Many vegans have a hard time trying to meet their daily protein needs. That’s what makes vegan protein powders so helpful. By making up for whatever protein the diet doesn’t supply, they help the body get enough of this vital macronutrient.
Sadly, most vegan protein powders on the market are pricey but it doesn’t mean that cheap vegan protein powders don’t exist. They do. And our buyer’s guide will help you spot the ones that are both cheap and decent.
Are Cheap Vegan Protein Powders Worth a Shot?
Food supplements are a huge highly profitable business. And with how popular going vegan has become, it’s no wonder so many manufacturers are trying to exploit the trend. They do so by overpricing their products, including protein powders for vegans according to LV News.
Believe it or not, though, price isn’t a reliable indicator of the product’s quality. Some solid vegan protein powders out there are relatively affordable. And there’s a slew of inferior vegan protein supplements that invite you to spend a fortune.
Don’t let dishonest marketing practices convince you otherwise. Within reasonable limits, vegan protein powder can both be cheap and have a fair level of quality. All we have to do is learn how to discover such vegan protein powders.
Spotting Cheap Vegan Protein Powders That Are Decent
Let’s get things straight. Most cheap vegan protein powders on the market do have bad quality. But luckily, they’re easy to detect and avoid if you keep certain quality criteria in mind. Likewise, you can use the very same criteria to spot cheap vegan protein powders that have fine quality.
If a cheap protein powder has decent quality, chances are that it comes with:
1. Higher-Grade Protein
Best vegan protein powders derive protein from high-grade sources such as peas, brown rice, and hemp. They may also combine these plant-based proteins for a more complete amino acid profile. As you can tell, all of these plant-based protein sources are inexpensive.
This means that even a cheap vegan protein powder can use them. Despite what some advertising suggests, you’re not stuck with soy protein if you can’t afford to spend much. And you can still find cheap vegan protein powders that let you tap into the higher-grade protein sources.
2. Protein Isolates
Most lower-priced vegan protein powders come with protein concentrates – the most basic form of protein filtration. Protein concentrates are not necessarily inferior. But you’re still better off going with protein isolates whenever you can.
Free of almost all complex carbs from starches and fiber, isolates of plant-based proteins are easier to digest. They also contain fewer antinutrients like phytates that can hinder protein absorption. Since even cheap vegan protein powders often use protein isolates, it makes sense to take advantage of them.
3. No Soy
Some vegan protein powder manufacturers market soy protein as a panacea for vegans. The argument they often use is that protein from soy is one of the few complete plant-based proteins. While soy protein does have all nine essential amino acids, it’s still a very controversial source of protein.
Soy is a goitrogen that hinders the iodine uptake by the thyroid gland and disrupts the production of thyroid hormones. It’s also a phytoestrogen that interrupts normal estrogen production in the body. As such, soy can alter your hormone status, causing a variety of adverse effects.
Furthermore, over 90% of soy comes from GMO sources and has toxins. Most soy protein is also sourced from unfermented soy and contains phytates that prevent nutrient absorption. Cheap but decent vegan protein powders with soy protein derive it as an isolate from non-GMO fermented soy.
4. No Gluten
Most vegan protein powders steer clear of using any ingredients with gluten. But many of the cheaper options on the market can be cross-contaminated with this food allergen. This is usually easy to determine, though, by checking if a vegan protein powder comes with an allergy warning statement.
Does the supplement say that it was processed in the facility that also processes wheat and foods that contain it? Then chances are that this vegan protein powder is cross-contaminated with gluten. Since most people have a sensitivity to gluten, cheap but decent vegan protein powders are gluten-free.
5. No GMOs
Cheap plant-based food supplements are very likely to use ingredients from genetically modified sources. And cheap vegan protein powders aren’t an exception. In fact, if a vegan protein powder doesn’t have a non-GMO label, you can safely assume it’s infested with GMOs.
Curiously, vegan protein powders that cost more aren’t necessarily free of GMOs. Whether a supplement uses GM ingredients or not seems to depend mostly on the manufacturer’s integrity.
In other words, there seems to be no strong correlation between the use of GMOs and the price. You may not find cheap vegan protein powders with all-organic ingredients. But you certainly don’t have to settle for those with GMOs.
6. Nothing Artificial
There’s no shortage of vegan protein powders on the market that are full of artificial flavors and sweeteners. Posing as sugar-free alternatives, they use toxic substances like aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium, sorbitol, and other harmful additives.
Price isn’t a determining factor here, though, since both cheap and higher-priced vegan protein powders may contain them. This means you can find cheap protein powders with all-natural flavors and sweeteners like stevia and cane sugar.
Best Cheap Vegan Protein Powder Brands to Check
If you want some suggestions, check these cheap vegan protein powder brands:
- Now Sports.
- True Nutrition.
Does Cheap Vegan Protein Powder Mean Inferior Quality?
Not necessarily. Many cheap vegan protein powders meet the quality criteria in our guide. And many higher-priced protein powders for vegans don’t. The price doesn’t always reflect the product’s quality.
Can Cheap Vegan Protein Powders Help Build Muscle?
Cheap vegan protein powders can make building muscle easier. As long as they have good quality. But protein supplementation is only one factor. Your diet and training program matter as well.