The 12 Best Vegan Protein Powders of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Nutiva Organic Raw Hemp Seed Protein Powder is a simple, nutritious choice

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The 12 Best Vegan Protein Powders of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

VWT / Leticia Almeida

Vegan protein powder can be a great way to get more protein in the diet for those who aren’t getting enough from food. Protein powder may be especially helpful for those who are following plant-based diets and for those with higher protein needs, such as athletes, who want to use a non-animal-derived protein powder.

Choosing a vegan protein powder that fits your needs can feel like a juggling act. You obviously want it to taste good (which, admittedly, can be challenging for vegan protein powders), and you want it to blend well into your smoothie, protein shake, or however else you use it. There are many types of vegan protein powder to choose from, including hemp, pea, soy, and combinations of different powders, with varying amounts of protein in each option, so it can be hard to pick the right one for you. 

Our dietitian’s favorite protein powders provide other nutrients like vitamins, minerals, or fiber in addition to protein. They also have minimal ingredients and have been tested to ensure they contain what they say they contain without potentially harmful contaminants. We included both flavored and unflavored options to suit a wide variety of preferences and made sure that a number of the options were budget-friendly.

With all of these considerations in mind, here are the top tested vegan protein powders—no matter what you’re looking for.

Tested and Approved

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 Unflavored

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
  • One ingredient

  • Third-party tested

  • Good source of fiber and minerals

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Slightly gritty texture

  • Lower in protein than some other options

We picked Nutiva Organic Cold Pressed Raw Hemp Seed Protein Powder as best overall unflavored because of its subtle flavor and nutrition profile. Testers appreciated the mild flavor it had when blended as a smoothie. They also noted it had minimal to no aftertaste or smell. 

This hemp protein powder also earns top marks because it is third-party tested, which means the product was tested to make sure the actual ingredients match what is on the ingredients list, without potentially harmful contaminants. “Nutritionally speaking, this protein powder really stands out. While many protein powders strip away nutrients other than protein, this powder keeps many of the nutrients found in hemp seeds. For example, it provides a third of the daily recommendation of iron, a mineral many vegetarians and vegans struggle to get enough of,” says Autumn Rauchwerk, MS, RDN, E-RYT

It also provides 60% of the daily value (DV) of magnesium, 35% of the daily value of zinc, and an impressive 6 grams of fiber. It also has three grams of heart-healthy omega-3 fat, a nutrient which vegetarian diets sometimes lack. Since one serving of this protein powder is packed with so many other nutrients, it is slightly lower in protein than other options.

Testing Notes: “This blended really well with the other flavors. I would drink this daily in my smoothie. It doesn't add any sweetness, so if you don't mind that, I'd recommend [it].”

One thing to note is hemp protein can have a slightly grittier texture compared to other types of protein powder. This is why we recommend blending Nutiva’s hemp protein powder into a smoothie rather than mixing it into water or non-dairy milk.

Price at time of publication $33 ($0.73 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Hemp Protein amount: 15 grams Added sweeteners: No Other noteworthy nutrients: iron, magnesium, zinc, fiber

nutiva hemp protein powder

Verywell Fit / Leticia Almeida

Best Overall 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 ingredients

  • Less processed ingredients

  • Source of fiber and minerals

Cons
  • Slightly gritty texture

  • Not clearly third-party tested

If you want a vegan protein powder that tastes good but doesn’t have any fillers or artificial ingredients, we recommend Sprout Living's Epic Protein Vanilla Lucuma Powder. This powder scored the highest average for taste when mixed with water, and also received one of the highest average scores for taste when blended as a smoothie. 

Most of the flavor in this protein powder comes from vanilla bean, cinnamon, and ginger root, while it is sweetened by lucuma (derived from a South American fruit), baobab fruit (derived from an African plant), and stevia. It has some interesting additional whole-food ingredients added for flavor and texture, such as coconut sugar, heirloom red banana, Jerusalem artichoke (for fiber), and Himalayan sea salt. One thing to note: this protein powder is higher in sodium than other options, with 320 milligrams per serving. If you are an athlete or active individual, this higher sodium content can help replenish salt lost in sweat.

