Step aside, animal proteins: The best vegan protein powders are just as effective at boosting your workouts, helping with weight loss, and encouraging muscle gains as any other variety. And whether you’re solidly vegan or just trying to introduce more plant-based foods to your diet, these protein powders can keep you energized through your next workout—and they’ll even help your recovery, too.
From hemp to peas, soy to brown rice, there’s no shortage of vegan protein sources to try. Although the average whey protein powder contains slightly more protein than plant-based alternatives, explains Amy Shapiro, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., a New York-based dietitian, the latter supplies more fiber and other important nutrients. That’s not a bad tradeoff if you ask us.
But not all plant-based protein powders are equal—when it comes to taste, ingredients, and amount of protein, a few solid choices rise to the top. Here’s how you can find the right protein powder for you,
How to choose the best vegan protein powder
Pay attention to the ingredients list. Shapiro prefers certified USDA organic and non-GMO brands, as well as options that include healthy additions like green blends, flaxseed, cranberry seeds, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. On the other hand, fiber fillers, including guar gum and chicory root, can upset your stomach in high quantities, she warns. Some vegan protein powders also include added sugars and sweeteners like sucralose, which Shapiro doesn’t recommend; “I’m OK with products sweetened with stevia or monk fruit, though,” she says. And watch out for caffeine, which isn’t ideal to consume accidentally.
But don’t obsess over complete protein. Single-source protein powders, like soy, pea protein, and hemp isolate, as opposed to blends of many ingredients, are ideal, Shapiro says. “Sure, they’re not complete proteins, but over the course of the day, your amino acids will balance out,” she explains. “You don’t need to have complementary proteins at one meal. It can happen throughout the day.” And although not all vegan protein powders contain complete proteins, soy-based options (along with some plant-based protein blends) do.
Find the right amount of protein. Look for 15 to 21 grams of protein per serving. “This is within the window I recommend for satiety, staying power, and repleting the muscles,” Shapiro explains. Also of note: “Total carbs should be fairly low at about 7 grams or less, and sugars at 1 to 2 grams per serving.”
Ready to add an extra dose of protein to your diet? These are the best vegan protein powders to buy online:
An all-around great vegan protein powder, this organic, plant-based option combines pea, quinoa, chia, and hemp proteins with fruits and veggies like pineapples and sweet potatoes, plus a Shapiro-approved green blend. Its 20-gram serving of protein is just the right amount for most people, and reviewers love its vanilla flavor. “I would definitely recommend this product to others, and will probably be a lifetime buyer,” one writes. “I am hooked.”
Nutrition per one-scoop serving: 120 cal, 2.5 g fat (0 g sat fat), 7 g carb (2 g fiber), 20 g pro, <1 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 240 mg sodium
This organic protein powder features a blend of pea, brown rice protein, and chia seeds, so it’s super satisfying. The real perk? It doesn’t have a gritty aftertaste. Instead, you’ll get a creamy, chocolatey consistency. “This is the BEST plant-based protein powder out there, in my opinion,” one reviewer raves. “It isn’t overly sweet or gritty like so many other powders. Highly recommend!”
Nutrition per two-scoop serving: 150 cal, 5 g fat (0.5 g sat fat), 15 g carb (1 g fiber), 21 g pro, 1 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 390 mg sodium
This gluten-free, dairy-free protein powder from beloved brand Bob’s Red Mill checks all the boxes: It’s got 17 grams of protein per serving, a remarkably short ingredients list, and a consistency that’ll work in everything from smoothies to pancakes. “Bob’s is the best. It always has been,” one reviewer explains. “They don’t add anything to this soy powder, which is getting harder and harder to find in the stores. All the others add fake sugar, flavoring, or seeds of some sort.” Plus, it comes in a bag instead of a bulky jar.
Nutrition per two-scoop serving: 80 cal, 1 g fat (0 g sat fat), 0 g carb (0 g fiber), 17 g pro, 0 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 190 mg sodium
With this clean, high-protein powder, you’re getting 100% yellow pea protein with no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. Just two scoops offer a whopping 27 grams of protein and only 2 grams of carbs, so it’s a good choice for people who are following a Paleo or low-carb diet. “Let’s get this out of the way first: This stuff does not taste good,” one Amazon reviewer explains. “If you want a powder that’s high-protein and low in carbs, fats, and sodium, has no artificial sweetener, and you are willing to compromise on taste to get it, this is a good buy.”
