As a certified personal trainer, I've been asked a lot about my opinion on rice protein powders. My response is always the same: it's a great protein choice, but not every supplement is made with the best standards.
So, I took a couple of weeks with my team to test out and do a deep dive into research on the best rice protein powders so you can save time and money on doing it yourself.
The Best Rice Protein Powders
- Best Overall Rice Protein Powder: Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein
- Cheapest Rice Protein Supplement: NOW Sports Sprouted Brown Rice
- Best Tasting Rice Protein Powder: Nutribiotic Rice Protein
- Best USDA Certified Rice Protein Powder: Garden of Life Raw Organic
- Best Unflavored Rice Protein Powder: Nutricost Organic Rice Protein Powder
- Best Protein-Rich Rice Powder: Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein
- Best Rice Protein Powder for Vegans: Garden of Life Raw Organic
Top 10 Rice Protein Powders (December 2023)
1 - Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein (Best Overall & Protein-Rich)
If clean protein is your aim, then you will like this plant-based protein powder. It's also worth noting that Orgain won the Prevention’s Cleanest Packaged Food Award.
Based on our tests, it doesn’t only contain brown rice, but also includes pea protein and chia seeds in their proprietary blend.
I’m not usually a fan of proprietary blends, but this one only contains three healthy ingredients.
- Won the Cleanest Packaged Food Award
- Powder is easy to dissolve
- Has a smooth texture
- No artificial additives and sugars
- Contains more than brown rice as a protein source
The powder was easy to mix, and it didn’t have a gritty texture.
One serving has 21 grams of protein and similar to Performance Lab Sport Protein, a container of Orgain only has 20 servings.
2 - Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein & Greens (Best USDA Certified & Vegan-Friendly)
This was a recommendation to me as one of the best vegan options.
The first thing I always look at is the ingredient list. I wasn’t too impressed since it contains three different proprietary blends with several ingredients.
Based on my experience, it was hard to tell how much of each component I was getting this way.
- A detailed profile of amino acids included
- Certified USDA Organic
- All of the ingredients are in a proprietary blend
But its main sources are brown rice and organic pea protein. I did like how they added an amino acid profile though. It was easy to see how much of the amino acid I was getting in each serving.
For this rice and pea protein supplement, you get 20 grams of protein for each serving and a container has 20 servings, same as the ones above.
3 - NOW Sports Sprouted Brown Rice Protein (Cheapest Option)
NOW Sports is a family company that has been around for over 50 years.
Their longevity made me think that they would have the best plant-based protein powder.
During our testing, I liked how they used sprouted brown rice since, according to one study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it can lower blood pressure and boost the immune system .
- Uses sprouted brown rice
- Well-known company
- Useful for those with common food allergies
- Complete amino acid profile included
- Small protein size per serving
I was not too fond of the small serving size because you only get 4 grams of protein in one serving. It’s not enough to make an impact, so you’ll have to take multiple servings (the reason why a container has about 181 servings) .
Its only ingredient is brown rice protein concentrate, so you’re sure you’re taking a high-quality plant-based protein powder supplement . You can see the exact amount of amino acid you get per serving.
4 - Sunwarrior Protein Classic Plus
The protein source of this product is a proprietary blend of quinoa, chia seed, amaranth, pea, and rice.
The taste was pretty intense, so I used unsweetened almond milk to help with it .
My favorite part of these vegan protein powder supplements is that the scoop is in the lid. There's no need to dig around for it or risk losing it.
- One of the most servings per container
- Scoop is in the lid
- Complete amino acid profile included
- Proprietary blend of proteins
One serving of this vegan protein powder has 17 grams of protein, and a container has 30 servings which is good for a month's supply.
5 - Nutribiotic Rice Protein (Best Tasting)
I like how this protein powder marked which essential amino acids you were getting in each serving. During our testing phase, I was also particularly happy about the minimal ingredient list.
There are no words that are hard to pronounce here.
- Essential amino acids marked
- Only protein is from rice
- One of the highest servings per container
- Only 12 grams of vegan protein
I think it may be one of the best brown rice protein powders out there.
The protein in each serving is on the low side with only 12 grams, but it could meet the minimum for some individuals. Each container has 90 servings so you're sure it's gonna last more than a month.
6 - Zen Principle Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder
The only ingredient you will find here is organic rice protein.
It shows too because this supplement has 27 grams of protein in each serving.
