You Can Digest Vegan Protein Easier
Compared to the often-questionable ingredients list of whey protein powders, vegan protein could be significantly kinder on your gut. Peas, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds are all common ingredients in vegan protein, with healthy levels of fibre that can improve digestion while culling signs of gas and bloating.
Do Vegans Really Need Protein Powder
A vegan lifestyle can cause some concerns in the protein department. Without the incorporation of meats and other animal products, while living a vegan lifestyle, protein might be lacking in your diet. Thats why its so important to ensure that you are getting the amount of protein you need.
The amount of protein that you need depends on your goals. For easy conversion, if youre 140 lbs, youll want to get about 98g of protein. However, if youre looking to build muscle and lose fat, go for 1g of protein per pound of weight.
Vegan protein powder keeps true to your goals of living a vegan lifestyle while giving you the nutrients you need to fill in the missing pieces your diet may have. So, if youre a vegan, do you really need protein powder? Yes, absolutely!
Tofu Tempeh And Edamame
Tofu, tempeh, and edamame all originate from soybeans.
Soybeans are considered a whole source of protein. This means that they provide your body all the essential amino acids it needs.
Edamame are immature soybeans with a sweet and slightly grassy taste. They need to be steamed or boiled before you eat them. Then, they can be enjoyed on their own or added to soups and salads.
Tofu is made from bean curds pressed together in a process similar to cheesemaking. Meanwhile, tempeh is made by cooking and slightly fermenting mature soybeans, then pressing them into a block.
Tofu doesnt have much taste on its own, but it easily absorbs the flavor of the ingredients its prepared with. Comparatively, tempeh has a characteristic nutty flavor.
Both tofu and tempeh can be used in a variety of recipes, ranging from burgers to soups and chilis.
All three soy-based proteins contain iron, calcium, and 1220 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving (
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Nuzest Clean Lean Protein
With 21 grams of protein per serving, Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is one of the best options for non-GMO vegan protein powders on the market. Ingredients that are not genetically modified fit right in with the vegan lifestyle, which makes this protein powder a no brainer. How well does it blend with other ingredients? Thats a great question. It does mix well , which makes drinking it a whole lot easier than some competitors powders.
The one downfall we found was that it only had a pea protein base. This is not what we like to see most of the time since we know that multiple protein sources are the way to provide your body with exactly what it needs when its not getting protein from animal sources. However, the fact that the ingredients lists were so small, we feel confident that the pea protein will do the job.
One of the funniest things that customers reported on was that the protein powder didnt look quite appetizing at first. However, upon further taste investigation, customers found that the flavor was tasty, and the consistency was palatable.
- Can be too sweet
- No other booster ingredients to give you added nutrition like other competitors
Who Should Buy Vega One Organic: All
- People who are hyper-focused on overall vitamin and nutrient intake. This is by far the most robust vitamin and mineral formula on the list.
- Those who want to consume more probiotics may appreciate the two billion CFUs of probiotics in this formula.
- People who like flavor options. Vega offers seven different flavors berry, chocolate mint, plain, coconut almond, mocha, chocolate, and French vanilla.
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Even Out The Playing Field
When it comes to the whey vs vegan protein debate, arguably the key difference comes down to protein quality. Theres no question whey is considered a higher quality protein than individual plant-based sources because: 1. Its higher in essential amino acids and 2. The protein tends to be more digestible and bioavailable.
And the beauty of this is that knowing why plant proteins are inferior provides the very clues we need to even out the playing field if youre leaning toward a plant-based protein supplement. In fact, despite the apparent superiority of whey vs vegan protein, there are several simple strategies that can boost the quality and effectiveness of plant-based proteins:
Best Plant Protein Sources
If youre a vegetarian but not a vegan, you might incorporate these other protein sources into your diet:
- Eggs or egg whites: Eggs are a low-cost and nutritious source of protein. Each egg provides 6 to 8 grams. If you use egg whites, youll get fewer calories, but youll miss out on vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins housed in the yolk.
- Dairy products: Milk, cheese and yogurt are excellent sources of protein and calcium. To get the most protein bang for your buck, choose cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt. Both pack 13 grams of protein or more per serving, and you can dress them up with fruit, nuts or granola for a filling breakfast or snack.
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Enjoyed This Read More
Kerry Torrens is a qualified Nutritionist with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.
Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council . Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.
All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.
