My Favorite Plant-Based Protein Powders

Want to start using a plant-based protein powder but not sure which one to try? Here are my favorites — they’re all gluten-free, organic, non-gmo and plant-based. 

One question I get asked a ton is what protein powder I use!

Let me start by saying that I don’t think you need protein powder to eat healthy and lose weight. I find that protein powder is perfect for quick snacks and on the go meals, but I try to get most of my daily protein intake from whole, minimally processed foods like fish, dairy products, eggs, beans, grains, nuts and seeds.

I’ve found that oftentimes people, myself included, can get too caught up in buying all the right supe foods, supplements, powders, etc. These things are great and I definitely love them for creating healthy recipes, but I also know that they can get pretty expensive.  When it comes down to it, you don’t have to have fancy products to be healthy or lose weight. In college, when I lost over 20 lbs, I didn’t know about any of these things (much less have the money to buy them) — I just ate healthy foods and guess what, it worked! So, if you can’t afford/don’t have access to protein powder, chia seeds, cacao powder, goji berries and the like, please know that it’s okay!

Back to the point of this post… protein powders.

Almost all my recipes that include protein powder call for plant-based protein powders because my body doesn’t process whey protein very well.

Besides good flavor (which is one of the big factors for me), this is what I look for when choosing a protein powder:

  • Complete protein with all of the essential amino acids.
  • High in protein (obviously) — at least 15g per serving.
  • Low in sugar — less than 5g per serving.
  • No artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame.
  • Free of soy, milk, yeast, wheat, and other allergens that often cause allergic reactions.

In terms of brands and specific products, I have a few that I like:

IdealRaw

My picks: Peanut Butter Chocolate, Chocolate and Vanilla 
  • Short ingredient list
  • Great nutrition facts
  • Vegan, gluten-free, organic, non-gmo
  • Easy to digest
  • The chocolate flavor is SO GOOD! It reminds me of the Vegan Chocolate Shakeology but costs way less!
I like the vanilla IdealRaw as well, but the chocolate flavor is definitely my favorite in terms of taste! You can order a sample pack to see which flavor you like best before ordering a full container.
Use code EBF10 for $10 off IdealRaw protein.

Sun Warrior

My picks: Vanilla Classic or Vanilla Classic Plus

Sun Warrior became my favorite a couple years ago when Isaac’s mom introduced me to i. It was the first protein powder that didn’t taste artificial or chalky to me and I’ve been hooked on it ever since.  What I love about it:

  • Short ingredient list
  • Great nutrition facts
  • It’s raw, vegan, gluten-free, non-gmo, 85% pure protein powder
  • Easy to digest
  • Doesn’t contain soy or dairy
  • Works great in recipes
I really like the Chocolate Classic Plus as well, but usually I just buy the Vanilla and add cocoa powder to recipes that I want to be chocolate flavored. You can order a saample pack to see which flavor you like best before ordering a full container.

Tone It Up Protein from Target

My pick: Vanilla

This protein powder is very similar to Sun Warrior in nutrition and taste.

  • Short ingredient list
  • It’s organic, gluten-free, raw, vegan, non-GMO, kosher, non-fat, low in sodium
  • Free of sugar, dairy, lactose, cholesterol, soy, corn, wheat and allergens
  • Sweetened with monkfruit instead of stevia (wanted to mention this because I know many people don’t like stevia)
A note: Perfect Fit only comes in single serving packets right now, but they’re about to launch bigger bags (50 servings) soon.

Which one should you buy? It’s up to you! I use all three brands and would highly recommend them all. When it comes to protein powders it seems like everyone has to try a few before they find one the absolutely love!

I also really like collagen protein powder. See my full post about collagen here.

If you’re in need of some tasty recipes that use protein powder, I have quite a few:

So tell me, what’s your favorite protein powder? What’s your favorite recipe with protein powder? 

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    67 comments
  1. HI, is a quality BR protein, or HEMP protein suitable for a person on low protein diets? NOT bodybuilding. I have Chronic Kidney Disease stage 3-4, must eat easily digestible low protein, (no red meats..so I am mostly vegetarian) I have eggs..but dairy isn’t allowed much. I was considering Warrior and unsweet almond milk/kale/cucumbers for my shakes..getting 20-30 gr a day from Warrior, plus other. Doable for a 1500 calorie diet?

    Also HEMP has all amino acids, but heard it hurts kidneys..any info?
    thanks!!!!

  2. I have been having this vanilla protein powder. All natural native whey protein blend, helps me recover much faster than rice protein, which I have tried in the past. Would like to know your thoughts on this?

  3. Brown rice protein doesn’t contain all the essential amino acids, unless they’re added, which some brands do. But pure brown rice protein is missing some of the essential amino acids.

  4. I use Nufinna which is collagen protein,it is 95%absorbable,the taste is amazing,I have experienced so many changes using collagen protein.

  5. Just as an FYI: Sun Warrior and other healthier brands of brown rice protein powders are testing high for heavy metals like lead. However, Sun Warrior has just recently agreed to work to lower the heavy metals in their powders. Check Natural Health News for more information about it.

  6. Nice write up Brittany. I was wondering if there is any particular reason why you prefer brown rice protein over hemp protein?

