My Top 5 Vegan Protein Powders
*This post is in no way sponsored nor am I being paid to write about these companies. All opinions are honest and my own. I would never share or recommend products that I don’t love or wouldn’t use myself!
One of the my common questions I get asked is “what protein powder do you recommend?’. Totally valid, considering protein powder is almost always making a feature in my recipes! But we all know there’s nothing worse than buying a tub of protein powder just to realize you just wasted 40 bucks on something that tastes like dirt.
I’ve been there. Many times. So that’s why I decided to round up my top 5 vegan protein powders: so that you don’t have to go through the frustration of trying out brand after brand, only to realize the powder either doesn’t taste good, doesn’t mix well, or just has plain nasty ingredients…or all three!
Why take a protein supplement?
We all need protein. It’s an important building block of our bodies and an essential macronutrient that helps build muscle, repair tissue, and make enzymes and hormones. Proteins are made up of amino acids, of which there are 9 that the human body cannot make on its own. Thus, must come from food.
People that eat a balanced diet and engage in a moderate amount of physical activity do not necessarily need protein powder. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and a variety of protein sources (eggs, meat, fish, nuts, tofu, meat substitutes) will most likely have you covered when it comes to getting enough protein!
So why take protein powder? Honestly, it’s all up to you to decide that! For me personally, I take protein powder daily because I like it and it makes me feel my best. There’s nothing better than a warm and cozy bowl of vanilla cauliflower protein oats! Not only does the addition of protein powder add volume and make the oats extra creamy, but it simply helps keep me satisfied for a longer period of time.
Another reason that protein powder is a good option for me, is convenience. It’s much easier to always have protein powder on hand to add to oats, smoothies, and baked goods than to constantly have to pause while making a meal and having to figure out where my protein is coming from.
Now, I am BY NO MEANS saying that you should use protein powder to REPLACE protein in your diet. My MAIN source of protein is from whole foods. I just love to use protein powder to enhance my energy and even taste of what I put it in!
So, now that I’ve explained a little why I take protein powder, let’s get to my top 5 vegan protein powders! You may be thinking, ‘why vegan?’ considering I am no longer following a fully vegan diet. The reason I chose to only review vegan protein powders in this post is because I have tried so many and would like to share with you which ones are my favorite! Also, since I have started incorporating animal proteins into my diet, I figured it’s best for me to also make sure I’m getting in plenty of protein from plant-based sources as well.
Nuzest Clean Lean Protein
You guys already know I could go on and on about how much I love Nuzest! For starters, the ingredients are simple. Clean Lean Protein is sourced from premium European golden peas, which is a complete protein source that is all natural and allergen-free. Not to mention, it’s Paleo-friendly as well!
Another reason why Nuzest is my go-to protein, is because it’s incredibly smooth and creamy. Plant-based protein powders often tend to be chalky and/or gritty, making it simply unpleasant to add to a smoothie or mix into oatmeal, let alone drink straight with water or milk! Nuzest is completely unique when it comes to texture, as it’s the creamiest plant-based protein I’ve tried. It does not clump at all when mixing, and creates the creamiest oatmeal bowls. And you all know creamy oatmeal bowls are basically what I live for 🤪
Within their Clean Lean Protein line, Nuzest has quite a variety of different flavors. From their Original Flavors to their newer Functional Flavors, Nuzest has got a protein powder for everyone! Below is a complete list of Nuzest’s current flavors and their ingredients.
just natural: pea protein isolate
smooth vanilla: pea protein isolate, natural vanilla flavor, thaumatin
rich chocolate: pea protein isolate, cocoa powder, natural vanilla flavor, natural chocolate flavor, thaumatin
wild strawberry: pea protein isolate, natural strawberry flavor, beet powder, thaumatin, natural vanilla flavor
real coffee: pea protein isolate, coffee powder, cocoa powder, natural vanilla flavor, natural thaumatin, natural coffee flavor
chai turmeric maca: pea protein isolate, turmeric powder, natural chai flavor, organic maca powder, cinnamon powder, black pepper powder, thaumatin
coconut coffee MCT: pea protein isolate, natural coconut flavor, MCT powder, natural vanilla flavor, coffee powder, thaumatin, natural coffee flavor
vanilla matcha: pea protein isolate, matcha green tea powder, natural vanilla flavor, thaumatin
As you can see, each flavored Clean Lean Protein is sweetened with thaumatin, a protein extracted from the Katemfe Fruit. It is about 2000-3000 sweeter than sugar and pairs amazingly well with pea protein! Plus, it doesn’t have that nasty or artificial aftertaste of most sweetened protein powders.
