Where do you get your protein from??
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.
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
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 .
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) .
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 .
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 .
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.
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 .
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.
#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.
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.
#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:
#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 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’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.
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.
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).
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,