The 11 Best Tested, Dietitian-Approved, Plant-Based Protein Powders of 2023

Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder is NSF Certified for Sport and high in protein

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Protein Powders

Verwell Fit / Tamara Staples

Plant-based protein powders can be a convenient way to add protein to your diet. While it is possible to get enough protein through whole food sources such as tofu, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes, a protein powder can be an easy way to help you meet your needs, especially if you follow a plant-based diet.

Plant-based protein powders are usually made from pea, soy, hemp, or brown rice, as opposed to animal-based protein powders that are made with whey, casein, or collagen. Protein powders can be particularly beneficial for busy days where you can’t eat a whole meal or for athletes looking to meet their increased protein needs. While plant-based protein powders are typically vegan-friendly, keep in mind there is no strict definition of plant-based. Be sure to check labels on plant-based proteins for all dietary concerns.

According to Rhyan Geiger, RDN, owner of Phoenix Vegan Dietitian, it is important to opt for plant-based protein powders that are third-party tested to ensure quality and safety. To pick the best plant-based protein powders, we taste-tested some of the top-rated plant-based protein powders in The Verywell Testing Lab. Then, our sports dietitian sifted through these testing results to choose the best protein powders with minimal ingredients, quality protein sources, and higher protein amounts, and also made sure they taste good, blend well in shakes, and are third-party tested.

Editor's Note

Our team of registered dietitians reviews and evaluates every single supplement we recommend according to our dietary supplement methodology. From there, a registered dietitian on our Expert Review Board reviews each article for scientific accuracy. 

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.

Best Overall

Vega Plant-Based Sport Premium Protein Powder Chocolate

Vega Plant-Based Sport Premium Protein Powder Chocolate

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    4.5/5
  • Texture
    3.8/5
  • Nutrition
    4.3/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    5/5
Pros
  • NSF Certified for Sport

  • High in protein and leucine

  • Source of iron

Cons
  • Not all may like the stevia flavor

Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder is an NSF Certified for Sport plant-based protein powder that can be a great choice for athletes. This trusted third-party certification means it is free from banned substances, and that it contains what is written on the label. The protein per serving comes from a mix of pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, sunflower seed protein, and alfalfa protein. It also has tart cherry powder, beet root powder, and turmeric extract, which some studies have shown may help support recovery from exercise.

We like that Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder has 30 grams of plant-based protein per serving, as this is higher than many other plant-based powders. Leucine, one of the branched chain amino acids necessary for muscle building and recovery, is often lower in plant-based proteins. However, Vega Sport is relatively high for plant-based protein powders; one scoop contains 2.56 grams of leucine.

This powder also provides you with a 40% Daily Value of iron—a mineral female vegan and vegetarian athletes sometimes find difficult to get enough of. While this protein powder contains stevia, we found that it tasted less artificial when compared to other stevia-sweetened protein powders. Plus, we liked that the texture is creamy, thick, and enjoyable.

Price at time of publication: $47 ($2.47 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, alfalfa | Serving Size: 1 scoop | Servings Per Container: 19 | Calories: 180 | Protein: 30 grams | Carbs: 6 grams | Fat: 4 grams | Sweetener: Stevia

Best Flavored

Sprout Living Epic Protein Vanilla Lucuma

4.5
Sprout Living Epic Protein Vanilla Lucuma

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    4.8/5
  • Texture
    4/5
  • Nutrition
    4.5/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    3/5
Pros
  • No artificial additives or flavors 

  • Delicious flavor

  • Slightly higher carbohydrates for exercise recovery

Cons
  • Unclear third-party testing

Sprout Living’s Epic Protein Vanilla Lacuma Powder gets our pick for the best flavored plant-based protein powder because of its quality ingredient list and delicious flavor. We also like that it contains 13 grams of carbohydrates, as carbohydrates can help with muscle recovery from exercise. We would recommend adding this protein powder to a smoothie with other sources of carbohydrates, such as fruit or oats, for a further post-workout boost.

This protein powder contains 20 grams of protein per two-scoop serving from yellow peas, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, sacha inchi, and cranberry seed. This protein powder also received some of the highest scores when it comes to flavor. We noted that the flavor isn’t too sweet or overwhelming, which can be an issue with some other protein powders. We found this protein powder was so tasty that it could easily be mixed just with water, providing a taste similar to cinnamon toast crunch. Yum!

