Best Vegan Protein Powders

For a meal on the go, it can be quite difficult, especially for a vegan. The best option for a on the go meal is protein powder. See, most people do not have time in the morning to whip up a fancy shake that provides all the protein, vitamins and minerals, and fruits and vegetables they need. Some will find way more convenience with vegan protein powders. As opposed to animal-based protein, plant-based protein provides fruits and vegetables which have tons of healthy fibers and aid in digestion. Plus, they cater to people who suffer from specific allergens.

Now let’s say next time you are on the go and need a meal you want to try a vegan protein powder to ensure you get the nutrients and protein you need to get through the day but don’t know which protein powder would best fit your lifestyle or needs. Well, we have done the research for you and brought you the top ten vegan protein powders on the market today, and why they made our list. We also have listed some criteria to help you not only find a great vegan protein powder that fits into your lifestyle but also some thing s to look at when looking for a great vegan protein powder as well.

Last Updated: August 22, 2018
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By Melissa Coleiro:

This list of vegan protein powders has been edited and researched to bring you the top vegan protein powders on the market today. A vegan protein powder we recommend to check out is the Vega one all-in-one, due to its high protein, variety of flavours, and being highly rated.

Garden Of Life Raw
  • Garden Of Life Raw
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free
  • Price: See Here
Vega Sport
  • Vega Sport
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Real food ingredients
  • Good taste
  • Price: See Here
Vega All-in-One
  • Vega All-in-One
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Several flavors
  • Great sealing
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Vegan Protein Powders

Garden of Life Raw Organic

Includes essential ingredients that make protein powders healthy, check. Will help boost your energy, check. Can be taken by people with common allergies, check. Is flavorful, well there is that. About the only aspect that prevents this from climbing up is the taste.
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Included Ingredients
There are over 40 superfoods included which consists of organic grass juices and various fruits and vegetables. Likewise, this is packed with 21 vitamins and minerals and delivers 20 grams of protein and six grams of fiber.

Effectiveness
After you have concluded a long workout, this meal replacement is as ideal as they come. Simply drink this and it will assist in boosting your energy back up and even build lean muscle.

Variety of Flavors
Garden of Life provides four different and distinct flavors to choose from. They include vanilla chai, vanilla, lightly sweet and chocolate.

Allergens
Being organic and a plant-based protein, it is free from gluten, dairy, and soy. Also, it is Informed Choice Certified and non-GMO.

The Taste
Protein powders can’t be expected to taste like smoothies and milkshakes that you receive from an ice cream shop. But, they still must be tolerable. Users agree that this specific protein drink is pretty horrendous in terms of taste.

Overall
Yes, many agree that the taste is awful. But, everything else is fantastic and this really works like a charm. To help with the flavor, try and mix it with your favorite smoothies to decrease the potency.
Pros
  • Does not include pesticides or fungicides
  • Features 1.5 billion probiotics and enzymes as an aid in digestion
  • Boosts your energy and health
Cons
  • Various users have claimed the taste is extremely poor
  • If it gets warm, the flavor is almost unbearable 

Vega Sport

Vega has yet another top branded protein powder and this one is their Sport version. As opposed to their All-in-One, their Sport Protein Powder provides more proteins but can also be very messy when you are mixing it.
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Included Ingredients
A protein blend, which consists of 30 grams, from peas, pumpkin seeds, organic sunflower seeds, and alfalfa is included in this mix. Also, it boasts six full grams of amino acids.

Effectiveness
This is not only ideal for pre-workouts but also post-workouts and everyday intake. It aids in faster fatigue recovery and will also help build your muscles. Thus, making you feel stronger as a result.

Variety of Flavors
The choice is yours from either mocha, chocolate, berry, or vanilla, in terms of flavor options.

Allergens
As it is a plant-based protein, it is certified by Vegan Action to be made without the use of animal ingredients. As such, it is free from honey, eggs, dairy, and gluten.

The Taste
While this section will always vary from person to person, this powder seems to have a somewhat-endearing flavor. Some will think otherwise as, after all, everyone’s taste buds are not the same.

