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The Best Vegan Protein Powders for Your Muscle-Building Needs

Gain muscle, lose weight, and restore your energy the plant-based way.
The Best Vegan Protein Powders for Your Muscle-Building Needs
Gain muscle, lose weight, and restore your energy the plant-based way.

Whether you’re vegan or mostly plant-based, a common misconception is that it can be challenging to get enough protein in your diet. Enter: vegan protein powders. Made with brown rice, quinoa, hemp, pea protein, soy, or a blend of plant proteins, the latest vegan powders supply anywhere from 14 to 22 grams of the muscle-building macronutrient per scoop. And if you choose a vegan protein powder blend, they’re more likely to have a more complete amino acid profile.

To compare, the average animal-based protein powder contains 20 to 25 grams of protein per scoop. Even if you’re not vegan, you should still consider making whey for plant protein powders in your diet. Plant-based protein powders are packed with fiber, which takes longer for your body to digest so you stay fuller for a longer period of time. And unlike powders made with casein, whey, and eggs, vegan protein powders might be easier to digest for some people. Moreover, a scoop of the plant-based stuff delivers essential nutrients, like magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.

How to Find the Right Vegan Protein Powder

Woman with protein shake Shutterstock

To help you pick out the best tub on the shelf, we rounded up the best vegan protein powder brands you can find at the grocery or nearest health foods shop. A good bet is to find one that’s organic because you know it’s also non-GMO.

Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color, says, “Since we’re talking about plant protein, you don’t need to worry about synthetic hormones, but you do still want to know that the ingredient (soy, hemp, rice, etc.) wasn’t grown with a bunch of chemical pesticides and fertilizers either.”

Largeman-Roth also says that some protein powders have a laundry list of ingredients, so go with one that has ingredients you know and understand. “If you’re OK with artificial sweeteners or Stevia or monk fruit, that’s fine, but lots of folks want to avoid those. In that case, look for one with less than 10 grams of added sugar per serving,” Largeman-Roth explains.

1

Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein

Bobs red mill hemp protein powder

Protein source: Hemp protein
Protein payoff: 14 g per serving

While the protein count is much lower for hemp seeds than other plant-based sources, they contain 20 amino acids, including all nine of the essential ones. They’re also an excellent source of fiber and heart-loving omega-3 fatty acids. At 14 grams of protein and eight grams of fiber per scoop, Bob’s Red Mill’s powder has a mild flavor that you can easily blend into post-workout smoothies, energy balls, and baked goods.

$29.97 per 2-pack on Amazon

2

Aloha Plant-Based Protein Powder

Aloha plant based protein powder

Protein source: Pea protein, hemp seed protein, pumpkin seed protein
Protein payoff: 18 g per serving

Certified USDA Organic, non-GMO, and soy-free, Aloha is one of the cleanest vegan protein powders out there. Thanks to the powerful blend of pea protein, hemp seed, and pumpkin seed, you’ll get 18 grams of the muscle building blocks along with six grams of fiber and a generous dose of magnesium and iron. Aloha sweetens its powder with coconut sugar and monk fruit extract as well as adds pink sea salt, vanilla bean, and Madagascar cinnamon for a bold vanilla flavor that goes great with overnight oats and pancakes.

$29.99 on Amazon

3

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant Protein Powder

Optimum nutrition gold standard plant protein powder

Protein source: Pea protein, brown rice protein, Sacha Inchi protein, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, chia
Protein payoff: 24 g per serving

Optimum Nutrition’s plant-based protein powder has one of the highest amounts of protein and provides all nine essential amino acids per serving. It also has four grams of naturally occurring BCAAs, which are branched-chain amino acids that help reduce muscle breakdown post-workout. In addition, each two-scoop serving offers vitamin B12, a generous dose of fiber-rich ancient grains, and beet powder for recovery.

