With the demand for vegan protein powders increasing every day, the market is blossoming with a plethora of new products being advertised as the “BEST VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER EVER”. While that means we vegans now have more power of choice, it also means that it’s getting harder and harder to pick the good products and avoid the dozens of crappy ones.
But fear not, young grasshopper (grass-eater?). We did the hard work for you. And the result is a 2,500-words guide to help you choose the best vegan protein powder in the US!
PS: If you’re in a hurry, just check this handy table:
|Vega Sport||Pea, Alfalfa, Pumpkin Seed, Sunflower Seed||Sweet, Candy-Like||Smooth and Silky||$$$|
|Orgain Organic Protein||Brown Rice, Chia Seed, Hemp, Pea||Sweet, Stevia||Creamy||$|
|Sprout Living Epic Protein||Brown Rice, Yellow Pea, Sacha Inchi, Cranberry Seed||Bland, Neutral||Grainy||$$$|
|Plant Fusion Complete Protein||Pea, Artichoke, Sprouted Amaranth, Sprouted Quinoa||Sweet, Stevia||Silky||$|
|Sunwarrior Warrior Blend||Pea, Hemp Seed, Goji Berry||Earthy, Sweet||Creamy||$$|
What you’re about to see is the most meticulous “Vegan Protein Powder Guide” in the history of the universe. And I say that with confidence, because our team was very thorough on this research – which included analyzing over 50 brands of vegan protein powder available on the US through glass after glass of smoothie tasting sessions backed by thousands of user reviews.
We didn’t want this to be a “personal preference list” like some bloggers do, but rather a community-based effort – so we could guarantee the highest levels of impartiality. This is not about listing our favorites, but instead helping you pick yours.
And right now you’re probably thinking that this is the best job in the world: tasting vegan protein powder smoothies. And you’d be half-right.
While it’s true that we’ve had a few delightful experiences, we’ve also had more than our fair share of gritty, chalky ones. Sometimes it was like having a (vegan) milkshake, but most of them just felt like drinking dirt. But we went through with it anyway.
And because of that, now your search for the best vegan protein powder is over. Here it goes, in no particular order, the 5 best vegan protein powders in the US:
TASTE: Sweet, Candy-Like
COST: $0,066 per gram of protein
SOURCES: Pea, Alfalfa, Pumpkin Seed, Sunflower Seed
I’m sure most of you are familiar with Vega – one of the big players in the vegan market.
The Vega Sport is offered in 4 flavors: Mocha, Chocolate, Vanilla and Berry. All of them are really sweet and even candy-like, mostly because Vega uses Stevia as a sweetener. This is not one of those chalky old-school protein powders – it’s actually very smooth and almost feels like it was made for children. As most people are really fond of sweets, no wonder the Vega Sport is a best-seller.
On the other hand – if you don’t like the sweetness of Stevia – this product is not for you. Oh, and they’ve added tart cherry for its antioxidant properties and other health benefits, so every flavor does taste a bit like cherry. Again: most people love that, but if you’re not a fan of cherry then stay away!
Their choice of protein sources (alfafa, pea, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed) mean it’s a grain-free, gluten-free supplement with a healthy combination of protein sources and a good amino acid profile.
The Vega Sport is a bit pricier than most vegan protein powders, but still this is a great product that deserves all the hype.
FLAVOR: Sweet, Stevia
COST: $0,052 per gram of protein
SOURCES: Brown Rice, Chia Seed, Hemp, Pea
You might not have heard of it yet, but the Orgain Organic Protein is the best-selling vegan protein powder on Amazon. It is offered in 2 flavors: ‘Creamy Chocolate Fudge’ and ‘Vanilla Bean’.
Orgain decided to create a product with a cleaner taste, so the Organic Protein doesn’t have that strong, sweet flavor that makes you think of milkshake. This is good news if you like to make smoothies with fruits, because they won’t get extra sweet – but won’t taste like chalk either.
The texture is well balanced – not too grainy or too thin, and if you mix it with almond milk or coconut milk you’ll get a nice shake that’s a combination of creamy and thick.
The protein blend a combination of Brown Rice, Hemp, Chia, and Pea, achieving a very interesting amino acid profile – and it’s a gluten-free, soy-free, non-gmo, organic supplement.
Yes, it is organic!
