For many people, protein powder is a powerful tool. As part of a healthy diet, it can help support weight loss and overall health, while also making it easier for people to develop and maintain muscle mass and a positive body composition.
But, with so many different products out there, which options should you be choosing?
All of this is true, but whey isn’t attractive to everybody and isn’t always an option. After all, whey protein is animal-based and some people cannot tolerate the lactose that it contains.
So, what are the best organic plant-based protein powders?
Certainly, there is no shortage of these on the market. And, plant-based protein powders offer a range of benefits and advantages of their own – particularly as more people can digest them without an issue.
In this post, we’re highlighting eight of the best organic plant-based options, with our top picks at the end.
8. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein
Per serving (3 Tablespoons/30 grams):
- Protein type: Hemp
- Protein: 10 grams
- Fat: 2.5 grams
- Carbs: 14 grams
- Sugars: 7 grams
- Cost: From around $0.90/ounce, limited sizes and stock available
This particular product comes from the company recommended by Wellness Mama and it offers a number of key advantages. For one thing, the product is USDA-certified organic, non-GMO and is cold-processed.
The company also takes steps to avoid BPA in its container and hexane is not used as a solvent in any part of the extraction process.
The company also uses relatively few ingredients, which is an additional advantage, as is the fact that the powder is gluten free. All of those aspects mean that the powder is more natural than many others.
Beyond these areas is the taste. Hemp protein tends to have a fairly distinctive taste that can divide people. Yet, despite this, many people love the flavor of Nutiva’s protein powders, including this one.
With the brand, there are also three flavors, chocolate, vanilla and super berry. Of these, chocolate and vanilla seem to be the most common and the berry option isn’t always available.
Nevertheless, despite the advantages of this protein powder, there are some issues too. For one thing, you get relatively little protein per serving (10 grams). This is somewhat problematic as many people are looking for high concentrations of protein.
At the same time, the powder is surprisingly high in both carbs and sugars. In particular, a single serving has 14 grams of carbs, which includes 7 grams of sugar. This would make the powder ineffective for anyone on a keto diet. Likewise, the high sugar content could be off-putting for people who are trying to lose weight.
Finally, the company takes the unusual choice of including both sugar (in the form of coconut sugar) and stevia in the product. This is likely to contribute to the good flavor.
However, most people aren't going to want both stevia and sugar. In particular, a key reason for choosing stevia is to reduce the amount of sugar you consume. Likewise, people who are happy with sugar in their products often don't like the aftertaste that can come with stevia.
As such, the decision to include both may make the protein powder less relevant for many people.
Take home message: This protein powder is great for flavor and has a strong natural focus. But, it may not be so beneficial for weight loss because of the relatively high sugar content and low level of protein.
7. Pure Food Plant-Based Protein Powder
Per serving (32 grams):
- Protein type: Mixed (rice, pea, hemp)
- Protein: 20 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Sugars: 1 gram
- Cost: Close to $2/ounce
This is one of the most expensive options out there for plant-based protein and is sold in a fairly small pack as well. It is marketed as the only powder with organic real-food ingredients and probiotics – but some other options on this list also have similar advantages.
Nutritionally, the powder is fairly typical. So, it does have 20 grams of protein, which is desirable, along with relatively little sugar and fat. But, this pattern is present across many other brands as well. At the same time, the product does contain stevia, which some people are actively trying to avoid.
Now, the product does do better in reviews than most, with many people absolutely loving the flavor and texture. However, some do find that it is somewhat gritty.
The product is also a little unreliable as it doesn’t have a large number of reviews and many of the positive ones just talk about the merits of the concept, not what the product is actually like. That type of review is always concerning, as it means the company may have paid for some of them.
Regardless, even if the reviews are all legitimate and the product tastes amazing – this powder doesn’t really stand out, especially not when you consider the price.
Take home message: Nutritionally, this protein powder is attractive and it’s bound to be good for your health. But, it is also expensive and you don’t get many extra benefits for the money you pay.
6. Garden of Life Organic Protein Powder
Per serving (1 scoop/33 grams):
- Protein type: Mixed (see image)
- Protein: 22 grams
- Fat: 2.5 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Sugars: 0 grams
- Cost: From around $1.40/ounce
Garden of Life offers a few related products, including a meal replacement shake that gets better reviews and is more popular. But, in the interest of comparing like to like, we’re taking a look at the protein powder.