    Just curious…

    Regards,

    Adam

  7. Sun Warrior products are NOT certified organic. This is very curious in lieu of how they claim their products are produced. I think your readers should just be aware that Sun Warrior is NOT organic and may choose to opt for an organic option instead.

    Thanks

  8. Hi Brittany, love your blog 🙂
    I’m breastfeeding at the moment and looking for a protein supplement that helps me get my body back after pregnancy. Would you recommend this product to breasfeeding moms? Thank you

  9. Hi Brittany,

    I found this post through searching for ‘Brown Rice Protein Powder’ as through my own research I’d decided that this was the way I want to go forward in protein powders. So, it’s really great to read your positive comments on them.

    I’m love to support you through the Sun Warrior link but it’s not working! Check it out, want you to be getting all the clicks you deserve.

  10. Great article–and so nicely designed website too. I like your promotion of rice protein powders. I was a bit reluctant to try them at first because rice protein isn’t a complete protein as, say, whey protein is, but then again, as you’ve emphasized, it’s vegan. Nice to know Sun Warrior Blend has pea protein in it also since pea mixed with hemp would produce complete protein. Keep up the good work!

  11. Thanks Brittany very delicious stuff in your post. What is your opinion on soy protein? And what is your all time favourite protein cake recipe?

  12. If the access bars aren’t a healthy option,what are some good pre-workout snacks because I usually workout in the am and need something before I workout.

  13. Okay, thanks! I’m not going to use it anymore! I will, thanks again 🙂 Do you also know anything about their access exercise bars?

  14. Have you ever heard of Melaleuca? Well, I recently tried their proflex protein powder, which says that it is naturally and artificially flavored. Does that mean it probably isn’t very good? Never have tried brown rice protein powder, but definitely going to now!

    • I have heard of Melaleuca but I’ve only used their soaps and stuff, not the protein powder. The “artificially flavored” part scares me a bit… Let me know what you think of the brown rice protein powder once you try it.

  15. Hi,
    I sure didn’t know you could use the protein powder in all those “treats” you make.
    I am a new comer to this stuff, but I am confident that I will enjoy it.

    I am trying to get my health back to where I can enjoy life again after two back surgeries and THR. I have gained some weight, but my joints and fibromyalgia give me a fit. I am trying to do what I can do and trust in God to do the rest.
    So, I do desire everyone’s prayers.

    I am also starting at Anytime Fitness on their elliptical machine. Thanks for all this encouragement.
    Kathy

  16. Hey! I live in Canada and haven’t been able to find a website that ships Sun Warrior “all the way up here” hah! Any suggestions of other brands of rice protein? Thanks! Great blog.. so many great tips and recipes 🙂

  17. To anyone that has tried both these powders, is sunwarrior less sweet tasting than Perfect Fit??? I love PF for protein pancakes but find it much to sweet for smoothies and shakes! Thanks 🙂

  18. We love perfect fit too! Use it more than sunwarrior these days, but these two our favorites too. We do occasionally use cheaper brown rice for baking although still not as good. We are also huge fans of Vega.

  19. Thanks for the post! I’ve had protein powders before and the only one I’ve every really liked was a whey jay robb chocolate protein powder. I got it at a super low price……I’d consider buying it again but its 25 bucks for like 12 servings! I tried a sample of the sunwarrior warrior blend once and enjoyed it…..I’m debated about splurging on one of their powders just so I can make all the yummy recipes I see in the blog world! good idea on buying vanilla and just making it chocolate flavored with coco powder btw!

  20. LOVE SunWarrior. I’ve been a huge fan of Vega for years (so delish, never fails me), but Sunwarrior and PlantFusion are also great options. The latter two are definitely a bit more “plain” tasting, and creamier. AKA, bomb in baked goods.

  21. I use Sun Warrior as well, mainly because I bought a HUGE bag of it and I’ve been still working my way through it. I just made overnight oats last night too and added in a scoop of Sun Warrior for more staying power. Love the doughy taste it gives.

  22. Brittany~ thank you so much for including Perfect Fit in your favs!!! We can’t wait to launch the big bags!! We’d love to share the carob bar recipe too 🙂 Karena will go nuts over those. xxxxo

    ~Katrina

  23. sunwarrior protein is my favourite protein powder too! most other protein powders are sweetend with aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, plus they have just a toooo long ingredients list that just CANT be healthy. i havent tried perfect fit, first time i have seen it! great list of recipes by the way! i am especially intrigued by the macaroons!! mhmmm

  24. I make alot of smoothies and use plain greek yogurt for my protein. There are alot of recipes that sound great but have protein powder in them and I can’t stand it. How did you get to like protein powder? I would love to be able to use it in some recipes to make things healtheir! I will say I only tried it twice recently and it was sunwarrior vanilla pp. I used it with berries and almond milk or some other fruit and both times I had to throw the smoothie away because it had a sickning sweet taste and a little chalky. Is it beter when it is baked or in oatmeal? Or is it just gross until you get used to it? I never would of thought I would love spinach and kale smoothies but hate protein powder, but maybe I’m just silly!

  25. Congratulations on the guest posting Brittany! I’ll head over and check it out.

    My favourite protein powder is Whey 2 Go (I’m a sucker for a pun!).

    I haven’t tried Sun Warrior despite hearing so many great things about it!

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