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The 5 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders for Vegans and Vegetarians

The 5 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders for Vegans and Vegetarians
PowderProtein per ServingServings per PoundRatingPrice
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder21g104.0$

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Nature's Plus SPIRU-TEIN14g13.334.1$$

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PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein21g153.9$$

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Sunwarrior Warrior Blend19g184.1$$$

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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant24g124.2$$$

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Whey protein is considered by many to be the best protein supplement.

It has its advantages. But it’s not the right choice for everyone.

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just plain allergic to dairy, whey protein may not be for you.

That’s why we’re covering plant-based protein powders today.

There’s a lot of them!

So, here’s five of the best protein powders for vegan and vegetarians.

If you don’t care about the how and why of things, skip the next section and head straight to the top 5 list.

However, if you want to learn about the science behind fitness and veggie diets, continue reading!

Here’s a pre-emptive tl;dr: plant eaters should eat more protein.

Animal-Free Diets and Muscle Growth

muscular cow bull strong vegan vegetarian

You, too, can get this muscular. Without eating grass!

Good news, herbivores!

Despite bro-science to the contrary, vegetarian diets do not negatively impact athletic performance.

Whether your goal is weight loss or muscle gain, you can do it without eating animals.

However, you may need to pay more attention to what you eat.

That’s because you won’t be eating animal protein, which is more efficient than plant protein.

What’s This About Plant Protein?

You’re an animal, not a plant (citation needed).

Your muscles are made of stuff that is more similar to meat than to greens.

Specifically, amino acids. Even more specifically, essential amino acids.

Those are the ones your body can’t make itself.

vegetables muscle gain mass vegan weight training

Leucine is one of the most important amino acids for muscle synthesis.

Plants tend to lack leucine.

They also tend to lack lysine and valine. Also, plant protein tends to be absorbed less readily than animal protein.

But!

The solution is simple!

Just eat more protein.

The extra non-essential amino acids won’t hurt you, so get those essential amino acids!

Plant-based protein powders can make this easy.

The 5 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Powdersblender bottle protein shake easy after workout

There’s a great variety of these protein powders, but there are also some similarities.

Most of them are USDA certified organic and contain only vegan ingredients. We’ll point out when they don’t follow this pattern.

Also, please note that plant-based protein powders are going to have a different texture and flavor than whey protein shakes.

Some people think they can be chalky or a bit “earthy.”

They can also be harder to blend, but a blender bottle takes care of that. You can find them on Amazon or directly from Blender Bottle.

Taste is subjective, so keep on trying until you find one you like!

Why Didn't Such-And-Such Make It onto the List?

Some of the most popular plant-based protein powders didn’t make it onto this list.

Why?

They may contain too-high levels of heavy metals.

Those that failed the test didn’t make it onto our list, so you can feel safe while drinking any of these protein shakes!

Orgain Organic Protein – The Most Decadent

IngredientsOrgain Organic Protein powder shake

  • Protein per serving: 21g
  • Protein source: Peas, brown rice, chia seeds
  • Sugars per serving: 0
  • Servings per container: 20
  • Extras: Fiber

Overview

Orgain Organic Protein is a low-carb protein powder that doesn’t beat around the bush.

The focus is on protein and not much more.

With 7 grams of fiber and 5 grams of erythritol, a non-caloric sugar alcohol, there are only 3 net carbs in a serving.

Things I Liked

It’s a lot of protein and a little bit of fiber. What’s not to like?

I also think it tastes a bit more like a dessert than the other protein powders.

Things I Didn’t Like

Some people, myself included, find it a little sweeter than expected.

It can be too sweet for some people.

Recommendation

If you want nothing but protein and fiber, Orgain Organic Protein Powder is good for you. Unless you find it cloyingly sweet.

The 5 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders for Vegans and Vegetarians

Nature’s Plus SPIRU-TEIN – The Most Nutritious

IngredientsNature's Plus SPIRU-TEIN nutritious energy meal spirulina

  • Protein per serving: 14g
  • Protein source: Rice, peas, soy protein isolate, and fermented soy
  • Sugars per serving: 8g
  • Servings per container: 32
  • Extras: Fiber, enzymes, vitamins & minerals, and more!

Overview

SPIRU-TEIN is the only non-organic, non-vegan protein powder on this list.

That doesn’t make it bad. It’s GMO-free and is still vegetarian.

SPIRU-TEIN gets its name from the spirulina it contains. That’s a nutritious cyanobacterium.

