Cheap Vegan Protein Shakes

The more I learned about the meat industry in America, the more I learned how impossible it was to maintain a low carbon foot print and live a sustainable lifestyle while still supporting the meat industry. Organic meats are few and far between, expensive, and still less efficient than eating plants directly. So, several months ago, I cut it out of the equation and became vegetarian. More recently, I pushed the envelope a bit farther and became vegan.

Going vegetarian isn't too tough (that said, do dietary research first! I know people who've wound up in the ER for not eating correctly once turning vegetarian). On the other hand, going vegan *is* _pretty_ tough. While many meat-eaters out there might still be amazed at how many vegan meals & snacks they're already enjoying on a daily basis, I'm amazed at how many things have milk in them (there isn't a single bag of croutons or bread crumbs at my local grocery store that doesn't contain milk). There's also a lot of long-lasting items that I've had to slowly finish off before my diet could finally be 100% vegan. For me, such things included: butter, a big pack of bouillon cubes, bread crumbs, and a 5lb tub of Whey Protein powder. Well, I finally finished off the last of my protein powder, so it's time to buy a more sustainable alternative to Whey.

I'm a vegetarian in college. I need my protein, but I can't afford to hit up GNC for a $50 trial-size mini bottle of vegan protein powder. Previously, I'd get a 5lb tub of Body Fortress Whey Protein from Walmart for ~$35. I was amazed when I found out that I could get 5lb of vegan protein shipped to my door for the same price!

The answer for cheap vegan protein by the pound is On top of the fact that it's vegan _and_ super cheap, it also allows you to customize your powder with different %s of different proteins, carbs, fats, and supplements. Be careful when adding supplements to your mix though--some of them are synthetically derived from ambiguous sources (such as animals). Because of this, I just got 100% straight pea protein. I'm probably better off for it; the less chemicals the better, right? As for the carbs, I just throw a banana in with the protein shake.

If you're _really_ frugal, you might want to know how much these different vegan protein powders sell for per gram of raw protein. Well, I _am_ really frugal, so I did the math. The values below are cost per 50 grams of protein (about how much I put in a single protein shake). Regardless of how much you use, these values still serve useful relative to one another for comparison.

  1. $0.637 - Pea
  2. $0.640 - Soy
  3. $0.828 - Rice
  4. $2.442 - Hemp

Note that the above calculations assume that each different protein gets digested in the same proportions--which is a false assumption, but the best I can do.

Just as a reference point, here's some calculations for protein powders elsewhere:

  1. $0.983 - Walmart Body Fortress Whey
  2. $1.745 - GNC Soy
  3. $5.452 - GNC Hemp

What a difference! Granted, these mixes have more than just protein in them, but allows you to throw these supplements into your mix as well. As there are endless permutations of such mixes, I can't calculate their would-be costs with such comparable supplements mixed in, but I can't imagine 10% of non-protein additions making a _significant_ difference in the price.

So, I went ahead and ordered 5lb of 100% Gemma Pea Protein Isolate non-GMO. Did I mention that it was non-GMO? Not bad, eh? So, 5lb of protein @ $4.89/lb = $24.45 + $11.36 shipping = $35.81. After tax, that's actually cheaper than what I was paying for that Walmart Whey crap; not bad!

Thanks to Rhae for the telling me about this wonderful site. Now that I've got my vegan protein, I should be set for another semester of workouts! 🙂

UPDATE 2012-03-31: If you want a better distribution of amino acids (to form a complete protein), you might want to go with the pre-mixed Vegan Protein Optimizer Formula made from a mix of Rice, Pea, & Hemp. Also checkout truenutrition's exclusive section of vegan products.

March 9, 2010 · Michael · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: diet, vegan, vegetarian

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