I’ve tried several different vegan protein powders that have Stevia in them, and I can understand why someone might not like the taste it adds.
Unfortunately, it’s in almost every product out there it seems.
So I created the list below after filtering out any protein powders that contained Stevia in them.
Why Do So Many Vegan Protein Powders Include Stevia?
Stevia is relatively cheap and well tolerated by most people. It’s the easiest way to flavor a protein powder without messing up the macro-nutritional profile.
The 5 Best Vegan Protein Powders With Stevia
This list is in order from what I consider best overall to worst overall.
1. Nuzest Clean Lean Vegan Protein Powder
Nuzest is probably the best tasting vegan protein powder that I’ve tried, the only real downside it has is that it’s quite expensive. It’s not going to fit everyone’s budget.
The main reason for this is that it uses European pea protein isolate, which is more expensive than shipping in cheaper pea protein from Asia (what most brands do).
But the ingredients themselves are simple:
Pea protein isolate, Natural vanilla flavor, Thaumatin
Thaumatin is a natural sweetener that is 7 times sweeter than Stevia. This is the only plant based protein powder that I’ve found so far that uses thaumatin, but I hope to see more in the future.
It’s effectively zero calorie, and the only way I can really describe it is that it replicates the taste of sugar much better than Stevia.
See my full Nuzest protein powder review for more details.
2. Now Sports Pea Protein
This is by far the best vegan protein powder without Stevia on a budget.
- A relatively high protein content
- Decent taste (not amazing, but not bad)
- Mixes well
- About as cheap as you can find
Instead of being sweetened with Stevia extract, it has a combination of turbinado sugar and erythritol.
Here’s the full ingredient list for the chocolate flavor:
Organic Pea Protein Isolate, Organic Turbinado Sugar, Organic Flavors, Organic Cocoa, Organic Acacia Gum, Organic Erythritol, Sea Salt, Organic Monk Fruit Extract.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has no calories and doesn’t affect blood sugar. It’s a natural sweetener derived from corn using fermentation.
Sugar alcohols are safe to consume, but can cause digestion issues in large amounts. Since there’s less than 1 gram of erythritol per serving, I wouldn’t be too worried about it. Whether or not you prefer the taste over Stevia is a personal preference.
If you’d like a more detailed breakdown, check out my Now Sports pea protein review.
3. Ghost Vegan Protein
Ghost makes a variety of vegan and non-vegan supplements, so make sure you buy the vegan versions and not whey if you do end up going with Ghost.
Its protein powders are sweetened with sucralose, which is an artificial sweetener that has been popular for decades. Like Stevia, not everyone enjoys the taste of sucralose, but it’s worth a try if you’re not sure.
Overall, this is a fairly strong vegan protein powder for the following reasons:
- The flavor is quite good
- Mixes perfectly
- Several flavors if you ever get bored
- Blend of plant proteins gives balanced essential amino acid profile
And the price is about average when compared to other vegan powders.
Let’s take a quick look at the full ingredient list:
Vegan Protein (Pea Protein Concetrate, Organic Pumkin Protein, Watermelon Seed Protein), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Peanut Flour (adding 1g Protein), Sunflower Creamer (High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Tapioca Starch, Tapioca Dextrin, Natural Flavors, d-Alpha Tocopherols), Salt, Sucralose, Xanthan Gum
There are a few downsides though, as the protein content is a bit low (70% of calories come from protein), and other powders like Nuzest definitely taste better.
Still, it’s a solid protein that you should consider.
4. Natreve Vegan Protein Powders
Natreve is another supplement manufacturer that makes both vegan and whey protein powder.
The packaging looks very similar, so be careful when checking out if you buy any.
Overall, this is a decent protein powder, even if it wasn’t my favorite:
- The taste is okay, but not great.
- It’s a bit more expensive than average
- Mixes well
- Protein content is on the low side (66% of calories)
Relative to all the other vegan protein powders I’ve tried, Natreve’s are right around the middle. A decent option, but not my first choice.
The ingredient list is quite long as there are ingredients like kale and broccoli (which are in small amounts that don’t really affect the nutritional content). Here’s a stripped down list of the ingredients without those:
Plant Protein Blend (Pea Protein; Organic Pumpkin (Cucurbita) Seed Protein; Organic Brown Rice Protein); Natural Flavor; Monk Fruit Extract; Flaxseed Powder; Gum Blend (Cellulose; Xanthan); Salt;
The only sweetener in it is monk fruit extract, which isn’t exactly traditional. That might explain why the taste is a bit off.
5. Naked Pea Protein
I like the idea behind Naked Pea Protein, even though I don’t think the product tastes quite good enough to be higher in this list.
The list of ingredients is minimal (i.e. “naked”):
Yellow Pea Protein, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Cacao Powder
There’s a small amount of coconut sugar, but the overall protein content is still really high.
My main thoughts on this products are:
- Mixes fairly well (some clumps)
- Average price
- Taste is not very good (it’s drinkable, but not enjoyable)
But taste is also subjective, so you may feel differently about it, which is why it’s still on this list.
See my complete Naked pea protein review for my complete testing results.
Alternative: DIY Homemade Vegan Protein Powder
If you’re not able to find any of the above protein powders in your country, one option that might be better anyways is to simply make your own Stevia-free protein powder.
Most bulk stores carry one of the following for a relatively low price:
- Pea protein isolate
- Soy protein isolate
- Hemp protein isolate
Pea typically tastes the best, it has a naturally neutral flavor. I’d recommend trying to get it and just mixing in a bit of the others if you’re looking for a more well-rounded amino acid profile.
By itself, protein isolate doesn’t taste good, so you’ll need to add a sweetener and flavoring.
There are many sweeteners besides Stevia that are good, just look for a powdered version of:
- Any sugar
Most bulk stores also carry some of these, which is convenient.
In terms of flavoring, adding some vanilla or cacao powder can really improve the taste of your homemade vegan protein shakes.
Finally, you can also add some guar gum to improve the texture a bit if you want. It’s optional, but many commercial products include it.