If you are looking for an all-round excellent supplement, protein powders are often top of the list. Many use-cases can fit the need of a protein powder including both bulking and cutting. In fact, higher protein consumption has many benefits. Previously there was only a small range available suitable for vegans. Luckily, the last few years has seen a big rise in new vegan proteins available due to the demand increasing exponentially. In this post we will look at the best vegan protein powder available right now.
Before the wide availability of vegan protein, the main options were whey or casein protein powders. Now these make a great choice for a lot of people and contain a solid amount of protein. But as they are sourced from milk, they are not suitable for vegans. The new releases have been drove by the massive increase in Veganism in the UK in recent years. We recently saw the release of the vegan sausage roll and ‘Veganuary’ is a growing trend every year.
Instead of being sourced from whey proteins, the best vegan protein powder is sourced from plant based proteins. This often includes pea protein and brown rice protein. These alternatives still provide very high levels of protein and make a great vegan choice. Many supplement manufacturers will include additional vegan friendly ingredients to boost performance and maximise the benefits from their protein powders. One area I do find lacking in some vegan proteins is the taste. But they are slowly getting better as new protein powders are released.
Best vegan protein powder
With so many new options available for vegan protein powders, it can be difficult to choose. Take a look below at our favourite vegan protein powders for 2020.
When it comes to leading unique blends you won’t find anywhere else, look no further than The Protein Works. Since their launch in 2012 and rapid rise to popularity, The Protein Works have been one of my favourite supplement brands. I love that many of the products available online cannot be found elsewhere. This is due to their style of a unique take on many popular supplements on the market. The collection of Extreme products takes standard supplements up to the next level with added ingredients to maximise performance.
Vegan Protein Extreme is a vegan protein powder like no other. You may have already seen The Protein Works standard vegan protein, well this takes it to the next level. I often find vegan protein shakes taste quite rough and need more water to make them drinkable. The Protein Works vegan protein is very smooth and easy to drink. Per serving there is 24g of protein, ideal for after a workout to boost your protein intake. The protein comes from multiple sources including soy protein isolate, white hemp protein and sunflower protein. This extreme edition packs in more vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. A solid collection of flavours are available including salted caramel and chocolate silk. There are multiple size pouches available from 500g to 4kg. Overall this is our favourite choice for the best vegan protein powder.
Another leading supplement brand I am a huge fan of is Bulk Powders. This supplement brand has a huge selection available with everything from protein powders to high protein snacks. You may recognise the Bulk Powders brand from their association with several famous athletes including Anthony Joshua. The idea behind the original launch of Bulk Powders, was to provide powders for every supplement, allowing consumers to make their own blends. In recent years, Bulk Powders sells many of their own blends online. Everything is super convenient with Bulk Powders as it can all be purchased together at the same time from their website. I often find myself stocking up on several supplements at the same time.
Vegan protein powder is promoted as the most advanced vegan protein formula on the market. Per serving there is a whopping 23g of protein, perfect for promoting muscle growth and recovery. The protein comes from 5 plant-based sources. This includes pea protein, brown rice protein and pumpkin protein. This supplement is also high in fibre. A nice collection of 7 flavours are available including vanilla and chocolate mint. The vegan protein also contains DigeZyme which is a blend of 5 digestive enzymes to help break down the protein. Several sizes are available, with the largest being a 2.5kg pouch. This vegan protein powder can be purchased directly from the Bulk Powders website.
PhD Nutrition is a premium supplement brand available in the UK. One of the big benefits with PhD is that they are available from a big collection of retailers. This makes PhD supplements easy to find when shopping online. I see PhD as a premium quality supplement brand for those looking for some of the best supplements available. Smart Plant Protein is designed to be an extremely versatile vegan protein powder. It makes a great option to mix into recipes including desserts. Each serving contains roughly 20g of protein, lower compared with other brands but the focus here is more around great taste. Some of the flavours include chocolate cookie and eton mess. Naturally, being a premium brand, PhD supplements can be quite expensive. But they can often be found at a lower price when shopping around online.
MyProtein are perhaps the most easily recognisable protein brand on the market. They have a great reputation for protein products at affordable prices. The brand is part of The Hut group and based near Manchester. MyProtein are also the worlds number 1 online sports nutrition brand. A huge choice is available from their website including pre-workout formulas and sports clothing. One thing MyProtein do really well is flavours. Many products on their site have a massive number of unique flavours available, which is often unbeaten by other manufacturers.
Vegan Protein blend is a newly-reformulated plant based protein powder. This updated version promises both improved texture and taste. Having tasted the old blend, I found the texture to be very rough and the taste lacking of MyProteins usual standards. So it’s great to see this has been resolved. The sources of vegan protein in this powder are pea and fava bean isolates. Each serving contains 22g of protein. This is slightly less compared with some other brands but still a solid amount. Some of the flavours include strawberry and coffee & walnut. There is also an unflavoured version which is great for those wishing to mix in their own ingredients for flavours. The largest pouch size available is only 500g which is slightly disappointing and makes it less suitable for regular users.
