Is Vanilla Protein Powder Good For You?

Written by Ben Carlisle

Last updated on: Sep 18, 2022

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Yes, vanilla protein powder is good for you, it is simply protein powder which has had vanilla flavouring added to it in order to boost the taste. Protein powders are a quick and effective way to increase the bodies intake of protein and amino acids as well as lots of other beneficial nutrients and minerals.

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Further to this, it can also be taken to aid those looking to bulk their muscle mass, maintain their lean body mass index and also help with weight loss goals. Lots of consumers struggle to consume protein powders which aren’t flavoured, as often they can have an acquired taste. For example, lots of people report unflavoured whey protein can taste bitter or sourer. Soy protein is often described as being nutty in flavour and hemp protein as earthy.

By choosing a vanilla flavoured protein powder many consumers find taking the supplement more enjoyable and easier to build into their daily routine. Many choose to add protein powder to their smoothies and so by opting for a flavoured variety they then don’t have to add any extra ingredients. This makes it not only simpler to make, but also reducing any added calories.  

With this said, something to watch out for when selecting what brand of vanilla protein powder to opt for is the powder’s use of refined sugar and artificial flavouring. This is because these ingredients can make your powder more calorific.

Protein to help boost nutrient goals

Protein powders are a fantastic way to boost your daily intake of protein, which is needed to help keep your body healthy and aids recovery following exercise. In addition to this most protein powders contain a wide range of amino acids, with ones such as whey and soy containing good levels all nine of the essential amino acids.

Studies have found Whey protein isolates are the purest protein source available, with it containing protein concentrations of 90% or higher (1). Studies have shown the concentration of protein in pea protein powders varies depending on the manufacturer from 77 to 81% (2). Whilst Soy protein powder offer a complete protein, research found it has a wide protein percentage range, with once study showing levels ranging between 61 to 91% depending on the brand. As you can learn from this broad range, it is important to check labels carefully when decided which brand to select.

You may wonder how much protein you need to consume daily. The recommended ration is 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight (3).  For example, if you weigh 200 pounds you will need to consume 70 grams of protein daily.

Whey vanilla flavoured protein powder

Whey protein power is a highly popular protein powder, which provides high quantities of protein per serving and all nine of the essential amino acids (1). It can be purchased in a range of flavours including vanilla.

Whey protein is complete protein which has a robust ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (4). It is also quickly absorbed by the body making it a great choice for those working on their fitness. In addition to this, one study which compared the muscle growth in different protein powders, found whey protein is able to stimulate muscle protein synthesis to a greater degree than other proteins, including casein and soy (4).

Further to helping boost muscle mass, whey protein powder has properties which have a positive effect on the body’s feelings of satiety and fullness (5). This makes it a great choice of supplement for those looking to lose weight. One study was undertaken to compare the weight loss between overweight adults consuming 56 grams of whey protein powder and those consuming the equivalent serving of soy protein. The results saw a 5-pound increase in weight loss in those adults who had been given the whey protein powder (6).

Interestingly, there are three main forms of whey protein available which result from various processing techniques used to separate whey protein. They are whey powder, whey concentrate, and whey isolate (7).

Typically, whey powder is used in the food industry and added into products. Whey protein concentrate contains milk fat and good levels of protein. Many consumers report this is the better tasting of the powders. Research has shown when compared to whey isolate, whey concentrate typically contains more biologically active components and proteins which make them a very attractive supplement for athletes (4).

Whey protein isolate is the purest form of whey protein with levels of 90% or above. It is low in milk fat content, and due to the manufacturing process a significant removal of fat and lactose. As a result, individuals who are lactose-intolerant can often safely take these products (4). However, there is concern the manufacturing method does cause the protein to become denatured, in other words lots of the protein’s goodness is lost. 

Most feel whey protein concentrate is the better overall option to choose when decided on which whey protein supplement to consume.

What are the down sides of vanilla whey protein?

