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 powder 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 powder 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 powder?
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 using a vegan protein powder 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 powder?” Well, here’s a list:
– It provides 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 powder is 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).
Is vegan protein powder healthy?
We’re all about providing you with the most up-to-date information on veganism and plant-based eating. So, we’ve scoured the internet to find out what’s really going on with this protein powder craze.
Protein powders can be a healthy addition to your diet, especially for those who exercise often.
– 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 powders 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 powder are there?
Most protein powders on the market 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 powder, including:
– pea protein
– yellow peas
– pumpkin seed
– brown rice
Popular flavour combos include peanut, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. We personally love anything peanut flavoured!
When should you take protein powder?
You’ll see many discussions taking place online about whether you should be having your protein powder before or after workouts. Well, here is our two pence…
We believe that this is a matter of personal preference. Some people use protein powder 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 take protein powder?’ Well, we believe that this is something you’ll need to discuss with your nutritionist.
We know from our own experience and research that it’s important not only when you consume your shake, but also what type of shake you’re having! So let’s take a look at some of our favourite brands.
What are the best brands of vegan protein powder?
We have tried loads of different vegan protein powders, so you don’t have to! Where possible, we like to buy from 100% vegan brands like Form Nutrition and Vega, but there are also some great brands who have made vegan product lines, like MYVEGAN, which is a subsidiary of MYPROTEIN.
What do we look for in a good protein brand? Well, we are after great sources of all 9 amino acids, sustainable packaging, and tasty flavours. Plus, we like protein powders that are quite fine so they don’t clump up when you make them into a shake.
We definitely have our favourites. So let us take you through them with the best brands first:
1. Form Nutrition
Shipping: UK, EU, USA
Shipping: USA, CA
How do you use protein powder?
We like to have our protein powder as 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 powder, vegan-style!
Vegan protein powder recipes
There are so many things you can do with vegan protein powder, from shakes and smoothies, to pancakes and cookies. You can simply try and add in protein powder 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 recipes:
Fluffy Vegan Protein Pancakes
Two Minute Choc Chip Protein Mug Cake
Vegan Protein Hot Chocolate
Cookie Dough Protein Balls
When it comes to vegan protein powder, 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 powder. 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!
Coming soon: a comparison of our favourite vegan protein powder brands.