Health Supplement Review: Plant-based Protein Powders + A Recipe!

Firstly, let me just say that in no way am I suggesting that a plant-based diet needs to be supplemented with protein powder – it is now common knowledge in the health and wellness industry that we can get adequate protein from a wholesome and varied plant-based diet.

I personally choose to include protein powder in my diet because I’ve amped up my exercise load, I’m trying to increase my muscle mass and because I like to include it in smoothies to create more substantial and filling snacks and meals.

Whilst it is easy to get lost in the endless shelves of chemical laden protein powders and meal replacement shakes full of false promises, more and more natural alternatives are popping up in Australia. I definitely do not consider myself a protein powder connoisseur but in my search for a healthy AND palatable post workout drink (let’s face it, natural does not ALWAYS taste best – especially where protein powders are concerned) I’ve tried a few plant-based brands and would love to share my experiences with you. All of the below protein supplements are dairy, gluten, soy and refined sugar free.

First up is vanilla flavoured Sunwarrior Rice Protein: Bio-Fermented, Raw, Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein sweetened with stevia, 16.8 g of protein per serve.

This was my introduction to the brown rice protein brigade and I have to admit, I nearly spat the first sip back out. I then pondered on how I was going to get rid of it and considered pushing it on to a friend. A month later I gave it another shot and actually slowly began to enjoy it. I think the trick with protein powders that are sweetened with stevia is to not mix them with sweet fruits, unless you’re after a total sweet taste bud assault. I enjoyed Sunwarrior blended with almond/soy/rice milk and loads of ice or with frozen raspberries. Once I learned to enjoy the taste the only downside I found was the slightly chalky texture. Which lead me on to my next tub…

Growing Naturals Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein Isolate in Vanilla Blast, sweetened with brown rice syrup and stevia, 24 g of protein per serve.

I like the fact that this one is sweetened with brown rice syrup as I enjoy the taste more than stevia. This would also suit someone looking to include more carbohydrates in their diet as brown rice syrup contains both fast carbohydrates suitable for muscle recovery and complex carbohydrates for sustained energy. It has the same texture as other brown rice protein powders but I enjoyed the taste more. I also used it in a banana muffin recipe which turned out well.

Ezy Protein: Organic, Sprouted, Bio-Fermented, Raw, Wholegrain Brown Rice Protein sweetened with stevia, 25.8 g protein of per serve.

This has the same texture as Sunwarrior but is a little sweeter and tastier. I quite like the tub that it comes in as your hand doesn’t get coated in protein powder as you try and scoop out the last few serves.

Vega Sport Performance Protein in Chocolate and Vanilla: A complete multi-source, alkaline-forming, plant-based protein blend sweetened with stevia, 26 g of protein per serve.

This is a little different to the above proteins as it contains a mixture of yellow pea protein, SaviSeed protein, sprouted wholegrain brown rice protein, hemp protein and alfalfa protein as well as a branched chain amino acid complex, glutamine and a digestive enzyme blend.

I like the fact that this contains a variety of protein sources and includes other ingredients which assist recovery and improve digestion. I found the texture to be a lot smoother than plain brown rice protein powders and it blends far more easily. Chocolate is my flavour of choice, I’m not a big fan of Vega’s vanilla.

In the end none of these protein powders are delicious, but they do contain high quality healthy ingredients which can compliment your diet and exercise program, and possibly boost your results.

Overall Vega has been my favourite protein powder based on taste, texture and ingredients, but there are still other brands out there that I’m keen to try such as Garden of Life RAW Protein, Juice Plus Complete and David Wolfe’s Raw Sprouted Brown Rice Protein.

Have you tried any of these or ones I haven’t listed? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Bonus: My Choc Raspberry Smoothie Recipe


♥ 1 scoop of vanilla or chocolate plant-based protein powder
♥ milk of choice (almond, rice etc) I used around 100 mL in the one above but I like mine super thick
♥ 1 cup of frozen raspberries
♥ 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder (less if using chocolate flavoured protein)

Blend, serve and enjoy 🙂

Article by Emma Smyth, nutrition student & health coach who blogs over at This Sparkly Life!

