The 9 Best Whey-Free Protein Powders

Nov 11, 2021

People love protein powder. Thanks to the unfounded Western emphasis on protein, consumers are trained to seek it out not only in every product, but in convenient, dissolvable, powdered form. There’s nothing wrong with using whey-free protein powder on occasion for its convenience. Particularly for competitive athletes or those who need to put on weight, whey-free protein powder can be an efficient source of extra calories and protein. However, no matter who you are or what you do, please understand that protein powder is not necessary to obtain optimum health. Plant-based foods in their whole and minimally processed forms can supply all the protein your body requires (more on that here) and no one should rely on powder for the vast majority of their protein intake. 

Further, protein powder is not necessary after every workout. Unless it’s an intense weight-lifting session, immediate fuel isn’t required after a light-to-moderate 45-minute session. A healthy snack under 250 calories or your next meal is perfectly fine. Westernized nations are fortunate enough to not suffer from severe protein deficiency. While ads constantly push the protein myth, the truth is that a lack of protein is not an issue amongst the vast majority of the Western world. 

All of that being said, protein powder may not be necessary, but sometimes we don’t have the time to prepare a full meal, and it can certainly give a green smoothie a boost in terms of protein and flavor. If you’re in the market for a dairy-free option, here are the best whey-free protein powders available right now.

9 Best Whey-Free Protein Powders

whey-free protein powder

1. 22 Days Nutrition

Looking for something beyond just protein? This company creates a 100% USDA organic powder that’s low in sugar but high in both protein and iron (35% of the recommended daily allowance). The peanut butter flavor is our favorite to shake up with water or non-dairy milk and drink it straight. We love the smooth, non-gritty texture, which is a rare quality in whey-free protein powder.
Protein per serving: 20 grams
Calories per serving: 110
Base: Pea
Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Peanut Butter
Find it here

whey-free protein powder

2. NuFyx

Started by an entrepreneurial grad student with a passion for exercise and clean ingredients, this relatively new product is gaining momentum. Certified USDA organic and sourced with local ingredients, this pea-based powder is smooth, creamy, and not too sweet.
Protein per serving: 18 grams
Calories per serving:
100
Base:
Pea
Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Plain
Find it here

whey-free protein powder

3. Lyfe Fuel

More than just a whey-free protein powder, Lyfe Fuel’s Daily Essentials shake contains a medley of vitamins and minerals, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and of course, 18 grams of pea and rice-based protein. It’s a decent alternative for those who don’t have time to whip up a smoothie for breakfast or eat something after a hard workout. Shake it up with water or non-dairy milk and you’re set.
Protein per serving: 18 grams
Calories per serving: 110
Base: Pea, rice, spirulina
Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla Chai
Find it here

whey-free protein powder

4. Vega

Founded by the professional triathlete who popularized the plant-based diet in sports nutrition, Vega is made by athletes for athletes. The brand has expanded to include a medley of supplements and functionalities, but the Vega Sport is our go-to for its high content.
Protein per serving: 30 grams
Calories per serving: 160
Base: Peas and seeds
Flavors: Berry, chocolate, vanilla, mocha, peanut butter
Find it here

whey-free protein powder

5. Sun Warrior

Like Vega, Sun Warrior carries a variety of whey-free protein powders. Some include plant-based collagen and others contain only five ingredients. We’re specifically looking at the Warrior Blend Organic—a soy- and gluten-free blend that includes BCAAs and MCTs.
Protein per serving: 18 grams
Calories per serving: 100
Base: Pea, hemp, goji berry
Flavors: Chocolate, vanilla, berry, unflavored
Find it here

whey-free protein powder

6. Ghost

Not all of Ghost’s products are dairy-free, but the Ghost Vegan option is one of the tastiest whey-free protein powders we’ve had. The flavors are borderline dessert—and there are some processed ingredients in here—but a protein shake for dessert isn’t the worst habit you could form. If you like the sweeter side of things, check this protein powder out.
Protein per serving: 20-21 grams
Calories per serving: 110-120 (depending on flavor)
Base: Pea, pumpkin seed, watermelon seed
Flavors: Peanut butter cereal milk, pancake batter, banana pancake batter, chocolate cereal milk
Find it here

7. UCAN 

This is one of the few whey-free protein powders we’ve found that also contains an energy boost. UCAN’s SuperStarch formula injects this protein with lasting, level energy that doesn’t spark jitters or end in a crash (trust us, we’ve tried it on long bike rides). When purchasing, choose the Plant Based flavors—the other options contain whey.
Protein per serving: 20 grams
Calories per serving: 160
Base: Pea
Flavors: Chocolate, vanilla
Find it here

whey-free protein powder

8. Vedge Nutrition

Sweet but not cloying so, this vegan and completely whey-free protein powder and supplement company was launched by a bodybuilding duo. If you’re looking to make significant gains and put in intense weight lifting sessions on the regular, Vedge is a solid choice for your post-workout fuel.
Protein per serving: 25 grams
Calories per serving: 180
Base: Pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed
Flavors: Vanilla ice cream, chocolate peanut butter cup
Find it here

whey-free protein powder

9. Drink Wholesome

This company is completely dairy-free, but opt for the two vegan flavors if you’re looking for a totally plant-based product, as the other options contain egg whites. Made with whole food and minimal ingredients such as chickpeas, coconut, monk fruit, and vanilla, this is as clean of a powdered protein source as you can get.
Protein per serving: 20  grams
Calories per serving: 210
Base: Chickpeas
Flavors: Vegan vanilla, vegan pb chocolate
Find it here

For more on whey-free protein, read:

The Harmful Side Effects of Whey Protein
Plant-Based Protein Guide
Protein Myths


Image credit: @Vega_team/Instagram

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