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October 24, 2020

The Best Vegan Protein Powders
Build Muscle & Lean Down Faster

Editor's Choice
Transparent Labs ORGANIC VEGAN
Transparent Labs Organic VeganClick For Best Price
#2nd Best Choice
Snap Plant Protein
Snap SupplementsClick For Best Price
#3rd Best Choice
performancelab organic brown rice protein concentrate
Performance Lab® ProteinClick For Best Price
Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Pea, hemp, brown rice, soy protein -- vegans have it easy when it comes to options for vegan protein powders.

However, the real question is, do all plant protein powders provide the same nutritional value as whey protein?

Truth is, not all vegan protein powders are created equal, and there are a lot of details you need to scoop up if you're looking for the top plant-based protein powder on the market.

Especially when you're considering a complete amino acid profile, which you should.

Here, we go over our personal best vegan protein powders to help you find the best products that can support your plant-based, protein-filled life.

Top Vegan Protein Powders (2020 Updated)

1 - Transparent Labs Organic Vegan (Editor's Choice)

Transparent Labs ORGANIC VEGAN

When we did the Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Protein Powder Review, the thing we appreciated the most is its clean flavor. It has no aftertaste, and the texture is not gritty.

This powder only has 140 calories, and it serves up 25 grams of combined rice protein and pea protein. It also has very little fat and total carbohydrate per serving, which might be ideal for those who are looking to build lean muscle.

PROS
  • 25 grams of protein, 120 calories, and little fat and carbohydrate
  • Perfect for building lean muscle
  • Optimal source of protein and fiber
  • USDA Organic Certified
  • 100% vegan and no artificial sweeteners or flavoring
CONS
  • Some people find it sweet due to the added organic stevia

Based on user reviews, this one from Transparent Labs is one of the best vegan protein powders, since it's completely plant-based, has no fillers, is gluten-free, and non-GMO. It also claims to improve digestion because it contains fiber.

Additionally, the powder combination of rice and pea protein makes the powder a complete protein source.

2 - Snap Supplements - Plant Protein Chocolate

Snap Plant Protein

With ingredients like protein brown rice, yellow peas, and lentils, Snap’s chocolate supplement is made for building and maintaining muscle mass.

The label says that adequate protein intake optimizes your strength and performance, which is essential to preventing diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Its vegan-friendly formula contains 9 essential amino acids, that blend seamlessly into hot or cold liquids.

What about the customer reviews? People praise the supplement’s texture and flavor, highlighting that the protein chocolate profile fits the bill, unlike some vanilla flavored variants on the market.

PROS
  • 21 grams of plant-based protein per serving
  • No chalky, gritty texture
  • No added sugars or artificial sweeteners
  • Effective appetite suppressant
CONS
  • Few complaints about customer service

3 - Performance Lab® Protein

performancelab organic brown rice protein concentrate

Performance Lab® has only recently joined the protein superfood party. And it’s a game-changer.

As expected, this high-quality powder is cleaner than most plant protein powder products.

It's one of the best vegan protein powders that's gaining popularity in the vegan community because it's 100% plant-based and organic without fillers, artificial flavors, or chemical processing.

This powder is made exclusively from a quality plant-based source of whole brown rice protein, which is shown to be every bit as effective as whey (the gold standard) for increasing muscle mass, as it has all the essential amino acids the body needs.

PROS
  • The cleanest brown rice protein powder on the market
  • A potent 20 g per serving
  • USDA Organic-certified
  • Low calorie (100), low carb (2 g), low fat (1.2 g)
CONS
  • Only available via their site

But the major selling point of this brown rice vegan protein powder is the taste. It's amazing -- actually one of the best tasting vegan protein powders out there. It boasts a velvet-smooth blend of organic chocolate and vanilla flavor, including Ceylon cinnamon. Muscle building never tasted so good.

4 - Ladder Plant Protein

Ladder thumb

This plant-based protein blend by Ladder contains all the essential, branched-chain amino acids that you don’t need to stack up on a separate EAA or BCAA supplement. The content is enough to help your body fully repair.

The product also contains digestive enzymes and probiotics to make sure that your body absorbs all the needed protein. This may aid in building your muscles, losing your fats, and improving your sports performance faster.

PROS
  • CFS Certified
  • Contains Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
  • Contains 9g of essential amino acids
  • Tastes good
CONS
  • May contain a high amount of sugar (may not be good if you’re cutting down on carbs)

5 - Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

Orgain-Organic-Protein-Powder

When I tried this vegan protein powder out, I found that it mixed well with plain water or almond milk. The taste of the vanilla bean flavor was alright. However, when I mix it with a flavored drink or shake, it's a totally different story.

Flavor aside, I think that Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is still one of the best post-workout products when it comes to vegan protein intake. The powder contains a nice blend of pea protein, chia seed protein, and rice.

One serving (two scoops) has 21 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of fat. It also has 5 grams of fiber per serving without added sugar and serves a total of 150 calories.