First off, the protein source for this product is more varied than most other brands. It looks like this:
This has the advantage of giving you a large variation in nutrients and amino acids, although it does mean you get less of any single ingredient.
Nutritionally, there is a range of advantages here. For example, the product is entirely sugar-free and also contains probiotics and enzymes, which may offer additional health benefits. It is also fairly low in fat and calories while offering a significant amount of protein per serving.
All of those aspects would make this option powerful for weight loss. But, be aware that it is sugar-free, so the company relies on stevia, erythritol and a few other ingredients to give it an attractive taste.
But, the other thing we want to mention is the reviews, particularly in relation to the flavor. Many people absolutely hate the way this product tastes, especially after the company released a new formula in the middle of 2016. This aspect is debatable, of course, with some people still enjoying the taste. But, it is something to be aware of.
The product is also somewhat pricey when compared to many of the other brands.
Take home message: Nutritionally, this brand is a powerful option, especially for people trying to avoid sugar. But, the taste is less attractive and the product is on the expensive side.
As a result, this product may be best for people who plan to use the powder as part of a healthy smoothie. The meal replacement shake from the same brand may also be a better option if you want a protein powder that tastes good.
5. Navitas Organics Hemp Powder
Per serving (4 tablespoons/30 grams):
- Protein type: Hemp
- Protein: 13 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbs: 11 grams
- Sugars: 1 grams
- Cost: Around $0.90/ounce
On its own, hemp powder seems to be lower in protein than many other powder options, which is the case with this product. In fact, at 13 grams of protein per serving, this protein powder may not be appealing or useful in many situations.
Still, it is an interesting product, especially if you do like the flavor of hemp protein. At the same time, it is appealing nutritionally, especially as hemp protein has a great ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. The powder also acts as a good source of magnesium and iron.
The main advantage of this particular product is that it is just hemp powder. So, there are no added ingredients, fillers or sweeteners. This is a stark contrast to most other options on this list.
The lack of sweeteners is also perfect if you’re trying to avoid products like stevia, which seem to be present in most vegan protein powders.
Now, with that in mind, you probably wouldn’t use the powder on its own. But, it would be easy enough to add into smoothies and shakes. The basic nature also makes this a relevant product for baking and cooking, something that you couldn’t do with most other protein powder options.
Take home message: This powder may not offer the high levels of protein that some of the other products provide. But, it makes up for that by the lack of additives.
4. Zen Principle Organic Pea Protein Powder
Per serving (4 scoops/30 grams):
- Protein type: Pea
- Protein: 23 grams
- Fat: 1.8 grams
- Carbs: 2.6 grams
- Sugars: 0 grams
- Cost: From $0.83/ounce, depending on size
This product is literally what it claims to be, so it just contains pea protein powder and nothing more. This approach has advantages and disadvantages.
For one thing, it does mean that there aren’t any additives to worry about, including no sweeteners. However, this does also mean that some people won’t like the taste. You can get around that by including the powder in smoothies, which is normally the best idea anyway.
Nevertheless, if you plan to simply add the powder to water and drink it, it may be best to pick something that has flavor and sweeteners.
Beyond this, the nutritional profile is good and you have no added sugar to worry about.
Finally, because this is just a single type of plant protein, there are some limitations with the amino acid profile. In particular, pea protein does contain all the essential amino acids but some are poor quality. As such, it’s often best to get protein powder that contains multiple types of plant-based protein.
Take home message: With no added ingredients, this product is as natural as can be and it is also inexpensive. Nevertheless, be prepared for the taste, as it won’t be as attractive as the flavored alternatives.
3. Purely Inspired Organic Protein Powder
Per serving (2 scoops/38 grams):
- Protein type: Pea and brown rice
- Protein: 20 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Carbs: 10 grams
- Sugars: 2 grams
- Cost: Around $0.83/ounce
With this product, the protein comes from a combination of pea and brown rice. This choice is thought to be a particularly good one as the two protein sources complement one another nicely and help create a complete amino acid profile.
Nutritionally, the protein powder is also appealing, especially as there are 20 grams of protein per serving. Like some of the other brands, the company also avoids artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners, instead relying on natural alternatives.
