14 Best Vegan Protein Powders of 2021

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best vegan protein powders

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Most of us get plenty of protein from the foods we eat. But if you’re a plant-based athlete, getting enough protein from food alone to support your hardcore training regimen may be a challenge. Protein powder can be an easy and efficient way to refuel your body post-workout and build muscle, but finding a quality vegan protein powder can be a challenge since most popular protein powders usually contain dairy ingredients like whey or casein.

Plant-based protein powders are commonly made from things like peas, soy, rice, and seeds. They usually contain fewer additives than animal-based options, but most plant-based proteins, like beans and whole grains, are considered incomplete sources since they are low in one or more essential amino acids. That’s why you’ll notice many vegan protein powders contain a blend of ingredients to reach the desired essential amino acid profile or have a base of soy which is one of the few complete sources of vegan protein.

But when it comes to picking the best vegan protein powder for you, varying serving sizes and confusing ingredient lists can make things tricky. That’s why experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Nutrition Lab evaluated dozens of protein powders to bring you the best of the best in terms of nutrition and taste. Since protein powder is considered a dietary supplement, it’s not approved by the FDA, so we checked to see if the powders were verified by a third-party lab for safety of ingredients. We also prioritized choices that were cross-referenced with the ConsumerLab.com database to ensure our top picks were accurately sourced, labeled, and backed by lab analysis.

After careful consideration, we rounded up our top choices for the best vegan protein powders of 2021. And regardless of which powder you choose for yourself, be sure to pair it with a top-notch shaker bottle too.

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Best Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Organic Cold-Pressed Hemp Seed Protein Powder

This organic plant-based pick not only offers 15 grams of protein per serving, but it’s also an excellent source of fiber making this option a nutrient-dense powerhouse. Made with only one ingredient (organic hemp seed protein), this no-nonsense option easily mixed into liquids, though it will settle over time, so drink up! It makes the perfect addition to smoothies and has an earthy flavor that pairs well with peanut butter and banana.

  • Approved by Consumer Labs

2

Best Vegan Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Pea Protein

Now Sports
amazon.com

$42.96

Another top pick, this unflavored powder boasts 24 grams of non-GMO pea protein isolate and nothing else, a key distinguishing factor from other protein powders on the market. And if you’re looking for a protein powder that supports weight loss, your best bet is an unflavored single-ingredient pick like this one that can be easily added to smoothies, shakes, or even a latte to make a more substantial protein-packed beverage.

  • Approved by Consumer Labs

3

Best Low-Carb Vegan Protein Powder

Raw Organic Protein Vanilla Powder

Garden of Life
amazon.com

This certified vegan and organic option is soy-free, and made from a protein blend of pea and ancient grains. One scoop packs in 22 grams of plant-based protein for only 110 calories, 2 grams of carbs, and no added sugar making it a top pick for those following a low-carb diet. With an added probiotics and enzymes blend, it also can promote digestive regularity. It has a nutty, earthy flavor, and a slightly gritty texture so it’s best blended into smoothies.

  • Approved by Consumer Labs

4

Best Organic Vegan Powder for Athletes

Sport Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

Garden of Life
amazon.com

$39.89

If you’re a serious athlete, you may want to opt for Garden of Life’s organic sport variety that offers 30 grams of complete protein in one serving, as well as 5.5 grams of non-synthetic BCAAs from organic ingredients and 5 grams of glutamine that are all imperative to help reduce recovery time. The protein blend features ingredients like peas, navy beans, and lentils. Plus, this variety includes an added blend of antioxidant-rich ingredients like tart cherries and blueberries to promote faster recovery. It’s also NSF Certified for Sport (a go-to recommendation for athletes, since it’s approved for use by the United States Anti-Doping Agency).

  • Approved by Consumer Labs

5

Best Vegan Protein Powder for Endurance Athletes

Sport Premium Protein Powder

This certified vegan option isn’t organic but is non-GMO and packs in 30 grams of plant-based protein from sources like pea and pumpkin seed. It’s also NSF Certified for Sport, and contains 5 grams of BCAAs, as well as tart cherry for recovery. And with 2 billion CFU probiotics, it rounds things out by supporting healthy digestion. It mixes well but is on the thicker side, and take note that it has 400mg sodium per serving, which may be beneficial for serious athletes but not ideal for someone following a low-sodium diet.

  • Approved by Consumer Labs
  • Not ideal for a low-sodium diet

6

Best Unflavored Vegan Protein Powder

100% Pea Protein Powder

NAKED nutrition
amazon.com

$54.99

This no-nonsense certified vegan protein is made exclusively from raw yellow peas grown in the USA and Canada. Testers liked that the simple flavor was not overpowering in smoothies and blended well. A serving has 120 calories, only 2 grams of carbs, and a whopping 27 grams of protein. It’s also a certified gluten-free pick, and the brand is very transparent with all products undergoing independent third-party testing. Heavy metal analysis results are published on their website too. If you don’t tolerate pea protein, they also make a Naked Rice variety made from brown rice protein, and a Naked PB powdered peanut butter that has 6 grams of protein per scoop.

