What is the best natural vegan protein powder?

Where do you get your protein from??

Plants, duh.

Sometimes, from a natural vegan protein powder as well..

 

Eating vegan, plant based diet there are plenty of foods that can get you enough protein. No worries there.

But a natural vegan protein powder can spike your protein intake significantly.

 

Either you want to build muscles, are transitioning to a plant based diet and want to stay ripped while learning the ropes or you just feel a tad laid-back about putting your meals together, protein powder has your back.
And according to dietitians, vegan protein powders are a legit way to increase your protein intake.

 

how to use protein powder

 

There’s a vast sea of vegan protein powders choices but not all are natural or healthy. You don’t want to put in your body just anything.
Today, we’ll focus on the best natural vegan protein powder.

By this I mean:

  • which plant protein bases there are and their protein content,
  • which ingredients are OK to have and which not so much,
  • the quality of ingredients and labels to seek out when shopping for the the best natural vegan protein powder, and
  • additional ingredients that are welcome to have in your protein powder.

 

#1 Best natural vegan protein powder: Protein base and protein content

Pea protein

A 28g serving of pea protein powder has roughly 21g of protein and 100 calories.

Pea protein is rich in the essential amino acids that help your muscle gain and will help you fell full longer.

In a 12-week study, 161 young men took 25g of pea protein powder twice a day, including right after weight training. The weakest participants had a 20% increase in bicep muscle thickness, compared to only 8% in the placebo group [1].

Prowtein powder and muscle gain
Pea protein is great if you want to build muscle.

 

Hemp Seed Protein

A 28g serving of hemp protein powder has roughly 12g of protein and 108 calories.

Hemp protein is also a rich source of fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) [2].

Unfortunately, because hemp is still a controversial topic, there’re not many studies done with hemp protein.

 

Pumpkin Seed Protein

A 28g serving of pumpkin seed protein powder has roughly 18g of protein and 103 calories.

Pumpkin seeds are high in healthy fat. However, when they are made into powder, most of the fat is removed, which reduces calories.
Pumpkin seed protein is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, iron and other minerals.

Also clinical trials show that, the rats eating pumpkin seed protein experienced a 22% decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol. They also experience a 48% increase in antioxidant activity in there blood, compared to the casein group [3].

Pumpkin seed protein powder is very nutritious, shows promising results for lowering bad cholesterol and may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Brown Rice Protein

A 28g serving of brown rice protein powder has roughly 22g of protein and 107 calories.

Because of it BCAAs it’s a good source to help you build muscle.
In an 8-week study, young men who ate 48 grams of rice protein powder immediately after weight training three days a week had a 12% increase in bicep muscle thickness. The same as for men consuming the same amount of whey protein powder [4].

whey protein VS rice Protein

Soy Protein

A 28g serving of soy protein powder has roughly 22g of protein and 95 calories.

Most plant protein are incomplete source of protein. Soy protein powder is, however, a complete protein.

Soy protein became somewhat unpopular because of its GMO issues.

There are brands that use non-GM soy protein powder. In fact, most GM soy is used to feed livestock and not for human consumption. So if you’re vegan than you’re already doing great, avoiding that 99% of GMO.

 

Chia Protein

A 28g serving of chia protein powder has around 10g of protein and 50 calories.

Chia protein powder is on the lower side when it comes to protein content. But because it’s also low in calories and high in fiber it became popular among people that want to lose weight.

Another interesting fact: Only 29% of raw chia seeds gets digested. But in powdered form, a whooping 80% is digested. This means that if you eat chia seeds in a powder form, your body can absorb more of its goodness [5].

Plant Protein Blends

Each plant protein has it’s own pros and cons. One of the advantages of blending or mixing plant proteins is that it can give the best bang for the buck in a single product.

Plant protein blends usually taste better and are in general, natural but more advanced than a single plant protein.
In blends, you often see added flavorings and sweeteners. If they come from natural sources and have no artificial stuff about it, then that’s absolutely fine.

Plant protein blend pros
Plant protein blend is a mix of different, single plant protein powders to give the most versatile and wide range of amino acids and thus optimum end product.

 

#2 Best natural vegan protein powder: Ingredients

Like with any other natural product and the ingredients there’s a common rule: If you can’t pronounce it in a first try, put it back.
Why?

Natural ingredients are usually straightforward and easy to understand.

Ultra processed ingredients usually have a number in it or a “-“, some alien looking word and a tongue beaker hybrid looking word you have no idea what it is. When you see an ingredient label like that, simply put it back and keep looking for a better, more natural option.

Protein powders in general, vegan or not, are to some extent processed because you have to isolate the plant protein from the plant to get the max protein content out of it.
When you search for the best vegan protein powder, read ingredients label.

Ingredients like this, are all good to have.

KOS protein powder ingredients
This particular protein powder has clean ingredients, no artificial sweeteners and natural aroma.

 

#3 Best natural vegan protein powder: Quality of ingredients

What’s the point of having an “all-natural” protein powder with GMO soy in it?

If you are looking for a natural protein powder, you want to compliment that with the best quality ingredients possible.
After all, what you put in your body can either improve or worsen your health.