And since it’s cheaper than most of its competitors, no wonder it is a best seller!
FLAVOR: Bland, Neutral
COST: $0,065 per gram of protein
SOURCES: Brown Rice, Yellow Pea, Sacha Inchi, Cranberry Seed
This is a truly unique product by a brand that likes to keep it clean. While most vegan protein powders are trying to be milkshakes, the Sprout Living Epic Protein has a “Real Food, Real Taste” approach. So if you’re looking for a sweet, creamy protein powder, this is NOT the one.
This product is offered in 4 flavors: Original, Chocolate Maca, Vanilla Lucuma and Green Kingdom. Although the flavors are pretty good and packed with superfoods, they also have stevia and are way more expensive – so the Original is the best pick if you just want your proteins and no additives.
Since this product strives to be as natural as possible, the texture can be gritty and chalky – and that’s understandable because real food is not supposed to just magically dissolve in your mouth. So don’t expect for that artificial smoothness and fluffiness and you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re planning on just having it with water, then this is not the best product. We recommend you blend it with bananas, dates, or other fruits of your choice – because the taste is not a strong feature. In fact it is rather bland, and won’t get in the way of other ingredients in your shake.
Bottom line is – if you’re not a big fan of sweet shakes and don’t mind a grittier texture, the Epic Protein might be a breath of fresh air.
FLAVOR: Sweet, Stevia
COST: $0,049 per gram of protein
SOURCES: Pea, Artichoke, Sprouted Amaranth, Sprouted Quinoa
ORGANIC? Some Ingredients
Plantfusion is not so famous as some brands like Vega and Sunwarrior, but you’ll find out that it is a simple yet delicious vegan protein powder that might become your new go-to for morning smoothies or post-workout shakes.
The PlantFusion Complete Protein comes in 5 unique flavours: ‘Natural’, ‘Vanilla Bean’, ‘Chocolate’, ‘Chocolate Raspberry’ & ‘Cookies n’ Creme’ – but should really stick to Vanilla and Chocolate, because the others have an artificial taste.
We don’t recommend taking it with water, but after blending it with coconut/almond milk and maybe even some berries, you’ll get a very nice smooth, silky consistency that makes it perfect for a smoothie. Yes there is a subtle hint of grittiness, but it’s not anywhere near unpleasant.
The PlantFusion Complete Protein makes justice to its name, bringing a combination of proteins from pea, artichoke, amaranth and quinoa – guaranteeing an incredibly powerful amino acid profile.
In fact, this unique blend of ingredients scores a perfect 1.0 on the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). If you’re not familiar with the acronym, this is the gold standard for rating the quality of protein. In other words – it’s a truly complete source of protein.
FLAVOR: Earthy, Sweet
COST: $0,059 per gram of protein
SOURCES: Pea, Hemp Seed, Goji Berry
Sunwarrior is one of the most famous brands for vegan protein powders, and you’ll understand why. Their Warrior Blend is offered in 5 flavors: Chocolate, Natural, Vanilla, Berry and Mocha. But actually the first thing you’ll notice is the texture.
The Warrior Blend is creamy and fluffy – nothing like those chalky, gritty powders that some other brands offer. The powder is a bit thick, but the end result is a smoothie that feels like a milkshake – only with an earthy, nutty taste that probably comes from the hemp seeds.
If you like your protein shakes sweet and don’t mind a note of earthiness, you’ll like the Warrior Blend (the best flavors are “Chocolate” and “Vanilla” in our opinion).
The Warrior Blend has a legion of loyal fans that swear it’s the best vegan protein powder ever made – so you just need to give it a try!
Yes, it is. Understand that we didn’t include any of the crappy products. Or the average ones. That means our guide is way more strict than other guides you’ll find online – because they usually list many products in an attempt to give you a broader field of choice.
And in our opinion, that’s not helpful at all.
If you bothered to even look for a guide, it shows you have high standards. So do we. Rest assured that whatever vegan protein powder you decide to buy from this guide, it will be a good choice.
With that being said, everyone is different – so you might have to experiment with a few of them before picking an absolute favorite. If you want to read the full, detailed reviews for each product listed above, just use our menu and navigate to REVIEWS to choose the product you want to know more.
