The Best Vegan Protein Powder in Canada: I Put 16 to the Test
I started looking for the best vegan protein powder over a year ago by buying and testing as many as I could find.
I wanted to find a plant-based protein powder that was a complete protein, tasted good, and was reasonably priced.
The results of several hours of testing and 100s of protein shakes are on this page.
I live in Toronto, and quickly found out that many popular vegan protein powders cost a ton to ship here from the U.S., so this page only focuses on ones that are easy to find in Canada.
The Best Vegan Protein Powder in Canada of 2019: Highlights
If you're looking for a simple recommendation, here are the best of the best:
- The best overall and cheapest in Canada: Canadian Protein's Vegan Blend is the cheapest option for Canadians (and they offer a bulk option for even more savings). It's a complete protein consisting of pea, hemp, and brown rice protein, and also tastes pretty good. After going through all the protein powders that I tested, I bought another 11 lb bag of this.
- The best tasting protein powder for Canadians: Leanfit Complete Green mixes well and tastest as good as vegan protein shakes get. There's a few others that taste similar if you'd like an alternative, including Vega Sport and Canadian Protein's Vegan Blend.
- Best for weight loss and bodybuilding: True Nutrition Vegan Lean has the best ratio of protein to total calories. It also tastes and mixes better than most of the powders I tried, but is expensive to get shipped to Canada.
- The best organic plant-based powder: Purely Inspired is the best organic option in Canada. It's relatively cheap, and the taste is decent (but not great). There's just not any great organic options at the moment, but I'll keep looking.
How I Tested Each Protein Powder
I developed a consistent testing process to be as objective as possible.
Eventually, I determined that the 4 most important parts of a protein supplement were:
- Price - How cheap it is (per 100 grams).
- Nutrition - What percentage of the calories come from protein.
- Mixability - How well the powder mixes, to find this, I put shakes through a strainer and measured the weight of leftovers.
- Taste - How good it tastes (subjective).
All protein powders were scored out of 100 total (25 for each category), and a high score is of course a good thing in all cases.
If you'd like to know the specific tests and formulas I used, see my detailed testing methodology.
Otherwise, let's look at the scores and compare them.
A Comparison Table for Protein Powders in Canada
All those hours of testing are summarized in the table below.
Use the sorting functionality to help find protein powders that fit your preferences.
The 16 Vegan Protein Powders for Canadians That I Reviewed (In Detail)
This is the final main part of this comparison review.
I'll break down each product in a decent amount of detail so you can see why each powder scored how they did.
Alternatively, I've written full reviews for each protein powder. I've linked to them at the very end, you can skip to them if you'd like.
Cheapest and best overall in Canada
Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla
This powder is solid all the way around, and as inexpensive as you'll find unless you find a crazy deal.
They offer it in 1 kg, 2 kg, and 5 kg, and each serving gets cheaper the more you buy.
How It Tastes
Long after most of my testing is done, I drink this daily with water or almond milk and it tastes good overall.
There's a bit of a chalky texture, but that can be said for just about every single vegan protein powder.
You'll get used to it quickly, and while you may not fall in love with the taste, it's pretty good for a protein shake.
How it Mixes
A mixability score of 22 out of 25 tells you the whole story.
It doesn't mix perfectly, but there was only a gram of clumps leftover when I strained it.
That equates to a bit of chalkiness and the occasional clump to swallow, but overall it mixes well.
Ingredients and Nutrition
If you don't care about taste, there are others on this list that have more protein per 100 calories.
This blend has 21 grams of protein per 126 calorie serving, or about 67% of calories.
The ingredient lists are pretty simple, with no sketchy ingredients:
- Chocolate - Non-GMO Pea Protein Isolate, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Hemp Protein, Cocoa, Natural Flavours, Xanthan Gum, Stevia, Sea Salt.
- Vanilla - Non-GMO Pea Protein Isolate, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Hemp Protein, Natural Flavours, Xanthan Gum, Stevia, Sea Salt.
Overall, I think that this is the best option for most vegan Canadians. If buying 2 giants 5 kg (11 lb) bags of it (and more in the future) for my personal use isn't putting action behind my words, I don't know what is.
Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Berry, Mocha
There's a very good chance you've seen Vega Sport before. It's in a lot of grocery stores (in Toronto at least), and most major supplement stores.
If you don't like ordering online, Vega Sport is likely your best option overall.
While it's expensive compared to the whey proteins that are usually next to it in the store, it's actually a bit cheaper than average for a vegan protein powder in Canada.
That surprised me, but the numbers don't lie.
How Does Vega Sport Taste?
I gave it a taste score of 20, mainly due to a bit of chalkiness and a hint of an aftertaste (but not too strong).
Regardless, it tastes better than average. I've tried the chocolate and mocha, and both were good (mocha was my favorite of the 2 though).
How Cheap is Vega Sport?
As I've said, it's priced reasonably for vegan protein powders in Canada.
However, I wanted to also mention that I've seen it go on fairly large sales before both online, and in certain stores (it seems like Shopper's Drug Mart is the most common for sales in stores).
Keep an eye out for it at stores.
Does Vega Sport Completely Mix?
Of the very top options in Canada, Vega mixes slightly worse than the rest. There were 2 grams of "clumps" in the shake during my testing.
Basically, most of it will be smooth, but you'll find yourself tasting little balls/chunks of protein powder here and there. Doesn't taste horrible, but not ideal either.
Vega Sport's Protein Content
This is the strongest aspect of Vega Sport to me. It scored a perfect 25 for protein content (nutrition score).
Each serving has 150 calories, and 30 grams of protein, which is 80% of calories overall. Very few plant-based protein powders anywhere have a higher proportion of protein than this.