Despite being a fantastic way to boost your protein levels and help you achieve your fitness goals, whey is a by-product of dairy. It is made from the milky extract produced when making cheese and this makes it an animal-based product which contains milk. Whilst, the majority of consumers will be able to tolerate the products level of lactose, up to 17% of people asked in a serve self-reported an allergen to milk (8).  The fact it is an animal-based product of course makes it unsuitable for those leading a vegan lifestyle.

Vegan vanilla protein powders

If you’re looking for an effective, vegan alternative to whey protein then pea protein is a great choice to help build strength and muscle mass (2). It is made from mostly yellow split peas and contains the require BCAA which promote muscle growth as well as being able to help suppress appetite and glycemia (3). Thus making vanilla flavoured e a protein a fantastic option for those aiming to lower their calorie intake and lose weight as it makes the body the feel fuller for a sustained period.

Some researchers held a test to see which protein powder, whey or pea was more effective at promoting feelings of fullness and satiety. There findings suggested Pea Protein hydrolysate was a more effective protein compared to Milk Protein or Whey Protein in this field (9).  However, more research still needs to be undertaken to full explore this finding.

Another great, vegan alternative available in vanilla flavouring is soy protein. Soy protein powder is made from defatted soybean flakes. It is void from lactose, a common allergen, and due to this it is used to make a dairy free alternative baby milk formula. It is also used lots within dairy alternative foods.  

What are the down sides of Vanilla flavoured pea protein?

The answer to this question is its low levels of the essential amino acid methionine (10). It is these levels which have sparked debate amongst experts as to whether pea protein can truly be called a complete protein. The good news is pea protein powder’s low levels of methionine can be combated through including foods rich in methionine into your diet. Vegan food sources of this amino acid include beans and nuts, which are both easy to add to everyday meals.

What are the down sides of Vanilla flavoured soy protein?

Sadly, new research into the qualities of soy protein powder suggest it is not able to support muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in the same way whey protein does (11). In addition to this, whilst soy is free from lactose which many people are intolerant to, soy is unfortunately one of the 8 common allergens (12). So, it is therefore unsuitable for a number of people.

Diet protein powders

If your goal for consuming protein supplements is to aid you in losing weight then diet protein powders are an excellent option for you. They are also readably available in vanilla flavour.

You may be wondering what the difference between normal protein powders and diet protein powders are? Well, diet protein powders commonly include some or all of these ingredients Green Tea, L-Carnitine and Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Manufactures of diet protein powders feel these added ingredients boost weight loss and improve a subject’s body mass index.

But what do these added ingredients do? Green tea extract is included in a concentrated form, which contains high levels of catechins and moderate levels of caffeine. Research has implied consuming green tea can increase your bodies expenditure of energy over a 24-hour window (13). Further studies have shown L-Carnitine not only aids acid metabolism, but also helps to transports fatty acids into your cell’s mitochondria (14).This suggests a protein powder which contains l-carnitine could increase the speed at which a person’s body weight reduces and the body composition improves. Finally, there are studies to show obese patients who took a CLA supplement over a 12-week period experiences a quicker weight loss journey (15).


Yes, vanilla flavoured protein powder is still good for you and can help mask the natural tastes of protein powders, which some consumers find overbearing.

Watch out for any listing of sugar alcohols on protein powder labelling. Unfortunately, sugar alcohols, like Xylitol or Erythritol, can cause stomach upset, even in those who do not usually suffer from stomach complaints (16). Where possible you want to select a protein powder with sugar contents of under 1gram and one that contains organic powdered fruits or herbs as the preferable form of sweetener.

Popular vegan protein powders can be bought in vanilla flavour include pea and soy protein, with the protein content of pea being generally higher than soy. Whey protein powder hold the most impressive levels of pure protein however, it is animal based and therefore unsuitable for vegans.  The decision about which form of protein is best for you, soy, whey, pea etc will come down to your fitness goals, ethical views and any allergens you may have.

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