As the popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets have soared, there has been an increase in the availability of vegan protein powder supplements, especially among both average and elite sports people.
The Vegan diet and gym goer
There are several concerns about micronutrient adequacy of a vegan diet, as there are a lot of minerals and nutrients, as well as protein, that may be difficult to obtain if adhering to such a diet.
The increase in the popularity of going vegan has coincided with a rise in the ‘fitness movement’ over the past number of years.
As such, diet for vegan athletes, along with regular gym goers, must consider additional energy requirements above those of moderate activity levels. The low-calorie density of many plant foods makes energy requirements an issue.
Vegan and nutritarian diets have been shown to be rather beneficial options for serious athletes. To maximize performance, recovery, endurance and resistance to illness, enhanced intake of beans, greens, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and other colourful plant products are recommended, while all being vegan friendly.
However, to maximise protein intake for serious athletes and gym fanatics, there has been a dramatic increase in the availability of Vegan friendly protein powder.
Here, we compiled a list of the 10 best vegan protein powders on the market.
10 Best vegan protein powders
For this list we will take into consideration
- The taste and texture
- Type of protein
- Type of sweetener
- Dietary requirements
- Value for Money
The Protein Works vegan double chocolate Wondershake
The best all round vegan protein powder we could find is The Protein Works vegan double chocolate Wondershake.
Its taste, protein type, sweetener type, and value for money all come out on top for this ‘game-changing’ vegan protein shake, which is said to rival whey protein powder as an automatic go-to protein supplement for protein shakes.
It is made from pea protein isolate, soy protein isolate, hemp protein, and brown rice protein.
The taste is absolutely amazing, with a chocolate flavour sweet enough that it tastes like a nice dessert. As with all vegan powders, there is a slight floury aftertaste, but this does not necessarily spoil the overall taste.
The price comes out at just over £1 per shake, as one tin equates to 30 servings, with a tin costing £27 UK from The Protein Works website, but a little bit more expensive if buying from Amazon at £37.99.
The packaging is very attractive too.
The Plant Era Strawberry Basil Vegan protein powder
Very similar to the Protein Works vegan chocolate Wondershake in terms of delicious taste is The Plant Era’s Strawberry Basil vegan protein powder.
The nutritional value is second to none with its rich B12 content, which is critical to keeping you healthy, energized, and in a positive mindset.
The main sources of protein consist of brown rice, and organic pea protein.
But what makes The Plant Eras protein powder really stand out is it’s amazing flavour.
The Strawberry and Basil really compliment each other to emphasize the two flavours, but still grounding it with an organic, earthy flavour. And the delicious taste comes without using any added sugar. Their Organic Vegan Dark Chocolate powder is not bad either
The only downside to this powder is the price. A 21g bag, which provides 33 servings, comes in at just under £50, which can be bought at the Plant Era website.
Although, if you absolutely adore delicious fruit smoothies, this is the powder for you.
Vega Essentials Protein chocolate
If you’re looking for a powder that really packs in the nutrients, then Vega Essential Protein chocolate may be right up your alley.
This powder incorporates fruit and vegetable extracts, such as kale, broccoli, carrot, spinach, apple, blueberry, and mushrooms. As a result, it really packs a nutritional punch, as this blend of fruit and veggies provides essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin B12, and calcium.
The main sources of protein include pea protein, flaxseed, hemp, and quinoa powder.
While this protein powder is nowhere near as tasty as the powders listed above, the taste is not actually that bad considering the ingredients.
However, it can be quite clunky and really needs an extra shake to incorporate all the powder.
The price is a small bit of a sticky issue, with a 648g packet costing around £31.99, which equals 18 servings.
However, if the nutritional value of your protein is high up on your list of musts, this powder is worth every penny.
Liberto Dark Chocolate & Sour Cherry
If you are looking for a gourmet powder, with a really powerful taste, then look no further than Liberto Dark Chocolate and Sour Cherry.
The protein in this powder is made up of pea protein, milled flax seed, and milled chia seed.
It is high in omega 3 fatty acids, maca, prebiotics and probiotics. This makes it organic, gluten-free, soya-free, and high in fibre.
It gets the rich taste from coconut palm sugar, which means it has a high sugar content compared to other vegan protein powders, with 3.34g of sugar per serving.
At £2.14 a serving, this powder definitely is high up on the price scale. A seven servings packet comes to a £14.99 but can be gotten from Amazon for £12.45.
Definitely one for those who want to avoid artificial sweeteners without compromising on taste.
Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Coffee Coconut & MCTs
As the name suggests, this vegan protein powder is definitely one for coffee lovers.
It has a strong coconut flavour with a subtle coffee kick, which makes it perfect if you prefer the early morning workout.
It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, with its main protein source being pea protein isolate.
Through minimal processing and ingredients, it tastes great without feeling or tasting artificial.
Crucially for a morning time shake, it dissolves easily without leaving any lumps which is very advantageous if you are in a rush to work after your early morning workout.
Legion Plant +
One of the best vegan protein powders for athletes on the market at the moment is Legion Plant+
They have added nutrients, such as beta-alanine, creatine, and vitamin B12, which ‘vegan diets tend to lack’, as well as providing more protein per serving than most other powders.
The protein source consists of per, rice, quinoa, and hemp protein.
It also has a low-carb formula with no added sugars, making it great for weight loss.
It also comes in 3 delicious flavours, including Mocha Cappuccino, Chocolate and Vanilla, so you are not conceding taste for a shake with low carbs and sugar.
The one downside about this powder is the cost price. At just over $2 per serving, it is not for penny pinchers.
A container with 20 servings will cost you $44.99.
Form Nutrition Performance Protein
One of the best vegan powders on the UK market is Form Nutrition Performance Protein.
The main sources of protein in this powder are pea protein isolate, brown rice, hemp, and whole algae.
It provides a complete amino acid profile, containing 5g of BCAA (Branch chain amino acids). It also contains curcumin, active bacteria, and digestive enzymes.
It has an extremely clean ingredient profile which is why the amazing taste is so surprising. It comes in vanilla, Tiramisu, and Chocolate peanut, so works very well as an after-work-out treat. What’s more, it gets its sweet taste from natural sugars which include stevia and thaumatin, so it is very organic.
Again, the one big downside to this supplement is the price. Unfortunately, it only comes in one size, which is a 520g packet with 13 servings available for a whopping £26 pounds. That’s £2 pounds a shake. It can be purchased from Amazon or from the form nutrition website.
Bulk supplement Pea Protein
If you have been thinking that most of the powders on the list so far have been a little steep in the price range, then Bulk supplement Pea protein might be a lot friendlier to your pocket.
This is a powder that is a no-nonsense protein supplement, with one main ingredient, pea protein. It does pack in an 87% protein content per serving.
It is a real rival to whey protein power for developing muscle mass, with one study finding that it’s equal to whey in promoting muscle gains.
One of the main downsides to this supplement is the taste. It is unflavoured, so be expecting a mild taste of peas with this shake.
However, the price cannot be beaten with this powder as you are buying in bulk, as the name suggests. You can purchase a 5kg pack for just €57.49, which should keep you ticking over for quite a few months.
Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein
If one of your major concerns when choosing a protein powder supplement is weight-loss, then Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein could prove to be a wise choice.
This powder has a very low-calorie count, at only 35 calories per serving. However, this means it also has a rather low protein content, at only 8grams per serving.
It uses only vegetable pea protein as its protein source, making it a very clean powder.
It is gluten-free, unflavoured, and unsweetened giving it a very organic, earthy taste, which may not be to everyone’s liking.
Every batch is tested and verified by the people at Anthony’s Premium goods, making quality assurance unquestionable.
It has a rather reasonable price, considering it is a top quality, organic product. You can purchase a 907g (2Ibs) packet for $15.99.
Iron Vegan Athlete’s gainer
Weight gain can be a major factor for certain people for a variety of reasons, from people who are underweight and trying to bulk up or protection against diseases and illness. Many people will tell you that it is near impossible to gain mass while adhering to a vegan diet.
That is where Iron Vegan Athlete’s gainer comes in.
At 720 calories, 42g of protein and 12g of fiber per serving, this powder is specifically designed to promote weight gain.
It has a number of protein sources, including pea, organic sprouted rice, organic sprouted quinoa, and organic sprouted pumpkin seeds, to name but a few. It contains a ton of superfoods, as well.
It tastes great too, offering both a vanilla and chocolate flavour, that are not as sweet as other powders on this list.
However, this powder was designed with the serious athlete in mind, and as a result, it does not come cheap. A 2kg bag costs $59.99.
The last word
While vegan protein powders do supply your body with the necessary protein and amino acids for muscle repair and growth, it must be said that it is not difficult to get the required amount of protein from a natural vegan diet, without the use of supplements.
We advise you to only use supplements if you are doing extra physical activity or training.
And if ever in doubt about whether you should be taking protein powder supplements, consult a dietitian or your doctor.