Where do you get your protein? No, just kidding… So, there’s a big misconception out there that you cannot build and maintain muscle mass on a vegan diet. This is flat out wrong. You can easily get protein from a vegan diet and high-quality vegan protein powder supplements. which will help you achieve your protein needs.
Have you ever heard of Thor?
Chris Hemsworth is a well-known vegan who is clearly not ‘protein deficient’. But it’s not just him who has obtained an amazing physique on a vegan diet, many vegans have become successful bodybuilders and athletes on this diet.
With a bit of knowledge of which are the best foods and sources to get protein from, you can also thrive on a vegan diet!
In a rush?
Below are the best vegan protein powders without stevia
- Vega – All in One protein powder – contains 4 types of protein, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. This is the one I recommend to most people who are looking for a more ‘complete’ protein supplement.
- ALOHA Organic plant-based protein powder – contains a proprietary blend of protein, vitamins, minerals and omega 3.
- Pure inexpensive protein powder – a very basic protein powder with one great advantage: it contains an enzyme blend to increase protein digestibility. Great for those with a more sensitive stomach.
- Fitppl vegan protein powder – A basic protein powder supplement which also combines superfoods (fruits+greens).
Sources of protein on a vegan diet
There are plenty of good sources of protein for vegans to use if they wish to supplement there diet. It’s not that vegans are suffering from protein deficiency and absolutely require protein shakes, but they can be helpful for people who are pushing themselves in sport, martial arts, bodybuilding, running etc.
If you want to increase muscle mass, it’s pretty simple: Increase your calorie intake. Increase your protein intake. Train hard.
Some of the most popular foods which provide protein on a vegan diet include:
There are a variety of sources of protein on a vegan diet, but many foods contain an incomplete amino acid profile. This is just one of the reasons why it’s important to eat a variety of foods and mix foods for a complete amino acid profile. If you already are eating many of those foods on that short list, then you’re doing alright.
Out of 21 amino acids which are used by the body, there are 9 amino acids which must be obtained from your diet.
Amino acids you need from diet
The amino acids that can be low on a vegan diet: Lysine, Tryptophan Methionine, Phenylalanine.
The recommended daily intake of protein is around 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
Benefits of using vegan protein powders
There are many benefits to using protein powder to improve your performance.
- Protein shakes are a quick supply of calories
- Protein shakes are full of amino acids which helps rebuild and maintain muscle
- You can carry shakes with you to training to replenish your amino acid pool right after doing your training
- Vegan protein powders don’t contain dairy or its constituents, which can be a cause of allergies in some people
Do you need a protein powder?
Although a vegan diet generally provides adequate amounts of protein for the average person, using vegan protein powders can be more convenient, especially if you’re a busy person on the go a lot.
It’s usually physically active vegans who most often use protein powders, but they can be useful for sedentary vegans too. Many of the protein powders available have a complete amino acid profile. That means that they contain all the amino acids which you need to obtain from your diet in order to build protein and build muscle mass.
How often should you take a protein shake?
This depends entirely on your needs. A good time to use a protein shake might be breakfast and soon after you train.
If you’re not exercising all that much, then perhaps you can just consume the protein shake with your regular meal.
Tip: you can also include protein powder in your morning smoothie or cereal.
Vegan protein shakes without stevia
Many foods and drinks now contain artificial flavoring and colors to make them more palatable to the average consumer. Some brands opt for natural sweeteners like stevia instead. But some people either find it too sweet or it doesn’t agree with them.
When eating a vegan diet, we can generally taste food a lot better and enjoy the natural taste of foods, rather than trying to sweeten them up.
Why you might want to stay away from stevia
Artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners like stevia are used in just about every sugar-free product you can think of. Many of them have been put through clinical trials to see if there are any long-term side effects and studies generally show mixed results. Some show that they are safe, but many people still remain skeptical about the long-term effects and whether or not they increase the risk of disease.
Below are a few side effects which have been reported:
- Muscle pain
- Allergic reactions
- Blood sugar dysregulation
So, now we know some of the potential negative side effects of stevia, let’s look at some of the most popular vegan protein powders without stevia.
#1 Vegan One All-in-One plant-based protein shake without Stevia
It contains a complete amino acid profile from a variety of good plant-based protein sources. This protein supplement also has many vitamins, minerals and even probiotics for added benefit.
I think this is a great product because the ingredients are from natural food sources and also features a variety of added nutrients which complement it.
The product also has a large number of reviews and most of them are quite positive.
Serving size: 1 scoop is approximately 39 grams and has 150 K/cal
Protein: 20 grams – Mainly from Pea, hemp, SaviSeed, and Flax
Fat: 5 grams
Vitamins – Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12 & B6, Pantothenic acid, Thiamin, Niacin, Folate, Biotin, Riboflavin
Minerals – Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus
Probiotics – 1 Billion Bacillus Coagulans
Fiber – 6 grams
Omega 3 – 1.5 grams
The protein also claims to be vegan certified and does not contain any genetically modified ingredients.
Flavors include Coconut Almond, French Vanilla, Mocha, Plain unsweetened, Chocolate, Berry and Vanilla Chai.
Important: Only “unsweetened” Protein powder is Stevia Free.
2# ALOHA – Organic Based Protein Powder (No Stevia)
This protein powder by ALOHA doesn’t pack the same protein punch as others, but it really emphasizes that it’s possible to create a great tasting protein drink without the need for all the artificial ingredients that many protein powders include.
