Boost: A Guide to Vegan Protein Powders
by Emily Neill
Plants can pack a serious protein punch. Whether you’re looking for a workout recovery drink, or just want to boost the amount of protein in your diet, here’s our guide to the best plant-based protein powders.
A hit of protein before or after a gym session has become a staple for many of us. Whether we’re lifting the irons or working on our cardio, protein helps our muscles to recover and grow. Whilst WHEY protein used to dominate the scene, many plant-based powders have now joined, all offering similar nutritional benefits. If you’re looking to transform yourself into a lean, green, muscle-bound machine – or you simply want to add a little something extra to your breakfast smoothie – then read on for our guide to the best vegan protein powders.
Pea Protein Powder
- Protein content per 30g serving – 20-24g (approx. one small portion of grilled salmon)
- Taste – We’ll be honest – the idea of slurping down a pea-flavoured drink just after a gym session didn’t appeal to us at first either. However, we can confirm that rather than tasting like a dollop of mushy peas, it has a more delicate flavour – an earthy sweetness. If that’s not your bag, don’t worry – most brands have ‘flavoured varieties’ (TIP: check the sugar content, a hit of strawberry or chocolate can cause blood sugar levels to spike!).
Hemp Protein Powder
- Protein content per 30g serving – 15-18g (note – it also has around 8g of fiber per serving, great for gut health)
- Taste – Hemp protein powder is a pleasant surprise. The colour makes it look like a refreshing matcha latte and the flavour is even better than you’d expect; stronger than the other powders, its nutty notes make this post-workout drink something to look forward to.
Soy Protein Powder
- Protein content per 30g serving – 25-27g (approx. one portion of lamb chop)
- Taste – This powder ticks every box in terms of protein content and taste. Packing the most protein out of all of the plant-based powders, soy is probably the most similar to WHEY protein in taste and texture. It has a slightly bitter taste and is sometimes compared to peanut butter (the natural ones). To top it off, it mixes very well – a soy shake has the silkiest of consistencies.
Rice Protein Powder
- Protein content per 30g serving – 22-24g (approx. one can of tuna)
- Taste – Rice Protein powder doesn’t have a strong, discernible taste, which makes it perfect for combining in your kitchen creations – it’s ideal in a banana smoothie. It also mixes particularly well, giving a smooth consistency that’s neither grainy nor chalky.
Regardless of which plant-based protein powder you go for, there are points to remember. The first is that they all come in different flavours, so if you don’t like the original version, you can always try the others (sticky-toffee-apple flavoured milkshake anyone?). Secondly, there are many ways to enjoy your protein powder – you don’t need to strictly stick to a pre- or post-workout shake. You can add a scoop or two to almost anything to give yourself a tasty protein boost. Here are just a few of our own favourites:
- Add it to your Creamy Morning Porridge Oats
- Literally any smoothie (makes it extra thick!)
- Flapjacks (perfect mid-afternoon snack)
When it comes to vegan protein powders, some brands mix different types together. Rather than just adding a scoop of pure pea or hemp protein, they combine them to give you an even fuller plant profile. Here are our top three:
- No Whey Box – A blend of pea, hemp, and flaxseed, these powders come in a variety of tempting flavours – gingerbread, blueberry, or salted caramel are all in the mix.
- Vega Protein – Packing a protein punch with hemp, pumpkin, alfalfa, and pea, these supercharged powders come in vanilla and chocolate.
- Form Nutrition – When you’ve opened the spectacularly beautiful packaging, you’ll find a powder that mixes together brown rice, hemp, and algal protein. And the best part? It comes in tiramisu flavour!
Plant-based protein powders are powering workouts up and down the country. With this guide, you’ll be better able to choose the ideal one for you and start making those gains!
Looking to get more plants in your diet? allplants make the tastiest plant-based dishes around and deliver them straight to your door – ready to be popped in the microwave or in the freezer. Check out our menu to see what takes your fancy!
By Emily Neill
Emily is our Content and Community Assistant by day, and qualified PT by… later that day. She couldn’t live without exercise (makes sense) so can usually be spotted in her favourite spin class, with our Three Mushroom Risotto for afters.