Best Vegan Supplements
More and more people are starting to embrace the vegan lifestyle, and with good reason. New studies have indicated with careful planning and help from a nutritionist or health professional, a vegan diet can be rich in the amino acids and proteins that are needed to keep a body and mind healthy and active.
One of the easiest ways to get the necessary proteins and amino acids is through the use of a vegan supplement, such as protein powder. Not only are they convenient and versatile, they present just as much protein as non-vegan options, and sometimes even more. As time goes on, it’s no wonder why these powders are not only growing in popularity, but also in available brands. So if you’re searching for the best vegan supplements on the market today, don’t stress. We’ve got you covered with ten of our favorites right here.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Varied protein sources
Easier to digest
Top 10 Picks
1. Ora Organic
Varied protein sources
Easier to digest
Doesn’t mix very well
One of the things many people who first start using vegan protein powders dislike is the fact that they sometimes can be hard to digest. Thankfully, this protein powder from Ora Organic helps out by adding a digestive enzyme to aid your body in the quick absorption of the protein.Read more
The protein found in this powder is derived from peas, and other highly protein enriched plants to provide over 20 grams of protein per serving.
In addition to having plant-based proteins in the mix, this powder also contains a number of BCAA proteins which help the body to more quickly digest, and use the food that it is given.
If stored properly, this organic powder can last at least six months to a year of normal use.
This particular version of the Ora Organic protein powder has a mild vanilla flavor, but it is also available in chocolate as well. Most customers found the taste to be realistic when mixed in their favorite beverage, but few found it to be a good addition to solid food.
Unfortunately, many customers found that this particular vegan protein powder didn’t mix well without a blender. If you’re looking for something that you can mix into a bottle and shake for a quick snack or meal, you may want to look elsewhere.
If you’re looking for a vegan protein powder that is relatively easy to digest, good tasting and provides a wealth of varied protein sources that are plant-based, this one from Ora Organic is one to consider. While the mixing ease could be improved, overall this is a great find.
2. Garden Of Life
Great nutritional value
Easy to mix and prepare
Great shelf life
Not as much protein as we would like
Taste could be improved
If you’re looking for a vegan protein powder that is more than just straight protein, this one from the Garden of Life brand is certainly one to consider. While it doesn’t have as much protein as our top contender, it does offer a nice balance of nutrients and taste for a great after workout drink.Read more
Not surprisingly, the proteins contained in this powder are completely plant-based. Protein sources include peas, beans, and sprouts to name a few.
The proteins contained within this powder are BCAA in nature and are easily digested by the body.
If stored properly, this vegan protein powder can last up to two years if needed, but it is most effective if used within the first six months of opening.
This particular vegan protein powder comes in a wide range of flavors including apple, chocolate, and unsweetened original. It should be noted that sweeteners, natural or otherwise haven’t been added, so if you want something that is not overly sweet, this is a great choice. There were also some complaints of the taste being “very green”
Overall most people found the powder itself to be very easy to mix with juice, water, or even soy milk. Some even found it easy to incorporate into their cooking and meals as an added protein boost.
If you’re not a fan of sweet things, and you want a little extra nutritional value in your vegan protein powder, this choice from the Garden of Life brand is a great overall choice. While the taste certainly could be improved, and we would like to see more protein overall, this is one powder that can fit the bill for most people.
3. Vega Essentials
Easy to digest
Multiple sources of proteins
20 grams of protein
May be too sweet for some
When it comes to nutritional value, the Vega brand of vegan protein powders has long been known for its digestibility and great sources of nutrients. This powder is no exception.Read more
This vegan protein powder features 20 grams of easily digestible plant-based protein powders including leafy greens, green algae, hemp and pea protein to name a few.
The proteins contained within this mixture are almost all BCAA proteins, which aid in the digestibility of the shake.
If kept correctly, this powder should last between six months to a year of normal use.
While this protein powder has a vanilla flavor, quite a few people found it to be too sweet for their liking. In addition, some found it to be too chalky or grainy for their taste.
The powder is relatively easy to mix into water or juice, but liquids with a creamer texture such as milk or nut milk proved to be a little more problematic. It’s recommended that a blender is used.
