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One of my favorite pastimes is dispelling old wives’ tales. For example, you can swim right after eating food, it’s not taboo to rub your chopsticks together at a sushi restaurant, and you can build muscle on a vegan diet. You can disagree all you want, but there are countless athletes and everyday people who thrive without meat or milk.   

I’m what they call a “flexitarian,” meaning I eat animal-based products, but there have been times where I primarily drink vegan protein powders. Our team has personally tested more than 90 of the best protein powder supplements on the market and researched dozens more to help those living a plant-based lifestyle, lactose-intolerant gym-goers, or those just looking to shake up their diet. 

When it comes specifically to vegan proteins, we look at factors like:

  • Protein source: The source and quality of the protein — does it use soy (a common allergen) or complementary proteins like brown rice, pumpkin, chia seed, and flax seed?
  • Formulation: The amount of protein, carbs, and fats per serving
  • Transparency: Has it been third-party tested for heavy metals and toxins? Bonus points were awarded to any brand that showed an amino acid breakdown to prove it contains all essential amino acids needed for muscle growth.
  • Other ingredients: Does it contain artificial sweeteners and ingredients?

We also ran tests for solubility and judged how the powder tastes. I’m a certified nutrition coach, and I worked with Laila Ouldibbat, R.D., and Sydney Lappe, R.D., to examine the amino acid profile and other ingredients of each powder on this list to determine the best vegan protein powder.

RELATED: Best Vegan Creatine

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

The 12 Best Vegan Protein Powders 

A Word About Vegan Protein and Amino Acids 

While we maintain that you can build muscle and get stronger on a vegan diet, it’s important to note that vegan protein differs from animal-based protein sources in a pretty significant way. Some vegan protein lacks compounds known as essential amino acids1, or amino acids that our body can’t produce in substantial amounts by itself and thus must be obtained through our food. 

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein—essentially, they’re little puzzle pieces that work to create a picture (in this case, a protein molecule). Animal-based protein sources, like whey protein powders, have all the pieces, but vegan-based protein sources, with the exception of soy, are missing some. 

This is why vegan protein is sometimes called “incomplete protein,” and why it’s more challenging—but again, not impossible—to build muscle on a vegan diet. 

There are two ways to address this issue, the first being to mix two or more complementary proteins together. This is why you’ll sometimes see vegan protein powders with pea and hemp protein, because one has the essential amino acids that the other doesn’t. Manufacturers can also add amino acids to their protein powder to create a complete protein. 

Best Overall Vegan Protein Powder: KOS Organic Plant Protein

Good for: Anyone looking for a high-quality vegan protein powder

Best Overall

KOS Vegan Protein Powder

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Multi-source vegan protein powder 
  • USDA-certified organic, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO
  • Digestive support via DigeSEB to help maximize absorption

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Superfood-infused
  • 20 g protein per serving
  • Chocolate flavor is rich
  • Enhanced with digestive support enzymes
  • Under $1.50 per serving

Cons

  • Customers say it has a gritty/chalky flavor
  • Some users reported protein gave them stomach issues
  • Reports of strong sweetness and bad aftertaste

Bottom Line

KOS is a vegan protein with a lot of positive reviews, but a number of people experienced stomach issues using this protein powder.

Why did we select KOS Organic Plant Protein as our best overall vegan protein powder? The proof is in the (protein) pudding. For each scoop, you get 160 calories, 20 grams of protein (which comes from a blend of protein sources including pea protein, flaxseed, quinoa, and pumpkin seed protein), 9 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fat. There are also several vitamins and minerals, which people who are trying to lose weight may often be deficient in, and all essential amino acids though the company doesn’t say how much of each is in a scoop. 

Our product tester, Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, rates the formula a 4 out of 5 and specifically calls out the digestive enzyme blend (called DigeSEB) KOS uses in their product. DigeSEB contains amylases, lactase, proteases, lipase, and cellulase to help reduce stomach discomfort like gas or bloating, a hallmark of some whey-based protein powders.

KOS Organic Plant Protein 2

There’s also a high-quality blend of fruits, vegetables, and superfoods added to the powder for additional fiber, which has been shown to help aid weight loss3.

Vegan powders get a bad rap in the taste department, but the chocolate flavor wasn’t the worst that our tester Amanda tried. “It’s pretty rich, which I feel is rare with plant-based protein powders,” she says, giving KOS a 3 out of 5 for taste. “Even with water, the taste is decent. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible.”