While we tested the vanilla flavor, Sprout Living Epic Protein also comes in chocolate maca, green kingdom, and original flavors.

Price at time of publication: $33 ($2.75 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Yellow pea, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, sacha inchi, cranberry seed | Serving Size: 2 scoops | Servings Per Container: 12 | Calories: 140 | Protein: 20 grams | Carbs: 13 grams | Fat: 3 grams | Sweetener: Coconut sugar, stevia

Best for 50+

Ritual Essential Vegan Plant-Based Protein Powder

4.5
Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    4/5
  • Texture
    3.5/5
  • Nutrition
    4.5/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    5/5
Pros
  • Informed Sport and Informed Protein certified

  • No sugar or sugar alcohols

  • Contains nutrients especially geared for those 50+

Cons
  • Lower leucine content

Ritual 50 Plus Vegan Plant Based Protein Powder is a great choice for those looking for an extra nutrient boost with a protein powder. Research shows that runners over 40 years need more protein in order to support recovery. Geiger says, “As people continue to age (40 or older), the demand for protein is a bit higher to compensate for the loss of muscle mass.” Choosing a high-quality protein powder, such as Ritual 50 Plus Vegan Plant Based Protein Powder, can help you meet your increased needs.

In addition to this powder being Informed Sport certified and Informed Protein certified, we like that Ritual is transparent with a traceable supply chain, so you know where each ingredient comes from. There are no sugars, sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, or flavors added to this protein powder which some may appreciate.

We found that this protein powder blended well with other smoothie ingredients resulting in a thick and creamy mixture with no grittiness. Unlike some artificially sweetened protein powders, we also liked that this one was not overly sweet.

Besides 20 grams of protein, each serving provides 3 grams of fiber, 28% Daily Value of calcium, 36% of the Daily Value of choline, and 15% of the Daily Value of iron. Choline is a unique nutrient found in this protein powder, and it is used in the brain to help regulate memory, mood, and muscle control.

This powder also has 1.5 grams of calcium HMB. Some research shows calcium HMB may enhance muscle function and strength in older adults. While we like that this is a complete plant-based protein, note it is slightly lower in leucine than other plant-based options.

Price at time of publication: $45 ($3 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type:
Pea protein | Serving Size: 2 scoops | Servings Per Container: 15 | Calories: 120 | Protein: 20 grams | Carbs: 13 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Sweetener: Reb-M, monk fruit extract

Best for Athletes

Garden of Life SPORT Organic Plant-Based Protein Chocolate

4.5
Garden of Life SPORT Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    3.8/5
  • Texture
    4.5/5
  • Nutrition
    4.3/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    5/5
Pros
  • NSF Certified for Sport

  • High protein and leucine content

  • Organic ingredients

Cons
  • Not all may like stevia taste

  • Not all may want or need the added probiotic

Garden of Life Vegan Sport Organic Plant Based Protein is an NSF Certified for Sport plant-based protein powder that may help support your nutrition needs as an athlete.

If you’re an active individual and a plant-based eater, your protein needs will be somewhat higher because plant-based sources of protein are not as easy to digest, and they typically have a lower leucine content. Leucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids, is needed for muscle recovery. 

Research also shows that plant-based athletes may need more plant-based protein per meal to support muscle recovery when compared to animal protein. “Protein needs for vegan and vegetarian diets are around 0.9 grams per kilogram of body weight because plant proteins digest a little bit differently,” says Geiger. Therefore, we like that Garden of Life Vegan Sport Organic Plant Based Protein contains 30 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of leucine per serving.

Note we noticed that this protein powder is on the sweeter side, which may or may not suit your taste preference. Also note this powder has a probiotic strain added, which some may not want or need.

Price at time of publication: $55 ($2.89 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Pea protein, sprouted navy bean, sprouted lentil bean, sprouted garbanzo bean, cranberry protein | Serving Size: 2 scoops | Servings Per Container: 19 | Calories: 180 | Protein: 30 grams | Carbs: 8 grams | Fat: 3.5 grams | Sweetener: Stevia

Best Pea Protein

NorCal Organic Premium Pea Protein

4.5
NorCal Organic Premium Pea Protein

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    4.5/5
  • Texture
    3.5/5
  • Nutrition
    4.5/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Neutral flavor and smell

  • Single ingredient

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Some may prefer sweeter flavor

NorCal Organic Premium Pea Protein is a quality protein powder made solely from organic yellow pea protein isolate. This can be helpful if you prefer to avoid added sweeteners or flavorings and want a quality protein powder that won’t affect the taste of smoothies or baked goods. This can also be a great plant-based option if you have food allergies or other food sensitivities.

