5 Best Organic Vegan Pea Protein Powders
While certainly not required for a vegan diet, protein powder can be an effective supplement for those looking to lose weight and build muscle on a plant-based lifestyle.
In recent years, as the popularity of vegan diets (and food allergies) has risen, plenty of plant-based protein powders are popping up – and not just in hippie groceries and health food stores, either!
Among these, pea protein stands out for its nutritional profile, as well as the versatility of the humble pea. It's recently become something of a trendy product, and with good reason.
Pea protein is a great option for individuals and families with many allergies or food sensitivities. It's free of common allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, wheat, and egg, so it's one of the safest protein options out there.
It's also ideal for those looking to lose weight. Research has shown that pea protein can subdue ghrelin, a substance in the stomach that signals hunger to the brain. That means a scoop of pea protein in your breakfast smoothie will keep your hands out of the snack drawer until lunchtime!
An added bonus? It won't cause bloating the way whey protein can, so you'll look and feel your best.
Before we go through the buying guide, here's our top 5 picks:
How to Choose a Pea Protein Powder
Even once you've whittled your protein powder down to a specific type of plant, just the sheer number of brands and products can be enough to make your head spin!
By keeping a few factors in mind, you can start to whittle your way through products until you find the perfect product for you. Shopping based on your values, preferences, and lifestyle means you're most likely to find a product you like – meaning you'll use it and won't be throwing away your hard-earned cash.
When I'm shopping for a new protein powder, here's what I keep in mind.
I'll be honest – I used to think that organic was just a marketing scheme. Why would I pay extra for something that didn't even boost the nutritional value?
However, as I continued to research, I learned the importance of eating natural, organic produce. The most apparent reason - and the one you probably know about - is to avoid harmful chemicals and pesticides. This is especially important when you're eating a lot more produce, which you're probably doing if you're eating plant-based.
By opting for organic, you aren't ingesting all the nasty stuff that's sprayed on conventional fruits and veggies.
However, avoiding chemicals isn't the only reason to go organic. Because organic companies can't rely on chemical assistance, the soil used for growing is better-taken care of. This results in a better-tasting, more nutritious product.
When you choose organic, you're also doing your part to take care of the earth. Since organic foods don't have any chemicals or pesticides sprayed on them, you're not putting your dollars toward companies that cause toxic runoff into our streams, rivers, and soil.
Yes, organic products generally cost a little more than their conventional counterparts. But, if you consider your health and the planet to be investments, it's worth the up-front cost. For a reason, all the products recommended below are 100% organic.
✓ Nutrition per Serving
Most people purchase protein powder as a nutritional supplement for their diet. Whether it's extra protein for building muscles or satiating hunger during a diet, people are usually buying protein powder for nutrients first and foremost, even before things like taste or texture.
To get the most nutritional value for your dollar, it's important to take a look at the nutrition panel. You want to make sure you know not only what's in your pea protein powder, but what isn't in it, too.
My number one way to determine the value of a protein powder is a simple calculation – the amount of calories per gram of protein per serving. When it comes to this, lower is better – for example, a powder that is 4 calories per gram of protein is a better value than a powder that is 8 calories per gram of protein.
Every gram of protein contains 4 calories as a baseline, so the closer your ratio is to this, the "purer" your protein. A powder that contains drastically more than that means there are calories coming from non-protein sources. This could be from sugar, fat, or other "fillers" in your protein powder.
Even if you're hoping to gain weight, I still suggest looking for as close to a 4:1 calorie to protein ratio as you can find to ensure that as much of your money as possible is going to the protein. Protein powder tends to be an expensive nutritional supplement, so if you want to add sugars or fats to your protein shake, it's a lot cheaper to add things like high-calorie fruits and nut butter to your shake.
Even if a product has an optimal calorie to protein ratio, the simple fact of the matter is if you don't like the way it tastes, you won't use it.
If a powder sits on your shelf and goes rancid, it's the equivalent of flushing your money, not to mention it won't help you reach your fitness and lifestyle goals.
Most protein powders (including the ones at the bottom of this article) come in three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored. That's with pretty good reason, too – these are flavors most people enjoy and are flexible enough where you won't get tired of them. That banana flavored protein might sound good now, but you probably won't feel the same way after two straight weeks of banana protein shakes!
