KOS Protein Powder Review 2021 [Detailed Testing]

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kos protein score breakdown

Summary:

  • Verdict: KOS is a bit below average when compared to other vegan protein powders. However, it is one of the better organic powders.
  • Pros: Organic ingredients, good flavor, reasonably priced.
  • Cons: Doesn’t mix well, and the percent of calories that come from protein is relatively low compared to other shakes.

I drink a lot of protein powder, which is why I’ve tried over 30 vegan protein powders (including KOS) to try to find the best ones.

I’ve tried to remove as much bias from my reviews as possible by scoring each product in the same way.

Overall, KOS’ plant based protein powder scored okay, but ends up right around the middle of all the powders I’ve tested.

About KOS Plant Protein

KOS sells a variety of vegan products, ranging from protein powder and nutritional shakes, to supplements.

kos protein products

Their packaging and customer service are really good, so I had high hopes for it going into the testing.

While KOS only sells one type of plant protein powder, it comes in a few different sizes and several varieties: Vanilla, chocolate, unflavored, blueberry muffin, salted caramel, peanut butter, chocolate chip mint.

Note that all comments on taste are for the vanilla and chocolate flavors, as those are the only ones I’ve tried.

Is KOS a Good Company?

KOS is still a young company (founded in 2018) compared to established companies like Vega, however, it seems like it’s off to a good start.

All of its products are vegan, soy free, gluten free, USDA certified organic, and seem to use whole high quality ingredients. There also haven’t been any reports of high levels of heavy metals or any recalls as far as I can find.

Macros and Protein Content of KOS Plant Protein

My testing process starts with a simple calculation that looks at how much protein is in a serving, as well as how many calories are in a serving.

This is easy to calculate from the nutrition label:

kos protein nutrition facts

At first 20 grams of protein seems like a good amount, but there’s 170 total calories. So only about 47% of the calories come from protein, which is low compared to other vegan powders (some are over 80%).

If you’re just looking for a general protein shake to get a bit of extra protein, that’s totally fine for you, 20 grams as a raw amount is decent. But if you’re an athlete, or more specifically a bodybuilder, who is trying to cut, it’s not so great.

SUMMARY

KOS has a relatively small percentage of protein compared to other vegan protein powders. If you’re bulking, it’s not a deal breaker, but otherwise there are better options.

KOS Ingredients

Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients, note that all ingredients are organic:

Pea protein, flax seed, quinoa, pumpkin seed protein, chia seed, amylase, protease, lipase, lactase, cellulase, coconut milk, cocoa powder, inulin, coconut sugar, acacia fiber, sea salt, chocolate flavor, stevia, fruit/vegetable blend, monk fruit extract

It’s not the shortest list, but there’s nothing in there that I would consider all that unhealthy.

  • The digestive enzymes like amylase and protease should help digest the protein easier. If you’ve had stomach issues with other protein powder, this is a big plus.
  • The blend of multiple plant protein sources ensures that there’s a balanced essential amino acid profile. While I haven’t specifically compared the amino acids, I’d be shocked if these shakes weren’t complete protein sources.

Cost of KOS Compared to Other Plant Based Proteins

Price is usually a factor when buying a protein powder, so I have an objective formula for that too.

Keep in mind that KOS is an organic protein powder, and those are typically more expensive than others.

KOS achieves a “price score” of 17.08 out of 25 (where 25 is as cheap as possible).

So it’s definitely affordable when compared to other vegan protein powders, even being organic, which I think is a positive aspect of this product.

SUMMARY

The cost of KOS is about average compared to other vegan options. However, it’s relatively cheap for an organic vegan protein powder.

Taste Testing KOS Protein Shakes

Taste is the most important aspect of a protein shake for most people.

That’s why I have 2 scores that measure different aspects of taste.

The first is mixability. If a powder doesn’t mix well, you’ll have chunks or grains floating around in the shake, which generally detract from the overall taste.

To test this objectively, I mix a specific amount of almond milk with a measured amount of protein powder. Then I strain it, and weight the “clumps.” In this case, here’s what my filter looked like:

kos protein powder in strainer

It got pretty clogged, showing that it really did not mix well.

After a few runs, the median weight of the clumps was 5 grams, which equates to a score of 9.375 out of 25. This is the biggest weakness of this protein powder.

But on the other hand, the overall taste is largely determined by the flavor. The “taste” rating that I give to each protein shake is a subjective one that I give to each protein powder, although I try to be consistent.

KOS’ plant based protein powder has a really good flavor. I test it after filtering out the chunks, and would put it tied for the best of any of the 20+ vegan shakes I’ve tried.

This saves the overall taste of the shake. It’s not perfect because of the chalkiness/clumps, but it’s definitely drinkable and not much of a struggle.

SUMMARY

The flavor of KOS is excellent, but it doesn’t mix nearly as well as other vegan protein powders. If you can’t use a blender often, or hate the taste of clumps, there are better alternatives for you.

Summary and Comparison to Other Vegan Protein Powders

If it’s convenient to buy for you, or you can get a good deal, I think KOS is a decent option for vegans, especially if you’re just looking for a casual shake and aren’t an athlete tracking every calorie.

It’s also one of the best organic options, if that’s something important to you.

While I wouldn’t recommend against buying it (as I have for some truly awful ones I’ve reviewed), there are others that I would recommend over it in different situations.

 

Alternatives to KOS Organic Plant Protein

Here are the top 3 alternatives in my opinion:

  • Future Kind – Not only is this the best vegan protein powder I’ve tried, it’s also organic. Check out my Future Kind vegan protein powder review for a complete breakdown.
  • Purely Inspired – The best overall organic vegan protein powder. The flavor isn’t quite as good, but it does mix better. It’s also cheaper and has a bit higher protein content. See my Purely Inspired protein powder review for more details.
  • PlantFusion – Not organic, but one the best overall vegan protein powder in terms of value. It scores high in every category, see my full PlantFusion protein powder review for a detailed breakdown.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.