19 Muscle-Building Vegan Protein Powders That Actually Taste Good

To be both vegan and dedicated to building muscle mass and strength requires an admirable level of discipline even most weightlifters can appreciate.

Unfortunately, if you’re a vegan—or plant-based curious—and looking to build muscle, consuming enough protein, the macronutrient fuel that’s necessary for muscular growth, can pose a challenge.

Look, you don’t have to be a vegan to want to try vegan protein powders. Maybe whey protein doesn’t agree with you (it’s a thing). Or maybe you’re interested in adopting a more plant-based diet. The good news is that there are more vegan protein powder options out there now than ever before.

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That said, there are certain things you should look out for when buying a vegan protein powder.

Getting enough protein can be tough enough for lifters, which is why people guzzle shakes and supplements to up their intake. Vegan and plant-based athletes can have a hard time with that, too—so it all comes down to what’s in those shaker bottles.

When it comes to protein powder, whey is considered the gold standard for guys who want to build muscle fast.

Whey—which is made from the watery part of milk that separates from curds during the cheesemaking process—is a complete protein, meaning it packs all the amino acids you need for muscle growth and repair. Whey is also high in leucine, the most important amino acid in the muscle-building process.

Thing is, whey doesn’t work for everyone. Some athletes simply can’t stomach whey (and stinking up the weight room definitely breaks all kinds of gym etiquette rules). Others are lactose intolerant. And of course vegans need plant-based protein alternatives.

But can you really build muscle with vegan protein powder? Turns out, the answer is yes—you just have to buy the right kind.

You should opt for a plant-based protein powder that mixes different types of plant proteins, explained Leslie Bonci, R.D., a nutrition consultant for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This ensures you’re consuming all the essential amino acids and a wider range of nutrients.

You could also consume a single-ingredient plant protein powder post-workout, and then make up for the missing amino acids through food later in the day, she says, since protein synthesis takes place over a 24-hour period. But let’s face it—that makes things complicated.

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Note: Most plant-based protein powders come with a few grams of added sugar, and that’s by necessity, according to Marie Spano, R.D., C.S.C.S. Without it, they’d taste like dirt and would be about as hard to mix.

She recommended blending protein powder with a few ounces of orange juice. The citrus will boost the vitamin and nutrient content and offset the “earthy” taste. After all, you’ll never reap the benefits of plant-based protein powders if you can’t force yourself to drink them.

The good news is that there’s also a burgeoning world of pea-protein powders on the market now that are almost as good as whey when it comes to protein quality. You’ll find a few of those on our list, along with blends and a few other surprises.

Here are our picks for the best vegan protein powders you can buy.

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Best All Around: Vega Sport Protein Powder, Chocolate

Product, Bodybuilding supplement, Dietary supplement, Food, Joint, Superfood, Bodybuilding, Vegan nutrition, Sports drink, Stimulant,


Made from a mix of peas, pumpkin, organic sunflower seeds, and alfalfa, one 22-gram scoop of this protein powder contains 30 grams of protein and only 80 calories. Plus, it also contains a whopping 2.9 grams of leucine—more than you’d find in many whey protein powders.

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Best for Smoothies and Shakes: Nutiva Organic Plant Protein Superfood Smoothie

Ingredient, Lid, Fruit, Food storage containers, Produce,


Add this mix of pea, pumpkin, hemp, and sunflower with added probiotics and vitamins to your next smoothie and you’ll be pleased with the extra protein bump. Choose between vanilla or chocolate.

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Best Pea-Based Flavored: Ritual, Daily Shake 18+, Vanilla

ritual pea protein powder


One scoop of this vegan protein powder will net you 20 grams of protein and three grams of fiber for only 115 calories. Don’t worry. It doesn’t taste like pea soup and instead carries a pleasant, even-keel vanilla flavor that’s great in shakes. Ritual has earned Informed Choice third-party certification, which means that it’s free of banned substances and what’s advertised on the label is what’s actually inside.


Best Pea-Based UnFlavored: Naked

vegan protein powder naked pea protein

Naked Nutrition

If you’re more of a straight-up person when it comes to how to take your protein powder, this is the unrefined stuff. No additives. All pea protein: 27 grams of the stuff for 140 calories per two-scoop serving. It’s also Informed Choice certified.


Best Pea + Rice Combo: NOW Foods Plant Protein Complex

A blend of pea, brown rice, and quinoa, each 38-gram scoop packs an impressive 22 grams of protein and 1.8 grams of leucine.