You’re all about improving it.

Once you have the ingredients down it’s easy to further narrow it down to organic, high quality ingredients.

When looking for high quality ingredients look for these labels:

usda-organic-non-gmo
This two labels shows high quality ingredients.

 

#4 Best vegan protein powder: Bonus ingredients

Some brands know what they’re doing, other want you to think they know what they’re doing.

Protein is the hardest macro nutrient to digest.

It takes the most energy and effort from your body to make it part of your body.

This is why, probiotics, enzymes and fiber are all very welcome additions in vegan protein powder.
Probiotics and Enzymes will help break down protein faster and thus make it easier on the body.

Fiber will keep things moving and keep the Gut bacteria happy and well-fed. It will also keep you feel full for longer time.

 

The best 4 natural vegan protein powders

To get the best variety of plant protein powders, and the benefits that comes with,  it’s recommended to rotate between couple of different vegan protein powders rather than relying on just one kind.

Below are the best 4 natural vegan protein powders.

All of them are completely natural, made of organic ingredients, free from common allergens and with great costumer experience.

 

KOS Organic Plant Protein Powder

Kos plant protein

KOS organic plant protein is a blend of pea, flax, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia seed proteins. It has added digestive enzymes.

I love it because it tastes amazing and it has a wide variety of plant proteins. This makes it a fantastic source of protein and other beneficial nutrients.
It’s perfect if you want to compliment your protein intake with some healthy fats.

Free of: Dairy, Gluten, GMOs and Soy.

Per serving: 170 calories, 6 g fat, 9 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 190 mg sodium, 20 g protein

 

Ora So Lean & So Clean Organic Plant-Based Protein

ora so lean so clean

Ora’s vegan protein powder is blend of 5 different plant proteins. It is a complete protein. It also includes digestive enzymes and prebiotics which makes it easier to digest.

I find this protein powder very allergy friendly – every ingredient is clearly stated – if it’s a common allergen it says whether it’s present or not.

Free of: gluten, dairy, artificial ingredients, fillers, additives, or nasty gums.

Per serving: 130 calories, 3 g fat, 5 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 1.8 g fiber, 390 mg sodium, 22 g protein. 

 

Nuzest Clean Lean Protein 

nuzest clean lean protein

The Nuzest Clean Lean protein is made using pea protein only so it’s not a blend. This is one of the cleanest, most natural vegan protein powders I have found. I’d suggest using this one first, because pea protein is often easy on the Gut and a good option to get yourself rolling with protein powders.

Free of: gluten, dairy, soy, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, fillers, etc.

Per serving: 90 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 360 mg sodium, 20 g protein. 

 

Skinny Protein Superfood Mix by Your Super

SKinny protein powder

 

The Skinny Protein Organic Superfood Mix is another super clean and natural vegan protein powder. It is a blend of pea and hemp protein and thus it is packed with other nutrients as well as protein.

Free from: gluten, GMOs, soy, dairy, artificial sugars, fillers, etc.

Per serving (15g): 50 calories, 1 g fat, 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 95 mg sodium, 9 g protein. 

Note: this is 1/2 of the usual serving size (30g).

 

Bottom line

There are many natural vegan protein powders. To find the best one pay attention to ingredients – avoid GMOs, artificial sweeteners, allergens, fillers and in general ingredients you cannot pronounce.

Look for USDA label and non-GMO label as well.

A good, natural protein powder should have a protein content between 13 – 22 g per serving (30g).

Pea and brown rice proteins are specially helpful if you want to gain muscle mass.

To get the best mix of everything that plant proteins have to offer, it’s recommended to rotate between more than just one type of protein powder.

 

That’s it for today, I hope you found your pick or picks!

What do you thing about natural vegan protein powders? Do you already take some and are looking for a new one or are you new to this?

Let me know in a comments below!

 

Till next time,

Katya

15 thoughts on “What is the best natural vegan protein powder?”

  1. As a “Gym” dude, protein is a MUST for my daily living. However, the type of protein that I consume the most is whey protein instead of vegan protein, because I heard a lot of people say vegan protein might not have a better outcome compared to whey protein which is from the animal. What do you think? If not mistaken, the price of vegan protein is more expensive than whey protein, am I right?

    Reply
    • Hi Zac, I heard this as well but then found studies where both whey protein and pea or brown rice protein showed the same results. Whey protein powder used to be better but I think the Plant based scene got so strong that the plant protein powders advanced hugely and honestly, I didn’t find the difference in performance as building muscles between the two.

      From talking to other dudes, it seems that whey protein makes you more buff and plant protein more lean – at least that’s what they told me 🙂

      Plant proteins tend to have cleaner ingredients though. There are clean whey protein as well, don’t get me wrong 🙂

      As for the price, yes, plant proteins are slightly dearer  – roughly $0.3/ounce.

      It’s definitely interesting to see and explore what’s out there 🙂

      Thanks for leaving your comment Zac!

      Katya

      Reply
  2. Hi Katya. Thank you for sharing this knowledge. I find Vegan protein powder very beneficial being a plant  source of protein.I deal with healthy living standard and vegan is a friendly source of protein unlike other sources like processed meat and sugary foods. I would recommend your product to many people out there. Best of luck

    Reply
  3. I was debating between whey protein and plant based proteins – wondering whether the plant based proteins are worth the extra price. From my perspective, they are worth it – for one main reason. Its seems quite a few of the plant based proteins have products that either have no sugar or have alternative forms of sugar, like stevia or monk fruit. Recently, I have had to eliminate sugar from my diet and thus far have not found ANY whey protein that is sugar free. 

    Particularly, the Ora So Lean & So Clean Organic Plant-Based Protein looks like a great one to try as it has no sugar at all.  I was also interested in Nuzest Clean Lean Protein and Skinny Protein. Of those three, which one would you recommend that I try?

    Reply
    • Janice, you did your research, fantastic! I found the same thing – why protein powder are less clean and you can find ingredient that are just wtf, why?

      Ohhh, I don’t know, it’s like asking who’s your fav child..all of them are great 🙂

      But ok, let’s see..I’d recommend you Ora, simply because it has the silky smooth consistency, and I want you to start with something you’ll enjoy 🙂 Nuzest doesn’t taste that good but I like it because of it’s ingredients – no BS just to the bones what you need.

      Skinny..well this one is good as well, specially because their ingredients are a bit different than a regular protein powder.  I don’t know if it hold water but in my books I take Skinny protein when I want to have a lighter, protein smoothie.

      Ohh, I really don’t know..probably Ora because of it’s overall quality. I had the same issue when I was deciding which one to take – they’re all super good..so I said, whatever and now I mix and match all of them..

      Hope this helps,

      Katya

      Reply
  4. Katya, thanks for your very informative post. I am not a vegan but interested in cutting out more meat intake from my diet. I recall having a shop bought sandwich recently that contained pea protein. I was very surprised that it was delicious and kept me full for longer. I bought another one the following day! You have recommended some good products with natural ingredients that are worth consideration. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Amazing details! i have been practising the vegan lifestyle for 6 months now and i find it quite fascinating especially with the choosy nature of your meals. The natural protein powders you have recommended are actually the game changer for me because i have been worried about getting adequate protein for my body mass index. The pea seed is my favourite option, i also like the chia  seeds and the blend of both is the most delicious. On this journey i also find that plant based protein are sufficient for the body and Chlorella and Spirulina are also good sources of plant based protein, do you also  have the protein powders?

    Reply
    • Fantastic! How do you like vegan lifestyle? Do you find it easier than you thought? – most people do 🙂

      You can hit that protein mark everyday buy just eating foods but it’s true that you have to pay attetion to until until you get used to planning your meals..and sometimes lazy is daily theme so yeah, protein powder does the work 🙂

      Best,

      Katya

      Reply
  6. HI Katya. Thank you for an informative article.I was not aware that there also was possible to buy vegan protein supplements. I am doing weight training and also weight control and use mostly 100% whey protein. How is the price of vegan protein compared to 100% whey protein? How common is vegan based protein powder?

    As an athlete that is very careful with what i eat  focus on eating clean product, i.e products that is not mixed with artificial ingredients. A such your article has opened my eyes to the alternative to whey protein powder and will certainly try vegan protein powder.

    Reply
    • Hi Roy, for weight training and muscle gain pea and brown rice protein give you best results..actually, there’s a study that showed there’s no difference when it comes to muscle gain comparing whey protein powder and brow rice protein powder. 

      I did go through whey protein ingredients as well..as a part of my research and figured out that there’s a lot more junk (fillers, artificial sweeteners, flavour, etc.) in whey protein – not all, but a lot of them.

      Vegan plant based protein powders are really common..you can find them in your grocery store, amazon, chemist, they’re everywhere.

      The price of vegan protein powder is usually $0.3 more expensive per ounce than a whey powder.

      Give it a go, see how you feel. A lot of people find it easier on the stomach and my dudes say it’s better for building lean muscles. There’s a vegan bodybuilder you can check out, he would know much more about this – his name is

      Nimai Delgado

      Hope this helps,
      Katya

      Reply
  7. I must say a big thanks you for this nice work.. But i must tell you, It’s important to note that there are many plant-based protein powders, but not all of these are vegan. All vegan protein powders are made from plants; however, some plant-based proteins may contain animal-derived products such as honey.pleas keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Pretty, that’s a good point! Plant based is more relaxed about ingredients than vegan..Plant based is primarily orientated towards health, vegan has really strong ethical stance. 

      To calm the waters, all powders that I use and recommend here are 100% vegan as well 🙂

      Gotta protect the bees and trees 😉

      Best,

      Katya

      Reply
  8. Hello there, today’s vegan protein powders do a lot. First of all, many vegan powders contain 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving, which is totally on par with the most popular protein powders, Plus, many plant-based powders also provide some fibre, which helps them keep you fuller, longer—and boosts their nutritional value…i must say its good to be a vegan.

    Reply
  9. Thank you for such an insightful post. it has been of great help to me.

    I am in need of as much protein as i can get as i tend to work out and the major source of consumption for me as been the whey protein. i have gotten to learn about others that are really great. maybe the KOS organic plant protein since it is free from diary product

    Reply

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