Digestive Support Protein
probiotic cacao: pea protein isolate, organic coconut palm sugar, organic cacao powder, L-Glutamine, Bacillus Coagulans 1 billion cfu
Nuzest also recently launched their Probiotic Cacao Digestive Support Protein, which was specially formulated in collaboration with gut-health advocate @lilsipper. This chocolate flavored protein powder is blended with probiotics and other gut-friendly ingredients for an amazing protein powder that will make your tummy smile!
Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is made with minimal ingredients, mixes easily, and tastes amazing, making it my go-to when I’m in need of a protein powder that gets the job done! Because Nuzest is such high quality, it can be a bit pricey. That’s why I think its SO cool that Nuzest offers starter packs of their Clean Lean Protein! Each starter pack contains 4 FULL servings of their original flavors for just $9.99 with FREE shipping, saving you almost 50%!
Where to Buy
Nuzest USA: code simplybalancedliv gets you 15% off
Nuzest UK & Europe: code livia15 gets you 15% off
Order on Amazon here
LivWell Raw Plant Protein
Having the name Liv, I was beyond excited when I got the chance to try a vegan protein with NAME in it! Of course, it had to be included in my top 5! You guys know I’m only kidding ;) In order for a protein powder to make this list, it has to be 100% plant-based, taste good, and be made with high quality ingredients. LivWell Raw Plant Protein totally surpasses all those criteria!
For starters, LivWell Protein is certified USDA organic. That means their protein is certified FREE from synthetic fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and chemical pesticides. LivWell aims to achieve a more sustainable green planet, which is also why their packaging is made from 100% recycled kraft paper bags! Being someone who tries to eat as organic and live as sustainably as possible, it’s so cool to finally have found a protein powder that is in alignment with that!
What’s even COOLER is that LivWell Raw Plant Protein tastes absolutely amazing! Sure, a protein powder can have healthy ingredients and the brand philosophy can be great, but in the end it’s gotta taste good, too ;) LivWell currently offers four varieties of their Raw Plant Protein. The ingredients of each is below!
natural (unflavored): protein blend (organic sprouted brown rice, organic yellow peas, organic sacha inchi, organic hemp)
wild vanilla bean: protein blend (organic sprouted brown rice, organic yellow peas, organic sacha inchi, organic hemp), organic vanilla bean, organic coconut sugar, organic cinnamon, xanthan gum, pink sea salt, organic stevia
raw cacao: protein blend (organic sprouted brown rice, organic yellow peas, organic sacha inchi, organic hemp), organic raw cacao, organic coconut sugar, organic vanilla bean, xanthan gum, pink sea salt, organic stevia
coconut: protein blend (organic sprouted brown rice, organic yellow peas, organic sacha inchi, organic hemp), organic coconut sugar, organic coconut flavor, xanthan gum, pink sea salt, organic stevia
As you can see, LivWell uses a blend of sprouted brown rice, yellow pea, sacha inchi, and hemp proteins in their Raw Plant Protein. Not only does this blend create a powerhouse when it comes to nutrient diversity (that’s why a varied diet is so important!), but I also have found it to lend itself to baking very well.
Using a single-sourced protein powder (plain pea, rice, hemp, etc) in baking can often cause the taste of the protein powder itself to become overpowering. However, since LivWell uses a delicate blend of four high quality proteins, the addition in baked goods is very subtle! For example, I love using their Raw Cacao protein in my Chocolate Mug Cake!
If you’re not looking to bake with your protein powder though, LivWell is just as excellent when it comes to smoothies, shakes, and oats! The texture is incredibly creamy and the flavors are absolutely delicious. I especially like their coconut protein, as I had never found a coconut-flavored protein powder that’s plant based AND organic!
