First off, let’s get this out of the way: the best plant based protein powder for you may be completely different than me.
Your age, activity level, health goals, pre-existing conditions, and hormones all play a part in determining the right powder for you.
Generally speaking though, there are two pieces of objective data we can use to evaluate “the best” protein powders:
1.) The ingredients, and 2.) The nutrition facts.
For this review, we analyzed the nutrition and ingredients for 20+ of the (supposedly) healthiest and best plant based / vegan protein powder brands.
If you currently use (or are looking to find) a healthy plant-based protein powder, here’s some bad news:
99 percent of plant based protein powders we analyzed (even the organic protein powder brands) have chemical additives, fillers, gums, and/or sugars.
If you want to find the best plant protein powders for your health, our reviews will reveal:
- Why most whey and vegan protein powder brands are not what they say they are (and 5 questions you should always ask to find the cleanest and healthiest ones)
- What several top health experts (including a world renowned cardiologist) look for in their protein powders
- How 20+ of plant protein powders compare in terms of ingredients, nutrition, and cost.
This review is massive at 2500+ words … so we broke it up into three sections. Scroll down or click/tap the the green and grey boxes below to navigate to each section.
Note: We do sell our own plant-based protein powders, which of course means we’re biased. That’s why these reviews are NOT based on subjective criteria like taste; rather, we will look at how our products compare to the competition when it comes to:
- Protein Sources
- Nutrition (calories, protein, and sugar per serving; sweeteners used)
- Ingredients (gums, flavors, fillers used; organic ingredients)
- Cost Per Gram of Protein
Why Most Plant Based Protein Powder Brands Are BAD for Your Health
Protein manufacturers spend lots of dough to convince you their products are “clean” and healthy. I’m talking millions of dollars on marketing and fancy packaging with bogus health claims. But fear not, because there’s an easy way to cut through their b.s. and find out if a protein shake is actually good for you. The first step:
Read and understand the nutrition facts and ingredients in your protein powder.
It’s the only objective piece of information you have to judge whether the ingredients are “clean” and “healthy” or not. Here are 5 things to look for on the nutrition panel/ingredients list:
1. How many grams of sugar do you see?
Sugar is sugar. It all turns to fat in your body. Doesn’t matter if it’s from honey, maple syrup, molasses, or coconuts (although I do enjoy raw honey in moderation).
2. Which artificial sweeteners do they use instead of real sugar?
A “clean” plant protein should definitely not contain chemical sugars like saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose anymore. But protein manufacturers are notorious for sneaking so-called “all-natural” sweeteners that may not be so good for you into their products. Here are a few to be wary of:
- Xylitol is a cheap, processed “sugar alcohol” that can cause serious gut imbalances.