The Applied Nutrition brand is not one that gets featured as often on this website, but when it comes to vegan protein they have a great protein powder available. The Applied Nutrition brand was launched in 2008 and now has a big collection of supplements available including protein powders and creatine products. All of their unique formulas are designed by their in-house R&D from the Applied Nutrition manufacturing facility. Vegan Pro is an ideal vegan protein powder containing soya, pea, brown rice and hemp protein. Per serving there is a market-leading 24g grams of protein, as well as amino acids, making a great choice for those looking to put on muscle. Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavours are available. This vegan protein powder can be purchased in a 2.1kg tub, ideal for those looking for good value.
Why should I use a protein powder?
For everyone from those starting to workout, to experience gym goers, protein powers are extremely popular. We believe protein powders are the ideal supplement for all fitness levels to help improve performance. They can be particularly beneficial for those looking to put on muscle. If you are new to using protein powers, take a look at our top tips below on their benefits and use cases.
Supporting muscle growth
Perhaps the biggest benefit and reason to consume protein powers, is to support muscle growth. When we participate in an intense workout such as weight lifting, the muscles begin to break down. After a workout they need to grow and repair. The muscles grow back slightly bigger each time. This is what leads to muscle growth from regular workouts. But to grow they need the appropriate fuel to be supplied to them. This comes in the form of protein.
Protein is effectively the building blocks of muscle. It is protein which is used for muscle growth and repair. By supplying the muscles with enough protein, we can look to maximise muscle growth. Timing is key here for maximum impact. The process for muscle growth is called protein synthesis and the body needs enough protein for this process to happen. I like to consume a protein shake straight after a workout to support muscle growth.
Similar to the previous point, muscle recovery is also essential after a workout. You may notice after an intense workout that your muscles ache and feel sore. This can be due to the damaged tissues from working your muscles hard. The recovery process includes growth and repair of the muscles. Providing them with the protein they need for repair can be easily achieved with protein powders. I often find increased soreness and longer recovery times when consuming less protein.
Easy macro tracking
For many of us, tracking macros are a key part of any bulking or cutting diet. But it can often be hard to keep track of the exact numbers. For example when cooking a large meal which will be broken down into smaller portions. The process of trying to calculating the calories, fats, proteins and carbs inside each portion is not easy. Thankfully supplements including protein powders can make it a lot easier. On all protein powders, the exact amounts are labelled on the packaging. if you are consuming the same amount of protein powder as labelled in each portion size, it is extremely easy to keep track.
Convenience & reduced cost
When consuming a high protein diet, one of the biggest challenges can be actually getting enough protein in your diet. Sometimes this can be even more difficult when following a vegan diet. It can often be the case that a huge mass of food is needed just to reach your daily protein target. This is due foods not having such a high protein content. Protein powders often contain a very high percentage of protein, so we need to consume less to get the same amount protein. Protein powders are also convenient and can be consumed quickly, with minimal preparation. The best vegan protein powder can often be very affordable, with lots of promotions available online.
How to find the best vegan protein powder?
When it comes to protein powders, not all are equal. But what should you be looking out for when making your decision? Take a look at our top tips below on how to select a great protein powder.
The brand or manufacturer
We find an important factor to consider is the brand or manufacturer of any supplement. It’s also common to stick with the brands you know and have experienced before. The brand is often a sign fo trust and quality in a supplement. Some brands have extremely high standards, which gives confidence that the vegan protein powder you select is going to follow this quality. The brand is also a good indication of price. There are many premium and mainstream supplement brands on the market, at a range of price points.
For me, the convenience of certain brands also plays an important factor. some supplement brands produce more than just protein. This includes everything from pre-workout supplements to multivitamins. If I can purchase everything in one place and at the same time, this is a huge benefit. Brands such as Bulk Powders make it easy to pickup everything from their website in one order.
Supplements come in a huge variety of flavours, and vegan proteins are no exception. Common flavours include Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. While vegan powders may not have as many options as whey protein, there are still plenty of options available. Picking the right flavour is very important with any supplement. If you are planning on consuming vegan protein every day, a flavour you don’t like it soon going to put you off. I find a good tip is to stick with flavours that you are not going to get sick of too quickly. I always find chocolate is a good choice. Another idea is to buy two different flavours. This way, flavours can be rotated on a daily basis to stop you getting sick of just one flavour.
Type of protein
Unlike whey protein shakes, with vegan protein powders a lot of different proteins can potentially be used. Plant-based proteins are the most popular option for vegan protein powders. The most common include Pea pea, brown rice and hemp. You may find that your body gets on with some better than others. If you are consuming a new vegan protein power for the first time, you may wish to start with a smaller amount. This way you can find out which protein works best for you, without being stuck with a big bag of unwanted protein powder.
This post contained our favourite options for some of the best vegan protein powder for 2020. With veganism growing rapidly in the UK, we expect further vegan protein powders to be released. There are many benefits to adopting a vegan diet. Already, a much wider choice is available compared with a few years ago. Some of my favourites include those from Bulk Powders and The Protein Works. Vegan protein powers have many benefits and make an ideal choice for vegans looking to build muscle. Let us know below which vegan protein powders you will be using this year.
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