These protein shakes make easy work of increasing your protein intake – even if you’re on a vegan diet.
Vegan protein powders don’t have the best rep in the world. Sludgy, chalky or bitter, plant-based shakes aren’t seen in quite the same light as whey, their dairy counterpart. But you don’t need to hold your nose and down a shake to get enough protein on a vegan diet. You can get enough of the muscle-building macronutrient from your diet, but using supplements can make high-protein meals easier or more accessible for those who live a busy life.
This is especially important if you’re into exercise, particularly strength training. “When we train, we’re essentially ripping the muscles,” explains personal trainer Caroline Bragg. “We need to repair them so they keep building. Proteins are the building blocks for that.”
You may also like
How much protein do you really need when strength training?
For those who train hard, experts recommend getting around 1.2-2g of protein per kilogram of body weight (eg if you are a 75kg woman then having at least 90g of protein a day will help with optimal performance and recovery). An easy way to hit that target is by using a supplement, such as a vegan protein powder. And, news flash, there are some great tasting powders that you can actually enjoy using.
Yep, vegan protein powders have come a long way from their grainy beginnings. Now, there are plenty of brands that create great tasting protein powders to mix with plant milk, stir into porridge or use in baking to create delicious, high-protein, muscle-repairing foods.
The best vegan protein powders
Huel Complete Protein
This ‘complete’ protein – meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids – is made from hemp, faba, and pea protein. It contains more than just a muscle-building boost though, with 26 essential vitamins and minerals, an unbelievably creamy texture and rich flavour that tastes good even when mixed with water, it really is everything your body wants after a tough workout.
Shreddy, known for its resistance bands and home workout kits, made the foray into supplements during lockdown – and it’s paid off. Their pea-based protein powder is one of the smoothest around, meaning it tastes perfect even just shaken with water. A single serving will hit you with 22g of protein from an entirely compostable packet (yes, including the zip-lock).
Innermost Health Protein
This protein includes immune system boosting ingredients, such as shiitake mushrooms, acai berries and camu camu, without actually tasting like it does. In fact, it’s a rather subtle, smooth protein shake that ticks all the boxes.
Bulk Powders Vegan Protein Powder
This protein is made from five different plant-based sources to make a great vegan blend that offers 23g of protein per serving. The fact that it comes in peanut butter flavour? Even more of a winner. We recommend blending to make a smoothie bowl for a decadent tasting snack that could almost be classed ice cream.
Form Nutrition Performance Protein
This makes for a deliciously smooth shake. The chocolate peanut flavour is one of the Stylist team’s all time favourites, with a sweet but nutty flavour and no proteiny after taste. The powder is a complete protein, meaning it features all five essential amino acids, and is also boosted with probiotics and Digezyme for good gut health.
Vivo Life Raw Plant Protein & BCAA
This tastes like what you might imagine a vegan powder to taste like: slightly earthier and less sweet than other brands. That’s because it packs the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet, while still being super delicious. Ingredients include pea and hemp protein, reishi mushrooms and super foods including turmeric and maca. It’s a thick powder so mixes wonderfully into oats for a cakey texture. This is also a favourite of Stylist Strong trainer Alice Miller.
Misfits Vegan Protein + Vitamin Blend
A few months ago, Misfits rebranded to make their entire protein range vegan. Why? Because it was so delicious that they didn’t see why anyone would use any other alternative. The pea protein blend also contains L-Glutamine to speed up repair and recovery. Despite the low sugar content, it’s definitely one for those with a sweet tooth.
Plant Supplements CBD Protein Powder
For a shake that will support muscle and mind recovery, this vegan pea protein powder comes with added CBD. One serve comes with 8mg of cannabidiol, making it perfect for an evening snack. And we love how the sweet vanilla flavour has no artificial taste either.
MyVegan Protein Blend
This mix of pea and fava bean proteins gives each serving 22g of complete protein. It’s a thick, smooth texture that comes in a decadent mix of flavours: from coffee and walnut to turmeric latte. But the classics here are best – the chocolate flavour can be mixed with milk for a protein-based drink that’s surprisingly reminiscent of a thick chocolate milkshake.
USN 100% Plant Based Protein
USN are one of the most recognisable protein brands on the market. Famed for their whey powders, they’ve now branched out with their 100% Plant Protein, a pea, rice and hemp blend containing 23g of protein. And it upholds USN’s rep: a smooth shake with no after taste and flavours that taste exactly like what they say on the tin (hello, vanilla maple!).
Welleco Nourishing Protein
A high-quality complete protein that includes probiotics, vitamins and fibre. Made using organic ingredients, it’s a nutritional post-workout fuel delivering 20g of protein per serve.
Image: Brand’s own / Unsplash
Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).