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Best Fan Base: PlantFusion Complete Protein Powder, Vanilla Bean

Service, Lid, Plastic,


Nearly 3,600 Amazon reviewers have given this blend of pea, artichoke, amaranth, and quinoa protein a 4 out of 5 rating—a true feat for a plant-based protein. One 30-gram scoop contains 21 grams of protein and 120 calories.

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Best Ingredients: Garden of Life Meal Replacement, Chocolate

Product, Vegan nutrition, Dietary supplement, Superfood, Ingredient, Food, Plantago,

Garden of Life

One look at the ingredients list, and you’ll wonder which plants aren’t in this container. Made with proteins from peas, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, chia seeds, and more, one 36-gram scoop packs 20 grams of protein, plus a 7-gram dose of fiber.

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Best Unique Mix: Sunwarrior, Warrior Blend, Vanilla

Made from a blend of Goji berries and pea and hemp protein, each 25-gram scoop contains 18 grams of protein and about 2.6 grams of muscle-building leucine.

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Best Soy: NOW Sports Soy Protein Isolate, Natural Chocolate

This soy protein isolate contains 20 grams of protein per 24 gram serving and just 90 calories.

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Best Peanut: Naked Powdered Peanut Butter

vegan protein powder naked peanut protein

Naked Nutrition

Forget not the peanut as a vegan protein delivery system. This stuff doesn’t carry the protein wallop of others (it has six grams per scoop), but don’t dismiss it as a secret flavor booster to vegan shakes made with other plant-based products.


Best No-Stevia Pick: Elite Protein Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder, Chocolate

elite protein powder vegan plant based


If you’re not a fan of the cloying taste of Stevia, a “natural” sweetener that tastes a whole heck of a lot like a fake sweetener, well, this here plant-based protein powder is for you.

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Best Do-Everything Mix: Vega One All-In-One Plant Based Protein Powder, French Vanilla


Vega One

A combination of pea protein, flaxseed, hemp protein, and more, one hefty 41-gram scoop contain 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 1.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids.

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Best Quinoa-Powered: Bodylogix Vegan Protein Powder, Decadent Chocolate

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This jug carries the all-important “NSF Certified for Sport” seal, which ensures that what the label says is inside the product actually is. And what’s inside this muscle-builder is largely chia and quinoa, a high-protein grain. There’s Stevia too. Just saying in case you’re not into that.

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Best Coconut-Powered: KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

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There’s a veritable cornucopia of ingredients in this powdered protein—pea protein, quinoa, pumpkin seed protein, chia, flax—but there’s also coconut milk and sugar, which are nice touches to help round out the flavor.

Best Pea-Hemp Combo: Elite Protein Plant-Based Formula

Logo, Plastic, Lid, Circle, Coquelicot,


One serving clocks in at 25 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber (bonus!), and 150 calories.

Best Enhanced Powder: Organifi Complete Protein

Product, White, Logo, Brand, Health care, Plastic, Silver, Cylinder, Label, Personal care,


What this product lacks in protein (one scoop has 20 grams; you want more than 25 grams for muscle-building) it makes up for in fiber (3 grams) and a host of other nutrients. You can always enjoy 1 1/2 scoops to hit your protein goals.

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Best Gym Bag Option: Garden of Life Organic Protein Powder

Green, Logo, Label, Brand, Packaging and labeling, Graphics, Trademark, Bottle,

Garden of Life

Because you can’t throw a tub into your bag. Well, unless you have one of those giant bodybags. But if you’re taking a giant bodybag to the gym bag, you might have other problems we don’t want to get involved with.

Best Chocolate Peanut Butter: Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, Chocolate Peanut Butter

Product, Vegan nutrition, Plant, Food, Superfood, Dietary supplement,


Chocolate and vanilla are fine. Fine. When you need a flavor mix-maker, turn to this well-balanced vegan protein powder. Enjoy and you’re welcome.

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Best Low-Calorie: Thorne Research, VegaLite, Vegan Friendly Performance Protein Powder, Vanilla Flavor

Product, camomile, Plant,


Fancy-looking container, right? A 20-grams-of-protein-per-scoop powder has only 110 calories.

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preview for Jamie Foxx | Eat LikeHeadshot of Maria Masters

Maria Masters is a contributing editor and writer for Everyday Health and What to Expect, and has held positions at Men’s Health and Family Circle. 

Headshot of Paul Kita

Paul is the Food & Nutrition Editor of Men’s Health. He’s also the author of two cookbooks: Guy Gourmet and A Man, A Pan, A Plan.


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