November 09, 2022 6 min read

The craze around finding the best protein powder for performance is on the rise. As more athletes and everyday people turn to plant-based protein powders, it's causing many of us to ask: is plant protein better than whey? And can you really meet your protein needs from plant-based protein supplements?

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about plant-based protein vs whey so you can decide what is truly the best source of protein powder for you.

Let’s jump right in.

Whey Vs. Plant Protein

benefits of plant protein

Whey protein powder is derived from cow’s milk. Therefore, whey protein is not vegan-friendly; it is an animal-based protein powder derived from milk and contains lactose.

Whey is derived from the cheesemaking process; added enzymes separate the curd from the liquid whey. Then, the liquid whey is pasteurized, and the protein is concentrated and isolated.

Whey protein is often hard to digest, and many people experience problems when consuming it. The most common symptoms include bloating, gas, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

If you are intolerant to dairy products or follow a strict plant-based diet, you should not consume anything that contains whey protein and should choose a dairy-free option.

Plant-based protein powder is made from various plants, such as brown rice, soy, hemp, pea, chia, etc. They are lactose-free, vegan-friendly, nutrient-dense, and packed with fiber.

Plant-based protein powder has many outstanding advantages. That’s why more and more snacks are starting to replace whey protein with plant-based protein.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of vegan-friendly protein powders in-depth.

Plant-Based Protein Benefits

1. Beneficial For Muscle Growth

Researchers found that plant-based protein isbeneficial for muscle mass and strength, and it will help repair and build muscle.

Plant-based protein powders areequally effective as whey at promoting muscle hypertrophy or muscle growth, as long as theycontain similar amounts of protein and BCAAs per serving.

2. Promotes Weight Loss

Plant-based protein powders can help you lose weight by promoting feelings of fullness and help preserve lean muscle mass.

Plant-based protein powder is naturally lower in calories, regulates the metabolism, and reduces cravings, which can also help you with weight loss.

3. Increases Fiber Intake

It is often true that many people struggle to consume enough fiber which is essential to good health. If you incorporate plant-based protein powder, you will be able to increase your fiber intake, too, as they are packed with it.

4. Easier Absorption

Sprouted vegan protein powders are more bioavailable. This means that your body can break it down and absorb it quickly, especially if it’s sprouted.ext section

5. Cholesterol-free

Plant-based protein sources do not contain cholesterol. As a result, they are more unsaturated and lower LDL cholesterol, an established risk factor for heart disease.

6. Plant-Based Protein Is Affordable

While the prices of plant-based largely depend on the brand, you can still find vegan protein powders that have very similar pricing to whey protein powder.

Main Types Of Plant-Based Protein Powder

types of protein powder

1. Pea

Pea protein powder is made from yellow split peas. They contain more protein than green peas, and a serving provides about 21 grams of protein and 100 calories.

Pea protein is rich in essential branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which help fuel your muscles and
stimulate your body to make muscle protein.

Furthermore,studies found that muscle gains experienced with pea protein are very similar to those of people consuming whey protein.

2. Hemp

Hemp is the only protein powder that is so fiber-packed. It contains all amino acids to help repair muscle cells, regulate the nervous system, and support brain function.

Hemp protein powder also protects the heart and helps to maintain lean body mass. A serving of unflavored hemp protein powder provides around 12 grams of protein and 108 calories.

Oh, and don’t worry - hemp protein powder doesn’t contain any THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana.

3. Soy

Soy protein isolate powder is made from defatted soybean flakes that are first washed and then dehydrated and powdered.

Soy protein powder is a complete protein - it contains all nine essential amino acids, and it is rich in BCAAs to support muscle building.

It may help lower cholesterol levels,protect heart health,lower the risk of prostate cancer, help to control blood sugar, and reduce body weight.

A serving has about 95 calories and 22 grams of protein. So if you are worried about GMOs in soy - fear not! It is pretty easy to get NON-GMO soy protein powder.

4. Brown Rice

To convert into powder form, the brown rice is treated with special enzymes that cause the protein and carbohydrates that make up the rice to separate.

Brown rice contains 37% of the total protein as essential amino acids and 18% as BCAA, making it anoptional source of protein.

A serving of unflavored brown rice protein powder has about 107 calories and 22 grams ofprotein.