PROS
  • Packed with 21g of organic protein and 7g of fiber per serving
  • One of the cleanest protein supplements in the market
  • Gives an energy pump at the gym
CONS
  • It isn’t to everyone’s taste, even the chocolate flavor

This Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is completely non-GMO and dairy-free. The best part of all, with the combination of rice, pea and chia seed, you get a complete essential amino acid profile.

You don't want any chemical sweeteners in your protein, so no sucralose or acesulfame potassium, which are the cousins of aspartame. They can be inflammatory, and some studies have suggested they can inhibit growth

- Melissa Piercell, Naturopathic Doctor

Not surprisingly, this brand also has an organic protein and greens superfoods powder with the added nutrition of spinach, kale, and other vegetable extracts.

Orgain Organic Protein Powder Review

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6 - Nuzest Clean Lean Protein

nuzest-clean-lean-protein

This plant-based protein powder from Nuzest is made up of pure pea protein isolate.

This pea protein powder provides 21 grams of protein with only a gram of fat and carbohydrate per serving.

The Just Natural variant has a neutral flavor that is good for baking. It has a subtle sweetness from the blend of fruit extract.

I'd consider this brand as one of my favorite vegan protein powders when it comes to making protein-filled baked goods.

Unlike water, it's great when mixed with coconut milk.

PROS
  • Has 21 g of pea protein with every little fat and net carb
  • Has a variety of flavors to choose from
  • Made of pure pea protein
CONS
  • May not be ideal as a meal replacement due to its low calories
  • Not the cheapest

Since it's a pure pea protein powder, it contains all 9 essential amino acids. See this post for other recommended pea protein powders.

7 - LeanHemp Pure Hemp Protein Powder

leanhemp chocolate hemp protein Powder

This organic, plant-based protein from LeanHemp is made from pure hemp seeds. It has three flavors available, including pure hemp, chocolate maca, and peanut butter.

I tried all the flavors of this protein powder brand, and my favorite is the chocolate maca. It has some cocoa powder, maca root powder, and coconut sugar as added ingredients on top of the hemp seeds powder.

The texture of this hemp protein blend is a bit chalky, so I suggest you mix it with your drink and put it in the fridge for at least 6-8 hours before taking it — it might improve the overall consistency.

It has 20 grams of protein per serving and 7-8 grams of fiber. Watch out for the sugar though. The pure hemp variant has the lowest amount of carb and sugar. Read our full review of the best hemp protein powders.

PROS
  • Has 20 grams of protein and 7-8 grams of fiber per serving
  • Has different variants available
  • Contains all the essential amino acids
CONS
  • The flavored variants (chocolate and peanut butter) are quite High in carbs and added sugar
  • It's a little too sweet for my liking

Pea protein has a complete protein profile, but can also be stacked with rice or chia seeds.

8 - Garden Of Life

garden of life

The unflavored raw organic protein powder from Garden of Life only has 110 calories per serving, making it popular for those who are aiming to lose weight. With a single scoop, you get 22 g of vegan protein with only 2.5 g of fat and 2 g of carbs.

It's a combination of brown rice and pea protein, with 13 raw organic sprouts, including quinoa, buckwheat, pumpkin seed protein, chia seeds, and lentil, among its many other ingredients. It provides vitamins A, D, E, and K as well.

Because of its dense nutritional value, this organic plant protein source may be suitable as a healthy meal replacement.

PROS
  • You get 22 grams of protein per serving
  • Chia and pumpkin seed protein sources
  • Packed with other vitamins and minerals from the raw organic sprouts
  • Low total calories
CONS
  • Ingredients are hidden in a proprietary blend
  • Texture and taste can be tricky

It has a variety of classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla.

Oh, did I mention there's 0 grams of added sugar? Garden of Life knows us so well.

9 - The Plant Era Organic Vegan Dark Chocolate Protein Powder

plant era organic dark chocolate protein powder

The Plant Era brings into the game its Organic Vegan Dark Chocolate Protein Powder that is well-received and loved by many consumers, including football superstar, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Now you know what’s keeping Pierre’s overall athletic build and whopping energy.

With their mission to establish the world’s best sport nutrition, The Plant Era has supplemented this protein powder with 21g of organic protein plus 50% of your daily vitamin B12 that may help combat fatigue, boost energy levels, and better your mood.

According to user reviews, what they like the most is the rich flavor. Despite having stevia as its sweetener, this protein powder tastes like real chocolate without being overly sweet. It’s ideal for a simple chocolate smoothie mix!

10 - EarthChimp

earth chimp

Unlike most vegan protein powders, EarthChimp doesn't have that earthy flavor.

It's not exactly a chocolate milkshake, but it tastes better than most vegan protein powder brands, especially when mixed with frozen fruits.

A single serving of this protein powder contains 20 grams of plant-based protein with 2.5 grams of fat.

It's quite high in carbohydrates though, with 18 grams for a double scoop. But I appreciate that this has 5 g of fiber as well as certain vegan digestive enzymes and probiotics.

