Wondering what the best vegan protein powders are this year?
As a vegan registered dietitian for over a decade, I know that 2019 is going to be a great year for the plant-based movement – I just know it! Not only are there more and more plant-based vegan products out there than ever before, but more and more people are going vegan, plant-based, or at least dabbling into plant-based proteins specifically. We all have different reasons for going more plant-based or vegan and whether it’s for your health, the environment, or the animals, I’m here with the knowledge (and both my husband’s any my taste buds!) to share with you some of the best vegan protein powders available.
5. Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Unflavored Powder – Gluten-Free, Organic & Non-GMO with Probiotics & Enzymes – 22 grams of plant-based protein per serving
What we love: The Garden of Life brand has been around for years to really best formulate their products to best suit the needs of the consumer. The vegan protein powder is unflavored so it’s easy to add into any flavor profile smoothie or stirred into oatmeal (PS: the vanilla is also great). My favorite part about this plant-based protein powder (aside from the 22 grams of protein per serving) is the addition of digestive enzymes and probiotics to not only support healthy digestion but improve your gut microbiome health. The enzymes, probiotics and raw sprouted proteins means that it has a tendency to better settle on sensitive bellies. When mixed into a smoothie packed with fruits and greens, the protein powder leaves no aftertaste or chalkiness.
Considerations: As you’ll see on Amazon, the number one complaint is that the packaging changed sizes a couple of years back and while you get less vegan protein powder in a larger container, the Garden of Life raw organic protein powder is still one of the cleanest and easiest to digest vegan protein powders available anywhere including on Amazon HERE.
4. SB ORGANICS Vegan Protein Powder – Organic, Raw – 21 grams of plant-based protein per serving
What we love: SB Organics combines multiple plant-based protein sources (pea, flaxseed, pumpkin, and quinoa) along with digestive enzymes to help with digestion and promote overall health. SB Organics is one of the only vegan protein powder companies to add essential vitamins and minerals to the nutrition label. They don’t add additional vitamins, but the company showcases the amount of vitamins and minerals present in the powder from using whole food ingredients. I personally find it neat to see that in one serving of SB Organics vegan protein powder I can get 30% of my iron for the day and many others. My other favorite part about this company is that they offer an 100% money back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with their product. Definitely worth trying them out on Amazon HERE if you ask me!
Considerations: Many vegan protein powders are using monk fruit extract to provide sweetness instead of traditional sugar. SB Organics does that as well so while there are no added sugars, some people find it tastes sweeter than they would prefer because of this fruit extract.
3. Genius Vegan Protein Powder – 20 grams of protein per serving
What we love: Hands down, this is on of the better vegan protein powders as it relates to grit and texture. Many vegan protein powders contain some bit of chalkiness or earthy grittiness and lack that creamy consistency you may be looking for…Genius Vegan protein powder fits the bill. Pea protein has long been used in vegan protein powders but newer in the formulations is pumpkin seed protein that not only makes vegan protein powders more delish but it makes the plant-based protein a complete protein with all the amino acids to support building and maintaining muscle. Buy Genius vegan protein powder HERE on Amazon.
Considerations: The Genius Company has trademarked “clean cream” and “smooth protein” but on the marketing, it’s a bit misleading. Naturally, if these combinations of ingredients and the name is trademarked, you wouldn’t see it on competitor labels. For this reason and other packaging that misleads the consumer, I would proceed with caution in believing the vegan protein powder’s claims. Now, does it taste good with simple ingredients? Yes.
2. Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder, Vanilla or Chocolate, Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free – 21 grams of protein per serving
What we love: Orgain plant-based proteins are great if you are looking for a plant-based protein without grit! It feels smooth without an aftertaste. The unsweetened Orgain protein powder does not contain sugar alcohols or stevia while the chocolate and vanilla do. Personally, I like the unsweetened and vanilla because I can add it to a variety of smoothie flavors but many people love the chocolate flavor best. The ingredient list is clean and natural and filled with great plant-based powerhouses like chia seed protein and brown rice protein. One note, be sure that you get the plant-based Orgain protein powder available on Amazon as Orgain also has a line of whey based protein powders too.
Considerations: Orgain vegan protein powder uses ingredients that may cause an imbalance in your digestion. Organic erythritol is a sugar alcohol added for sweetness but sugar alcohols can lead to loose stools and bloating. The gums used by Orgain (acacia gum and guar gum) are frequently used in plant-based products but are fiberous and can produce GI upset for some people (most people are fine). If you have a sensitive gut, I would recommend going for the Orgain unsweetened (without sugar alcohols), KOS (with less gums and no sugar alcohols), or another plant-based protein with digestive enzymes and without sugar alcohols.
1. KOS Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder – Raw Organic Vegan Protein Blend
What we love: This is the best protein powder I’ve ever had (seriously). What’s even better yet, my husband agrees! This protein powder tastes amazing in smoothies AND mixed on it’s own with water or your favorite plant-based milk (many other vegan protein powders can’t say that!). The digestive blend in KOS works fantastic and I’ve found that I can make a super packed smoothie with fruits and greens and with this protein powder, I don’t feel any bloat or aftertaste. I’ve had clients tell me me the same, so it’s definitely my pick for any of you sensitive gut people out there. Check out KOS plant-based protein on Amazon HERE.
Considerations: KOS doesn’t contain gums or other additives to help dissolve and blend the powder in a liquid so you’ll find that it doesn’t blend as easily as others in water/milk but does better in a smoothie consistency. If you drink your vegan protein powders with only milk or water, this may not be the best option for you. Also, KOS contains tree nuts (coconut) if you have any coconut allergy or sensitivity.
There you have it … the best plant-based vegan protein powders of 2019! I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for the plant-based community and what new products hit the shelves later this year!