These editor-tested plant-based products provide the protein runners need after hard workouts.
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You don’t have to reach for dairy- or meat-containing products to get your fill of protein after a workout—there are a host of plant-based products on the market featuring protein derived from foods such as peas, rice, hemp and nuts. Here are some of our favorite post-workout plant-based products that are easy to grab and go.
Snow Monkey Superfood Ice Treat, $6.99 Per Pint
This frozen treat tastes especially great after a sweaty workout—made from a banana puree base, it features only natural ingredients including protein derived from hemp seed and roasted sunflower seeds, adding up to 7 grams per serving. The creaminess of the cacao flavor made it the favorite among testers—it’s reminiscent of a Fudgsicle with just a slight banana taste, though testers also enjoyed the goji berry flavor for a fruity refreshment.
Koia, $3.99 Per 12-Oz. Bottle
Available in five tasty flavors, this almond milk–based drink features a mix of protein from brown rice, peas and hemp, which adds up to 18 grams of protein per drink. Sweetened with both cane sugar and monkfruit, it has only 4 grams of sugar per bottle, but also a hint of an aftertaste from the monkfruit. The favorite flavor in the office was the cinnamon horchata, which runners enjoyed both as a post-workout refuel (each drink has 13 grams of carbs) but also as a filling breakfast, thanks to the protein and 7 grams of fiber.
Clif Fruit Smoothie Filled Energy Bar, $1.79
Building on the popularity of the Nut Butter Filled Energy Bars (which we love around the WR offices), these brand-new oat-based bars feature a filling of cashew butter mixed with organic fruit (both dried and juice concentrate), a combination that testers enjoyed. Available in three* flavors, testers voted strawberry banana as the favorite—it contains chia and pumpkin seeds in addition to the fruit. Each bar contains 5 grams of plant protein and 29 grams of carbs and is certified organic.
Daiya Duets, $2.49
Testers were pleasantly surprised by how tasty these dairy-free yogurt alternatives were—made from a coconut base, they each feature their own mix of crunchy toppings and 5–6 grams of protein per cup, from peas and potatoes. The chocolate coconut flavor won out in the taste test, though the key lime crumble came in as a close second, thanks to their sweet flavor, creamy consistency and satisfyingly crunchy granola-like toppings. Bonus: These flavors also serve as a good source of calcium and vitamins B12 and D.
*Editor’s note: At the time this article was published (it originally appeared in the July 2018 issue of Women’s Running), Clif Fruit Smoothie Filled energy bars were available in four flavors. The energy bars are now available in three flavors: Strawberry Banana, Tart Cherry Berry and Wild Blueberry Acai.