Because of the careful ingredient formulation, testers noted the vanilla flavor wasn’t overpowering or too sweet, and the powder didn’t have a strong aftertaste. However, because it has less processed ingredients compared to many of the other flavored protein powders, it might have a slightly grittier texture. 

Besides the taste, we like that this powder has (per serving) 20 grams of protein from yellow peas, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, sacha inchi, and cranberry seed. A serving also provides 8% of your daily needs for calcium, and is a good source of fiber, iron, and potassium. It's important to note that Sprout Living does not state if they do third-party testing on their products to verify that the label is accurate or that it’s free from potentially harmful contaminants.

Testing Notes: “I love this protein powder for its unique nutritional profile and neutral vanilla taste!”

If you want other flavors besides vanilla, this protein powder is also available in Chocolate Maca and Green Kingdom flavors; the latter includes added powdered greens.

Price at time of publication $35 ($2.92 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Yellow pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, sacha inchi, cranberry seed Protein amount: 20 grams Added sweeteners: Lucuma and baobab fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, stevia leaf Other noteworthy nutrients: Fiber, iron, potassium, calcium

Sprout Living Epic Protein Vanilla Lucuma

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

Best High Protein

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
  • Single ingredient

  • Higher in protein

  • Source of iron

  • Informed Choice verified

Cons
  • Not all may like flavor or texture

Peas are a really concentrated source of vegan protein and minerals. But pea protein—maybe more than other vegan protein sources—can have an off-putting flavor or texture for some people. We like Naked Pea Protein because it’s made from just one ingredient—yellow pea protein isolate—and testers mostly noted it did not have a strong flavor when mixed into a smoothie. Pea protein can also thicken a smoothie, so it can have the side benefit of preventing a watery smoothie.

Another reason Naked Pea tops our list is because it provides a source of iron (16% DV) and calcium (7% DV). Compared to other options, it’s one of the highest in protein with 27 grams per serving, and it lists the specific amounts of amino acids on the label. 

Naked Pea Protein Isolate is Informed Choice Certified, meaning it is third-party tested for banned substances. Naked Pea also states it does independent testing for heavy metals. We like that this option is unflavored, so you can sweeten or flavor it to your preference, but they also offer chocolate or vanilla flavors sweetened with organic coconut sugar. 

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

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Pea Protein amount: 27 grams Added sweeteners: No Other noteworthy nutrients: iron, calcium

Naked Pea Protein Powder

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

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
  • Single ingredient

  • Third-party tested

  • Good source of iron

Cons
  • Not all may like flavor or texture

Another pea protein powder that tops our list is NOW Sports Pea Protein. It is also higher in protein—24 grams per serving—and is one of the highest options for iron, providing almost half of your daily requirements per serving. This option is budget-friendly, as it is roughly half the cost (or less) per serving than other vegan protein powders. In addition, NOW thoroughly tests all of their supplements to ensure label accuracy and that products are free from potentially harmful contaminants. On top of that, this product is Informed Choice Verified, making it an excellent choice for athletes who want to be extra-certain no banned substances sneak into their smoothies.

Testing Notes: “NOW Sports is a reputable brand that does third-party testing on all of its products. I like this unflavored protein powder to mix into baked goods for an added protein boost. Plus, the pea protein has a neutral flavor that isn’t as chalky as some other protein powders.”

Similar to Naked Pea protein powder, this unflavored powder may add thickness when blended with a smoothie. Testers noted it was fairly neutral in a smoothie, but some may still be able to pick up the pea flavor notes and grittier texture.

Price at time of publication $50 ($0.52 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Pea Protein amount: 24 grams Added sweeteners: No Other noteworthy nutrients: iron

NOW Sports Nutrition Pea Protein

Verywell Fit / Leticia Almeida

Best for Athletes

Vega Sport Premium Protein Powder

4.5
Vega Sport Premium Protein

Courtesy of 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

  • Contains ingredients that potentially support muscle recovery

Cons
  •  Some may not like aftertaste or smell

  • Processed in a facility with common allergens

  • More expensive

We like Vega Sport Premium Protein for athletes because it has one of the highest levels of protein out of all the powders we tested, and it is NSF Certified for Sport. When blended as a smoothie, testers liked the sweet, Tootsie Roll-like flavor, but some testers noticed an aftertaste. 

