Fitness Organic Product Reviews

5 Healthiest Vegan Protein Powders

healthiest-protein-powder-test
Written by Organics

I’d like to start off by saying that the proteins that will be mentioned below are not only for vegans. Many assume that vegan proteins are the second tier when it comes to fitness. However, vegan protein should not be the “alternative” protein but the “go-to” protein for several reasons.

standard whey gold protein ingredients

Dangers of Typical Protein Powder (Whey, milk, soy)

Non-plant proteins come from animal byproducts. This is important not just to those who care about animals but their health as well. It’s important to understand that cow’s milk, for example, was formulated purely for their offspring, not humans. Also, most animals are cramped up in small spaces and injected with hormones, antibiotics, and other “goodies”. To make it worse, manufacturers enhance your typical protein (whey, casein, milk, soy) with “natural” and artificial flavors, sweeteners, and other harmful additives[1]. We’ve included soy protein in the list as it’s quite controversial and has been linked to thyroid problems, brain damage, cancer and more. Also, over 90% of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GMO)[2].

We will go more in depth on why it’s wise to stay away from the most commonly found proteins in another article. For now, just realize that if you are taking protein with whey concentrate, whey isolate, casein or milk proteins you are most likely being counter-productive to your health.  Stay away from the artificial stuff and eat only what’s pure.

Downsides of Plant Protein

It’s important to understand that plant protein, although less likely, may still contain some ingredients that you should stay away from. Furthermore, some plant proteins lack the necessary amino acids. As mentioned in our previous article, there are 22 amino acids which are considered essential to your health. They perform important tasks within your body which help with growth, repair, and protection. Unfortunately, your body is unable to make 9 of these amino acids. This is where you come in. It’s important to provide your body with these amino acids. Complete proteins include all 9 of these amino acids (in a correct ratio). Animal proteins are complete proteins. Commonly, vegan proteins may lack 1-2 of these amino acids. However, hemp proteins include all the necessary amino acids.

We’ve hand selected the proteins that are the most effective, safe and readily available.

5. Vega Sport Performance Protein

Vega Performance Protein Review

Vega sport is probably one of the most popular plants-based proteins on the market today. It contains a blend of alfalfa, brown rice, sacha inchi and pea proteins. It packs 25 grams of complete protein and it has a great vanilla taste.

Ingredients & Nutrition:

Vega Protein Nutrients Vega Protein Ingredients

Highlights:

-Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy, added sugar-free

– Complete protein

– Plant based

-Great natural taste, mixes well

Downsides: The blend which makes up the protein contains brown rice. Recently, FDA has found that rice contains arsenic. Inorganic arsenic can contribute to adverse effects in health. While the effects and safe doses of arsenic are being studied, it’s important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Other grains and milk products may include arsenic as well. Those who do not enjoy the taste of stevia may be put off by the taste of this protein. It is not organic certified. It’s a bit expensive at $1.75 per ounce.

The Cost: $$$ . Rated 4/5. Buy it here.

Organics rating: 3.5 / 5 

4. Orgain Protein Chocolate Fudge

orgain protein powder

This protein has popped up recently and has gained some momentum due to its availability in Costco stores. It is a mixture of brown rice, chia, pea and hemp proteins. It contains 21 grams per scoop.

Ingredients and Nutrition:

Orgain Protein Nutrition Orgain Protein Ingredients

Highlights:

– Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free

– No added sugars

– USDA Organic Certified

– Non-GMO

– Complete protein

– On the sweet side, tastes great

– Mixes well

Downsides: includes a mixture of brown rice (see above to why it’s a concern).  Does have a slight stevia aftertaste. Should have fewer ingredients.

The Cost: $$.  Rated 4.5/5. Buy it here.

Organics rating: 3.5 / 5 

3. Plant Fusion Protein Unflavored

Plant Fusion is another overly popular protein that is typically found in all vitamin supplement stores. It is a blend of amaranth, pea, artichoke, and sprouted quinoa proteins. Contains 22 g of protein per scoop.

Plant Fusion Protein

Ingredients and Nutrition:

Plant Fusion Protein Ingredients and Nutrition

Highlights:

– Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free

– Plant Based

– Complete Protein

– 3.4g of L-glutamine

– Unflavored

Downsides: While this plant fusion protein is unflavored it is not flavorless. It’s a bit bitter and has a slight pea taste (if you like the natural taste, you may like it and their flavored options as well). It is not organic certified. The powder is a bit on the “dusty” side.

The Cost: $$. Rated 4.2/5. Buy it here.

Organics rating: 4 / 5 

2. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70

Coming in close second is Hemp Pro 70 by Manitoba harvest. It’s a blend of hemp protein concentrate and natural plant extracts (derived from hemp). It comes with 3.4 g of omegas and 20g of protein per serving.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp PRO 70 Protein Review

Ingredients and Nutrition:

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Ingredients

Highlights:

– Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free

– Plant Based

– Non-GMO Project Verified

– Complete Protein

– Mixes Easily

– Unflavored

– 3.4g of omegas per serving

Downsides: We don’t have much negative to say about Manitoba Harvest. Perhaps the only downsides would be its raw taste (which some may not enjoy) and that it’s a bit more expensive than other proteins.

The Cost: $$. Rated 4.2/5. Buy it here.

Organics rating: 4.5 / 5

1. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein

Nutiva protein is one of our favorite proteins plant based proteins on the market. The ingredients list is what it should be, organic hemp seeds and nothing else. Hemp seeds are also rich in fiber, vitamin E, and iron.  Provides 15g of protein per serving.

nutiva organic hemp protein

 

Ingredients and Nutrition:

Nutiva Hemp Protein Ingredients

Highlights:

– Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free

– Plant Based

– Complete Protein

– 20% fiber, 12% beneficial fats and vitamin E + iron, 50% protein

– Gentle for sensitive stomachs

–  Raw and unflavored

– USDA Organic Certified

– Complete protein

Downsides: Little to none. If we are to come up with something, it would perhaps be again the raw taste of hemp powder. While those who already enjoy the raw taste of veggies and plants may love this, it may not be for everyone. However, mixing it with fruits or almond milk can make it taste great. Perhaps the last downside would be that it doesn’t contain as much protein as the others, per serving.

The Cost: $$. Rated 4.5/5. Buy it here.

Organics rating: 5 / 5

Go with Hemp

Hemp is the purest source of complete protein. Nothing but hemp itself in the ingredients is the safest way to go. While its raw taste may put off some, we tasted and we loved it!  While plant-based proteins may be more expensive, it is worth it. You are investing in your health. Finally, all the proteins listed are complete proteins, meaning it will provide your body what it needs to heal, grow and excel.

For the skeptics of plant-based proteins, or those simply looking for inspiration, check out: Billy Simmons and Jim Morris, champion vegan body builders; Amanda Riester, a four-time Golden Gloves winner. They were successful in some of the most physically demanding sports in the world. Thus, certainly, these natural proteins are able to support your lifestyle and workouts at the local gym.

Lastly, stay away from hormones, sweeteners, “natural”/artificial flavors, maltodextrin and other ingredients which may be lurking in typical protein. And if protein powder is not your thing, there are other ways to get your protein naturally.As always, read the label and stay healthy.

What’s your favorite protein?

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  • Susana Barker

    Great, thanks! I’ve been looking for proteins that are actually natural and without all the yucky additives.

  • chess

    I cannot understand Orgain Protein Chocolate Fudge on the list. I actually cannot stand the taste of it and I have even added several spoonfuls of cacao powder and stevia to try to make it palatable to no avail. 😛

    • Barbara Moore

      Seriously? That’s my complete favorite! I guess that’s why there are so many options available for all taste buds!

  • Cecilia Trevino

    How I can to have more protein per portion if I buy the Nativa hemp protein???
    Can I take 2 portions per smoothie???
    And this or other can to be blended with hot liquids or hot food???

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