Many of the world’s strongest animals are herbivores. For instance, elephants, apes, and rhinos all get their nutrition from plants. Humans are no different. They can thrive on fruits, vegetables, and legumes alone!
While it’s a common misconception that vegans and vegetarian diets are deficient in protein, you can catch many of these people competing at bodybuilding shows and running long-distance marathons with great results.
It’s been proven repeatedly — a plant-based diet can indeed meet your nutritional needs!
But if you’re concerned about getting your protein from plant based alone, protein powder can help you get that daily dose especially after a workout, when you need it most, so you can continue making gains while living a veggie-fuelled lifestyle! We’ve listed some of the best protein powders for bodybuilding on the market so you can make the right choice and help meet your goals.
Our Top Picks at a Glance
- BULK POWDERS Soya Protein Isolate 90 Powder
- Pulsin Unflavoured Soya Protein Powder
- The Protein Works Soy Protein 90
- Myprotein Soy Protein Isolate
- Bodybuilding Warehouse Pure Soy
- The Protein Works Pea Protein 80
- Naked Nutrition 100% Pea Protein Isolate
- NutriZing Vegan Pea Protein Powder
- Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein
- BULK POWDERS Pure Pea Protein Isolate
- nu3 Vegan Protein 3K Shake
- SCI-MX Nutrition Pro V-Gain
- The Protein Works Vegan Protein
- BULK POWDERS Complete Vegan Blend
- PBN Vegan Protein
- BodyMe Organic Vegan Protein Powder Blend
- Vivo Life Perform
Note: There’s a lot more information below but clicking the above links will take you to current prices, further information and customer reviews on Amazon.
Is There Enough Protein for an Athlete in a Plant-Based Diet?
Plant protein offers the same benefits as animal protein. It keeps you full, gives your body energy, and can help those muscles after a challenging workout. The same rings true for athletes; however, they may require more protein given that their workouts and nutritional needs vary from the average person.
Rest assured, a plant-rich diet can offer more than enough protein. Foods like tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, and chickpeas all contain vitamins, minerals, and an adequate amount of this essential macronutrient to sustain the human body, no matter your athletic level.
Athletes should have a serving of protein at every meal to ensure they’re eating enough of the substance to sustain their energy needs and strenuous workouts. For example, a healthy breakfast may include oats topped with peanut butter and chia seeds. Lunch may include a salad topped with vegetables and dried chickpeas.
Finally, the athlete can have a large plate of red lentil pasta with marinara sauce and spinach for dinner.
How Much Protein Does Someone Need for Adequate Muscle Growth?
If you are looking to gain muscle then 1.5 – 2.3 grams per kg of body weight is recommended. It’s a common misconception that protein is the most essential macronutrient often at the expense of others. This false information causes many people to eat more than they need to. All the macronutrients are important when building muscle, so ensure you’re not overdoing it on the protein. A balanced diet of carbs, fat, and protein is how you can upgrade your physique.
Ways to Use Vegan Protein Powder
Using water to dissolve the protein powder is a quick and easy way to prepare a shake when you’re on the go. However, the taste may not leave you jumping for joy. If you’re looking to prioritise flavor over convenience, here are a few ways you can mix your vegan protein.
If you prefer to eat a snack or meal after a workout, consider mixing your powder with oatmeal or porridge instead. Add it slowly and gradually to avoid clumping. Pour in small amounts of milk as you go. Top your protein oats with granola, bananas, or cacao nibs!
You can also make a quick smoothie. Dissolve the powder with your choice of non-dairy milk. To avoid clumping, use a shaker cup or a blender. There are several different kinds of milk on the market. Oat has been extremely popular to mix with vegan protein powder, as it’s rich, creamy, and has a neutral taste. Almond is another popular option, as this type of milk is readily available at most supermarkets.
If you’re using a bland vanilla protein powder, add frozen fruit to add some variety. You can also add mix-ins like nuts, chia seeds, or peanut butter.
If you like the idea of eating dessert for breakfast, then you’ll love the idea of a smoothie bowl. It is essentially a large bowl of blended fruit; however, instead of using milk, add a small amount of water when blending a serving of frozen fruit. Add a scoop of protein powder to complete your meal. Your smoothie should have the consistency of ice cream or sorbet when blended.
You can also use protein powder when baking vegan goods. If you’re making muffins, cookies, or any other type of sweet treat, add half a scoop of your vegan protein powder of choice to create a healthy alternative to the sugary laden sweets you’d find at most bakeries and restaurants.
Lastly, you can make this delicious dessert that’s also good for you. Blend dates, peanut butter, and chocolate in a blender or food processor. This should create a pasty dough. Throw some protein powder into the mixture and blend again.
Using your hands, create balls of dough, and set them onto a baking tray. Allow them to chill overnight. Enjoy them the next morning.
What Types of Vegan Protein Powders Are Available?
Animal-based protein powders are derived from various sources depending on the brand. Whey and bone broth protein are two examples. The same sentiment goes for the vegan alternative. They can vary. Researching the pros and cons of both is a brilliant idea before you commit to buying one. Here are some of the top ingredients and protein sources in this vegan supplement.
Soy protein is one of the most popular options on the market. However, one of the most significant drawbacks of supplementing with this variation is that soy has a negative connotation in the health industry. Soy protein is derived from soybeans. These little green pods contain isoflavones, which contain estrogen-like compounds. Consuming excess estrogen has been linked to a higher chance of thyroid dysfunction, which can lead to blood clots, fatigue, and stroke.
As long as you watch how much soy you consume in a day, you should be fine with drinking this variety after a workout. Instead of mixing this product with soy milk, try creating a shake with cashew or rice milk instead! Additionally, watch how much soy-derived protein you’re consuming from other foods, such as tofu or soybeans. You can also find soy in certain food products such as cereals, crackers, and canned foods.
This is where the blends come in – they are handy to keep your soy levels down while keeping some of the flavour benefits. It is fast becoming the protein supplement of choice especially with athletes.
Often, the taste of soy protein is milder as well, making it a solid contender if you’re new to vegan protein and want to avoid that ‘earthy’ taste found in most of these products.
Soy derived protein also contains a complete amino acid profile. A sensible amount of soy also provides the body with antioxidants!
Pea protein powders are also extremely popular. This is also a great pick if you’re allergic to soy. Pea protein delivers a rich source of iron. It may also help diminish problems associated with heart disease. Since it digests slowly, it can also have you feeling fuller longer, making those late-night snack temptations a thing of the past.
How Do I Pick One?
When browsing the market, look for these next few things before settling on a single product.
Protein Per Serving
Of course, you want your value for your money, so look into how much protein you’re getting per serving. Search for a product that contains over 20 grams of protein.
The flavor is the next crucial factor you should consider. You want a great tasting profile, or else it will just sit on the shelf collecting dust! Most vegan protein powders come in simple flavors, such as chocolate or vanilla. If you enjoy drinking protein powder in fruit smoothies, opt for vanilla as it’s the most versatile. If you’re looking for something sweeter, chocolate is typically best! Some brands even carry fun flavors like Salted Caramel or Fruity Berry.
Availability And Other Factors
Then there are other factors to consider when looking for the best brand. Is it readily available in your area, can you buy it in bulk, and is the packaging biodegradable? These are additional features that can help you find the perfect tub, but they aren’t mandatory.
Choosing Between the Sources
If you’re already consuming a high amount of soy, consider purchasing a pea protein powder instead. If you want something that tastes more ‘neutral,’ soy is a decent option. You can also purchase a protein blend!
Blends derive their protein from pea protein, sunflower seeds, and other vegetable sources.
A Detailed Look at the Best Vegan Protein in the UK
We’ve detailed some of the best protein powders for bodybuilding you can purchase online. Below, you’ll find a variety that contains either soy or pea protein. We’ve also thrown in some protein blends that contain both so that you can find your perfect post-workout snack within a few minutes.
This unflavored protein powder contains no fillers — it’s 100% powdered soy protein from a leading sports and nutrition brand. You’ll find upon reading the packaging it contains no sugar and no artificial sweeteners or colors. Consider this your main pick if you’re selective when it comes to flavors. It blends smoothly and leaves virtually no aftertaste. There’s also no limit to what you can combine it with.
- 100% soya concentrate
- Great powder for bulking
- Only 115 calories per serving
- Nearly 30 grams of protein per serving
- Mixes well with plain water
- Great price for the amount of protein you’re getting
- Bland taste on its own
Our only problem with this brand of protein is that its flavor leaves much to be desired. However, the health benefits of this raw product genuinely outweigh the cons. It’s cheap, mixes well with most food and drinks, and contains zero of the harsh additives and preservatives found in other powders. If you’re looking for something clean and straightforward, this powder (with a whopping 30 grams of protein per serving) is hard to beat! It’s a performance protein for athletes and passionate gym-goers.
This powder is unflavoured and easily dissolvable in foods like soups and smoothies. It’s undoubtedly a great pick if you prefer mixing in your protein with savoury foods.
- Affordable price range
- Two size options to choose from
- Dissolves well
- Made up of 90% protein
- Chalky consistency
This powder is unflavored, which can have its drawbacks depending on what you’re searching for in a protein supplement. If you’re looking for a tasteless powder to mix into certain dishes, this powder by Pulsin is an excellent pick. However, if you’re looking for an easy and out-the-door protein powder that tastes great on its own, you’d best keep looking.
However, the nutritional benefits are outstanding overall. This product does get powdery and chalky, so use it sparingly.
Some other excellent specifications of this powder include that it’s low fat and gluten-free. You can purchase a 250 g or a 1 kg version. We love that Pulsin gives you the chance to buy a smaller version before committing to the larger product.
This delicious product comes in three sizes and many different flavours. If you want to conquer your sweet tooth with a healthy snack or meal replacement, this soy powder has you covered. You will feel energised and satiated on top of that.
- Various flavors like Mint Chocolate Chip
- Selection of sizes
- Contains 25-27 g of protein
- Super low calorie at 109 kcal per serving
- No added sugar
- Chalky when shaken, so use a blender
- May taste artificially sweet to some
If you’re looking to switch things up in your fitness routine, consider playing around with various flavours of protein powder. The Protein Works sells a variety of creative flavours to get you out of a boring vanilla route.
Consider trying their Caramel Macchiato variety or the Millionaire’s Shortbread powder. Ensure you’re using a blender to create a milkshake-like consistency. We also love that you can pick between three different sizes on top of being able to customise the flavour. Select either a 500 g, 1 kg, or a 2 kg pack, depending on how much product you plan to commit to.
This supplement contains 27 g of protein and zero sugar. It contains a limited number of ingredients, although if you’re sensitive to artificial sweeteners like sucralose, you may want to keep searching. Overall, this is an affordable option that even comes in a unique strawberry flavour!
- Various flavours like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry
- Different sizes to choose from
- Contains 27 g of protein per serving
- Contains artificial sweeteners
- Difficult to mix
The nutrition in this supplement is impressive. This brand also boasts a remarkable variety. You can purchase this shake in four different flavours such as strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, and unflavoured if you need an unsweetened option. The bags are also relatively large at 1000 g per pack.
This option gives you the most value for your money. You can buy in bulk and purchase their 4 kg bag, which is sure to last months! If you want a smaller size to try, this company also offers a 500 gram bag. It’s unflavoured but has a floury taste that is easy to hide in pancake batter!
- Various sizes to choose from
- Resealable packaging
- Low-calorie formula at 92 g per serving
- Ability to buy a larger size and save
- 22 g of protein per serving
- No artificial sweeteners
- Limited flavour options
This is another simple supplement that only contains the bare essentials — 90% soya powder. It is unflavoured, but it may have an odd taste to some when mixed on its own. Consider incorporating this protein blend in pancake or waffle batter to create a healthy breakfast that will fuel your morning workout! It’s low carb, low fat, and contains a significant amount of protein per scoop.
If you’re looking to purchase in bulk, consider their 4 kg pack. It’s a giant bag that will last several months. Having ample protein powder allows you to try various recipes too, as you won’t have to worry about running out in just a few weeks!
This premium formula is high grade and comes in an assortment of flavours. The Salted Caramel, in particular, will taste excellent blended with the plant-based milk you prefer. Add some ice to make it taste more like a milkshake! However, this brand also carries simple chocolate and unflavoured varieties. Take your pick. You’ll be drinking high quality, vegan protein regardless.
- Tastes wonderful
- 24 g of protein per serving
- Variety of flavours
- Non GMO
- Non-resealable bag
- Contains artificial sweeteners
We highly recommend the Salted Caramel flavour from this brand. It does not taste as ‘earthy’ as some plant-based proteins do. It tastes quite sweet! However, if you’re avoiding artificial sweeteners like sucralose, you may want to avoid this option. This powder still contains high-quality pea protein that may have you feeling stronger after a few uses.
This powder by Naked Nutrition is an extremely high-protein option. It contains 27 g per serving, which is impressive as most supplements contain 21-24 g. If you’re trying to put more mass and muscle on, this would be one of our number one picks.
- Created using sustainable practices
- No artificial sweeteners, flavours, or colours
- Only 2 g carbs
- Only 2 g natural sugars
- 27 g protein
- Higher price point
- No additional flavours
- No sizing options
Bodybuilders and weight lifters will love this option as it contains 27 g of protein per serving. However, this protein also boasts impressive health stats. It has an insignificant amount of sugar at only 2 g per serving. We also love the low carb count. Naked Nutrition sells this in a large tub weighing 2.2 kg. If you basically live at the gym, we highly recommend supplementing with this product.
This is an award-winning pea protein that is full of flavour and great nutritional benefits. It’s also keto and paleo-friendly, making it suitable for a variety of special diets.
- 33 servings per pack
- Contains amino acids
- Zero carbs
- Certified organic by the Soil Association
- 24 g of protein per serving
- Higher price point
- No additional flavours
- No sizing options
- Earthy taste
This protein powder is ethically sourced and organic while remaining affordable! We love that the creators of this supplement care about the planet and their ingredients. This is a great supplement for people who want to incorporate more sustainable products into their fitness and nutrition regime. There are no additional flavours, so make sure to keep that in mind. It can also taste salty to some. Purchase this for the nutrition and sustainability benefits — not necessarily the taste.
Anthony’s Premium Pea Protein is exceptionally affordable, making it one of our top picks for athletes on a budget. However, you also get a lot of value for your money. This is pure pea protein, with nothing unnecessary added.
- Mixes well, especially in savory recipes
- 8 g of protein per single teaspoon
- Difficult to reseal the bag
This is a healthy and hearty choice if you’re on the hunt for a quality vegan supplement. However, our main drawback is the bag. It’s difficult to reseal for future use, so consider purchasing another container to keep your product fresh. This is another unflavoured option that you can hide in most dishes. We recommend pouring it in soups to create a creamy consistency while packing in a strength-building punch of nutrition.
Bulk Powders sells a fantastic soy protein. However, they also make a pea sourced option for those looking to cut down on their soy product intake. You can also pick out your optimal size.
- 24 g per serving
- Resealable package
- Easy to digest
- Not great for smoothies
This is another unflavoured product that’s better off in savory recipes than sweet recipes. It can make an excellent addition to savory pancakes, for example. You can also add this powder to sauces to thicken them up too.
If you’re looking to stock up on supplements, their 5 kg bag is the best choice! The packaging and ingredients are all simple. Bulk Powders is also Climate Pledge Friendly! You will feel healthy drinking this product, but you’ll also feel great about lowering your carbon footprint simultaneously.
Looking for a great tasting shake that will fulfil those sweet cravings? This is the best nutritional supplement for you. While the nu3 shake has a longer list of ingredients, it’s also easy to take on the go. Have this for breakfast, a snack, or a post-workout meal. It’s also decently priced for a flavoured shake.
- 30 g protein per serving
- It contains cacao to provide a delicious chocolate flavour
- Four flavours to choose from
- Higher calorie formula is excellent for weight lifters
- It can suit those trying to lose weight as well
- Around 360 kcal per serving
- Tastes grainy
- Artificial sweeteners may not be ideal for everyone
This shake is terrific for a wide range of fitness goals. Its taste is satisfying on its own, making it a great meal replacement shake when you’re in a rush to get out the door. It also has a suitable amount of calories. Adding non-dairy milk also boosts the calorie count, making it an optimal dietary supplement for weight lifters and athletes after a workout.
You can try this shake in four flavours: strawberry, cookies and cream, chocolate, or vanilla.
Offering an impressive 33 g of protein, this product is optimal for power lifters and bodybuilders. It’s thick, creamy, and tastes great in non-dairy milk. Try it in vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry!
- Tasty flavour
- Wonderful consistency
- Easy to mix
- Loads of protein at 33 g
- Keeps you full
- 2.2 kg package
- 4.6 g carb count may be unsuitable for keto dieters
There are so many things to love about this shake. Keep in mind there are 4.6 carbs. If you’re doing keto, this is a possible deterrent. Overall, it’s filled with flavour and nutrition, so you won’t have to compromise when it comes to two of the most critical factors that go into picking out a vegan shake!
It mixes like a dream. You won’t need a blender, perhaps just a shaker cup. Consider this if you’re constantly on the go and need a quick, tasty protein option.
This unique blend of protein is powered by several individual plant sources such as hemp protein, sunflower seeds, brown rice, and peas. However, it remains gluten-free and flavourful!
