So my awesome new job has a gym in the building and I’ve taken this opportunity to workout on my lunch break every day. I am so excited about fitness right now, I figured this would be the perfect time to try all the vegan protein powders out there!
Fun fact about me, I come from what you might call a fitness family… Both my mom and my dad were body builders back in the 80s (I wish I had a picture to could post, but sadly they’re in my mom’s garage somewhere). My dad still works out heavily (like 7 days a week heavily) and my mom maintains a healthy lifestyle (but don’t ask her to do a pull up)… but back in 1985, they were both ripped. Think “American Gladiators”.
Me, in another life I was once a pre-professional ballet dancer, so I’m no stranger to intense exercise and disciplined eating. However, I wasn’t vegan during my dancing days and I relied on whey proteins for their high protein and low fat nutrient profiles.
Thankfully, today there are a TON of great vegan fitness supplements and
protein bars and powders. Today, I’m going to focus on the world of strictly powders but if the interest is there (comment!) I’ll do a review of protein bars as well.
I’ll follow a similar format as my past reviews with pros, cons, and comments, culminating in my personal pick for the winner (Note: the “winner” is really an arbitrary title, it’s simply my personal favorite, but given my comments on each product you may decide that a different protein powder better suits your needs :)).
My objective in these reviews is to draw attention to great vegan products and give you a little insight so you can try them with confidence and choose the right product for your money without feeling like you’re taking a total gamble. That said, let’s get to the reviewing!
Price– $29.97 (1.1 lbs)
Protein Base– Brown Rice Protein
Flavors– Chocolate, Vanilla, Natural
Pros– Nice neutral flavor that blends well with anything you mix it with (bananas, berries, etc). Mixes well and has an exceptionally creamy texture. Frothy but not gritty. I love a protein powder that compliments but doesn’t compete with the flavor of the supporting ingredients (banana etc).
Cons– If you’re looking for a really sweet vanilla flavor, this isn’t going to be your best bet. That’s not really a con, just an observation. The vanilla flavor is nice and natural, but not sweet. So if you are wanting a sweet treat after your workout, you may want to sweeten this with a little stevia, sugar, sweet non-dairy milk etc.
Best For– Those looking for that classic protein powder feel, those with a weight loss goal (SunWarrior is very low calorie!), or those favoring a limited ingredient protein powder. This may even be a good choice for anyone who has a sensitive stomach. Actually, everyone should try SunWarrior. You can’t go wrong!
Comments– SunWarrior is also USDA Organic, Raw, NonGMO
Price– $29.99 -$39.99 (depending on retailer)
Protein Base– Spiru-Tein GOLD – Rice, Chia, & Pea Protein (Soy-free!!), Spiru-tein – Soy Protein Blend
Flavors– GOLD Line: Banana Berry Blast, Chocolate Cherry, Tropical Fruit, Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry. Spiru-Tein Regular Line: Natural Banana, Banana, Banana Split, Black Cherry Chocolate, Blueberries & Cream, Cappuccino, Chai Latte, Cherries Jubilee, Cookie Dough, Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, Natural Chocolate, Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Double Fudge Crunch, Egg Nog, Exotic Red Fruit, Nutty Berry Blast, Natural Vanilla, Peaches and Cream, Natural Peaches and Cream, Pina Colada, Raspberry Royale, Red Velvet, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Shortcake, Natural Strawberry, Strawberry, Tangerine Dream, Tropical Fruit, Vanilla.
Pros– Tons of AWESOME flavors, so much variety here, you will never get bored of your of your workout shake. I’ve tried several of their flavors and they are all really yummy. Blends well, doesn’t need any supporting ingredients to spice it up and it’s available pretty much everywhere.
Cons– Spiru-Tein contains BEE POLLEN. I am not going to debate anyone on whether or not honey/bee products should be considered vegan or not. I’m just simply passing along this information. If you abstain from bee products, then you will (obviously) want to avoid Spiru-Tein.