Think about how you plan to consume your protein powder when deciding on your flavor. If you're taking the protein in a shaker cup with milk or water, I'd suggest opting for chocolate or vanilla powder. However, if you're planning to mix the powder into oatmeal, baked goods, or even savory dishes, you can go with an unflavored powder for maximum versatility.
The Best Pea Protein Powder Brands (All Vegan & Organic)
Ultimately, you can go with one of the hundreds of pea protein powders available on the market. However, for those who are more pressed for time, we've compiled the five protein powders we think are the best mix of value, nutrition, and quality.
Calories per Serving
Protein per Serving
Carbs per Serving
Calories per gram protein
Chocolate, Vanilla, Unflavored
Natural Chocolate, Natural Vanilla, Natural Unflavored
Best for Bodybuilders
The pea protein from Naked Nutrition is an optimal choice for vegan athletes. Each 30-gram serving contains a whopping 27 grams of muscle-repairing protein! With 120 calories, each serving comes closest to that coveted 4:1 calorie to protein ratio, which means you're getting the purest protein for your dollar.
This pea protein powder is an excellent choice for bodybuilders because it's a good source of clean protein without any added sugars or fillers. It's made from non-GMO crops, and is completely free of soy and gluten, making it safe for athletes with allergies or sensitivities.
Naked Pea also contains 5.7 grams of BCAAs per serving, which helps maintain muscle mass. It also means it's a 2-in-1 product, as you won't have to buy a separate tub of vegan BCAAs!
Naked Pea Protein is derived from raw yellow peas grown on environmentally friendly farms in the United States and Canada. Each tub contains five pounds of protein powder – enough for 76 servings – and comes in chocolate, vanilla, or unflavored.
What We Liked
Naked Pea is super transparent about the contents of its product. It lists the results of its heavy metals and allergen testing on the Amazon listing, so you can feel good and know down to the microgram how much is present in the powder. Purchasers also appreciate the sustainable farming practices and lack of chemicals used during processing.
What We Didn't Like
Some reviews sum it up best: if the only ingredient listed is pea protein, don't expect this to taste like Ben and Jerry's. Unless you have a strong stomach or weak taste buds, don't try to mix two scoops of this powder into water and chug it down. This is definitely a protein that needs to be combined with stronger flavors like banana, peanut butter, and/or chocolate.
Best for Clean Bodybuilding
This pea protein from Source Organic is as pure as protein gets. With no added flavors, colors, sugars, or allergens, this is the optimal choice for people who want to build muscle, but want to do it in the cleanest, purest way possible. This powder contains just a single ingredient: organic yellow pea protein isolate, sourced exclusively from Canadian organic farms.
Each crop of peas used for the powder is tested by a third party before and after production. This is to ensure the finished protein powder meets nutritional and microbiological specifications. It's ideal for bodybuilders who are extremely scientific about fulfilling their nutritional needs, and who care deeply about the quality of the foods they're ingesting.
This is also an excellent choice for athletes who care about the environment in addition to their gains in the gym. Source Organic is committed to working with farmers who practice and support organic and sustainable farming, as well as animal welfare.
Each two-pound package contains 35 servings of protein. The powder is only available in unflavored so that you can doctor it up with your favorite fruits, greens, and spices.
What We Liked
Ideal for athletes with sensitive stomachs, reviewers find this protein powder easy to digest, without the bloating that can come with lesser quality proteins. The texture is on the thick side, but smooth, and not overwhelming.
What We Didn't Like
While the protein itself gets rave reviews, some people have run into packaging issues where the bag does not reseal after use. Since this is a group that tends to care about the environment, it can be frustrating to have to use another container in addition to the one that originally housed the product.
Best for Endurance Athletes
As it contains a little over 5 calories per gram of protein, and 2.6g of carbohydrates per serving, this is a great recovery protein for runners and other endurance athletes. Each 30-gram scoop of Zen Principle's protein powder provides 23 grams of muscle-repairing protein to help you get the most out of your workout.
Zen Principle only sources their peas from small organic farms in the United States and Canada. No mass-produced powder or peas sourced from China in this supplement!
The peas are dried at a low temperature and packaged quickly to maintain the integrity of the nutrients. This careful attention to detail during processing is evident from the powder's rich color and nutty flavor.
The protein can also be taken before your workout, as it contains BCAAs to protect muscles and keep you going your hardest - even on long run days. The formula contains over 15 types of amino acids, anti-inflammatory compounds, and iron. It's soy-, gluten-, and dairy-free, and uses no GMO ingredients.
