Optimum Nutrition is probably the most reputable brand in the supplement industry, and if you’ve ever gotten into fitness or bodybuilding, you have likely heard about it.
They are behind the best-selling Gold Standard whey protein powder, so once a company like Optimum Nutrition announces a plant-based protein powder, that’s great news for the vegan community, or for those who have once consumed their award-winning products.
In this article, we will figure out whether or not their plant-based protein powder lives up to their usual standards, or whether there are better protein options out there for you.
How Vegan-Friendly Is Optimum Nutrition?
Even though this website is vegan-oriented and we’re pretty happy with the fact that big supplement brands like Optimum Nutrition are launching vegan products, that might not be the case with all vegans – particularly because, as a brand, Optimum Nutrition does not transpire veganism.
Often vegans will look for brands that follow a certain set of values, especially when it comes to animals and the environment.
This means that some vegans will generally not buy from brands that:
- Use animal ingredients (i.e: milk, eggs, honey, etc);
- Are known to conduct animal testing;
- Have too negative of an impact on the environment.
Unfortunately, Optimum Nutrition is not a brand that is aligned with these values, so for some vegans, it’s not a brand that they are particularly interested in buying from.
Fortunately, Future Kind, a brand we typically recommend, has an organic vegan protein powder that hits all those criteria and is similarly priced.
With that being said, if you’re still okay with purchasing products from Optimum Nutrition, you’re free to continue reading this review as we’ll evaluate the quality of the supplement.
Optimum Nutrition crafted a product that contains more protein, as well as vitamins and minerals per serving than other vegan protein powders we know.
One serving contains 140 calories, 24g of protein, 6g of carbohydrates, and 2.5g of fat.
In terms of micronutrients, each serving contains 100mg of calcium, 3.7mg of iron, 140mg of potassium, 90mg of vitamin C, and 0.6 mcg of vitamin B12.
The variety of micronutrients makes it an interesting option for individuals that wish to supplement their diet with a protein supplement. Vegans, according to scientific literature, lack calcium and vitamin B12 in their diet, so the addition of these two micronutrients is of great help.
The amount of calcium and vitamin B12 in a serving won’t be enough to fulfill your daily nutrient needs, but it’s a huge help, particularly if you don’t have a varied diet.
Optimum Nutrition has also added vitamin C which is an absorption enhancer, and it works particularly well with iron by increasing its bioavailability.
In addition to the macro and micronutrients we have covered, it also contains 4g of branch-chained amino acids (BCAAs) and glutamine, particularly for vegans who may consume less of these compounds in their diet.
Most ingredients in these vegan protein powders are organic, starting with the protein plant blend that contains organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, and organic Sacha Ichi protein, an ingredient that you won’t often find in any other supplement.
Sacha Ichi is a perennial plant native to certain parts of South America and the Caribbean, and it produces a fruit that is cultivated for its large, edible seeds. The fruit itself is not consumed but the seeds can be eaten if roasted, in fact, they’re usually roasted and ground into a fine powder to be added to products (like this protein powder).
Additionally, there is also an organic grain blend comprised of organic amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and chia, as well as other ingredients such as flavors (cinnamon, stevia leaf extract, pomegranate powder), and thickeners and stabilizers (gum arabic, xanthan gum, and guar gum).
The vitamins C and B12 in the supplement are delivered by ascorbic acid and cyanocobalamin.
Price & Where You Can Buy It
The supplement is only available in one size and right now one canister contains 1.51 pounds and it’ll give you 19 servings for about $30 to $35.
Quite frankly, 19 servings of protein for $30 is quite expensive, as you’d expect for it to at least have enough servings to last you for a whole month.
However, it’s also the case that this supplement contains a panoply of organic ingredients, which is bound to jack up the price – but if you’re effectively and consistently exercising, it’s more helpful to have a supplement that provides you with a higher number of servings.
If you want an organic vegan protein supplement with more servings per canister, then we would recommend that you fetch the protein supplement by Future Kind, as it contains a higher number of servings.
Our Final Thoughts
While we’re definitely glad that Optimum Nutrition has launched a vegan protein powder, we believe there are better options out there.
For example, Future Kind’s organic protein powder seems like a better option for a few reasons:
- It was formulated by a brand that is fully aligned with vegan values (the brand is 100% vegan, so it never uses animal ingredients nor does it conduct animal testing);
- The brand uses recycled plastic in the production of their containers, which means they have a higher environmental awareness;
- And their vegan protein powder, while very similar to the one by Optimum Nutrition, it contains a higher number of servings (34), which is certainly more convenient for someone that regularly works out.
Additionally, it contains a much simpler set of ingredients by disregarding ones such as arabic, guar, and xantham gums which can be associated with digestive issues in some individuals.
However, and let me also say this, Future Kind’s products are only available via their official website, which might be a quality that not many consumers appreciate.
Optimum Nutrition’s plant-based protein powder, on the other hand, is available on several retailers, including Amazon where it has accumulated a few thousand reviews.
*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through these links. See my full disclosure here.
*Editor’s note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The content of our articles is not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always best to speak with your doctor or a certified medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise routine, or trying a new supplement.
Our Recommendation For Vegans
Future Kind’s Essential Vitamins: This is our favorite multivitamin. It’s not the typical multivitamin because it was formulated to specifically address potential shortcomings in the vegan diet. It contains the essential vitamin B12, vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA) delivered in necessary doses so you don’t have to worry about potential deficiencies. Want to learn more about it? Check out the review we did on it.