Best for– Beginners! With such a variety of flavors and trial sizes (!!) available, it’s an easy protein powder to start with. Because you don’t need to add anything, it’s great for taking with you on the go!
Comments- The Spiru-Tein GOLD is completely soy-free, so it’s a great option for those with an allergy!
Price– Approximately $54.99 for 850 gram tub (Large Tub)
Protein Base– Pea Protein, Savi Seed, Hemp, Brown Rice Protein
Flavors– French Vanilla, Chocolate, Natural, Vanilla Chai, Berry
Pros– Demigod Brendan Brazier created this complete protein line for the serious vegan athlete (and the aspiring athlete too, don’t worry). It’s packed with a really wide variety of super supplements and stuff I didn’t know I even needed! It’s more than nutritionally complete, blends well, and makes a great shake.
Cons– Many reviewers and people commenting on Vega haven’t been so much of a fan of the flavors. Conversely, some people absolutely love the flavor line. It seems to be a polarizing protein, love it or hate it. For the record, I used the Vanilla Chai flavor and I liked it. It’s true to its name and has a nice chai-y flavor. I enjoyed it plain and with banana. I used berries also but they didn’t harmonize so well with the chai. However, i found it was the BEST protein to mix with my hemp and chia seeds. The nuttiness of the hemp seeds especially compliment the chai.
Best for– The more serious vegan athlete. It’s got all the nutrients to really take you to the next level of your training.
Comments– Vega is also SOY FREE.
Price– $39.99 – $49.99 for 451g tub (Medium Tub)
Protein Base- Brown Rice Protein, Flax Protein, Amaranth Protein (and other sprouted grain-based protein)
Flavors– Natural, Chocolate, Vanilla, Vanilla Chai
Pros– Similar to Sun Warrior, Garden of Life is another RAW protein and has a very nice neutral flavor. The “Natural” flavor is not sweet at all, making it a very versatile choice for blending. I love “making my own” shakes and adding fruits and vegetables and this is a great protein to do that with. It’s also very filling so it’s a good option for a meal replacement shake if you are looking for something like that.
Cons– It is SLIGHTLY, just slightly gritty when blended. And again, like Sun Warrior, if you are looking for a SWEET protein powder, this isn’t it.
Best for– Those who like to get creative with their shake making! Or those really just looking for a simple neutral taste, quick and easy, like a tasty glass of plain soy milk!
Comments– Another SOY FREE option! So many!!
Price– $44.00 for a 45 serving bag
Protein Base- Brown Rice Protein
Flavors– Vanilla, Chocolate
Pros– Perfect Fit has a lot of really cool and unique qualities. First of all, it comes in single serving packages! So awesome and very convenient for on-the-go, no-muss no-fuss fitness. It’s also a totally independent brand created by two women entrepreneurs. Perfect Fit is extremely low calorie, clocking in at 70 and 80 calories a serving and still manages to pack in 15 grams of protein. The flavor is good, not too sweet but is true to flavor AND it’s all organic.
Cons– I feel that the texture was a bit gritty. When blending at home it wasn’t an issue but when I was mixing on the go with a blender bottle etc, I wasn’t getting the consistency I wanted. I still think this is a great product, but I would recommend blending (in an electric blender) completely at home and then taking the shake in a blender bottle to go.
Best For- Calorie counters, those with a weight loss goal, and frequent travelers/busy bodies! The individual packets are so ultra convenient, you never have to miss your workouts when you’re on vacation.
Comments– Soy-Free!! Again!! My soy-free friends are going to love this post. It’s also all ORGANIC!
And my personal pick is….
Sun Warrior! The fluffy frothy texture and perfect balance in flavor between sweet and natural really brought it home for me. It’s delicious, raw, full of amazing nutrients and my overall fave.
That being said, I love variety so you can bet I’ll be using all the protein powders on my list again in the near future.
I hope you enjoyed this review and I can’t wait to hear what YOU think of these proteins! Also, if you want me to sample another protein and write a review, please comment!