If you’re looking for a vegan protein powder that provides great nutrition from a wide range of sources and is easy to digest, this example from Vega Essentials may be worth a closer look. The taste and texture do need to be improved, but if that is something you can overlook, this vegan protein powder is a great choice for a meal replacement.
4. Vega Protein & Greens
Great protein sources
Easy to digest
Not as mixable as we would like
May be too sweet for some
If you’re concerned about making sure that your vegan protein powder is free from GMO and gluten, but you still want the powerful nutrients of plant-based protein, this entry from Vega may be a great choice. Similar to the third entry on this list, it is very easy to digest and offers great nutritional value.Read more
This powder offers nearly 20 grams of protein in each serving, coming from a variety of plant-based foods, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli.
The majority of the protein sources found in this powder are BCAA based, and can easily aid in the digestion.
With proper storage and handling, this product should last between one or two years.
Overall the taste of most people was okay, but nothing to write home about. Some even found it to be too sweet for their taste.
For the most part, this mix is well suited for a blender, and not very easy to mix with a spoon or shake in a bottle. It has been known to be a bit clumpy at times.
If you don’t mind using a blender, and a slightly sweet taste is what you’re looking for then this vegan protein powder is a great choice overall. It has a great variety of protein sources and is extremely easy to digest.
5. MRM Veggie
Great variety of protein sources
Combines fiber and protein for easy digestion
Taste could be unpleasant for some
Mixing can be problematic
Doesn’t contain BCAA proteins
If you’re looking for a vegan protein powder that is fantastic for helping you lose weight and keep weight off, this one just may be what you’re looking for. The all natural ingredients provide a nice balance between protein and fiber to provide the nutrients you need in an easy to digest shake or smoothie.Read more
Unlike many of the other vegan protein powders on this list, this one has protein sources that include a fair amount of fruits as well as vegetables, including blueberry, cranberry, and tomato to name a few. It also includes nutrients from chia seeds and flax, both of which have been shown to be great sources of both fiber and protein.
According to the ingredient list provided, this powder doesn’t contain any sources that are known to be sources of BCAA protein.
If properly used and stored, this product should last between six months to a year.
For most customers, the taste of this particular product was a hit or miss. They either raved about it or threw it away after one use. Some found it to be overly sweet, while others found it to be just right, but a bit chalky.
The mixing ease of this shake leaves a bit to be desired, and using a blender is highly recommended.
This vegan protein powder from MRM provides a great way to help you manage your weight through the use of anti-oxidant rich food sources that provide great protein and fiber. While the taste and mixing ease can be a bit problematic for some, overall this is a good choice.
6. Manitoba Harvest Organic
Simple, all natural ingredients
Good source of both protein and fiber
Can be a bit grainy
Doesn’t contain BCAA proteins
If you want to keep your ingredient list small, but still provide yourself with a great source of protein, one option is to go with this vegan protein powder from Manitoba Harvest. Designed with a minimalist approach, it still packs a nice amount of protein with very few ingredients.Read more
Both the protein and fiber in this particular supplement come from hemp powder. This provides nearly 13 grams of fiber per serving and 11 grams of protein as well.
Because of the simple ingredients, this product does not contain any BCAA proteins.
This product should last about a year to a year and a half with proper storage and handling.
While most people found the taste of this product acceptable, quite a few found it to be too grainy to be appealing. Also, the amount needed to reach a serving (nearly 4 tablespoons) seemed to be a bit overwhelming to some.
Overall this product was fairly easy to mix using a blender. The grainy texture sometimes seen was likely due to not spending enough time mixing the product completely.
If you like to keep your ingredient list short and simple, and the idea of using hemp to meet your dietary and protein needs is a plus, this is a great product. While some found it a bit grainy at times, most found it to be a great source of both dietary fiber and protein.
7. Amazing Grass
Wide array of protein sources
Fairly easy to mix
This vegan protein shake from Amazing grass is a great source of overall protein, that is easily mixed with both drinks and foods to provide the extra boost when needed.Read more
The plant-based proteins, which total nearly 20 grams per serving, come from a wide range of sources, including peas, hemp, chia, and quinoa.
Based on the presence of pea derived proteins, this powder does contain some BCAAs.
In most cases, this product was shown to last about six months to a year.
For most people, the taste was acceptable if a bit chalky at times. Also, a few customers experienced bouts of gassiness due to some of the ingredients.
