My Fave Plant-Based Protein Powders

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Want to start using a plant-based protein powder, but not sure which one to try? Here’s a guide for choosing the right protein powder for you, a list of my favorites and coupon codes.

One question I get asked all the time is what protein powder I use! I’m happy to share my favorites because I know how challenging it can be to find a good quality protein powder that actually tastes great too. It’s no fun to spend money on a huge tub of protein powder only to realize it has a chalky texture and has the flavor of wet cardboard. Been there done that!

Whether you’re making protein shakes or using protein powder in recipes, the type/brand of protein powder you use will definitely affect the recipe’s outcome. For the recipes here on EBF, I currently use the protein powders seen here.

Collage of four photos of different plant-based protein powder containers: Nuzest vanilla, Shakeology chocolate, Sunwarrior vanilla and Nuzest chocolate.

How to Choose the Best Protein Powder?

There are so many protein powders on the market. From whey, soy, egg white, casein, collagen, hemp, rice, pea, etc. If you’re new to protein powder, learn more about the seven best types of protein powder. In general, it’s hard to know which protein powder is right for you. It really depends on your dietary needs and how well your body digests the different protein sources.

I personally like plant-based protein powder options because my body doesn’t process whey protein very well and I’m not a big fan of processed soy. Besides good flavor (which is one of the biggest factors for me!), this is what I look for when choosing a protein powder:

  • Complete protein with all nine essential amino acids.
  • High in protein (obviously) — I look for powders with at least 15 grams of protein per serving.
  • Low in sugar — I look for options with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving.
  • No artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame. I’m okay with natural sweeteners like stevia and monkfruit.
  • Free of soy, milk, yeast, wheat, and other allergens that often cause allergic reactions.
Inside Nuzest vanilla protein powder container with scoop.

Why Use Protein Powder?

Let me start by saying that I don’t think you need protein powder to eat healthfully or lose weight. In college, when I lost over 20 lbs, I didn’t use any supplements or protein powder (much less have — I just ate healthy real food). At this point in my healthy eating journey 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. But protein powder makes for quick protein-packed snacks and on-the-go meals when needed.

I personally love using protein powder to help make macro-balanced meals and snacks. If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you know that I recommend having every meal consist of lean protein, fiber and healthy fats. I love adding protein powder to certain meals (especially snacks) to up the protein level, especially after a workout. The extra protein makes meals more satisfying and keeps you feeling full longer. Some examples?

My Favorite Plant-Based Protein Powders

Chocolate and vanilla containers of Nuzest protein powder.

Nuzest Clean Lean Protein

Why I like Nuzest:

  • Short ingredient list
  • Great nutrition facts
  • Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, lectin-free and non-GMO
  • Easy to digest
  • Both the vanilla and chocolate have a great flavor and aren’t chalky.

My picks: Smooth Vanilla + Rich Chocolate

Coupon Code: use code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.

Container of Sun Warrior vanilla protein powder.

Sun Warrior

Why I like Sun Warrior:

  • Great nutrition facts
  • Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, organic, synthetic free and non-GMO
  • Easy to digest
  • Complete amino acid profile with 6 grams of BCAA’S per serving
  • No added sugar! It’s stevia sweetened
  • Delicious flavor! It’s not chalky at all

My pick: Vanilla Warrior Blend

Bag of Shakeology chocolate protein powder.

Shakeology

Why I like the plant-based chocolate Shakeology:

  • Vegan, gluten-free, low glycemic index and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors or preservatives
  • Good source of omega-3 from ALA
  • Excellent source of fiber, probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes
  • Easy to digest
  • Has a delicious flavor! The chocolate one tastes like dessert to me and it’s the one protein powder that I can mix almond milk and enjoy it
  • Includes super-greens, super-fruits and adaptogens

My pick: Chocolate Plant-Based Vegan

Can You Eat Protein Powder Every Day?

