Compare 20+ of the Best Plant Protein Powders By Ingredients, Nutrition, and Cost

compare plant protein powders reviews

When it comes to choosing a plant protein powder, it’s a highly individual affair.

Your age, activity level, health goals, pre-existing conditions, and budget all play a part in determining the best plant-based protein powder for you.

For our reviews, we analyze objective criteria like nutrition, ingredients, and cost.

Note: We do sell our own organic plant-based protein powders. That’s why our goal is to show yo how our products compare to the competition when it comes to: 

  1. Protein Sources
  2. Nutrition (calories, protein, and sugar per serving; sweeteners used)
  3. Ingredients (gums, flavors, fillers used; organic ingredients)
  4. Cost

How We Review Plant Based Protein Powders 

The nutrition facts label and ingredient list are the only objective pieces of information you have to judge most protein powders. 

Here are 5 things we typically look at: 

1. Sugar content

Sugar is sugar. It all turns to fat in your body. So anytime you see added sugar, in your protein powder it’s a red flag.

Bottom line: Avoid protein powders with added sugars. 

2. Artificial sweeteners

Many plant proteins contain chemical sugars like saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose. Xylitol is a cheap, processed “sugar alcohol” that can cause serious gut imbalances.

If you see any of those sweeteners, you may want to consider another option. But protein manufacturers are notorious for sneaking so-called “all-natural” sweeteners that may not be so good for you into their products.

If you like your protein a little sweeter, stick with organic monk fruit (luo han guo) or organic stevia extract. 

Bottom line: The best plant based protein blends use organic, real food ingredients and all-natural (or no) sweeteners … not fillers and junk.

3. Other “filler” ingredients (flavors, gums, fillers, etc.) 

Here are a few ingredients you’ll find in the majority of the so-called healthiest protein powders:

  • Natural flavors. Up to 90 percent of “natural” flavors have chemical solvents and preservatives. If you see them on the ingredients list, make sure you ask the manufacturer how they’re made and what’s in them. 
  • Gums. Many so-called clean plant protein powders contain gums like carrageenan, guar, xanthan, locust bean, konjac, and acacia. Gums make vegetable protein products easier to mix and blend … but there are some reasons for concern with some of them. Many people report gut issues and certain gums have been shown in clinical studies to produce laxative effects, gas, and bloating. I recommend people with sensitive guts and GI issues avoid protein powders that have gums.

best vegan protein powder
This is why it’s so hard to find a healthy protein powder–you have to cut through a lot of b.s. to find the hidden junk.

Bottom line: Avoid vegan protein powder with flavors and gums, especially if you have a sensitive gut.

4. Organic ingredients sourced from the U.S. or Canada

Is organic protein powder better for you?

Not from a nutrition standpoint, but if the ingredients in your vegan protein powder are not organic, chances are it’s sprayed with pesticides, and most of these powdered vegetable ingredients come from countries outside the U.S., where regulations may not be as strict.

Pure Food is one of the only plant protein powders on the market that is USA-grown and USA-produced!

Plant Protein Powder Reviews and Comparison Chart

In this section, we’ll share reviews of 20+ vegan proteins and help you compare some of the most popular plant protein brands. Let’s start with the reviews … 

Plant Based Protein Powder Reviews

Plant Protein Comparison Chart (Nutrition, Ingredients, Protein Content, and Cost)

Use our plant protein comparison chart to compare nutrition, sugar content, ingredients, protein source, and cost for 20 brands. 

Click/tap the numbers below to skip to each section.

1

Protein Sources

pure food protein
Organic fermented pea protein Organic sprouted and fermented whole grain brown rice protein Organic hemp protein
PlantFusion Chocolate Pea protein isolate, artichoke protein, organic sprouted amaranth, organic sprouted quinoa
Vega One Pea protein, sunflower seed protein, pumpkin seed protein
Aloha Chocolate Organic pea protein, organic pumpkin seed protein, organic hemp seed protein
Skoop Chocolate Organic pea protein, organic rice protein, organic hemp protein
SunWarrior Warrior Blend Chocolate Organic pea protein, organic hemp protein
Orgain Organic Protein Powder – Chocolate Organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, organic chia seed, organic hemp protein
Garden of Life Organic Chocolate Protein Organic sprouted brown rice protein
Sprout Living Pea protein isolate, hemp protein powder, rice protein concentrate
Lifetime Life’s Basics Pea protein concentrate, organic brown rice protein concentrate
MRM Veggie Elite Chocolate Mocha Pea protein concentrate, organic brown rice protein concentrate
Body Ecology Fermented Chocolate Protein Shake Pea protein, mushroom protein blend
Healthforce Organic sprouted brown rice protein, organic hemp protein
Kachava Organic sprouted brown rice protein, organic hemp protein
Yuve Pea protein isolate, rice protein concentrate
Philosophie Organic hemp seed protein, organic reishi mushroom
Sann Pea protein isolate, rice protein isolate, artichoke protein
22 Days Nutrition Organic pea protein, organic flax, organic sacha inchi
Growing Naturals Chocolate Power Rice Protein Organic brown rice
Boku Organic brown rice, organic cranberry
2