The majority of customers found this product to be easy to mix with their favorite juices, water, or vegan-friendly drinks, but found mixing it into food left a bad aftertaste.
If you’re looking for an easy to digest protein powder that gets most of its protein from a wide variety of sources, and don’t mind a slightly chalky taste, this one may fit the bill.
8. Nutribiotic Rice
Good source of proteins
Easy to digest
Easy to mix into drinks
Taste is somewhat overpowering
Does not contain BCAA proteins
This vegan protein powder makes our list not only because of the protein source it contains but also what it doesn’t. Made from whole grain rice, it is a natural way to get both the fiber and protein that your body needs.Read more
The protein in this particular vegan powder is derived from sprouted brown rice, and also contains a mixture of organic plant enzymes and fiber to help make the proteins easy to digest.
As the proteins in this vegan protein powder are made almost entirely from brown rice, they do not contain the most common sources of BCAA proteins on the market today.
Like many of the other powders detailed on this list, this particular one has a shelf life of about six months to a year under normal conditions.
Unfortunately, many people who bought this product had trouble getting past the taste overall. They found the taste to be gritty and a bit overpowering.
This mix was fairly easy to incorporate into various drinks and smoothies, but most people found that incorporating it into their cereals or meals somewhat problematic. The gritty texture made it hard to blend smoothly.
If you’re looking for a protein powder that gets it source from rice or brown rice, and you’re okay with a slightly less than appealing taste, this one might be a great choice.
9. Yuve Vegan
Easy to mix and digest
Shorter shelf life than others on this list
No BCAA proteins
While the others on this list boast about great taste, this protein powder is one of the few that actually delivers. In fact, the natural taste is award-winning, including an award for the best tasting from Vegnews Magazine in 2015.Read more
The protein found in this powder is derived from chia seeds, peas, brown rice, and other green leafy vegetables as well as soybeans. It provides approximately 15 grams of protein per serving.
According to the ingredient list provided by the manufacturer, this vegan protein powder does contain substances that provide BCAA proteins.
Unlike most protein powders listed here, this one has a relatively short shelf life of about six months.
Most people found the taste of this powder to be good, with no chemical or chalky aftertaste or feel. Some, however, found the texture of the whole chia seeds less than desirable.
The majority of the customers found the powder easy to incorporate into their favorite juice or nut milk but found that it gave too strong a taste when mixed with food.
If you’re looking for a shake that is relatively good tasting, and you don’t mind the absence of BCAA proteins and a relatively short shelf life, this one from Yuve is a great overall choice.
10. Biochem Vanilla
Fantastic source of proteins
Good dietary fiber
Compete ingredient list not provided
Can be overly sweet and thick
This last entry on our list is a brand that is well known for their nutritional value, and have been in the business for over 15 years.Read more
The proteins found in this particular powder are made from pea, hemp seed, and cranberry proteins.
Based on the pea proteins included, this powder is actually rich is BCAA proteins, and the natural antioxidants found in cranberries and hemp seeds make for a more balanced approach to a nutritional drink.
This vegan protein powder has a relatively long shelf life, between one and two years.
Unfortunately, most people found the taste of this powder to be unbearably sweet and chalky. It was recommended that it be mixed with stronger flavored juices or nut milk instead of water. Most found that mixing it with food caused a significant sweet aftertaste to permeate the food.
Most people found mixing this powder with their favorite juice easy with a blender, but if a spoon or some other method was used, the mixture rarely dissolved completely. Most found the mixture to be too thick overall.
This protein powder provides a fantastic source of nutritional value and protein that rivals any whey based or non-vegan protein shake on the market today. While many found the taste to be overpowering in its sweetness, most found it to be a welcome addition to their nutrient-rich vegan diet.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Most people believe that proteins are simply that, proteins. That the type or kind, or what is derived from simply doesn’t matter all that much. However, the truth is that there are quite a few different sources out there, and some of them can be quite vegan-friendly.
In order to be effective at helping you build healthy muscles, and regulate body fat, a protein powder needs to contain a number of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Some vegan protein powders, simply put, contain more of these than others. Also, using different protein sources also allows the body to absorb what is needed more effectively and efficiently. So while no protein source or type is necessarily the best for everyone, there are some, such as soy or hemp that have been shown to not only have a significant amount of protein but also to be easily digested by the body.