$29.99 on Amazon

4

Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Protein Powder

Amazing grass protein powder

Protein source: Peanut flour, pea protein, hemp protein, chia, quinoa
Protein payoff: 20 g per serving

If you’re on a quest for efficiency, look no further than Amazing Grass’ protein powder, which combines greens, like spinach, spirulina, broccoli, and wheatgrass with pea protein, hemp protein, chia, and quinoa. It has a fruit blend of acai, banana, goji, sweet potato, pineapple, and raspberry, too. Bake with this protein powder to sneak some greens into your breakfast muffins.

$21.99 on Amazon

5

Ora Superfood Protein Powder

ora superfood protein powder

Protein source: Pea protein, rice protein, hemp protein, Sacha Inchi, amaranth, sprouted quinoa
Protein payoff: 21 g per serving

In addition to its excellent protein profile, Ora’s superfood protein powder also delivers a variety of anti-inflammatory foods, including blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, kale, and turmeric. It also packs in some prebiotic benefits with Jerusalem artichoke. And with flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and vanilla chai, how could you resist?

$54.99 on The Vitamin Shoppe

6

Plnt

Plant protein powder

Protein source: Pea protein isolate, cranberry seed, chia seed, and Sacha Inchi seed
Protein payoff: 19 g per serving

With a complete amino acid profile, you can’t go wrong with Vitamin Shoppe’s Plnt protein powder, which comes in vanilla and chocolate. Free of GMOs, soy, nuts, and artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or sweeteners, a scoop serves up 5 grams of iron, 40 grams of potassium, and 40 grams of calcium.

$17.99 on The Vitamin Shoppe 

7

Vega One Organic All-In-One Shake

Vega all in one shake protein powder

Protein source: Pea protein, quinoa sprouts, sunflower seed protein, chia seed powder, pumpkin seed protein, spirulina, Sacha Inchi powder,
Protein payoff: 20 g per serving

Three words: All. In. One. This protein powder gives you 20 grams of plant-based protein plus 50 percent of your daily value of eight different vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, it also packs gut-boosting probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids. Go for the plain, unsweetened variety if you want something simple or satisfy your sweet cravings with chocolate mint, chocolate, French vanilla, coconut almond, mocha, and berry.

$49.99 on Amazon

8

Garden of Life Plant Protein Powder

garden of life protein powder

Protein source: Pea protein, sprouted brown rice protein, amaranth sprout, buckwheat sprout, millet sprout, buckwheat sprout, garbanzo bean sprout, quinoa sprout, chia seed sprout, lentil sprout, adzuki bean sprout, lentil sprout, flax seed sprout, sunflower seed sprout, pumpkin seed sprout, sesame seed sprout
Protein payoff: 22 g per serving

Made with 13 sprouted proteins and a complete profile of all the essential amino acids, Garden of Life’s raw organic powder will help you meet all of your “get swole” needs. It also contains probiotics to support your digestive health and vitamins A, D, E, and K. From vanilla to chocolate cacao to vanilla spiced chai, these flavors will make your smoothies sing.

$32.89 on Amazon

9

Espira by AVON Plant Power Protein Powder

Espira by avon plant protein powder

Protein source: Pea protein isolate, artichoke protein, sprouted amaranth powder, sprouted quinoa powder
Protein payoff: 21 g per serving

Espira by Avon’s newly launched non-GMO plant protein powders for women are designed with 4,500 milligrams of BCAAs to help your muscles recover post-workout. It’s also infused with an enzyme blend that includes bromelain, which helps with reducing swelling and muscle soreness from exercise.

$36.94 on Amazon

10

NOW Foods Organic Plant Protein Powder


now foods organic plant protein

Protein source: Pea protein, brown rice, and quinoa
Protein payoff: 22 g per serving

Following the keto diet and want to keep your carb intake to a minimum? A scoop of NOW Foods organic plant protein powder has just three grams of carbs (and only one gram of net carbs) and zero sugar. Blend some into an avocado smoothie to ensure you’re getting ample amounts of healthy fat to maintain ketosis.

