The best plant-based protein powder is an excellent supplement for people who want to increase their protein intake without the downfalls that come with eating more meat. Adding the nutritional alternative to your meal plan or exercising regimen can be a healthy way to gain muscle mass or improve your health.
If you are interested in getting an extra boost of protein, check out our picks to find the best plant-based protein powder. Also, we have compiled some important factors to consider before buying the supplements. Before we dive into it, it is vital to understand the various benefits of going this route.
What is a Plant-Based Diet?
As the name suggests, a plant-based diet relies exclusively on nutrients derived from plants. Hence, your meal plans will consist of nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, oils, fruits, and vegetables.
Many people mistakenly assume that a plant-based diet is synonymous with veganism or vegetarianism. For starters, the former refers to those who specifically avoid fish, poultry, eating meat, and animal-based products such as eggs, dairy and honey. On the other hand, a plant-based diet does not mean you are actively trying to avoid other foods.
Admittedly, meat and dairy rank as the highest quality protein sources since a plant-based diet lacks some essential amino acids. Still, plenty of perks come with using the best plant-based protein powder as a supplement.
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5 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders
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5 Best Plant-Based Protein Powders - Reviews
Orgain's Creamy Chocolate Fudge Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder has ingredients that include a protein blend of organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, and organic chia seed. Buyers will get 21 grams of organic protein, 6 grams of fiber, no sugar, 3 grams of carbs and 150 calories per serving.
Whether you are training or need an extra boost at the end of your day, this product delivers nutrition. You can take it at any time of the day as a snack to help you perform better, recover and repeat for a more productive workout session or day. Plus, it has a delicious taste!
The fitness buffs will appreciate the Pea Protein Powder from NOW Sports Nutrition. This pure yellow pea protein isolate offers less than a gram of carbs and 24 grams of protein per serving, making it an excellent workout partner. Plus, it is unflavored to make it easier to mix with other desserts and drinks.
Athletes and exercise enthusiasts prefer the best low-carb option while still getting a high protein intake. Plus, some people get weird stomach upsets when taking protein powders. The simplicity in the Pea Protein Powder ensures you get the bare essentials without the risk of upsetting your gut.
One scoop of the Vegan Protein Powder Smoothie Mix offers 20 grams of protein, 160 calories, 1 gram of added sugar, and 2 grams of fiber per serving. If you are interested in taking your plant-based powder in liquid form, this product is an excellent option. Feel free to have it mixed with water, almond milk, oat milk and smoothies.
Moreover, you can use it before and after working out or when preparing breakfast, snacks and other recipes. This protein blend of organic pea and brown rice is also gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, cholesterol-free and lacks artificial sweeteners and colors. Thus, it is great for getting your digestive enzymes going while getting optimum nutrition.
OLLY Plant-Powered Protein Powder has 18 grams of protein minus dairy or animal products while still packing a delicious flavor. The easy-to-mix blend of pea protein ensures you get high-quality nutrition in organic vegan powder. Add it to your favorite beverage, shake well and enjoy!
One scoop of the protein powder contains vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron and potassium. The ingredients include flaxseed, cane sugar, monk fruit extract, guar gum, salt and natural flavors.
Orgain's Vanilla Bean Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is ideal for kids, men and women. Whether you want to recover muscle, build a lean physique, looking for a meal alternative, a smoothie booster, or a workout partner, this product has you covered.
Feel free to drink the certified organic vegan powder or add it to some of your favorite baking recipes. The carrageenan-free product also features no artificial ingredients. One scoop should deliver 21 grams of protein, 150 calories, and 5 grams of fiber per serving. Thus, it is ideal for those who want the best vegan protein powders for athletic reasons.
Factors to Consider When Buying Plant-Based Protein Powders
a) Nutrients in Plant Protein Powders vs. Whey Protein
Although plant-based proteins are excellent alternatives to a meat-eating diet, many of them do not contain all the nine essential amino acids required by the body. Single protein sources like pea, brown rice or wheat may have impressive figures for total protein per serving. However, it is vital to check the nutritional label before buying to ensure you do not miss out on anything important.
Alternatively, you can go for chia seeds that provide you with all the essentials, but you will have to give up high protein density.
A protein blend, typically a mixture of numerous plants, can serve to ensure you get all the nutrition you need. Many people check to see how much protein per serving they will get when they are shopping for vegan powders. Luckily, you can find plant-based options with sufficient grams of protein per serving while still getting all the essential amino acids.