NSF Certified for Sport verifies that what’s on the label accurately reflects what’s in the container, with no potentially harmful contaminants, plus it does extra testing for substances banned for athletes. This certification is the only independent third-party certification program recognized by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). 

In another nod to athletes, Vega Sport includes tart cherry and beet root powder, which some research suggests may be beneficial for muscle repair. However, the exact amount of each ingredient in this protein powder is not listed. This powder is another pick that is higher in sodium, at 400 milligrams per serving, which could be beneficial for replacing electrolytes after exercise, but those who do not exercise intensely may not appreciate the higher amount. 

Besides having 30 grams of protein, a serving provides 5 grams of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids, which are useful for muscle growth and repair), and provides a good source of iron and calcium. The protein is mainly from pea protein as the first ingredient, but other protein sources include pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, and alfalfa protein. 

While this powder has alfalfa listed at the end of the ingredient list, this may be an important consideration, especially if you are taking other supplements with alfalfa. High doses of alfalfa may be unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding people, or those with other medical conditions or on certain medications. 

Other ingredients include xanthan gum, stevia leaf extract, turmeric extract, black pepper extract, bromelain (digestive enzyme found in pineapples), and a probiotic blend which some may not want or need. If you’re looking for something besides chocolate, this protein powder is also available in vanilla, mocha, and peanut butter flavors. 

Lastly, we wanted to note this protein powder is free of common allergen ingredients, but it is processed in a facility that also processes milk, peanuts, soy, eggs, and tree nuts. Therefore, it may not be the best choice if you have a common food allergy.

Price at time of publication $59 ($3.11 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, alfalfa Protein amount: 30 grams Added sweeteners: stevia leaf Other nutrients: iron, calcium

Vega Sport Chocolate Protein Powder

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

Best Neutral Smell and Taste

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
  • Single ingredient

  • Third-party tested

  • Minimal taste and smell

Cons
  • Not high in most other key nutrients

If you are looking for a single ingredient vegan protein powder, but really don’t want a strong taste or smell, we recommend NorCal Organic Premium Pea Protein. Testers gave this protein powder some of the highest scores for having minimal to no aftertaste,  smell, or texture when blended in a smoothie. 

NorCal Organics does third-party testing to check for contaminants and heavy metals in their products, and you can access the  general results of this testing on their website. NorCal also claims to have third-party testing for ingredient amounts and purity.

The company uses only organic ingredients, was founded by a dietitian, and prioritizes environmentally-friendly packaging and ingredients. The peas used to make this product are only sourced from organic farms in Canada.

Testing Notes: “[This protein powder is] very neutral in a good way. I taste the ingredients of the smoothie, not the protein powder.”

While pea protein is typically a good source of iron, the iron amount in each serving is not listed on the package, suggesting that this particular powder does not contain significant amounts of iron. A serving of this protein powder provides 22 grams of protein, trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and 25% of your daily needs of phosphorus. It provides an impressive 4.8 grams of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) which can play an important role in building and maintaining muscle mass.

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

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Organic yellow pea protein isolate Protein amount: 22 grams Added sweeteners: No Other noteworthy nutrients: Phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium

NorCal Organic Pea Protein Powder

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

Best Stevia-Free

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 stevia after-taste

  • Good source of fiber

  • Good source of iron

Cons
  • Not clearly third-party tested

It can be hard to find a flavored protein powder without stevia. If you are looking specifically to avoid stevia, but want a good flavored protein powder, we suggest trying Aloha Vanilla Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder. The five grams of added sugar per serving come mainly from coconut sugar, with some added monk fruit extract. 

Besides 18 grams of protein per serving, this powder provides 5 grams of fiber and 35% DV of iron. Note the fiber comes partly from the blue agave inulin, which acts as a prebiotic fiber in the gut. While this can help promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, inulin may have unpleasant digestive side effects for some people, especially in higher doses.

The protein blend is made up of pea, brown rice, hemp, and pumpkin seed protein. Other filler or flavoring ingredients for this powder include cinnamon, unspecified natural flavors, xanthan gum, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), and ground vanilla bean. Aloha does not state if their products are third-party testing for ingredient amounts or contaminants.

