Some vegans have no problem with soy, while others choose to stay away from it for several reasons. And in today’s world, we’re spoiled for choice in the variety of products we can use for supplementing protein to build muscle. Fortunately, vegans who wish to avoid soy have plenty of vegan protein powder options without soy and come from some of the best available plant-based protein sources.
I’m going to be completely honest with you, I do drink soy milk in moderation, but I don’t drink it all of the time. And I don’t consume soy protein powders either. I think many people would agree that moderation is the key to anything in life, including where you get your protein from.
So with that out of the way, I did a bit of research to help you decide on a good vegan protein powder without soy.
Before I go into the best soy-free protein powders, I’ll list a few reasons why experts in nutrition believe we should avoid soy foods in general.
Reasons to avoid Soy
- Soy foods contain natural toxins or antinutrients and are potent enzyme inhibitors
- Many soy products you find are genetically modified
- Soybeans contain something called phytic acid which blocks the absorption of key minerals that the body needs to remain healthy
- Soy contains phytoestrogens which may upset hormone balance by lowering testosterone and increasing estrogen levels
- There is some evidence that soy isoflavones have goitrogenic effects and interferes with thyroid function
- Soy can increase IGF-1 level compared to other plant-based protein sources, and this may increase the risk of cancer in the long-term
- Contains hemagglutinin which causes red blood cells to clump together
- Soy may have high levels of aluminum and manganese (for the latter, many plant diets get too much of).
- People with soy allergies
There are many other reasons that people choose to avoid soy besides these, but these are some of the main ones.
Best Protein Powders Without Soy
Below are just a few protein powders which are super popular among vegans and have a reputation for providing high-quality ingredients at a reasonable cost.
#1 Vega One Organic Plant protein powder without Soy (18 servings)
Vega prides itself on being a premium protein powder which is free of any troublesome ingredients.
Much like a meal replacement supplement, this also contains lots of vitamins and minerals to give you that extra boost in nutrition you might need.
It’s also NON-GMO, Vegan certified, low-glycemic, gluten-free and does not contain any dairy or soy
Serving size: 1 scoop is approximately 38 grams and has 150 k/cal
Protein serving: 20 grams
#2 Garden of Life – Organic Raw Plant-based protein powder – soy free – (38 servings)
This protein powder by Garden of Life gives you a hefty dose of protein (20g) plus fiber, and much of your daily requirements for vitamins and minerals.
If your diet is not missing vitamins or minerals, then I’d skip this one, but if you’re a busy little bee, then this could be a great addition to your diet.
Product Features: It contains 44 different superfoods, as well as 1.5 billion probiotics and enzymes to support digestive health.
Certifications: USDA Organic, Verified NON-GMO, Professionally tested for banned substances in sport (peace of mind if you’re an athlete), and is certified gluten-free.
Serving size: 1 scoop is approximately 35 grams and has 115 k/cal
Protein per serving: 20 grams
#3 Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder (20 servings) – Soy-Free-
Orgain organic protein powder is clearly a very popular choice among vegans. It’s a 100% plant-based protein powder which is packed with full of healthy nutrients which will help sustain your training and get the results you want.
Since the protein powder includes many different sources of plant proteins, you also get all 9 essential amino acids which are required by the body to build muscle.
Orgain spent 4 years perfecting the protein powder and its ingredients to provide a great tasting shake to include with your meals or as a post-workout drink.
Orgain powder doesn’t contain any peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, shellfish or fish.
It’s a hypoallergenic protein powder which will be able to meet the needs of most people looking for a good vegan protein shake.
Serving size: 2 scoops is approximately 46 grams and has 150 k/cal
Protein per serving: 21 grams
This protein powder has a lot of great reviews
See the story of Orgain
#4 Optimal protein powder Soy-Free (15 servings)
This vegan protein powder is one of the most basic protein drinks available.
It contains a proprietary blend of pea protein isolate, taurine, rice protein concentrate, glycine, and L-glutamine.
Also contains cellulose gum and xanthan gum.
The protein powder is also free from any flavorings, colors or sweeteners.
Serving size: 1 scoop is approximately 21 grams and has 70 k/cal
Protein serving: 17 grams
This protein powder is really for those on a budget. For those who have a bit of extra money to spend, I think the other options are better.
The controversy around Soy
You mention the idea of consuming soy to some people and they’ll give you a long list of reasons why it should be avoided. While some of them may be valid, some of them are also over-simplified or exaggerated.
That’s not to say there aren’t good reasons to at least *limit* your intake of soy and opt for protein powders which don’t include any soy at all.
Moderate amounts of soy should not pose any harm to adults, but perhaps the jury is still out on whether or not there are any long-term implications. Fortunately, these days there are so many options for us vegans to get good high-quality protein powders which are soy-free.