Top 5 Plant-Based Protein Powders

Choosing a plant-based protein powder doesn’t have to be difficult. When you’re looking for a vegan protein powder option, you want one that will help support your nutrition and exercise goals, improve your energy level, help your muscles recover quickly after exertion, and perhaps lose fat and gain lean muscle mass. Consider these top six plant-based vegan protein powder choices, and read on to learn more about the pros and cons of each.

 

One thing to watch for when choosing a vegan protein is stevia. Stevia is made from the Stevia rebaudiana, or sweetleaf, plant that grows in South America. Although the plant is naturally low in calories and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels to the degree that some other sweeteners do, it does have some known side effects, including bloating, decreased appetite, nausea, and stomach irritation, especially when stevia is used in a highly refined form. When possible, look for protein powders that don’t include

 

1) Elevate Nutrition

 

Elevate’s plant-based protein powder is made of hemp, pea, and sweet potato proteins. Its low-calorie hint of sweetness comes from monk fruit rather than stevia. To be blunt, it’s the best-tasting plant-based vegan protein on the market. Combine this with its other high-quality ingredients and you’ve got the recipe for the number one protein powder made entirely from vegan sources.

Pros

  • 24g of protein per serving
  • Doesn’t cause bloating
  • Easy on digestion
  • Great balance of macros for IIFYM/flexible dieting
  • High content of naturally occurring BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) and glutamine for optimal recovery
  • Mixes well
  • No sugar or stevia
  • Tastes amazing
  • Tastes great in fruit smoothies or can even be made into a chocolate mouse with only adding water
  • Thick, smoothie-like texture, even when mixed with only water

 

Cons

  • Only one flavor option: Chocolate brownie
  • On the high side of cost per 2 lb tub. (You pay for the premium ingredients.)

 

2) Vega Sport

This plant-based protein powder from Vega, like Elevate Nutrition’s formula, also has a great balance of macros for those using flexible dieting to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Be aware that it contains sugar, especially if you’re counting carbs or trying to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.

Pros

  • 4 flavors available
  • 6g BCAAs per serving
  • 6g glutamine per serving
  • 30g protein per serving
  • Anti-inflammatory ingredients
  • Mixes well
  • Probiotics
  • Smooth texture

 

Cons

  • Contains sugar
  • One serving/scoop is 41 grams. This is much larger than most protein powders, so it’s easy to go through a tub quickly
  • Only 20 servings per container
  • The new formula does not taste great. It has a nasty aftertaste compared to Vega’s older formula
  • Uses bloating stevia as sweetener
  • Very expensive

 

3) Garden of Life Sport

Garden of Life’s organic plant-based protein powder uses stevia as a sweetener. Cranberry seed, garbanzo beans, lentils, and navy beans are some of the sources of this USDA-certified organic protein powder.

Pros

  • 5g glutamine per serving
  • 5.5g BCAAs per serving
  • 30g protein per serving
  • Good vitamin and mineral profile
  • Mixes well
  • Organic

 

Cons

  • 2 scoops for 1 serving
  • High in carbs per serving (7g)
  • Not a great taste
  • Only two flavor options
  • Only 19 servings per container
  • One serving is 44 grams. This is much larger than most protein powders, so it’s easy to go through a tub quickly
  • Uses bloating stevia as sweetener

 

4) PlantFusion

This powder is a good choice for people with food allergies and sensitivities. It contains no soy, gluten, or tree nuts, yet has a nutrient profile similar to that of whey powder.

PlantFusion uses a combination of stevia and crystalline fructose to sweeten its plant-based protein powder. According to PlantFusion, the amount of fructose found in a single serving of its plant-based vegan protein powder is equal to that found in an apple.

 

Pros

  • 5 flavors to choose from
  • Low price
  • Mixes well

 

Cons

  • Contains fructose, i.e. sugar from fruit
  • Dull taste
  • Only 21g of protein per serving
  • Unimpressive amino profile
  • Uses bloating stevia as sweetener

 

5) RawFusion

This powder is made with proteins derived from artichokes, peas, and sprouted brown rice. RawFusion, like PlantFusion, sweetens its plant-based protein powder using a combination of stevia and fructose. The company compares the amino acid profile of its vegan protein powder to that of dairy milk.

Pros

  • 6 flavors to choose from
  • Good taste
  • VERY low price

 

Cons

  • Contains fructose
  • Dull taste
  • Doesn’t mix well
  • Only 21g of protein per serving
  • Unimpressive amino profile
  • Uses bloating stevia as sweetener

 

When searching for the ideal vegan protein powder for you, look for the type of sweetener used, the right balance of proteins to carbohydrates, and a flavor that you’ll actually enjoy. The costs of each of these protein powders vary, but in general, if you pay for premium ingredients, you’ll get a higher-quality product. Protein powders in the lower-cost range tend to be the ones that are lower in grams of protein per serving.