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The best vegan protein powders tried and tested

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We put plant-based protein powders to the test to find the best vegan products to buy. Discover our top vegan protein powder picks.

With more people making the switch to a plant-based diet for ethical, environmental or health reasons, the range of vegan protein supplements has rapidly expanded in recent years.

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We tested the most popular protein powders on the market, and asked our nutritionist for her tips on how to include them in your diet safely. Scroll down the page to see her advice.

Once you've researched whether a protein supplement is right for you, discover which protein bars are best with our review of the best vegan protein bars.

For more unbiased expert buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section to find 200+ round-ups, including vegan ice creamplant-based fish and vegan cheese. You can also find more health-related reviews including fitness trackerskombucha and meal prep containers.

Best vegan protein powders at a glance

  • Best all-round vegan protein powder: JS Health protein + probiotics (£31.99)
  • Best vegan protein powder on a budget: MyVegan pea protein isolate – chocolate (£14.39)
  • Best on-trend vegan protein powder: Plant Supplements Vegan CBD Protein Chocolate (£39)
  • Best unsweetened vegan protein powder: Motion Nutrition peanut butter protein shake (£24.99)
  • Best vegan protein powder for added nutritional extras: Vega Essentials Protein chocolate (£29.99)
  • Best vegan protein powder for women's health: Free Soul Vegan Protein Blend vanilla (22.49)
  • Best vegan protein powder for men's health: Bodyism Male Optimum (£60)
  • Best gourmet vegan protein powder: Liberto Dark Chocolate & Sour Cherry (£14.25)
  • Best vegan protein powder for a morning pick-me-up: Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Coffee Coconut & MCTs (£35.99)
  • Best clear vegan protein powder: MyVegan clear vegan protein – strawberry (£21.59)

Best protein powders 2022

Best all-round vegan protein powder

WINNER: JS Health protein + probiotics

JS Protein Probiotics CS Powder
  • Grams of protein per serving: 22g per 30g serving
  • Calories per serving: 122 kcals
  • Type of protein: pea protein isolate
  • Type of sweetener: thaumatin (katemfe fruit extract)

Good on its own, this protein powder has a smooth, extra creamy consistency with a balance of sweetness that hits just right. Easily digested with the addition of probiotics, this powder offers a great source of gut healthy bacteria.

What impressed us the most was the sweetness. Having never tried thaumatin (katemfe fruit extract) before, we were a bit apprehensive – however, we found the protein powder offered a wonderful balance of sweetness that tasted closer to real sugar than an artificial sweetener.

Special highlights: gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free, GMO-free and sustainably grown ingredients

Available from: JS Health Vitamins (£31.99)

Best vegan protein powder on a budget

WINNER: MyVegan pea protein isolate – chocolate

MyVegan pea protein isolate
  • Grams of protein per serving: 23g per 30g serving
  • Calories per serving: 107 kcals
  • Type of protein: pea protein isolate
  • Type of sweetener: sucralose

Not only is this protein powder budget friendly – just 44p per serving – but, because it's pure pea protein isolate, it results in a very smooth shake, even when mixed with water alone (however, our preference is definitely when it's blended with some milk, ice and a banana – it tastes like a chocolate milkshake).

If you're the type of person who enjoys versatility and control over their flavours, try the unflavoured version of this and add your own fruits, spices and sweeteners in smoothies, porridge and even pancakes.

Available from: MyVegan pea protein isolate – chocolate (£14.39)

Best on-trend vegan protein powder

WINNER: Plant Supplements Vegan CBD Protein Chocolate

A packet of vegan protein powder on a white background
  • Grams of protein per serving: 26.9g per 38g serving
  • Calories per serving: 114 kcals
  • Type of protein: pea protein
  • Type of sweetener: stevia, xylitol

Followers of the latest fitness trends may want to try this plant-based powder, offering 8mg CBD per scoop. CBD is short for cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic compound found in the cannabis plant, reported by some to have a range of health and wellness benefits.

It mixed well with water to a smooth, thick consistency with no grittiness, which can be an issue with some plant-based protein powders. The flavour is quite sweet and, although a slight bitter aftertaste was present, was still very drinkable. It’s vegan, soya-free, sugar-free and low in fat, too.

Available from: Plant Supplements (£39)

Best unsweetened vegan protein powder

WINNER: Motion Nutrition peanut butter protein shake

Motion nutrition peanut butter powder
  • Grams of protein per serving: 19g per 25g serving
  • Calories per serving: 97 kcals
  • Type of protein: peanut flour, yellow pea protein, raw pumpkin seed protein, hemp seed protein
  • Type of sweetener: none

The ingredients list on this powder is reassuringly short and recognisable. It’s a blend of four different organic protein sources – fat-reduced peanut flour, yellow pea protein, raw pumpkin seed protein and hemp seed protein – with no sugars, sweeteners, additives or flavourings. As a bonus, peanuts and pumpkin seeds are a good source of typtophan – an amino acid that helps our brain produce melatonin, a hormone that’s linked to sleep.

