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Everything You Need To Know About Using Vegan Protein

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Everything You Need To Know About Using Vegan Protein

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The plant-based food industry is booming and it’s no wonder why. With more people than ever before opting for a meat-free diet, an increasing number of people are turning to vegan protein powders as their go-to source of not only protein but also nutrients. Meaning there is a steady stream of vegan-friendly health foods popping up on the market all the time!

So, what’s the deal with vegan protein? Some say that plant-based sources of proteins aren’t ‘complete proteins’ – meaning they lack all nine essential amino acids needed by humans to perform bodily functions such as muscle growth and repair. But this just isn’t true!

There are many vegan protein sources that provide all nine essential amino acids, such as quinoa and soy. And even if a plant-based protein doesn’t boast the full range of aminos, it will often contain plenty of the aminos that vegans sometimes lack in their diets to make up for…

New to the plant-based diet?

The best place to start is by incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet such as fruits and vegetables (with some whole grains thrown in for good measure). Then, when you’re ready to take your healthy lifestyle up a notch, try adding vegan substitutes like tofu, seitan or beans into your diet as well as soy milk instead of cow’s milk.

And then the final step: find a high-quality vegan protein powder that suits your needs and discover how to use it! Let us help you!

Why use vegan protein products?

Well, let us start by asking you a few questions. Do you like to keep fit? Are you an active person? Are you too busy to cook nutritious meals every day?

If you answered yes to any of the above then you may find increasing your intake of vegan protein to be incredibly useful. Not only does it help your body to repair itself after workouts and to assist in building muscle, but it is also a very easy way of getting important proteins and nutrients in your diet.

So now you may be wondering, “What are the benefits of vegan protein products?” Well, here’s a list:

– They provide plant-based protein and many brands also contain all nine essential amino acids

– You get everything you need whilst also eliminating many animal products from your diet

– Plant-based protein products are often also gluten-free and sugar-free

– It may allow you to maintain your desired weight by preventing cravings for junk food that are caused by low levels of amino acids in the body (which can cause a decrease in metabolism).

woman using vegan protein powder

Are vegan protein products healthy?

Vegan protein products can be a healthy addition to your diet, especially for those who exercise often. 

For instance, vegan protein powders, if sourced from good quality plant sources and mixed with water or plant milk in a smoothie can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to maintain its weight. Protein is also necessary for repairing muscles after exercise.

However, we wouldn’t recommend swapping out real nutritious meals in your diet for a protein shake. It is incredibly important for us to chew our food so we should still aim to eat solids. Plus, protein powder can be highly processed. How else do they make all that food become a tasty powder substance? So whilst they are convenient and healthy in small amounts, don’t overdo it! Try to aim for healthy nutritious plant-based meals with protein shakes to supplement after workouts.

Are you trying to lose weight?

Plant-based protein products can be quite high in carbohydrates and may be very calorific. This means that they can have a negative effect on you if you’re trying to lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight, try eating tofu after a workout to get your fill of protein.

What kinds of vegan protein products are there?

Most protein products on the market are in powder form and are made of whey, a by-product of cows milk, which obviously is not vegan-friendly. Some powders may also contain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, which many vegans avoid due to it having been tested on animals.

Despite this, animal-based ingredients aren’t necessary to get your required intake of protein in each day. Instead, there are many incredible plant sources of protein, including:

– soy
– pea protein
– hempseed
– yellow peas
– pumpkin seed
– brown rice
– quinoa
– buckwheat

When should you take protein products?

You’ll see many discussions taking place online about whether you should be having your protein intake before or after workouts. Well, here is our two pence…

We believe that this is a matter of personal preference. Some people use protein products to help them increase their protein intake during the day (particularly those who have very active jobs), while others may find it makes more sense just to have morning or post-workout shakes.

We personally like to have a shake straight after we workout at the gym or a long bike ride. It helps our muscles to repair quicker and gives our body everything it needs to recover from the exercise.

But what about the science?

A lot of people ask the question ‘is there an optimal time to have protein products?’ Well, we believe that this is something you’ll need to discuss with your nutritionist.

We know from our own experience and research that what is more important than when you consume your protein, but also the quality of protein you’re having! 

use vegan protein powder in a shake

What are the best brands of vegan protein products?

There are many great brands created vegan protein products. Our favourite vegan protein powders come from Form Nutrition (UK & US) and Vega (US).

You’ll also find many other great protein products from companies like MYVEGAN. Just check out their vegan protein cookies.

You can discover more amazing uk vegan protein powders here.

How do you use protein products?

We like to have our vegan protein products in a shake or smoothie, blended with banana and pea milk, but others prefer to bake it into something.

For example, if you want cookies and cream protein bars: mix some vegan chocolate chips with brown rice cereal (or your favorite granola) and coconut oil for crunchy edges. Add protein powder and peanut butter. Press it into a pan and cut bars with a knife or cookie cutter to make what resembles the shape of cream cookies sprinkled with chocolate chips.

On that note, let us show you some of our favourite ways to use protein, vegan-style!

Vegan protein recipes

There are so many things you can do with vegan protein, from shakes and smoothies, to pancakes and cookies. You can simply try and add in vegan protein to recipes you already know and love, but you may want to sub out some other dry ingredients in place of it. We recommend playing around to discover your favourite combos.

To get started, here are a few of our favourite vegan protein recipes:

fluffy vegan protein pancake recipe
Credit: Running on Real Food

Fluffy Vegan Protein Pancakes

Try out these amazingly fluffy vegan protein pancakes by Running on Real Food.

chocolate chip vegan protein cookie mug cake recipe
Credit: Gina Burgess

Two Minute Choc Chip Protein Mug Cake

Try out this gooey chocolate chip mug cake packed full of protein, because who doesn’t love cookie dough?!

vegan protein hot chocolate recipe
Credit: Bites of Wellness

Vegan Protein Hot Chocolate

This one is for all our fellow hot chocolate lovers, try adding your vegan protein into this delicious vegan protein hot chocolate recipe.

cookie dough protein balls vegan recipe
Credit: The Honour System

Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Okay, another cookie dough style recipe, but we just can’t resist. You need to try these vegan cookie dough protein balls.

Using Vegan Protein Summary

When it comes to vegan protein, the sky is really the limit.

There are loads of incredible brands out there giving you all the protein you need. You can make your favourite recipes from scratch with protein powder added or simply shake it into some plant milk for a quick fix. Whatever you decide, don’t forget that healthy eating never goes out of style!

We hope we have given you all the information needed to find everything there is to know about vegan protein. Now go forth and purchase your favourite brand of vegan protein powder so that you too can get started on living a healthier lifestyle today!

Lucy Johnson

Lucy Johnson

One half of the Vegan Sisters, she is the Founder of SHiDO, a vegan web design studio. She is an avid cook, sharing her recipes on Edible Ethics vegan food blog.

A penny for your thoughts

This post may contain affiliate links (see full disclaimer here). We only ever promote brands that we love and believe in and always avoid using Amazon wherever possible. If you make a purchase after clicking, we may receive a small commission to help us write more helpful articles like this one!

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