High Protein Vegan Milk: 8 Types, Ranked

When it comes to plant-based eating, there’s always The Great Protein Question: “Plant protein. What’s the deal with that? How do I get enough of it?” 

It’s understandable. Protein is necessary for a multitude of bodily functions. And most of us were raised to see animal products as the definitive source (“Milk Does the Body Good,” anyone?). But these days, the dairy aisle is stocked with plenty of high-protein vegan milk. Here are the best types.

How Much Protein Do You Need on a Vegan Diet?

Protein is made up of amino acids, which the body uses to build and repair muscle and bones and to make hormones and enzymes. It’s also used as an energy source. 

How much protein is the right amount on a vegan diet? The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This is affected by other factors, including weight, activity level, and sex.

So, which vegan milk has the most protein? | NeONBRAND / Unsplash

Which Vegan Milk Has the Most Protein?

If you’ve recently decided to ditch dairy and go plant-based — or maybe you’re simply looking to switch up your routine — you might be wondering, “Which is the best vegan milk for me?” Or maybe, more specifically, “Which vegan milk can give me the most protein?” 

Here they are, ranked in order of protein content.


Pea Milk

Pea milk is one of the newest types of vegan milk to hit the market. It’s made from pea protein, the same ingredient used to make the Beyond Burger, which is derived from yellow peas. On top of being high in protein, it’s also soy-free and nut-free. 

Protein content varies greatly among the two main brands available. Ripple pea milk contains 8 grams of protein per cup; whereas NotMilk, which hit the U.S. market in late 2020, contains 4 grams per cup but is said to taste nearly identical to dairy. It was developed by Chilean food technology company NotCo, which used AI to develop the flavor.

Protein per cup: 4 to 8 grams, depending on the brand

Buy it here.

This plant-based milk features 7 to 20 grams of protein per cup. | iStock

Soy Milk

Rising to popularity during the Qing Dynasty in China, soy milk is originally the byproduct of the tofu-making process. Although it’s been around for centuries, it wasn’t until the 20th century that soy milk entered the U.S. market. Li Yu-Ying, a delegate of the Chinese government, established the first U.S. patent for soy milk in 1916. And it was many more decades before soy milk became readily available at most supermarkets.

Soy milk is made from soybeans and water, but many brands also include thickeners to improve the texture. When it comes to protein content, soy milk is among the highest (which is why it’s popular in vegan baking). 

But as with other vegan milk, protein may also vary by brand. For example, Silk recently launched high-protein soy milk marketed toward athletes. One serving contains 20 grams of protein — 12 more grams of protein than a serving of whole milk.

Protein per cup: 7-20 grams, depending on the brand.

Buy it here.

This plant milk is good for those with soy or nut allergies. | Kaffee Meister / Unsplash

Oat Milk

This plant milk’s rise to fame is legendary: future grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and niblings will hear tale of the Great Oatly Shortage of the Late-Early Aughts. Oat milk is popular for a reason: Baristas fawn over how it foams for lattes. It’s also another good option for baking — and it’s good for those with soy or nut allergies.

Protein per cup: 3 to 4 grams

Buy it here.

Featuring a nutty flavor, hemp milk is packed with omega-3 fatty acids. | Linda Raymond / iStock

Hemp Milk

Featuring a nutty flavor and creamy consistency, hemp milk complements coffee, cereal, and smoothies. Hemp is also a good source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Read more about what these do here

As far as protein goes, hemp is a good choice. Most brands contain anything between 2-4 grams of protein.

Protein per cup: 2-4 grams

Buy it here.


Flax Milk

Made from flax seeds (which happen to be a great substitute for eggs in vegan baking), flax milk’s texture is lighter than other plant milks. It also has a subtle flavor, so it’s great for blending with vegan protein powder. It’s also a good source of plant-based omega-3.

Protein per cup: 3 grams

Buy it here.

America’s favorite protein-packed vegan milk. | iStock

Almond Milk

Almond milk is still America’s favorite dairy-free milk, leading the category with $1.3 billion in sales, according to the Good Food Institute. 

But, it can be controversial because almond farming is more water-intensive compared to other crops. According to an Oxford study, it takes 74 liters of water to produce a glass of almond milk. That said, almond milk still beats cow’s milk when it comes to sustainability. It takes 130 liters of water for a glass of cow’s milk. 

On top of that, dairy milk emits nearly three times the amount of greenhouse gases of any plant-based milk, and it requires the most land use.

If you’re looking for protein content, though, you might want to look elsewhere. Almond milk gives you a modest 1 gram of plant protein per cup.

Protein per cup: 1 gram

Buy it here.

You can’t go wrong with cashew milk. | iStock

Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is even lower on the spectrum when it comes to protein content. But, if you’re looking for extra-creamy milk for your cereal or coffee, you can’t go wrong with cashew.

Protein per cup: Less than 1 gram

Buy it here.


Coconut Milk

If you’re looking for protein, coconut milk is not your guy. Although delicious, it’s not a protein hero — it contains less than a gram of protein per cup. 

Protein per cup: Less than 1 gram 

Buy it here.

Vegan milk has come a long way. You no longer have to drink cow’s milk to get protein (and we raise our half-caf oat milk latte to that).

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