Protein is important in anyone’s diet, with the average adult needing 50g a day. Protein is even more essential when you workout as it helps maintain and build lean muscle mass. However 90% of proteins are whey based, something vegans and us lactose intolerant folk can’t have.
Moreover, the majority of powders, even vegan ones, pitched as being ‘healthy’ and perfect for refuelling your body, are full of artificial and bulking ingredients like sweeteners, starch, gum thickeners, salt, and flavourings.
But fear not my friends. I have taken it upon myself to find the best vegan protein powder. Well I say the best but I can’t afford every vegan protein out there, so I picked 5 to try.
The Judging Criteria
Each protein powder has been awarded marks out of 25 (5 marks per criteria), with the criteria being:
Taste /5: am I able to drink and enjoy my vegan protein smoothie without having to peg my nose?
Texture /5: is it easily blendable and drinkable, with zero risk of choking?
Quality of ingredients /5: no artificial sweeteners, no GMO, no unpronounceable or made up sounding ingredients and a decent amount of protein.
Price /5: value for money; how much is in the bag and what’s the damage to my bank account?
Flare /5: brands ethos, science behind the product, fancy packaging, desirability etc.
For a fair comparison, each taste test was done with the brands recommended serving size and blended with 300ml of water and nothing else.
Scoops at the ready. Let the battle commence…⚔
Plant blend in cacao
Taste 1/5: All I can say is sand. Not really any flavour just the texture of wet sand. I actually chocked on the first few sips.
Texture 1/5: See above. Also kind of gritty when I tried to use it in smoothies.
Quality of ingredients 3/5: Very clean. 22g of protein from 3 sources blended with only raw cacao and coconut. But this is reflected in the taste. Also, I prefer some sort of digestive aid to help my body break down and absorb the protein.
Flare 3/5: Good website with recipes, a blog and ‘meet the team’ section where you can read about the founder and his wish to provide clean protein.
Price 2/5: 250g £10.99 1kg £34.99. Pricey and not that nicey.
In chocolate salted caramel
Taste 3/5: Too sweet for my liking but I enjoyed it mixed with greens powder to balance out the bitterness. I wasn’t able to mix it with that many smoothies as the sweet salty chocolate flavour overpowers a lot of other flavours.
Texture 3/5: blends like a dream; smooth and easily drinkable.
Quality of ingredients 5/5: With 20g of protein the superblend is a mix of 4 vegan protein sources (hemp, pea, brown rice and algavia), greens, fruits, probiotics, vitamins and minerals. Basically a nutrition powerhouse.
Flare 4/5: Backed by science, free of artificial ingredients and endorsed by personal trainers like Shona Vertue (whom apparently trains David beckham). Plus, every purchase helps provide healthcare in Gambia.
Price 3/5: 520g £24. Quality can be expensive. Beware of the unavoidable £5 shipping unless you spend £40+.
In Vanilla, chocolate, coffee & berry
Taste 3/5: The vanilla and chocolate flavours had an enjoyable flavour with a subtle sweetness, however the berry one was too sweet for my liking and the coffee was unpalatable in my opinion. Despite being a chocoholic, my favourite was definitely the vanilla which works well in raw treats and bakes.
Texture 3/5: Blends well with a smooth consistency. However, a lot of froth occurs and the more I drank the frothier things got. It did blend nicely into my morning smoothies.
Quality of ingredients 4/5: Lower in calories than many brands but also lower in protein with 15.5g of pea protein. However the product also contains glutamine for recovery, antioxidants from green tea, digestive enzymes, flax, bamboo, B12 and zinc (which vegans/vegetarian are often low in) and is sweetened with stevia.
Flare 4/5: With the tag line ‘make every sweat count’ MissFit Nutrition focuses on empowering women to be strong and fit. They have a modern website offering recipes and workouts, are active on social media and their packaging is good.
Price 3/5: £18 for 12 vegan 25g sachets. £25 for a 500g bag. £1.99 for a sample in Holland & Barrett. Not the cheapest but you pay for quality. I wish they did a 1kg bag.
Taste 2/4: I only managed to get my hands on an unflavoured sample (the flavoured were sold out on Ebay). Unflavoured was never going to taste amazing, it was predictably bland and best for blending with other flavours. I predict their vanilla hemp, chocolate soya or tropical pea protein would taste better.
Texture 2/5: major frothing occurred which made it quite hard to drink.
Quality of ingredients 3/5: 100% almond extract providing approximately 18g protein. All their products are natural, vegan, GMO, lactose and gluten free. However, I prefer it when a product has mix of nourishing ingredients to fight free radicals created during exercise and aid digestion of the protein.
Flare 4/5: I like their website and packaging and I love that when you buy a product you get a free sample. It’s also helpful that they sell on Ebay.
Price 3/5: 25g sample £2, 500g £7.50, 1kg currently unavailable but I think it’s around £15. It’s a fair price but you’re only paying for 1 ingredient.
Premium Plant Protein & Super Food Blend in chocolate vanilla
Taste 4/5: Just a hint of chocolate/vanilla which I like but if you like a sweet chocolatey thick shake then you might want to use less liquid or add a bit of cacao/vanilla. On the plus, the subtle taste goes well with many smoothie flavours.
Texture 4/5: Needs remixing a bit as a little bit of powder gathers on the surface after about 5-10 minutes, other than that it blends well.
Quality of ingredients 4/5: Pure great mix of ingredients: 22g of protein from two sources (hemp & pea), greens, digestive enzymes and completely free from soy, gluten, dairy, GMO and artificial sugar.
Flare 3/5: Apparently the number 1 vegan protein in the UK. Founded by two nutritionists and a pro athlete in 2011. Their website offers a wide range of products but not so many recipes or advice.
Price 4/5: 250g £9.99, 1 kg £32 (but they reward you with 25% discounts see below), free 30g samples (£1.50 p&p).
And the winner is:
I am currently using and enjoying Revolution Food chocolate vanilla vegan protein powder every day, 1/2 a scoop before I workout then 1/2 a scoop in my breakfast. Use the code ‘DISCOUNT25’ for 25% off your order, making the 1kg bag £24. You could also throw in the free samples and you’ve got yourself a good deal on a great product.
Have an exstrawdinary day x