There are also 45 servings per plant-based protein powder container, which makes it one of the higher servings per container on this list.
Based on my experience, I would recommend taking this and adding it with other carbohydrates like fruit, milk, or vegetables.
- Only protein source is from rice
- Highest protein in each serving
- One of the best values per serving
- Bland taste
The taste of the protein powders was pretty rough for me. Since it only has rice as its protein source, there was nothing to make it sweeter or more digestible. It's best to add milk or fruits to make it more palatable.
7 - Growing Naturals Organic Rice Protein
This is a brown rice protein powder suitable for vegans or those with allergies to soy.
Not many protein powders can claim to be certified USDA organic and be as good as whey protein powders. But this one from Growing Natural is one of the exceptions.
I wasn’t a fan of the ingredients list as it contains “natural flavors.” I mixed it with water, and I thought it was too sweet for my taste.
- Gluten free
- Certified USDA Organic
- Claims to be just as good as whey
- Not as much protein compared to other protein powders
Each serving of this rice protein supplement has 15 grams of protein, which makes it on the lower end of this list.
8 - Earthborn Elements Organic Rice Protein
I was pretty impressed with the protein sources for this plant-based protein powder. It contains protein from sprouted organic whole grain brown rice.
It’s the most nutritious brown rice protein powder you can get in your protein shakes.
I was excited to try it out. But I wasn’t happy about the way it dissolved. It had a grainy texture, and it wasn’t easy to consume.
- Contains only organic sprouted rice
- Best value for money
- USDA Organic
- Grainy texture
- Low protein content per serving
The protein content per serving is pretty minimal with only 12 grams.
However, I did like that each container comes with 151 servings. Depending on how much protein you need per day, the bottom line looks pretty good with this option.
9 - Nutricost Organic Rice Protein Powder (Best Unflavored)
A friend recommended this brown rice protein powder to me.
I immediately wanted to try it since it only contained rice-sourced protein and no other ingredients.
It helped with my protein intake, and I liked that it was unflavored.
It didn’t have an overwhelming taste in my smoothies.
- One of the best serving prices
- Only contains protein from rice
- No overwhelming taste
- Not clear if they used brown or white rice
The protein content for each serving is 20 grams and every container has about 99 servings. It’s a one of the best value brown rice protein powders that will last you for about three months if taken daily.
10 - Performance Lab Sport Protein
Performance Lab has the only patented rice-sourced protein for athletic performance.
According to our tests, it’s one of the best brown rice protein powders if you are looking to boost muscle mass building and recovery.
The protein sources come from the world’s best organic farms. I was excited to try this out after several of my friends said they had great results, including weight loss.
- Only patented protein from rice
- Uses organic brown rice
- Claims to be just as good as whey
- Absorbs 30% faster than whey
- One container lasts only 20 days
I noticed that my endurance improved, and it curbed hunger pains. It was helpful as I was doing longer workouts that required more energy from me.
The protein content is 20 grams in each serving and each container only has about 20 servings so make sure to buy more than one for a month's supply.
How We Tested Best Rice Protein Powders
As a certified personal trainer with extensive experience in nutrition and dietary supplements, I understand the importance of choosing the right protein powder for health and fitness goals.
In evaluating the best rice protein powders, I focused on seven key criteria.
Protein per Serving
The primary measure of any protein powder is its protein content. I carefully examined the amount of protein provided in each serving, ensuring it was sufficient to support muscle repair, growth, and overall nutritional needs.
The flavor and palatability of protein powders are crucial for regular consumption. I sampled a variety of flavors and noted their taste profiles, including any aftertaste, to ensure a pleasant experience for users.
The quality and source of the rice protein were scrutinized. I looked for powders made from whole grain brown rice, free from unnecessary additives, and ideally organic and non-GMO.
Affordability is key for a product intended for regular use. I compared the cost per serving across different brands to find options that offer good value without compromising on quality.
A good protein powder should mix easily with liquids without clumping. I tested each product's mixability in water, milk, and plant-based milk alternatives to ensure versatility and convenience.
Amino Acid Profile
Since rice protein can be low in certain essential amino acids, I checked the amino acid profile of each powder. I gave preference to products that had a complete or nearly complete amino acid profile, either through fortification or blending with other protein sources.
Digestibility and Allergen Information
Considering dietary restrictions and sensitivities, I evaluated the digestibility of the rice protein powders and checked for common allergens like soy, gluten, or dairy.
