Are you trying to get more protein in your diet? Finding the right vegan protein can be difficult and even more difficult to maintain with a busy life. Vegan protein powder could be the quickest, cheapest and easiest option for you. In this article we’ll be looking at what we think is the best vegan protein powder on the market. We’ll be looking at why it’s taste, mixability, digestability, ingredients and cost make it better than the rest. Plus the article includes a kickass vegan breakfast smoothie recipe!
From a lot of vegans we talk to protein seems to be a big concern. It’s not easy to get your recommended protein intake, especially with a busy lifestyle. It requires good planning, good shopping and a lot of time. Plus, unless you’re happy chomping pulses straight from the can it gets bloody expensive.
It’s generally thought the average person needs to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. If you’re a particularly active person or an athlete this number can rise to between 1.2-1.4 grams. That means for a 80 kg person (average male weight in the UK) they need to consume around 60 grams of protein a day. That’s a lot of pulses.
Bringing in the vegan protein powder
Vegans seem curious of protein powders and we get asked a lot which we think is best. Over the years we’ve tried a huge variety of products from all the popular brands but have quite often been disappointed. Eventually we found the Complete Vegan Gainer from Bulk Powder which ticked all the boxes. Don’t be put off by the name, in our opinion it’s the best vegan protein powder on the market.
*Note* this article contains affiliate links. WE approached Bulk Powders AFTER using their product. We’re recommending the Complete Vegan Gainer as we’ve used it for a long time and consider it the best vegan protein powder. Purchases made through these links will be of no greater cost to you but will help to support and grow Veggie Vagabonds.
Why do we need all this protein?
Forget about Arnold Schwarzenegger, whether you’re a elite level climber, a weekend runner or a couch potato, we all need protein, vegan or not. Our hair and nails are made mostly of protein, we need it to build and repair our bodies and it’s crazy important for hormones and enzymes. Not to mention protein keeps you feeling full and filled with energy to help you through your day. Pretty important right?
Sure, it’s best to get your protein from a balance diet but that’s not always so easy. For us, the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to make sure we’re getting enough protein is with protein powder in the morning. We add a scoop to a breakfast smoothie which keeps our energy levels high and helps our body recover from whatever crazy things we’ve been doing. It also means we don’t have to worry about trying to fit in as much protein throughout the day.
What is a Complete Vegan Gainer?
Unlike other protein brands the Complete Vegan Gainer is high in protein and carbohydrates and calories. It’s actually the only one we’ve found like this.
“Wait, aren’t carbohydrates and calories bad for you?”
Fad diets and the media have done a great job of convincing people that carbohydrates and calories are bad for you. They’re not click here to find out why. You need a good level of both to get you through the day with a smile on your face. This protein powder is filled with friendly types of protein, carbohydrates and calories that will noticeably help you. It’s been the perfect solution to bulk up our breakfasts.
So it’s not just for people trying to gain weight?
Definitely not. It’s for anyone wanting to add protein and carbohydrates to a balanced diet.
So why is it so good?
We’re pretty critical when it comes to our nutrition, so we’ve broken it down into sections.
It’s tastes really good! We think the chocolate peanut butter flavour is best, not overly sweet and not too rich. We won’t lie, it’s not as good as some vegetarian protein powders but it comes damn close. We either put it into a smoothie or mix with Alpro’s unsweetened almond milk and it comes out great. Even mixing just with water has a nice taste which isn’t overwhelming.
This is one of the biggest problems not just with vegan but all protein powders. Many brands are dry, grainy and have a lumpy consistency no matter how hard you shake them (is it meant to be part of the training?). The Complete Gainer has a nice smooth texture and you won’t break a sweat trying to mix it.