Be well,




  1. Thanks for the reviews Emma! I’ve been hunting around for a vegan protein powder for ages. What does it do exactly though?

  2. Karen says:

    I’ve just got into vegan protein powder and loving it. I recover from exercise far better and have more energy. My current powder is Vital Protein pea protein powder in vanilla. It tastes good to me either on its own, in porridge and baking. Just made some protein balls with coconut flour, coconut oil, cinnamon, stevia, quinoa flakes and the protein powder mixed with a little water to make a thick paste. Yum!

  3. Jen says:

    Hi Emma,

    Great review! Where would you go to purchase the Vega Sport Performance Protein?

  4. Sally says:

    The Healthy Chef – Teresa Cutter has recently developed an Organic Pea Protein, I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve ordered it

  5. Emma says:

    Update – I have just tried David Wolfe’s chocolate flavoured raw brown rice protein powder and love it! Slightly grainy but fab taste. I have also now tried hemp protein which is a little grainy but tastes good in smoothies 🙂

    Camilla – Protein powder can assist in muscle recovery and growth as it is a rich source of amino acids (the building blocks of muscle tissue) in a form that is quickly and efficiently absorbed and utilised by the body. Amino acids have many other functions in the body but this is the only reason that I supplement my diet with protein powder.

    Karen – Great to hear that your recovery time has decreased 🙂 Thanks for your recommendation, I look forward to trying Vital Protein out.

    Jen – I bought mine from Make sure you search for a discount code before you purchase to get a fair amount off 🙂

    Sally – Thanks for your recommendation, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  6. Stacey says:

    Great review Emma 🙂
    I definitely prefer ezyprotein over the Sunwarrior. I find the Sunwarrior to taste so chalky!
    My mum uses the ezyprotein tubs for flower arranging and for use in the garden too 🙂 One thing I would like is for the ezyprotein chocolate flavour to taste more.. well.. chocolatey! I have to add some raw cacao powder to smoothies with ezyprotein because otherwise it’s rather bland.

    I’ve recently been drinking vegan Shakeology – which isn’t a protein powder per se but has protein powder in it. According to the website is ‘blends ultrafine, bio-fermented, sprouted brown rice protein with sacha inchi, quinoa, chia, flax, amaranth, and spirulina’. It’s more of a whole food supplement – basically like a multivitamin, protein, enzymes, probiotics, superfoods etc all mixed in one. Unfortunately the American company who makes it (called Beachbody) doesn’t ship to Australia so I have to get my friends over there to post it to me.

    I haven’t tried Vega yet. Is it expensive?

  7. Annette @ Wellness WA says:

    I think I’m going to try the vital pea protein in vanilla next! I’m currently using Sun Warrior vanilla and while it’s OK, I can only use a teaspoon or less as I find the taste so overpowering and sweet due to the stevia!

  8. Karen says:

    Bought the vanilla ezy protein at the weekend. Its sooo sweet! But I like that its organic which the Vital pea protein isn’t. I also think the flavour is more like caramel than vanilla. Good to mix things up a bit!

  9. Thanks for this post Emma! I agree with what you said about Sunwarrior – I’m not a fan. I’ve been eying off David Wolfe’s blend and also ezyprotein at Organic on Charles for a few weeks now…think I’m going to start with David’s blend as I love how he has included superfoods that help with hormone regulation 🙂

  10. Jethro says:

    Stacey- I also found Sunwarrior a bit chalky when I stir it, but if I mix it really well or use the blender I don’t notice. I’ve tried a good share of plant-based supplements and this one definitely was one of my favourites (sidenote: I’ve also started selling it as a result now:).

    I actually have a couple of rice protein brands (none of the one’s Annette’s mentioned) that we simply could stomach. They’re still hiding in the kitchen cupboard. It’s definitely comes down to taste for plant based proteins. Cheers

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