What’s the best Dairy Free Protein Shake for Weight Gain? That’s our focus today, as we unpack how to gain weight without lactose or animal-derived proteins.
To get to the bottom of this question, we’re going to look at what makes a good protein shake for weight gain, what you need to look for, and some of the best dairy free protein shakes on the market.
While whey protein may be the most popular protein powder, dairy-free protein shakes for weight gain are an underrated choice.
They offer a vegan alternative while also having a completely unique profile of digestibility, sustained release, and a different set of nutritional benefits.
Protein shakes are all about improving the quality of weight gain, where they improve muscle gains, specifically (1).
They need to be used with a calorie surplus diet, as protein powders are typically low calorie. Mass gainer supplements are a mixture of protein and carbs for higher calorie content.
Why Use Dairy Free Protein Shakes for Weight Gain?
Dairy-free protein shakes are free from animal-derived products, offering a vegan alternative to whey, and making them suitable for the lactose intolerant, too.
However, the best benefits of dairy-free, plant-based protein shakes are useful for all of us.
Whether it’s vegan dieting, lactose intolerance, or just a poor digestive reaction to dairy, dairy-free protein shakes can be a great choice for weight gain.
They offer a more predictable experience and set of effects for many people, as well as some of the unique benefits of plant protein – which we’re going to highlight later.
The important part is that there are many reasons you might opt for a dairy-free protein shake – and the market has some excellent options!
Dairy-free Plant Protein Powders
There are 3 major sources for dairy-free protein powders on the market: soy, brown rice, and then blends of other incomplete proteins (like pea and hemp).
This means you have lots of dairy-free protein shakes for weight gain, and which you choose will come down to personal preference.
Let’s take a look at these 3 broad categories, what each is for, and how they affect your body.
Soy Protein: Cheap And Easy
Soy is the most popular choice for plant proteins because they offer a complete protein – with all the amino acids you need – in a single source (2).
It’s also cheap to produce and soybeans are often sold in huge bulk quantities and “cast-offs” are easy to use for protein powders.
Soy is a complete protein which means it doesn’t need blending. It’s nutritionally sterile otherwise and produces a pure protein powder but has one of the least interesting sets of benefits.
For women, it may be a great choice as the breakdown of phytoestrogens can support better hormonal health, but these aren’t reliable enough when just using protein powder.
Overall, soy is the “cheap and cheerful” option for buying inexpensive plant protein powder. It’s the whey of dairy-free protein shakes: cheap, easy to use, and widely available.
Oryzatein – The Best Brown Rice Protein On The Market
Brown rice protein is not usually a complete protein. However, Oryzatein rice proteins are complete and plant-based.
This form of cutting edge fermented brown rice protein is one of the most powerful options with a high protein content and a better digestive effect than soy.
Oryzatein-70 and Oryzatein-80 are the two purity options – and they’re both good.
Higher protein Oryzatein protein powders will typically cost more, but the trade-off is a powerful complete protein choice with added digestive probiotic benefits and overall great digestion.
This makes the new, hot form of brown rice protein a great choice – and one of the best dairy free protein shakes for weight gain.
It’s not super filling, it doesn’t have the same digestive burden, and it should digest quickly for better food turnover so you can get back to more high-quality eating afterwards.
Plant Protein Blends For Weight Gain
One of the best dairy free protein shakes for weight gain are plant protein blends – such as rice, pea, and hemp.
The combination of these different protein sources produces a complete protein with all the amino acids you need, while they’re typically incomplete when taken separately.
Blends are cheap and provide you with better digestibility, while offsetting the bad taste often associated with sources like pea protein.
This makes them one of the best value dairy-free protein shakes, and they’re cheap enough to be used often and in large servings to support weight gain.
Protein blends are some of the best choices for plant protein powders, especially when they’re being used in a homemade mass gainer or blended weight gain shake.
This makes it a direct competitor with both soy and Oryzatein as the best dairy-free protein powder – better than soy, but cheaper than most Oryzatein supplements.
The Best Dairy Free Protein Powders For Weight Gain
With a great blend of interesting flavors and a premium approach to texture and taste, VivoLife is a great choice for vegan protein, offering a refreshing change to the typical soy proteins.
The flavors are excellent while they also bring a fantastic antioxidant profile from the plant blends.
Vivo uses a blend of pea and hemp proteins to provide a great amino acid profile – it’s a complete protein.
