If you’re an athlete, lifter, or even just an everyday exerciser, you likely are mindful of protein intake. There are many protein supplements out there to help you meet your daily goals, with most of these being animal-based. But what if you want a plant-based option?
Luckily, there are more and more of these plant-based products today, although they vary greatly in quality. So let’s take a look at one popular plant-based option, Plant-Based Protein powder from Onnit. In this Onnit Plant-Based Protein review, we’ll dive into this powder’s ingredients, benefits, pricing, and more so you can find out if this protein powder truly measures up.
Let’s get started!
About Onnit Plant-Based Protein
Onnit’s Plant-Based Protein is designed to be a superior plant-based protein that matches whey protein in terms of effectiveness. Thus, it’s designed as a specific protein product for vegans, vegetarians, and so forth. Onnit Plant-Based Protein is supposed to stand out from the rest because it includes a combination of ingredients that give it optimal amounts of all of the essential amino acids (EAAs): something that’s usually lacking in most plant-based proteins. It also includes ingredients designed for smooth taste, great flavor, and easy drinking, such as Smooth Protein, goFat, and Luo Han Guo.
Onnit Plant-Based Protein Benefits
With its full-spectrum of EAAs, Onnit Plant-Based Protein is designed to deliver the same results as most whey proteins, including:
- Body recomposition
- Assistance in reaching daily protein needs
- Better recovery
- Muscle gain
All of these benefits are supposed to stem from the quality protein ingredients it includes, which are pea protein concentrate and a blend of proteins coming from Smooth Protein.
Additionally, Onnit Plant-Based Protein advertises the benefits of being animal-friendly as well as sustainable and Earth-friendly, so it could also be a win for people who heavily value those things.
So, how well can it really stack up against other top protein supplements out there? Let’s dive in.
Onnit Plant-Based Protein Ingredients
The main ingredients in Onnit Plant-Based Protein are its protein ingredients, but it also includes ingredients for healthy fats and flavor. With 20g of protein, 1g of fat, and 3g of carbs per serving, here is what’s all in Onnit Plant-Based Protein:
- Pea Protein Concentrate
- Smooth Protein, which consists of:
- Pumpkin Seed Protein
- Sunflower Seed Protein
- Watermelon Seed Protein
- goFat Avocado
- Purified Sea Salt
- Steviol Glycosides
- Luo Han Guo Fruit Extract
Pea Protein Concentrate
The first Protein included in Onnit Plant-Based Protein is pea protein concentrate. Pea protein is known to be higher in amino acid content, especially the EAAS, compared to other sources of plant proteins. It is also pretty high in the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are particularly important for building muscle. However, it is still lower in quality in all of these things compared to whey, and it also is very low in the EAA methionine.
Yet, its anabolic effects are somewhat similar to that of whey protein. And pea protein is also able to promote satiety, and it may decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, oxidative stress; regulate glucose; and promote fat metabolism; all of which could aid in weight loss.
Onnit Plant-Based Protein also includes a trademarked protein blend called Smooth Protein, which consists of proteins from pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, and watermelon seed. This interesting combination does appear to be pretty effective.
Sunflower seed protein offers a high amount of amino acids per serving, although it has a low lysine content. And watermelon seed has been shown to contain all of the EAAS in adequate amounts. Finally, pumpkin seed protein isolates are known to have a high bioavailability of amino acids.
So, when these are combined, you are even more likely to get the amino acids you need for optimal muscle-building. These proteins are high in amino acids in their own right, but they’re even better when combined (and keep in mind that pea protein concentrate will add in additional help).
As for being smooth-tasting, there isn’t any specific research on that aspect.
