Best Vegetarian & Vegan Protein Powders: 4 Great, Meat-Free Options
Protein Powder for Vegetarians & Vegans: A Few Reviews
It's a good time to be a vegetarian. Most restaurants have a few good meat-free options on their menus these days, and people are much more accepting.
One of the most common questions I am asked is, "How do you get your protein?" People need not be concerned: with a balanced diet, getting a good amount of protein is effortless.
The only time in which a supplement is a good idea is if you're an athlete or attending a gym. Supplemental powders are a fantastic idea to ensure that your body has all the building blocks it needs. A good protein powder for a vegan or vegetarian is a prudent choice for a regular athlete.
The best vegetarian and vegan protein powders are jam packed with complete protein in an easily digestible form. They taste great, and they're easy to mix into a smoothie or drink.
This article will investigate a few of the best protein powders for vegetarians on the market today. We'll be specifically reviewing options that are safe for those with meat-free diet restrictions, but furthermore we'll be placing an emphasis on powders that mix easily and taste great!
Identifying the Best Protein Powders for Vegetarians
If you're planning to get a protein powder to supplement your diet, and you're a vegan or a vegetarian, or have some other form of restricted diet, I'd encourage you to research a product carefully.
Don't just trust that since it says 'vegetarian' on the front, that it's safe for you to eat. The veggie friendliness depends on a few factors.
Ovo-Lacto Ingredients: In actual fact, many of the popular powders for sale today are not directly meat derived. The favourite sources of protein seem to be soy, whey and egg. That's fine if you're an ovo-lacto vegetarian, but if you prefer to avoid milk or egg products, it's not a good choice for you.
Whey is a milk derived protein. Egg is obviously farmed from a chicken.
I'd definitely recommend squinting at that ingredients label and discerning where the protein is sourced from. If you aren't sure of a particular ingredient, Google it!
Gluten Intolerance: I'm not a big believer in mild 'gluten allergies', but I know Celiac is a real and serious health issue. Whatever your position, if you're avoiding gluten you should again read the label carefully. Some of the best vegetarian protein powders around have gluten in them.
I will do my best to identify ingredients in each of the following vegan / vegetarian protein powder reviews, so you'll know if it's the right supplement for you.
True Vitality: Tasty & Vegan
If you're hoping to track down a protein powder for vegans that combines great taste, easy mixing and good value, this is a good place to start. This protein powder by Green Foods has just about everything you'd want in a supplement.
Let's start with the primary nutritional ingredients. This powder uses a mixture of pea, rice and hemp protein, offering several dense sources of nutrition, all vegan. The mixture also includes a lot of other things besides the raw protein, including spirulina, several different probiotic strains, and natural cocoa for the flavouring.
It's also like a vitamin pill, containing 100% of our daily requirement of vitamin A, C, D, B12, and many others. It's also a good source of calcium and magnesium.
As for brass tacks: it has 15 grams of protein from a 3 scoop (51g) serving size, with just under 140 calories.
The result is a well balance shake that mixes quite well and offers a fairly good supplemental base for any kind of athlete. It doesn't have the strange aftertaste of egg or whey mixes, which is a really nice thing! I'd mix it with either water or almond milk, personally.
One thing to note: the website states that it doesn't include a complete blend of amino acids, so be sure that this isn't your sole protein source in your diet!
Protein From Pumpkins: Vegan-Friendly
Protein from pumpkins? You heard right! This is a very interesting product from Omega Nutrition, based out of Washington State.
Unlike many of the other options on the market, this powder comes without any 'bells and whistles'. It doesn't have any added flavouring, and it can be blended in with just about anything.
It's one of the best vegetarian protein powders on the market because it has a very mild taste, so you can add it to a smoothie or a shake without the taste overpowering your enjoyment of the drink.
It is also one of the 'least bulky' protein supplements around. What do I mean by that? Each scoop is very small. In fact, a full serving of the powder is a mere 15 grams in weight. That makes it easy to add to most drinks.
Anecdotally, this powder doesn't seem to cause the same bloated and gassy feeling that milk based offerings do.
What's in it: The protein is derived from hulled pumpkin seed. That means each serving of 1.5 scoops contains 9.5 grams of protein, and a mere 55 calories! It has no additives or flavourings, so you'll want to add it to almond milk or something similar if you prefer taste.
With 18 amino acids, it's a complete, gluten free protein source too!
Light, easily digestible and highly nutritious, this is among the top vegan / vegetarian friendly protein powders around today!
Brown Rice Protein: Tasty, Gluten-Free, & Vegetarian
You've probably heard that brown rice is good for you. Did you know it is also a great protein source? Growing Naturals know, and they've taken advantage of the healthy nutrition that brown rice has to offer with this protein powder for vegans and veggies.
If you're someone who has had upset stomach or digestive issues after consuming a protein shake, you might want to give this one a look. It is very digestible, not gritty or chalky, and it has a light flavour that isn't overpowering.
Growing Naturals uses sprouted rice grain for its powder. That reduces potential stomach irritation. What's more, this powder is certified gluten free and celiac friendly.
And talk about density! Each 34 gram scoop of this stuff contains a whopping 24 grams of protein, along with 120 calories! It is sweetened with stevia, so you won't get that spike and crash that many of the glucose heavy powders suffer from.
On the whole, this is a mixable, tasty and mild vegetarian and vegan protein powder with among the best protein density on the market.
Hemp Based Protein: A "Super Food"
One of the hands down best protein powders for vegetarians and vegans is anything derived from hemp. You probably know hemp best from its use in rope and textiles, or perhaps its taxonomic relation to a certain plant that gets a lot of press.
The fact is, hemp (specifically hemp hearts) are a fabulous source of nutrition, and they're considered a super food.
Nutritionally speaking, hemp is a dense source of protein in this form. Each serving of 3 tablespoons contains 15 grams of protein. In addition, it's a great source of fibre, with 30% of your recommended daily intake.
It contains almost no fat, and it has 90 calories per serving, so it's nice choice for anyone seeking a lean protein source.
One thing to note: this stuff has a flavour! It tastes like you'd expect a health food would, a very 'green' taste that takes some getting used to. I do recommend mixing it in with a smoothie in a blender, and you'll want to add flavours and sweetener to make it palatable. Cinnamon and honey are a wonderful way to improve it.
It is an acquired taste, and you'll gradually learn to love it. In terms of bang for your buck, this is one of the top vegetarian or vegan protein powders you'll find, especially since it doesn't come in fancy packaging or anything.
Definitely a top contender for the title, and I'd give it a chance!
Veggie Protein Powder Poll:
What's your preferred source of protein in a powder?
What About Natural Sources?
You can obviously get a good amount of protein in your diet from natural sources. It's far easier to get a meat-free complete protein in your diet than most non-vegetarians think.
It usually involves combining two different foods that contain partial amino acid groups. These complimentary nutritional sources don't necessarily have to be eaten together; as long as you eat enough incomplete proteins to form a complete one throughout the day, you're good!
In most cases, a dairy and a grain will combine to form all the essential amino acids your body needs. There are many other combinations, and I won't get into them all today. Suffice it to say that if you have a varied diet and you include lots of 'colour' in each meal, you'll be in pretty good shape.
Personally, I use a vegetarian protein powder, it's the best way to supplement my diet and ensure I'm getting the proper amount of nutrition. It just removes a lot of the guesswork!
Thanks for reading, and good luck!