  • Independent third-party tested

7

Best Vanilla Flavor Vegan Protein Powder

Complete Protein

This certified vegan and non-GMO choice has 21 grams of protein from peas, artichokes, and algae. PlantFusion as a brand is committed to being free of dairy, soy, rice, eggs, nuts, fish, tree nuts, shellfish, and artificial flavors and colors. Taste is subjective, but overall the vanilla flavor was rated better than other brands, and we found that it blended well. Just note that it has about 390mg sodium per scoop.

  • Approved by Consumer Labs
  • Not ideal for a low-sodium diet

8

Best Chocolate Flavor Vegan Protein Powder

Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

This organic plant-protein shake was one of the best-tasting in our tests, and the chocolate flavor scored high points. We found it creamy and liked that it packs 20 grams of protein in one serving and only 2 grams of added sugar. This option features a protein blend of organic pea, flax seed, quinoa, pumpkin seed, and chia seed. Plus, it’s considered to be a complete multivitamin and has 40% of your daily Vitamin B12 needs, a tough-to-find nutrient for vegans. 

  • Per KOS website, full-spectrum screening is conducted for contaminants and heavy metals is managed in strict accordance with USDA Organic and CCOF compliance standards.

9

Best Soy-Free and Pea-Free Vegan Protein Powder

Plant Protein+

Ancient Nutrition
amazon.com

$31.96

While most vegan protein powders are based with soy or pea, some people are allergic or have an issue digesting those protein sources. But this option from Ancient Nutrition is void of soy or pea protein, and instead uses a protein blend based with pumpkin seed. It’s also stevia-free, USDA organic, and packs in 15g of protein for one scoop and 50% of your daily iron needs. It comes in vanilla, chocolate, and berry, and we found that it works great in smoothies.

  • Undergoes third-party testing

10

Best Vegan Protein Powder Made With Fruits and Veggies

Protein Superfood

Amazing Grass
amazon.com

$17.89

We love the yummy chocolate peanut butter flavor of this protein powder, which is made from a blend of organic peanut flour, organic pea protein, organic hemp protein, organic chia seeds and organic quinoa. Not only does one scoop provide 20 grams of protein, but also 30% of your daily iron, a crucial mineral for supporting your body’s circulatory system. But it’s important to note that this option contains 350mg sodium which is a bit higher than other powders, and this variety has no added sugar, but gets a hint of sweetness from organic stevia. 

  • Approved by Consumer Labs
  • Not ideal for a low-sodium diet

11

Best Stevia-Free Vegan Protein Powder

Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder

If you’re looking for a flavored vegan protein powder, it can be hard to find varieties made without stevia or erythritol. But ALOHA, known for their protein bars, offers this organic protein powder that uses a bit of coconut sugar, monk fruit, and ground vanilla beans for flavor. It only has 3 grams of sugar for two scoops, but packs in 18 grams of protein and only 120 calories. If a pre-made shake is more your thing, they offer that too.

12

Best On-The-Go Vegan Protein Powder

Clean Lean Protein Packets

Nuzest’s line of Clean Lean Protein is void of artificial sweeteners, and has only minimal ingredients even in its flavored varieties. They come in a standard protein powder tub, or you can opt for little portable individual packets that you can pack when you’re on-the-go. This pack also offers a variety of flavors so you can test out which one you like best. Complete with all nine essential amino acids, this option features pea protein isolate as the star ingredient.

  • Third-party tested for pesticides and heavy metals
  • Not ideal for a low-sodium diet

13

Best Flavor Variety for Vegan Protein Powder

Premium Plant Protein

Nutrex Research
amazon.com

$34.99

Just because you’re choosing a vegan protein powder doesn’t mean you should have to be confined to only vanilla and chocolate flavors. Nutrex Research offers their 100% vegan protein powder in a variety of fun flavors like strawberries and cream, cinnamon cookies, German chocolate cake, and more. The brand’s manufacturers do third-party testing, and when we chatted with the online support team they were very responsive and got us a heavy metal analysis of the powder right away.

  • Products undergo third-party testing

14

Best Vegan Protein Powder Subscription Service

Personalized Protein Powder

Gainful
Gainful

This subscription service allows you to personalize your protein powder based on your diet, body composition, lifestyle habits, and health goals. Gainful offers vegan blends based in pea protein and brown rice protein, and have options whether you are looking to gain weight or lose weight. Testers like that the protein powder comes unflavored with the option of adding single serve “flavor boosts” so you can taste a new flavor every day.

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