Protein is a big deal.
Whether you’re a vegan or not, you need it.
On a plant-based diet you can absolutely get the necessary protein requirement. But for some persons, especially those who want to build more lean muscle, it can be a bit challenging.
It’s a lot easier to add a vegan protein supplement to your diet.
In this guide we’re going to review 3 of the best vegan protein powders on the market right now.
Note: Every product on this list was personally review by our team. We only recommend products that we’ve tried. We’ll be adding more to this list in the future.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the first one on the list.
1. The Vega Protein and Greens Review
The Product Background
This product is a good example of a founder who lives what he preaches.
Founded by Brendan Brazier, a former professional athlete and best selling author on plant-based nutrition. This company has been in business for a long time and have a good market share of the vegan meal replacement market.
They are a part of the non gmo project which is another thing I look out for on vegan products.
I loved their design as it had a minimalist look to it. The packaging clearly stated what you’re going to get and even comes with a sample recipe on the cover.
The Product Ingredients
Vega Protein and Greens also has an impressive list of ingredients that would be quite challenging to add to your diet daily. For this test I bought the chocolate flavored mix. The ingredients are broken down into two categories, proteins and veggies and greens.
It comes with 20 grams of complete protein from a variety of plant-based sources.
Such as pea, brown rice, hemp and sacha inchi protein. This is a good example that you don’t have to overdo your protein mixture. You can keep it simple yet get the required amount of protein your body needs.
It also combines ingredients from organic alfalfa grass powder, organic kale powder, broccoli and some other variety of leafy greens.
This product has an impressive macro profile.
You get 20 grams of protein per scoop, 7 grams of carbohydrates and 2.5 grams of total fat and 290 ml of sodium.
I would have preferred the sodium content to be slightly lower, but I guess it is a trade-off.
The amount per serving is 120 calories.
The one pound container (2.4 ounces) gives you about 16 servings even though it lasted me about 14 since it was two of us testing it. So, if you want to experiment for at least 30 days then get a larger container.
One thing I should mention is that if you want to keep your stomach feeling full for a long period of time after drinking this shake, add a few spoons of oatmeal.
Drinking this by itself will satiate you but not for long periods, unless you add extra fiber.
The Taste and Texture
I must say this is one of the best tasting plant-based shakes I’ve ever had.
It had the right amount of consistency and smoothness that you generally get from a milk-based protein powder.
For a product that is very “green-based” you don’t actually taste it.
This product is perfect for those who want to add more veggies to their diets without forcing yourself to eat enough vegetables.
Now, this does not mean you should replace your vegetables with this shake, it should only be used as a supplement.
That being said, eat your veggies! 😊
They also used cocoa powder which gave it that authentic chocolate flavor. Hailing all chocolate lovers out there, you can use this to make smoothies and desserts.
Unlike some of the other options on this list, you won’t have to worry about tasting any grainy or hard texture.
Plus, it is very easy to mix.
To be honest, this is a product I will be using quite often.
Mind you, it’s not the perfect protein powder but if you value smoothness and great taste just like I do, then this is a perfect match for you.
It has everything you need to build muscle or generally up your daily protein intake. So, I would recommend that you definitely try this product.
Personally, I think this is one of the best plant-based protein powders on the market.
2. Garden of Life Raw Organic Shake and Meal Replacement Review
The Product background
So, first on the list is the Garden of Life Meal Replacement Shake. Now these guys have been in business for a long while creating products for the vegan industry, therefore, my expectation of their product is very high.
Not to say my expectations for the other products on this list isn’t, it’s just that they have been one of the oldest companies creating plant-based products.
One of the main things I look for before purchasing anything on the vegan market is to see if they have any form of certification.
To me, certification is a big deal in the vegan industry. I am very serious about what I put into my body. Here are a few notable certifications that Garden of Life has:
- USDA Organic
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- NSF Gluten-Free
- Star-K Kosher
So, I think they passed the test. Hence, the reason for the high expectations.
They say you should never judge a book by its cover. That’s the same approach I took when reviewing these products.
In terms of presentation it has that earthy look, based on the use of colors. It was properly sealed to maintain freshness during transport. And there was nothing overly done about the packaging, it gets the job done.
The Product Ingredients
This is my favorite part because I want to know what makes up the content of what I’m eating. This is a habit we should all adapt whether you are vegan or not. The ingredients are broken down into six categories;
- Raw organic protein blend – they went above and beyond in this section to jack up the protein factor. Some of the most notable ingredients for this category are organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, organic quinoa, lentils, pumpkin seed, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. In our book, that’s more than adequate protein mixture.
- Raw organic fiber blend – this consists of organic flaxseeds, chia seeds.
- Organic flavor blend – now this depends on which flavor you choose, in this case we went for the vanilla. For flavoring they used organic cane sugar and organic vanilla flavor.
- Raw organic fruit and vegetable blend – this is a powerful mixture as they claim to load it with forty-four superfoods ranging from beetroot, broccoli, carrot, tomato, green bell pepper and several other fruits and vegetables. It’s fair to say they went hard in this section by adding as much superfoods as possible in one mixture.
- Raw organic green blend – even though this is similar to the previous category, it is more green concentrated. They have added greens like organic spirulina, organic oat grass juice, organic barley and wheat grass.
- Raw probiotic and enzyme blend. – For the past couple have years, probiotics have become a big deal in the health and fitness industry. If you search on Amazon you will see over two thousand probiotic products.
In case you aren’t aware of what probiotics are, they are live bacteria that is good for your digestive system or your gut health.
So, we think this is a big plus in this aspect for Garden of Life. Some good examples of probiotics in this product are protease, lipase, lactase and cellulase.