Overall
Vega has two highly impressive vegan protein powders in this and the previous entry on this list. What makes their Sport Powder stand out, though, is its increase in protein and whole food ingredients.
Pros
  • Made from real, whole food ingredients
  • Can be easily shaken with water or added to smoothies
  • Provides 50 percent of your daily intake recommendation for vitamins and minerals
Cons
  • When mixing it, it can be very messy and tends to stains clothing

Vega One All-in-one

The All-in-One Protein Powder from Vega is exactly what it says it is, an all-in-one powder. It provides everything you would expect from a protein of its caliber including excellent nutrition, a 50 percent daily intake of vitamins and minerals, and a 25 percent intake of fiber.
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Included Ingredients
This includes 20 grams of premium protein from hemp, flax, pea, and SaviSeed. In addition, it provides you with 50 percent of the recommended vitamins and minerals you should intake on a daily basis (and 25 percent of daily fiber intake).

Effectiveness
Not only does this protein powder provide you with the nutrition your body needs to boost your energy and health, it also will crave your sugar cravings late at night.

Variety of Flavors
A strong number of flavors are available from you to choose from including chocolate, French vanilla, mixed berry, coconut almond, unsweetened, vanilla chia, and natural.

Allergens
People with major allergens against gluten, soy and dairy will be enlightened to know that this product is free from all ingredients associated with them.

The Taste
Most users agree that the flavor is pretty strong, which can either be good or bad. In addition, not uncommonly for a protein powder, the texture is a bit gritty and chalky.

Overall
Overall, this is the best protein powder that you can get your hands on. Of course, this depends on your prerogative but Vega’s All-in-Powder delivers all the essentials that you look for in this type of a product.
Pros
  • The seal of the tub includes holes to exclude passage of oxygen
  • Each scoop has at least 50 percent DV of 12 vitamins and minerals
  • Several flavors to choose from
Cons
  • Has a very strong taste and some have claimed it to be gritty and chalky

Optimum Nutrition Gold

Optimum Nutrition Gold
One of the best aspects of this protein powder is the fact that there is no stevia and no artificial sweeteners included. In addition, it is free from major allergens including gluten, soy, and dairy.
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Included Ingredients
There are 13 whole food ingredients in this blend and they include organic pea protein, organic pumpkin seed protein, and organic hemp seed protein. In addition, each serving provides four grams of sugar, three grams of fiber, 18 grams of protein, and 150 calories.

Effectiveness
Because there are no artificial sweeteners or stevia (which is very sweet in its own right), some users report a reduction of their headaches and nauseated feeling from other protein powders.

Variety of Flavors
There really is a flavor for everyone as you can select from vanilla, chocolate and mixed berry.

Allergens
If you suffer from celiac disease (which means you can’t digest gluten), are lactose intolerant or are allergic to soy, you are covered with this powder as it is free from any ingredients associated with these.

The Taste
Various users have negatively commented on the texture, but several have raved about the flavor, in general. This is rather uncommon for this type of drink and even if you do not prefer the taste, you can mix it with your favorite shake.

Overall
It is very rare to find a vegan protein powder that many believe is flavorful but that seems to be the case here. Of course, the flipside is some feel the texture is not as terrific. However, this is a common problem that, at times, seems almost unavoidable.
Pros
  • Several users rave about the great taste
  • It is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and stevia-free
  • Is an excellent source of iron and magnesium
Cons
  • Some have stated the texture is not the best

Vega Greens

Vega Greens
Vega has produced yet another exceptional protein powder and this time, it is their Protein & Greens. As opposed to some of the others, this is a very thick shake and if you prefer smoother shakes then you will need to dilute it with plenty of water.
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Included Ingredients
There is no sugar in this formula and overall, the blend of spinach powder, organic kale powder, and broccoli account for 20 grams of protein. For one serving, expect around 110 to 120 calories.

Effectiveness
As there are only 15 amino acids, with 20 being required by the body for protein synthesis, this is technically not a “complete” protein source. Notwithstanding this, it is still an ideal way to add protein to your diet.

