November 28, 2022

– by zedek

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What Is Vegan Protein Powder? – A Deep Dive

There has been a sharp rise in interest for vegan protein powders, and so I would like to help those of you who would like to understand the difference between regular protein shakes and their vegan counterparts as well as whether or not they are even necessary. So by the end of this article hopefully you understand what a vegan protein shake consists of, the best vegan protein powders and where to buy some of the best vegan protein powders.

What’s Inside Vegan Protein Shakes?

Instead of being made up of whey or casein, which are both derived from mammalian milk, Vegan protein shakes commonly get their protein base from soybeans, peas or hemp. Casein and whey are two types of protein found in milk and make up about 80% and 20% of milk protein respectively.

However, there are a myriad of risks to consider when using a normal protein shake for example it may exacerbate digestive issues as people who have trouble digesting lactose may experience discomfort when using a milk-based protein powder.


Generally speaking, Vegan protein shake Ingredients tend to comprise of Soy or pea isolate (the main protein source), and flavourings depending on the variation of powder. eg, orange or strawberry, sweeteners such as sucralose which is a sugar substitute. And occasionally protein powders may include some antioxidants and thickeners.

What Do Vegan Protein Shakes Do, Are They Any Less Effective Than Standard Ones?

While there is some contention on the efficacy of plant-based protein shakes in comparison to animal-based ones, the bottom line is that plant-based vegan protein powders do provide an alternate way to efficiently increase protein intake, which in turn can increase muscle growth.


Now let’s talk about what protein powders do and whether or not they are for you. The main purpose of protein powder is to help build muscle, aid in encouraging hormone production and increase the speed of tissue repair.


Do you need protein shakes (Plant Based or not)


Despite popular opinion, for the vast majority of people, protein shakes are not necessary, but in certain situations, they definitely may be beneficial to you. This is because for the most part, if you eat a clean, varied and healthy diet, you will get more than enough nutrients while pushing your body.

Over the last couple of years, we’ve been seeing a massive boom around protein contents in foods and shakes, this is because the wellness industry is growing at a rapid rate and so marketing and media have been targetting certain buzzwords such as “High in protein”

Since I’m just like you, I have fallen prey to these targeted campaigns that made me wanna go out there and pick up products I did not actually need. Funnily enough, recently I’ve been working out, body weight only, eating minimally processed plant-based foods, and the muscle increase I’ve seen has been great, just by focusing on good form and eating bigger but less frequently.

After me saying all of this, it may seem counter-intuitive to purchase any protein powders at all, but there usefulness cannot be denied, protein powders aid in stimulating muscle growth, and since I have tried a bunch it may be of benefit to you for me to share what I know!

Deciding What To Use.

What Is Pea Protein?

A substantial amount of vegan protein powders use peas as the basis for their shakes, and since many people prefer soy and dairy-free products, Pea based protein powders are an excellent alternative. In addition to this, pea protein is a great source of arginine, an amino acid necessary for protein synthesis.

Pea protein powder is made by isolating the protein from ground peas, forming a beige powder.

nutritional facts vary from product to product but these are the general contents for 2 scoops (20 grams) of pea protein:

Pea protein is naturally rich in iron which is a nutrient that is integral in creating new DNA and red blood cells, as well as for energy metabolism. Furthermore iron plays an important part in boosting immunity as it boosts haemoglobin which provides oxygen to damaged cells, tissues and organs.

Possible Downsides Of Pea Protein

Pea protein is derived from isolating protein from ground-up peas so it is quite low in fibre, this is worth taking note of as fibre helps support your gut, reducing the likelihood of constipation and blood sugar fluctuations. Fibre also provides a feeling of fullness which can be of huge benefit.


What Is Soy Protein?

Potentially the most common protein source for shakes, soy is an excellent substitute for whey or casein protein powders. moreover, Soy protein is 90% protein which is among the highest protein bases.

Soy protein is made by removing fat from soybeans flakes which are then followed by them being soaked in alcohol or water to remove the sugar, lastly, it’s dehydrated and turned into its powdered form.

Possible Downsides Of Soy Protein

People tend to steer clear of soy protein because of its phytoestrogen contents. Phytoestrogens’ similarity to oestrogen means they can interact with oestrogen receptors in human cells. These receptors mediate oestrogen’s functions within the body. However, the effects of phytoestrogens are substantially weaker than oestrogen.

What Is Hemp Protein?

Finally, Hemp protein is derived from the cannabis plant and is an excellent source of plant-based protein which is rich in amino acids.

The hemp is grown under organic farming conditions, after approximately 90-120 days of growth the seeds are then separated from the stalk and leaves through a mechanical process and left to dry. Once dried sufficiently, the raw hemp seeds are cold-pressed to extract the hemp seed oil what’s left is called “meal”.

Once the oil is extracted, the remaining hemp seed meal contains high amounts of protein, fibre and amino acids as well as a long list of vitamins and minerals. The hemp seed meal is then ground down to a fine powder.

Hemp protein is also a complete protein and contains all the essential amino acids humans get from food.

Hemp seeds are a rich source of minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc and copper hemp seeds also have strong antioxidant properties, and antioxidants protect our bodies from oxidative damage, which has been linked to chronic illnesses including heart disease and diabetes.

Possible Downsides Of Hemp Protein

Some people do not like the “earthy” taste of hemp protein, therefore it’s a good idea to buy a small sample of it before you decide to stock up!

Hemp is quite high in fibre so consuming it in large amounts too quickly can lead to gas and discomfort.

As you may have noticed, none are definitively better than the other, so the choice is honestly down to you and your preference.


The Best Vegan Protein Powders.

1. Vegan Wondershake By The protein Works

The vegan Wondershake is somewhat revolutionary in that it tastes practically exactly like a dairy shake. And packs 21g of pea-based protein with less than one gram of sugar. It’s made from a blend of pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp protein and soy protein, and packs 21g of protein per serving. It’s free from dairy, lactose and gluten as well!

Personally, what I love most about this protein powder is the variety in flavours meaning there is bound to be one you will love. The flavours range from apple & cinnamon to chocolate caramel biscuits. There are an astonishing 13 flavours for you to try!

What makes this shake stand out the most is its nutritional stats which are some of the most impressive I’ve seen.

What's in it?

  • Values based on: 25g serving
  • Energy (kJ) 367
  • Energy (kcal) 89
  • Fat (g) 0.7
  • of which Saturates (g) 0.2
  • Carbohydrates (g) 1.3
  • of which Sugars (g) 0.6
  • Fibre (g) 0.7
  • Protein (g) 21
  • Salt (g) 0.46

2. Vegan Protein Extreme

The vegan protein extreme comes in with more protein than almost any other protein powder on the market for a very affordable price! Furthermore, it is full of Omega 3 and fortified with a range of vitamins to boost various bodily functions. Protein Blend [SOY Protein Isolate, Pea Protein Isolate, Pumpkin Seed Protein, Organic Sunflower Protein, Brown Rice Protein] Flaxseed Powder

The reviews on this protein powder speak for themselves! But to summarise, the vegan protein extreme has an incredible track run amongst its large variety of flavours. It is consistently reviewed as being delicious as well as effective in muscle development.

Personally, the best thing about The protein extreme has to be the value for money. It manages to pack 27g of protein per serving whilst maintaining an extremely affordable price. It's genuinely game-changing!





Values based on: 35g serving

  • Energy (kJ) 528
  • Energy (kcal) 128
  • Fat (g) 0.8
  • of which Saturates (g) 0.2
  • Carbohydrates (g) 2.6
  • of which Sugars (g) 1.1
  • Fibre (g) 2.9 1
  • Protein (g) 27
  • Salt (g) 0.77

3. Vegan protein blend by Myprotein


MyProtein's vegan blend is a complete source of protein containing the nine essential amino acids our body can’t produce on its own, and it comes in a range of flavours including Strawberry, Chocolate, Coffee & Walnut, or Turmeric Latte. Packed with 22g* of plant-powered protein, it’s a super-convenient way to get extra protein into your diet.

This is now a great 3rd choice as the taste of this protein blend has honestly improved greatly. The first time I purchased this protein powder the taste was very chalky however this new blend is proving to be a powerhouse in the vegan protein powder game, as the new flavours are really enjoyable, my personal favourite is coffee & walnut.

Nutritional Information

  • Per 30g
  • Energy 110kcal
  • Fat 0.8g
  • of which saturates 0.2g
  • Carbohydrate 3.3g
  • of which sugars 0g
  • Fibre 1.3g
  • Protein 21g
  • Salt 0.20g

4. Form performance protein

This item comes in with an incredible 30g of vegan protein per serving from organic pea protein with Brown Rice and Hemp Protein. This protein powder contains Curcumin and Black Pepper Extract, Proven Anti-Inflammatory to Help You Recover Quicker and Get Back to Training Faster. This protein powder also comes in compostable packaging. Ingredients include Organic Pea Protein Isolate, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder (7%), Natural Flavouring, Brown Rice Protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein, Sea Salt, (Amylase, Protease, Lactase, Lipase, Cellulase), Sweetener (Stevia, Thaumatin), Curcumin C3, and Black Pepper Extract

  • Amount per serving (40g)
  • Energy kJ 606
  • Energy kcal 145
  • Fat, g 2.4
  • of which saturates, g 0.6
  • Carbohydrate, g 1.7
  • of which sugars, g 0.2
  • Protein, g 30
  • Salt, g 1.3


I hope after reading this you understand a little bit more about plant-based protein shakes and have been able to decide whether or not they are for you. Please leave me a comment below if you need help with anything or have any questions regarding this topic! Thank you for reading


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