BCAA vs Non-BCAA Proteins
The acronym “BCAA” in this case stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids. Common examples of these amino acids include valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Now while they may sound relatively unimportant, the truth is that these types of amino acids are what makeup about a third of the proteins that exist in your muscle. Taken as a supplement, they can help to reduce muscle fatigue, decrease recovery time, and even help the body absorb protein. So having a vegan protein powder that contains BCAA proteins can make things a lot easier.
Once we took into account the type of proteins that the best vegan protein powders and shakes were likely to have, we also took a closer look at the overall taste. While we do realize that good taste is subjective to the individual, there are a few criteria that most people would agree were important. The first, of course, was how close it was to the intended taste. A vanilla flavored protein powder, for example, probably should taste like vanilla. The next criteria we looked at was whether or not customers reported a strong aftertaste or “twinge” that made the powder alter the taste of the liquid that it was dissolved into. After all, if you’re expecting a creamy cherry milkshake and it tastes like someone splashed a mouthful of lime juice into the mix you’re less likely to drink it.
Ease of Use
No one likes a vegan protein powder that doesn’t mix easily and completely into their chosen drink. The ability of the powder to dissolve completely and easily into a liquid, and still provide the protein that is desired was another criteria that we closely considered when finding the best protein powders on the market today. Often the mixing ease of the powder depended not only on the ingredients but also on how they were processed. A vegan protein powder that feels chalky or gritty to the touch is likely to be difficult to dissolve completely, either by stirring or shaking the mixture.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Many vegans suffer from a B12 deficiency. Ideally, we should be ingesting 2.4mcg each day. Aside from a supplement, it can be difficult to find vegan foods that are rich in B12. If you can find organic mushrooms that were grown in rich, nutritious soil, that would be a great source. Other than that, you may find some fortified products, such as plant milks and soy products.
Unless you really want, there is no reason to feel like you have to mix a protein powder with water. Even if it claims to have no taste, there may be something a little bit weird about the flavor or consistency. One of the best ways to sneak powder supplements into your drinks is to use them in a smoothie.
If you have sensitivities or allergies to certain foods, you’ll definitely want to take that into account when choosing the right vegan protein powder for you. While many of these powders contain ingredients that are a great alternative to people with food allergies, some do contain protein sources such as soy, nuts, or wheat may all be present in one form or another. So if you have a known food allergy, make sure that you read the ingredients, and call the manufacturer if you have any questions regarding the vegan protein powder, and how it was produced.
As you can imagine, not all vegan protein powders are created equal. However, it also should be noted that not all of them are created with the same goal in mind. Some powders are formulated to help the weight-lifter gain muscle mass quickly and recover fast from a great work out. Others are designed to help maintain their muscle mass during a time of less caloric intake. So when you consider what protein powder to use, you’ll need to think about why you are using it.
Other Factors to Consider
It's always a good idea to check out how long each product will actually last you. Think about how many scoops or pills you will use per day. If you really want to get down to the value of the product, you could create a large spreadsheet with all of the math.
Another good point to consider is the shelf life of a product. If you go on a 10-month hiatus and forget to take it, will it still be okay? Like all good things, vegan protein powders don’t last forever. In most cases, their expiration date of effectiveness is about a year or two after they were first packaged. While you certainly can use them after this time, provided that they’ve been kept in good condition, using them prior to their expiration date is a more viable option.
While vegan protein powders can certainly be a benefit to most, some people with certain conditions may find that other options are a better choice for them. If you are considering using a vegan protein powder for the first time, even a high-quality one like those presented here, talking to your doctor or trainer is a good idea. They can often provide recommendations on what to avoid, what to look for, and if they can’t, they can often provide resources to help you determine what is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: I’m not a vegan. Should I still consider using vegan protein powders?
In a word, yes. In addition to providing a great overall source of protein in your diet, there are a lot of other advantages to using these types of powders. First, they are also a fantastic source of highly digestible fiber and essential fatty acids. Both of these nutrients are a great way to keep your body and mind healthy and active. And unlike traditional sources of protein, they are often lower in calories and fat, which may be more in line with your personal active lifestyle.
q: What’s the best way to use vegan protein powder?