This protein powder is relatively high in protein, with 22 grams of protein per serving, including 2.17 grams of leucine. Since this protein powder only contains pea protein, it is very low in fat and carbohydrates. We recommend adding it to a well-balanced smoothie if you’re drinking it post-workout to help boost muscle recovery.

NorCal states that they do third-party testing on each batch of peas to ensure their products are safe and nutrition amounts are accurate. Their peas are sourced from Canadian organic farms.

Price at time of publication: $46 ($1.31 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Organic yellow pea protein isolate | Serving Size: 2 scoops | Servings Per Container: 35 | Calories: 100 | Protein: 22 grams | Carbs: 1 grams | Fat: 1.5 grams | Sweetener: None

Best Hemp

Nutiva Hemp Seed Protein Powder

5
Hemp Protein

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    4.5/5
  • Texture
    3.5/5
  • Nutrition
    5/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    5/5
Pros
  • Good source of heart-healthy fats and fiber

  • Single ingredient

  • Third-party tested

  • Good source of minerals

Cons
  • Some may prefer smoother texture

Nutiva Organic Cold Pressed Raw Hemp Seed Protein Powder is a third-party tested, single-ingredient protein powder that is a nutritional powerhouse. As the only ingredient in this protein powder is hemp seeds, each serving gives you 15 grams of protein, an impressive 6 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of omega-3 and 6 fats per serving. It can be challenging to find plant-based sources of omega-3 fats in particular, so this is a big plus for this protein powder. However, note this protein amount is slightly less than other options.

We also like that each serving is a good source of minerals, as each serving provides a 35% Daily Value of iron, 35% Daily Value of zinc, and 60% Daily Value of magnesium.

While the nutritional qualities of this protein powder are excellent, the texture of hemp protein can be somewhat gritty. You may find success to balance this by blending this powder into a smoothie bowl with toppings like nuts, fruit, and seeds. Our testers still gave this hemp protein powder high marks for having a slightly nutty, neutral flavor that blended well in a smoothie. 

Note that you should refrigerate this protein powder after opening it to preserve freshness.

Price at time of publication: $50 ($1.11 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Hemp seed protein | Serving Size: 4 Tbsp | Servings Per Container: 45 | Calories: 110 | Protein: 15 grams | Carbs: 8 grams | Fat: 3 grams | Sweetener: None

Best Organic

Aloha Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

4.3
Aloha Vanilla Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    4.8/5
  • Texture
    4.3/5
  • Nutrition
    4/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    3.5/5
Pros
  • No artificial ingredients

  • Source of fiber and iron

Cons
  • No clear third-party testing

Aloha Organic Plant Based Protein Powder is an organic protein powder that gives you 18 grams per serving from a blend of pea, brown rice, hemp seed, and pumpkin seed protein. We found this protein powder worked well in smoothies and would be a great option for baked goods when you want a protein boost. The unique blend of proteins helps prevent any singular taste that can sometimes come through with other powders.

In addition to protein, this protein powder contains 5 grams of fiber from blue agave inulin—a prebiotic fiber. It may provide a gut health benefit for some, but note it may also cause some stomach troubles depending on how much other prebiotic fibers are in your diet (and in any other supplements).

Another aspect we appreciate of this protein powder is each serving has a 35% Daily Value of iron. The sweetness of this powder comes from coconut sugar and monk fruit extract—rather than stevia—which we found gave it a not-too-sweet, balanced flavor. Aloha Organic Plant Based Protein Powder comes in vanilla and chocolate flavors. 

We like that Aloha is a certified B Corporation, meaning they meet high social and environmental standards. However, an important consideration is that Aloha does not mention any third-party testing for their protein powders.

