Guide to Brown Rice Protein Powder for Bodybuilding

Brown rice protein is somewhat of a rising star in the world of bodybuilding supplements.

This vegan-friendly and natural alternative to whey and other animal proteins provides an extensive list of benefits, making it an attractive choice for anyone looking to get great results from their workouts.

In this guide, we’ll explain what brown rice protein is, what it does, and whether it is an effective supplement for bodybuilders, as manufacturers would have you believe.

What is Brown Rice Protein?

Brown rice protein is a plant-based dietary supplement sourced from brown rice ground into a fine powder.

This powder can be added to shakes or other recipes for an extra protein boost for those who prefer to avoid animal products.

However, it’s important to note that brown rice protein is not a complete protein because it does not contain all nine essential amino acids (in sufficient amounts) that are important for muscle repair and growth.

The amino acid that’s lacking is lysine.[1]

Also, the overall amino acid profile of brown rice protein isn’t all that great to begin with, which is also something to have in mind.

What are the Benefits of Brown Rice Protein Powder?

There are several benefits to using brown rice protein powder as a bodybuilding supplement.


The biggest selling point for brown rice protein is that it is vegan-friendly. This means that bodybuilders who don’t consume animal products can still get similar benefits from a protein supplement without worrying about animal welfare.

Muscle growth and recovery

Although brown rice protein powder is not a complete protein, it still contains adequate amounts of the other eight essential amino acids required for building muscle, including the famed BCAAs, often considered the most important for muscle growth and repair.

The overall amino acid profile isn’t stellar, but if you’re not eating enough protein to satisfy your body’s needs, supplementing with brown rice protein can help.

Lower chance of an allergic reaction

Unlike some other popular forms of protein powders, vegan or not, brown rice protein powder has a lower chance of causing an allergic reaction because it doesn’t contain typical allergens found in similar products.

Easy digestion

Although brown rice in its grain form isn’t as easy to digest as white rice, the protein powder form is extremely easy to digest and absorb.

Is Brown Rice Protein a Good Alternative to Whey?

Brown rice protein is not a good alternative to whey – at least not as good as other vegan alternatives.

While it certainly isn’t a bad protein supplement, the fact that it isn’t a complete protein means it doesn’t have the same muscle-building properties as some other vegan alternatives to whey.

Compared to pea or soy protein, brown rice protein just doesn’t stack up in terms of muscle-building potential.

That being said, it can still be a very useful supplement, but better options are available.

If you want to know more about how brown rice protein stacks up to whey, we wrote a full article here.

Does Brown Rice Protein Have Any Side Effects?

Brown rice protein is usually side effect-free.

That said, it is possible for brown rice to be contaminated with arsenic, so it’s important to buy from a reputable company that can guarantee their product is free of this toxin.

In addition, some people may have a hard time digesting fiber, although this isn’t a common side effect as most brown rice protein powders are very low in dietary fiber.

How Much Brown Rice Protein Should You Take Per Day?

The general rule of thumb is to take a gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Thus, if you’re a 150-pound vegan bodybuilder, you should be aiming for at least 150 grams of protein per day.

However, this is just a recommendation, and it’s important to note that not all of this protein should come from supplements such as brown rice protein.

A well-balanced diet should provide the majority of your daily protein needs, with supplements making up for any shortfall or deficiency.

That said, considering brown rice protein’s amino acid profile isn’t the best, you might need to take a bit more to get the same results you would expect from other vegan alternatives.

Best Ways to Take Brown Rice Protein Powder

The best way to take brown rice protein powder is to mix it with water or a non-dairy milk alternative and make a simple protein shake.

If you decide to go a non-flavored route, you can expect a subtle note resembling the original rice taste, so most people should have no problem drinking it.

If you don’t like the flavor of plain rice protein powder, there are plenty of flavored options available that can mask the original taste.

That said, you can use brown rice protein powder to make other dishes as well, such as pancakes, ice cream, cookies, smoothies, or even salads if that’s your jam.

It also might be great to use in baking, as it adds a nice texture to the finished product.

Best Brown Rice Protein Powder

While we’d generally recommend you stick to other vegan options, if you still want to give brown rice protein powder a try – here is our top pick out of the options on the market.

Naked Brown Rice Protein
Naked Brown Rice Protein Powder

Made from only one ingredient, organic brown rice, this product comes without artificial flavors or sweeteners, making it a great choice for everyone looking for a simple yet effective protein powder.

More importantly, the serving size of this protein powder comes with 25 grams of protein at just 120 calories, so it should be a good choice for anyone trying to stay lean while building muscle.

Protein Powders We Recommend You Take Instead

If you want to use the most optimal supplement stack, brown rice protein powders aren’t the answer. Fortunately, we have a couple of great picks that are. 

Our Top Whey Protein Powder 

Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate
Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate

If you’re not lactose intolerant or vegan, going with a whey protein powder is the way to go above all other options. One reason you might be looking into brown rice protein is because it’s an all-natural alternative to whey. 

However, if you want the best results and the best all-natural option, look no further than Transparent Labs Whey Isolate. Transparent Labs is a company built on the principle of providing all-natural products with transparent ingredient labels. 

And that’s exactly what you get from this protein powder. You get an ingredient label you can trust, along with a whey protein powder that packs a punch with 28 grams of protein per serving. 

Our Top Vegan/Vegetarian Options

If you want a great vegan or vegetarian option, a soy or pea protein will be the way to go. 

Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate
Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate

If you’re looking for a product with minimal ingredients while still packing a protein punch, this is the option for you. Bulk Supplements’ product is a pure soy protein. That’s it. Soy protein isolate is the only ingredient on the label. 

With this, you get 27 grams of protein per serving. And to make this great option better, if you buy it in bulk, you’ll get it at an excellent cost per serving. 

Naked Pea Protein Powder
Naked Pea Protein Powder

If you’re allergic to soy or simply want to avoid having too much soy in your diet, a pea protein powder will be the next best vegan/plant-based option. 

The Naked Pea Protein Powder is similar to the Bulk Supplements Soy Protein. Just one ingredient on the label, pure yellow pea protein isolate. This option also gives you 27 grams of protein per serving with a good amino acid profile to help you reach your bodybuilding goals. 


While brown rice isn’t the best vegan protein powder you can get, it can still be beneficial if you want to enjoy a plant-based lifestyle while also aiming for your physical goals.

Just remember not to forget about whole food sources of protein, as this should provide most of your daily needs.

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