5. Sunflower Seed

Sunflower seed protein supports muscle growth and recovery, and a serving of sunflower seed protein powder has about 91 calories and 13 grams of protein.

It is low in the essential amino acid lysine; however, it’s a good source of all other essential amino acids.

Sometimes, to improve lysine levels, sunflower seed protein is often combined with quinoaprotein powder, which is a complete protein.

Sunflower seed protein doesn’t contain any of the top eight allergens — eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, or milk.

This makes it an ideal fit for most diets.

6. Pumpkin Seed

Pumpkin seeds are cold-pressed to remove moisture and then go through a milling process until the result is a fine powder.

Pumpkin seed protein powder has fewer calories and less fat than its seeds because of the grinding.

Pumpkin seed powder is rich in protein, minerals, and fiber, and a serving provides around 103calories and 18 grams of protein.

7. Chia

Chia protein powder is made by carefully separating the oil from the seed. This creates a great, high protein and fiber powder packed with nutrients such as calcium, protein, antioxidants, and fiber.

A serving of chia protein powder has around 50 calories,10 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fiber.

Chia protein powder is beneficial since the powdered form of chia is digested better than the seeds. This ultimately means the body can absorb more of its amino acids, too.

Best Plant-Based Protein Powders

As a rule of thumb, here are a few additional tips on picking an excellent plant-based protein powder:

● A blend of plant-based protein powders - It can easily provide optimal levels of all essential amino acids and an abundance of vitamins and minerals.

● Added enzymes - To help with digesting.

● Sprouted or fermented plant protein - Sprouting and fermentation may increase amounts of beneficial plant compounds, vitamins, and minerals and increase absorption.

● Low in sugar - Pick protein that contains natural sweeteners like stevia, xylitol, Monkfruit, etc.

● Simple & high-quality ingredients - Pick protein with the least amounts of artificial sweeteners, flavoring additives, and thickeners.

● Third-party testing - To ensure that the brand is committed to high-quality and safe manufacturing standards.

Here’s a list of five of the best plant-based protein powders on the market:

1. Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Powder

A serving contains 150 calories and 21g of plant protein from peas, brown rice & chia.Orgain is free from sugar, artificial ingredients, and GMOs.

You can choose between the flavors: Vanilla, Iced Coffee, Strawberries & Cream, or Unsweetened.

2. Purely Inspired Organic Protein Powder

Purely Inspired provides 22g of protein per serving from organic peas and brown rice. It is certified organic, with no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors.

It also contains a great-tasting fruit and veggie blend for your gut health. In addition, it has the following flavors: Peppermint Mocha, Chocolate, or French Vanilla.

3. Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein

Garden Of Life’s protein is made from peas, raw sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. It contains 3 billion live probiotics and 12 digestive enzymes for ultimate digestion!

A serving provides 22g of plant protein, and you can choose between - Chocolate, Vanilla, Vanilla Chai, or Unflavored.

4. Isopure Vegan Protein Powder

Isopure provides 20 grams of organic pea and brown rice protein per serving. It contains no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners and provides a comprehensive profile of essential aminoacids.

Pick between four flavors Vanilla, Banana Cream, Dark Chocolate, Mixed Berry, or theirUnflavored option.

5. Sunwarrior Vegan Protein Powder

Sunwarrior has 25g of protein, 6 grams of BCAAs, and 150 calories per serving. It is packed with super antioxidants and essential nutrients that create the ultimate plant-based protein shake.

Sunwarrior offers five options - Berry, Maple Toast, Vanilla, Chocolate, Mocha, or Unflavored.


Protein powder isn’t nutrition essential, but it is a helpful, effortless, and nourishing way to increase your protein intake.

There are many excellent benefits of plant-based protein powders and many unique products that you can choose from.

If you are interested in exploring more plant-based protein snacks and products, check out DeliciousDoor!

DeliciousDoor carefully curates monthly premium-quality Healthy Snack Boxes and a fantastic selection of wholesome goods made with plant-based protein, low sugar, and healthy fats.

Merilin Vrachovska

Merilin is a 25-year-old imperfect zero waste advocate, passionate about sustainability, veganism, and living harmoniously with nature. In her free time, she loves developing recipes for healthy & vegan sweets, traveling, and practicing yoga. 

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