Over the past few years, I’ve tested 25 different products to try and find the best vegan protein powder.
But the aspect that most people care about most is taste – what good is a protein powder if you don’t want to drink it?
While taste is subjective, I followed a standardized testing process to be as fair as possible, and tried several samples of each protein powder. (I did a similar thing to find the best vegan protein bar if you’re interested).
Table of Contents
Best Tasting and Overall Value: Future Kind Vegan Plant Protein Powder
Per serving: 85 calories | 20g protein | 1g carbs (0g sugar, 1g fiber)
Future Kind is the best overall vegan protein powder as far as I’m concerned.
I’m a fan of the company in general, they make only vegan products, and always use high quality ingredients.
This is a pea protein powder that stands out to me for a few reasons:
- It tastes very good, and doesn’t even have any sugar
- Mixes well with no weird aftertaste
- It’s affordable
- Contains a significant amount of iron, something vegans often lack
- All ingredients are organic (if that’s something you care about)
- Made in the USA (usually indicative of higher quality supplements), but ships globally
I tried to think of any negatives, but came up blank.
It’s been a while, but I think it was better than any whey protein that I had in the past.
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What’s the Best Tasting Vegan Protein Powder?
Of the 25 protein powders I tested, the best tasting vegan protein powder is Nuzest Clean Lean Pea Protein. It tastes fantastic, mixes well, and uses the natural sweetener thaumatin instead of stevia. The only downside is that it’s the most expensive vegan protein powder I tried.
Per serving: 90 calories | 20g protein | 2g carbs (0g sugar, <1g fiber)
I didn’t put Nuzest at the very top of the page just because I think it’s out of most people’s budgets (significantly more expensive than every other option).
In terms of the product itself, Nuzest is the best tasting vegan protein shake I’ve tried. The only issue is that it’s also the most expensive one (although they do frequently offer coupons).
There are a few unique aspects of Nuzest:
- The pea protein is sourced from Europe, not China, which is where most other companies source from
- It’s sweetened with thaumatin, a natural sweetener with a much better taste than stevia in my opinion. It’s one of your few plant based protein powders without stevia
- It tastes about as good as a vegan protein shake can taste, and it does so without adding a ton of sugar or filler ingredients
- It has 20 grams of protein and just 90 calories – about as high of a percentage as you can get
Nuzest mixes well, and it has a smooth, slightly foamy texture.
Most important of all, the flavor is fantastic, whereas the other top scoring powders on this page taste a bit off, mainly because they use stevia.
Overall, Nuzest is a really good option if product quality is your biggest concern. But if cost is a factor, you can get more value from other options.
Best For Building Muscle: PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein
Per serving: 120 calories | 25g protein | 2g carbs (0g sugar, <1g fiber)
PlantFusion was originally my #1 pick overall when I did my first round of testing, and it remains up there today.
Originally it tasted better, but they reformulated it to take out sugar (sacrificing a bit of taste to make it healthier).
As far as taste goes, here are my main thoughts:
- Good taste, and no weird aftertaste
- Has a nice blend of pea protein and added BCAAs to balance the amino acids
- Very smooth (the grains seem much smaller than other powders)
- A bit frothy (but in a way I enjoyed)
While I think BCAAs are a bit over-hyped when it comes to bodybuilding, having extra BCAAs certainly isn’t going to hurt your results.
Best Tasting on a Budget: NOW Sports Pea Protein
Per serving: 120 calories | 20g protein | 1g carbs (0g sugar, 0g fiber)
NOW Sports’ Pea protein is as basic as it can get and super affordable. The unflavored version only contains yellow pea protein isolate and nothing else.
As such, it’s protein per serving compared to calories is about as good as possible. It’s the best unflavored plant based protein powder that I tried.
It does have a bit of a taste and smell, but not much of one, and it mixes better than average. I wouldn’t particularly recommend drinking it by itself in water, but I enjoyed cooking with it and putting it in smoothies (it barely affects the taste).
Best Tasting Organic: The Plant Era Organic Vegan Protein Powder
Per serving: 120 calories | 21g protein | 2g carbs (<1g sugar, 1g fiber)
At first I wasn’t a huge fan of The Plant Era’s organic dark chocolate powder, but it quickly grew on me.
The flavor is a lot like a 70-80% dark chocolate bar, so if you’re used to eating sweetened chocolate (or drinking sweeter protein shakes) it can take a few shakes to get used to.
There’s a few aspects of this protein powder that I really like:
- Reasonably priced for an organic powder
- Ships worldwide
- Minimal ingredient list, no added sugar (sweetened with stevia).
- Has iron (6.5 mg per serving)
- Contains 50% of DV of vitamin B12
The only real downside, assuming you like the flavor (it also comes in Strawberry-Basil) is that it’s a bit chalky compared to the very top powders out there like Nuzest or PlantFusion. It’s still easily drinkable, but be aware that the texture is a bit chalky.
Organic Runner Up: Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
Per serving: 150 calories | 21g protein | 15g carbs (0g sugar, 7g fiber)
Orgain Organic Protein features a mix of pea protein, brown rice protein, and chia seed protein.
It’s about as good as you’re going to get for an organic protein powder, most are just terrible.
The flavor is actually quite good.
But there’s 2 issues. First, there’s quite a bit of chalkiness. Second, there’s a significant (not too bad) aftertaste.