One of the unfortunate side effects of many protein powders is indigestion. From bloating, to cramps and trapped wind… fortunately we don’t experience this with the Complete Vegan Gainer. Their enzyme complex makes it very easy to break down with no unpleasant side effects. Both our families have also tried it and were coming back for more!
|Nutrition||per 100g Serving||per 100g|
of which saturates
of which sugars
Ultra-Fine Scottish Oats (42%), Pea Protein Isolate (22%), Brown Rice Protein (7%), Quinoa Flour (5%), Flaxseed Powder, Maca Root Powder (Lepidium Meyenii), Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Natural Flavouring, Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Natural Sweetener (Stevia), Thickener (Xanthan Gum), DigeZyme® Enzyme Complex (Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, Lactase, Lipase).
It’s definitely got the best nutritional breakdown we’ve found for vegan protein powders. Nice high levels of protein, calories and carbohydrates with lower salt, saturated fat and sugar than most other vegan protein powders. It’s also soya free, only uses natural ingredients and has nice low GI carbohydrates from the Scottish oats, maca powder and flaxseed. All together it makes using the powder a guilt free experience as you’re getting all the right things without the wrong things.
Although the suggested serving is 100 g we opt for a one heaped scoop which is around 40 g instead. We’re not ultra athletes and don’t need that amount of calories, plus we still like to get most of our nutrients from food. a 40 g scoop has 12 g of protein, 158 calories and 18 g carbs which works as a great addition to a healthy breakfast.
The protein companies are clever. Their prices chop and change, however when this article was written 2.5 kg of the protein powder was £26.99. This is lower than other companies and you’re definitely getting more bang for your buck. If, like us, you have a 40 g serving a day that means you’re getting over 60 servings of protein from a £26.99 bag. That’s less than 50p a shake, can’t beat that really.
So why is it better then other vegan protein powders?
The Complete Vegan Gainer is a great all rounder. It ticks all of the boxes but we particularly love the taste, mixability and ingredients. It doesn’t have the powdery taste a lot of others have and it’s super easy to mix without ending up clumpy. Cost was also a big factor as this is by far one of the cheapest products we’ve found for the quality you’re getting. Because of the calorie and carbohydrate content you’re noticeably fuller for the day. Other powders are so low in energy that although your protein levels may be high, you’re still hungry and more likely to spend money on other foods.
Is there anything bad about it?
In complete honesty other vegan protein powders may have been better in one aspect but were let down by other things like taste, cost, digestibility etc. When you’re comparing it to the rest of the vegan protein market it’s a clear winner, particularly in it’s price category. On top of it all they’re super speedy with delivery and quite often have free delivery promotions and product discounts.
If we’re being super picky, maybe it would be nice to have other flavours? We really like the chocolate flavour but sometimes it’s nice to have other options as we weren’t as keen on the strawberry taste. Other than that, if you compare it to vegetarian protein powders it’s still not as quickly mixed or smooth but it definitely gives them a run for their money. And, to be honest, I’m happy to shake the protein for an extra 5 seconds and have a completely cruelty free product.
Right, should I buy some?
Probably, vegan or not. The Complete Vegan Gainer really is the best vegan protein powder we’ve found. It’s perfect for people that want to quickly and easily add extra protein and energy into their diets. It’s also great for taking to work to give you some juice later on in the day. If you’re busy and struggle to eat enough of the right foods then use it to top up you’re protein and carbohydrate levels and if you’re a sports person then it’s great for post exercise recovery.
We put it in smoothies, mix it in porridge and even bake with it. Overall it’s been crucial for us to wake up each morning feeling strong and prepared for the day. The last thing you want is to get up with aches and pains from the day before with a rumbling stomach crying out for food. The Complete Vegan Gainer has been the answer to this, alongside a naturally healthy vegan diet.
If you’re sole aim is to lose weight then there may be better suited products (Complete Vegan Blend) but personally we think the Complete Vegan Gainer is just perfect. Like with all supplements, it’s a perfect addition to a healthy diet, not instead of a healthy diet. Whilst the ingredients are friendly, it’s always best to try and get the majority of your nutrients from whole foods.
If you have any questions or want some advice about vegan protein powders or sports nutrition then please contact us or leave a comment below. We’re not professionals but with a lifetime of vegan and veggie experience in sports we’re happy to share our knowledge!