Having or lacking micro-and-macronutrients will affect your health. So, if you aim for a vegan diet, ensure you are not using products that will lead to deficiencies. You can experience plant-based protein's energy and performance benefits if you pay attention to the nutrient content when buying.
b) Ingredients in Vegan Protein Powders
Out of the 20 amino acids that make up protein compounds, humans can only naturally produce 11 of them. Thus, the nine remaining ones are essential amino acids, and a complete protein contains these vital compounds. The protein types highlighted below represent the most popular ingredients in plant-based protein powders and some that you should avoid.
Essential Ingredients in Vegan Protein Powders
- Organic pea protein contains most of the amino acids necessary for complete health, making them popular with protein powder manufacturers. The blend of pea protein is excellent as a source of iron, lowering blood pressure, keeping you full and aiding in muscle growth.
- Hemp protein, a little-known ingredient, is a Cannabis Sativa variety ideal for those who want to increase their protein intake but have sensitive stomachs. The human body can easily digest hemp protein, metabolize it and use it. Also, it has plenty of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids for those with athletic aspirations.
- Admittedly, a pumpkin seed protein blend lacks some essential amino acids while offering about 72 grams of protein per serving. However, this ingredient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. Plus, pumpkin seed protein packs magnesium, zinc, iron and other vital vitamins and minerals.
- Brown rice protein supplements have all the required amino acids. The ingredient gives you micronutrients, vitamin C, iron and calcium, along with high fiber content. Brown rice protein powder is a terrific alternative to animal-based protein, and it can assist with weight loss and regulate your blood sugar minus risks of heart disease.
- Quinoa combines well with other vegan-based protein supplements such as the pea protein isolate. When the ingredient is not an isolate, it contains all essential amino acids. Also, quinoa protein is naturally gluten-free, which is critical for enhancing digestive enzymes.
- Although soy protein is a popular ingredient in organic protein powder, it is marred by controversy over whether it is beneficial. However, there are numerous alternatives to soy protein that you can get.
What to Avoid
- Casein is a whey protein concentrate typically found in trace amounts in plant-based proteins but occurs abundantly in animal sources. Your digestive tract does not do a good job absorbing the ingredient leading to a bloated gut or general abdominal distress in some people.
- High gluten consumption can make you feel fatigued and cause inflammation. On the other hand, some people are gluten intolerant. It is advisable to look for gluten-free plant-based proteins as the ingredient can lead to Celiac disease.
- In a bid to replace sugar in flavoring plant-based protein powders, manufacturers have turned to artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, Splenda and sucralose. But, taking a lot of these ingredients may cause weight gain or bloating.
- Maltodextrin, along with other dextrins, increases the body's glycemic load, allowing fat stores to build up quickly. However, these ingredients are used as fillers in vegan protein powders for easier mixing into drinks.
- Skim milk powder is an affordable filler popular with protein powder manufacturers. Still, you can expect some bloating and constipation due to the high lactose content in these sugars. Also, they are sourced from dairy, so people looking for the best vegan protein powders should avoid them.
c) Benefits of Plant-Based Protein Powders
Plant-based protein powder is more easily absorbed in your gut. Additionally, a vegan diet diversifies the microbiome environment in your digestive tracts. Consequently, users can see improvements in avoiding fatigue, skin conditions, depression, autoimmune diseases and other health problems.
Plant-based protein powder is typically rich in fiber to help clean out your digestive tract while improving your immune system's ability to combat diseases naturally. Also, reducing the red meat in your diet can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease.
Moreover, plant protein such as nuts contains healthy fats that assist in balancing your hormones, improving your appetite and maintaining healthy sugar levels. If you are interested in managing your weight or increases your athletic prowess, vegan-based protein is an excellent substitute for meat and dairy products. Plus, the fibrous protein in plant supplements will keep your stomach full for longer durations to stop you from overeating to reduce your daily caloric intake.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Plant-Based Protein Powders
1. Which is the best plant-based protein powder?
Orgain's Creamy Chocolate Fudge Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is your best bet if you are into vegan shakes. This powder is ideal for the whole family, has an awesome taste and offers optimum nutrition. Plus, it is affordable, and most reviews show that buyers see results.
2. What are the four sources of plant-based protein?
Green vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains and legumes offer one of the most protein nutrient-dense vegan options. A balanced diet containing these ingredients will not lead to nutrient deficiency as you will get all the essential amino acids.