Nutrition per two-scoop serving: 120 cal, 0.5 g fat (0 g sat fat), 2 g carb (0 g fiber), 27 g pro, 2 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 110 mg sodium
With 15 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber in one tiny serving, this hemp-based protein powder will leave you satisfied without overpowering your recipes. Because hemp is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, too, you get a dose of heart-healthy fats, too, in addition to iron, potassium, and magnesium—all essential nutrients for maintaining and building strong muscles. Better yet, it has just a single ingredient, which reviewers say they prefer to additional sweeteners or additives.
Nutrition per 4-tablespoon serving: 110 cal, 3 g fat (0 g sat fat), 8 g carb (8 g fiber), 15 g pro, 1 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium
This protein powder is free of fiber fills, added sugars, and GMOs—but it has plenty of gut-friendly probiotics and fiber. Plus, it’s packed with a blend of organic proteins from hemp protein, brown rice, and peas to provide a good amount of amino acids and fiber. It’s “as good as plant based protein powder gets” according to one Amazon reviewer.
Nutrition per one-scoop serving: 120 cal, 2 g fat (0 g sat fat), 7 g carb (4 g fiber), 20 g pro, 1 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 154 mg sodium
This organic powder is packed with 20 grams of protein from peas, flax seeds, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds. Another bonus? This chocolatey powder contains nutrients from fruits and veggies, essentially replacing a general multi-vitamin—and its sweet flavor is all-natural, with ingredients like cacao, monk fruit, and coconut. “This is the best protein powder I have ever bought. Period,” one Amazon reviewer raves. “It tastes great and it comes in the biggest container. I use it every single day.”
Nutrition per two-scoop serving: 170 cal, 6 g fat (4 g sat fat), 9 g carb (2 g fiber), 20 g pro, 2 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 190 mg sodium
A two-scoop serving of this top-rated option will net you 30 grams of protein—more than enough for even the toughest workouts. It’s also got organic cherries, turmeric, and goji berries to support muscle recovery after a tough workout. “This protein powder is top notch,” one Amazon reviewer explains. “I’ve been using it in smoothies for the past 10 days, and am happy to report it doesn’t cause any discomfort, bloating, or stomach aches, as I experienced with some other protein powders.”
Nutrition per two-scoop serving: 160 cal, 3 g fat (0.5 g sat fat), 7 g carb (2 g fiber), 30 g pro, <1 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 160 mg sodium
Ora Organic’s GMO-free vegan protein powder boasts a whopping 22 grams of muscle-building protein and only 5 grams of carbs per serving. Made with a blend of pea protein, rice protein, and hemp, it also has digestive enzymes to help your body break it down and absorb the nutrients. What’s more, it has 0 grams of sugar and is lightly sweetened with monk fruit extract and Stevia. Choose from chocolate, vanilla, and vanilla chai for your high-protein smoothies.
Nutrition per two-scoop serving: 130 cal, 3 g fat (0.5 g sat fat), 5 g carb (1.8 g fiber), 22 g pro, 0 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 390 mg sodium
Vega One’s vegan protein powders provides 20 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. Plus, it’s packed with probiotics, spirulina, and maca for a boost of health-promoting nutrients. And you can find the right flavor for you, as it comes in berry, chocolate, coconut almond, mocha, vanilla chai, and chocolate mint. There’s also a plain, unsweetened variety if you prefer that.
Nutrition per one-scoop serving: 140 cal, 3.5 g fat (1 g sat fat), 10 g carb (6 g fiber), 20 g pro, 1 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 210 mg sodium
Combining 20 grams of plant-based proteins with probiotics, fiber, and digestive enzymes, this vegan protein powder is ideal for gut health and comes recommended by New Jersey-based dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, R.D., author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies. “Whether you're a protein shake connoisseur or just overwhelmed by options, this one is great,” one Amazon reviewer says. “I’ve tried loads and loads of plant based protein powders, but it’s super hard to find one that doesn’t taste like dirt. This one is delicious!”
Nutrition per two-scoop serving: 120 cal 2 g fat (0.5 g trans fat), 10 g carb (5 g fiber), 20 g pro, 3 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 230 mg sodium
If you're following a vegan keto diet, finding a good protein powder can feel impossible, Palinski-Wade says. But not anymore: This powder contains 10 grams of plant-based protein, plus 14 grams of fat from avocado coconut oil, which meet the ideal keto ratio of protein to fat, she notes, “all while being delicious and convenient.”
Nutrition per two-scoop serving: 190 cal, 14 g fat (11 g sat fat), 16 g carb (0 g fiber), 10 g pro, 0 g sugars, 0 mg chol, 190 mg sodium