With that in mind, the product is mostly sweetened using stevia extract, although a fruit and veggie blend is also a component in the powder.
On a side note, the product is dairy, gluten and soy free but comes from a facility that processes dairy, nuts and wheat. As a result, there is a risk of cross contamination. For most people, this won’t be an issue but if you are sensitive to any of those allergens, this may not be the best brand.
As for taste, there are only two flavors on offer with this brand, which are the basic options of chocolate and vanilla. For the most part, the reviews of the flavor are positive. But, as you can probably imagine, not everybody agrees.
Take home message: With a good balance of nutrition and price, this is an appealing brand all around.
2. PlantFusion Organic Plant Based Protein
Per serving (1 scoop/30 grams):
- Protein type: Mixed (pea, sprouted amaranth, sprouted quinoa, flax seed)
- Protein: 20 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Sugars: 0 grams
- Cost: From around $1.60/ounce
This company has an organic and a non-organic version of plant-based protein powder, with this being the organic option. For the most part, the organic version is less well-known, meaning that it has fewer reviews and doesn’t sell as well. Still, it is another viable option if you specifically want organic protein powder.
One notable aspect is that this option does also contain fermented ingredients and an enzyme blend. In theory, those components could help to promote health further and offer benefits that some other protein powders don’t have.
The product may also be appealing simply because the number of extra ingredients is relatively small. For example, the image below shows the list, which is smaller than many other products.
Still, the protein powder is fairly expensive when compared to other brands and the nutritional profile is fairly similar. So, it is debatable whether the product is worth the price tag.
There are also just two flavors on offer (chocolate and vanilla chai). Many people do love the flavors, while others find them chalky and unpleasant. As always, this is mostly personal perspective but there are many more positive reviews for taste than negative ones.
Take home message: This protein powder is fairly good for nutrition but there are cheaper options with the same benefits. The main advantage here is the probiotic and enzyme components, so it’s up to you whether these are worth the higher price tag (especially as some other brands are also probiotic).
1. Orgain Organic Protein Plant Based Powder
Per serving (2 scoops/46 grams):
- Protein type: Mixed (pea, brown rice, chia seed, hemp)
- Protein: 21 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
- Carbs: 13 grams
- Sugars: 1 gram
- Cost: From around $0.80/ounce
In terms of reviews, this is one of the most popular plant-based protein powders and it is fairly appealing in terms of nutrition as well. The positive reviews offer a strong indication that the product actually tastes good – which may be reason enough to give this a try.
Nutritionally, the product is relatively high in protein but has few sugars. The company also mentions that the net carbs for the product is just 3 grams per serving, making this product a relevant option for low-carb and keto dieters as well.
There are four different flavors available here, which are chocolate, vanilla, vanilla & chocolate, and natural. However, their availability varies depending on the size that you choose.
As with other products, the mixed nature of the protein source means that you’re getting a good balance of amino acids and other nutrients. In this case, the product is sweetened using a combination of ingredients, including monk fruit extract, erythritol and stevia.
Finally, the product is gluten free, vegan, non-GMO, USDA organic and soy free. Those specifications apply to most or all of the other items on this list. However, one additional aspect is that this is also a kosher product.
Take home message: This is one of the most popular protein powders for a reason and has a powerful nutritional profile and an appealing taste, while also being relatively inexpensive.
The one catch is that it does contain stevia and erythritol, which won’t work for everyone. Still, those sweeteners are present in most similar products and without some type of sweetener, protein powder would just taste horrible.
The Best Organic Plant-Based Protein Powders
All of these products make great choices for your health and well-being.
In this discussion, we have ranked them, with the options towards the end of the post being the most appealing overall. Nevertheless, which brand you choose will also come down to personal preferences and your specific needs.
After all, some people will want more protein, while others may be looking for the lowest number of additives. For that matter, we all vary considerably in which flavors we like the most.
Additionally, there is so much variation in flavor perception.
So, you might love the flavor that a specific brand offers, while others might hate it. As a result, it’s often worth trying out several products to figure out which one suits you the best. In many cases, companies do sell smaller packages of their powder, which can make this easier to figure out.
But, with so many powerful and healthy examples of plant-based protein powder, trying out different options doesn’t have to be a chore. Likewise, you’re bound to find at least one product that you like.
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