Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Professional athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from what a good protein powder has to offer.

Whether you work out every day or you confine your exercise to running three times a week, drinking supplements can help you reach your performance goals.

But not every type of product is right for every individual. Some folks are averse to using animal-based products, while others have allergies to some additives like gluten or soy.

For them, vegan protein powders are an effective solution. Below are 8 of the best supplements of this kind on the market today.

Join us as we find the best plant based protein powder available today as chosen by our experts.

Our Top Vegan Protein Powders (2020)

1 - Transparent Labs Organic Vegan (Editor's Choice)

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Transparent Labs’ rice and pea protein mix is one of the most raved products in the market today. Aside from having 24 grams of protein per serving, it also is GMO, preservative, and gluten-free.

It doesn’t contain lactose or any dairy and its derivatives. It also uses all-natural ingredients, including organic sweeteners and flavorings, apart from its 100% organic rice and pea protein contents.

The right mix of rice and pea protein makes quite a smooth and very blendable texture, which I really enjoy. I find that this one has the consistency that I like the most -- a quick shake on my blender bottle and I’m good to go.

Pros
  • Completely devoid of dairy products
  • 24 grams of high potency plant protein in each serving
  • Has all organic ingredients
  • Dissolves easily in your favorite beverage
Cons
  • Costs a little more but it’s worth it, especially if you buy in bulk

If you’re looking for a true lactose-free protein that’s going to ramp up your muscle building efforts, here it is.

You may also want to check out our article on the recommended vegan creatine supplements, where we featured Transparent Lab's another vegan product.

2 - Performance Lab® Protein

Performance Lab Sport Protein

Finally. A Protein powder from Performance Lab®.

And predictably - they’ve smashed it.

It’s 100% natural, organic and vegan friendly. Uncut with fillers, artificial flavors or synthetic additives – so will suit any diet and lifestyle.

And it packs a powerful 20 g punch of protein in every serving.

It’s made exclusively from USDA-certified organic whole brown rice. Which is clinically shown to be as effective as whey for building lean muscle mass.

Pros
  • The cleanest protein powder on the market
  • A potent 20 g per serving
  • USDA Organic-certified
  • Low calorie (100), low carb (2 g), low fat (1.2 g)
  • Mixes easily in a shaker bottle
Cons
  • Only available via their site

By ticking so many boxes you’d expect it to taste terrible, right?

Wrong. It’s delicious.

The velvet smooth blend of organic cocoa, vanilla and Ceylon cinnamon tastes as good as it sounds.

3 - Orgain Organic

Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder Product

Orgain Organic is not just the kind of supplement vegans have been waiting for; it’s also the kind of product everyone interested in attaining a higher degree of overall health has been waiting for.

There’s no longer a need to rely on its animal-based variants that are often weighed down by chemical additives and genetically modified organisms.

This vegan supplement is certified organic by the USDA and contains nothing but the essential, plant-based protein you need to build stronger, leaner and more durable muscles.

Orgain is sourced primarily from hemp and brown rice and no sugar is added in a foolish and desperate attempt to make it taste like candy. This is not ice cream, it's a protein powder.

Although you can make vanilla protein ice cream if you want to.

Pros
Cons
  • Need to be sure you mix it thoroughly

4 - Vega Sport

Vega Sport thumb

Vega Sport is comprised of a variety of plant-based proteins including pea, pumpkin, sunflower and alfalfa seeds.

It boasts an impressive array of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that are so vital to helping muscles recover from a strenuous workout in a vegetarian way.

This supplement is also chock-full of probiotics which help create and support a healthy digestive system.

This is one of the best vegan protein powders that will help you achieve the lean, sculpted body you're after.

There are no genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and each serving is low in carbs, so if you're on the keto diet it won't upset your applecart.

Pros
  • Low in saturated fats and certified vegan friendly
  • Contains only 6 grams of carbs per serving
  • Completely free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • Is a premium plant-based pea protein
Cons
  • Contains stevia

Vega Sport is a pure and effective supplement that’s thoughtfully produced to uncompromising quality standards and, unlike many of its competitors, it’s also affordably priced.