Most people enjoy protein powder in the form of shakes or smoothies. They use it as an added boost in their favorite mixes of fruits, juices, or even milk, although doing so does change it’s vegan profile somewhat. It can also be added to hot cereals such as oatmeal or cream of wheat as well.
Some vegan protein powders, however, are also well suited to be mixed in with your favorite solid foods and included in everyday meals. They can add a great nutritional boost to bread, cereals, casseroles, and even cakes or pies. It’s definitely worth experimenting with many of these protein powders to see where and when you can use them.
q: When should I drink a shake made from vegan protein powder?
When you actually drink a protein shake made from vegan ingredients is entirely up to you. However, most trainers and doctors advise that you consume something with protein after a significant workout or when you want to replace a meal during a weight loss diet plan. Some people do prefer to drink their shake or smoothie first thing in the morning to give them that extra boost of energy that can carry them throughout the day.
q: How do I know that a vegan protein powder is safe for me to use?
While not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, quality vegan protein powders are still put through a rigorous set of quality assurance and quality control measures at the company. Many also take the measure of packaging and shipping to make sure that you’re presented with the most sanitary and healthy product. Characteristics to look for in the best vegan protein powders are a sealed canister, a complete ingredient list, along with nutritional information, the ability to easily return the product for a refund, and evidence of quality control measures being taken, such as a stamp or seal on the packaging.
q: Is there a “best” vegetable source for protein?
The best source of protein if you’re a vegan depends on a few different factors, including your overall health, the availability of the particular foods, and how they are prepared. If you’re looking for the vegetable source that provides the most grams of protein per serving and is easily digestible by most people, there are a few contenders. One of the best is edamame, or cooked soybeans, which boast 18 grams per 1 cup serving. Another option is seitan, which is also known as wheat gluten, which can provide a whopping 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces serving. However, some find that seitan may cause an allergic reaction for some people. It should be avoided by people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Lentils, which are also a great source of fiber and carbohydrates that can be digested slowly for long-term energy, can also provide a great source of protein, nearly 18 grams in total per serving.
Truth be told, there are plenty of plant-based sources of protein available on the market today, and with careful planning, a vegan can easily get the correct amount of protein that he or she needs to thrive. A vegan protein powder, such as the ones listed here can be a great way to help meet the daily protein requirements without sacrificing convenience or taste.
q: Why should I use a vegan protein powder instead of just eating the vegetables?
While eating vegetables is always a good practice when considering a healthy lifestyle, and they do provide a wealth of nutrients, including protein in some cases, eating enough of them to be the only source of protein in your diet can be a bit troublesome. The truth is that the human body needs approximately 0.36 grams of protein per pound for someone with a sedentary lifestyle. If you’re more active, you’ll need more. So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that means that at the minimum you’ll need 54 grams of protein per day to maintain health.
Translated into raw vegetables, that means that you’ll have to eat at least three servings of cooked soybeans a day to meet the minimum requirement for protein. And as anyone who has prepared or cooked soybeans, preparing and eating three cups a day can get a bit tiresome. Plus, eating only one vegetable type to meet your protein needs can get a bit boring.
So one of the advantages of the best vegan protein shakes is that they offer a convenient, and nutritious choice compared to eating the raw or cooked vegetables. Not only are they easier to prepare, and offer a great variety of taste, but they also provide a great nutritional boost that you can’t always easily get from vegetables, whether they are raw or cooked.
Another advantage of these vegan protein powders over everyday vegetables is that you know exactly how much protein you’ll be getting, without question in each serving. Since the amount of each vegetable is known by the manufacturer, as well as the quality of the vegetable, they can easily determine the average amount of protein that you’ll be getting in each serving.
q: Can a vegan protein shake make you gain weight?
By themselves, probably not. However, depending on what you mix with them, you may see some weight gain due to an increase in caloric intake. Simply put, if you put in more calories than you expend, you’re going to gain weight. That maxim is true whether you are using a vegan based protein powder, or one based on whey protein for example.
It should be noted, however, that those who use vegan protein powders often note that they don’t gain weight as readily as other forms of protein powders. However, that is most likely because the vegan protein powders are often mixed with low-calorie liquids, such as juice or water.
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