This powder had a lovely roasted peanut flavour, and paired beautifully with almond milk and banana, which added a touch of sweetness and creaminess. When it was mixed just with water it was thinner and, as it’s unsweetened, it has a very natural and earthy taste, but was still palatable. As a side note, the packaging doesn’t specify how much liquid to use per 25g serving, so we experimented and found 250ml liquid was the right amount to produce a nice smooth shake. We didn’t test it out, but the packaging suggests adding to pancake batter – and it would likely be a welcome addition to a bowl of porridge, too.

Available from: Motion Nutrition (£24.99)

Best vegan protein powder for added nutritional extras

WINNER: Vega Essentials Protein chocolate

Vega protein powder
  • Grams of protein per serving: 22g protein per 36g serving
  • Calories per serving: 145 kcals
  • Type of protein: pea protein, flaxseed powder, hemp protein, quinoa powder
  • Type of sweetener: steviol glycosides

This protein powder really packs a nutritional punch, incorporating a fruit and vegetable powder including kale, broccoli, carrot, spinach, apple, blueberry and even UV-treated mushrooms. As a result, the blend is high in 16 essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium. It’s also high in fibre and a source of omega 3 fats. Plus, it’s gluten-free.

With all those ingredients, you might expect a rather unusual taste, but we found it had a tasty milk chocolate flavour that was lovely to drink. It does require a good shake to incorporate all the powder (think of it as an extra arm workout), but, once it’s mixed, it’s nice and smooth – and we had no problems at all when we used the blender.

Available from: Vega (£31.99), Holland & Barrett (£32), Planet Organic (£29.99)

Best vegan protein powder for women's health

WINNER: Free Soul Vegan Protein Blend vanilla

Free soul protein
  • Grams of protein per serving: 20g protein per 30g serving
  • Calories per serving: 118 kcals
  • Type of protein: pea protein isolate, white hemp protein
  • Type of sweetener: steviol glycosides

More than just a protein shake, this product is formulated specifically to support women's nutritional needs, providing several key vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin B12. Free Soul also include a few extra ingredients so you get more bang for your buck – including Peruvian maca, ginseng, guarana and L-Carnitine.

It was also the best tasting vanilla powder in the test, with a very subtle, natural flavour that's not too sweet, and pairs well with a banana. It did taste a little bit floury but not in an unpleasant way – it was reminiscent of cake batter, which is no bad thing.

Available from: Free Soul (£24.99), Amazon (22.49)

Best vegan protein powder for men's health

WINNER: Bodyism Male Optimum

Bodyism protein powder
  • Grams of protein per serving: 13g protein per 20g serving
  • Calories per serving: 81 kcals
  • Type of protein: pea protein isolate, brown rice protein
  • Type of sweetener: steviol glycosides

If you're looking for a daily multivitamin and protein powder combination that's designed specifically to support common male health concerns, then this one might be for you. Bodyism's Male Optimum is designed to increase testosterone, raise libido, support the creation of lean muscle mass and reduce body fat with its unique blend of Tribulus, vitamins, minerals and maca.

While this powder doesn't have the highest level of protein per serving compared to other products on the market, the addition of an array of nutrients makes it a great choice for those looking for a supplemental powder with a slight protein boost. It comes in a deep cacao flavour which we really enjoyed whizzed into a smoothie or mixed into our morning oats.

Available from: Naturisimo.com (£60)

Best gourmet vegan protein powder

WINNER: Liberto Dark Chocolate & Sour Cherry

Liberto protein powder
  • Grams of protein per serving: 21.7g protein per 40g serving
  • Calories per serving: 150 kcals
  • Type of protein: pea protein, milled flax seed, milled chia seed
  • Type of sweetener: coconut palm sugar

If you're after a full-flavoured protein powder with minimal processed ingredients, this is a great choice. Delivering 21.7g protein per 40g serving, it’s also high in omega 3 ALA fatty acids from chia and flax, along with maca, prebiotics and probiotics – with more than 1 billion live cultures per serving. It ticks a lot of boxes, being organic, gluten-free, soya-free and high in fibre.

The real strong point of this powder is the taste – it has a very bold sour cherry flavour with a rich dark chocolate base. It also mixed easily to a nice smooth consistency, even just with water in the shaker, and has minimal grittiness or chalkiness. Like the others, it does have a slight floury aftertaste but, overall, it's thoroughly enjoyable to drink.

Available from: Liberto (£14.99), Amazon (£14.25), Ocado (£15)

Best vegan protein powder for a morning pick-me-up

WINNER: Nuzest Clean Lean Protein Coffee Coconut & MCTs

A packet of vegan protein powder on a white background
  • Grams of protein per serving: 18.2g per 25g serving
  • Calories per serving: 106 kcals
  • Type of protein: pea protein isolate
  • Type of sweetener: steviol glycosides

Coffee fans, this might be the protein powder for you. It's gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, lectin-free, non-GMO and contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) – a type of fat-based supplement popular among athletes and body builders, and said to be more easily digested than the longer-chain fatty acids found in other foods.