5 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Organic Plant Based Vegan Protein Powder Bottle 150x150

Optimum Nutrition, or ON as they’re commonly known, produce a range of vegetarian supplements including a variety of different products to meet the needs of different customers.

Their Gold Standard 100% Organic is among their most sought-after protein powders because it's easily digestible and tastes better than most competing brands.

This vegan product is the smart choice for those who don’t eat meat or meat byproducts, those with blood sugar issues and those who are lactose intolerant.

But don’t let that fool you. This is no specialty supplement. Anyone interested in achieving a stronger body and better overall health can benefit from this ON protein supplement.

Pros
  • Ideal for bodybuilders
  • Certified vegan and USDA organic.
  • Gluten and GMO-free with no artificial ingredients
  • Lots of BCAAs for optimal post-workout recovery
Cons
  • We were not impressed by the chocolate flavor
  • Not cheap

It’s loaded with BCAAs, free of gluten and dairy products and certified organic the USDA. It costs a bit more than some others, but the results you achieve will justify the expense.

6 - VeganSmart

VeganSmart Plant Based Vegan Protein Powder by Naturade Bottle-150x150

VeganSmart Protein Powder by Naturade puts five different types of plant-based or vegan supplements to work on your muscles along with a generous supply of branched chain amino acids and 22 vitamins and minerals to help you break through barriers and recover quickly.

Also, this vegan supplement contains both probiotics and prebiotics but doesn’t include any iffy ingredients like genetically modified organisms, artificial coloring or sugar substitutes.

This vegetarian protein powder promotes a healthy digestive system, contains six grams of fiber per serving.

It produces a vegetable protein shake that goes right to work repairing muscles and setting you up to make the most of your next workout.

Pros
  • All-in-one vegan protein shakes.
  • A dairy-free protein powder that’s also free of soy, cholesterol, and GMOs
  • Loaded with probiotics and antioxidant
  • Aids in rapid post-workout recovery
Cons
  • They could use some help in the flavor department.

There are also plenty of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids to help produce better circulation and facilitate mental acuity.

7 - Nuzest Clean Lean Protein

Nuzest Clean Lean Protein

The organic vegan protein powder business has taken the supplement industry by storm because they provide a more easily digestible, easily utilized form of this supplement that will help vegan and non-vegan alike achieve the results they're after in the gym.

Nuzest is a European product, which makes it something of an oddity in the supplement industry but regardless of its origins, it's on our list because it's both pure and highly effective.

Each standard serving contains 25 grams of high-quality vegan pea protein, one of the most easily digestible forms of its kind.

That's important because the more easily a supplement is digested, the more quickly and effectively it can go to work.

Pros
  • 100% free of genetically modified organisms
  • Each 25-gram serving contains 21 grams of protein
  • Low in carbs and fat and gluten-free
  • No sugar added
Cons

The flavor is provided by way of natural cocoa extract, and fruit extracts and Nuzest also provide all nine essential amino acids in every serving.

8 - Battle Ready Fuel Vegan Protein

Battle Ready Fuel Pre Workout Product

More than just an appropriately cool name, this supplement really does equip you for the war in the gym.

Of course, it is the ingredients that make this such a good option - of all the plant-based options, pea and hemp are among the best for a good reasons.

Pea protein is very easy to digest and scores very high on the bioavailability side of things. That means it’s easy for your body to absorb more of the protein you take in.

Hemp is classed as a complete protein, which means that it contains all 9 essential amino acids that your body needs from your diet.

According to several nutritionists I know, hemp protein really is gaining a lot more attention for this very reason.

Pros
  • 25.5g of plant-based protein per serving
  • Additional digestive enzymes help your stomach absorb the protein faster
  • Sourced from pea and hemp plants
  • Only natural sweeteners used, no chemicals
Cons
  • More flavored and an unflavored option would be great

Quite a few people I talked to at the gym also mentioned that they found it worked a lot quicker as a recovery supplement.

This is likely down to the digestive enzymes that essentially speed up the process of getting the protein from the shake to your muscles.

Is Vegan Protein as Good as Whey?

brown & green protein powder

Is whey protein vegan? That’s a question on a lot of people's minds.

That answer is "no," and that's because whey is derived from milk.

Since vegans do not consume foods derived directly or indirectly from animal sources whey then cannot be considered vegan.

