Protein powder is an easy, no-prep way to boost your protein content for the day. Choosing a vegan brand simply means that the protein is coming from plants (think nuts, seeds, grains, legumes) rather than animal products (like dairy, meat, and eggs).
Soy, hemp, pea, rice, and peanut are all examples of vegan protein powders. However, it’s important to keep in mind that soy is the only complete vegan protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, says Leslie Bonci, RD, a nutrition consultant for the Kansas City Chiefs. “The other plant-based proteins are missing at least one of the essential amino acids.”
So if you’re not using a soy product, look for a powder that combines protein sources, such as pea and rice. Or, you can combine the powder with another food, suggests Bonci. Mix hemp protein powder into oatmeal, for example, or put pea protein powder in a smoothie with nut butter.
It’s also worth noting that not everyone loves the aftertaste of vegan protein powder. “But that can be improved by adding things like spices such as pumpkin pie spice, cocoa powder, some citrus such as grated orange peel, or extracts such as vanilla, almond, or lemon,” Bonci says.
Want some recs? Check out the brands below. These are our favorite powders based on their ingredients, consistency, protein content, and taste.