$34.99 on Now-2-U.com

11

Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Protein

Genuine health fermented vegan protein

Protein source: Fermented pea protein isolate, brown rice protein, hemp seed protein concentrate, quinoa sprouts, alfalfa herb top protein, spirulina, and mung bean sprouts
Protein payoff: 15 g per serving

While some protein powders can cause bloating and digestive issues, the high-quality blend of fermented plant proteins in this powder makes it easy to break down and absorb the nutrients. The best part is it also has all nine essential amino acids that help repair and build muscles. Add a scoop of the vanilla, chocolate, or unflavored powders to delicious breakfast pops for a frozen a.m. treat!

$29.99 on Amazon

12

SunWarrior Protein Classic Plus

Sunwarrior plant based protein

Protein source: Pea protein, brown rice, quinoa, chia seed, amaranth
Protein payoff: 18 g per serving

The powerhouse protein blend of pea, brown rice, quinoa, chia seed, and amaranth in this powder will keep you energized to take on your day long after your a.m. sweat session. What’s more, it has a complete amino acid profile, BCAAs, and MCTs to help your body recover after some muscle-burning HIIT. And if you’re swearing off sugar, you’re in luck because you won’t find any of the blood sugar-spiking white stuff.

$36.71 on Amazon

13

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Plant Protein Blend

Manitoba harvest plant protein

Protein source: Hemp and pea protein
Protein payoff: 20 g per serving

From hemp toppers to bites to protein powder, Manitoba Harvest has got us high on hemp—and we don’t mean the psychedelic kind. With two grams of omega-3 and 6 and three grams of fiber per serving, this Hemp Yeah! powder will restore your energy post-run and make you feel more satisfied after sipping on a green smoothie. It blends well with any dish you add it to and is also certified organic, non-GMO, and kosher-friendly. That’s pretty hemptastic!

$26.99 on Amazon

14

Nutiva Hemp Protein

Nutiva hemp protein

Protein source: Hemp protein
Protein payoff: 15 g per serving

Your zucchini bread, smoothies, oatmeal, and pancakes will instantly get a nutrition upgrade with the addition of this hemp protein powder. In addition to serving up 15 grams of hunger-curbing protein, it also boasts 8 grams of waist-whittling fiber as well as omega-3s, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

$16.99 on Amazon

15

Moonjuice Mushroom Adaptogenic Protein Powder

Moon juice mushroom protein

Protein source: Brown rice protein
Protein payoff: 20 g per serving

Unlike other protein powders on this list, Moon Juice provides a powerful dose of adaptogens, which are medicinal herbs and mushrooms that help your body manage stress and boost immunity. Cordyceps mushrooms, reishi, and ashwagandha can help improve cognitive function and fight off inflammation from high cortisol levels. Prepare a refreshing latte with a scoop of the powder to give you the mental stamina to take on your day.

$55 on Amazon

16

Naturade VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake

Naturade vegan protein powder

Protein source: Pea protein isolate, quinoa protein, chia protein, potato protein, chlorella protein
Protein payoff: 23 g per serving

You don’t get one but two scoops of this flavor-packed protein powder in one serving. Kick-start your day by adding a double of the crave-worthy chocolate to your morning smoothie. You’ll also get six grams of fiber and a wealth of other essential vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, D, and K, and manganese, selenium, and zinc.

$26.62 on Amazon

17

PlantFusion Complete Protein Powder

Plantfusion vegan protein powder

Protein source: Pea protein isolate, artichoke powder, sprouted amaranth powder, sprouted quinoa powder, whole algae protein
Protein payoff: 25 g per serving

Known for selecting high-quality ingredients, PlantFusion emphasizes purity in their products so you know you’re getting the best that’s out there. For example, their vanilla protein powder comes from vanilla beans in Madagascar and their yellow peas were harvested from the hills of northern France. Moreover, lucuma fruit from Peru, monk fruit, and yacon root have been added for a touch of sweetness while avoiding the sugar crash that comes with cane sugar.

$35.59 on Amazon

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