Whey protein is often considered the purest and highest-quality protein powder on the market, but not everyone wants to consume a protein source taken from dairy.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you will find plant-based protein powder more in line with your lifestyle. If your stomach cannot tolerate whey or casein for some reason, then protein sourced from natural plants may give you an alternative that agrees with your system.
Vegans hate being asked where they get their protein, but many people assume that a diet without animal products is an anemic, unhealthy diet. That is not always the case, especially if you use a protein supplement that allows you to increase your protein intake without going against your values.
It is also assumed by many people that plant proteins do not provide all of the amino acids that the body needs to properly absorb and make use of protein. While some plant-based proteins are not complete proteins on their own, they are often mixed with other plant proteins in order to create complete proteins. You will also be surprised how many plants do provide complete proteins without being mixed with other ingredients.
The plant-based protein powder featured on this page will introduce you to the most commonly consumed types of plant proteins on the market today. Some of these plants provide more protein than others, but they are all low in calories, fat and carbohydrates due to their natural protein sources. They are all perfectly suited to a healthy diet whether your goals are to lose weight, gain weight, build muscle or simply supplement your diet to ensure you get enough protein for general health.
Pea Protein Powder
Pea protein is isolated from other components found in natural-growing peas. This plant-based protein is rich in BCAAs which are needed for muscle recovery and protein synthesis after an intense workout. You get a reasonable amount of protein per serving and the nutritional profile is impressive, so you can often double your serving of the powder for a protein shake that packs a huge protein punch.
The purest pea protein powder on the market today is Now Sports Pea Protein. This is one of the most popular brand names in the protein powder market today, and they are known for making high-quality, pure isolates that are easily digestible. This pea protein is 100% pure and unflavored, so you can easily mix it with fresh fruits and vegetables to create a super-nutritious meal replacement shake or after-workout supplement.
If you want some flavor in your pea protein shake, consider Designs for Health PurePea. It comes in vanilla flavoring, so you don’t have to mix it with other ingredients to create a delicious vegan protein shake. The peas are not genetically modified and are naturally fermented without the use of chemicals. If you are trying to eat clean, this will fit into your diet easily.
Hemp Protein Powder
This is one of the more modern protein powders on the market today, and it has become quite popular with vegetarians, vegans and raw food dieters. It is one of the most natural plant-based protein powder supplements on the market today, but it doesn’t contain as much protein per serving as some other options presented on this page.
The best hemp protein powder on the market today is Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein. The hempseeds used to create this powder are USDA certified organic, and there are no added ingredients. You get a bag of powdered hempseed that was grown and harvested according to U.S. organic standards. A serving is three tablespoons of powder, and you get 15 grams of protein per serving.
You also get 8 grams of fiber per serving when you consume this hemp protein powder. That is a big advantage over other types of protein powder that contain little to no fiber. If you want a protein shake that will keep you full between meals, the fiber in this Nutiva protein powder will do the trick.
Soy Protein Powder
It is important to use soy protein supplements that are guaranteed free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Soy is a great source of complete protein for vegetarians and vegans, but there is great controversy regarding the use of GMOs in soy products.
One pure and GMO-free soy protein powder is Now Sports Soy Protein Isolate. Each serving packs 20 grams of protein with just 90 calories, 0.5 gram of fat and less than half a gram of carbohydrate. This nutritional profile beats many whey protein isolate powders if you are trying to lose weight or burn body fat. You can easily double up to a two-serving shake to get 40 grams of protein for less than 200 calories and very little fat or carbohydrates.
If you didn’t realize that rice was a recognized source of protein, you haven’t checked into products like Nutribiotic Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder yet. This powder is USDA-certified organic and is 80% protein. One tablespoon contains 12 grams of protein and just 60 calories, so you can easily use two or three servings without taking in a lot of calories. This is to the advantage of anyone interested in losing weight or burning fat.
Mixed Plant-Based Protein Powders
Some of the best plant-based protein powder supplements on the market today contain a mixture of protein sources. They may be based primarily on one type of plant protein and then increase their protein content and taste with a variety of other plant proteins, such as chia seeds.
One of the best options on the market right now is Plant Fusion protein powder. The primary protein source is pea protein, but it also contains artichoke protein, organic sprouted amaranth protein and organic sprouted quinoa powder. Each serving contains 22 grams of protein and just 120 calories. BCAAs are also added into the mix to ensure you receive a complete amino acid profile to support muscle recovery and growth.