PROS
  • Contains with 20 grams of protein each serving
  • The chocolate variant is quite nice
  • No artificial flavorings
  • Contains a good amount of fiber, digestive enzymes, and probiotics
CONS
  • Texture may be too thick for some
  • High in carb and sugar

This protein powder contains a blend of pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower, and coconut, which may be the ideal choice if you're allergic to soy.

How Many Grams of Protein Do You Need?

"How much protein I need for muscle building?" is a common question I get asked all the time.

You need between 1.6g and 2.2g of protein per kilogram of weight (0.73 to 1 gram per pound) if you want to maximize your muscle gains.

Soy based foods are some of the best foods you can eat on the planet. Soy provides a plant based protein source; a slew of vitamins and minerals crucial for reducing risk of chronic disease; and fiber that helps you fill up and feel satisfied.

-International Olympic Committee Consensus on Sports Nutrition

With this in mind, I recommend going with the upper end of the protein range, which is suggested by the scientific literature to be optimal [1]. This is essential because protein made from plants (i.e. soy protein) is generally less anabolic and not as easily digested than whey protein.

For example, a vegan athlete weighing 80 kg or 176 lbs would need around 128 to 176 grams of protein per day.

That's 1.6 to 2.2g x 80 kgs.

With these numbers in mind, and taking into account the general lifestyle of a vegan athlete, here's why I believe plant-based protein powders to be so invaluable.

What to Look for in a Good Vegan Protein Powder?

Here are 4 things to look for in a vegan protein powder:

1. Value - Protein per Dollar

Protein Powder Dollar

To spend the least amount of money for the most amount of protein, here's the number you need to be looking at:

Dollar per gram of protein.

The basic formula to calculate this looks like:

Protein per serving * Number of serving per container/Price

This is the quickest way to find out how much protein is in the product you're buying per dollar.

Just make sure that the plant-based protein sources are of high-quality and not something cheap with limited bioavailability.

Also, you may want to consider choosing between protein isolate and concentrate. Concentrates usually have a slightly lower protein per serving content but are definitely cheaper than isolates.

2. Percentage of Protein

When purchasing a pea, flaxseed or hemp protein powder, you should look for a high percentage of plant proteins above everything else on the ingredients list.

The higher the percentage of protein in a product, the less space is taken up by carbs, fats, sugar, and other nutrients that you may (or may not) want. The only time you would want these other macros would be when you're bulking and trying to consume a ton of calories.

If you're bulking and need that extra help in getting more calories, you may want to consider taking a vegan mass gainer.

 

3. Flavor & Mixability

post workout protein powder shake

It's important to keep an eye out for powders that taste decent and can mix easily into fruit smoothies, protein shakes, and other drinks, such as nut milk.

You can combine them with your foods, as well. In my experience, I find the soy and hemp mix well with most flavors.

If you're doing something with simple milk or water, maybe go for a flavored powder.

Alternatively, if you're planning on scooping your protein into your entire regimen, you should be fine with unflavored varieties.

I make my favorite protein shake with unflavored plant protein, and I can't complain.

You can make protein bars and protein cookies (check out the best protein recipes here) too.

4. Optimum Nutrition

There are many vegan products that offer lots of benefits from a nutritional perspective, such as a complete essential amino acid profile and vitamins and minerals.

Take time to find which vegan source of protein is best for your diet and fitness goals. For example, peas are known to be rich in amino acid components with the added benefit of BCAAs. Hemp, on the other hand, is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids for better cardiac health.

Apart from BCAAs, omega-3s, and other added nutrients for certain health purposes, the protein source is also a crucial thing to consider if you're suffering from certain allergies or diet restrictions.

If you want optimum nutrition from your plant-based protein powder, you may want to avoid the complicated stuff as much as possible.

What's Our Favorite Vegan Protein Powder?

While all the plant-based proteins on this list provide the necessary protein requirements of a pure plant-eater, I recommend Transparent Labs Organic Vegan as one of the best vegan protein powders on the market.

Its low-carbohydrate and low-fat formula might be best for keeping any extra pounds off, while the 24 grams of protein per serving is essential to your plant-based diet and overall health.

People on restricted diets might consider it helpful too, as it's gluten-free, soy-free, contains non-GMO ingredients, and no preservatives. With its price and nutritional content, it also wins on a dollar per gram value among all the protein powders on this list.

Note that it does contain organic stevia, so that can be one consideration for some people.

What is the best vegan protein powder for you? And which of these protein powders have you tried?

Share your experience with us!

Transparent Labs ORGANIC VEGAN

Transparent Labs Organic Vegan

Our #1 Recommendation

  • 25 grams of protein, 120 calories, and little fat and carbohydrate
  • Perfect for building lean muscle
  • Optimal source of protein and fiber
  • USDA Organic Certified
  • 100% vegan and no artificial sweeteners or flavoring
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of October
Click For Best Price
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Hey, I'm Jason and welcome to my website. I created VeganLiftz because of my passion (more like obsession) with the vegan diet, strength training, and bodybuilding. Feel free to peruse the various articles on this website; I hope you find something useful!
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