Calories, Protein, Sugar (g) Per Serving and Sweeteners Used

 
Calories
 
Protein
 
Sugar
 
best vegetarian powder
134
20
1
Organic stevia leaf powder
PlantFusion Chocolate
120
21
1
Monkfruit, Stevia
Vega One Chocolate
140
20
2
Stevia leaf extract
Aloha Chocolate
150
18
4
Organic coconut sugar Monk fruit extract
Skoop Chocolate
150
20
1
Organic stevia extract Organic coconut sugar
SunWarrior Warrior Blend Chocolate
100
17
0
Erythritol Organic rice dextrins Organic stevia extract
Orgain Organic Protein Powder – Chocolate
150
21
0
Organic stevia extract
Garden of Life Organic Chocolate Protein
90
17
1
Organic stevia leaf
Sprout Living
110
19
1
Organic red banana Organic baobab fruit Organic stevia leaf powder
Lifetime Life’s Basics
134
22
5
Fructose Xylitol Stevia
MRM Veggie Elite Chocolate Mocha
130
24
0
Stevia extract Monk fruit extract
Body Ecology Fermented Chocolate Protein Shake
110
15
1
Stevia extract
Healthforce
100
17
2
Organic whole stevia leaf
Kachava
220
24
8
Erythritol Oligosaccharides Stevia
Yuve
155
16
2
Stevia leaf extract
Philosophie
55
10
0
Organic mesquite
Sann
116
21
1
Fructose Stevia
22 Days Nutrition
100
16
2
Organic stevia leaf extract
Growing Naturals Chocolate Power Rice Protein
120
25
3
Organic brown rice syrup solids Organic stevia
Boku
120
18
4
Vermont maple syrup Organic lucuma fruit
3

Free of Natural Flavors & Gums/Thickeners

FREE OF NATURAL FLAVORS
FREE OF GUMS/ THICKENERS
PlantFusion Chocolate No (natural chocolate flavor) No (silica, xanthan gum)
Vega One Chocolate No (natural chocolate flavor) No (xanthan gum)
Aloha Chocolate
No (xanthan gum, organic sunflower lecithin)
Skoop Chocolate No (organic flavor, natural flavor) No (organic acacia gum)
SunWarrior Warrior Blend Chocolate No (organic chocolate flavor blend) No (organic guar gum)
Orgain Vegan Protein Powder – Chocolate No (natural flavor, organic natural flavors) No (organic guar gum, organic acacia gum, xanthan gum)
Garden of Life Organic Chocolate Protein No (natural chocolate flavor, natural vanilla flavor)
Sprout Living
Lifetime Life’s Basics No (natural chocolate flavor)
MRM Veggie Elite Chocolate Mocha No (natural chocolate mocha flavor) No (konjac gum, guar gum, tara gum)
Body Ecology Fermented Chocolate Protein Shake No (natural cocoa flavors with other natural flavors) No (natural cocoa flavors with other natural flavors)
Healthforce
Kachava No (natural chocolate flavors) No (alkalized cocoa, xanthan gum, guar gum)
Yuve No (natural flavors) No (corn starch powder, guar gum, xanthan gum)
Philosophie
Sann No (natural flavor) No (glycine, guar gum, lecithin)
22 Days Nutrition No (organic chocolate flavor) No (organic chocolate flavor)
Growing Naturals Chocolate Power Rice Protein No (organic flavor) No (organic guar gum, organic gum arabic, organic sunflower oil)
Boku
No (organic guar gum)
 
