Gone are the days of protein powders tasting like dirt … or worse. And, seriously, thank goodness for that!
Recently, I started tracking my macros (grams of carbs, fat and protein) in a quest to get more natural energy and vitality from eating a more mindful and properly-balanced diet. Turns out, I wasn’t eating enough carbs or protein — adjusting that has made huge impact on how I feel throughout the day. But it’s still quite the struggle to get enough protein in my diet. I’m aiming for 130 grams per day and even though I do love me some meat, it’s not easy to hit that number every day — especially while still keeping my fat grams in an appropriate proportion.
So, enter the protein shake. I’m no stranger to them as a post-workout boost but now I’m finding that they also work really well at other times to supplement my nutritional intake. Plus, these days they’re packed with loads of good stuff that supports overall health and wellness. What’s not to love?
There’s no shortage of milkshake-like protein powders out there on the market today; however, when you can’t or don’t consume whey your options become more limited. That’s definitely changing though — many companies are stepping up their game in the world of plant-based protein.
Here’s a few of the vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO plant-based protein options I’ve tried lately that are totally worth checking out.
From the moment the chai flavor hit my tastebuds, I was hooked. The flavor was really great with no weird aftertaste. It was something different from the chocolate, vanilla, and berry flavors I’ve grown accustomed to. But wait … there’s more to rave about. This was probably the smoothest, least chalky plant-based protein powder I’ve ever tried. Like silk. No lumps, dissolved really well, not at all gritty.
What’s in it? One serving provides 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, a blend of whole foods, as well as probiotics and digestive support. It’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to chai, it comes in several flavors: vanilla, chocolate, peaches and cream, and wild berries.
The vanilla flavor was probably the best vanilla-flavored protein shake I’ve tasted and it mixed really well into a pretty smooth texture.
What’s in it? One serving contains 16 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and a combination of 20 superfoods to support overall health and wellbeing — good stuff like flax, quinoa, chia and spirulina. It’s sweetened with cane sugar and monk fruit rather than stevia, which is a plus for me since I typically am put off by the aftertaste of stevia. It also packs a powerful punch of glutamine which is essential for muscle maintenance and repair. There is a chocolate flavor available as well.
This one is sweetened with a blend of stevia, monk fruit, and cane sugar and has a milder vanilla flavor than the other varieties I tried — making it a good option for mixing with other ingredients into a protein smoothie. You can also get it in chocolate.
What’s in it? This one had me intrigued due to its super impressive 30 grams of protein per serving. As if that wasn’t enough to get me on board, they even threw in a bunch of BCAAs and glutamine to aid in protein synthesis and added natural digestive enzymes to help digest and absorb all that goodness.
I’m not usually a fan of chocolate protein powders but this one is actually pretty darn good. Both the taste and consistency reminded me of chocolate cake batter.
What’s in it? This one provides 16 grams of protein per serving and is packed with amino acids that support repair and recovery. And don’t even get me started on the collapsible scoop that attaches to the lid — no more digging through your protein powder to find the scoop. It’s also available in natural and chocolate varieties.
This one is so full of good stuff that it’s bananas. I truly mean it. It’s really hard to imagine anyone being able to pack more complete organic nutrition into such a small shake.
What’s in it? One serving has 20 grams of protein as well as 2 full servings of fruits and veggies — which would make this a great option to keep your energy going when you’re on the go. I’m digging the chocolate peanut butter flavor but it also comes in original and pure vanilla flavors.
This is another one that made me rethink my distaste for chocolate protein powders. It’s got a super smooth chocolate flavor that mixes like a champ so there’s no grainy or chalky texture to it.
What’s in it? The nutritional profile is pretty impressive since it uses a blend of five easy-to-digest plant proteins which are packed with essential amino acids, BCAAs, and omega-3 fatty acids. Each serving has 15 grams of protein and you can also pick it up in a vanilla flavor.
What’s your go-to plant-based protein? —Alison