The powder has quite a strong coconut flavour and a more subtle coffee kick, making it a perfect option after a morning workout. It dissolves nicely, isn't gritty and had no lumps, even when mixed briskly by hand in the shaker. When mixed with water it's on the thin side, but can easily be thickened up by mixing with almond milk instead.

Available from: Nuzest (£35.99), Amazon (£35.99)

Best clear vegan protein powder

WINNER: MyVegan clear vegan protein – strawberry

My Vegan clear protein
  • Grams of protein per serving: 10g per 16g serving
  • Calories per serving: 52 kcals
  • Type of protein: hydrolysed pea protein
  • Type of sweetener: sucralose

If you're not a fan of the traditional creamy consistency of most protein shakes and would rather your protein to come disguised as a glass of fruit squash, then this is definitely a must try. While it may not be the top choice for athletes or weight lifters due to its lower protein content, we found this to be a light and refreshing afternoon pick-me-up that just happened to offer us a little protein boost on the side.

Our favourite flavours were the strawberry and blackcurrant. They tasted delicious on their own and also added a super berry boost to our favourite breakfast smoothie.

Available from: My Vegan (£21.59)


Protein health advice

How to use protein supplements safely

Dietary supplements such as protein bars should be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet and not used as a substitute for whole food.

Nutritionist Kerry Torrens explains: ‘Protein supplements, such as powders, are highly processed and lack the micronutrients and other beneficial nutrients of whole, natural food. We should all aim to achieve our protein requirements from a well-balanced diet, but, for short-term use or in certain circumstances, protein supplementation may be considered.'

It's important to remember that powders are a concentrated source of energy and can be high in sugar, carbohydrates and fats. Consider your individual health and fitness goals, your personal dietary requirements and your reason for including protein powders in your diet when deciding which product to buy and how often to drink them.

Discover how to eat a balanced diet and the best protein sources, including options for vegetarians and vegans.

Who could benefit from using a protein supplement?

If you're regularly getting enough protein from your diet, adding a supplement might not make a noticeable difference to your health. However, those who are either unable to regularly eat enough protein due to decreased appetite or illness, or who have increased protein needs as a result of high-intensity exercise might benefit from taking a supplement.

Kerry explains: 'One example, which is probably not an obvious one, is the elderly. This group often has a greater need for protein, but a lower appetite. Increasing protein intake in a form that is palatable and suits their lowered appetite may be effective in protecting against muscle loss. That said, in this group other aspects, such as kidney health and osteoporosis, need to be considered and monitored – it’s worth checking with a GP that protein supplements are safe and suitable for each individual.’

Who shouldn’t take protein supplements?

Children shouldn’t take protein supplements unless directed by a dietitian. The NHS advises that consuming too much protein in the long term is linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, and may worsen existing kidney problems. Some people find protein shakes difficult to digest – it’s best to include them gradually into your diet, and see how you get on. Although allergens should be stated on the label, anyone with allergies should be cautious about using a new supplement, as there is a risk of cross-contamination in factories. Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or being treated for existing medical conditions should consult their GP before starting new supplements.

Is it possible to take too much protein?

Yes. The Department of Health advises adults to avoid consuming more than twice the recommended daily intake of protein (55g for men and 45g for women). Always read the label of any protein supplement carefully, stick to the recommended serving size, and be mindful of other protein sources in your diet. If you’re concerned that you might be consuming too much protein, speak to your GP.


Buyer's advice

How to choose a protein powder

Choosing a suitable protein powder will depend on your personal requirements and goals. For example, if you're looking to gain weight or build muscle, you might want to consider a 'mass-gainer' product that is higher in calories and carbohydrates. Look for a product to fit your dietary requirements and double-check allergen labelling on the packet.

Make sure that you buy from a reputable company, ideally based in Europe, as those that are based outside of Europe may not pass the same safety standards as those within. If you’re in any doubt about the safety of a product, speak to your pharmacist or GP.

What we looked for in protein powder

  • Taste and texture: is the flavour pleasant? Is the texture palatable?
  • Type of protein: pea, brown rice, hemp, peanut, soya, or another plant-based protein?
  • Nutrient profile: how much protein per serving? What about calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates and sugars?
  • Type of sweetener: does it contain sugars, artificial sweetener or neither?
  • Dietary requirements: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free?
  • Value for money: how does it compare to others on a cost-per-shake basis?

Testing notes

All powders were taste tested on the same day, with notes made according to the testing criteria. We included samples from a range of manufacturers with differing nutritional information, protein types and price points for this review.

Related content

The best vegan protein bars
Best sources of protein
The best sources of protein for vegetarians
The best sources of protein for vegans
What to eat for a workout
Sports nutrition: what's worth trying?

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Do you buy protein powder? Leave a comment below...

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This review was last reviewed in May 2022. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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