Where to Buy
LivWell is extremely affordable for a plant-based protein powder that’s certified USDA organic. Their protein is currently available for purchase on their website, and they ship worldwide! A full-sized bag is only $29, and if you use my code simplybalancedliv, you get an additional 15% off! So, what’s stopping you? Order your LivWell Raw Plant Protein today!
Personal Protein Pea Protein Isolate + flavor shots
Can you imagine being able to have a different flavor protein powder every single day, without having to buy each flavor? Seems impossible, right? Wrong! Personal Protein has made every protein powder lover’s dream a reality with their incredible product range!
What is Personal Protein?
I have posted about Personal Protein a couple times on my instagram, but in case you’re unfamiliar, I’ll briefly explain here! Personal Protein is all about having YOU be your own boss. They’re a relatively new company based in the Netherlands that creates a whole range of plain protein powders from different protein sources. They currently sell nine different types of protein powder, three of which are vegan. Along with their protein powder, they sell over fifteen different flavor shots, so that you can literally have a different flavor of protein every single day. In short, YOU call the shots!
My personal (ha!) favorite protein powder of their vegan range is their Pea Protein Isolate, so that’s the one I’m choosing to include in this list. It’s made simply from pea protein isolate, nothing else! That’s what I like to see 😎
Of their flavor shots, they sell three that are labeled as ‘natural’: vanilla, strawberry, and caramel crunch. The difference with their regular flavors vs. their natural flavors, is that the flavoring and coloring in their ‘natural’ variety is made from completely natural ingredients. Being someone who chooses to eat as naturally as possible, I usually stick to these three flavors when using Personal Protein.
Taste & Texture
I personally love using pea protein because of its thick and creamy consistency. Personal Protein’s Pea Protein Isolate is no exception! It mixes into oats super easily and adds an amazing protein boost when used in pancakes, smoothies, or just straight with milk! Of course I add the flavor shots as well, which are also incredibly tasty! All you need is about 1/8-1/4 tsp of the flavor shot per scoop of protein, and you’ve got yourself a sweet and flavorful protein-packed shake!…or bowl of oats, or smoothie :)
Where to Buy
Personal Protein is currently only available in the Netherlands, so to all my Dutchies, you’re in luck! 😉You can get a great discount if you order off their website when you use the code simplybalancedliv at checkout!
Orangefit Fit Green Protein
While on my search for my top 5 favorite vegan protein powders, I came across Orangefit’s Fit Green Protein—easily recognizable by their vibrant orange packaging that is currently being sold in over 500 stores in the Netherlands. Now, before you stop reading this review because of the fact that Orangefit’s packaging is completely in Dutch, I’ve got some good news for you: Orangefit ships worldwide! I guess they really are serious when they say ‘We create a fitter world’ :).
That exact phrase is what drives Orangefit every day. Their mission is to create a world that is filled with strong, healthy people, and a planet that is vibrant again. Sounds exciting to me! But how exactly does Orangefit plan to achieve this so called ‘fitter world’?
By offering plant-based nutrition that not only supports you, but supports the planet as well. For that reason, Orangefit’s Fit Green Protein is made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients. On top of that, it’s also free of sugar and most common allergens! Orangefit currently offers four flavors of their Fit Green Protein; the ingredients of each are below.
vanilla: pea protein, natural vanilla flavor, xanthan gum, stevia
chocolate: pea protein, natural chocolate flavor, cacao powder, xanthan gum, stevia
strawberry: pea protein, natural strawberry flavor, xanthan gum, red beet powder, stevia
mango-peach: pea protein, natural mango-peach flavor, xanthan gum, beta-carotene, stevia
From an ingredient viewpoint, this is an excellent protein powder! The protein source in Fit Green Protein is peas, which provide a complete amino acid profile. I am also personally a huge fan of pea protein in general, as it really agrees with my tummy and I love the texture it adds to both cold drinks/smoothies as well as hot dishes and baked goods!
Additionally, each flavor has natural flavoring, xanthan gum, and is sweetened with stevia. The fruit flavors have colorings that have been extracted from 100% natural sources.
