If you ever scan the shelves of protein supplements, you’ll notice that the majority of them contain ingredients derived from animal products. Some of the most common protein sources are whey, casein, and creatine.
These are obviously not suitable for any vegan, but there are very good health reasons to switch to a vegan protein powder even if you have meat and dairy products in your diet.
Personally, I have switched to a plant-based protein powder for quite a while, and I have done some testing with pea, rice, and hemp protein.
For this review, I want to focus on the pea protein powders that seemed to have become more common.
Our Top Pea Protein Powder Recommendations
1 - Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Rice and Pea Protein (Editor's Choice)
I have been using this company’s products for almost a year now, and this vegan rice and pea protein powder is probably one of my favorites.
What I like most is that they have kept it simple with a blend of rice and pea protein.
According to the manufacturers, there are no additives or artificial sweeteners, and I have to agree with so many reviews that say it’s not too sweet or fake tasting.
My personal experience has been very positive, and it continues to support me in my cutting and bulking phases.
- 24 g protein content from pea and rice
- Contains only 3 g of carbs making it suitable for diets like keto
- Available in vanilla and chocolate flavors
- Gluten-free and non-GMO for peace of mind
- Only available in flavored options
It’s easy to mix and doesn’t need to be blended, but I would love to see an unflavored option, so that I can mix it with food or a smoothie. Still, it’s my top recommendation for the best pea protein powder.
2 - Norcal Organic Pea Protein Powder
This vegan pea protein powder is one of the most positively reviewed pea protein powders on Amazon, and it has been a go-to option for quite a few people on our team here.
This pea protein powder contains 22 g of protein from organic yellow pea protein isolate and 3 g of fat per serving.
However, the packaging doesn’t point out that peas don’t provide the full range of essential amino acids .
You could mix it with grass-fed milk, or stack it with brown rice or hemp to get a broader coverage.
- 22 grams of protein including 5 g of BCAAs
- Practically carb-free making it ideal for keto dieters
- Claims to provide a very broad amino acid profile
- Gluten-free with no added flavor
- Not the easiest to mix in a shaker
The only thing I would say is that you want to give yourself some time with a shaker, as many athletes have reported that it can have a bit of a lumpy texture.
3 - Zen Principle Yellow Pea Protein Powder
This pea protein powder is another solid way to boost your post-workout protein intake to help with muscle recovery. If you like to be sure about the source of the raw nutritional ingredients, then the USDA certificate of this product will be of interest.
Each serving provides 24 g of quality yellow pea protein, which is easy to digest no matter what sports you’re into.
These are essential amino acids that are important for building new muscle fibers, which this interesting study confirms .
- Each serving contains 24 grams of yellow pea protein
- Certified Canada and USA grown yellow peas
- Great bulk option available to make it budget-friendly
- Gluten, soy, and GMO-free
- Flavors are not that great
The only thing I would caution about is that it isn't the best pea protein powder in terms of taste, but it is very suitable for mixing with meal recipes.
4 - Naked Pea Supplement
Naked Nutrition is one of the bigger companies that make vegan protein powders and other supplements. I have used the unflavored
The protein source of this pea protein powder is yellow peas, and with 27 g of protein, it provides the largest amount of all the options on this list.
That makes it especially suitable for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who spend a lot of time at the gym.
- Provides a generous 27 g of premium protein from yellow peas
- Includes 5.7 g of BCAA which is helpful with muscle recovery
- Claims to come from sustainable farms
- Soy and gluten-free with no additives
- Contains some sugar and no dietary fiber
The only downside I found is that it does contain a small amount of sugar. And unlike some of the above options, there is no fiber to help with digestion and hunger cravings.
5 - BulkSupplements Pea Protein Isolate
BulkSupplements has possibly got one of the most extensive product ranges, with all of them available in large bulk orders at an affordable price when you work it out per serving.
I like that it comes in pouches, which are easier to carry in a gym bag, and importantly, it’s easy to close the pouches after use to avoid a total mess in your bag.
This pea protein powder really is a no-frills product, which is actually a good thing. They haven’t spent thousands on fancy packaging and designs, but rather created something that many athletes say is very easy for your body to absorb.