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

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Pea, brown rice, hemp, pumpkin seed Protein amount: 18 grams Added sweeteners: Coconut sugar, monk fruit extract Other nutrients: iron, fiber

Aloha Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

Best for Tropical Smoothies

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

  • Good source of fiber and minerals

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Slightly gritty texture

  • Lower in protein than some other options

Navitas Organic Hemp Powder is another hemp protein powder we love. Out of all the unflavored vegan protein powders, Navitas had the highest ratings for taste. Testers noted it would pair especially well with a green smoothie or tropical flavors such as pineapple, mango, or coconut. If you like to make tropical or a greens-based smoothies, Navitas Organic Hemp Powder can add a boost of protein without overpowering other flavors.

We love that this protein powder has just one ingredient, organic hemp seeds, and that it's cold-pressed, which means it retains more nutrients. This protein powder is high in fiber, iron, magnesium, and also provides a source of potassium. 

Navitas states it does third-party testing, but the details of the testing are not clear. Note this pick is one of the lowest in total protein at 13 grams per serving. Also keep in mind that hemp can have a more gritty texture compared to other types of protein powder.

Price at time of publication $15 ($1.36 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Hemp Protein amount: 13 grams Added sweeteners: No Other noteworthy nutrients: fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium

Best for Digestion

Garden of Life Raw Organic Vanilla Protein Powder

4.3
Garden of Life Raw Organic Vanilla Protein Powder

Walmart

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

  • Source of many minerals

  • Uses sprouted seeds and grains

Cons
  • Some ingredients may not be best for everyone

  • May be too sweet for some

Garden of Life’s Raw Organic Vanilla Protein Powder may be a good choice for you if other vegan protein powders cause digestive discomfort. Whether due to the fiber amount, protein type, or other added ingredients, sometimes protein powder can cause stomach issues.

Garden of Life Raw Organic Vanilla Protein Powder may be easier for your body to digest, as the nuts and grains used for the protein blend are all sprouted. Sprouting can increase the bioavailability of certain nutrients, and sprouting can make it easier for the body to digest nuts and grains. 

There is also a raw probiotic and digestive enzyme blend added, but these ingredients may not be best for everyone—especially people who are on certain medications and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Read more about probiotics and digestive enzymes to see if these ingredients are safe for you, and ultimately check with a healthcare professional if you have questions before trying this product.

This protein powder provides 22 grams of protein per serving from pea protein and a variety of sprouted nuts, seeds, and grains. The nuts, seeds, and grains make this powder especially a good source of many nutrients including vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, zinc, manganese, and selenium. 

We also love that it is Informed Choice third-party tested for banned substances for athletes, but it is not clearly third-party tested for ingredient amounts and levels of heavy metals. Testers noted this protein powder has a strongly sweet flavor, which may work best in a plain protein shake. Some noted when mixed as a smoothie the flavor was too sweet. It was also noted this powder had a pleasant, creamy, not-too-thick texture. Besides vanilla, other flavor options include chocolate, vanilla chai, or unflavored. 

Price at time of publication $47 ($2.35 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Organic pea protein, organic and sprouted brown rice protein, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, chia seed, chlorella, quinoa, garbanzo,lentil, adzuki bean, flaxseed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed Protein amount: 22 grams Added sweeteners: Erythritol, stevia leaf Other nutrients: vitamin D, E, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein

Verywell Fit / Leticia Almeida

Best with Greens Powder

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 added sugar

  • Good source of iron and vitamin K

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Not clearly third-party tested

  • Added greens may not benefit everyone

  • May not be free of common food allergens

If you are looking for a vegan protein powder with powdered greens, try Vega Protein and Greens Vanilla. Testers noted this choice had a great texture, and had a nice level of sweetness when blended with water and into a smoothie. Some may appreciate the sweetness in this protein powder comes from stevia leaf, so there is no added sugar. However, stevia can have an aftertaste, which may be especially noticeable when blended with plain water.

Vega does third-party testing on some of their products, but this protein and greens powder is not clearly third-party tested. But Vega notes that they test all of their products in-house for safety, texture, nutritional value, and taste. While this protein powder is free of common food allergens, it should be noted it is processed in a facility with milk, soy, peanuts, eggs, tree nuts, and sesame.

This protein powder is unique in that it contains spinach, kale, broccoli, and alfalfa grass powder; these handy additions mean that one serving provides 20% DV of vitamin K. In addition, a serving provides a good source of iron and smaller amounts of vitamin A,C, and potassium. 

While some may like that this protein powder has added powdered greens, if you take medication—especially blood thinners—check with a healthcare professional before adding this to your diet. Changes in the amount of vitamin K you get from foods like leafy greens could affect the way your medication works. 

It’s important to note high amounts of alfalfa taken long term may be unsafe for people with autoimmune disorders or those who are pregnant, breast feeding, or taking certain medications. While this powder has alfalfa listed at the end of the ingredient list, this is an important consideration, especially if you are taking other supplements with alfalfa such as a greens powder

Testing Notes: “This blended well into the smoothie, it was not too sweet or too overpowering. I would definitely buy this and put it in my smoothies.”

If you like what this product has to offer but want a less-sweet option, Vega has plain unsweetened plant protein with greens. They also have chocolate, berry, and coconut almond flavors.

Price at time of publication $25 ($1.39 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Pea, brown rice Protein amount: 20 grams Added sweeteners: stevia leaf Other nutrients: iron, calcium, vitamin A, C, K, and potassium

Vega Protein and Greens Vanilla

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

Best for People Over 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
  • Third-party tested

  • Traceable ingredients

  • Not overly sweet

  • Source of choline, calcium HMB, and iron

Cons
  • More expensive

  • Some may not want or need calcium HMB

If you are looking for a vegan protein powder that is not overly sweet and can be used in a variety of ways, we recommend Ritual Essential Protein. We love that Ritual prides itself on being both Informed Sport third-party tested and that their ingredients are all traceable with a visible supply chain.

This vanilla protein powder is sweetened without added sugar, stevia, or sugar alcohols. Instead Ritual uses organic monk fruit and a sugar-free sweetener from fermented sugar cane that they claim to have less aftertaste compared to stevia. Each serving provides 20 grams of protein from organic peas, and each serving is a good source of calcium and iron. 

In addition, this protein powder provides choline—a nutrient needed for the brain, nervous system, and to regulate muscle control. This is especially notable because many people may not be getting enough choline, and many supplements don’t include it.

This specific powder is designed for adults over 50 years old, as it has added calcium HMB to help protect against age-related muscle loss. While more research is needed, some research has shown calcium HMB may help lower muscle loss associated with aging. Anyone of any age can enjoy this protein powder, but Ritual also makes a plant-based protein powder geared for adults 18-49 years of age that does not have the calcium HMB.

Testing Notes: “I love how neutral this one is—it would be a good addition to lots of different types of smoothies. It's not sweet, so you could sweeten as much (or as little) as you like.”

Besides mixing with water or added to a smoothie, testers noted this versatile, fairly neutral choice would be great for other uses, such as in oatmeal, pancakes, or other baked goods.

Price at time of publication $45 ($2.97 per serving)

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Organic pea protein Protein amount: 20 grams Added sweeteners: Reb-M from fermented sugarcane, organic monk fruit Other nutrients: choline, calcium, iron

Ritual Essential Vegan Plant-Based Protein Powder

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

Best for Sweet Tooths

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
  • Third-party tested

  • High in protein

  • High in nutrients

Cons
  • Not all may benefit from other ingredients

  • Not all may like sweeter flavor

If you want a protein powder that is noticeably sweet and can stand alone when mixed with water, we recommend Garden of Life SPORT Organic Plant Based Protein Powder. Testers gave this choice a higher flavor and texture score when just mixed with water and noted the flavor was noticeably sweet. 


We like that a two scoop serving provides a high amount of protein—30 grams—from organic pea protein, sprouted beans and cranberry seed. This blend of protein from peas, nuts, and seeds provides a good source of the minerals calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, manganese, and molybdenum.

It’s also worth noting this protein powder is particularly high in BCAAs—crucial building blocks of protein. While research doesn’t support taking a BCAA supplement for muscle growth, it is recommended to focus on consuming foods high in BCAA to help provide the building blocks the body needs to maintain muscle.

This protein powder gets high marks for being third-party tested from not just one but two high quality organizations—Informed Choice and NSF Certified for Sport. Like Vega Sport Protein, this choice also provides nutrients that might help to support muscle recovery and possibly help lower inflammation (though more research is needed), by including tart cherry, blueberry, turmeric, and goji berry.