As for the original question about whether vegan protein is as good as whey, the answer is an unqualified "yes." [1]

As we've touched on in the product profiles above, vegan protein is one of the most easily digested forms of its kind which means, it doesn't take as much to obtain the results you're looking for.

In addition, plant-based products won't cause distress in those who are lactose intolerant.

It almost never contains GMOs or other shady ingredients meant to boost its effectiveness. What you see on the label is what you will get from these vegan friendly supplements. You can check the review below for more information.

Read the full Plant Protein vs. Whey article.

Even though whey protein is an excellent option for workout and weight loss goals, depending on how your body tolerates it will determine which type of protein is best for you. If you want a carefree, worry-free option that you know won’t give you tummy issues, plant protein is the way to go.
Ideal Raw

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Plant-Based Protein: What Is It Made Of?

vegan powder servngs

While enjoying the benefits of drinking veggie shakes and smoothies, it is also important to know what it is made of.

The best tasting vegan protein powder can be derived from the following sources:

  • Pea protein - Considered by many to be the best, most efficacious form of plant-based protein, it is known to be a great source of lysine and arginine. It is also typically low in cholesterol and is known to stimulate collagen production.
  • Hemp protein - This is derived from hemp seeds which are naturally high in protein and that contain most of the essential amino acids needed to build and repair muscle. Calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium are also found in generous amounts in this ingredient. See list of the Best hemp protein powders.
  • Soy protein - This one's a bit of an outlier because, while it’s vegan, soy can also create unwanted side effects in some people. Nonetheless, if soy consumption is not an issue for you, you'll find soy to contain all nine essential amino acids and to be one of the best supplements for piling on the muscles.

You will often find that the best tasting vegan protein powder includes both pea and hemp as well as other ingredients like alfalfa and pumpkin seeds.

What you won’t find very often are pea or hemp proteins that contain soy. Vegan protein derived from soy is often a standalone product though one that is remarkably effective.

FAQ

What is the best vegan protein powder to build muscle?

The best vegan protein powders to build muscle are hemp and pea protein. The reason hemp protein is such a good option is that it contains the full range of amino acids, which is very uncommon for plant-based products. Pea protein is one of the fastest to be absorbed by your body, which means you get the benefits when you need them most.

Is too much vegan protein powder bad for you?

Yes, too much vegan protein powder is bad for you, as your stomach can end up struggling to process it all. If you significantly exceed any type of protein supplement, it can cause bloating, nausea, and cramping, as well as headaches. Always make sure you check the label and calculate your personal needs.

Is it okay to take vegan protein powder every day?

Yes, it is okay to take vegan protein powder every day if that’s what your exercise routine dictates. However, if you take regular rest days, then there is no benefit from taking the protein supplement, and you’re better off saving the money and focusing on your high-intensity days.

Is vegan protein powder healthier?

Yes, vegan protein powder can be healthier for a lot of people, and not just people who stick to a vegan lifestyle. This is especially the case for any athletes that have some food allergies or intolerances that make it difficult to digest certain proteins. Most commonly, this is the case with dairy, soy, and gluten-related products, which most vegan supplements are free from.

Are there any side effects to taking vegan protein powder?

Yes, there can be side effects to taking vegan protein powder, but these are mainly due to taking excessive amounts or having some sort of allergy to the ingredients. It’s always best to check the label for any content that you know you may be sensitive to, as reactions can be unpleasant.

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After weeks of trying the Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Protein  and taking all the positive feedback online and at the gym into account, I really have to say that this has turned out to be my favorite product.

The mix of pea and rice protein and the inclusion of all natural ingredients do the job really well. I find that even when I go to the gym later in the evening, my muscles feel fresh and ready to go the following morning.

Definitely give it a try for a few weeks and consider taking it the morning of a rest day as well.

Just don’t forget to let us know how you get on with it on our Facebook page.

Transparent Labs thumb

Transparent Labs Organic Vegan

Our #1 Vegan Friendly Protein Powder

  • Completely devoid of dairy products
  • 24 grams of high potency plant protein in each serving
  • Has all organic ingredients
  • Dissolves easily in your favorite beverage
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of October
Click For Best Price
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