Whether you’re on a journey to weight loss (like me!), muscle building, or trying to meet daily requirements, protein powder is a convenient way to pack in nutrients. Today I’m reviewing three popular brands of protein supplements, both plant-based and whey-based options. Let’s see who the winner is! 

Why Protein Powder?

Adding more protein to one’s daily diet can offer numerous advantages, especially for individuals with specific dietary needs, fitness goals, or busy lifestyles. One of the biggest benefits of supplemental protein is its convenience. It’s quick, easy, and convenient to bring on the go. 

Meeting daily requirements can be tricky if you’re not making and cooking protein-rich foods, especially if you live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Supplemental protein bridges the gap, keeps you full, and is quite delicious (when you pick the right variety and brand).

The market is saturated with protein supplements, so my goal was to take some of the guesswork out of choosing a brand with the best flavor, texture, and blendability (it’s a thing, I promise!). This is my honest opinion and review of three brands: FlavCity, Clean Simple Eats, and Orgain. I am reviewing their vanilla flavor in both plant-based and whey-based varieties. 

How Much Protein Do You Need?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is about 0.36 grams per pound of body weight for the average adult. According to the Mayo Clinic:

“Anywhere from 10% to 35% of your calories should come from protein. So if your needs are 2,000 calories, that’s 200–700 calories from protein or 50–175 grams. The recommended dietary allowance to prevent deficiency for an average sedentary adult is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight (.8 per kg). For example, a person who weighs 165 pounds, or 75 kilograms, should consume 60 grams of protein per day.”

If you are more active, see the chart below for more specific information.

Protein Needs Based on Activity Level

  • Sedentary Adults: 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
  • Moderately Active Adults: 0.45 to 0.54 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
  • Highly Active Adults: 0.54 to 0.91 grams of protein per pound of body weight, depending on the intensity and frequency of activity.

You can simply multiply your current weight by the recommended grams per pound to find your RDA (recommended daily amount).

Keep in mind, if you have special concerns like muscle building or weight loss, or if you’re an older adult, an athlete, or pregnant, your needs may differ. By understanding your specific needs and adjusting your protein intake accordingly, you can support your health and fitness goals more effectively. If in doubt, consulting with a nutritionist or healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance.

The Benefits of Using Protein Supplements

Using protein supplements offers numerous benefits, making it a valuable addition to many diets, particularly for those with specific fitness goals, dietary restrictions, or busy lifestyles. 

Protein supplements provide a quick and convenient source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle growth, repair, and recovery, especially post-workout. It supports weight management by promoting satiety, reducing overall calorie intake, and preserving lean muscle mass during weight loss. 

Additionally, protein supplements can help meet daily protein requirements, which can be challenging through food alone, and offer versatility in dietary planning, accommodating various dietary needs such as vegan, lactose-free, and gluten-free options. Fortified with additional nutrients like vitamins and minerals, protein supplements not only enhance athletic performance and endurance but also contribute to overall health and wellness. 

Whether mixed into shakes, smoothies, or integrated into various recipes, protein supplements provide a cost-effective, easily digestible, and tasty way to boost protein intake and support a balanced diet.

How to Choose a Protein Supplement

Choosing the right protein supplement can depend on various factors, including your dietary preferences, fitness goals, convenience, and any specific health needs.

Identify Your Goals

  • Muscle Building: Look for protein supplements high in protein content and amino acids, such as whey protein.
  • Weight Loss: Choose low-calorie, low-carb options, potentially with added fat-burning ingredients.
  • General Health: A balanced protein supplement with added vitamins and minerals may be beneficial. Check the label and ingredients to make sure they’re using clean, high-quality, organic ingredients, without any added fillers and with high-quality protein sources.
  • Convenience: Most protein supplements require a lot of extra prep and ingredients to make shakes or smoothies. Consider the time and effort you’re willing to put into consuming your protein supplement.

Types of Protein

  • Whey Protein: Popular for muscle building due to its high amino acid profile and quick absorption.
  • Plant-Based Protein: Ideal for vegetarians or vegans. Includes options like pea, hemp, almond, and brown rice protein.
  • Collagen Protein: Known for supporting skin, hair, nails, and joint health.

Dietary Considerations

  • Allergies: Choose hypoallergenic options if you have food allergies (e.g., pea protein for soy or dairy allergies).
  • Digestibility: Some protein supplements may cause bloating or digestive issues. Consider options with added digestive enzymes or probiotics.
  • Sweeteners and Flavors: Opt for natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit if you’re avoiding artificial sweeteners.

Nutritional Content

  • Protein Content: Look for a protein supplement with at least 20 grams of protein per serving.
  • Carbs and Fats: Depending on your goals, check the carb and fat content. For keto, choose low-carb, high-fat options.
  • Additional Nutrients: Some products come fortified with vitamins, minerals, or other beneficial ingredients like fiber.

Quality and Purity

  • Ingredient List: Opt for products with minimal, recognizable ingredients. Avoid those with fillers, artificial flavors, or unnecessary additives.

Taste and Mixability

  • Flavor: Choose a flavor you enjoy to make your protein shakes more palatable.
  • Texture: Check reviews for mixability to avoid gritty or chalky textures.

Choosing the Right Protein Supplement: Brand Comparison    

Brand Taste Test


To ensure consistency in the protein shakes, I prepared each one with eight ounces of room-temperature water and four ice cubes. Adding the ice cubes slightly chilled the mixture, which I then blended as if making a smoothie. This method allowed me to taste the protein powder itself, without the influence of almond milk, regular milk, or any other additives. I used the recommended number of scoops for each shake.

The photos show the final volume of each drink made with eight ounces of water and the recommended number of scoops per brand.

Honest Reaction to Each Brand

Let’s face it, no matter how clean a protein supplement is, if it doesn’t taste great, it’s not gonna be something you love drinking (or eating). So, these are my raw and honest initial reactions as I tasted each protein supplement brand. 

Clean Simple Eats Simply Vanilla

clean simple eats protein powder

First up is Clean Simple Eats Simply Vanilla. It’s made with Grass Fed Whey Protein. Initial thoughts: I really don’t like it. It’s incredibly sweet, like melted frosting from a Safeway cupcake. 

The consistency is very thin, and the artificial sweetness is overwhelming. I’m not a fan of the ingredients either. It has natural flavors and xylitol, which I think is what I’m tasting. The inclusion of xanthan gum is also a turn-off. Overall, it’s not for me.

Clean Simple Eats Vegan Vanilla

clean simple eats vegan protein powder

Next is Clean Simple Eats Vegan Vanilla. It contains hemp protein, pumpkin seed protein, and flax seed, which give it natural flavors. I’m not a fan of monk fruit or xylitol. It’s low in carbs with only one carb right now, so the macros are good in terms of sugar. However, I’m really hesitant to drink this. The color of the vanilla looks unappealing, almost like vomit.

I strongly dislike it. Everything about this makes it look like I ate hay and spinach and then threw it up. It smells earthy and has a super gritty texture. The taste has an oily component and a very plant-like flavor. The gritty, oily texture is unbearable for me. It’s thin, chalky, and leaves a strange aftertaste. I don’t love it at all. I’m definitely dumping this and don’t recommend it.

FlavCity Vanilla Cream

flav city protein powder

This FlavCity Grass Fed whey-based protein smoothie (with collagen) is definitely my go-to choice for its high-protein content and delicious taste. I particularly enjoy its creamier, silky texture, which feels satisfying and not too watery. 

There is no artificial aftertaste at all, and that’s because there are no artificial ingredients. Unlike other brands that can be overly sweet with a fake taste, this one has the perfect amount of sweetness with a flavor that comes from real vanilla bean. You can taste the banana, thanks to the banana powder, which also perfectly adds to the creaminess and sweetness.

If you don’t like bananas, this might not be for you, but I love it. It tastes like a vanilla milkshake with slices of banana in it. The ingredients list is perfect—nothing artificial and no natural flavors, with really good protein sources. Another great aspect is that it’s a complete smoothie in itself—there’s no need to add extra fruits, veggies, or collagen, as everything is already included! Plus, everything is organic, which I really appreciate. I have nothing but praise for it.

FlavCity Vegan Vanilla Cream

flav city vegan protein powder

The FlavCity Vegan Vanilla Cream protein smoothie tastes similar to almond milk with only a slight grittiness, about 2%, compared to the 60% grittiness of others I’ve tried. I’m not getting any banana flavor, even though it contains banana powder. The almond protein gives it a really smooth and velvety texture, like a thicker, creamier almond milk. It’s really very enjoyable. 

The ingredients are perfect and there’s nothing artificial. It’s not too sweet, which I appreciate, as overly sweet protein powders tend to have too many carbs and aren’t good for low-carb diets. 

This protein smoothie has 20 grams of protein and 250 calories, which is quite high for a protein supplement, likely due to the almonds. Despite the higher calorie count, this is definitely the best plant-based protein powder I’ve ever tried.

Orgain Whey Vanilla

Orgain whey protein powder

This one is a whey-based protein, not plant-based. It has a thin texture and a mild taste, but it’s too sweet and tastes like vanilla frosting. The flavor is better than Clean Simple Eats but not as good as FlavCity. I’m not a fan of the ingredients list; it contains a lot of fillers, gums, and natural flavors. Additionally, you need to use 2 scoops instead of 1. 

This powder provides 21 grams of protein and is low in sugar and carbs. While I appreciate the use of organic grass-fed whey, I’m not a big fan of the other ingredients.

Orgain Vegan Vanilla

orgain vegan vanilla protein powder

Now let’s try the vegan version. It’s not bad and is better than Clean Simple Eats, but not as good as FlavCity. It only has 5 net carbs, which is great. The flavor is much more neutral compared to Clean Simple Eats’ vegan version, and the pea protein mixture isn’t too strong tasting. The texture is slightly gritty but not bad. 

It has 21 grams of protein and 140 calories, so you’re getting a lot of protein, but you have to use 2 scoops. While this isn’t a terrible vegan option, I still don’t like the added oils and fillers.

Protein Sources & Types

The Winner: Depends on your diet and lifestyle! For me, It’s all about the grass-fed whey, which is usually lower in fat and lactose. This makes it easier for people with lactose intolerance to digest. Thankfully, all three brands use this as a protein source. 

I absolutely love that FlavCity offers a complete protein smoothie in both their whey-based and vegan varieties. I only need to add my milk of choice to shake it, make it, and go. FlavCity also uses almond protein for their vegan protein smoothie which has a really neutral flavor (think almond milk) and gives it a really smooth texture. Other brands use pea protein, which is often high in heavy metals and has a strong, grassy taste. Hemp protein (used by others, but not FlavCity) has an unpleasant flavor (it reminds me a lot of fish oil). Another impressive aspect is that FlavCity’s whey-based protein is undenatured and less processed, leaving all the bioavailable nutrients intact, which makes it even better for you. 

BrandProtein Source
Clean Simple Eats Simply VanillaGrass Fed Whey Protein
Clean Simple Eats Vegan VanillaHemp Protein
FlavCity Vanilla CreamGrass Fed Whey Protein, Collagen Protein
FlavCity Vegan Vanilla CreamAlmond Protein
Orgain Vanilla WheyGrass Fed Whey Protein
Orgain Vegan VanillaPea Protein, Brown Rice Protein, Chia Seed Protein

The Ingredients

The Winner: Once again, FlavCity wins here. Their protein smoothie is a complete meal, meaning you’re not just getting a protein powder, you’re replacing your full smoothie needs! 

FlavCity is head-and-shoulders above the rest because not only does it have organic, clean ingredients, but many of its ingredients have added health-beneficial ingredients such as grass-fed whey for protein, collagen for hair, skin, nails, and bone health, organic fruit for nutrients, natural sweetness, and flavor, healthy fats from the coconut milk powder for creaminess and satiation, and functional mushrooms for cognition.

Both Clean Simple Eats and Orgain protein powders contain gums and emulsifiers like Xanthan which can be disruptive to a person’s gut and may cause bloating and constipation. FlavCity does not contain any gums or emulsifiers, making its overall ingredients far superior. 

Clean Simple Eats Simply VanillaGrass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate, Xylitol (Natural Birch), Non-Fat Dry Milk, Natural Flavors, Prebiotic VitaFiber® (IMO), Coconut Oil (MCT) 50%, Xanthan Gum, Stevia Leaf Extract (Reb A), Sea Salt, Monk Fruit
Clean Simple Eats Vegan VanillaHemp Protein Isolate, Prebiotic VitaFiber® (IMO), Pumpkin Seed Protein, Organic Flaxseed, Coconut Oil (MCT) 50%, Xylitol (Natural Birch), Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Konjac Root, Chia Seed, Stevia Leaf Extract, Monk Fruit
FlavCity Vanilla CreamWhey Protein Concentrate (grass-fed, undenatured), Collagen (grass-fed), Organic Banana Powder, Organic Coconut Milk Powder, Vanilla Powder, Unrefined Sea Salt, Organic Cordyceps Powder, Organic Reishi Powder, Organic Stevia Leaf Extract, Organic Monk Fruit Extract
FlavCity Vegan Vanilla CreamAlmond Protein, Organic Banana Powder, Organic Coconut Milk Powder, Vanilla Powder, Unrefined Sea Salt, Organic Cordyceps Powder, Organic Reishi Powder, Organic Stevia Leaf Extract, Organic Monk Fruit Extract
Orgain Vanilla WheyGrass Fed Whey Protein Concentrate, Organic Erythritol, Organic Creamer Base, (Organic Acacia, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Inulin, Organic Rice Dextrins, Organic Rice Bran Extract, Organic Rosemary Extract), Natural Flavors, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sea Salt, Potassium Chloride, Organic Stevia
Orgain Vegan VanillaOrgain Organic Protein Blend (Organic Pea Protein, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Organic Chia Seed), Orgain Organic Creamer Base (Organic Acacia Gum, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Inulin, Organic Rice Dextrins, Organic Rice Bran Extract, Organic Rosemary Extract), Organic Erythritol, Organic Natural Flavors, Natural Flavor, Sea Salt, Organic Acacia Gum, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Stevia, Xanthan Gum

Protein, Sugars, Carbs, & Calories

The Winner: Once again, FlavCity Vanilla Cream wins overall – highest protein, and a good balance of calories, carbs, and ZERO added sugar! Any sugar comes from the whole fruit sources. Clean Simple Eats also has a nice balance of protein, carbs, and sugars. However, they use sugar alcohols and those can be gut disruptive. Due to the body’s slower digestion of sugar alcohols, this can cause an upset stomach, bloating, and gas. 

ProteinSugarNet CarbsCalories
Clean Simple Eats Simply Vanilla20 grams1 gram(4.5 grams of sugar alcohol)about 5 grams108
Clean Simple Eats Vegan Vanilla18 grams1 gram(4.5 grams of sugar alcohol)1 gram105
FlavCity Vanilla Cream25 grams4 grams8 grams160
FlavCity Vegan Vanilla Cream20 grams6 grams14 grams250
Orgain Vanilla Whey21 grams1 gram7 grams140
Orgain Vegan Vanilla21 grams<1 gram5 grams150

Price & Availability 

The Winner: FlavCity. Their “All-in-One” Protein Smoothie is totally complete with all of its ingredients, making its $2.01 per-ounce price the BEST value. This is why it’s important to factor in the ingredients used. While FlavCity is in the mid-range for price per ounce, I don’t have to buy any other ingredients to make it a complete smoothie. With the other brands, I’d need to add fruit, collagen, milk, and other ingredients that would make the price per ounce much higher. Plus, FlavCity sells single serving packets as a way for you to try their protein smoothies before buying a full-size bag that can’t always be returned.

PriceComplete Meal?Where to BuyShippingReturns 
Clean Simple Eats Simply Vanilla$1.71 per ounce
Subscribe & Save option
NoWebsite, AmazonFree Shipping over $99 on websiteNo Returns on open products
Clean Simple Eats Vegan Vanilla$1.71 per ounce 
Subscribe & Save option
NoWebsite, AmazonFree Shipping over $99 on websiteNo Returns on open products
FlavCity Vanilla Cream$2.01 per ounce 
Subscribe & Save option
YesWebsite, AmazonFree Shipping over $65 on websiteAll sales final
FlavCity Vegan Vanilla Cream$1.84 per ounce
Subscribe & Save option
YesWebsite, AmazonFree Shipping over $65 on websiteAll sales final
Orgain Vanilla Whey1.37 per ounce
Subscribe & Save option
NoWebsite, AmazonFree Shipping over $75 on websiteSatisfaction guarantee within 30 days
Orgain Vegan Vanilla1.37 per ounce
Subscribe & Save option
NoWebsite, AmazonFree Shipping over $75 on websiteSatisfaction guarantee within 30 days

Flavor Options

The Winner: All three brands have a nice number of flavor options. Clean Simple Eats has the edge here because of the wide range of flavors they offer to their customers (16 flavors are available on their website at the time of writing this)although, it is important to note that Clean Simple Eats uses natural flavors whereas FlavCity uses whole, real food ingredients to flavor their protein smoothies. If that’s more important to you, FlavCity would be the winner.

Clean Simple Eats: They have a wide range of flavors from Cookies and Cream to Cotton Candy as well as seasonal flavors. For vegan protein powder, they have Vanilla and Chocolate flavor options. 

FlavCity: FlavCity offers a range of flavors from Brownie Batter to Berries & Cream. They offer many different seasonal flavors throughout the year as well. For vegan protein powder, they currently offer Vanilla Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Coconut Cream Cold Brew. 

Orgain: They have a wide range of flavors from Strawberries and Cream to Iced Coffee as well as seasonal flavors. 

The Overall Winner

Without a doubt, the winner is FlavCity Vanilla Cream for both the whey-based and plant-based protein. They’re both excellent. However, for the whey-based variety, you need to be okay with the taste of banana. 

With the flavor, texture, nutritional value, ingredients list, and price all factored in, FlavCity is my number one pick. I wouldn’t want to spend less only to get a protein powder I didn’t like. If you want to try it for yourself, my code TASTESLOVELY10 gets you 10% off your first order. Plus, with their subscribe and save option, you can save 10% on each shipment.

Final Rankings

1. FlavCity Vanilla Cream (purchased from their site)

2. FlavCity Plant Based Vanilla Cream (purchased from their site)

3. Orgain Vanilla Whey (purchased on Amazon)

4. Orgain Vegan Vanilla (purchased on Amazon)

5. Clean Simple Eats Simply Vanilla (purchased on Amazon)

6. Clean Simple Eats Vegan Vanilla (purchased on their site)

I only endorse brands and products I love. I may receive commissions on purchases made through affiliate links on my site at no cost to you. Thanks for the love! Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Facebook, and check out my recipes on tasteslovely.com