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Overpriced, small tubs of plant protein are the bane of any athlete's existence. Why do plant-based protein powders have to be so goddamn expensive?
Now while it is few and far between, budget-friendly plant protein does actually exist.
So for today's post, I set out to find the cheapest vegan protein powders with the most protein per dollar. Let's have a look at the alternatives.
The Cheapest Vegan Protein Powders
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1. Bulksupplements (Editor's Choice)
Bulksupplements Pure Pea Protein Powder is the king when it comes budget-friendly vegan protein powders: The 20kg (44 lbs) container yields some of the cheapest grams of protein per dollar.
That is perhaps the greatest deal I've encountered in my quest to find the most inexpensive plant-protein source, no other protein powder comes even close.
Now a 44-pound sack of protein powder is a substantial amount. If you want something smaller, then the 5 kg (11 lbs) container isn't a bad deal at all, and this is one what we recommend for the typical lifter.
The reason why it's so inexpensive is that:
- A. You're buying in bulk.
- B. The minimalistic ingredient list: the product contains only 100% pure pea protein powder.
With only one ingredient (which means no fillers, flavorings, emulsifiers or other crap), you know exactly what’s being poured into your digestive system, which is something we can’t often find out!
In summary, this is a no-frills plant-based protein powder with an 87% protein content. Each serving provides:
Pea protein is a great option as it contains plenty of the essential amino acids as well as the BCAAs which promote muscle growth. In fact, it works so well that one study found that it's equal to whey in promoting muscle gains (1).
Users report that it mixes and digests quite well, with no bloating or other negative effects.
Now be warned: it's unflavored. This means that there'll be a mild taste of peas - just don't expect to be drinking a nice chocolate smoothie.
Also, as with many other pea protein powders, one drawback is the high sodium content at 450 mg per serving.
2. NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder
NOW Sports Pea Protein Powder is another great option that won't break the bank. We recommend the 7 lbs (3.17 kg) container, as you'll get a decent price for a gram of protein per dollar.
Following the general theme of this article, it's another minimalistic plant-based protein powder containing one ingredient, 100% pea protein. Free of gluten, lactose, animal products, additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and colors.
They've included the amino acid profile per serving, so you know exactly how much muscle-building BCAAs you get; that’s something I really appreciate personally.
This pea protein powder sits at an 80% protein content and per serving you get:
As noted above, pea protein is a great alternative for protein powders: it has a good amount of the essential amino acids as well as the BCAAs required for muscle growth.
Users report that it dissolves easily in liquid and doesn't seem to upset digestion.
As it is made from 100% pea protein with no sweeteners or anything to mask the flavor, it will taste natural. Think of ground-up raw peas. Fortunately, it can be masked quite easily in a smoothie with some fruits.
3. True Nutrition
The True Nutrition Pea Protein Isolate shares plenty of similarities with the previously mentioned products, but also features some unique attributes.
With a very inexpensive gram of protein per dollar, it takes a minimalistic approach with only one ingredient: 100% Non-GMO pea protein isolate.
Yep, you heard that right. There’s no extensive list of preservatives, sweeteners, colorings or other bullshit to peruse. All you’re putting into your system is a shitload of natural plant ingredients.
Per serving (30 g) you get a protein content of 82% and:
Now what's awesome about ordering from True Nutrition is that you can either chose to order the pea protein completely unflavored or feel free to add whatever flavor you’re in the mood for! Chocolate fudge brownie, cinnamon bun, and vanilla are some of the more popular choices (all with 100% natural flavorings and sweeteners).
Another pro is that it's pretty damn cheap, especially if you buy a bunch of them, as you get a bulk discount!
How Do You Find the Cheapest Vegan Protein Powder?
Supplement companies will do their everything to confuse and dazzle consumers with varying serving sizes, fancy descriptions that don't really mean anything, and other such marketing nonsense.
Sifting through the market of plant-based protein powders to find a high-quality and cheap product can be rather overwhelming, so how are we supposed to cut through the bullshit? Well, the recommended solution here is to take an objective and non-biased look at each and every product.
I think we can agree that the main purpose of a protein powder is not to provide you with carbohydrate, fat or creatine, but protein. By calculating the protein per dollar, we've got a measure that we can use to directly compare vegan protein powders to see which delivers the most of what you pay for.
This is the basic formula for doing so looks like:
Protein per serving * Servings per container
For example, say Product X has 23 grams of protein per serving, 20 servings per container and costs 30 dollars. This yields a protein per dollar amount of 23*20 / 30 = 15.3 g/$
Determining the Overall Quality of a Product
There's more to a protein powder than how inexpensive it is. I mean you probably wouldn't want to buy a protein supplement with an insane value if it scores horribly in all other aspects of quality.
To judge a product fairly and get a sense for the overall quality, it's important to also examine factors such as:
As it happens, the plant-based protein powders with the most value also do really well in regards to these factors.
Well, without further ado let's take a look at some superb options for those of us that don't relish the idea of wasting money:
If you found this to be informative, make sure to share this article!
If budget is not a problem for you, make sure to check out our buyer's guide on the best vegan protein powders. These products are tested by me personally so you know you're getting an honest unbiased review.Share your recommendations for budget-friendly plant-based protein powders in the comment section down below.
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