The main protein sources are from a blend of Pea protein, Pumpkin Seed protein, and Hemp Seed protein. This gives you all the amino acids that you need to build healthy cells and muscle.
Aloha protein powder also contains natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar and monk fruit extract.
Aside from the protein, it also contains magnesium, calcium, and iron, as well as omega 3.
It also comes in different flavors. I recommend checking out the chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate?
Serving Size: 2 scoop is approximately 37 grams, which is about 150 k/cal. Each container has 15 servings
Protein: 18 grams per serving
Fat: 4.5 grams
This protein powder is also free from gluten, diary, and contains no stevia.
#3 Inexpensive Vegan Protein Powder, Sweetened with Monk Fruit
The main protein source in this protein powder is yellow pea protein.
And with the addition of a patented plant enzyme that has been proven in studies to increase the ability of the body to digest protein, your body is able to digest and use the amino acids better than many other vegan protein powders.
Serving size: 1 scoop is approximately 39 grams, which is 180 k/cal per serving.
Protein: 23 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Also contains Calcium, Iron, and Aminogen (a proprietary plant enzyme blend for the breakdown of the protein and absorption of amino acids in the supplement). Contains 19 amino acids. The product also claims to have the highest concentration of arginine than any of commercially available proteins.
The product is also free from genetically modified ingredients, free of common allergens and has no artificial ingredients.
This protein powder is on the cheaper end but doesn’t contain the variety of protein sources as the previous two.
If you’re on a budget, this would be a good choice for a good quality protein supplement.
#4 Fitppl Plant Based Protein Powder and Superfood (No Stevia) – Eco-Friendly
Each container of this protein powder gives you a generous 20 servings of high-quality protein and superfoods which are full of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Superfoods include spirulina, oat grass, barley.
The only downside to this protein powder is that it just has 16 grams of protein per serving. But that’s fine for most vegans. In fact, eating foods super high in protein isn’t needed for everyone. So if you’re a regular vegan, then this will be fine. But if you’re training, then maybe you’d want to opt for something with a higher amount of protein per serving.
Serving size: 3 scoops is approximately 25 grams, which gives you 90 k/cal per serving.
Protein: 16 grams
Fat: 1 gram
Also contains: Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Manganese.
This protein powder is quite basic and great for those who don’t want to go crazy with protein, but just want to supplement a little.
And with the addition of fruits and greens, you’re also getting some extra vitamins, minerals and phytonutrient compounds which are known to be beneficial to health.
#5 Vega Clean Protein Powder + Glutamine (Important: Contains a small amount of STEVIA)
This protein powder claims to have no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. However, on the container, it says that it does contain stevia leaf extract.
I’ve included this protein powder as the last option on this list because it’s a very high-quality protein powder which provides a large amount of protein per serving.
It’s a shame that stevia was included, but overall, it’s still a good choice for those who have no issues with stevia.
Some people say that it’s a bit too sweet, but I personally find it okay. I hope the creator of this protein powder will take the feedback from some customers and create a version which is truly “clean”.
So this is the wildcard on the list for those on the fence about stevia and those who don’t love it or hate it.
This protein powder by vega comes in fewer flavors and sizes than the previous protein supplement, but it does have many good points to it. It also has protein from several high quality, premium protein sources such as pea, hemp, pumpkin, and alfalfa.
And although this protein powder has fewer ratings, it is still rated well.
One of the downsides of this supplement over the previous is that it doesn’t contain many additional nutrients besides protein.
Serving Size: 1 scoop is approximately 37 grams, which is 130 k/cal. Each container has 45 servings
Protein: 25 grams per serving
Fat: 3 grams
Vega Clean protein powder is a simple protein supplement which gives you the protein you need without any of the fluff.
It is also gluten-free, vegan certified and has no genetically modified ingredients.
The downside: Vega clean protein powder contains a small amount of stevia leaf extract.
Vegan protein powder side effects
The most commonly consumed protein powder is whey protein. One of the reasons for this is its high bioavailability to the body and its complete amino acid profile.
There is also the fact that when you consume whey protein, you get a much bigger increase in insulin growth factor compared to plant-based proteins.
There are two ways to look at this: IGF-1 is good for muscle growth, but too much stimulation of IGF-1 can be bad.
This is one of the reasons why it would be a very good idea to consume plant-based proteins over protein powders such as whey, even if you’re not a vegan.
Vegan protein powder ingredients
Vegan protein powder is plant-based. They typically contain ingredients and protein which are sourced from peas, hemp, pumpkin seeds. Most of the ingredients included in these protein powders do not contain ingredients which are common allergens.
These protein drinks also often have added vitamins, minerals and even omega 3 from algal oil (which vegans don’t get enough of).
On the other hand, whey protein contains ingredients which many people have problems digesting and can cause many different side effects like acne, bloating, fatigue, headaches, sinus problems etc.
Vegan protein powder is much less likely to cause any of those side effects.
Due to the fiber in some of these protein powders, you may experience some initial side effects, but these should go away once your body adjusts.
Most people who are eating a plant-based diet already typically have a high fiber intake anyway, so this won’t be an issue if you’re already eating a high fiber diet.
There are many different vegan protein powders available besides these three, so take a look and see which is most suitable for your needs! 🙂 If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment!