If you can’t or don’t want to use milk-based proteins to mix up a post-workout shake, there’s still a world of options out there for you to try. All kinds of different protein sources are used to create vegan powders, with soy, pea, hemp and rice being the most common.
Often these protein sources are combined to create a complete protein – one that has all of the essential amino acids. It’s by no means impossible to get a complete protein from animal sources, but it can be a little trickier with vegan powders, even though soy is a complete protein. Mixing a couple of different plant sources can get you what you need, however, with rice and pea a common pairing for that reason.
Aside from the protein source, vegan powders don’t really differ from animal-based options, with the usual variety of flavours available. Here are the best vegan protein powders you can buy.
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Pea and rice protein are used in this powder to create a complete protein source, and each 30g serving contains 24g of protein, including 4g of BCAAs. The powder also contains B12, which is tricky to get from a diet that doesn’t contain animal products, plus a load of vitamin C, which is always handy.
Buy on Amazon | £14.99 for 684g (Optimum Nutrition RRP £27.99)
Awesome Supplements Awesome Vegan Protein
So awesome they named it twice, and they were right to do so. All three flavours hit the mark, with chocolate salted caramel standing out. Pea and rice protein are combined to account for (depending on the flavour) between 21.6g and 22.8g of protein per serving. The calorie count is kept low at just 109 for the 30g serving of chocolate salted caramel and choc and nut, and 133.7 calories for the 35g serving of vanilla. If you’re limiting your carb intake, avoid the vanilla version (which has 8.3g) and go for the other two which have a minuscule 1.56g per 30g serving.
Buy on Amazon | £28 for 1.2kg
FitDelis The Power
We’re big fans of the mixed berry flavour because it mixes easily to create a far lighter shake than you normally get, making it a more refreshing option after a hard workout. The protein is sourced from pea and hemp to make up a complete protein, and there’s 19g in a 30g serving, which also contains just 4g of carbs (1g of sugars) and 2g of fats, as well as 500mg of omega 3 and 100mg of omega 6 fatty acids.
Buy from FitDelis | £28 for 600g
Stealth Vegan Recovery Protein
This recovery drink is designed to be used after long bouts of cardio exercise like running and cycling, so alongside the 20g of protein (sourced from pea and rice) per 50g serving, it also contains 19.5g of carbs to replenish your energy reserves. It also has electrolytes to replace those lost in sweat.
Buy from Stealth | £25 for 660g
Healthspan Elite Complete Vegan Protein
A handy extra in this powder is the 2.5µg of vitamin B12 it contains in a 27g serving, because that’s 100% of your recommended daily intake of a vitamin that’s crucial for your health and virtually impossible to get enough of from a plant-based diet. Many other vitamins are also thrown into the mix, and there is 20g of protein (from brown rice, pea and pumpkin, combining to make a complete protein) in each serving. The powder is unflavoured, but you can add a flavour drop to your order for free, or just mix it into a shake with other ingredients.
Buy from Healthspan | £19.99 for 1kg
Revolution Foods Vegan Protein Powder Premium Blend
The 21g of protein in each 30g serving of this powder is sourced from pea and hemp, but while protein is the star turn, there’s a huge supporting cast of other ingredients, like chlorella powder, curcumin from turmeric root, and live bacteria to help you absorb the powder. There’s a lot going on, in short, and the result is a shake that may be a slightly off-putting shade of greenish-brown with a taste that’s not short on plant notes, but should be doing you a lot of good.
Buy from Revolution Foods | £34.99
Bulk Powders Vegan Protein Powder
Five different protein sources are used in this powder – pea, brown rice, pumpkin seed, flaxseed and quinoa flour – with the total protein per 35g serving clocking in at a solid 22.9g. There’s an exciting range of flavours too, including lesser-spotted options like white chocolate coconut or apple strudel alongside mainstays like vanilla. We found the shakes created were pretty thick and gloopy, so not ideal if you like to chug one straight after an intense workout, but the taste is the subject of hot debate in the office. One tester said they were on point, with apple strudel the stand-out, while the best another could say about their “favourite” flavour – chocolate mint – was that it tasted “like the ghost of a good shake”.
Buy from Bulk Powders | £24.99 for 1kg