Variety of Flavors
With flavors that include vanilla, tropical, natural, coconut almond, chocolate, and berry, there should be enough variety to appeal to everyone.

Allergens
This verified blend of ingredients does not include anything that would affect people suffering from celiac disease. In addition, it is non-GMO verified.

The Taste
Users have typically back and forth over the flavor of this powder. However, more noteworthy is how thick it is. It can be diluted with water to make it smoother but remember, this will also diminish the overall flavor.

Overall
For all intents and purposes, this is truly a tremendous option for those seeking vegan protein powders. However, the true roadblock may be the pure thickness present. If you can handle this, or a powder that is pretty much only water if you want it to be smoother, this is the ticket.
Pros
  • Features 20 grams of protein
  • Includes an inner vented seal to prevent oxygen from seeping through
  • Does not add any sugar to the blend
Cons
  • Has an incredibly thick makeup and may not be tolerable for some

Veggie Elite

Veggie Elite
While the Veggie Elite Protein Powder has a high amount of sodium and does include stevia (which has a potent flavor and may not be for everyone), it remains a suitable choice for most due to its health advantages and the addition of all essential amino acids.
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Included Ingredients
Overall, the Veggie Elite Performance Protein has a great combination of protein and essential amino acids. However, it has a high content of sodium which could prove problematic for some people.

Effectiveness
The addition of essential amino acids comes into play when you are digesting the protein and also when your muscles are recovering from a hard day at the office or at the gym.

Variety of Flavors
Even though there are only two flavors available, which may not seem like a lot, it is nice that you are provided the option for either vanilla or chocolate.

Allergens
As have the protein powders that have preceded this on the list, this is naturally free from any ingredients pertaining to gluten, milk, soy, or animal. Plus, it is cholesterol-free for those who have issues with that.

The Taste
There is no masking the undeniable flavor of stevia, which is a very sweet flavor that almost resembles the flavor of Sweet ‘N Low. For those who are trying to avoid sweet protein powders, this may not be for you.

Overall
Is this a product that is going to be for everyone? Probably not, but that is sometimes the beauty of vegan protein powders; when you find one that is right for you there is no looking back.
Pros
  • Includes essential amino acids to aid in muscle growth
  • You can choose from either vanilla or chocolate
  • Is free from major allergens
Cons
  • Has a chalky texture
  • The addition of stevia makes it very sweet (maybe too sweet for some)

San Rawfusion

San Rawfusion
Some users will prefer whey because of the protein intake it provides. However, SAN’s RawFusion Protein Powder manages to create an amino acid profile that mimics what you would find in whey.
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Included Ingredients
Indeed, due to its unique blend of pea protein isolate, artichoke protein concentrate, and sprouted brown rice protein it mimics the amino acid profile you would find in whey. Past this, the sunflower oil matrix is rich in essential fatty acids.

Effectiveness
If you are looking for a solution for your much-needed protein and nutrition, this is an ideal choice as it is extremely high in both.

Variety of Flavors
This powder has a wide range of flavors and most of them are very distinct. For example, this includes vanilla bean, banana nut, chocolate strawberry, natural chocolate, peanut chocolate fudge, and unflavored.

Allergens
Much like the other entries on this list, this is a vegan protein that is non-GMO, free of any gluten, and also free from soy. Thus, making it ideal for a wide range of people around the globe.

The Taste
Again, the taste will vary but many users agree that this is a very sweet powder. If this is your personal preference, then you will be very satisfied with the flavor.

Overall
For whatever reason, and this is a small blimp to point out, the actual container only holds around a half or a third of the powder (very misleading). Besides this, its protein intake is off the charts and its flavor will appeal to those who prefer sweetness.
Pros
  • There are several different flavors to choose from
  • Has a low amount of sodium content
  • When mixing, does so very well
Cons
  • The container is misleading and only holds around half or a third of what it seems
  • The flavor may be too sweet for some

Plantfusion

Plantfusion
Speaking of protein powders that will not be for everyone, here is the blend from PlantFusion. Why so? Given the high amount of sodium, 390 milligrams, this is not ideal for people who need to cut back on this element.
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Included Ingredients
Despite the fact that it is high in sodium content, there are 21 grams of plant-based protein that are provided by this formula. In addition, each serving is around 120 calories.