Price at time of publication: $33 ($2.20 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp seed protein, pumpkin seed protein | Serving Size: 2 scoops | Servings Per Container: 15 | Calories: 130 | Protein: 18 grams | Carbs: 10 grams | Fat: 2.5 grams | Sweetener: Coconut sugar, monk fruit extract

Best Unflavored

NAKED nutrition NAKED PEA 1LB Pea Protein Isolate

4.5
Naked Pea Protein Isolate

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    4/5
  • Texture
    3.5/5
  • Nutrition
    5/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    4.8/5
Pros
  • Informed Choice Certified

  • Single ingredient

  • High in protein

Cons
  • Some may not like the texture

NAKED Nutrition NAKED Pea is a quality plant-based protein powder that doesn’t come with any extra sweeteners, colors, or flavors. This may be a great choice if you prefer a neutral protein powder that you can add to smoothies or other liquids of choice. We particularly liked this protein powder when it was blended in a smoothie with other ingredients that provided flavor.

This protein powder is Informed Choice certified, so you can feel assured this product is free from banned substances. NAKED Nutrition also does testing for heavy metal levels on this product.

Two scoops provide you with 27 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of leucine, which can be hard to come by in a plant-based protein powder. NAKED nutrition protein powder would therefore be a great choice post-exercise when you’re looking to get in a good dose of quality protein.

If you like this protein powder but prefer a bit of flavor, you might want to try the chocolate or vanilla flavors.

Price at time of publication: $20 ($1.33 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Yellow pea protein isolate | Serving Size: 2 scoops | Servings Per Container: 15 | Calories: 120 | Protein: 27 grams | Carbs: 2 grams | Fat: 0.5 grams | Sweetener: None

Best With Fiber

Navitas Organics Hemp Powder

4.5
Navitas Organic Hemp Powder

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    4.8/5
  • Texture
    3.5/5
  • Nutrition
    4.5/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    4/5
Pros
  • Single ingredient

  • USDA Organic

  • Unsweetened and neutral flavor

  • Good source of minerals

Cons
  • Lower in protein

If you’re looking for a fiber boost with your protein shakes, consider Navitas Organic Hemp Powder, a single-ingredient plant-based powder. One serving contains 7 grams of fiber, which is important for digestive health, blood sugar control, and heart health. 

This protein powder is made with just organic hemp powder and nothing else, which provides 13 grams of protein per 4 tablespoon serving. It is also a good source of minerals—each serving provides 40% Daily Value for iron and 60% Daily Value for magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral involved in muscle and nerve function. We also lose some magnesium in our sweat, so it’s important to incorporate foods high in magnesium after hard workout sessions.

We noticed this protein powder goes well in smoothies, particularly for an unflavored and unsweetened powder. However, note that hemp protein powders can have a grittier texture compared to other plant-based options. Since this option is slightly lower, with 13 grams of protein per serving, you can further boost the protein by adding Greek yogurt or topping your smoothie with nuts and seeds.

Navitas states it does third-party testing on its products, but no other information is available.

Price at time of publication: $15 ($1.32 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Organic hemp powder | Serving Size: 4 tbsp | Servings Per Container: 11 | Calories: 120 | Protein: 11 grams | Carbs: 10 grams | Fat: 3 grams | Sweetener: None

Best With Greens

Vega Protein & Greens Plant-Based Protein Powder

4.3
Vega Protein and Greens Vanilla

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    4.5/5
  • Texture
    3.8/5
  • Nutrition
    4.3/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    3.5/5
Pros
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

  • Source of minerals

Cons
  • Some may find taste too sweet

  • No clear third-party testing

Vega Protein and Greens protein powder is a great option if you’re looking for a protein powder that provides you with not only protein but also a boost of minerals. This protein comes from peas and brown rice, with 20 grams of protein per serving.

The greens mix includes kale powder, sacha inchi powder, alfalfa grass powder, and broccoli powder. The added greens make this protein powder a source of many nutrients. One scoop of this powder contains calcium (4% Daily Value [DV]), iron (35% DV), potassium (2% DV), vitamin A (6% DV), vitamin C (6% DV), and vitamin K (60% DV). In particular, calcium and iron can be somewhat harder to come by if you follow a vegan diet. 

You should note that you want to be conscious of the amount of vitamin K you consume if you are taking any blood-thinning medications. If you take this type of medication, consult a healthcare professional before adding this protein powder to your diet.

