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Let’s get something out of the way first.
Protein powders don’t make women bulky or less feminine looking, nor are they reserved solely for people who live active lives. That’s just wrong.
In reality, the purpose of protein powders is to help make it easier to get the right amount of protein your body needs everyday. I mean, after all, that’s why it’s called a supplement — because it helps you get the right nutrition.
Having said that, getting enough protein can be even harder if you’re not a meat-eater. Even worse is that it’s relatively more challenging to find a good plant based protein supplement compared to whey.
That’s where I come in. I’ve scoured the internet and asked some friends for their opinions about the topic and I’ve arrived at what I think are the best plant based protein powders for women. Take a look:
Plant Based Protein Powders for Women
Compared to the rest of the protein powders on this list, Vega Sport Premium Protein has the highest protein content at 30g and one of the lowest sugar and carbs. Its macros alone, in my opinion, make it one of the best plant based protein powders in the market.
More than that, though, it gets its protein from multiple sources, including pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, and alfalfa. Plus, it comes with 5g BCAAs — which makes it particularly great for muscle growth, weight loss, and performance — as well as probiotics for digestion, tart cherry for recovery, and turmeric to fight inflammation.
Some people think it can be too sweet and chalky, though, but I think the vanilla has both great taste and texture. Also, it’s got a pretty heavy price tag, too.
Macros: 160 calories; 3g fat; 4g carbs (2g sugar)(1g fiber); 30g protein
Surprisingly, this is the industry giant’s first and, as of right now, only plant based protein powder. Nevertheless, I think they did great on their first try.
It’s got 24g of protein coming from pea, brown rice, and sacha inchi as well as 4g of BCAAs and 4g of glutamine. From that alone, you can tell it’s made for fitness enthusiasts but, of course, even women who don’t exercise can benefit from it as well, especially considering how it’s got a variety of vitamins and minerals.
The taste of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant is pretty good, too, which is surprising because it isn’t particularly loaded with carbs and sugar.
As a matter of fact, I think the natural nuttiness and sweetness of its ingredients comes out together with whatever flavor you buy. Oh, and it’s quite affordable, too.
Macros: 140 calories; 2.5g fat; 6g carbs (2g fiber)(1g sugar); 24g protein
First of all, I love the macros on this thing. It doesn’t have as much protein as the last 2 but it’s got less carbs and less calories, making it an ideal plant based protein powder for women who’re trying to cut down a few pounds.
It also has a 25g blend of BCAAs, glutamine, and other plant sources that it gets its amino acids from. This is an overall great dosage, but I personally would’ve wanted to know how much BCAAS and glutamine I’m taking. The proprietary nature of the blend makes that impossible.
Anyhow, you can pick from 5 flavor variations and they all come at reasonable prices. Also, the reviews are mixed when it comes to taste and texture — some say it’s just the right amount of sweet, some say it’s too sweet, some say it mixes well, and some say it feels chalky. It all boils down to personal preference, I guess.
Macros: 120 calories; 3g fat; 2g carbs (<1g fiber); 21 g protein
If I recall correctly, Sunwarrior was one of the first few brands that put plant based protein powders in the market. If I’m wrong, then I know, at the very least, that it was one of the first few successful ones.
Regardless, it’s a great protein powder. It’s got a high protein content from several plant sources, the complete set of BCAAs, a bunch of other amino acids — all while remaining low calorie, low sugar, and low carb. It also has MCTs which, according to research, can help you eat less food probably because it promotes satiety.
The Sunwarrior Protein Warrior Blend also comes in 5 different flavors. The reviews on how they taste are mixed (as expected) but the common issue is that it’s grainy and doesn’t mix well. Also, the mocha flavor apparently tastes horrible, so maybe try chocolate or vanilla first.
Macros: 100 calories; 2g fat; 2g carbs (1g fiber)(0g sugar); 18g protein
First of all, the macros on this supplement look impressive. It’s loaded with protein, low on carbs and sugar, and is relatively low on calories. The extensive (and I mean EXTENSIVE) list of natural ingredients also suggests that it gives you a good chunk of amino acids.
But, while the macros indeed look awesome, it’s the micronutrients I’m bummed about.
Based on the ingredients here, Ora Organic Protein Powder should also have a long list of vitamins and minerals. The problem is that the label doesn’t show them.
Even worse is that it’s next to impossible to calculate because the proprietary nature of the supplement doesn’t give away exactly how much of each plant we’re getting. This is important to me but if you don’t mind it, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
Also, you might want to use almond or coconut milk when mixing this. Most of the complaints I’ve read about this supplement are about the taste and texture but when the customers use either of those milks, it seems to do a good job of masking the chalkiness and the supposedly horrible taste.
Macros: 130 calories; 3g fat; 5g carbs (0g sugar); 22g protein
This supplement has one of the most ratings and reviews on Amazon when it comes to plant based protein powder and, the way I see it, it’s actually not surprising.
I mean, it’s probably one of the best tasting plant based protein powders I’ve seen and it’s actually quite affordable. Plus, it’s completely vegan friendly so it’s got that market on lock.