Customer Reviews and Feedback
Lastly, I took into account user reviews and feedback to gauge overall satisfaction, effectiveness, and any reported digestive issues or side effects.
As a certified personal trainer, I understand the importance of selecting the right protein powder to meet your nutritional needs and fitness goals.
When choosing the best rice protein powder, there are several key factors to consider.
Here's a guide to help you make an informed decision.
Protein Content and Quality
Check the amount of protein per serving. High-quality rice protein powders typically offer between 15 to 25 grams of protein per serving. Ensure the protein is sourced from whole-grain brown rice, which is a complete protein source containing all essential amino acids.
Taste and Flavor Options
Since taste is a significant factor in regular consumption, sample different flavors to find one that suits your palate. Unflavored options are also available for those who prefer to mix their protein powder with other ingredients.
Ingredient Purity and Additives
Look for powders with minimal additives. The best options are usually those with no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors. Organic and non-GMO labels are a plus, indicating a cleaner product.
Price and Value
Compare the cost per serving across different brands. While you don't want to compromise on quality, finding a product that offers a good balance between cost and nutritional value is key.
Mixability and Texture
A good rice protein powder should mix well with liquids without clumping. Consider the texture of the powder, as some might be grittier than others, which can affect the overall drinking experience.
Dietary Restrictions and Allergens
If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, check for gluten-free, dairy-free, or soy-free labels. Also, consider if the product is vegan or vegetarian if that aligns with your dietary preferences.
Apart from protein, look at the other nutrients the powder provides. Some rice protein powders are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals, enhancing their nutritional value.
Brand Reputation and Reviews
Research the brand's reputation and read customer reviews. Feedback from other users can provide insights into the product's effectiveness, taste, and overall quality.
Absorption and Digestibility
Consider how easily the protein is absorbed and digested. Some rice protein powders include digestive enzymes to aid in digestion and improve nutrient absorption.
If sustainability is important to you, look into the brand's environmental practices, such as sourcing, packaging, and manufacturing processes.
What Are The Benefits Of Rice Protein Powder?
The benefits of brown rice protein powder include that it’s a complete protein. It means that it contains all nine essential amino acids.
One study suggests that rice is just as effective as whey protein. They both produced the same results in body composition, strength, and muscle recovery .
How Is Rice Protein Powders Different From Other Protein Sources?
Rice protein powders are different from other protein sources because it’s technically a complete protein. It’s a natural, plant-based choice compared to other protein sources like whey, which are not suitable for vegans.
When Do You Take Rice Protein Powder?
You can take rice protein powders at any time of the day. Some people believe the best time is before your workout, and others think it’s after your workout. I choose to focus on my protein intake rather than what time of day I take it.
Is Rice Protein Powder Good For Building Muscle?
Rice protein powders are good for building muscle. Performance Lab even claims their protein is just as good as whey at building muscle mass. It also absorbs faster than whey so that you can receive results quicker.
- Ralf Jaeger, Ph.D.
Is Rice Protein A Complete Protein?
Yes, rice protein is a complete protein. It does have a low amount of lysine though. It’s the reason why you often find rice and pea protein blends. The pea protein helps make up for the lack of lysine.
Before deciding on what to get, consider asking your dietician or nutritionist for their opinion. It allows you to determine the right protein supplements necessary for your current goals.
What Are the Health Benefits of Sprouted Brown Rice Protein?
Sprouted brown rice protein offers enhanced nutritional benefits compared to regular brown rice protein, including higher bioavailability of nutrients and improved digestibility. It's also known for potentially lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system, making it a great choice for health-conscious individuals.
How Does the Environmental Impact of Rice Protein Production Compare to Other Protein Sources?
Rice protein production is generally more sustainable and has a lower environmental impact than animal-based proteins like whey. It requires less water and land and produces lower greenhouse gas emissions, making it a more eco-friendly protein source.
In What Ways Does Rice Protein Compare to Whey Protein in Muscle Building and Recovery?
Rice protein, while plant-based, can be as effective as whey protein in supporting muscle building and recovery. Studies have shown that with a complete amino acid profile, rice protein can yield similar results in body composition and strength gains as whey.
Our Verdict on Best Rice Protein Powders
Based on our research and test results, the best rice protein powder out of all we tried was Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein.
Our testing group experienced the best results in terms of protein delivery and muscle recovery.
Also, I really liked the taste of it, and I recommend you choose a protein powder that you like the taste of, as that increases your chances of being constant.
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