Comparing Vegan Protein Powders

I have tried out more protein powders than I would like to admit so now I'm here to break down which powders are good for certain lifestyles and discuss their pros, cons, and uses in recipes!

 

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1. Naked Rice Brown Rice Protein

I used this protein for about three months because the container is seriously HUGE. It is $65 for 5 pounds which I found to be worth it considering how long it lasted. Rice protein is made from extracting rice proteins from sprouted brown rice. Naked Rice uses organic sprouted whole grain brown rice so it is gluten, dairy, and soy free. The ONLY ingredient in this protein powder is organic sprouted brown rice protein, there are no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors and it has 25 grams of protein. There are also 4.9 grams of branched chain amino acids (BCAA's) per serving.

Pros:  Having only one ingredient meant that I always knew exactly what I was putting into my body which I like. It also had a really neutral flavor which made it easy to add to smoothies. I also never felt bloated after having it and it added a pretty large amount of protein to my daily diet.

Cons: The flavor got a little boring after a while. While it was neutral, meaning the taste wasn't bad, it definitely felt like you were drinking a protein powder. Also this powder can only be purchased online.

Recipes: This was awesome blended with bananas, almond milk, peanut butter powder and cocoa powder. I also did berry smoothie bowls with bananas, almond milk, frozen berries, and spinach.

Link to purchase and learn more: Click here.

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2. Vega Sport Performance Protein

I have used this protein on and off for over a year as a recovery powder after working out. Usually I will workout at night so I will have this in a smoothie bowl for dinner afterwards. Vega is probably the leading brand for vegan protein powder as they have a lot of products ranging from sport proteins, greens proteins, all in one nutritional powders, as well as meal replacement bars, electrolyte drinks, and additional supplements. This protein powder comes in four flavors, mocha, chocolate, vanilla, and berry. I have tried all of these aside from berry and they all taste pretty good. Mocha is my favorite. This powder has 30 grams of protein which it derives from a blend or pea, alfalfa, pumpkin seed, and organic sunflower seed proteins. The powder also has 6g of BCAA's. and 1 billion CFUs probiotics what are shelf-stable. There is no sugar added but it is sweetened with stevia. It is $50 for 1 pound and 13 ounces on their website but can typically be found on Amazon for closer to $40.

Pros:  This is a great powder for those who exercise because it does contain components that aid in muscle recovery. It also comes in fun flavors that are easy to combine into recipes. Vega is pretty readily available on Amazon or in Whole Foods.

Cons: The powders can get sort of thick and chalky if taken only with water and sometimes if consumed too quickly I have experienced bloating. Vega as a brand is generally more expensive but they do put a lot of thought into what goes into each powder based on what you're using it for. 

Recipes: The mocha blended with just almond milk, ice, and bananas makes for a fun coffee flavored shake. I also use the chocolate flavor blended with bananas, almond milk or coconut water, and frozen berries to make a smoothie bowl which I top with almond butter and nuts and seeds. 

Link to purchase and learn more: Click here.

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3. Amazing Grass Protein Superfood

Amazing Grass makes a wide array of protein and superfood powders. I also have taken their Greens superfood powder on and off for a while and it's a good way to get some extra greens in. Their protein superfood powder comes in chocolate, original, pure vanilla, and chocolate peanut butter. They also make a vanilla and chocolate protein and kale blend as well as a vanilla sport blend which I have yet to try. This powder is organic and considered an "all-in-one" protein nutrition shake that blends superfoods and plant-based protein with fruits and veggies. There are 20 grams of protein, 7 alkalizing greens, and 2 full servings of fruits and veggies in each scoop of this powder. Based on my limited research, eating powdered fruits and vegetables doesn't pack the same nutritional punch as actually eating fruits and vegetables, but it never hurts to have more greens. Greens powders have also been cited to aid in digestion.

Pros:  This brand is heavily represented in Whole Foods and online on sites like Amazon and Thrive Market in addition to the Amazing Greens website. The chocolate peanut butter flavor is amazing and blends up really well. I like knowing I'm getting some extra greens in with this powder and it's often on sale for about $20 for a 15 ounce container.

Cons: It's not the biggest container for the cost, but if I'm using powders on and off its a good one to have around that isn't totally breaking the bank as a sporadic purchase.

Recipes: This is one protein that tastes pretty good just shaken up with some water or almond milk (any plant milk works). Because both the chocolate and peanut butter flavors are prominent, this protein also masks greens like kale or spinach really well in smoothies.

Link to purchase and learn more: Click here.

 

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4. Whole Foods Fit Protein

This is a protein my fiancé, Tony, has used for about three months as he has been on a fitness and nutrition plan. This is his "morning protein" that he has in a shake every morning mixed with a greens supplement (sometimes Amazing Grass, other times 1st Phorm's Opti-greens - review coming soon). He mixes the two together with water to get a burst of protein in the morning. This powder is $24.99 and is available in Whole Foods only. It is naturally flavored, has 17g of protein and contains Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), green coffee bean extract, and green tea extract. It has a lower protein count which is why he just uses it in the morning before breakfast and not alone as meal or snack as we use most of the other powders. It also has that boost of caffeine so often he doesn't also need to have coffee.

The meal plan he was on recommended "protein coffee" but those powders are almost exclusively whey based and not vegan so he settled on this powder. The MCT's are a form of saturated fatty acid that are often said to have numerous health benefits, including improved cognitive function and aiding in weight management. Medium-chain fats are said to be digested easily and sent directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to affect your metabolism positively. It is never something I've paid a great deal of attention to but MCT oils are gaining popularity lately, especially among folks on a Paleo diet. I recommend doing more research to see if it's something that you want to fit into your diet.

Pro: Adding this in during the morning increases his daily protein count and fills him up a bit to avoid overeating. The vanilla cinnamon taste is pretty nice too.

Cons: The container isn't very big so in taking it every morning the cost adds up. 

Recipes: Tony has only ever made this with water and greens but I tried it once with almond milk, a frozen banana, and spinach and it was really good. It was sort of like a horchata shake.

No link to purchase as this is only available in store at Whole Foods!

There are a lot of protein powders out there and these are just the ones I've tried. Everything stated is my personal opinion and every person has different needs for their bodies. I've also gone through phases where I used no powders at all and I've felt fine. I just like having them as an option to boost my protein intake and make shakes and smoothies more nutritionally substantial. I also like using them post workout to aid muscle repair. Please feel free to comment or email me (plentyofplants@gmail.com) with any questions! 

Leanne