These guides are usually pretty straightforward, but ours requires some explanation. Read below to understand what criteria we used on our selection of the best vegan protein powders :
Taste is subjective – what is delicious for you might be awful for someone else. That’s why it’s pointless to just rate the taste of a product on a 1-10 scale. Ok maybe it’s an 8, but is it too sweet? What if you want something with an earthy flavor to blend a green smoothie?
That’s why we studied the reviews of over 10,000 users and realized that – when people don’t like the taste of a vegan protein powder – it’s either because it’s too sweet or too earthy, or the texture is too gritty and/or too thick. And they had the wrong expectations!
Our solution was to add TasteTags to each product, so you can understand what each product tastes like. When using our guide, pay attention to the tags describing the flavor and texture to have the right expectations!
When making a protein powder, the makers can choose from different sources of vegan protein: rice, pea, hemp, quinoa, pumpkin, artichoke, etc. Some brands use only one or two sources, and others go with several.
While there are no “good or bad” sources of protein, each of those has a specific amino acid profile (the building blocks of protein) – and it’s important that you consume a variety of them. Since you’re here to find the BEST vegan protein powders, we prioritized the ones that make use of diverse sources of proteins.
PS: All of the protein powders on this guide are soy-free.
Forget about the price tag or the size of the dose. What you really wanna know is the cost per gram of protein – this is the actual bang for your buck!
Some brands use big scoops and claim that their product has “more grams of protein per dose”. Of course, their doses are bigger! Others sell their products on larger jars, and say that you get “more servings per container”. Who are they trying to fool?
The only thing that really matters regarding the price of a vegan protein powder is the COST PER GRAM OF PROTEIN. And here is the equation to find it:
Product Price ÷ (Weight ÷ Serving Size) ÷ Grams of Protein per Serving = Cost per Gram of Protein.
But worry not, for we already did the math.
So when you see COST on our guide, what we’re showing is the actual dollars you’re paying for each gram of protein on the product. And if you choose to ignore our advice and just buy a product that is not on this guide, make sure to do the math and see how much you’re actually paying per gram of protein! More often than not, it will be a bad deal.
After analyzing about 50 brands and reading over 10,000 user reviews, we’re confident that those aforementioned products are the 5 best vegan protein powders in the US market right now.
However, some of them are not budget friendly. So if you’re on a tight budget, we’ve selected two additional inexpensive products that are also high-quality! Now you can have your proteins AND save money 😉
Just keep in mind that cheaper products usually compromise a bit on the taste & texture, so don’t go expecting the smoothness of a Sunwarrior or the Sweetness of a Vega!
COST: $0,033 per gram of protein
SOURCES: Pea, Brown Rice
I guess most people don’t know the MRM Veggie Elite, because it’s not as famous and glamorous as brands like Vega ou Sunwarrior. However, the ones who dare to buy this product are usually left very satisfied.
The MRM VEGGIE ELITE is offered in 3 flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate and Cinnamon. The Vanilla and Chocolate are more versatile, with Vanilla being our team’s favorite. This protein powder is sweet, but not as sweet as the VEGA SPORT. For those of you who like sweet shakes, then you’ll be please with the taste of the MRM Veggie Elite – it’s definitely tastier than the SUNWARRIOR WARRIOR BLEND.
But as I said before, cheaper products have to compromise somewhere… And with the MRM it’s on the texture.
Some premium brands (like Vega) have a silky, smooth texture, but this is not the case with the MRM Veggie Elite – it’s actually a bit grainy and chalky. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad… Let’s just say it takes some getting used to.
Overall this is a great product specially when you check the price tag, making it an excellent “bang for your buck” alternative to premium vegan protein powders.
FLAVOR: Clean, Bland
COST: $0,045 per gram of protein
SOURCES: Pea, Brown Rice, Artichoke
So there you have it! A very meticulous selection of the 5 Best Vegan Protein Powders, and 2 Low-Cost Alternatives for those on a tight budget.
We hope you appreciate this guide, because it was a lot of work! Our suggestion is that you choose one from this list and buy it right now, and – if it’s not the perfect match for you – next time you can experiment with a different brand.
Every product on this list is high-quality, and we’re confident that you’ll find your favorite here 😉
Thanks for reading, and do share your opinions and experiences in the comments bellow!
PS: Protein powders are cool, but you also need to eat lots of real food! Check out this new Vegan Cookbook with muscle gaining recipes 😉