It also offers a BCAA-enriched formula, covering the most important nutrients that may be missing from other, lower-quality dairy free protein powders.
You’ll get 25g of protein per scoop, including an excellent 2g+ of leucine, perfect to stimulate muscle growth and support healthy weight gain.
- Great blend of protein sources
- Added BCAAs to support muscular recovery and growth
- Fantastic antioxidant profile
- Not the cheapest plant protein powder on the market
Naked supplements are simple and effective – and their pea protein blend is no exception.
While it’s not a complete protein like others on this list, it’s a great choice if you’ve got a varied diet and just want a cost-effective and clearly-labeled protein powder.
You’ll get 27 grams of protein per scoop, though it will not have the same high-quality amino acid profile of something like Vivo.
The trade-off is that you’ll get more protein in total, better value per gram of protein, and it’s informed sport tested to ensure you’re not getting any unwanted contaminants.
A great all-round choice if you’re looking for simple, effective, and dependable – with great purity.
- Great 27g protein per serving
- Informed sport certified – no banned substances or contaminant issues
Clearly labeled and from a “no nonsense” protein manufacturer
- Doesn’t have added BCAAs or other secondary additions
This is a good all-round choice for a dairy free protein shake for weight gain. It has 25g of protein per serving, offering a good purity rating, while also coming in a wide range of flavors.
It uses a blend of different isolate proteins, combining variety and purity for a better overall nutrient profile.
This is a complete, high-quality animal-free protein source for a wide range of nutrients and complete support.
It’s a great way to improve the quality of your weight gain diet, as well as making a great easy-blending foundation to a homemade mass gainer.
This is a perfect all-rounder dairy-free protein for muscle growth and weight gain.
- Complete protein profile with a mixture of sources
- 25g of protein for great benefits per-scoop
- One of the best value proteins on our list
- Nothing too exciting compared to some other options
EarthFed Muscle is a great brand for a clean label with no GMO ingredients, a powerful ingredient list, and a focus on premium quality.
It’s a super high quality plant protein blend with 15g protein per (small) scoop, relying on all-organic ingredients to produce better muscle growth and a delicious cocoa flavor.
It also uses MCT powder for better consistency and better fat metabolism, while adding a light serving of extra electrolytes to support muscular performance and recovery.
It’s a lower purity protein powder but perfect for weight gain, offering a great blend of high quality protein, fats, and carbs to drive better calorie intake and fuel growth.
With support for the metabolism, muscles, and health, it’s a great all-rounder for healthy weight gain.
- Great mixture of protein, carbs, and fats
- Utterly delicious taste and texture
- Better for weight gain when equalized for protein intake
- Lower protein-per-calorie than others on this list
Huel’s entry into protein powder uses a 2-pea blend with added hemp seed protein. This makes it a complete protein, though it does have a slight hint of pea in the taste, which isn’t the best.
However, the flavors themselves are pretty good, while the 27g of protein per serving is a great high-protein choice.
As with their normal powders, this also provides a small serving of all your essential vitamins and minerals – which is a huge benefit.
Huel also forces you to commit to buying 2 tubs at a time, which is quite the commitment to a protein you might not like. This is a bit shady, and is the major trade-off for the overall great quality of the protein powder itself.
- Rich in vitamins and minerals
- 27g of protein is a great content per serving
- Fantastic all-round nutrient support for healthy weight gain
- Requires buying 2 tubs at a time – quite the commitment
- Does retain a distinctive pea flavor, sometimes
Dairy free protein shakes can help weight gain – especially by boosting the quality of weight gain, where it helps build lean muscle mass.
Dairy-free proteins like Vivo Life and Naked Vegan Protein are just a few great examples of high-quality plant proteins for weight gain and muscle growth.
With a varied and high-quality diet, these supplements will provide a great boost to your weight gain.
They offer complete proteins, high quality sources, and suit almost any needs – whether you’re looking for high protein per scoop (like Naked Vegan) or a delicious higher-calorie option (like Earth-Ged Common Ground).
These are just some of the best dairy free proteins on the market, and include some of the best plant proteins for weight gain. Stay close to your personal needs, and experiment to see which suits you best!
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Rohan Arora is a Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist and has been actively involved in sports and fitness for over 8 years. He now leads the team of fitness specialists and personal trainers who help people around the world with personalized workout and nutrition plans, along with providing the right information on sports supplements.