Effectiveness
If you are stressed out on a daily basis or never seem to have an appetite, put this in your system and be amazed by the difference that follows. Even more so, it will improve your energy throughout the day.

Variety of Flavors
PlantFusion provides their consumers with an excellent range of flavor options which includes naturally unflavored, vanilla bean, chocolate raspberry, cookies n’ crème, and chocolate.

Allergens
As you have come to expect from plant-based protein powders, this is free of all major allergens that people suffer through. Including intolerance to rice, gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, nuts and fish.

The Taste
Most agree that the taste is fairly bland and as such, mixes with other smoothies pretty well (not an overbearing flavor). Of course, there are others who complain it is too sweet.

Overall
Perhaps the biggest obstacle present here is sodium. Granted your body can withstand it and your doctor has not ordered you to cut back, this is an ideal protein powder to help boost your energy and enhance your appetite.
Pros
  • Very easy to digest
  • Is free of all major allergens
  • Free of any artificial flavors or sweeteners 
Cons
  • Some feel the taste is too sweet
  • Very high in sodium content

Tone It up

Tone It up
As opposed to other protein powders that are bogged down with countless ingredients, Tone It Up Organic Plant Based Protein only used coconut powder, cocoa powder, pumpkin powder, and organic pea powder. Plus, they did not add sugar which could be important for some.
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Included Ingredients
The aforementioned three ingredients that are included in this blend account for 20 grams of protein and eight grams of fiber for each serving. More so, no sugar has been added.

Effectiveness
Overall, if you are looking for a great way to add protein in your diet (which is one of the main benefits of this product in the first place) then this is the way to do so.

Variety of Flavors
Tone It up Organic made several flavors including vanilla, chocolate, and coconut, which they have labeled as “natural” flavors. However, they mention some great smoothie recipes that this can be used in conjunction with.

Allergens
This powder has been certified by the USDA for being naturally organic and it is also free from any gluten, casein, whey, or lactose.

The Taste
To be honest, the coconut and vanilla generic taste can actually be a benefit. But, within the three main ingredients, the peas tend to stick out the most. However, with the exclusion of sweeteners, this is ideal for mixing with your favorite smoothie.

Pros
  • It is high in both protein and fiber
  • Includes only three main ingredients
  • Is naturally rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides
Cons
  • Many claim the taste is very bland

Now Foods Complex

Now Foods Complex
Clearly, this next protein powder secured a spot on this list because it offers many of the same benefits as the previous powders. Now, because there is one flavor, if you do not prefer it then you may not be interested in this particular protein powder.
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Included Ingredients
For each scoop of this blend, you can expect 22 grams of protein, around 3,900 milligrams of branched-chain amino acids and also about 1,800 milligrams of L-Arginine.

Effectiveness
After intaking this protein powder, while not immediately, you will begin to feel refreshed and nourished. Also, it assists in muscle strength.

Variety of Flavors
Consider this a lack of variety. Unfortunately, the one flavor that is displayed is creamy vanilla. However, Amazon also has another version that tastes like chocolate mocha.

Allergens
Not only is this non-GMO, it is also free from soy or dairy. Thus, making it ideal if you can’t intake either of those two substances.

The Taste
The grit that this powder has is certainly not as potent as various other brands. But, it is naturally sweetened with Stevia and Xylitol and you are able to tell with the flavor.

Overall
At this point, you know what makes a great vegan protein powder great and this hits all the nails. Again, though, preference comes into play with the inclusion of sweeteners.
Pros
  • Very easy on the stomach and digests well
  • If mixed with a shake, it does not interfere with the flavor too much
  • Leaves you feeling refreshed and nourished
Cons
  • Includes sweeteners which could prove problematic for some
  • Only has one flavor

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

The Major Ingredients

Many people will not bother ever reading the label on a product, while others are forced too because of an intolerance that they have. Either way, the ingredients of vegan protein powders is vitally important. But, it may not be necessary to focus on everyone (as that is a bit excessive). Instead, focus on ingredients such as the protein, vitamins and minerals, fiber, sugar, and sodium. Clearly, protein is the main point of this type of product (hence the name) but each brand may have differing amounts. Then, there are vitamins and minerals which are essential nutrients for the human body that help in boosting the immune system and shoring up bones.