- 25 g of natural protein
- Delicious vanilla cream flavour
- 112 calories per shake
- Great macros
- No added sugar
- Similar taste to whey protein
- Smaller package size
If you’ve had bad luck with vegan proteins in the past, strongly consider this one! It has a taste that is similar to whey protein. It also packs as much protein as whey shakes, at 25 g per serving.
If you want to give a vegan shake a try, consider purchasing one of these smaller packs by Bulk Powders. This combination blend weighs 100 g, which may not be much, but it allows you to try the product before committing to a larger version of the product.
- Combination blend of pea and rice protein
- Great for sensitive stomachs
- Uses natural sweeteners such as stevia
- 21 g of protein per serving
- Candy-bar taste
- The smaller package that only gives 14 servings
This shake comes in two flavours: chocolate peanut and strawberry. If you constantly have a chocolate craving, pick up a bag of the chocolate peanut variety, as it tastes similar to a candy bar when blended with chocolate soy or almond milk.
If you’re up for trying unique flavours of protein powder, then give the shakes from PBN a shot. They have fun flavours that include banana, chocolate hazelnut, and chocolate! However, their great taste is just one small benefit. The health factors are more valuable!
- Choose between a 1 kg or 2.2 kg pouch
- Three great flavours
- Contains additional healthy ingredients
- On the lower end of the protein scale at 19 g per serving
- Slightly chalky upon swallowing
This shake contains nutritious ingredients such as broccoli sprout extract and flaxseed powder. It’s on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to protein, as it only contains 19 grams.
However, their flavours are unique and taste great with non-dairy milk and ice. Add a scoop of peanut butter to their banana or chocolate flavours, and you should be able to add more nutrition. This product also contains sunflower seed oil for a creamier consistency that will almost remind you of a milkshake.
If you want a shake with flavour (and none of the harmful additives), you’ll fall in love with this option. It’s sweetened with natural ingredients and comes in a delicious coconut and cacao flavour. You get the best of both worlds, as this is a clean, nutritious, and flavourful option.
- Contains turmeric
- Organic ingredients
- Tastes nice without any artificial sweeteners
- Ethically produced
- 125 kcal per serving
- 20 g of protein per serving
- 10% of net profits are donated to charity
- It contains all essential amino acids
- Some cool flavours like Maca and Cinnamon, Naked, and Coconut Raspberry
- Higher price point
If you’re looking to support a company that gives back to the environment, BodyMe creates a great product and also acknowledges some of the issues our world faces. Their powder is sustainably sourced and ethically produced. They only make batches of their products in small amounts. Their ingredients are also organic. Furthermore, this option contains turmeric. Turmeric has several health benefits, and most notably, it’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric also contains several antioxidants that can help ward off diseases.
Branch chain amino acids can help shorten your recovery time after a strenuous weightlifting session. This protein shake contains BCAAs as well as a high protein count. Save money and time by combining these two crucial supplements with Vivo Life’s powder.
- You can build muscle and recover simultaneously with this blend
- Contains natural sweeteners
- Five delicious flavours
- It contains powerful reishi mushrooms
- 25 g of raw plant protein per serving
- 6 g of BCAAs per serving
- Maca Caramel variety has a strong flavour
Our only negative with this muscle building formula? This powder is not as cost-effective as the others on this list. But keep in mind, it contains several healthy ingredients such as reishi mushrooms! This plant has several benefits. For instance, this healthy fungus can help lower stress levels and improve sleep! It may also enhance your immune system. We also want to stress how vital branch chain amino acids are, especially if you’re a weight lifter.
BCAAs have been shown to help with exercise fatigue. When you’re building muscle in the gym, repairing those same muscles afterward is just as essential. When those muscle fibers repair themselves during the recovery stage, they’re building themselves up to be bigger and stronger. Therefore, BCAAs can help you reach your goals dramatically faster.
Whether you’re a vegan passionate about animal rights, or just the average gym-goer looking to incorporate more plant-based protein foods into their diet, vegan protein powder can serve as a helpful tool to get your health on the right track.
Thankfully, there are several to choose from. You can even choose what type of protein to power your body — soy, pea, or a blend.
Eating plant-based isn’t a hindrance when it comes to your fitness. In fact, choosing to eat more plant foods can prove to be an outstanding decision for your overall health.
If you’re stuck on deciding on a protein supplement, consider the Vivo Life Shake if price is no object. This is a great shake for people who are looking to prioritise high quality ingredients.
If you’re looking to put a significant amount of muscle mass on, BULK POWDERS can help you reach that goal with their 30 g soy protein blend!
Regardless, all these powders are bound to give you great results in tandem with your strength training program.