It also has an added probiotic blend intended to help support immune health, but not everyone may want or need this. GI dietitian Suzie Finkel notes that there is currently no evidence-based probiotic supplement recommendation for the general population.

Testing Notes: “This is my go-to smoothie protein powder since it’s tasty and has undergone third party testing. It’s a mixture of pea and beans, so it has plenty of amino acids.”

This powder is also available in vanilla.

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

Key Specs:
Protein type
: Organic pea protein, organic sprouted navy bean, lentil bean, garbanzo bean, cranberry seed Protein amount: 30 grams Added sweeteners: Organic stevia leaf Other nutrients: calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, magnesium, molybdenum, magnesium

Flavored vs Unflavored Protein Powder

We tested each protein powder as a shake, simply blended with water, and also blended as a smoothie with almond milk and banana. We found the unflavored protein powders to be best used when blended as a smoothie instead of a protein shake—mainly because these choices have just one ingredient without added sweeteners, thickeners, or flavorings.

However, taste is subjective, and you may find an unflavored powder to be best used in other ways, such as in pancakes or baked goods, or mixed into juice or non-dairy milk.
We found the flavored protein powders worked well in a shake mixed with just water, and they taste great when blended into a smoothie. They all include various types and amounts of added sweeteners, thickeners, and/or flavorings. 

It is difficult to find flavored protein powders that are not sweetened with alternative sweeteners, and these options all contain stevia, monk fruit, or other calorie-free alternative sweeteners. All of these are likely safe in moderation, but we don’t recommend consuming them in excess. Keep in mind taste—and sweetness—are subjective, so you might need to experiment with different options to find the one that suits you best.

How We Tested & Selected Each Vegan Protein Powder:

To determine the best vegan protein powders on the market, we first taste tested 17 top-rated protein powders in The Verywell Testing Lab. We evaluated each product for flavor, after taste, mouthfeel/texture, smell, and value. Each product was scored on a scale from 1 (would not recommend) to 5 (highly recommend) for each of these key categories. We took an extra step to test each product in two preparations—mixed with water alone using a shaker bottle and blended into a smoothie with almond milk and frozen banana. 

0:23
Watch as We Test Vegan Protein Powders for Taste and Consistency

Then our nutrition editors analyzed all 17 powders for nutrition and third-party testing scores. Nutrition scores took into account ingredients and nutrients provided by each protein powder. Third-party testing scores looked at information provided by the manufacturer and some of the most reputable third party testing organizations, including NSF, USP, ConsumerLab.com, and USP. These scores were combined with the taste testing scores to provide an overall score that included all of these considerations.

While we took all taste ratings into consideration, we recognize taste ratings are subjective and may vary. We incorporated overall consensus for taste, aftertaste, and smell notes for each product, but we can’t guarantee everyone will reach the same conclusions (our testers’ preferences varied!)..

How We Rated the Vegan Protein Powders

  • 4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best vegan protein powders we tested. We recommend them without reservation.
  • 4.5 to 4.7 stars: These vegan 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 vegan protein powders, but others are better.
  • 3.5 to 3.9 stars: These vegan protein powders are just average.
  • 3.4 and below: We don't recommend vegan protein powders with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

What to Look For in a Vegan Protein Powder

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. Sometimes products tested by these three companies are more expensive to try to offset the cost they pay for certification.
  4. 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.

Most protein powders naturally contain heavy metals in trace amounts, and consumers have expressed concern about heavy metal contamination when using these supplements. However, a recent study shows that consuming one to three servings of protein powder per day is unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

Heavy metal contamination is only a concern if the amount ingested is over a certain limit. It’s also helpful to note that trace amounts of heavy metals are naturally found in many foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Choosing a vegan protein powder that has been third-party tested helps ensure heavy metals do not exceed the FDA-established levels for contamination.

Form

Vegan protein powders can be made from different plant-based protein food sources including soy, rice, hemp seeds and other seeds, peas, and other legumes. When purchasing a vegan protein powder, you may want to look for one that is a complete protein for optimal results. This means it has all nine essential amino acids and is a higher-quality protein your body can use more efficiently. 

Some protein powder containers show the amounts of each amino acid in a serving. If you are unsure if a vegan protein powder is a good source of all amino acids, focus on getting a variety of plant protein sources throughout the day. 

Ingredients and 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.

  • Additives: When purchasing a vegan protein powder, look at the ingredients list and choose one with minimal ingredients. Take note of added sugar, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, artificial flavorings, or gums, especially if you have intolerances. Some vegan protein powders include functional ingredients, such as herbs, probiotics, digestive enzymes, or dietary fibers, that may not be supported by adequate research and may not be suitable for some to consume. For example, some herbs may not be recommended for pregnant people and may interact with certain medications.
  • Food allergens: If you have a food allergy, check the label of your protein powder to make sure there is no risk of cross-contamination with an allergen during processing. Even if a powder does not contain an allergen as an ingredient, it will state if it’s made in a facility that processes other allergens. Depending on your sensitivity level, this may or may not be harmful for you. A healthcare professional can give further clarity for your needs.

Vegan Protein Powders We Also Tested

These products were also tested but did not quite reach high enough scores to be included in our best recommendations.

  •  Manitoba Harvest Hemp Yeah!: While we love the nutritional aspects of this hemp protein, testers couldn’t get past the gritty mouthfeel that was higher than other options.
  • Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Powder: Testers noted this choice to be overly sweet with a strong after taste. In addition, there is no mention of third-party testing for Orgain’s products.
  • Sunwarrior Protein Warrior Blend: Testers noted this protein powder had a pleasant, creamy texture but felt it was overly sweet. Some testers also noted a stronger aftertaste,

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best form of vegan protein powder?

    The best form of protein powder can vary depending on your nutritional needs. In general, soy, pea, and hemp are considered more complete proteins that contain a good amount of all essential amino acids. A protein powder with a variety of protein sources may mean it provides more balanced nutrition.

    Rizzo says, “I look at the source of protein, and I generally opt for ones that have a mixture of plant-based proteins and/or contain soy or pea, since both are high quality proteins that are easy to absorb.” Additionally, different forms of vegan protein powder can provide sources of other important nutrients like fiber, iron, or other minerals. If your diet is lacking in these nutrients, it may be worth choosing a specific form of protein powder that is higher in desired nutrients.

    The best form of vegan protein powder can also depend on any digestive issues you may notice with different vegan proteins. Added ingredients like fillers, sweeteners or certain types of protein higher in fiber may cause stomach discomfort for some people. If you notice digestive discomfort after eating a certain protein powder, try a different type or ask a dietitian to help you pick the best one for your needs.

  • Are vegan protein powders as effective as whey?

    Several studies show vegan protein powders (mostly pea, soy, and rice) can be just as effective as whey protein at promoting muscle growth and repair from exercise. However, dosing amount, training level, training amount, and length of supplementation can impact desired outcomes. In general, vegan protein powders can offer similar benefits as whey protein for muscle gains, but more research is needed for exact types and amounts needed.

  • Can you drink vegan protein shakes everyday?

    While a vegan protein shake can be a part of a healthy, balanced diet everyday, eating a variety of protein sources and getting enough total protein—mainly from foods—is most important. For most people wanting to improve health or who follow a moderate exercise routine, the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends getting 1.2–2.0 g/kg/day of protein.

    Another way to think about how much protein you need is aiming to get 10 to 35% of your total calories from protein. Non-active individuals can get closer to the lower end of the range, while active people and older adults may benefit from the higher end of this range. Most people can meet their daily protein needs with or without protein powder. Those with higher protein needs, like competitive or endurance athletes, may need more help reaching their protein needs and may benefit more from protein powders.

    Taking a protein shake before or after exercise is a common practice but may not always be necessary depending on when you are going to eat again. It is important to get proper nutrition both before exercise to ensure you have the energy needed to fuel your workout, and after exercise, to ensure proper recovery. Protein, carbohydrates, and electrolytes all play important roles. Rather than using the same protein powder every time, we recommend rotating other snacks before or post-workout to add variety.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Holly Klamer, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian with a masters degree in Human Nutrition and Exercise Science. She has years of experience diving into nutrition research and translating the science into practical applications. In order to write this article, Holly carefully combed through all the results of the taste tests, thoroughly researched each vegan protein powder for nutrition and third-party testing insights, and used insights from the latest nutrition research and her own experience as a dietitian and athlete.

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