Fiber, which also has health benefits, is important for your body, as well, due to its ability to help control your sugar levels and lower your cholesterol. But, there can be some ingredients to be wary of such as sodium and sugar. Excess sodium can increase your blood pressure are create an unnecessary burden on your heart. Meanwhile, too much sugar can also raise your blood pressure and eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.

How Effective They Are

The main reason people want to drink protein powders, whether plant-based or animal-based, is the effectiveness that they have on their bodies. While many may think animal-based protein holds distinct advantages, and while this guide is not meant to debate which one is superior, plant-based protein powders can hold their own and also offer many advantages to your body. This includes boosting your metabolism and energy throughout the day. Because of the fiber that is in plant-based powders, hence why fiber is so important, it takes a while for your body to digest what it is consuming. Once your body becomes accustomed to this, it will then be better at burning the extra fat that you are trying to dispose of.

Also, when exercising, vegan protein powders can also help you build your muscles and help you recover when you are finished working out for the day. Lastly, this type of powder also has the advantage of easy digestion (which is key for a lot of people). Overall, ensure that the brand you are getting excels in effectiveness because that is truly the whole purpose.

The Variety of Flavors

Alright, so let’s get this out of the way right now, vegan protein powders are not meant to be the tastiest product in the world. Still, it is nice when you are provided with a variety of flavors to choose from. For instance, if you do not like vanilla, giving you the option for mixed berry, or chocolate, or even an unsweetened flavor. Now, of course, this is also important to note. When you see a vanilla-flavored protein powder, do not expect that it is going to taste like a vanilla milkshake from your local ice cream shop. Remember, these are supposed to be healthy and even though healthy does not automatically signify it tastes bad, they will not resemble the taste of what you are envisioning in your mind.

But, because these can also be mixed with other smoothies and such, you may actually want a specific flavor. So, determine what flavor would go best with your favorite smoothie and decide from there. No matter, variety is the spice of life and you can never have too many options.

How it Handles Allergens

As you probably noticed right away throughout this list, plant-based (or vegan) protein powders hold a great advantaged when it comes to allergens. The reality is, some people cannot simply purchase random products without paying attention to the product label. Whether through a diet or in worse cases, allergies and diseases. Some of the more common ones that are addressed with this specific protein powder is the celiac disease (which has to do with gluten), lactose intolerance and soy.

Let’s start with celiac disease. Some people want to cut gluten out of their diet and make it a life choice. However, there are other individuals who are literally allergic to it and when they intake it, it resembles poison. Lactose intolerance is very similar and when you buy animal-based protein powders, they may include dairy in some fashion. Same goes for soy, and really any other allergy that you have, as you must pay attention to this.

The Overall Taste and Texture

When it comes to food and drinks, taste and texture truly are everything, are not they? If something does not taste good or you do not prefer the texture, do you really want to consume it? The answer to this should be a resounding no. But, it gets tricky with products such as protein powders. Just because they do not taste amazing, they offer too many benefits to toss to the side. However, you still would like the taste to be tolerable and the texture to be decent (at the very least).

It has already been mentioned that protein powders are not meant to be super-tasty. Though, you should still be able to stomach it. This is where customer feedback and reviews come in handy as you can get a decent grasp of the flavor. Watch out for brands that are very sweet and those that are bland. Truly, it is all about your preferences. As far as texture, most will be gritty and chalky. This is hard to avoid but again, some will be more potent than others.

 

FAQs

Q:   What Are Some Ways to Make Vegan Protein Powders Taste Decent?

The taste of vegan protein powders has been beaten like a dead horse, so we are not going to bring up that the taste can be brutal again. Instead, to avoid that, what are some ways to improve it? To be honest, this question could have a different answer from person to person. But, here are a few surefire ways (for most people) to improve the flavor. First off, blend it in with a smoothie filled with all your favorite fruits and vegetables. Even if you never had made a smoothie, experiment and toss some protein powder in with your preferred fruits and vegetables.

