The world of protein powders and supplements can feel overwhelming – never mind the hundreds of different brands and flavours, you’re also faced with buying decisions like whether you should get organic, get an all-in-one, get one with caffeine, the decisions to make are endless.
And perhaps one of the biggest questions, vegan or non-vegan? Whey or plant-based? If you have a dietary restriction, it makes it even harder to understand which brands are best for your specific health goals and needs.
Switch carries one of the most innovative and best-tasting protein powders out there – Philosophie protein - it doesn’t even taste like protein powder. As in it doesn’t taste chalky, doesn’t feel hard on the tummy or gut, and is so much easier to mix into almost any liquid.
Why should I use vegan protein powder?
A plant based protein powder is obviously a go-to if you have certain dietary restrictions, food intolerances (experts estimate that about 65% of the world’s population are lactose-intolerant), or allergies.
If you’re not vegan or dairy-free, plant-based protein can be easier for your body to absorb and digest as it’s naturally higher in fibre, essential nutrients, and antioxidants. It’s also lower in saturated fat and calories.
But Vegan Protein powders don't have a full amino acid profile?
Yes, whey and other non-vegan protein powders, esp if it has casein, enzymes like lipase and protease, and egg whites it’s a non-vegan protein powder, have a complete profile of amino acids, while most vegan proteins fall short on this. Only soy has a full profile, but some try to stay away from soy.
To accommodate for this, most vegan protein powders combine a few plant-based protein sources to achieve a full profile. By doing this, they end up naturally containing even more essential vitamins and nutrients (e.g. iron, calcium, magnesium) as opposed to whey which is an isolated protein.
Depending on where animal based proteins are sourced from - whey proteins can contain added hormones and antibiotics, and cause side effects such as inflammation (whey can cause imbalances in blood sugar production) and acne (whey increases the production of a hormone called Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1). Vegan protein powders can be significantly kinder to your gut by improving digestion and discouraging bloating with its fibre content.
Vegan Protein Powder versus Whey
And yes, vegan protein is as effective as non-vegan options like whey! A 2019 study comparing whey and pea protein found little to no difference in study participants’ body composition, muscle gain, performance, or strength when taking either supplement. Interestingly, animals get protein from the plants that they eat – they don’t produce it on their own! Why should we be relying on whey protein that is essentially recycled plant protein when we can get it straight from the plant-based source.
Which vegan protein is the healthiest - comparing the most popular vegan proteins in the market
You'll need to zoom on this one!
For brands that carried more than one type of protein powder (e.g. Vega, Sunwarrior, and Garden of Life), we chose their original/basic formula. So, some brands may in fact carry an organic protein powder (for a few dollars extra), while their original blends aren't certified organic (as it would show in our chart).
So what's the conclusion?
In terms of nutrition and flexibility for many different dietary restrictions, Philosophie comes out on top as certified organic, non-GMO, soy-free, paleo, gluten-free, and with no added sweeteners.
Philosophie is the only company to use hemp protein compared to pea protein, and hemp has been easier on my tummy. The Berry Bliss flavour uses brown rice protein.
Philosophie's protein powder is 10g of protein per serving (compared to the other brands' 15-20g), it is cheaper on a per serving basis, while being organic. It is also more concentrated so you would use less product (1 serving = 1 tbsp, while the other brands' servings are, on average, a heaping scoop of 20g).
Philosophie has other ingredients like spirulina in the Green Dream, maca in the Cacao Magic and camu camu in the Berry Bliss, which means you are getting more bang for the buck. It also falls at low end on number of ingredients at 7-8 with each ingredient having a purpose compared to the other blends.
TASTE! Having tried many vegan protein powders, I've found Philosophie's taste to be unmatched. For example, the Cacao Magic tastes like Ovaltine chocolate powder!
Versatility! Philosophie isn't just meant to be added to plain water like many of these brands. You can easily add Cacao Magic to your morning coffee, Green Dream to vegan protein bars and Berry Bliss to ice cream (yes - I'm serious) or in any baked goods without sacrificing the taste (again, this stuff doesn't even taste like protein powder.
Philosophie offers 3 flavours:
1. Green Dream (hemp protein, spirulina, maca, mesquite, chia seeds, vanilla)
- Blend of superfoods that provide natural, caffeine-free energy boost
- Spirulina is an antioxidant-rich blue green algae pack with nutrients including iron, magnesium, and zinc
2. Berry Bliss (pomegranate, goji berry, maca, mangosteen, camu camu, acai berry, brown rice protein)
- High in antioxidants (camu camu is one of the world’s most abundant forms of vitamin C)
3. Cacao Magic (cacao powder, vanilla, cacao nibs, mesquite, chia seeds, hemp protein, reishi mushroom, maca)
- Extremely high in antioxidants and magnesium
- Chinese herbs, rare medicinal mushrooms, raw cacao powder
Philosophie Protein Powder Reviews - What do people say?
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Cacao Magic By far one of the best cacao powder out there!
I've tried alot of cacao powders recently and found this is quite amazing. Its rich in taste and yet delicate to the pallet with no bitterness. Love it my morning coffee ☕!! - Shamila from Mississauga
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Green Dream - Amazing product!
It’s incredibly delicious and smooth! Easy to digest.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Berry Bliss - Super clean ingredients!
The ingredient list is so clean with this protein powder-just what I was looking for. Because of that, it doesn’t have that sweet artificial taste so many protein powders have. I added it to smoothies, chia pudding, yogurt...loved it!
So what is the best vegan protein powder on the market
At the end of the day, the best protein powder is one that fits with your lifestyle and your personal health journey. I set out to write this blog post to truly compare Philosophie to other vegan protein powders in Canada, the answer is - it depends.
If you're body building and lifting heavy, the amount of protein per serving might be the most important factor for you, and Philosophie may not be right for you.
If you have tried other protein powders and they don't work or the taste is off, or they hurt your tummy, Philosophie would be a great option to try.
Philosophie is the only vegan protein powder to check all of our boxes (organic, no added sugars, non-GMO, etc.). Garden of Life and Nuzest come close, but fall short in being suitable for paleo diets or being 100% organic, respectively.
Finally, while brands like Vega, Nuzest, and Blessed have more flavours, it is a trade-off with checking off those boxes regarding ingredients and dietary restrictions. Some vegan products have a higher number of ingredients and that comes with a definite compromise on quality.
We wish you loads of luck on your find the best protein for you journey, and if you'd like to try it, check out Philosophie superfood protein.