Liberto Dark Chocolate & Sour Cherry
Grams of protein per serving: 21.7g protein per 40g servingCalories per serving: 150 kcalsType of protein: pea protein, milled flax seed, milled chia seedType of sweetener: coconut palm sugar
Best gourmet vegan protein powder
If you’re after a full-flavoured protein powder with minimal processed ingredients, this is a great choice. Delivering 21.7g protein per 40g serving, its also high in omega 3 ALA fatty acids from chia and flax, along with maca, prebiotics and probiotics with over 1 billion live cultures per serving. It ticks a lot of boxes, being organic, gluten-free, soya-free and high in fibre.
The real strong point of this powder is the taste it has a very bold sour cherry flavour with a rich dark chocolate base. It also mixed easily to a nice smooth consistency, even just with water in the shaker, and has minimal grittiness or chalkiness. Like the others, it does have a slight floury aftertaste but overall, it’s thoroughly enjoyable to drink.
This product is the highest in sugar out of all of those featured, at 3.34g per serving, but its a great option for those who want to avoid artificial sweeteners without sacrificing on taste.
Its also one of the most expensive that we tested, with seven servings in each 280g packet, costing £14.99 coming out at £2.14 a pop.
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The Best Vegan Protein Sources
One way to step up your intake is to add rich protein sources to the majority of your meals. Include foods like:
One food that has surprisingly little protein is commercially-made almond milk. This beverage generally contains loads of sugar but very little protein. Soy milk is therefore typically a better choice for people wanting to boost their protein intake. Soy milk contains about six times more protein than almond milk, and its also much higher in lysine.
Best Organically Harvested Powder: Naked Pea Premium Pea Powder
The Naked Pea Premium Pea Powder is one of the best vegan protein powders dominating the market.
Thanks to its simplicity, it contains zero sugar additives and only yellow pea protein isolate.
The peas are grown organically in US farms. Each serving contains 27 grams of protein, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 120 calories, and 5.7 grams of BCAAs .
The ingredients in this protein powder are:
- Yellow Pea Protein
How does it work?
This is one of the most efficient vegan protein powders that work by maintaining your diet and lifestyle.
It works by giving you 27 grams of protein your body needs. You can add it to your meal or put it in your beverages such as water and tea.
This plant-based protein is also excellent for pre-workout and post-workout.
Starting Price Per Bottle: $36.36 for 1 Bottle + Small Shipping Fee
Starting Price Per Bottle: $43.89 for 1 Bottle + Small Shipping Fee
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Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Organic Vegan
- Anyone who wants a great-tasting vanilla protein powder to mix into their smoothies or simply drink on its own.
- Vegans looking to sneak an added dose of nutrients like calcium and iron into their protein powder to supplement their plant-based diet.
- Those who favor a protein blend that contains both pea and rice proteins will like this formula.
- Customers looking to buy their protein powder in bulk you can buy up to three tubs of this powder at once for discounted bulk pricing.
How To Determine If You’re Eating Enough Protein As A Vegan
Those who aren’t sure they’re meeting their protein goals can easily figure that out. Download a food tracking app, such as Cronometer or MyFitnessPal, and record your regular diet for several days. Keep an eye on your protein intake and see if you’re hitting your daily number.
If you aren’t, try incorporating more of the suggested foods below into your meals. Remember, if you have another reason to need extra protein, such as being pregnant or following a rigorous training schedule at the gym, then it’s a good idea to consult a registered dietitian and pay closer attention to tracking your protein intake.
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Vegan Protein Powder Dosage
Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.
The Dietary Reference Intake for daily protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for adult men and women, and it is widely accepted that protein needs increase with activity level. The current research shows no safety concerns at daily recommended intakes up to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day.
Why Are Vegan Protein Powders Important
Of course, theres the impact on the environment to consider and how vegan protein powders won’t be as harmful as cow-derived kinds, but in health terms, Jenna says: Protein powder can be useful for those on a vegan diet since they can sometimes struggle to get adequate amounts. She affirms that vegan protein powders shouldnt, however, replace whole foods, but that they can be handy if you dont have the time to count up the macros youre getting from beans, pulses, legumes and nuts .
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Tips For Increasing Your Protein Consumption
Our beans page offers advice about how to prepare beans in ways that maximize digestibility. You may find that tofu, tempeh, and soy-milk easier to digest than other bean-based foods. Alternately, nuts, seeds, and quinoa are all rich in protein, and easily digested.
