Best vegan protein powder 2022: The best non-dairy protein shakes


Need extra protein on a plant-based diet? Don’t fear: there are plenty of vegan supplements out there

Veganism is enjoying a glorious renaissance, having shrugged off its association with hippie types and bland lentil stews. More and more people are making changes to their diet, and if training and fitness are important, you might be wondering if you can join them. After all, that all-important nutritional supplements – protein powders – are off the table as they’re all made of casein and whey, which are both produced using milk.

Well, no – not necessarily. There are plenty of vegan protein powders to choose from, and you can bet your bottom dollar that more and more will appear thanks to veganism’s surging popularity.

Just as with standard protein powders, the mistake is to assume they’re all the same, so here’s our guide to choosing between different vegan protein powders, followed by our list of the best.

How to choose the best vegan protein powder for you

If you want a general lowdown on protein supplements, you should head to our feature on the best protein powders. It guides you through integrating protein shakes with your wider nutrition, choosing the right powder for your fitness plan and other essentials.

Do vegan protein powders actually work?

Yes! Don’t let the haters persuade you to the contrary. It’s straightforward to match the recommended protein intake in a vegan diet, and you can do the same with your training and fitness supplements. Plenty of foods containing high levels of protein haven’t come from an animal, as we’ll explain next.

What goes into a vegan protein powder?

You’ll find various types of vegan protein powder that come from different foodstuffs. Typically, a blend is used to make sure all the vital amino acids that rebuild your muscles are present and correct. Proteins include soy, rice, hemp, pea, chia and seeds – so basically all the things that are frequently popular in everyday vegan diets.

Are there any disadvantages to vegan protein powder over standard protein powder?

None at all. Brands might need to go to a number of sources to make sure there are sufficient protein levels in their powders, but the finished product will match any milk-based equivalent.

The best vegan protein powders to buy

1. MyVegan Clear Vegan Protein: The best-tasting vegan protein

Price: £24.99 for 320g | Buy now from MyVegan

In general all protein powders, plant-based or otherwise, follow a pretty similar formula when it comes to taste and texture, which is to say they’re all pretty thick and stick to milkshake-style flavours like chocolate and vanilla.

This is what makes the MyVegan Clear powder stand out so much, because it creates a light, refreshing shake that’s an absolute treat after a sweaty workout. There are four flavours, with the zesty pineapple and grapefruit perhaps being the standout. The protein count is low at 10g per shake, but the serving size is also small at 16g, so you can double up to get similar nutritional stats to what you’ll find in most other shakes.

Key specs – Serving size: 16g; Protein per serving: 10g; Protein type: Pea

Buy now from MyVegan

2. Tailwind Nutrition Rebuild Recovery: The best vegan protein powder for runners and cyclists

Price: £38 for 911g | Buy now from Amazon

At just 11g, the protein per serving in this shake is lower than others on this list, but that’s because it’s aimed at endurance athletes looking to recover after long training sessions. The focus is therefore just as much on carbohydrates – there’s 43g of them in a serving – and there’s also 433mg of sodium to replace the electrolytes lost in sweat.

Organic rice protein is supplemented with additional amino acids in order to make sure the powder provides a complete protein source – and the powder itself comes in three flavours: vanilla, chocolate and coffee, with the latter containing caffeine. As well as a big pouch, you can get single-serving sizes to carry with you to make a shake at the end of a long run or ride if you’re not planning to finish at home.

Key specs – Serving size: 61g; Protein per serving: 11g; Protein type: Rice plus amino acids

3. Healthspan Elite Complete Vegan Protein: The best unflavoured protein powder

Price: £25 for 1kg | Buy now from Healthspan

This protein powder packs a few extra ingredients alongside the protein, so you can be sure you’re getting nourishment in each shake you make. In each 27g serving, you get 2.5µg of vitamin B12 alongside the 20g of protein, which comes from brown rice, pea and pumpkin seed. The powder is unflavoured, but that’s no bad thing: you can add a flavour drop for free when you order.

Key specs – Serving size: 27g; Protein per serving: 20g; Protein type: Brown rice, pea, pumpkin seeds

Buy now from Healthspan

4. The Protein Works Vegan Wondershake: Best low-calorie vegan protein powder

Price: £29 for 750g | Buy now from Amazon

The Protein Works suggests that the wonder involved in this shake comes from the smooth texture and great flavour. However, while there’s an impressive range of flavours to choose from – 10 in total including all the classics plus more interesting options like white chocolate peanut and chocolate mint brownie – it’s the nutritional stats that really make the Wondershake stand out.

Each 25g serving contains 21g of protein, with that protein sourced from a mix of pea, soy, brown rice and hemp, and really not much else. There’s just 0.6g of sugar and 0.7g of fat, and the calorie count is a mere 89 per serving if mixing it with water. If you’re after protein and basically nothing but protein, and want a good choice of flavours, this is the vegan shake for you.

Key specs – Serving size: 25g; Protein per serving: 21g; Protein type: Pea, soy, brown rice and hemp

5. Bulk Powders Vegan Protein Powder: The best vegan protein powder for flavour choice

Price: £14.49 for 1kg | Buy now from Bulk Powders

A grand total of five different protein sources go into this powder: pea, brown rice, pumpkin seed, flaxseed and quinoa flour. It amounts to an impressive 22.9g per 35g serving. But what we really like about this supplement from Bulk Powders is the choice of flavours, which range from standards such as vanilla to more leftfield options like white chocolate, coconut and apple strudel. The latter is genuinely delicious, but beware that they’re also quite thick and gloopy, and might be too heavy if you’re following your workout with an actual meal.

Key specs – Serving size: 35g; Protein per serving: 22.9g; Protein type: Pea, brown rice, pumpkin seed, flaxseed, quinoa flour

Buy now from Bulk Powders

6. The Protein Works Vegan Mass Gainer: The best mass gainer vegan protein powder

Price: £22.50 for 2kg | Buy now from The Protein Works

Most protein powders are designed to contain an awful lot of protein in a serving, and basically nothing else, with carbs, fats and calories kept as low as possible. However, mass gainers go the other way and aim to pack in as much as they can, because they’re designed to help you add muscle mass and to do that you need fuel.

The Protein Works’ vegan mass gainer contains a monster 39g of protein, 540 calories and 90g of carbohydrates per 150g serving, so you can be sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to bulk up and recover from intense training sessions. Do make sure you’re training hard, though because, if you’re not, consuming all those calories in a single shake isn’t a great idea.

Key specs – Serving size: 150g; Protein per serving: 39g; Protein type: Soya, brown rice, pea

Buy now from The Protein Works

7. MyVegan Vegan Protein Blend: The best vegan protein powder for a smooth mix

Price: £15 (500g) | Buy now from MyVegan

Whey and casein proteins mix into a smooth shake quite reliably, but that’s not always been our experience with vegan protein powders. Whether it’s the vegan protein sources used, or the extra superfood ingredients that are added more frequently to plant-based powders, the result is often a somewhat lumpy mix.

That’s not the case with MyVegan’s protein blend. It comes in six flavours, the best of which is coffee and walnut, and mixes quickly with water or milk to create a highly palatable shake. Its nutritional info is also refreshingly to the point – there are 24g of protein in a 30g serving, and no more than half a gram of anything else.
Key specs – Serving size: 30g; Protein per serving: 24g; Protein type: Pea, fava bean

Buy now from MyVegan