I get asked about this on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis.
Here are a couple protein powders I currently use/have used before and liked:
Orgain is a nice budget blend. Tastes great, doesn't have weird / artificial fillers.
Sun Warrior makes a quality blend. A tad lower in protein, but has all essential amino acids, some omegas, and a ton of other vitamins and nutrients which is neat. Offered with and without stevia (I pissed off a friend once by buying the unsweetened one by accident - they look identical!). Delicious, cake-like flavor!
CleanMachine makes amazing protein, clean VEGAN (these are hard to find) BCAAs and a couple other vegan supplements. On the pricier side, but it’s a unique product made out of lentein protein which is a fresh water lentil and packed with micronutrients. Tastes great too, maybe a tad too sweet. Some people really hate the green color and slightly scratchier texture. CleanMachine is one of the largest 100% vegan supplement companies who produced the first vegan only bodybuilding show in 2018 in Fort Lauderdale.
15% off all CleanMachine products with discount code EGCMA.
My new favorite - Tru Protein. It's vegan, no GMO, no soy. Mainly pea protein, limited ingredients and a great line of dessert, savory and other flavors. 10% off with code TOTALBODYLAB. They have great vitamins too (I'll save this for another post tho).
If you don’t care about the flavor much and just want those grams of protein down and absorbed quickly, you can try what I do – just get pure sprouted brown rice (some brands claim “chocolate” or “vanilla” flavors… but don’t be fooled – without stevia it won’t be tasty) or pea protein and drink that diluted with water post workout Yes, water, because even plant milks have fats which may slow down absorption, and I am slaving away in the weightroom to squeeze the max benefit from whatever goes into my body. Not a great tasting concoction, but easy 1 INGREDIENT no BS way to get it in!
Both pea and brown rice proteins have 4 g of protein per a 5g teaspoon. My serving is - typically 4 tablespoons, or 50 g immediately post workout.
Hemp protein aint bad. I prefer just sprinkling raw hemp seeds onto my salads. Pretty carby/fatty, but pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds also have some of the highest protein content out of all seeds!
If you’re a peanut butter fan – good news… Peanuts have quite some protein, and companies have learnt how to defat them into a delicious powder that is higher in protein than nut butter and easily boosts your oatmeal/shake flavor + macros. I’d combine it with one of the options above because it has more carbs and fats than pea/brown rice/hemp/sunflower seed proteins to have the best of both worlds. A huge jar of PB2 is only $10, and it will last you forever.
Overall, try to stick with the powders that
- don’t have added sugar (not cause it’s going to kill you or cause inflammation and cancer in the matter of seconds, but cause why overpay for something you can add yourself/replace with a banana??)
- Watch out for anything ending with "ose" - like glucose, sucralose, fructose, maltose - you get the gist. There are about 30 names for sugar depending on where it comes from...
- have at least 60-70% protein per serving, or at least 20g/scoop
- is fortified with vitamins / minerals if you're not currently supplementing
My favorite DIY Vegan Protein Blend
- 3 cups of pea protein
- 3 cups of brown rice protein
- 2 cups PB2 Fit
- 3 Tbspn beetroot powder
- 3 Tbspn spirulina powder
- 3 Tbspn lucuma powder
- 3 Tpsbn maca powder
- 1 Tbspn carob powder
- 1 Tbspn Cocoa powder
- 1 Tbspn Cinnamon
- 3 Tbspn Now Better Stevia
- You know what's in your mix and can play with the flavors / proportions until you find the perfect fit! Ingredients past PB2 are optional, but I think they make the nutritional content and flavor of your DIY mix so great, why not add them?
- Maca has a nutty-milky flavor and increases libido (I personally haven't seen the difference, but research says it's true). 1 oz has over 133% of RDA of vitamin C and 85% RDA of copper.
- Lucuma is another ground up root which has caramel-like flavor, and is naturally very sweet. I always add it to baked goods which allows to decrease the amount of other added sweeteners.
- Beets are amazing for their natural sweetness, fiber and nutrient content (calcium, potassium, folate, manganese, nitrate). The latter improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
- Spirulina is also super high in protein, and at this small amount you still get quite some calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, without ruining the taste of your shake. Spirulina is famous for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and having high antitoxin properties, so if you live in a city, or work in a polluted environment, highly consider supplementing with it.
- Cinnamon and cocoa optional, I just love a little bite/ extra flavor to my shakes. Plus it's fall :) Sometimes, I'll throw in some all spice, nutmeg and ginger too!
- The better stevia is an AMAZING product - no fillers, so this tiny jar will last you forever. I got mine about a year ago, and am not even half way through with frequent use.
Let me know what your favorite protein powder is, if you've tried my recipe above, or have your own! I’m curious
* There are many more great affordable protein powders available on the market, I just haven't had a chance to try em all!