Taste & Texture
Of course, we can only make healthy (plant-based) eating a reality if it also tastes good. As I mentioned before, there’s far too many vegan protein powders out there that are either (1) filled with crap to make them even the least bit palatable or (2) filled with nutritious ingredients, but taste like crap. I don’t want either!
That’s why I am super stoked about Fit Green Protein. It’s sweetened with stevia (comes from a plant!) and has a bit of xanthan gum added for thickening + mixing purposes. Considering the protein source of Fit Green Protein is just peas, I was really curious to how the texture would compare to other pea-based protein powders like above mentioned Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein and Personal Protein’s Pea Protein Isolate.
I was pleasantly surprised at how thick and creamy this protein powder is! I’m guessing the addition of xanthan gum was carefully considered, as the protein powder mixes beautifully without clumping and creates a smooth & creamy texture. I especially love using it in my oatmeal.
In terms of taste, Fit Green Protein is absolutely delicious. I think it’s best comparable to Nuzest Clean Lean Protein, except it’s slightly sweeter. Considering you all know my love for Nuzest runs deep, you’re 100% right to conclude that Fit Green Protein is also a new love! ;)
Where to Buy
The best deal on Orangefit Fit Green Protein is if you order directly from their website. They ship worldwide, so you can order from them wherever you are located! If you live in the Netherlands, chances are you can find Fit Green Protein in a local health/supplements store near you. Orangefit customer service is also a great resource—so if you have any questions before purchasing, don’t hesitate to contact them!
Unfortunately, Orangefit doesn’t currently have an ambassador program or offer discount codes, so I don’t have any discounts for you guys. However, Fit Green Protein is extremely affordable and even has a money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchase!
Pure Food Plant-Based Protein
When I was in Boston last summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to try both flavors of Pure Food Plant-Based Protein Powder. They’re the only company on this list that doesn’t ship to Europe, hence my excitement when I got to try them when I was in the U.S.!
Pure Food is a relatively new vegan protein powder that makes several claims. Their website states it to be the cleanest and healthiest protein powder on the market because it’s the only one with 100% organic, plant-based, real food ingredients and probiotics’. Pure Food is obviously proud of their ingredients, as they’re even printed on the FRONT of the packaging!
Let’s take a look at both flavors:
vanilla (all organic): pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp protein, vanilla, lucuma, mesquite, stevia leaf, probiotic ganedenbc30 (bacillus coagulans)
raw cacao (all organic): pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp protein, raw cacao, mesquite, vanilla, stevia leaf, probiotic ganedenbc30 (bacillus coagulans)
As you can see, both flavors of Pure Food Protein have a pretty impressive ingredient list! The protein is sourced from a blend of organic pea, brown rice, and hemp protein, making this an incredibly qualitative protein supplement that should provide a complete amino acid profile. The added superfoods are also what makes this protein powder unique, and I’m a huge fan of the probiotic bacteria too!
Taste & Texture
Now, the ingredients are impressive, but are they just as impressive as the taste and texture? Unfortunately, not so much. I’m gonna say it how it is: if you are looking for a protein powder that is very sweet and silky smooth, Pure Food Protein is not for you. On its own, it has a very earthy taste that may not be so enjoyable to some.
As for the texture, it’s a bit chalky, and doesn’t dissolve easily. But think about it—real food doesn’t magically dissolve with a few stirs. However, it blends beautifully into a smoothie (bowl) and creates a delicious flavor when paired with sweet fruit!
All in all, Pure Food Protein is perfect for anyone looking for a protein powder that is made with 100% organic, natural, plant-based, and clean ingredients. If you’re expecting an artificially flavored milkshake type of deal, you’ll be disappointed. But if you are someone who believes in nourishing yourself with the best possible foods and doesn’t mind a bit of an earthy taste—then you’ll actually love it!
Where to buy
Pure Food Protein is currently available for purchase on their website as well as on Amazon. Using my code on their website will get you 20% off, and their subscribe & save option will save you an additional 20%!
Pure Food website: code simplybalancedliv gets you 20% off
Order on Amazon here
Have you tried any of these protein powders? Are there protein powders you think should be on this list? Let me know in the comments!
*This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Simply Balanced Liv!