Vega Protein and Greens do not contain any added sugar. The sweetness comes from stevia, which you may or may not like. We found that this protein powder works well in a smoothie where the stevia aftertaste is not as strong. 

While Vega does third-party testing on many of its products, this protein powder is not clearly labeled. Vega does note that they test all of their products in-house.

Price at time of publication: $60 ($2.31 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Pea powder, brown rice protein | Serving Size: 1 scoop | Servings Per Container: 26 | Calories: 120 | Protein: 20 grams | Carbs: 4 grams | Fat: 2.5 grams | Sweetener: Stevia

Best Budget

Now Foods NOW Sports Nutrition Pea Protein

4.3
NOW Sports Pea Protein

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Flavor
    3.5/5
  • Texture
    3.5/5
  • Nutrition
    4.5/5
  • Third-Party Testing
    5/5
Pros
  • Informed Sport Certified

  • Single ingredient

Cons
  • Some may not prefer taste

Protein powders can leave a dent in your wallet, especially if you use them on a regular basis. For an affordable option, consider NOW Sports Nutrition Pea Protein, a single-ingredient plant-based powder. One scoop provides you with 24 grams of protein and 2 grams of leucine. This protein powder is also Informed Sport certified, making it an all-around great choice for athletes.

NOW Sports Nutrition Pea Protein contains yellow pea protein isolate and nothing else. We noted this powder blends well with other ingredients, but it may be a bit too earthy for some. We suggest blending it into your favorite smoothie to help balance flavors. This 7-pound container contains 96 servings, so it’s nice this option will last you for a while.

Price at time of publication: $45 ($0.47 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein Type: Yellow pea protein isolate | Serving Size: 1 scoop | Servings Per Container: 96 | Calories: 120 | Protein: 24 grams | Carbs: 1 grams | Fat: 2 grams | Sweetener: None

How We Tested & Selected Each Plant-Based Protein Powder

To find the best plant-based protein powders, we tested 17 top-rated protein powders in The Verywell Testing Lab. We reviewed each protein powder for flavor, aftertaste, texture, smell, and value, recognizing that this can be subjective and differ between individuals. We ranked each product on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 would not recommend, 5 would highly recommend) in each of these categories. We tested each product twice, alone in a shaker bottle with water and in a smoothie blended with almond milk and a banana.

Our nutrition editors analyzed all of the protein powders for nutritional value and third-party testing. To determine the nutritional value, we looked at ingredients, protein content, and nutrients. Third-party testing involved looking at manufacturer information and searching for reputable third-party organizations such as NSF, USP, and ConsuberLab.com. We combined these scores with the taste testing scores to arrive at a total score for each product. We also consulted with Rhyan Geiger, RDN owner of Phoenix Vegan Dietitian.

How We Rated the Plant-Based Protein Powders

  • 4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best plant-based protein powders we tested. We recommend them without reservation.
  • 4.5 to 4.7 stars: These plant-based protein powders are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
  • 4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great plant-based protein powders, but others are better.
  • 3.5 to 3.9 stars: These plant-based protein powders are just average.

What to Look For in Plant-Based Protein Powders

Third-Party Testing

Supplements that are third-party tested are sent to a lab where they are tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain and are not contaminated with specific high-risk, common contaminants. However, it’s important to note:

  • Third-party testing does not test to see if a product is effective or safe for everyone, and it does not ensure the supplement will not interact with other supplements or medications.
  • Not all third-party testing is created equal. It is not uncommon for supplement companies to pay labs for certificates after conducting minimal to no testing. 
  • The third-party certifications we can trust are: ConsumerLab.com, NSF, and USP. However, these certifications are difficult to obtain and/or expensive for manufacturers, so many companies choose not to get their products tested by one of these three organizations. 
  • Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
  • Just because a supplement is not tested by one of these three companies, it does not mean it’s a bad product. We recommend doing some research on the reputability of the manufacturer and calling up the manufacturer and their testing lab to determine their protocols and decide if you feel comfortable consuming the supplement.

Plant-based protein powders are at greater risk of containing trace amounts of heavy metals when compared to animal-based protein powders, as these metals can be picked up from soil and water. However, when consumed in typical amounts, these trace quantities are unlikely to be harmful. We recommend choosing third-party tested plant-based powders when possible to ensure your heavy metals are at the safest levels.