4

Organic Ingredients, Probiotics Added and Cost Per Gram

Organic Protein Sources
Probiotics Added
Cost Per Gram
protein powder review
Bacillus coagulans
0.06
Bacillus coagulans
0.06
PlantFusion Chocolate No No
0.04
Vega One Chocolate No No
0.05
Aloha Chocolate No No
0.08
Skoop Chocolate
Lactobacillus plantarum Lactobacillus bulgaricus
0.11
SunWarrior Warrior Blend Chocolate
No
0.06
Orgain Organic Protein (Chocolate)
No
0.02
Garden of Life Organic Chocolate Protein No
Bacillus subtilis Lactobacillus bulgaricus
0.04
Sprout Living
No
0.07
Lifetime Life’s Basics No No
0.04
MRM Veggie Elite Chocolate Mocha No No
0.03
Body Ecology Fermented Chocolate Protein Shake No
Lactobacillus, Saccharomy ces, Bifidobacterium longum
0.10
Healthforce
No
0.06
Kachava No
Lactobacillus rhamnosus Lactobacillus acidophilus
0.08
Yuve No No
0.08
Philosophie
No
0.11
Sann No No
0.07
22 Days Nutrition
No
0.11
Growing Naturals Chocolate Power Rice Protein
No
0.06
Boku No No
0.09

 

 

Final Thoughts: What Is The Best Plant Based Protein Powder?

“Best” is subjective and depends on your unique health goals and needs. If you value ingredients and nutrition over taste, then the criteria for finding the healthiest protein powder are pretty simple:

1. Look for ingredients that are organic and come from whole food sources you can pronounce without any sugar and additives like fillers, gums, or flavors.

2. Find out the amount of protein per serving, the protein sources, sugar content, and cost per serving in grams. 

Is Pure Food Protein a Good Fit for You?

Here’s me being (probably too) honest: if you’re looking for the best tasting plant protein powder, Pure Food isn’t it. We don’t add sugar, artificial junk, and chemical-ridden flavors to make our product taste better.

But if you’re done settling for “average” protein powders and the junk ingredients that wreak havoc on your body and want to try a product that will actually have a positive impact on your health (and the world), then give Pure Food a try. We offer a money-back guarantee, so there’s nothing to lose!

Not only does Pure Food have the best ingredients, it’s the best value for the money at $.06/gram (the same price as Vega, which is NOT organic and has all types of fillers, additives, and “natural” flavors).

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Get Our FREE Google Sheet Comparing Cost, Ingredients, and Nutrition for 30+ Plant Protein Powders

 
 
 

40 thoughts on “Compare 20+ of the Best Plant Protein Powders By Ingredients, Nutrition, and Cost

  1. Scott (Founder, Pure Food Company) says:

    Now makes some solid products, Tommy. This post is more centered around flavored powders. Now’s plain pea protein powder is decent. The pea protein we use in Pure Food is a bit smoother in texture … but I definitely use a lot of Now products myself.

  2. Scott (Founder, Pure Food Company) says:

    Call me biased, Terence, but Pure Food Protein sounds right up your alley if you’re looking for clean, healthy ingredients.

    • Scott Christ says:

      Nope, I didn’t say stevia was junk … I said the “stevia” most companies use has GMOs, fillers, and other junk and contains more than just stevia leaf extract. Organic stevia extract is as clean and natural as it gets when it comes to zero calorie sweeteners. I used to use organic whole leaf stevia powder but for some reason the FDA has still not approved the actual plant … just the extract version (go figure).

  3. Diana says:

    I am surprised that Fermented Vegan protein from Genuine Health is not on your list. Any particular reason for that? I know it is not ALL organic, but a lot of ingredients are. Also, it’s certified NonGMO and has no sugar and is only lightly sweetened stevia leaf extract. The list of ingredients other than the protein is super short and does not seem to be concerning to (to me at least). I personally use the Vanilla and I love it.

    • Scott Christ says:

      I’ll add the one from Genuine Health. I like a lot of the ingredients. The protein blend is fantastic. Not a huge fan of the flavors and xanthan gum.

    • Scott Christ says:

      Yes, but show your doctor the ingredients to be on the safe side…everyone is different. My wife is pregnant and uses regularly.

  4. Joy says:

    Hey! Just wondering about your Vega recommendation. I see it in the list but then further down I notice, you compare it to pure food saying it’s “the same price as Vega, which is NOT organic and has all types of fillers, additives, and “natural” flavors). So is Vega good or bad? Thanks!

  5. Debbe Laszlo says:

    What is your opinion of Organifi. they seem to be pure as well and they have an awesome minty green juice. They are quite pricey though. Just curious. I couldn’t see spending $80 not including tax and shipping which can to $100 I just couldn’t justify the cost for their protein shakes. Is yours replacement meal as well? Curiosity got me.

    • Scott Christ says:

      I like their protein blends and digestive enzymes and the fact that all their ingredients are organic. But $80 is a little much, in my opinion. Ours is not a true meal replacement because it’s not high enough in calories. We’ll be launching a meal replacement powder soon.

