Which vegan protein shake is best?

Whether you are worried that your plant-based diet doesn’t contain all the protein you need or you are simply trying to add more protein to your diet to help meet your gym goals, a vegan protein shake can help. 

Vegan protein shakes can be made from a variety of sources, many of which are free from common allergens like gluten and soy. Owyn Pro Elite Vegan Plant-Based High Protein Shake is one such option. In addition to boasting an impressive 35 grams of protein per serving, it also has no sugar or carbs, making it a keto-friendly choice.

What to know before you buy a vegan protein shake

Common vegan protein sources

Vegans will be happy to know that there are many protein sources that aren’t derived from animals. Soy is one of the most common because it contains all of the essential amino acids the body needs and is very protein dense. It also tends to result in shakes that have a nice creamy texture, without any graininess. Hemp protein is another option that contains all of the essential amino acids. It is also high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The downside to hemp is that it has a strong flavor that is hard to mask, which can be off-putting to some.

Brown rice is a good source of protein for those with food sensitivities since it is free of most major allergens. Unfortunately, it only has a single essential amino acid so you may want to also take a BCAA supplement with it. Pea protein is another good choice for those looking for something free of common allergens. It isn’t as protein-dense as hemp or soy, so most shakes made with this will have a lower protein content per serving but it does contain BCAAs and a lot of fiber. 

Protein shakes vs. meal replacement shakes

The difference between protein shakes and meal replacement shakes comes down to their nutritional values. Admittedly, there is some overlap here, but meal replacement shakes will have higher levels of fats, carbohydrates and often vitamins and minerals. They are likely to be higher in calories as well.

What to look for in a quality vegan protein shake

Protein content

The protein content of vegan protein shakes can vary from as few as 12 grams per serving up to 40 grams. If you are hitting the gym regularly and trying to add some pounds of lean muscle mass, it is best to choose a shake that provides a minimum of 20 grams of protein per serving. Those who are going to the gym to slim down rather than bulk up, but want to make sure they don’t lose any of their muscle in the process, may be better served by something with 12-20 grams of protein per serving. 

Calories

Nearly all vegan protein shakes will have at least 100 calories but some can have up to 200 or more. Consider your dietary requirements before making your purchase. If you are trying to lose weight, shakes with fewer calories are your best option as long they also contain enough protein. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time in the gym every day, you may need the extra energy higher-calorie shakes provide. You’ll also want to opt for a high calorie shake if you are using it as a meal replacement.

Added nutrients

Many vegan protein shakes also contain a variety of added vitamins and minerals. These can help ensure you are getting enough of these various vital nutrients, which may not only give you more energy but also help you stay healthier. That said, if you are already taking a good multivitamin daily, it may not be worthwhile to pay the added cost for a vegan protein shake with extra vitamins and minerals. 

Flavor

The most common flavors for vegan protein shakes are chocolate and vanilla, but those are by no means the only options. They are also available in strawberry, mocha, coffee, cookies ‘n cream, blueberry, banana, caramel and many other flavors. Whatever your taste preference, you should be able to find a vegan protein shake that you like.

How much you can expect to spend on a vegan protein shake

Vegan protein shakes tend to cost more than nonvegan options. Expect to spend between $2-$4 per container when purchasing them as part of an eight- or 12-pack.

Vegan protein shake FAQ

Do vegan protein shakes contain amino acids?

A. The answer to this depends entirely on what protein source is used. Some vegan proteins, such as quinoa, hemp and soy contain all of the essential amino acids the body needs. There are many other sources that don’t though. Usually, if a vegan protein contains all of the essential amino acids, it will be stated somewhere in the product’s details.

Are vegan protein shakes gluten free?

A. Some vegan protein shakes are gluten free, and others are not. If you have gluten sensitivities, you’ll need to carefully read the product details and look for the certified gluten-free badge of any shakes you are considering to ensure they are suitable for your dietary restraints.

What are the best vegan protein shakes to buy?

Top vegan protein shake

Owyn Pro Elite Vegan Plant-Based High Protein Shake

Owyn Pro Elite Vegan Plant-Based High Protein Shake

What you need to know: Owyn Pro Elite contains 35 grams of protein per serving and provides all nine essential amino acids, making it ideal for those looking to pack on some extra lean muscle mass at the gym.

What you’ll love: It’s packed with extra nutrients like omega 3s and superfood greens for energy, and probiotics for gut health. It has zero net carbs too.

What you should consider: It carries a high price tag for a shake that isn’t certified organic.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top vegan protein shake for the money

Evolve Plant-Based Protein Shake

Evolve Plant-Based Protein Shake

What you need to know: In addition to 20 grams of protein, Evolve also contains 10 grams of fiber to keep you feeling full and aid with digestive health.

What you’ll love: It has no artificial flavors or sweeteners and is non-GMO certified.

What you should consider: It has 4 grams of added sugar.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kate Farms Organic Nutrition Shake

Kate Farms Organic Nutrition Shake

What you need to know: This full meal replacement shake is ideal for busy individuals who don’t have time to eat three squares a day.

What you’ll love: Along with protein, it contains a nice balance of fats, fiber and carbohydrates to help you feel full and provide you with energy. It also contains a phytonutrient blend and added vitamins and minerals. 

What you should consider: It has a very thick consistency some may find off-putting. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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