Our nutrition expert Laila Ouldibbat, R.D., says the KOS Organic Plant Protein is, “Actually an ‘all-in-one’ protein shake that can be used as a meal replacement, within reason and once a day.” So whether you’re looking for the best protein powders for weight loss or simply want to fuel your muscles this is a great pick for any vegan dieters.

Read Amanda’s full KOS vegan protein review to find out more.

Price per serving$1.51
FlavorsUnflavored, Vanilla, Chocolate, Blueberry Muffin, Chocolate Chip Mint, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel Coffee
Protein20 g
Carbs9 g
Fat6 g

Best Clean Vegan Protein Powder: Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Rice and Pea Protein

Good for: Those looking for an all-natural, third-party tested vegan protein powder

Best Clean

Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Protein Powder

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • A rice and pea protein powder 
  • Rated with 4.3 stars on their website
  • Comes in 2 flavors 
  • 24 g of protein per serving
  • Organic product with minimal ingredients

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives
  • Organic and vegan
  • Only 5-7 ingredients
  • Reviewers love the taste
  • 24 g of protein per serving

Cons

  • Only 2 flavors
  • Stevia can cause GI issues for some
  • Expensive

Bottom Line

This organic rice and pea protein powder is a good choice for people who want a clean plant-based protein option with minimal ingredients.

Transparent Labs is a company we stand behind again and again because they truly live up their name by not only telling you what’s in their protein powder, but exactly how much of it is in there, too. They give you the exact weight of rice protein and pea protein—which when combined create a complete protein source with all the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth—as well as stevia. So you know you’re only putting clean ingredients in your body.

Certified personal trainer and GGR staff writer Lauren Strong rates the Transparent Labs Vegan Protein formula a 5 out of 5 and the solubility (how easily it dissolves) a 4 out of 5, saying, “It mixes well, no issues with that, but this has a different texture than whey protein,” she says in our full Transparent Labs Vegan Protein review. It’s not gritty, but there is more residue/film in the shaker.” So, it may require a little more elbow grease when shaking up.

Transparent labs Vegan Protein 1

Beyond that, the protein powder is Informed Choice certified, meaning it’s been checked for harmful ingredients and banned substances that could show up on a drug test.

As for taste, Lauren Strong felt the Chocolate flavor was a middle-of-the-road 3 out of 5. “It tastes like a dark chocolate drink but with an earthy hint because of the rice and pea protein,” she says. “I would not suggest this for people who like sweet/sugary protein drinks. There is not that much sugar and you can really taste the cocoa powder.”

At present, Transparent Labs only offers two flavors (French vanilla and chocolate), so that could be a determining factor if you have a more adventurous palate.

Price per serving$1.67
FlavorsFrench Vanilla, Chocolate
Protein24 g
Carbs3 g
Fat2 g

Best Vegan Protein Powder For Weight Loss: Ritual Essential Protein 18+

Good for: Anyone looking for a protein powder that can help them achieve a caloric deficit 

Best for Weight Loss

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+

GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Organic pea protein powder
  • 20 g of protein per serving
  • Formulated to support adults 18-49
  • Third-party tested
  • 150 mg of choline per serving 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Complete amino acid profile
  • Non-GMO
  • USA-grown peas

Cons

  • Only comes in one flavor
  • Price per serving is on the high end

Bottom Line

Ritual’s Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+ is specifically designed for 18-to-49 year-olds with 20 grams of protein per serving and 150 milligrams of chlorine (to support brain and nervous system function). This protein powder from Ritual is third-party tested and Informed Sport Certified, which means this formula has been screened for over 250 banned substances.

Ritual Essential Protein 18+ has 115 calories per scoop, which is less than many of the options on our list, but still packs 20 grams of high-quality protein to help keep you full and maintain a caloric deficit to achieve weight loss.

GGR Head of Content and competitive weightlifter Kate Meier says this doesn’t taste like a low-calorie protein powder. She gave the Vanilla flavor, the only option, a 4 out of 5 on taste and said it’s a little chalky but still very drinkable with just water. “That’s how decent I think the taste is,” she says. It’s much better, she adds, in a smoothie mixed with berries. “The taste is definitely detectable, but not overly strong.”

Ritual protein getting ready for the blender

An item of note, this is a pea protein, which normally isn’t considered a complete protein because it’s low in the amino acid methionine. Ritual, however, adds enough of the essential amino acid to their protein supplement.

Kate ranks Ritual 18+ really high in all our testing categories. Her only complaint was the packaging itself, “I don’t love the closing mechanism. It’s almost like a Velcro, and the protein gets stuck in it and makes it hard to seal.”

Price per serving$2.66
FlavorsVanilla
Protein20 g
Carbs3 g
Fat2 g

Best Pea Protein Powder: Kaged Plantein Plant-Based Protein Powder

Good for: Anyone looking for a good-tasting and nutritious protein powder 

Best With Pea Protein

Kaged Plantein

GGR Score: 3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Pea protein isolate vegan protein powder
  • Soy-, dairy-, and gluten-free 
  • Third-party tested for quality

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Best-tasting plant protein you’ll ever try or your money back
  • Customers say mixes well
  • Free from banned substances

Cons

  • Limited reviews
  • Customers complain too sweet
  • Reports of strong aftertaste

Bottom Line

Kaged Plantein is a vegan protein option with a high protein content and a money-back guarantee.

Pea protein powder is popular among fitness enthusiasts because it’s easily digestible and comes with more micronutrients than other plant-based protein sources. And while that’s one of the secrets behind Kaged’s Plantein Plant-Based Protein Powder, it’s not the only one. 

The word Plantein refers to Kaged’s own plant-based protein blend that uses organic pea protein with the added benefits of BCAAs and all essential amino acids. Kaged claims its Plantein blend is 300% more bioavailable (meaning your body can more easily absorb it) than other pea protein powders. 

RELATED: Pea Protein Benefits

kaged plantein

I tried this protein in the Cinnamon Roll flavor and felt it tasted like a cinnamon roll without icing. So, still pretty good, but not quite what was advertised, earning a 3.5 out of 5 for taste from me. It’s fairly easy to mix, but I’d suggest using a shaker ball to ensure there are as few clumps as possible.

GGR editor, Frieda Johnson, also taste-tested Plantein and had a differing opinion, saying “I tried the cinnamon roll flavor, and I was impressed; it’s definitely one of the better-tasting vegan protein powders I’ve tried.” She gave it a 5 out of 5 in this category.

As for the formula, Kaged also adds medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), or fat molecules derived from coconut, to help with the taste. There are some claims that MCTs may support athletic performance, heart health, and weight loss.  

RELATED: Pea Protein vs Whey

Each tub only has 15 servings, which comes out to about $2 per scoop, so it’s not the most affordable on a per-serving basis, but that can go down if you put it on a subscription basis. 

Read our Kaged Plant protein review for more information.

Price per serving$1.99
FlavorsPeanut Butter Cookie, Banana Bread, Cinnamon Roll
Protein26 g
Carbs5 g
Fat4 g

Best Unflavored Vegan Protein Powder: Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate

Good for: Anyone who wants an unflavored protein supplement

Best Unflavored

Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Powder

GGR Score: 3.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Soy protein powder
  • Manufactured in FDA-registered and inspected facility
  • Unflavored

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Cheap at $0.82 per serving
  • Third party-tested
  • Unflavored

Cons

  • Makes mess when you open bag
  • Customers state doesn’t blend well
  • Doesn’t come with a scoop

Bottom Line

Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Powder is a cheap vegan protein option, but reviewers share it isn’t the best-tasting option.

After tasting many so-so or just not good flavors of vegan protein powder, I was a little excited to actually try out the unflavored Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate. There’s nothing fancy about this protein powder, it’s simply just a big ol’ bag of soy protein powder. 

This makes it a great choice if you want an easy way to add extra protein to your morning smoothies or perhaps some baked goods (protein cookies anyone?) without adding any extra flavor to the product. 

bulk supplements soy isolate

It contains all the essential amino acids, has 27 grams of protein per serving, and only 1 gram each of fat and carbs. There’s very little in the way of micronutrients, though it does have a decent amount of iron to help support oxygen delivery to your muscles. 

This next bit goes out to the people at Bulk Supplements: Why on Earth was this sent without a scoop? Please let me know. 

And now that I’m off my soapbox, I agree with some of the Amazon customer reviews that stated there was a slight aftertaste with this powder. It’s nothing too noticeable, but I’ve started putting in a small amount of vanilla extract to disguise it. 

In terms of mixing, I found minimal clumps after shaking it for a few seconds in a shaker bottle.  

Price per serving$0.81 
FlavorsUnflavored
Protein27 g
Carbs1 g
Fat1 g

Best Vegan Protein Powder for Active People: Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Protein

Good for: Plant-based gym-goers who need a complete protein source

Best for Active People

Garden of Life Organic Vegan Sport Protein Powder

GGR Score: 3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Multi-source vegan protein powder
  • NSF Certified for Sport, certified Informed Choice for Sport, Non-GMO Project-verified, USDA Organic, and gluten-free
  • Includes BCAAs, probiotics, and antioxidant blend

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 30 grams protein per serving
  • NSF Certified for Sport and certified Informed Choice for Sport
  • Probiotics for immune support

Cons

  • Only 2 flavors
  • Very mixed reviews on taste and blendability
  • Pricey at nearly $2 per serving

Bottom Line

Garden of Life Plant-Based Protein has a relatively high protein content and a variety of other healthy ingredients, but this comes at a cost; it is more expensive than other vegan protein powders.

The Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Protein powder not only comes with a complete amino acid profile, Laila Ouldibbat, R.D., says, but it’s also packed with a number of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, selenium, and iron that help support an active lifestyle. 

This vegan protein powder has a number of protein sources to ensure all amino acids are present, and it gets bonus points for showing how much of each amino acid is present in a serving. Speaking of servings, Garden of Life prints nutrition information for those who want to use one or two scoops of protein.

Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Protein 1

If you only go for one, each serving comes with 15 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of carbs, 1.5 grams of fat, and no added sugar. If you’re planning on taking two, there is a diverse digestive enzyme and live probiotic blend that, according to Laila Ouldibbat, R.D., can help support digestion. 

That was the good; now for the bad/ugly, which brings us to this epic assessment.

Amanda Capritto, expert product tester, couldn’t swallow this powder—literally. “It tastes like dirt, with a side of leaves. It’s hard for a flavor as subtle as vanilla to mask the taste of organic sprouted navy beans, I guess.” 

She also found the powder hard to mix and said that there were “chunks everywhere.”  

Price per serving$1.99 (for 19-serving tub, each serving being two scoops) 
FlavorsVanilla, Chocolate
Protein30 g (per two scoops)
Carbs7 g (per two scoops)
Fat3 g (per two scoops)

Best Budget Vegan Protein Powder: NOW Sports Plant Protein Complex

Good for: People on a budget

Best Budget

Now Sports Plant Protein Complex

GGR Score: 3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Multi-source vegan protein powder
  • Informed Sports-certified, Non-GMO project verified, gluten-free, vegan, and kosher 
  • 22 grams of protein per serving

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Under $1.50 per serving
  • Packaged in USA
  • Reviewers say blends well

Cons

  • Only available in 2 flavors
  • Sweetened with xylitol

Bottom Line

Now Sports Protein Powder has very mixed reviews on taste, but people like the price point and that it uses a variety of protein sources.

At around $1.26 per serving, the NOW Sports Plant Protein Complex is one of the most budget-friendly vegan protein powders on the market that we’d recommend. The combination of yellow pea, hemp, and quinoa proteins deliver 22 total grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fat per serving. All essential amino acids are in this powder and clearly labeled on the tub, though it lacks micronutrients. 

In addition to being vegan-friendly, the NOW Sports Plant Protein Complex is soy-free (soy is a common allergen) and is free of artificial sweeteners, instead being sweetened with both xylitol and stevia. 

now sports plant protein

I tried the Creamy Vanilla flavor, and it was just OK. I got a very gritty mouthfeel, even after shaking it up for quite some time, so it received a 3 out of 5 for solubility on our rating metrics. In the spirit of honesty, I’ll also admit that I dealt with some gas after drinking this protein.

On to the formula. As NOW Sports mentions on its websites, athletes who have to go through routine drug screening should check with their organization’s sanctioning body to check on its hemp policy. Hemp contains small traces of THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, and while it’s incredibly rare, there have been cases4 where THC has shown up in athletes’ urine samples after they ingested hemp protein. 

This shouldn’t be a reason for you to stray away from NOW Sports, however, as it would require a large amount of hemp protein for this to happen, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re a competitive athlete. 

Price per serving$1.26
FlavorsCreamy Vanilla, Mocha
Protein22 g
Carbs2 g
Fat7 g

Best-Tasting Vegan Protein Powder: Truvani Plant Protein Powder

Good for: Those who want their vegan protein shake to actually taste good 

Best-Tasting

Truvani Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Made with 6 organic ingredients
  • Rich chocolate flavor
  • A USDA-certified organic, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and non-GMO product
  • 20 grams of protein per serving
  • Has 4.4/5 stars on Amazon and 14,000+ reviews
  • #4 in Sports Nutrition Pea Protein Powders on Amazon
  • Store in a cool and dry place

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No added sugars or stevia
  • Does not have a chalky or grainy taste
  • Reviewers love the chocolate flavor
  • Paleo-friendly
  • Organic
  • Vegan
  • Certified gluten-free

Cons

  • Expensive (about $2.50 per serving)
  • Made in a facility that processes wheat, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, peanuts, and eggs

Bottom Line

The chocolate flavor is a fan favorite, especially on Amazon, as Truvani’s Chocolate Protein Powder is rated #4 in Sports Nutrition Pea Protein Powders at the time of writing. We’ve found that reviewers love this product for its taste and simple ingredients.

If you’ve read closely thus far, you’re already aware that our team of near-carnivores is not a fan of plant-based protein powder in terms of taste. (Although we do recognize the plethora of non-taste-related benefits to vegan protein powder.) 

That being said, product tester and GGR senior staff writer Amanda Capritto tried Truvani plant-based protein powder and actually likes it—yes, really, truly, actually likes it. It came as a surprise to her and us, too! 

Amanda says, “This is THE BEST vegan protein powder I have ever tried, and it’s the ONLY vegan protein powder I’ll drink willingly over and over again.” She also praises its extremely rich chocolate flavor and smooth texture. 

Truvani Plant Protein

As for the nutrition facts, Truvani gets kudos there, too. Made with just six organic ingredients, Truvani protein powder provides 20 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and just 2 grams of sugar. It’s sweetened with organic monk fruit extract.

The ingredients list is very simple and reads: organic pea protein concentrate, organic alkalized cocoa, organic vanilla powder, organic pumpkin seed concentrate, organic monk fruit extract, and organic chia seed protein.

Our one complaint is that it’s on the pricey end at a very intense $3.00 per serving. That’s really high, but if you want an all-organic product and one that actually tastes good, Truvani is a good bet.

Price per serving$3.00
FlavorsChocolate, Vanilla, Banana Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Vanilla Chai
Protein20 g
Carbs5 g
Fat3 g

Best Vegan Protein Powder for Building Muscle: Innermost The Health Protein

Good for: Gym-goers looking to build muscle

Best for Muscle Building

Innermost The Health Protein

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Multi-source vegan protein powder
  • Added ingredients for immune support
  • Formulated by nutritionists  

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Added ingredients to to support immune system
  • Vegan, GMO-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, soy-free, and halal
  • Packaging 100% recyclable

Cons

  • Added ingredients to to support immune system
  • Vegan, GMO-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, soy-free, and halal
  • Packaging 100% recyclable

Bottom Line

Innermost The Health protein powder is an expensive vegan protein powder with high protein content and great taste.

The Health Protein by Innermost comes packed with 31 grams of protein per scoop, with only 2.5 grams of carbs and 1.4 grams of fat. So most of the calories come from protein, which can help lead to muscle growth. More importantly than the high protein content, it contains all of the essential amino acids and 12 grams of branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, which can potentially help support muscle growth and post-workout recovery, Laila Ouldibbat, R.D., says.

Lauren Strong, GGR writer and expert product tester, was impressed by Innermost’s macronutrient profile and said the chocolate flavor was inoffensive, but not great.

Innermost The Health Protein 3

“It has a plant-based/earthy flavor but it’s not offensive,” she says. “It felt a little grainy at first, but I just shook it more in the shaker bottle and it was fine.”

RELATED: Best Supplements for Muscle Growth

Laila also pointed out that the powder contains a number of organic compounds: glutamine, shiitake, maitake, reishi, cordyceps, bilberries, camu camu, and acai berries. All of these ingredients, she says, have anti-inflammatory properties to help mitigate muscle pain, and are also great for hair, skin, and nail health.  

Price per serving$2.99
FlavorsChocolate, Vanilla
Protein31 g
Carbs2.5 g
Fat1.4 g

Best Vegan Protein Powder for Gut Health: Vega Sport Premium Protein

Good for: People who want a vegan protein shake that is actually tasty, and high in protein and nutrients

Best for Gut Health

Vega Sport Premium Protein

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Multi-source vegan protein powder
  • NSF Certified for Sport, vegan, and gluten-free 
  • Includes BCAAs, probiotics, and tart cherry

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 30 grams of protein per serving
  • Contains all essential amino acids but two that are made by the body
  • 5 flavor options
  • Supports recovery with tart cherry, probiotics, and turmeric extract

Cons

  • Customers share new formula doesn’t blend well
  • Pricey at over $2 per serving

Bottom Line

The Vega Sport Protein has mixed reviews on taste and blendability, but a higher protein content than most other vegan protein powders.

Beyond being one of the best-tasting protein powders on the market, Vega Sport Premium Protein also has benefits when it comes to gut health. The powder comes with 2 billion CFUs of probiotics for easier digestion—I used a tub of this for 30 days and didn’t experience the digestive issues that I sometimes have with other plant-based protein powder.

I went with the Mocha flavor and actually enjoyed it, giving it a 5 out of 5 for taste. It reminded me of those instant cappuccinos you can get from Italian vending machines. And if you’ve never been to Italy, imagine chocolate with a hint of coffee. I’ve started mixing it with almond milk and it’s a nice way to start the day. 

Vega Sport Protein

In terms of protein, it comes from a blend of pea, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and alfalfa (a type of legume, or bean).  A one-scoop serving shakes out to 30 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fat. Laila Ouldibbat, R.D., points out that it contains all of the essential amino acids but is lacking in two that are made by the body (no biggie). 

Vega advertises that its powder is made with tart cherry, which has been found2 to support muscle recovery, though they don’t disclose how much is in it so it’s unclear if it’s enough to make a difference.

Sydney Lappe, registered dietitian, warns, “Vega discloses that the protein is manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts, milk, soy, egg, tree nuts, and sesame, which ultimately poses the risk of cross-contamination.” However, this is NSF-Certified for Sport, which makes me think that you’re probably safe trusting this product. 

Read our full Vega protein powder review for the rest of our thoughts on this protein powder.

Price per serving$2.33 (for Mocha flavor) 
FlavorsVanilla, Mocha, Chocolate, Peanut Butter
Protein30 g 
Carbs5 g
Fat3 g

Best Organic Vegan Protein Powder: Orgain Organic Protein

Good for: Those who prefer to buy everything organic

Best Organic

Orgain Organic Protein Powder

GGR Score: 3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Multi-source vegan protein powder 
  • USDA organic, non-GMO, dairy-free, kosher, and no artificial ingredients 
  • 21 grams of protein per serving

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Wide variety of flavors, including seasonal options
  • Under $2 per serving
  • Coffee flavor with caffeine

Cons

  • Only 21 grams of protein per serving
  • Some reviewers found flavors too sweet
  • Reviewers reported upset stomach

Bottom Line

Orgain protein doesn’t have as much protein per serving as its competitors, but it has the widest variety of flavors. Some users did experience upset stomachs after using the protein.

For those who don’t know, vegan doesn’t always mean healthy or organic. There are some products that are just as unhealthy as animal-based products, but that doesn’t apply to Orgain Organic Protein. 

The powder is made from a mix of pea protein, brown rice protein, and chia seeds, giving you 21 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and 15 grams of carbs (five of those are from erythritol sweetener, which isn’t digested in the same way as other carbs and shouldn’t be counted if you’re tracking caloric intake). It’s also naturally sweetened with stevia and is certified organic and non-GMO. 

RELATED: Best Organic Protein Powder

Orgain has also worked to reduce the amount of plastic used in its products, so it’s organic in more than one way.

Orgain Organic Protein 2

The company claims it has a “complete” amino acid profile, though it doesn’t specify how much of each is present in a serving.  

Unfortunately, this was another powder that fell short in the flavor department. “It’s a hint of vanilla with just straight grass flavor,” says GGR senior editor and product tester Nicole Davis, who gave this a 2 out of 5 for taste. “I subbed this for my regular vanilla whey and couldn’t drink it.”

If flavor is important to you, you should know that Orgain makes one of the best protein shakes—and we’re actually fans of how it tastes!

Read our full Orgain protein powder review for the rest of our thoughts.

Price per serving$1.66 (per two scoop serving)
Flavors10
Protein21 g (per two-scoop serving)
Carbs15 g (per two-scoop serving)
Fat4 g (per two-scoop serving)

Best Vegan Protein Powder With Hemp Seed: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Max Protein

Good for: People who prefer hemp seed protein over other plant-based sources

Best With Hemp Seed

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah!

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Hemp protein vegan protein powder
  • 3 available flavors 
  • Certified USDA organic, Non-GMO Project verified, dairy-free, soy-free, and kosher

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Pros
  • Only two ingredients in unsweetened flavor
  • 3 flavors available
  • Good for environment

Cons

  • Cons
  • Hemp-based protein may not be acceptable for competitive athletes getting tested
  • Customers report it has chalky/gritty texture
  • Some users found oregano extract to have overwhelming taste

Bottom Line

Hemp Yeah! Protein is a protein powder with a short list of ingredients that is good for the environment.

I’ll bet your first thoughts about Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! are, “Sounds fun, but how does it taste and how does it mix?”

GGR product tester and editor, Freida Johnson gave a Hemp Yeah! a 4.5 out of 5 for taste and solubility, saying “It mixes surprisingly well into liquids. There is a little bit of settling, but it’s not grainy at all.” It contains the smallest ingredient list of any vegan protein powder on this list: just organic hemp protein concentrate and oregano extract, which some reviewers could really taste, but Frieda notes that she wasn’t one of them. 

RELATED: Hemp Protein Powder Benefits

An image of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah protein

As for formula, Hemp seed protein has been associated with improved heart health, according to some studies5,  and that’s where Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Max Protein gets all of its 20 grams of protein from. 

While that’s on the lower end of the protein spectrum, it’s still enough protein to support your training goals, and it only has 2 grams of carbs and 6 grams of fat. If the latter number sounds high to you, Laila Ouldibbat, R.D., points out that the fat is in the form of heart-healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6, which are the fats that contribute to improved cardiovascular health6

Laila was also impressed by the amount of micronutrients found in the powder, such as copper, zinc, iron, and potassium. “Well-rounded with good sources of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and micronutrients,” she says. See all of our thoughts in our Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder review.

Price per serving$1.14 (for 2-pound container)
FlavorsUnsweetened 
Protein20g
Carbs2g
Fat6g

Other Vegan Protein Powders We Tried

Plant and vegan protein powders
  • Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Rice & Pea Protein: GGR editor Frieda Johnson tried this protein, and while we are generally fans of Transparent Labs products, Frieda experienced some stomach upset from this one and says it smells and tastes artificial.
  • NorCal Organic Pea Protein: Frieda also tested this one and says, “It has a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower fruit flavors in a smoothie. I’m actually pretty surprised at how mild this is for pea protein.”
  • Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein: This is “pretty standard for pea protein,” Frieda says. “If you’re not used to it, it might taste a bit strong. It mixes fine in smoothies and baked goods, but some of the pea flavor is likely to come through.”
  • Naked Pea: According to our product tester, this one has a strong pea protein flavor, and a serving is two pretty large scoops. It will make whatever you mix it with taste like pea protein unless you really double-down on the sweeteners.
  • NOW Sports Pea Protein Isolate: This pea protein was one of the best for baking, our tester says, but the pea flavor comes through too strongly in beverages.
  • Bulk Supplements Pea Protein Isolate: Another that’s good for baking, but not so much for drinking.
  • Nutiva Hemp Protein: “It has a slightly nutty, bitter flavor. I thought it was quite good with oatmeal with some dried fruit, cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup,” Frieda says. She didn’t use the full serving amount, however, as it’s a whopping 4 tablespoons, which is a bit much for a bowl of oatmeal. 

How We Picked and Tested

We have a rigorous supplement testing methodology we apply to any product we test.

We start by researching dozens of vegan protein powders before choosing the products we order and bring in-house for personal testing. From there, our team actually uses the protein powder to assess for factors like solubility and taste. We also consult with registered dietitians for their take on the formulation.

Our criteria for assessing protein powders includes the following factors.

Third-Party Testing

We prioritize products that have undergone third-party testing, because it means we know we can trust what’s on the label is accurate. Our team rates products high when they are NSF Certified for Sport or hold some other type of certification.

However, we recognize that not all brands can afford such testing, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the product is no good. In those cases, we analyze the brand and the product label to look for trust signals and transparency, such as avoiding proprietary blends.

Price

We do the math to figure out how much you’re paying per serving of a product. When it comes to vegan protein powders, we find that the average price is between $1.50 and $1.90 for a quality product.

Formulation

There are several factors that come into play here, as we look not only at the ingredients, but also the dosing. To score a perfect 5 out of 5 on formulation, a product must have at least 20 grams of protein as well as be free from artificial ingredients.

An image for the Sunwarrior protein review

We take into account factors like:

  • Protein content: How much protein does each scoop contain? 
  • Amino acids: Can all essential amino acids be found in the product? 
  • Micronutrients: Did the protein powder come with vitamins and minerals? 
  • Ingredients: Does the vegan protein powder contain high-quality ingredients, or is it filled with artificial sweeteners and thickeners?
  • Allergens: We looked for vegan protein powders free from allergens such as soy to give everyone an option. 

Taste

Taste is subjective, and we recognize that it isn’t necessarily fair for meat-eaters like many of the people on our team to gauge the taste of a vegan protein powder. We enlisted product testers who are themselves vegan or who have vegan preferences.

We also looked at flavor offerings. While unflavored protein is just fine, we gave bonus points to brands that offer at least two or more flavor options.

Solubility

No one likes a chunky protein shake. Our testers mixed the vegan protein powders with water and with a milk substitute, using shaker cups, spoons, and blenders to rate how well the powder dissolves.

