Vegan Protein Powders - A Review

vegan, protein powders, greens, quality, nutritionist, dietitian, plant based
Finally I have taken the time to try a variety of vegan protein powders and review them individually. I had previously tried Vega Protein Smoothie in the past…and I did not like it. I didn't even finish the small sized bag that I had purchased. So therefore, you will not find a review for that product here.

To help narrow down my choices further, I chose protein powders that had identical protein content per serving and similar calories. Plus, I picked an original or natural flavor from each line to keep the flavor profile consistent. Personally, I do not like “flavored” protein powders because then I cannot taste the wonderful fruits and greens I place into my smoothie….and everything ends up tasting the same. And to top it off, they all had to be organic and gluten-free. Furthermore, these are protein powders that you can easily buy at your local co-op or Whole Foods. 

To keep the study consistent, I blended each protein powder with the exact same, very simple smoothie combo: 1 cup frozen blueberries, ½ cup unsweetened soymilk, ½ cup water, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, and a pinch of Eden's sea salt. These are staples often found in a typical smoothie recipe (except maybe the cardamom). Then for the last 3 days I made a smoothie for breakfast, using a different protein powder each time, and documented my results. FYI: this is not a sponsored post. This is simply my honest opinion.

vegan, protein powders, greens, quality, nutritionist, dietitian, plant based
vegan, protein powders, greens, quality, nutritionist, dietitian, plant based, review
vegan, protein powders, greens, quality, nutritionist, dietitian, plant based, review

I reviewed the products for the following:

Often protein powders can be expensive, especially those made of high quality ingredients. Highlighting the price per serving can easily change one’s opinion on what protein powder to purchase.

Protein powders can often have a very overpowering flavor. Whether they have too much stevia, too much added flavors, or they simply taste like your eating dirt. So I looked for the following characteristics: is it sweet, earthy, chalky, bland, flavorful, etc? Too earthy or too unpalatable?

When it comes to protein powders, nothing destroys a smoothie more than a gritty, grainy texture. And often plant based protein powders are very texture is very IMPORTANT in the big picture.

Total calorie, protein, carbohydrate, and fiber content. Most plant based protein powders are lower in protein compared to a whey alternative. Therefore, I chose those that contained 20g of protein per serving. Plus plant based protein powders often contain added fiber which in addition to the protein, helps keep you full and satisfied for longer.

Special Benefits: 
Now a days, there are so many additional ingredients in protein powders. Digestive enzymes? Probiotics? Greens? Veg or Fruit? Sprouted? Herbals? Superfoods?

How soon did I get hungry after drinking this smoothie? Of course this can vary depending on your activity level prior to and after the smoothie.

vegan, protein powders, greens, quality, nutritionist, dietitian, plant based, reviewvegan, protein powders, greens, quality, nutritionist, dietitian, plant based, review

Price / serv
Special Benefits
Garden of Life Raw Protein & Greens  (vanilla)
Very sweet flavor compared to the other three. Sweetened with stevia only.
A bit of a gritty texture
100kcal/20g protein/3g carbs/3g fiber
Uses sprouted grains/beans for protein blend. Also incorporates 6 types of veggies, as well as digestive enzymes and 1.5 billion probiotics.
Felt hungry 1 hour after drinking this smoothie.
Amazing Grass Protein Superfood (original)
Lightly sweet but not overpowering, more earthy in flavor.
Smooth texture.
110kcal/20g protein/4 g carbs/3 g fiber.
High green/veggie content, as well as some fruits. The color of the powder is naturally green indicating high plant matter.
Very satisfying and satiating. Didn’t get hungry until 4 hours later.
SunWarrior Warrior Blend (natural)
Chalky, dirt flavor. Quite bland. Needs 2-3 drops stevia (or additional sweet fruit) for palatability.
Gritty in texture.
100kcal/20g protein/2g carbs/1g fiber
Just plant based proteins, no additional greens, or veggies. Contains goji berries and coconut.
Felt satiated for 3-4 hours.

vegan, protein powders, greens, quality, nutritionist, dietitian, plant based, review

The Verdict:

My ultimate favorite was the Amazing Grass Protein Superfood. It tasted delicious, not too sweet and not too earthy, when mixed with just the simple ingredients above. Plus it contains 7 different dried greens, 9 different fruits and veg, for a total of 2 full servings of fruits and veg alone with just the protein powder. Blend it with your favorite fruits, veggies, and other smoothie fix in's (flaxseeds, yogurt, nut butters, coconut milk, fresh herbs, etc) to turn this smoothie into a nutrient dense rockstar. In addition, my hunger was curbed the longest with this product. Therefore, if you are in a crunch this is a great morning meal replacement. CON:  Very expensive in comparison to the other protein powders.

How can you perhaps replicate this at a cheaper price? Purchase the Amazing Grass Green SuperFood and add a scoop to another cheaper plant based protein powder.

Runner Up: I preferred the Garden of Life Raw Protein & Greens over the SunWarrior Warrior Blend, due to its high quality extras including 6 additional veggies, use of sprouted grains and beans, and additional digestive enzymes and probiotics. However, it was very sweet in flavor (too much stevia) and it didn't keep me satisfied for the long run. So, between these last two, it is a wash. If I were to purchase the Raw Protein & Greens, I would add more satiating ingredients to my smoothie (coconut milk, peanut butter, etc). If I were to purchase SunWarrior Warrior Blend, I would add some greens (maybe the Greens SuperFood or a handful mixed greens) and additional 2-3 drops stevia to increase palatability.

I haven’t tried all the vegan protein powders out there. Do you have a favorite that you would like to share??

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