Vitality

Top 5 Vegan Protein Powders Recommended By Fitness Trainers

Many popular protein powders available on the market contain dairy-based whey isolate. Backed by years of scientific research, whey isolate itself has numerous benefits that aid in workout recovery. Whey protein powder is the usual option for those seeking to refuel their bodies with lean muscle-building protein. 

However, whey is not without its downsides. In particular, it is harsh towards your digestive system. Too much whey can result in nausea, acne and other unwanted side effects. Whey also has the same issues associated with frequent consumption of dairy products.

That's where vegan powders come into play. Made using plant-based ingredients, ranging from rice to peas, they are clean alternatives to whey-based ones. Beyond helping in muscle buildup, these plant-based powders are good not only for your digestive system, but also for your heart, in addition to packing healthy doses of fat-burning fiber. 

With all else said, Gear Patrol has shared five vegan protein powders that are recommended by five fitness trainers it spoke to:

Lifetime Fitness Plant-Powered Vegan Protein 

Blacksburg, Virginia-based trainer and nutrition specialist Sara Benjamin considers the Lifetime Fitness Plant-Powered Vegan Protein to be her favorite protein powder. Aside from the product containing a whopping 24 grams of protein per serving, she finds its versatility in the kitchen to be especially helpful. Sara said that it mixes "really well" into smoothies, coffee, plant-based milk and even water. It costs $45 for the 30-serving size at the Lifetime online store.

Biochem Vegan Protein Powder 

North Carolina-based personal trainer Shauna Godwin swears by Biochem Vegan Protein Powder. This 100 percent plant-based supplement takes protein isolates from peas, hemp seeds and cranberries. Godwin likes the omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids found in hemp seed protein along with the polyphenols and antioxidants found in cranberry protein. "Plus, it tastes great," she added. The 24-serving option costs $34 on Amazon.

NorCal Organic Pea Protein 

NorCal Organic Pea Protein is one of the go-to powders of Robin Arzon, vice president of fitness programming and head instructor at Peloton. "I've noticed my body processes pea protein best," explained the 26-time ultramarathoner, who looks for clean ingredients and only uses products with natural flavoring. Packing nearly 5 grams of healthy BCAA's, NorCal's Pea Protein is free of added colors, flavors and sugars. The 35-serving option costs $35 at NorCal's online store.

Vega Clean Protein 

Vanessa Padula of New York-based fitness studio SLT sticks with Vega, a widely accessible vegan protein brand. Vega offers various protein powder flavors and is readily available both online and in physical stores such as Target. She noted that Vega protein (and vegan protein powders in general) is a lot more versatile in the kitchen compared to whey (application of which in the kitchen is limited due to dairy products affecting the chemistry of a recipe that requires cooking). According to Padula, you can use the protein powder in shakes and smoothies or add it into your oatmeal and pancakes. As a baking ingredient, it can also be used to substitute part of the recipe's flour content. The 45-serving sized option costs over $60 on Amazon.

Orgain Organic Protein Powder 

As a big fan of Orgain's supplements, Valery Charles of Mile High Run Club specifically likes the brand's Organic Protein Powder -- especially the vanilla-flavored option. All six flavors are packed with 21 grams of protein per serving. Orgain prides itself on cutting down the gritty texture that is often present in many vegan protein powders. The powder itself is relatively low in calories, with 120 calories per serving. The 20-serving option currently costs $30 on Orgain's online store.

vegan protein powder Vegan protein powders deliver the same benefits as those of whey-based ones without the issues of the latter. Flickr / Eugene Evehealth

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