the different protein sources in vegan protein powders before buying. You should also consider the amount of protein you’d like per serving and which flavor (or flavors) would satisfy you most. The type of sweetener contained in protein powder can significantly impact its palatability. What’s more, texture can be an issue with some protein powders, so you want to be sure you get something you’ll like.

In this review, we present our top vegan protein powder choices for your consideration. Read on to learn more about vegan protein powder and how to select the best one for you.

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You can simply mix vegan protein powder with water or plant milk, but you generally get a smoother texture when you use a blender.

Key considerations

Protein source

Let’s explore the main protein sources you might find in a vegan protein powder. The majority of these powders contain a mixture of several protein sources. However, you can occasionally find single-source plant-based protein powders.

Soy protein

Soy protein is extremely protein-dense — especially soy protein isolate, which contains a whopping 90% protein. Some people avoid soy because of an alleged estrogen-like effect, but this is largely without credence. Soy is more likely to have a beneficial effect on health. Soy is also a complete protein, unlike most other plant proteins (though there's no need to consume complete proteins in one sitting as long as you eat a variety of vegan protein sources).

Brown rice protein

By extracting most of the starch from brown rice, you're left with an effective protein that's free from the majority of allergens. It only contains one essential amino acid, so it's best in a blended protein powder with other protein sources.

Hemp protein

Not only does hemp contain all nine essential amino acids, it contains another 11 on top of that. Hemp is also a rich source of omega 3 and 6. As such, hemp is an extremely healthy protein source. The main problem with it is its strong flavor. Some people love it, but others aren’t fans.

Pea protein

A common choice in vegan protein powders, pea protein is great for anyone avoiding soy and grains. It's not as protein-dense as soy, but it still contains a large percentage of protein, along with branched-chain amino acids and soluble fiber. Pea protein can have an unpleasantly grainy texture, however.

"You may wish to choose a vegan protein powder that's organic and free from GMOs."

Protein content

The majority of vegan protein powders have a protein content of between 20 and 30 grams (g) per serving. For light muscle building and general increased protein intake, something around the 20g mark should suffice. Those who wish to make serious gains should opt for a powder with closer to 30g of protein per serving. Of course, you can increase your protein intake further by consuming more than one serving of protein powder per day.


Most protein powder products come in several flavors. Chocolate and vanilla are popular; other common choices include berry, mocha, peanut butter, and natural (unflavored). If you intend to consume your protein powder simply mixed with water or plant milk, choose the flavor you think you'd like best. If you're likely to mix it into smoothies or shakes with other ingredients, choose the flavor that would go best with the other ingredients. For example, a peanut butter protein powder would taste good in a banana shake, and a berry protein powder would blend nicely with the flavor of a berry smoothie.


Added vitamins

Some vegan protein powders contain a selection of vitamins and minerals for a nutrient boost.


It's rare for a vegan protein powder to contain refined sugar, but occasionally, natural sweeteners like monk fruit or coconut sugar are used. Notably, these flavorings add calories. Stevia is a natural no-calorie sweetener, but it has a distinctive aftertaste that some people dislike. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol and aspartame are sometimes added to protein powders, too. If you’re trying to avoid artificial sweeteners, scrutinize the label before buying.


The texture of protein powder can be grainy, but this varies from one brand to the next. Some have an unpleasant grit; others are quite smooth. The rest fall somewhere in between.

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Did you know?
Some vegan protein powders contain nutritious extra ingredients, such as spirulina or alfalfa.

Vegan protein powder prices

An average tub of vegan protein powder costs between $10 and $50. Tub size and the quality of the powder affect price. That said, it's best to compare the price by weight since package sizes vary.

  • Inexpensive vegan protein powder costs between $.50 and $1 per ounce.
  • Mid-priced vegan protein powder costs between $1 and $2 per ounce.
  • Expensive vegan protein powder costs roughly $2 to $2.5 per ounce. 

If you try a low-cost vegan protein powder and aren’t satisfied with the taste, we suggest you try a powder from the mid-priced or expensive category. Taste often, though not always, correlates with price.

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Did you know?
Though the terms "vegan" and "plant-based" are often used interchangeably, you can find plant-based protein powders that are sweetened with honey and therefore aren't vegan.


  • Check out the number of calories per serving of your chosen vegan protein powder. If you're training or following a strict muscle-building program, you might have a set amount of calories you need to eat each day. Don't overlook the calories contained in your protein powder.
  • Know that not all vegan protein powders are equally palatable. Some genuinely taste good. Some are drinkable but nothing to write home about. Others are best avoided. We recommend buying a small container of any new protein powder in case you don't like it.
  • Think about why you're using protein powder. Do you want to make gains in the muscle department, or are you just trying to increase your protein intake? The reason why you use protein powder makes a difference in the amount you need and how often you should consume it.

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for something smooth and creamy, consider giving Genius Vegan Protein Powder a try. Those who are tired of gritty protein powders are bound to like this one. Its chocolate flavor is actually quite tasty, and it contains Velositol (designed to boost muscle development) for faster gains.

You have a range of options with Vegansmart Plant Based Vegan Protein Powder. Choose between original or organic formulas and from four flavors: vanilla, wild berry, chocolate, and chai. Each serving contains 20g of protein as well as 20 vitamins and minerals, digestive enzymes, and prebiotics.

We also like the Sunwarrior Plant-Based Warrior Blend. The raw vegan formula contains 27g of protein per serving. It's gluten-free, soy-free, kosher, and has no added sugar. It's available in five flavors: berry, chocolate, mocha, natural, and vanilla.

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Vegan protein powders are naturally loaded with phytochemicals from plants, which can boost health.


Q. What's the best plant milk to blend with my protein powder?
When you're looking for the ultimate protein-packed beverage, choose soy milk, which contains 7g protein per 8 ounces. (Almond milk has just 2g of protein per 8 ounces, and oat milk has 4g of protein per 8 ounces.) However, if you're already content with the amount of protein in your powder and don't necessarily need to use the most protein-rich plant milk, know that it's possible to blend protein powder with any plant milk you choose.

Q. Can I use my vegan protein powder for anything other than shakes and smoothies?
Yes. If you're not a huge fan of protein shakes and smoothies, there are plenty of other ways you can add it into your diet. One of the simplest is to mix it in with oatmeal or add it to soup (though make sure you use unflavored protein powder in savory food). You'll also find recipes for energy balls, cookies, pancakes, and more, all containing a protein powder punch.

Q. Is vegan protein powder better than whey protein powder?
Vegan protein powder isn't necessarily better or worse than whey protein powder, but it's a suitable alternative for anyone who's vegan, follows a dairy-free diet, or is lactose intolerant. Some people also find whey protein is hard on their stomachs, even if they're not generally lactose intolerant. If this sounds like you, it's possible you'll find vegan protein powder easier to digest.

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