The 7 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders to Buy in 2018

Fuel your diet with picks that fit your lifestyle

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The power of protein is well known. From helping us build and repair muscles to curbing our appetite and improving bone health, we know our bodies need it, but we don’t always get enough from our diets. That’s where protein powders come in, and a variety of them have flooded the market in recent years as people try to pack in more protein.

Many of these powders, however, are whey and casein-based, which isn’t an option for vegans and vegetarians, or those who can’t tolerate dairy products. Fortunately, there are plenty of good plant-based protein powders on the market. They still help you pack in the protein, but they come from plant sources, such as hemp, brown rice, peas, and legumes.

As with any dietary supplement, you should check with your healthcare provider before adding a plant-based protein powder to your diet. If you decide one is right for you, here are some top-picks to consider. 

Best Overall: Vega Sport Protein Powder, Vanilla

Vega Sport Protein Powder
 Courtesy of Amazon

This protein powder from Vega Sport pulls protein and nutrients from several plant-based sources, including peas, alfalfa, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, and packs in 30 grams of protein per scoop. One scoop also contains 150 calories and 5 grams of carbs as well as BCAAs, glutamine, and probiotics.

Plus, a scoop also contains 50 percent of your daily vitamins and minerals from the kale, strawberry, and spirulina ingredients. There’s no added sugar, and it’s gluten-free. The powder comes in four flavors—mocha, chocolate, berry, and vanilla—and is recommended as a post-workout drink mixed with water, non-dairy milk or a smoothie.

Most customers say they like the taste and texture of this protein powder and the fact that it contains more protein per serving than many other brands. Some say the scoop is too big for the container, while others wish it was organic.

Best Hemp-Based: Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein

This protein power from Nutiva is extracted from hemp seeds and is high in Omega 3 fats and antioxidants. Each serving (about 3 tbsp) contains 90 calories, 9 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein. It comes in three flavors—chocolate, super berry, and vanilla—and contains no sweeteners. For the best flavor , it’s recommended that you mix it with almond milk and a banana.

Customers say they add this powder to everything from their eggs to smoothies in order to up their protein intake. While some say it has an aftertaste, others say it grows on you, and they like that it’s nutritious and filling.

Best Rice-Based: Growing Naturals Organic Rice Protein Powder

While you may think of rice as a source of carbs, there’s also protein in there. This protein powder from Growing Naturals is made up of the good protein from brown rice, while most of the carbs are left behind. It’s good for almost anyone with food allergies, as ​it’s organic, non-GMO, vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free.

Each serving (one scoop) contains 110 calories, 4 carb and 24 grams of protein. It can be combined with water or non-dairy milk or added to baked goods, sauces and more for a boost of extra protein.

Customers say it’s a good alternative to whey protein powder that’s satisfying and mixes well. Those with multiple dietary restrictions are especially enthusiastic about it. Some find it too chalky, but the majority of customers give it high marks all around.

Best Organic: Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Organic Protein

This powder from Sunwarrior packs in the protein from several plant-based sources, including legumes, hemp seeds, and goji berries. It’s raw, vegan, organic and free of soy, GMOs, sugar, and gluten. Each serving (one scoop) contains 100 calories, 2 carbs and 18 grams of protein. To drink, mix one scoop with water or another beverage of your choice or you can blend into shakes or smoothies.

Bonus: You don’t have to dig around in the powder just to find your scoop—it’s built into the lid. Customers say this protein powder tastes good without being too sweet or chalky. It also comes in five flavors to suit your palette. 

Best Pea Protein: Naked Pea

The name pretty much says it all when it comes to this plant-based protein powder: Naked Pea. It contains just one ingredient, which is yellow pea protein. That means no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors, just pure protein. The soy-free, gluten-free powder packs in 27 grams of protein in each 120-calorie serving. There are also 2 grams of carbs and 5.7 grams of BCAAs per serving. To use, you blend two scoops with your favorite beverage or blend it in with fruits and vegetables. It comes in chocolate, vanilla, or an unflavored version.

This powder has a loyal fan base who likes the texture and flavor (or lack thereof). Some say the flavor takes some getting used to, but some note that mixing it in a smoothie or with peanut butter can help mask any displeasing flavor.

Best Soy: Bulksupplements Pure Soy Protein Isolate Powder

For those without a sensitivity to it, soy can be an excellent source of plant-based protein. This protein powder from Bulk Supplements is sourced from soybeans and contains 90 percent pure protein. Each serving contains 112 calories, 27 grams of protein and 258 grams of calcium. It’s also packed with amino acids. It’s unflavored, so it lends itself well to being mixed with a variety of foods and drinks.

Customers give this protein powder a thumbs up on multiple accounts, including taste, its ability to mix well and lack of grit. This one comes in a bag with a resealable zipper, which is great for packing, but some report trouble getting it to close.

Best Ready-to-Drink: PlantFusion Complete Ready-to Drink Protein Shake

For on-the-go ease, these shakes from PlantFusion present an alternative to traditional powders. You just shake it up, twist off the cap, and you’re ready to go. No mixing, no mess. Each 11-ounce shake contains 150 calories and 19 grams of plant-based protein from sources including peas, artichokes and sprouted quinoa. It’s free of most major allergens including dairy, soy, gluten, and nuts, and it contains a blend of enzymes that make it easy to digest, even for those with sensitive stomachs.

Most customers say these shakes are delicious, filling and great for on-the-go energy. Those with sensitive stomachs say these are a great alternative to others on the market.

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