  6. Heather Ramsay says:

    I’m really excited about this product and just ordered my first bag. I was using JuicePlus Complete then became ‘freaked out’ when really looking into ingredients plus I was spending so much $ and it wasn’t even an organic product. I switched to Garden of Life Raw Meal. I really wanted to love it but- TMI- it gave me the worst constipation in years! I’m a very clean eater so I narrowed it down to that protein powder. In your option, is constipation going to be an issue with this? I would love some peace of mind. I do use these kinds of drinks for breakfast and lunch due to conveince with my work schedule. FYI I do drink lots of water.

    • Scott Christ says:

      Hi Heather – I’ve never heard a single customer complain about constipation with our products … probably due to the fiber content. Hopefully you’re not the first. 😉

  7. Scott Christ says:

    Thank you, Walter! The sodium comes mainly from the peas. We don’t add any. I’m considering a rice-free, stevia-free version of the protein.

  8. Nicola says:

    Hello,
    I am new to protein powders- am trying a healthier lifestyle with regular meals. Been making a protein shake for breakfast (lactose, whey and eggs intolerant- hence the vegan protein powder breakfast idea) Using Orgain Organic meal- what are your thoughts on this product?
    Unfortunately been suffering 3 weeks in with terrible bloating and gas, which have linked to the protein shake. Any idea why this would happen?

  9. Michael says:

    I’m one of those weird folk that find stevia to have an extremely unpleasant aftertaste. Do you know anyone else like this that use the product and if so, what do they say about that aftertaste presence in your powder?

    • Scott Christ says:

      Hey Michael – we get a lot of folks who aren’t into stevia and are considering a stevia-free plain version. We definitely don’t use a lot in our current products … it’s less sweet than most powders, and this was deliberate!

    • Scott Christ says:

      Not at the moment, James, but I’m finalizing a new meal replacement product that doesn’t have probiotics. Should be ready in 6-8 weeks.

  10. Dana says:

    How do you feel about Vegan Pure powders???
    Also, the ‘clean label project’ tested Vega’s powders and did r know that they are high in mercury and Lead?

    • Scott Christ says:

      Solid protein blend, good probiotic and greens blend…but then there’s those “other ingredients”: natural flavor, gums, etc. Ingredients aren’t organic either, which is a concern.

      All plant protein powders have heavy metals but yes, Vega’s appear to be higher than most. Read more here

  11. Ismael D says:

    Hello I’d love to see a review/analysis on VIVO Life Perform protein. Have you heard of it/tried it? They claim to have
    100% organic ingredients, tested for heavy metals and cold-pressed hemp protein. I currently take this as a gym supplement. Im over all satisfied with it except that it seems to make me gassy/bloated if i consume it too often, as in every day for example.

    • Scott Christ says:

      I like a lot of the ingredients I see, Ismael (particularly the enzymes, BCAAs, and reishi). Sometimes too much hemp or pea protein can cause gas/bloating in some people, and while I like both plant protein sources and use those in our products, it usually takes a 3rd protein to create a PDCAA score of 1.0 (which means better digestibility). Don’t love that they use natural flavors but other than that this product looks pretty good to me.

  12. Olivia says:

    GREAT thorough breakdown, I agree with most everything you’ve written here! I can’t stand how natural flavors get a health halo in so many “clean” food products when in reality, one has no way of knowing what sort of synthetic chemicals they contain. Question: what are your thoughts on thaumatin as a sweetener? From what I know, it is a protein isolated from a fruit, but there is very little information online about it…

    • Scott Christ says:

      Hi Olivia,

      Honestly, this is the first I’ve heard of thaumatin so I don’t have enough information to give you a great answer. The biggest questions I usually have with any sweeteners are 1.) How is it extracted, and 2.) What else is added? I would ask any manufacturer who uses it these questions.

  13. YoyoMa says:

    Vega is on this list but it has been found to contain dangerously high amounts of lead and other harmful ingredients

  14. Virginia says:

    I wanted to try Tony Horton’s plant Base Protein from Power Life; they recommends 3 months for best results. So I bought 3 months of product. To my surprise, all the packages I received were manufactured in November 2021, almost a year ago! I called to ask to replace them for newer and fresher ones, and they told me I still had a year to go, and within these years the product would start to lose its properties. I asked where I could find that information and they told me there was nowhere to find it. There is no expiration date on the product nor on your website. When you buy a perishable product, you EXPECT it to be FRESH, not a year old. It has a cardboard taste!

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