Best Tasting For Weight Loss: True Nutrition Vegan Lean
Per serving: 117 calories | 23g protein | 2.6g carbs (0.1g sugar, 2.1g fiber)
This protein powder tastes really good and is fairly affordable. You can buy in bulk and save another 5% off with our coupon code (“VPLAB”).
If you’re trying to lose weight, you want a protein powder supplement with as high of a protein content as possible, and as few calories from fats and carbohydrates.
Of the protein powders that actually taste good, True Nutrition Vegan Lean has the second highest ratio of protein to calories (only Nuzest beats it). With 23 grams of protein and 117 calories, ~79% of calories come from protein.
Overall, it tastes great:
- Very light (frothy)
- Good flavor
- Mixed well.
The one issue I had with it was that there was a bit of a chalky taste and aftertaste. Not very much of one, but enough that it’s worse than the top 2 powders.
In terms of protein quality, Vegan Lean consists of both pea protein and rice protein, so you get all your essential amino acids in good proportions.
Best Tasting Raw: Garden of Life Raw Fit
Garden of Life Raw Fit has a reasonable nutritional profile and price, right around the average of the ~20 protein powders I’ve reviewed so far. You can see how it matches up on my page of the top vegan protein powder supplements.
However, it mixes very poorly, and while it’s drinkable, it has a strong chalky texture and aftertaste.
It’s one of the few raw options out there currently for vegans, and it’s not terrible if you’re set on getting a raw shake – it’s just not going to taste amazing. Mixing shakes with fruits and in a blender will help quite a bit.
Healthiest and Most Digestible: Naturade VeganSmart
Per serving: 160 calories | 20g protein | 14g carbs ( 4g sugar, 6g fiber)
A few things stood out with VeganSmart:
- Good texture, not very chalky at all.
- Bit of a bland flavor, but decent.
- A small aftertaste.
It’s fairly easy to drink, but I wouldn’t exactly say it’s a pleasure.
The real draw of VeganSmart is clear when you see its ingredients:
- Complete Protein Blend (good balance of amino acids) – Pea Protein Isolate, Quinoa Protein, Chia Protein, Potato Protein, Chlorella Protein
- Fiber & Omega Blend – Inulin, Flax Seed Powder, Bamboo Fiber, Pea Fiber, Apple Fruit Fiber, Borage Oil
- Vegan Energy Blend – Organic Cane Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Organic Rice Syrup Solids
- Whole Food Complex – Apricot, Mango, Raspberry, Carrot Root, Pineapple, Broccoli, Cabbage Leaf, Beet Root, Spinach Leaf
- Digestive Enzyme Blend – Bromelain, Protease, Amylase, Lipase
- Prebiotics – Aloe Vera Inner Leaf
- Other – Natural Flavors, Organic Stevia, Xanthan Gum
The prebiotics and digestive enzymes should help you digest your shakes better and hopefully minimize bloating and gas. This is great for any vegan with stomach problems.
Side note about prebiotics vs probiotics – Probiotics are the actual “good” bacteria in your gut that break down food. Prebiotics (in this shake) are essentially dietary fiber that feed those probiotics to encourage them to grow. Both are considered healthy diet additions for most people.
This is more of a meal replacement shake, which is why the ratio of protein to calories isn’t amazing.
Best Tasting in Canada: Canadian Protein All Natural Blend
Per serving: 126 calories | 21g protein | 6g carbs (3g sugar, 2g fiber)
Since I’m Canadian, it made sense to find the best vegan protein powder in Canada, and this was clearly it.
Originally, this was only available to Canadians (since then, they’ve opened a United States store). It tastes quite good, but most importantly – it is very affordable. You can buy in bulk to make it even cheaper.
It mixes well, and the flavor is good, but there were 2 issues that stood out:
- The stevia sweetness is a bit strong
- There’s a small amount of chalkiness.
Neither are major issues, and I still buy it on a regular basis do to the incredible price and overall value.
One final note is that this is a blend of multiple plant protein powders. It has pea protein, hemp protein, and brown rice protein, so you get a super balanced essential amino acid profile.
Best Tasting in UK: The Protein Work’s Vegan Protein
I also did additional testing in order to find the best vegan protein powder in the UK, and the best one was clearly from The Protein Works.
It’s the cheapest per 100 grams (and you can buy in bulk to save more), has a solid protein blend (soy, hemp, pea, sunflower, brown rice), and tastes amazing too.
This is my favorite of any vegan powder I’ve tried; If the shipping fees weren’t so high to get it to Canada, I would buy this on a regular basis.
Common Questions About Vegan Protein Powder
How Do You Make Vegan Protein Powder Taste Better?
You can’t do much about the taste of a plant based protein powder itself. However, one factor is in your control – the clumps.
The key to making your protein shakes taste as good as possible is to make them mix well, otherwise you’ll have clumps that typically taste gross.
After a lot of testing, I’ve learned how to mix powders as well as possible:
- Shake it for at least 30 seconds, more is better
- Use room temperature liquid instead of cold liquid
- Water often dissolves protein powder better than almond milk
- Put the liquid in FIRST, then the powder (makes a big difference, don’t know why)
- Use a blender or a shaker bottle with a metal (not plastic) mixer
Additionally, you can add other ingredients to your protein shake like fruit (make a smoothie), or artificial sweeteners.
If you’re bulking, many bodybuilders often make a meal replacement shake by adding foods like peanut butter, hemp seeds, and chia seeds, which mask the taste of any protein powder.