The next ingredient in Onnit Plant-Based Protein is goFat Avocado, which is a trademarked form of avocado powder on tapioca. This unique ingredient helps set Onnit Plant-Based Protein apart as you won’t find it in other popular plant-based protein options, like Vega Protein & Greens or Sprout living Epic Protein. This ingredient offers a small amount of healthy fats, and it’s also supposed to improve flavor and texture. Additionally, goFat Avocado is designed to improve feelings of fullness. But with such a small amount of fat in this product, there might not be much of an increase in satiety.
Beyond the amino acids present in the specific proteins in Onnit Plant-Based Protein, this product also includes additional l-leucine, which is a BCAA. Leucine is critical for protein synthesis MPS, and it also plays roles in protein and fat metabolism, which may help improve body composition by increasing muscle tissue and decreasing fat tissue. And adding in additional leucine appears to be most effective for enhancing MPS when consuming isolated protein sources rather than whole foods (i.e., additional lysine is actually best consumed along with protein supplements rather than whole foods).
Finally, I’ll briefly cover some extra ingredients used for flavoring, which are purified sea salt, steviol glycosides, and luo han guo fruit extract.
Purified sea salt simply will improve the flavor and is healthier than processed salt.
And both steviol glycosides and Luo Han Guo (monk) fruit extract offer a sweetening effect. Yet, they do this without adding excess sugar since the sweet taste is so much more concentrated than traditional sugar.
Does Onnit Plant-Based Protein Work?
Overall, Onnit Plant-Based Protein is likely a very effective protein supplement that may rival some of the best protein supplements out there. It includes some of the best plant-based protein ingredients, which offer a high amount of essential amino acids, including the all-important BCAAs.
By combining multiple sources of plant proteins, Onnit Plant-Based Protein is able to achieve an amino acid profile that is close to as good as whey and other animal proteins. Furthermore, the inclusion of additional leucine will likely increase the effectiveness of this product.
Additionally, it may be smooth to drink and tasteful, although this really hasn’t been proven in research. But the logic is there.
Claims vs. Reality
Onnit Plant-Based Protein is supposed to help you reach your daily protein needs, improve body composition, and support workout recovery and muscle gain. Based on what we know about the proteins in this product, these should occur.
With 20 grams of Protein, Plant-Based Protein provides a significant amount of Protein that can help you reach your goals, which is especially hard for plant-based eaters to do.
Also, all of the protein sources in this product are proven to have solid amino acid profiles and can positively affect muscle protein synthesis, especially pea protein and the additional leucine. In turn, you can expect improved workout recovery and more muscle.
Additionally, since some of the ingredients in Onnit Plant-Based Protein have favorable effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, satiety, and fat metabolism, you may experience improved body composition via more muscle and less body fat.
Who is Onnit Plant-Based Protein Best For?
Unsurprisingly, Onnit Plant-Based Protein is best for vegan, vegetarian, or other plant-based dieters who struggle to get enough protein in their diet. It is particularly beneficial for people in these categories who are strength training or otherwise exercising intensely on a regular basis, as this will increase protein requirements. Onnit Plant-Based Protein can help reduce the risk of suboptimal Protein and amino acid intake that can often occur with plant-based diets.
Is Onnit Plant-Based Protein Safe?
All of the ingredients in Onnit Plant-Based Protein are pretty safe and unlikely to lead to any problematic side effects. Some mild side effects you may experience are all related to digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, and upset stomach.
Onnit Plant-Based Protein also contains no added sugar and is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan. Additionally, it is Informed Sport Certified, which means that it is rigorously tested and found to be free from any banned substances.
Where to Buy Onnit Plant-Based Protein
Onnit Plant-Based Protein can be purchased from the official Onnit website here.
Each container of Onnit Plant-Based Protein has 20 servings and costs $44.95 for a one-time purchase. Alternatively, you can choose the Subscribe and Save option, which will save you 15%, dropping the price to $38.21.
So, at around two dollars per serving, it can be a pretty pricey protein supplement. It is important to keep in mind, though, that Onnit Plant-Based Protein is of a higher quality than most plant-based proteins.
More reviews of Onnit products: