Raise your hand if you’re a vegan who’s sick of people asking you how you get enough protein. Same.
Even though there are *plenty* of ways to get protein on a plant-based diet, vegan protein powder can help you meet your needs in a pinch.
And, yes, dietitians say they’re legit. “Some misconceptions about vegan protein powders are that they don’t provide enough protein, and that they won’t keep you full,” says Carolyn Brown, a dietitian at Foodtrainers in New York City.
However, today’s vegan protein powders do both. First of all, many vegan powders contain 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving, which is totally on par with most popular whey protein powders, according to Brown. (Btw: If you’re wondering whether whey protein is vegan, the answer is a huge no. “Whey protein is one of the primary proteins found in dairy products,” says nutritionist Charlotte Martin.)
Many plant-based powders also provide some fibre, which helps them keep you fuller, longer — and boosts their nutritional value, adds dietitian Priya Khorana.
Oh, and about that flavour issue. While vegan proteins long had a rep for tasting pretty revolting, times have changed. “Many newer proteins come in flavours like salted caramel, coconut, or even chai,” says dietitian Andy Bellatti. These days, popular powders are made from hemp, brown rice, or pea protein. Not just soy.
When hunting for vegan protein powder, consider these three major factors: protein content, types of proteins used, and sweeteners. First, Martin recommends looking for a powder that contains at least 15 to 20 grams of protein per serving.
Then, since most plant-based protein sources are “incomplete” (meaning they don’t contain all of — or enough of — all nine essential amino acids) on their own, opt for a protein powder made out of multiple sources, Martin says. Combining different proteins ensures your powder provides all of the aminos your body needs.
Finally, limit any added sugar to five grams per serving, max. “I steer clear of artificial sweeteners, since some research suggests they may have negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria, and appetite,” says Martin. Instead, opt for natural, zero-calorie sweeteners (like stevia).
Whether you’re spiking your smoothies, iced coffee, or pancake mix, today’s vegan protein powders are better than ever — and totally worth your while, whether you’re a carnivore or not.
Wazoogles Chocolate Moondust Superfood Protein Shake
This is one of the best-tasting plant-based protein powders on the market. A blend of heirloom cacao, maca root, protein-rich hemp, chia seeds, wild-harvested mesquite and French grown yellow pea protein make it decadent and delicious.
Phyto Pro Sport Vanilla
This quality blend of pea protein is fortified with B vitamins, BCAAs and enzymes, which help boost muscle growth.
Good Life Organic Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder
In addition to being sugar and preservative-free, Good Life’s plant-based protein packs amino acids which are great for the immune system.
Lifematrix Raw Vegan Protein Powder Chocolate
This powder gets its protein from rice and it’s low in FODMAP, making it super easy to digest.
Nature’s Choice Smoothie Mix – Greens
This protein powder contains 27 different superfoods — Acerola Berry, Pomegranate, Beetroot, Ginseng, Astragalus Root, Broccoli, and Spinach to name just a few. The fact it comes portioned makes it perfect for an on-the-go shake.
Nature’s Nutrition Super Greens & Reds & Protein Vanilla
This protein has added superfoods, which provide some health-supporting antioxidants, plus digestive enzymes, which help you digest protein and fibre to minimize uncomfortable digestive symptoms like gas and bloating.
O’Natural Yoga Balance Protein Shake
Made with hemp, brown rice and pea protein, this shake mix packs 18g of protein per serving. Added superfoods like maca and chia combined with Ayurvedic herbs will keep your system balanced.