If you dont how beans taste or you have trouble digesting them, you should seek out other high-protein foods. Nuts, seeds, and nut butters are all delicious and abundant in protein. Oatmeal and whole wheat bread are also among the most protein-rich vegan foods.
Protein powders can be a godsend to anyone who cant tolerate beans or nuts. They provide a big dose of protein, in a form thats more digestible than bean-based meals. Most brands of protein powder deliver about 20 grams of lysine-rich protein per serving. Orgain makes an all-organic vegan protein powder that sells for half the price of other brands. Buy a shaker cup and you wont have to clean your blender each time you prepare a serving.
Who Shouldnt Buy Vega Protein Snack Bar
- Bodybuilders looking for a higher dose of protein these bars only have 10 grams.
- People who want to cut back on carbs, sugars, or fats the protein powders on this list are much lower in all of those macros.
- If you prefer to drink your protein rather than chew it, youll want to opt for a powder.
While these bars are a great option for sneaking a small dose of protein into your diet when you have a busy schedule, they dont have the same macros that many of the other protein powders on this list do have. If that isnt a priority to you, these bars are quite delicious and still a filling option as far as snacks go.
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What Are The Benefits Of Vegan Protein Powder
If you opt for a vegan protein powder that is a complete source of protein, they will contain all nine of the essential amino acids.
The body cant make these itself and they play crucial roles in muscle growth and muscle trauma repair. They can even help speed up your recovery process in between workouts.
Pea, hemp, quinoa and soy products are all complete protein sources.
Looking to add more protein to your diet? Try these high-protein vegan recipes:
Pea, hemp, quinoa and soy products are all complete protein sources.
Who Should Buy Pure Food Plant
- People who want a protein powder with probiotics will appreciate the one billion CFUs of probiotics in this formula.
- People with digestive issues. The probiotics may help improve your digestion.
- Those who arent looking for a high dose of protein will like that this powder only offers 20 grams per serving a dose much lower than most powders on this list.
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How Does Protein Powder Help Your Body
Vegan protein powders are an excellent source of nutrition. If used correctly, protein powders aid digestion while also assisting in the maintenance of bones and muscles.
Protein powders can also benefit busy athletes who exercise for long periods and find it much easier to drink a protein shake than to prepare and cook or have a snack.
Shelf Life And Stability
It is essential to consider the shelf life of any consumable product before buying it. A vegan protein shake is no exception to the case. Hence, the drink must have a considerably longer shelf life, allowing an individual to relish the beverage without any hurry. In general cases, the expiration time of a vegan protein shake stands at about six months to two years from the date of its manufacture.
- Added Sugar
A vegan protein shake may have artificial sweeteners and added sugars in its composition to improve the taste and flavor of the beverage. The two ingredients do not affect or change the nutritional content and quality of the drink significantly as they get added in small quantities.
However, the calorie and carbohydrate amount of the vegan protein shake can face an exponential increase if they get added in substantial amounts. In such cases, it would overwhelm the presence and effects of the other beneficial components such as protein, mineral, fiber, vitamin, etc.
That is why the best vegan protein shakes should have minimal to none added sugar and sweeteners. On top of that, the drink should not comprise any artificial coloring and flavoring agents.
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Finding The Perfect Vegan Protein Powder
Alright, so now you know why vegan protein powders shouldnt be seen as second-best to whey so how do you choose the right one for you?
You could look at the primary plant ingredient, e.g. pea, rice, soya etc., as each have their benefits and their drawbacks…
Pea protein is actually one of the best plant proteins you can find. Studies have found that pea protein works just as well as whey for building muscle mass and it blends easily with liquids to gives a smooth, creamy texture.
Use 2 scoops of a pea protein powder in a breakfast smoothie, and youll have a whopping 21 grams of protein in your hands. But if smoothies arent your thing, then a flavour-free pea protein can also be blended seamlessly into soups, making it one of the most versatile plant-based options.
Another benefit of the little green miracle protein is that it is easily digested, so no gurgly post-protein smoothie belly awaits you at the end!
Brown rice protein also stacks up well against whey in terms of muscle support, offering around 22 grams of protein per serving.
However, you may find that rice protein doesnt play as nicely in smoothies, due to its chalkier texture. To make the most of brown rice protein, look for a chocolate, or vanilla variety and use it like a flour to give your baked goods an extra boost of nutrition. After all, starting the day with a delicious protein-rich muffin for brekkie will keep you fuller for longer.