When it comes to macros, it’s got a pretty high protein content coming from several protein sources. However, it does have 15g of carbs and 150 calories so if you’re keeping an eye on those, you might want to take it easy with Orgain Organic Protein.
Macros: 150 calories; 4g fat; 15g carbs (5g fiber)(0g sugar)(5g erythritol); 21g protein
In terms of flavor, the KOS Organic Plant Protein tastes much like most other plant based protein powders dissolved in water: nutty.
Now, that might taste great to some people but if you’re not used to it, it can definitely take you by surprise. If you’re the latter, almond milk helps. Trust me.
Having said that, I think the real problem is its texture. It’s sort of grainy, or powdery, or… I don’t know, really. I just don’t think it’s nice.
Nevertheless, the macros look solid — high protein, moderately high carbs but low on sugar, and a relatively high amount of calories.
Also, it’s not in the label but the ingredients tell me that this supplement comes with the complete set of BCAAs. What you can see one the label, however, is a bunch of vitamins and minerals and I think that’s absolutely great.
Macros: 170 calories; 6g fat; 9g carbs (2g fiber)(2g sugar); 20g protein
Like some of the other supplements on this list, Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein is more than just a protein powder.
It’s got the complete set of BCAAs, a bunch of other amino acids, several vitamins and minerals, and, yes 22g of protein sourced from multiple plants. It’s low calorie, low carb, and low fat, too, so if you’re trying to keep those macros to a minimum, this should fit the bill.
Both its taste and texture can be better though. It’s a little chalky to me but it’s not terrible either. As usual, almond milk helps.
Moving on, the main issue consumers have with this protein powder is that the scoop and tub are too big. These are legitimate problems for sure but if that’s what your customers are worried about, I say you made it.
Macros: 110 calories; 2.5g fat; 2g carbs (1g fiber)(0g sugar); 22g protein
This protein powder is pretty straightforward. Its short ingredient list is all protein sources, natural flavors and monk fruit to add some sweetness, and probiotics.
I think the simplicity of it is great. Also, it apparently tastes and blends better than most other plant based protein powders which is surprising to me because it’s got very little sugar.
It still has some sort of aftertaste though, maybe because of the monk fruit, but I’m telling you — I don’t think it’s bad at all, especially with almond or coconut milk.
Macros: 120 calories; 8g carbs (6g fiber)(1g sugar); 20g protein
Out of all the products here, the ALOHA Organic Protein Powder has the least amount of protein and a relatively high amount of carbs. That ratio is mainly why it sits at the bottom of this list.
However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that, to me, it’s still one of the best plant based protein powders for women. Thanks to its multiple protein sources, it also has the complete set of BCAAs, with some omega-3 fatty acids to boot.
Some people say it’s a bit chalky but I think it’s fine when you use almond milk. Throw in a banana and maybe a few berries in there and it’s as good a smoothie as any.
Macros: 130 calories; 4.5g fat; 10g carbs (3g fiber)(4g sugar); 18g protein
What makes a great plant based protein powder?
Now that you know what I think are the 10 best plant based protein powders for women, you’re probably wondering why I chose them. Well, it basically comes down to 3 factors: taste, ingredients, and nutrients.
I’m a firm believer that for anything to be truly healthy, it also has to be sustainable. And, for food — or, in this case, drinks — to be sustainable, it has to at least taste good enough for you to willingly and without any hesitation drink it for an extended period of time.
Now, I get that taste is subjective but, in general, what I noticed is that plant based supplements almost always have some sort of nutty flavor. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you. Some mix with minimal effort while some might need an actual blender.
I leave that up to you, too. What I will tell you, however, is that blending it into a smoothie with almond or coconut milk and a few fruits almost always makes protein powders taste better.
These control everything. Like, literally everything. The taste, the texture, the nutrients you’re getting — everything.
What mainly makes a great plant based protein powder though, to me, are the protein sources.
Apart from soy, all other plant proteins lack at least 1 form of BCAA or some other essential amino acid. This makes it harder for non-meat eaters to get what their body needs.
In that sense, try to get protein powders with multiple protein sources because they’re also the ones capable of getting you all the BCAAs your body needs. You’re looking at chia seeds, quinoa, hemp, peas, brown rice, nuts, beans, and so many others more.
I’m talking about macronutrients (macros) and micronutrients. According to Washington State University, macros are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates — nutrients that your body needs in large amounts for energy (calories) — while micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.
In protein powders, regardless if it’s whey, casein, or plant-based, I always look at the macros first. It’s got to be high in protein and, depending on what you need, has a reasonable amount of everything else. I believe that all the supplements on this represent what I mean.
When it comes to micronutrients though, having all those vitamins and minerals is definitely a great addition but it’s probably not the main focus of protein powders.
So, if what you’re getting doesn’t have the best micronutrient profile, you can always get multivitamins to make up for it.
I guess the bottom line to all this is that all plant based protein powders have their pros and cons. A lot of it comes down to personal preference though, like how you want your protein to taste or what nutrients you need in your diet.
Having said that, the protein powders listed here are, in my opinion, some of the best for women so it can’t hurt to at least give them a look.
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