RELATED: Muscle Milk Review

Types of Vegan Protein Powder

Vegan protein isn’t just limited to soy; there are many plant sources that you can get your protein intake from. The most popular ingredients used in plant-based protein (other than soy, of course) are pea and and brown rice, but you can also find formulas containing protein from hemp, chia, and pumpkin seeds.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the cave of plant-based wonders, here are a few of our roundups detailing the top brands in the vegan protein category:

Benefits of Vegan Protein Powder

This one’s more aimed at people who are considering going plant-based, vegetarian, or dairy-free but may not have made the jump yet. Here are a few reasons why you might consider vegan protein powder over whey or casein protein. 

  • Easier digestibility: Whey and casein protein contain lactose, which can be hard for some people to digest even if they’re not lactose intolerant. For that reason, some people prefer vegan protein powders over dairy-based protein. 
  • Price: Many of the vegan protein powders we tried out were more budget-friendly than their whey and casein counterparts.   
  • Environmental: Vegan and plant-based foods are often better for the environment and result in fewer carbon emissions when compared to animal products. 

RELATED: Best protein bars

What to Look for in Vegan Protein Powders 

The best protein powder for men may differ from what women, but in some cases they’re the same. Here’s a look at what to keep in mind before going up and down the supplement aisle. 

  • Price: How much does each serving cost? 
  • Protein source: Where does the vegan protein powder get its protein content from? Does it have all essential amino acids? 
  • Total calories: How many calories, carbs, and fats are in each scoop? 
  • Serving size: Those who need more protein day-to-day, like athletes, older adults, and those with muscle-building goals, may need two, if not three or four, scoops of vegan protein to get an adequate amount because they are incomplete proteins.
  • Taste: Does it taste good? 
  • Allergens: If you’re allergic to soy be sure to read the nutrition label extra carefully. Some vegan protein powders may also not be gluten-free. 

RELATED: Best Greens Powder

An image of Onnit plant-based protein

Vegan Protein Powder: FAQs

Which vegan protein powder is best? 

In our opinion, that depends on your training goals and budget, but here are our top 13 picks for the best vegan protein powder: 

Best Overall Vegan Protein Powder: KOS Organic Plant Protein
Best Clean Vegan Protein Powder: Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Rice and Pea Protein
Best Vegan Protein Powder with Pea Protein: Kaged Plantein Plant-Based Protein Powder
Best Vegan Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Ritual Essential Protein 18+
Best Unflavored Vegan Protein Powder: Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate
Best Vegan Protein Powder for Active People: Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Protein
Best Budget Vegan Protein Powder: Now Sports Plant Protein Complex
Best-Tasting Vegan Protein Powder: Truvani Plant Protein Powder
Best Vegan Protein Powder for Muscle Building: Innermost The Health Protein
Best Vegan Protein for Gut Health: Vega Sport Premium Protein 
Best Organic Vegan Protein Powder: Orgain Organic Protein
Best Vegan Protein Powder With Hemp Seed: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah! Max Protein

Are vegan protein powders healthier? 

Most vegan protein powders we looked at were just as healthy as whey or casein protein powders, but they might be easier for some people to digest due to the fact that there’s no lactose in them. 

Should I switch to vegan protein powder?

Unless you’re committed to following a plant-based diet or are lactose-intolerant, there’s no need to switch to vegan protein powder.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Is vegan protein powder good for muscle gain?

Vegan protein powder is good for muscle gain, so long as it contains all 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) needed for protein synthesis (when your body uses protein). Soy is the only plant-based protein that has all 9, though many people are allergic to it. To get around this, manufacturers will combine multiple plant-based protein sources to ensure all 9 EAAs are present.

What is the best form of vegan protein powder?

The best form of vegan protein powder is soy because it contains all 9 essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis.

References 

  1. Lopez MJ, Mohiuddin SS. Biochemistry, Essential Amino Acids. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; March 18, 2023.
  2. Hill JA, Keane KM, Quinlan R, Howatson G. Tart Cherry Supplementation and Recovery From Strenuous Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2021;31(2):154-167. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.2020-0145
  3. Howarth NC, Saltzman E, Roberts SB. Dietary fiber and weight regulation. Nutr Rev. 2001;59(5):129-139. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2001.tb07001.x
  4. Leson G, Pless P, Grotenhermen F, Kalant H, ElSohly MA. Evaluating the impact of hemp food consumption on workplace drug tests. J Anal Toxicol. 2001;25(8):691-698. doi:10.1093/jat/25.8.691
  5. Rodriguez-Leyva D, Pierce GN. The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010;7:32. Published 2010 Apr 21. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-7-32
  6. Simopoulos AP. The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2008;233(6):674-688. doi:10.3181/0711-MR-311

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