- Contains 21 grams of protein
- Available in large bulk-order pouches
- Also contains some iron and electrolytes
- Gluten, soy and sugar-free
- Only available as an unflavored option
If you prefer a tasty protein shake, then you may want to go for one of the other pea protein powders on this list, as this one is only available as unflavored.
6 - NOW Foods
OK, here’s the last recommendation for the best pea protein powder, and from a nutrition perspective, it is on the lower side of the amount of protein it provides with only 12 g per serving.
However, this does make it easier if you aim to take smaller volumes a day.
The family-owned business says that they don’t use any chemicals in the extraction process, which is nice to see in an industry where such methods are often used to cut costs.
- 12 grams of yellow pea protein per serving
- Available in chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored options
- Claims to use a chemical-free extraction process
- Gluten, soy, and sugar-free
- Doesn’t mix as easily as the other powdered options
Of all the pea protein powders on this list, I find this the most difficult to mix, which is why I would recommend blending it with smoothies.
Why Is Pea Protein Powder A Great Alternative?
The main reason for taking a protein supplement in the first place is to help with weight loss, building muscle mass, and speeding up muscle recovery.
Whether the protein comes from an animal or plant-based food source doesn’t matter so much to your muscles.
But the source can matter to your stomach.
One of the benefits of a vegan protein powder like a pea protein powder is the bioavailability of the protein.
Bioavailability refers to your stomach's ability to fully absorb all the nutrition, and when it comes to pea protein, it really is one of the best for your digestion.
Also read: Best Protein Powders for Running
Also, the majority of dairy-based protein powders will extract and isolate the protein using enzymes and chemicals. Over time, this can have an impact on your gut flora, which can make general food digestion a bit of a problem.
That’s why I always recommend an organic stack of different plant proteins.
Does Pea Protein Powder Have Any Side Effects?
No, pea protein powder doesn’t have any side effects, unless you have some rare allergy to peas. It is far more likely that you have some gluten intolerance, and all the above products won’t cause a problem for celiacs.
Now, I do have to mention that even organic plant-based protein can cause some stomach turmoil if you take very large volumes of it in one go. While high-performance athletes may require several scoops a day, it’s best to spread them out a bit.
How Does Pea Protein Compare To Whey?
One of the main advantages of most plant-based, specifically, pea protein powders is that it can be extracted without the need for chemicals.
No matter how safe those chemicals are, they can impact your digestion.
There’s still a lot of research going on, so it is something to pay attention to and read more about as studies are released.
Unlike whey, however, pea protein doesn’t provide the full range of all essential amino acids. But it’s a minor problem that can be fixed by mixing in some hemp or rice protein.
Finally, pea protein is also generally lower in calories than whey, which makes it more suitable for most diets.
Stacking With Other Plant-Based Protein Powders
I mentioned in the previous section that stacking vegan protein powders is a good idea. By combining pea and rice protein, you will get the full range of essential amino acids.
Taking hemp protein can also solve the missing link in plant proteins, because it is the only plant-based option that has a complete protein profile.
I also like to switch things around a little just to make sure that my body doesn’t get too used to just one source of protein.
Is pea protein powder good for you?
Yes, pea protein powder is good for you as it is rich in amino acids that are easy to digest. Pea protein powders are the most popular source of protein for vegans as well as non-vegan athletes as a replacement for whey.
Is pea protein hard to digest?
No, pea protein is not hard to digest, but many people confuse this topic because it does take longer to absorb than whey. One reason for this is that whey has often been extracted using chemicals that partially break it down, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Does pea protein cause inflammation?
No, pea protein doesn’t cause inflammation, and a lot of research actually points to the opposite being the case. Some people often misunderstand the fact that large doses of pea protein can cause bloating, but that is not the same as inflammation.
Does pea protein make you gain weight?
No, pea protein doesn’t make you gain weight unless you are in a muscle bulking phase to get leaner. Generally speaking, plant-based vegan protein, is actually less likely to cause weight gain, because it contains fewer calories.
Which Pea Protein Powder Should You Pick?
I have read through more online review comments than I can count, and there just seems to be one product I constantly go back to: Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Rice and Pea Protein Powder.
From a nutrition perspective, this pea protein powder has everything you need without any of the crappy baggage that so many protein powders have these days.
While I personally don’t stick to a vegan diet, I still think it is a better idea to consume a pea protein powder than relying