You can purchase this powder in 16- or 48-ounce tubs. The powder is unflavored, so you can add it to all your favorite dishes, or simply mix it with plain water – it dissolves quickly!
What We Liked
Reviewers love the light, slightly nutty flavor of this protein powder. Some pea proteins can have an extremely earthy taste, so this is a great option for people who want to take their protein with as little add-ins as possible. It blends with just water or almond milk with little to no chunks.
What We Didn't Like
Some purchasers ran into issues with the packaging of this product, stating their seal was open. Your mileage may vary, but be sure to request a replacement from Amazon if you do run into problems.
Best for Weight Loss
With just 80 calories per serving, the pea protein from NOW Foods is ideal for people looking to make healthy lifestyle changes. This protein will keep you fuller for longer, without making too much of a dent in your daily calorie budget. It's easy to stir some into your oatmeal or add a scoop to a smoothie to keep your hunger at bay.
If you're incorporating exercise into your weight loss regimen, this is also a great pre- and post-workout protein powder choice. Each serving typically contains over 2,700 mg of BCAAs to help retain muscle size, shape, and strength even while eating at a calorie deficit.
On a low-carb diet? NOW Sports pea protein has just 1g of total carbs, all of which comes from fiber. Use it to make low carb bread, pancakes, and baked goods with zero net carb protein powder instead of high-carb flour.
Each tub of NOW Sports Pea Protein contains 1.5 pounds of powder, enough for about 34 20g servings. You can buy this protein in unflavored, vanilla, and chocolate varieties.
What We Liked
This protein dissolves quickly in liquids and has a light taste, considering it's plain pea protein. It's also a clean addition to a low-calorie and low carb diet and is a good price considering that it's completely organic and contains no additives or fillers.
What We Didn't Like
As clean and affordable as this protein is, we wish NOW Foods was a little more transparent about where it sources its peas. We're hopeful that one day, NOW will seize the concept of truly "knowing where your food comes from" and list the source of the peas.
Best for Weight Loss
If you would consider yourself more "health conscious" rather than "serious athlete," the pea protein from Terrasoul is a wise addition to your diet.
This vegan supplement has only 37 calories per serving but manages to pack in 8g of protein – not a bad tradeoff if you're just looking for the benefits of increased protein, but don't need to take in tons of the stuff.
This protein powder is an isolate made from USDA certified organic yellow peas, which are laboratory tested for purity. The peas are non-GMO, and the final product is free of soy, sugar, dairy, and gluten.
It's also extremely flexible, as you can easily add more servings to your meal if you want to get a bigger dose of protein. You can only use three tablespoons of powder instead of one and get a 24g serving of protein for just over 100 calories. The one-tablespoon serving though provides a moderate boost of protein, for those who aren't doing intense exercise, but want to keep hunger at bay or are just looking out for their health.
The product is unflavored so that you can add it to sweet or savory dishes. Each 1.5-pound tub contains enough product for 68 single-tablespoon servings.
What We Liked
What We Love: Worried about dropping money on a product you may not like? Terrasoul Foods offers a 100% money back quality guarantee – if you don't like it, you can send it back within 30 days and receive a full refund. We appreciate a company that stands behind their product!
What We Didn't Like
The Downside: Some reviewers noted that the texture of this product is extremely grainy, and is very noticeable when mixed with plain liquids and even in some baked goods. If you're sensitive to the texture of pea protein, you may want to give this a try before committing to a large quantity of it.
Give Peas a Chance
No matter your health goals, fitness regimen, or dietary restrictions, plant-based protein powder is a wise addition to any diet. Of all the offerings, pea protein is one of the best because of its nutritional profile and the fact that it is hypoallergenic.
Finding an organic pea protein that's right for you, your family, the animals, and our planet has never been easier!
Our five recommended powders fit seamlessly into any fitness and health goal, but with just a little knowledge and some time, you can find the supplement that is perfect for your nutritional needs and your budget.
By choosing an organic plant-based protein, you send the message to the world that you don't have to sacrifice your health for the good of our planet and the creatures that live on it.
Whether you're looking to gain muscle mass, lose body fat, or just stay full until lunch, you don't need to rely on animal products to reach those goals. Add a scoop of pea protein to your favorite smoothie, oatmeal, or baked good recipe, and show off the clean power of organic peas!