You never know what you could find and as long as you continue to try new combinations, you should be able to find (if nothing else) a tolerable solution. However, you could also include ingredients such as peanut butter and cocoa powder (as who does not like chocolate and peanut butter)?

Q:   What Time of Day Should You Drink Them?

Really, there probably is not a wrong time to drink a protein shake but there are times where it will be more beneficial. One such time is early in the morning; preferably among the first substance that you consume. The reason for this is while you sleep, your body is not receiving and nourishment. So, when you wake up, depending on how long you sleep, having the first meal of the day be high in protein is ideal as this can build your muscle and boost your energy for the day.

However, another ideal time is when you exercise. If you intake the protein in the morning, by the time you workout, your body will be ready to go. But, you should also do so around 30 to 60 minutes after your workout has concluded. Because this can also aid in muscle recovery.

Q:   Is Plant-Based Protein Powder Complete?

For any of you who are on the fence when it comes to plant-based versus animal-based, this is a major gripe that people have with the former. Animal-based proteins, which contain whey, have all nine essential amino acids that are needed for humans to function. Because whey has all nine of these, it is considered a complete protein. Unfortunately, typically, plant-based proteins will miss one or two of these essential amino acids that are needed. Therefore, they are not usually labeled as a complete protein. This is not always the case but reigns true most of the time.

However, all you need to do is combine the protein powder with another. Thus, filling the nutritional gap left behind by a certain brand. Sure, it would be nice if all nine could be combined into one blend but that (most of the time) is one of the bigger drawbacks of plant-based.

Q:   Can Pregnant Woman Take Plant-Based Protein Powders?

Most of the time, if there is an answer to a regular question, the answer changes when you add “pregnant woman” to it. Life gets complicated for women when their belly begins to protrude outwards. If you are pregnant or are knowledgeable about the topic, then you are probably aware that pregnant women need more protein than they typically do (around 10 grams per day more). Thus, plant-based protein would seem like a match made in Heaven, right?

Yes and no, and here is why. Yes, because all plant-based protein powders (that are all-natural) are considered to be safe for women who are pregnant. But, there have been skeptics about the topic that state this can be a dangerous intake. If a brand has several additives then yes, it could be unhealthy during pregnancy. Despite anything you read online, however, consult your doctor or practitioner and see what they advise you to do. Take their word for it, as they should know what they are talking about.

Q:   Can You Give Your Kids Plant-Based Protein?

Read the last few sentences of the last question and you have the answer to this question. Well, generally speaking. When it comes to your kids, you only want the best for them and never want to set them up for failure. It may seem like a simple yes or no answer to whether or not you should allow your kids to use plant-based protein. The reality is, each child is different and kids have different nutritional needs depending on their age.

If you and your family have a paediatrician, ensure that you talk to them about this subject. Ask them this very question and they should be able to determine what type of protein they could use. In fact, they may even be able to recommend one to you.

Q:   How Frequently Should You Drink Plant-Based Protein?

Is there ever too much of a good thing? Honestly, yes, and this will always be the answer to matter what you think. Plant-based protein is no different and that begs the question of how frequently you should intake it. First off, do not think that you should replace your current meals with this. Instead, use it to supplement your current meals and whole food sources. Also, if you plan on working out on a specific day, limit your intake to around 2 to 3 shakes. Of course, if you plan on mixing it with a smoothie that is loaded with fruits and vegetables, this could vary.

Another note, ensure that you are paying attention to the number of vitamins and minerals you are consuming. In one serving, a lot of vegan protein powders will have as much as 50 percent of the daily recommended total. Exceeding this recommended total can actually lead to health issues.

Final Thoughts

Vegan protein powders are absolutely terrific and while this guide was not aiming to prove why it is superior to animal-based, some may feel it is a better option. There are several great choices out there and now that you have a strong understanding of what you need to look out for, the rest is up to you. Now that you have read our top ten best vegan protein powders in the market today you have a better idea for which one suits your active needs.

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