It also has a whole bunch of other nutritious bits in it.

In fact, one serving of SPIRU-TEIN provides 100% of your RDA in 15 vitamins and minerals!

SPIRU-TEIN also contains ingredients like choline, inositol, bromelain, and other stuff to help you digest food better.

Things I Liked

SPIRU-TEIN contains over 8% leucine, the amino acid that’s so important for muscle synthesis.

It also tastes good, especially when you mix flavors.

Plus, all of the extra ingredients are great! It’s a once-daily health shake.

Things I Didn’t Like

SPIRU-TEIN is more of a nutrition shake than a protein powder. There’s ‘only’ 14 grams of protein in every scoop.

So, it’s not good for when you just want a lot of protein, or if you already take a vitamin & mineral supplement.

Recommendation

Nature’s Plus SPIRU-TEIN contains a lot of nutrients at the cost of being moderate in carbs and moderate in protein.

The 5 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders for Vegans and Vegetarians

PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein – The Most Digestible

IngredientsPlantFusion Complete Plant Protein digestible amino acids enzymes

  • Protein per serving: 21g
  • Protein source: Pea protein isolate, artichoke, sprouted amaranth, and sprouted quinoa
  • Sugars per serving: 4g
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Extras: Digestive enzymes

Overview

PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein may not be organic but it has a focus on providing protein tailored to nourishing a human body.

The end result is a large amount of the amino acids sometimes lacking in vegetarian diets, especially leucine and valine!

For easier digestion, there’s also bromelain, alpha galactosidase, and some other enzymes.

Things I Liked

There’s a lot of protein, it’s high-quality, and the digestive enzymes help your body get that protein more easily.

Things I Didn’t Like

I prefer my plants organic. This one protein powder isn’t organic, though they do have an organic version available. It does have less protein per serving, though.

Recommendation

PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein is an easily digested source of high-quality protein but isn’t organic.

The 5 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders for Vegans and Vegetarians

Sunwarrior Warrior Blend – The Best Value

IngredientsSunwarrior Warrior Blend high value plant protein natural

  • Protein per serving: 19g / 28g
  • Protein source: Pea, hemp seed, goji berry
  • Sugars per serving: 0g
  • Servings per container: 30 / 20
  • Extras: Medium-chain triglycerides

Overview

Sunwarrior, other than having an awesome name, has a rather awesome ingredient list.

Peas, hemp, goji berries, and coconut.

That’s it.

The flavored options add only a few extra ingredients.

If you don’t like a laundry list of ingredients in your protein shake, Sunwarrior is a good choice!

They recommend either using a single scoop or a scoop and a half.

The former gets you half again more servings per container than most other protein powders, and the latter gets you more protein per serving than other protein powders!

Things I Liked

With a simple ingredient list and the ability to choose between high-protein or a long-lasting container, Sunwarrior Warrior Blend is a great value.

Things I Didn’t Like

The Warrior Blend has a polarizing taste, seemingly moreso than other plant-based protein powders.

Some people love it, other people hate it.

Recommendation

Sunwarrior Warrior Blend will make you feel like a warrior, though some people may want to fight the taste.

The 5 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders for Vegans and Vegetarians

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant – The Easiest to Mix

IngredientsOptimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant Protein easy to mix shake

  • Protein per serving: 24g
  • Protein source: Pea, rice, and sacha inchi
  • Sugars per serving: 1g
  • Servings per container: 19
  • Extras: Ancient grain blend and Vitamin C

Overview

Optimum Nutrition makes some of the best whey protein powders.

It’s a no-brainer that they make plant-based protein powders as well.

It’s very high in protein, both from peas, rice, and sacha inchi, as well as from a blend of ancient grains.

Those are amaranth, buckwheat, chia, millet, and quinoa.

There’s also pomegranate powder, for some reason.

Those contribute to the 6 grams of carbs, 2 of which are fiber.

Things I Liked

Some other vegetarian protein powders don’t mix well and can be all lumpy. Not this one!

At least, at first…

Things I Didn’t Like

If you’re slow about drinking your protein shake, it might separate into layers!

You’ll need to mix it all up again.

Recommendation

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant protein powder is high in protein and Vitamin C, but drink it quick!

The 5 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders for Vegans and Vegetarians

Conclusion

It’s hard to go bad with any of the plant-based protein powders on this list.

Though, you may have to try a couple to find the one that tastes best to you.

Any of them, though, will help you synthesize strong muscles!