They have added a lot more but those are just a few.
Whether you want to build muscle or lose body fat, this product can help. The first time I had a shake mixed with this product, it kept my stomach full for approximately 2-3 hours.
I felt satiated and ready to tackle my daily activities. So, if you are trying to enter a calorie deficit without starving, especially in the morning, this will do the job.
For every scoop you can get 20g of clean protein which makes it a perfect addition to the diet of anyone who wants to up their protein intake.
Plus, you get 7g of organic fiber per serving. In fact, it is described as a meal replacement shake, therefore, it will fill you up just like a meal would.
Total carbohydrate per serving is 13g and sugar is 6g, which isn’t too bad compared to others on the market.
The Taste and Texture
It has an earthy and chalky taste that isn’t too overwhelming for a plant-based product.
In terms of sweetness, it was okay. Unlike some plant-based shakes that substitute the natural taste with tons of sugar.
The texture was slightly grainy but when blended with other ingredients such as banana or organic coconut powder, you will get a really smooth and creamy texture.
I wouldn’t recommend mixing this protein powder with water, use a base like unsweetened almond or hemp milk for that creamy taste.
But if you want to just mix it with water, that’s okay, if you don’t mind the slight grainy texture.
Another thing that stood out was that the vanilla flavor was not overwhelming.
So, would I buy this again? Absolutely.
In fact, we will be adding this to our list of regularly bought vegan protein powders.
It’s not perfect but it does better than a lot of other plant-based protein mixes on the market. You should definitely try this product and experiment to see if it will fit your taste.
3. VeganSmart Plant Based Vegan Protein Powder by Naturade
The Product background
According to their website, VeganSmart has been around since 2002, so I think they should have enough experience in creating vegan products.
What I love about this company is that the founders themselves are healthy eaters and are passionate about creating plant-based products.
That’s something that isn’t really as common as you might think.
A lot of vegan products are made by persons who are not vegans.
I believe that if you talk the talk then you should walk the walk, especially, where food is concerned.
So, in short, these guys are legit.
It arrived properly sealed and the design clearly illustrated what the product is about. Let’s just say it’s one of those products that will look well on your kitchen counter without you looking pretentious.
The Product Ingredients
This is where it gets interesting. VeganSmart has a similar ingredient breakdown to Garden of Life.
- Complete Protein Blend – it consists of some interesting blends of protein from sources like chlorella and potato. Some more includes pea protein isolate, quinoa and chia.
- Fiber and Omega Blend – this mixture includes apple fruit fiber, inulin which is extracted from chicory and bamboo fiber.
- The Vegan Energy Blend – this combines organic rice, syrup solids, cane sugar, MCT (medium chain triglycerides) and sunflower oil.
- Whole Food Complex – all fruits and veggie lovers are going to love this. It combines raspberries, mango, apricot fruit and pineapple. For the vegetable contents it includes, cabbage leaf, broccoli flower, and spinach leaf.
- Digestive Enzyme Blend – it seems to be a trend to add probiotics to nutritional shakes. However, I’m not complaining, it aids in proper digestion. It has live bacteria such as lipase, bromelain, amylase and protease
One particular ingredient that I’m not a big fan of is Xanthan Gum.
For those of you not familiar with this product, it is a thickening agent or emulsifier that acts as a binding agent for the ingredients.
The thing is, Xanthan Gum can be derived from chicken lysozymes, milk, corn and wheat.
The problem is, I don’t know where the manufacturer get theirs from and not all manufacturer clearly supply that information on their labels.
So, I have to trust the manufacturer to be ethical enough not to get their Xanthan Gum from animal sources.
One way to make sure that it’s not animal based is to contact the manufacturer.
The macro profile of VeganSmart is pretty good. You get 20 grams of protein per serving which is pretty good.
For carbohydrate you get 14 grams and fat is 5 grams.
The sugar content isn’t that bad at 4 grams.
It has an impressive amino acid profile which include Arginine, Alaline, Glutamic Acid and a lot more.
In terms of calorie count you get 160 per serving. The satiating factor isn’t that powerful as some of the other brands on this list.
If you want to keep you stomach filled after drinking this, I would recommend blending it with 2-3 tablespoons of oatmeal for additional slow digesting carbs.
The overall nutritional profile of VeganSmart makes it a good addition for anyone who wants to build muscle and loss body fat.
The Taste and Texture
Taste test time!, It is very sweet due to the addition of stevia, which is 200 times sweeter than typical sugar.
It has an after taste that I’m not a big fan of as well but that could be due to the flavor I tried, which is Vanilla. Maybe I would have enjoyed the chocolate one more.
When it comes on to texture though, it knocks the ball out of the park. It was smooth and creamy even when mixed with just water. Perfect for making shakes, smoothies and vegan ice creams.
After a while the taste grows on you, or maybe it’s me.
I would strongly recommend when making your shakes, not to add any additional sweetener as that will jack up the sugar content.
So, if you are blending with bananas, don’t use more than two and you might need to add water, especially if you use two scoops.
If you are someone who prioritizes smooth and silky texture in your smoothies, then this is perfect for you.
Overall this is a great product and one that I would recommend to anyone who wants to experiment with plant-based protein shake.
It gets the job done so if you want to try it, go ahead; I know I will be trying their chocolate flavored one next.
Start Experimenting With These Plant-Based Protein Powders
You will have to try them and see which will fit your taste.
But personally I enjoyed the Garden of Life vegan shake as it was more satiating, keeping me from snacking too much throughout the day.
Every single shake on this list are great options.
Note: More will be added to this list after trying them ourselves.
🌿Plant Eater & Yogi