Explore the Top 11 Plant-Based Protein Powders for Building Muscle
Contrary to popular belief, vegan protein powders are an effective nutritional supplement for muscle growth and repair, particularly for individuals who are following a plant-based diet. Today’s plant-based protein powders have advanced to the point of rivaling most animal-based protein powders, like whey. In fact, for many bodybuilders, weight lifters, and strength athletes, plant-based protein powders are preferred for muscle recovery.
These products are made from plant-based food sources, such as legumes, rice, pumpkin seed, and hemp, and are entirely free from dairy or any animal-derived products. In addition to muscle gain, vegan protein powders are also ideal for those with dietary restrictions, such as whey allergy or lactose intolerance, or for those looking for added nutritional value.
What Makes the Best Vegan Protein Powder for Muscle Gains?
One of the key components of a highly-quality vegan protein powder for building muscle is branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Essential for muscle growth and repair, BCAAs consist of three specific amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – which are not naturally produced by the body and must be consumed through diet or supplements. BCAAs are important for muscle growth because they stimulate protein synthesis, which is the process by which the body builds and repairs muscle tissue.
In addition to BCAAs, it’s critical to opt for vegan protein powders that are made with high-quality ingredients and have a balanced macronutrient profile. This means that the product should provide a high amount of protein per serving from a diversified blend of quality plant sources, and should be low in additives and other potentially harmful ingredients.
But with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to pinpoint the best vegan protein powder for muscle gain. To ensure you make an informed decision, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best plant-based protein powders for building muscle.
Vega Sport Premium Protein is a plant-based protein powder that is made from a blend of pea, alfalfa, pumpkin seed, and sunflower seed protein. This protein powder is high in BCAAs, particularly the amino acid leucine, which is an important amino acid for muscle growth and repair. Vega Sport Premium Protein is also NSF Certified for Sport, so it’s designed for athletes.
One serving of Vega Sport Premium Protein provides a whopping 30 grams of protein and 5 grams of BCAAs, including 1.4 grams of isoleucine, 2.4 grams of leucine, and 1.5 grams of valine. It also has a balanced macronutrient profile, with each serving providing 160 calories (170 calories for the peanut butter flavor), 3 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fiber.
Perhaps the most underrated vegan protein powder for muscle gain, Swolverine Plant Protein is a vegan protein powder made from a blend of pea protein isolate and pumpkin seed protein. It contains 22 grams of protein per serving. Although the exact BCAA is not known, Swolverine states that its Plant Protein has all essential amino acids and a robust combination of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.
One of the standout features of Swolverine Plant Protein is its muscle-growth-minded macronutrient profile and delicious-tasting flavor options, Chocolate Cake and Salted Caramel. It contains 130 calories per serving, 70% of which is from protein, making it a great option for those looking to build muscle while keeping their caloric intake in check.
In turn, Swolverine Plant Protein is low in fat with only 2 grams of each per serving and has just 4 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of sugar. In addition to building muscle, it’s a solid option for those following a low-carb diet.
One of the best-tasting options on the market, PlantFusion Complete Protein is available in five flavors, Rich Chocolate, Creamy Vanilla Bean, Red Velvet Cake, Cookies and Cream, and Natural Stevia Free. A single-scoop serving contains only 120 calories and packs 21 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, and 3 grams of carbohydrates. The carbohyrdates come from fructose, so this is a natural sweetener that supports muscle gain and recovery.
PlantFusion Complete Protein has 4.6 grams of BCAAs and 9.2 grams of essential amino acids (EAAs), which is sufficient for building muscle. It’s also packing 3.6 grams of l-glutamine, which is a specific amino acid that aids in muscle recovery. PlantFusion Complete Protein also has a proprietary enzyme blend that contains bromelain and alpha galactosidase, helping support digestion while helping reduce inflammation.
Organifi Complete Protein is a vegan protein powder that is made from a blend of organic pea, organic pumpkin seed, and organic quinoa protein. It has a protein content of 26 grams per 1-scoop serving, making it a good source of protein for muscle growth.
One of the unique features of Organifi Complete Protein is its vegetable blend that contains tomato, broccoli, carrot, shiitake, cranberry, apple, and orange. This blend is part of Organifi’s Digestive Enzyme Blend, which provides a host of nutrients.
In terms of its macronutrient profile, Organifi Complete Protein is relatively balanced with 8 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fat per serving. This makes it a top choice for those who are nutritionally dense vegan protein powders for building muscle.
LEGION Plant+ is a plant-based protein powder made from a blend of pea and rice protein. It contains 24 grams of protein per serving, along with 4 grams of BCAA. It also contains just 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, and 3.5 grams of fat. It’s also one of the few vegan protein powders without stevia as a sweetening agent.
One of the most highly reviewed features of LEGION Plant+ is its smooth texture and delicious taste. It comes in a variety of flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and mocha cappuccino, and its Pea Creamer blends well with water or plant-based milk. This makes it a fantastic option for those who are new to plant-based protein powders and may be put off by their reputation of having a gritty texture and earthy taste of some other brands.
Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant-Based Protein contains a diverse protein blend containing all organic ingredients in the form of pea protein, sprouted navy bean, sprouted lentil bean, sprouted garbanzo bean, and cranberry seed protein. A single serving provides a whopping 5.5 grams of BCAAs and 11.9 grams of EAAs, making it a plant-based protein powder with the highest concentration of amino acids.
A single serving delivers 30 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrates (1 gram of sugar), and 3 grams of fat. In total, this comes out to be 160 grams of calories per serving. Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant-Based Protein also contains a powerful antioxidant blend that contains turmeric, tart cherries, goji berries, apples, and blueberries. All things combined and this plant-based protein powder is one of the best options for building muscle.
Kaged Muscle Plantein is a vegan protein powder made from a blend of pea, brown rice, and pumpkin seed protein. It contains 25 grams of protein per serving, along with 4.5 grams of BCAAs. The protein blend in Plantein is made from pea protein isolate, organic quinoa, and MCT oil from coconuts. Not only does it come in three unique flavors, Cinnamon Roll, Banana Bread, and Peanut Butter, but it’s also one of the best-priced protein powders at about $27 for a 15 serving tub.
One of the standout features of Kaged Muscle Plantein is its high-quality ingredients. It is made with fermented pea protein, which is more easily digested and absorbed by the body than non-fermented pea protein. It is also sweetened with stevia (no sugar), a natural plant-based sweetener that is low in calories and does not raise blood sugar levels. This makes it a great option for those who are looking for a healthy, low-sugar protein powder.
Green Regimen Elite Protein is a plant-based protein powder made from a simple blend of organic pea and organic hemp protein. It has a high protein content, with 25 grams of protein per serving, and is also a good source of fiber, with 4 grams per serving.
In terms of its macronutrient profile, Green Regimen Elite Protein is relatively higher in carbohydrates, with 11 grams per serving, and low in fat, with only 2.5 grams per serving. This makes it a great plant-based protein powder for those who are looking to build muscle while maintaining optimal health.
One of the standout features of Green Regimen Elite Protein is its phytonutrient greens, minerals, and antioxidants blend. This contains foods like organic kale, broccoli, spirulina, maca root, parsely, among other nutritious ingredients.
Low-carb and high-protein, Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Plant Formula has 22 grams of protein and only 2 carbohydrates, with zero sugar. It’s also low in calories, with just 110 calories. This flagship vegan protein powder from Gaden of Life has 4 grams of BCAAs and slightly over 8 grams of EAAs. These numbers rival some of the more advanced (and expensive) performance protein powders designed for athletes.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder Review is perhaps the most diversified protein powder blends that chock full of various plant-based foods. These include: pea protein, sprouted brown rice protein, amaranth sprout, buckwheat sprout, millet sprout, cracked wall chlorella, quinoa sprout, chia seed sprout, garbanzo bean sprout, lentil sprout, adzuki bean sprout, flax seed sprout, sunflower seed sprout, pumpkin seed sprout, sesame seed sprout.
Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Protein is one of the best-tasting vegan protein powders that’s low-sugar and keto-friendly. It’s made from a unique blend of pea, hemp, and cranberry protein. Warrior Blend protein powder is high in BCAAs with about 4 grams per serving, making it suitable for muscle growth and repair. It also contains l-glutamine, which can also help support muscle recovery, immunity, and gut health.
Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Protein has a balanced macronutrient profile, with each serving providing 18 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbohydrates, and 1.5 grams of fiber. In total, this health-minded protein powder has 120 calories.
Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is a plant-based protein powder made from a pea protein isolate. It has a protein content of 20 grams per serving, making it a good source of protein for muscle growth.
One of the standout features of Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is its high digestibility. The protein blend is easy to digest and does not cause digestive discomfort, making it a good choice for those who have sensitive stomachs. It is also free from common allergens like dairy, gluten, soy, and nuts.
In terms of its amino acid profile, Nuzest Clean Lean Protein contains a good amount of BCAAs, with 4.4 grams per serving. It also contains l-glutamine, which can support muscle building, as well as immune function and gut health.
In terms of its macronutrient profile, Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is relatively low in carbohydrates, with only 1 gram per serving, and low in fat, with only 2 grams per serving. This keto-friendly protein powder makes it a good choice for those who are looking to build muscle without adding excess calories.
Final Word on Plant-based Protein Powder for Muscle Gains
Vegan protein powders are a terrific option for individuals from all walks of life who are looking to build muscle and improve their overall health. Not only do these products have just as sufficient amino acid profiles as whey and animal-based protein, but many consumers find they’re easier to digest, effective for muscle building, and taste great.
About The Author
This review was conducted by Tyler Tafelsky, the lead editor here at VeganProteinPowder.reviews. Tyler is an experienced writer in the health, nutrition, and athletic space, and he offers over a decade of experience blogging on various reputable platforms. Having experimented with a vegan diet over the course of his life, Tyler has tried hundreds of plant-based nutritional products and writes about his favorites here on this blog. Learn more about Tyler by viewing his full author bio or by following him on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. You can also view his personal site TylerTafelsky.com to learn more about what he’s up to.