Yes, absolutely! I wouldn’t recommend that you have protein powder with every single meal and snack. I like to get my protein from a variety of sources – chicken, fish, tofu, beans, legumes and yes, protein powder. When possible, I recommend incorporating real, whole food sources of protein and using protein powder as a supplement when needed.

Can You Use Protein Powder While Pregnant or Nursing?

Most protein powders say to consult your physician if you’re pregnant or nursing on the package, which I recommend as well. For me personally, I felt comfortable using organic, plant-based protein powders and collagen while pregnant, but to be honest it wasn’t something I craved so I didn’t have it very often. I also feel comfortable using protein powder and collagen while nursing. Since having Olivia I’ve been incorporating more protein-based snacks and using collagen to help with postpartum hair loss.

Can I Let My Kids Eat Protein Powder?

I get asked this question a lot, especially because some of my recipes like the protein balls and protein muffins are something kids would certainly enjoy the flavor of. For me personally, I don’t make things with protein powder for Olivia, my 3 year old, to enjoy as I think protein powder isn’t necessary in her diet. And I don’t give anything made with protein powder to my littlest, who isn’t one year.

If I’m eating something like a protein smoothie or homemade protein bar and Olivia asks for a bite, I will share some with her but that’s about it. So I feel comfortable to an extent but it’s not something I give to her often. Of course it’s best to always ask your pediatrician as they will have more knowledge about whether it’s safe for children to consume protein powder or not.

Protein Powder vs. Collagen

I also really like using collagen, which is different than regular protein powder. I have a post all about collagen so if you’re interested in collagen be sure to check that out!

Protein Powder Recipes:

Sharing my top 6 favorite protein powder recipes below, but also be sure to check out the full collection of protein powder recipes on EBF!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
Chicken fajita filling on a sheet pan with a wooden spoon. Tortillas are resting on the bottom of the sheet pan.
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90 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. congrats on being featured on Tosca Reno’s page! that is so cool! I love Sunwarrior too, but haven’t tried perfect fit yet.

  4. 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

  5. I really am happy you posted about this. I keep reading about Sun Warrior and haven’t bitten the bullet to buy it. It’s definitely on the list now. Your recipe’s look awesome!

    1. Thanks Eva! Check out Sun Warrior for sure – I think they even offer samples if you email them. 🙂

  6. I like sun warrior too and am an affiliate. I also love PlantFusion and Life’s Basics. I’m seriously on a protein microwave cake kick this summer. I can’t get enough of the flavors and deliciousness!

    1. I haven’t tried PlantFusion or Life’s Basics. I’ll have to check those two out – thanks for mentioning them! I tried the microwavable protein cake once and it turned out awful. I think I need to give it another try.

      1. Both of these are blends of different proteins and I love that Plant Fusion has BCAA. Life’s Basics has hemp and chia in it, so if you don’t like hemp, don’t do that one. It does bake well though, which I’m sure has to do with the chia too! Both of these have worked for my microwave protein cakes, but I’ve heard that people are scarred from previous experiences with other protein powders. I do think it matters what you use. I do eat eggs though so mine are super cakey fluffy. I have a chocolate version http://www.thenondairyqueen.com/2012/07/its-friday.html and I make various fruit versions http://www.thenondairyqueen.com/2012/07/blueberry-protein-packed-microwave-cake.html. For my vanilla cakes, I just leave out the fruit.

  7. 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

  8. Thanks for the tip! I’ve been wanting to try out protein powder for awhile but I never know which to go with.

  9. 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.

  10. Sun warrior is delicious! However, I rarely have protein powder on hand since its so dang expensive compared to real food proteins. So good though 🙂 thanks for all the recipe links!

  11. 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.

    1. For some reason I can’t do Vega unless I have a lot of fruit to cover up the taste. Maybe I’m buying the wrong flavors?!?

