The uses of protein powders can range from being used as a replacement of a meal, to weight loss, to gaining muscle, to a supplement.
While anyone can decide to get their protein powder in a plant based formula, many of those seeking will do so out of a dietary need.
Be this veganism or otherwise, the need for a plant based protein powder can make the search for the powder that is right for you a bit difficult.
This article will explore the following five options to examine for the right protein powder for you:
our top 5 picks
What To Look For When Buying A Quality Powder
As with all protein powders, ingredients matter.
To provide protein but without interfering with non-dairy, pro-vegan diets that may need a protein shake such as this, the usual ingredients one would look for are the following:
Pea Protein - this complete source of protein offers amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscles and in burning fat.
It is rather easy to digest and does not cause the bloating other protein powders may have a side effect.
Flax Seed - being one of the greatest vegan sources of the essential fatty acid Omega-3, flax seeds are thought of as a superfood to many.
Being high in fiber and low in carbs, they aid in maintaining blood sugar levels and aiding in digestion.
Quinoa - having all of the vital amino acids within it, quinoa is considered to be a complete source of protein.
Lysine, in particular, promotes tissue growth and repair which may catch the attention of those wishing to bulk up.
Quinoa is also rich in fiber, allowing for lower cholesterol and glucose levels.
Chia Seeds: being high in fiber, protein, vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3’s, chia seeds give the consumer a boost of energy as well as a sped up metabolism.
Pumpkin Seeds - on of nature’s best sources of magnesium, which aids in blood pressure control and bone health, pumpkin seeds are an ingredient some may look past.
Their antioxidant properties can help decrease inflammation and free radicals in eh system though carotenoids and vitamin E.
A second item to look for is the environmental footprint this product may be making.
To be sustainable comes from both the ingredients you choose as well as the way in which your products gets from factory to the consumer.
While plant based products do require less resources than animal based products to manufacture, for those that wish to see even more sustainability may wish to investigate the business practices of the companies they are consuming.
A final point of interest is the third party, non-profit organization “Non-GMO Project”.
This project may be present on a label when you purchase your product.
It simply means this objective, non-affiliated group has found that product to truly be non-GMO.
Why Choose Plant Protein?
A strong reason why some would choose to eat plant based protein vs whey protein is due to veganism.
Veganism is the lifestyle that does not consume animal products and by products.
While it is often touted that meat and eggs equal protein, the fact of the matter is that all protein comes from plants.
The further away from plants you get in your diet, the less protein from the original source you’re getting.
Another part of veganism is the impact of using animal products.
In both manufacturing, delivery, and simply keeping the animals alive make a big impact on the environment in ways that plants simply do not.
So while investigating which plant based protein powder is best for you, remember two things.
First, that the ingredients matter in both quality and quantity.
Be knowledgeable about what certain foods give to your body and how much of those ingredients you need to be as healthy as you can be.
The second is location.
While some ingredients are only found outside of a certain region, take time to consider the environmental impact that brand is having on the environment.
Top 5 Plant Based Powders Reviewed
Vega Protein and Greens, coming in a Vanilla flavor in a 26.8 oz, 25 servings product with 20 grams of complete protein from plant based, multi sourced resources.
With ingredients like organic kale powder, broccoli, and spinach powder, Vega Protein and Greens Protein Shake offers a non-GMO Project certified, vegan, gluten-free product with no flavors, sweeteners, or artificial colors added.
The shake goes through a number of tests and scrutiny to ensure it is both safe and beneficial for the user.
Vega Protein and Greens ensures its shake contains less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten.
The proteins in Vega’s product are sourced from pea, flax, hemp, and sacha inchi proteins.
With each scoop of Vega Protein and Greens, your caloric intake will be 110-120 and with 0 grams of sugar.
The ratio between protein and sugar is for anyone looking to use the shake as a means of growth.
Orgain Organic offers a 2.03 lb, vanilla bean flavored protein powder.
Being a vegan, non-GMO, gluten free product.
With 21 grams of protein from organic, plant based sources, the ingredients in this protein powder include: brown rice, chia, and organic pea.
This line up offers 5 grams of organic fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 3 grams of carbs in the product, and only 150 calories a service.
This brand of product is offering a product that is gluten free, kosher, vegan, soy free, dairy free, carrageenan free, non-GMO, and no artificial ingredients.
In addition to the quality of the product, Orgain Organic is USDA organic certified.
The Garden of Life Organic Vegan Protein Powder is a raw, organic plant based shake and is sugar free.
This shake option comes in 20 oz (1 lb 4 oz) containers and offers four flavors to choose from: vanilla, vanilla chai, no flavor, and chocolate.
Offering 22 grams (34% of your daily value) of plant based, sugar free protein from U.S. grown peas in addition to 13 raw, organic sprouts.
The quality of the ingredients included are organic, completely vegan, dairy free, soy free, gluten free, non-GMO whole food based protein.
Offering a 110 calorie, smooth shake with 3 billion CFU probiotics and enzymes, this shake is made for easy digestion.
Garden of Life’s protein powder offers fat dissolving, raw foods that will give the consumer servings of vitamins A, D. E, and K.
The combined effect of the food and ingredient choices will aid in muscle recovery to ensure you can get back to your work out faster.
This is due to the vitamins given to aid in digestive health, live probiotics, and protein-digesting enzymes.
The Ora Organic Protein Powder, coming with the flavor of tasty vanilla, is a plant-based shake that offers 21 grams of protein per serving, 1 g of sugar, and 2 servings of superfood greens in its 21.2 oz container.
This product claims of being the only brand to provide the consumer with “digestive enzymes” to aid in digestion, due to pea proteins being a bit more difficult to consume.
The offer of two servings of organic green adds natural micronutrients and electrolytes to the shake, lending to proper muscle and cognitive function.
This is along with the 21 g of protein, your shake will include a complete amino acid diet.
Being low carb (7 g of carbs in total in the product) and no sugar added, to give the protein to carb ratio many are looking for.
Being USDA organic certified gives peace of mind that this product is truly non-GMO.
Offering a raw, organic, vegan protein blend in a 30 servings, 2.2 lb bag, KOS Organic offers a vegan protein.
Being infused with ingredients such as organic vanilla, organic agave, coconut sugar, stevia, monk fruit, and Himalayan pink sea salt, the flavor offered by this product is its selling point.
The protein in KOS comes from 100% non-GMO pea, flax seed, pumpkin seed, chia seed, and quinoa - all of which are organic, gluten, soy, and dairy free.
With added digestive enzymes, along with the vanilla flavoring, this product is built to aid in digestion and consumption of a vegan protein powder that is easy on both you and the environment.
One downfall to this product is, although it offers a variety of tasty and beneficial things, is that it does not detail where these sources are from and thus leaves us wondering about the impact of sourcing.
Of the option presented above, the product coming out on top is the Vega Protein & Greens, Plant Protein Shake.
With its simple, straightforward ingredient list plus its lower calorie intake, and being Non-GMO Project certified, it presents as a clean, simple, and effective tool at providing a protein shake that is beneficial and vegan-friendly.