What Are the Different Types of Vegan Protein Powders?

Helen Akers

The different types of vegan protein powders are yellow pea, hemp and brown rice. These proteins do not come from animal or dairy sources. Soy is technically considered to be another one of the vegan protein powders, but some forms are thought to be cancer-promoting. Veganism is a more restrictive form of vegetarianism, in which no animal, dairy or animal by-products are consumed, so non-animal forms of protein are an important part of the diet.

Vegan protein powders are used in making vegan protein bars.
Vegan protein powders are used in making vegan protein bars.

One of the types of vegan protein powders that is growing in popularity is hemp powder. Derived from natural hemp seeds, it contains up to 80 percent useful, digestible protein. This makes it one of the vegan protein powders that are highly effective at replenishing protein levels, especially after a strenuous work out. Hemp protein powder is quite filling and has a nutty taste that goes well with bland foods, such as oatmeal.

Many vegans have an allergy or sensitivity to dairy products or avoid them for ethical reasons.
Many vegans have an allergy or sensitivity to dairy products or avoid them for ethical reasons.

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The protein in hemp powder closely resembles what is found within the human immune system. Consuming this type of powder to fulfill protein needs can help boost an individual's natural defenses. It tends to cause a chemical reaction in the body that stimulates the production of antibodies.

Vegan athletes favor yellow pea protein.
Vegan athletes favor yellow pea protein.

Brown rice powder can be a good substitute for soy protein powder. It is somewhat similar in taste and tends to be allergy free. Brown rice powder is one of the vegan protein powders that is diverse enough to combine in smoothie drinks or a regular protein shake. This powder is also gentle on the digestive system and contains enough usable protein to help rebuild muscle tissue after a stint in the gym.

Vegan protein powder.
Vegan protein powder.

Yellow pea protein powder tends to get used by extreme athletes. It may be used in combination with brown rice powder in order to make a complete protein. Yellow pea protein only contains some of the essential amino acids, while brown rice contains other complementary enzymes. One of the benefits of yellow pea protein is that it contains the same levels as dairy and egg sources, but is not as harsh on the body.

Most forms of vegan protein powders are more accommodating to the digestive system than animal and dairy forms. They tend to be hypoallergenic, but some do take on a chalky taste. While brown rice and pea protein powders are more adept at stimulating muscle growth, hemp protein powder is not as efficient at this. Soy protein is one of the more popular forms of vegan protein powder and is usually found in a wide variety of protein shakes and nutritional bars.

Hemp powder, made from ground hemp seeds, is a popular fiber-filled protein powder.
Hemp powder, made from ground hemp seeds, is a popular fiber-filled protein powder.

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Discussion Comments


Would whey be considered a good vegan protein supplement? If I had the choice of soy or whey, I would go with whey, but didn't see it listed as one of the choices for vegans.


Just in the last few months I have regularly been adding a protein supplement to my diet. I have tried many different kinds and flavors and finally settled on a chocolate protein powder.

I am sure this would not be considered a vegan protein powder, but I am neither a vegan or a vegetarian, so have no issues with this. I don't always eat the best diet, and wanted to find something that would help fill in some gaps when I don't take time to eat a balanced meal.

I tried some of the plain and vanilla flavored protein powders, but found that they were a waste of money because I would bring them home, try them a couple of times and just leave them on the shelf. The chocolate adds just enough sweetness that makes it much more enjoyable.


The brown rice protein powder I use is suitable as a vegan or vegetarian protein powder. I am not a vegan, but use a protein powder that would be OK for them to use too. Many people wonder how vegetarians get enough protein, but there are many ways you can do this, and a good protein powder is one of them.


I used to use a soy protein powder, but after hearing so many questionable things about possibly being linked to cancer, I quit using it. It is hard to know what to believe but I didn't want to take any chances since there are other great alternatives out there.

The best vegan protein powder I have found for myself is the hemp powder. I had no idea what this would taste like and was a little hesitant about it at first. Now I love the nutty taste it has and hope they don't come up with something linking this to cancer as well.

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