Overall, Vega Sport tastes good, has a near-perfect protein content, and is relatively affordable for Canadians. It's a well-balanced shake that I think most vegans would like.
Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Unflavored
Cheap, high protein content, and mediocre taste is how I would sum up NOW Sports' Pea Protein.
The one big downside beside the taste is that there's no blend of protein sources, it's just pea protein. While it's technically still a "complete protein", it's low in methionine. However, if you have a well-rounded diet, you'll get methionine from other sources, so I wouldn't be worried about it.
Does NOW Sports Taste Good?
This powder only scored a 15 out of 25 for taste, otherwise it would have scored much higher.
It's quite chalky no matter how well you mix it, so it's unlikely you'll enjoy it, even if you added sugar.
However, it is drinkable, and if taste isn't crucial for you, it's a good option.
What is the Protein Content of NOW Sports?
Just like Vega Sport, 80% of the calories in NOW Sports Pea Protein comes from protein. That results in a perfect nutrition score, and only 4 protein powders out of the 16 here achieved that.
The ingredients list is quite simple, and is one of the few without stevia (if you buy the unflavored):
Pure, organic Pea Protein Isolate [from yellow peas (Pisum sativum) (Non-GMO)].
Overall, NOW Sports Pea Protein is a great choice if taste doesn't matter too much for you and you're more focused on a cheap protein powder with a high protein content.
Best for weight loss
Flavors: Unflavored, Chocolate, Vanilla, Mocha, Cinnamon Bun, Cookies N Cream
True Nutrition is an American-based online supplement store, but they do ship to Canada. The price score here takes into account the shipping.
I named it the best for weight loss and bodybuilding because it has the highest protein content of all the protein powders here.
It has 24.4 grams of protein per 110 calorie serving (89% of calories), and literally broke the scale I came up with for testing.
Flavor Options and Taste
One cool thing about True Nutrition is that they let you have full control over the product. While "Vegan Lean" is a pre-made blend, you can make your own if you'd like.
You can choose from several flavors, and choose the intensity of it.
The taste was great, but there was a tiny bit of chalkiness and aftertaste. I still enjoyed the bag I ordered though (I went with cinnamon bun because I love cinnamon).
#5: Leanfit Complete Green
The best protein for athletes
The biggest strength of Leanfit is how well it mixes and tastes. You can also find it at some Costcos, which is convenient if you're already a member.
How Good Does Leanfit Complete Green Taste?
Leanfit tied for first place when it came to taste. The flavor is just a wee bit off, but there's virtually no chalkiness or aftertaste.
How Inexpensive is Leanfit for Canadians?
It's a bit cheaper than average for vegan protein powders in Canada, priced very similarly to Vega Sport.
How Well Does Does Complete Green Mix?
This powder mixes very well, which is part of why you'll likely like the taste. There was just 1 gram of remants after straining a test shake.
What About Protein Content?
While it's not bad, Leanfit is about average when it comes to protein percentage.
There's 19 grams of protein (78 calories) and 110 calories per serving. This means protein makes up about 71% of the calories.
Not the greatest if you're trying to lose weight and every calorie counts, but fine for a general protein shake.
Overall, Leanfit Complete Green is a great tasting protein powder for Canadians, with a decent protein content at a relatively cheap price.
#6: Naked Pea Protein
Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Unflavored
My god does this protein powder taste bad.
I'm slowly getting through it by adding it to oatmeal and protein pancakes, but it's a slog. It's actually painful to me to drink this as a shake.
The price is good, the protein content is great, and it mixes well. It just tastes so bad that even though the overall score is decent, I can't recommend it.
In particular, there were 3 main issues:
- Very chalky texture (different than clumping, which is what mixability measures)
- Significant aftertaste
- Can barely taste the chocolate flavor
I can stomach most protein powders, but this is one of the toughest. Take that into consideration before thinking about buying this.
#7: Vega Protein and Greens
Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Berry, Coconut Almond, Unflavored, Tropical
This is a solid overall protein powder that's a bit above average in all categories. Unlike Naked Pea above, I'm comfortable recommending it.
It's another Vega product, and pretty easily found in stores if you're not a fan of online shopping.
Vega Protein and Greens is very similar to Vega Sport, it just has less protein, but it has ingredients like kale and spinach added to give it extra vitamins and minerals.
Basically, if you're an athlete, go with Vega Sport (#2 overall). If you're just looking for a protein powder that gives you a good amount of extra protein and general nutrition, try Vega Protein and Greens.
#8: Purely Inspired Organic Protein
Best organic vegan protein powder
Flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate
This is the first organic protein powder on this list. I tried a handful organic powders during this testing, but most are terrible.
Purely Inspired is the only organic powder in Canada that I'd really recommend.
How Does Purely Inspired Taste?
The texture is quite chalky. It's still drinkable, but you won't enjoy the texture.
The flavor is okay, but nothing special.
Overall, you won't be choking it down, but it won't be a pleasant experience either.
Is Purely Inspired Expensive?
Despite being all organic, Purely Inspired is one of the cheapest vegan protein powders in Canada.
That's the best part of this product to me.
How High is the Protein Content?
Besides taste, this is the other main weakness of Purely Inspired.
It has 20 grams of protein per 130 calorie serving. That's not horrible, but at 61.5% of total calories, it's worse than most other vegan protein shakes.
Overall, for Canadians looking for an organic protein powder, Purely Inspired is my recommendation to you. It's cheap, has high quality ingredients, and is drinkable (although doesn't taste good).
My Complete, Detailed Reviews
At this point, I've gone over all the protein powders that I'd recommend for Canadians.
But I tested and did a complete review for every single protein powder in the comparison table up above on this page.
Here are links to all those reviews if you're looking for more detail that I didn't provide yet. Hopefully they'll answer any remaining questions that you have.