Form

Plant-based protein powders are usually derived from varying protein sources such as soy, pea, hemp, brown rice, nuts, or seeds. Different protein powders contain different amounts of protein and, in particular, the amino acid leucine, which is important for muscle growth and recovery. You may want to opt for a protein powder with higher amounts of protein and leucine, especially if you regularly work out or are trying to increase muscle mass

Ingredients & Potential Interactions

It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.

Plant-based protein powders can widely vary in their ingredients. Some powders may contain the following ingredients worth noting:

Additives and sweeteners: Many protein powders contain additives such as gums, fillers, or preservatives meant to retain freshness and improve texture. Some protein powders contain sweeteners as well. These may be caloric sweeteners such as cane sugar or non-nutritive sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, sugar alcohols, or artificial sweeteners. Sugar alcohols can cause digestive issues when consumed in large amounts in certain individuals. Taste preference can also vary in terms of desired sweetness level, and some artificial sweeteners may have more of an aftertaste.

Allergens: If you have food allergies or sensitivities, you should pay special attention to labels. Plant-based protein powders may contain nuts and seeds or can be made in a facility with other common allergens. Plus, since the term “plant-based” does not have one definition, these powders may sometimes potentially contain animal ingredients.

Vegan protein powders are always going to be plant-based, but plant-based protein doesn’t always mean vegan. Sometimes plant-based food options may contain other animal-based ingredients like honey and sometimes even egg and milk. It’s always best to double-check the ingredient list when it comes to plant-based labels that aren’t exclusively vegan,” says Geiger.

Performance enhancers: Plant-based protein powders may contain performance enhancers such as caffeine, creatine, or BCAAs. We recommend checking the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements review of supplements for performance before using these products to ensure the ingredients are supported by research.

Plant-Based Protein Powders We Also Tested

The following products were also tested, but they did not receive high enough scores to be included in our top recommendations.

  • Sunwarrior Protein Warrior: We found this protein powder to be overly sweet with a somewhat chalky and medicinal aftertaste.
  • Orgain Organic Vegan Protein: We felt this protein powder had a fake taste to it, and it was cloyingly sweet.
  • Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah!: This protein powder doesn’t mention third-party testing. Our testers also found that the hemp flavor was too strong, and the texture was unpleasant.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which plant-based protein is best?

    There is no single plant-based protein that is best. You want to consider protein type and amount when choosing a powder that is best for you, along with the other added ingredients. 

    Geiger says, “Looking at the protein content per serving is always a big consideration. Aiming for a protein powder with at least 20 grams of protein maximizes the amount of protein you’re getting in and helps build and repair muscle. I also recommend checking for added sugar and making sure it doesn’t have more than 5 to 7 grams of added sugar if consumed on a regular basis.” Other considerations include taste, price, and lack of potential allergies or sensitivities.

  • What is the most complete plant protein powder?

    A complete protein refers to a protein that contains all nine of the essential amino acids, or the amino acids that our bodies do not make and that we have to obtain from the diet. Animal proteins are considered complete proteins.

    Most plant proteins are not complete proteins, with the exception of soy. However, you can get all of the amino acids you need by consuming a variety of plant-based proteins throughout the day.

  • Is plant-based protein powder good for you?

    Plant-based protein powders can be reliable and convenient sources of protein and sometimes vitamins and minerals. However, keep in mind that it’s always best to get a variety of foods and proteins throughout the day. If you are drinking protein shakes as your primary protein source, consider swapping in other high-protein foods and snacks throughout the day to add some variety.

  • Which is better: plant-based or whey protein powder?

    Whey protein powder is often considered the gold standard when it comes to protein powders. This is because whey is rich in essential amino acids (the ones we need to get from our diet), including leucine, and it is easy for most people to digest and absorb. 

    Plant-based protein powders, however, often contain a mix of varying protein sources to provide you with a variety of amino acids, and these powders can be just as high quality as whey. Choosing a protein powder that is right for you will depend on your taste preferences, dietary preferences, and health goals.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Tamar Kane, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian and marathon runner. Tamar has her master's degree in nutrition and exercise physiology from Teachers College Columbia University and specializes in working with plant-based athletes in need of quick protein sources. She often turns to protein powders as a quick and convenient way to boost post-exercise recovery.

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