  12. GREAT POST:)
    Your blog is so wonderful and Im following…I hope you follow me also:)

    If you want some cute swedish decor inspiration…check out my new post:)

    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
    (sweden)

  13. Great post! What I seem to struggle with is too much protein! Needs for focus on those veggies more!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. I haven’t tried those. I’m currently using a whey, but I’d like to switch to a vegan alternative that isn’t soy or hemp. (I’m not a fan of hemp taste, and the same reasons as you on soy.)

  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. 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 🙂

  19. I’ve been loving Plant Fusion, but I can’t find it here…I will have to try the Sun Warrior, since you are not the first person to tell me how great it is!

  20. Holy crap, that is awesome! I LOVE her! That is seriously big news.

    Also, I’ve heard tons of good stuff about SunWarrior, I’ll have to check it out!

  21. 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

  22. 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!

    1. 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.

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. Have you tried making protein pancakes or any other Tone it Up recipes with Sun Warrior? If so did it work and taste good? 🙂

  32. Awesome recipes!

    Feel free to check out theproteinreviewer.com , it’s got sweet ratings and reviews on all protein powders.

  33. 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.

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

  35. 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.

    1. Hi Kasey. Brown rice protein powder is not a complete protein (a protein that contains all 22 amino acids) on its own, but it does contain all nine essential amino acids.

  36. 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?

  37. 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!!!!

  38. I’ve been following you for quite some time. Thank you for explaining things in ‘real’ easy to understand language. I’ve been wanting to use protein powder but always overwhelmed when deciding, so I really appreciate this article!
    Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad this post is helpful! I know how overwhelming it can be when searching for a protein powder.

  39. I’m looking at the Idealraw.com website but I don’t see a chocolate flavor (only white chocolate chai) or a sample pack. What am I missing? Thanks.

  40. Looks like IdealRaw discontinued anything chocolate some time ago. You must have stocked up since it sounds like it was a favorite of yours.

    1. Hey Katie – It’s just been out of stock for a bit now. Hoping it will be back in stock soon!!

  41. Hi! What’s your favorite plant based protein for baking with? A lot of recipes I see, use whey or similar and they come out tasting funny when I use the same amount of the kind I use?

  42. I was reading up on the news just protein powder and do I just Google it to order it and use your code eating bird food to get 15% off? I might have missed it but I didn’t see a link on your site to order it.

  43. Thanks for sharing this blog.

    Hemp protein powder bars are a rich source of healthy fats and fatty acids, particularly omega-3s and omega-6s. Hemp is also an excellent source of vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, sodium, iron, calcium, and zinc. Beyond being a perfect protein source, hemp is simply an exceptionally nutritious food.

  44. Hi! I am looking at the Bob’s Red Mill website and there are four different types of protein powder: almond, hemp, soy, and whey. Which is the one you like? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jessica – I personally like plant-based protein powders and collagen options because my body doesn’t process whey protein very well and I’m not a big fan of processed soy.I would probably opt for the almond or hemp. But it really depends on your dietary restrictions/needs (if any). If you read above, I mention what I look for when choosing a protein powder so I would check that list out before purchasing. Let me know which one you choose and how you like it!

  45. I loved your article on protein powder! I have struggled to find an affordable protein powder that tastes good. I appreciate all of the information and recipes!

  46. I have been supriesed about the variety of food. I am from Germany, near the baverian alps and we used to do lot’s of Herbs eating. And with some ideas from my friends from Brittany I have changed all my Diet. I eat wide Strawberries, wild Garlic, stingy nettles, Lemon balm, Ganseblumchen, Eefy leaves and lots others. I found a Webqside Blatt und Dorn where I learn like with you live healty. I make nettle Quiches, nettle turnovers, nettle pasta and nettle Pesto. I am a Welsh learner and we the students exchancge lots of recetts from before. As I am from the Alps, I wrote Gegin and Kuchl on my kitchen door. I also do Buckweed pancaks making. Buckweed Spatzle with nettle and chedar Sose. Bon Appetit

  47. Hi. I live in Norway and can only find the Sunwarrior Protein Classic Plus (vanilla). Will it be ok instead of the sunwarrior protein warrior blend? Thanks.