Following a vegan diet can be healthier, more nutritious and better for the environment. But there are some things to watch out for! If done incorrectly, did you know that a vegan diet may put you at risk of protein deficiency? It’s true. You might think that protein powders are only meant for gym-goers, but it may actually benefit you to check some plant-based protein powders out for yourself to help boost your daily intake.
You can certainly get plenty of plant-based proteins through food, but sometimes you're just too busy to cook a protein-rich meal for yourself. A great way to bulk up is through the use of potent vegan protein powders. So read on to find out everything you need to know about plant-based protein powders and discover some of our favourite brands!
What are Protein Powders?
Protein powders are part of every serious gym buff’s kit and are one of the top sports supplements. They are powdered forms of proteins derived from plants, eggs or milk and are used to help build muscle and increase muscle size, as well as aid post-gym recovery. The most common ones are soy, whey, and casein. Whey protein is a widely popular supplement. It’s relatively inexpensive and is a whole protein, so it’s very common to see whey protein powders in many body-building homes and gyms!
There’s no shame in using whey, but plant-based protein powders may be better suited for you. Whey contains lactose - considering 65% of the world’s population has some level of lactose intolerance, it’s best avoided! We know that some plant-based proteins like soy or wheat are allergens themselves, but they aren’t as impactful as lactose. In fact, 0.3% of the US population suffers from soy allergens. Soy proteins are also considered whole proteins, making them the most popular. If you’re allergic, there are still plenty of other plant-based protein powders to choose from, such as pea, pumpkin, chia, hemp and coconut protein powders. So discover more below!
What Are Plant-Based Protein Powders Made Of?
Plant-based protein powders can come from many sources! For example, plant-based protein powders are made from rice, peas, soybeans, potatoes, and hemp. Some are made from a mixture of protein sources or you can get single-source protein powders.
If you’re in the vegan protein powder loop, you may have heard about pea protein - it’s making waves in the protein powder scene! Pea protein powder is made by grinding the little green peas into a fine powder. This powder is then filtered to remove the fibre and starch, which leaves all the goodies behind in a paste form - such as protein, vitamins and minerals. Then, the paste is dried, ground into a finer powder and then sold as the pea protein powder we all adore!
A lot of brands don’t stop there. They also use the same process to extract some more essential nutrients from other sources and blend them with pea proteins.
Are Plant-Based Protein Powders Safe?
Simple answer? Yes. Plant-based protein powders are just as safe as your regular, run-of-the-mill protein powders.
One thing to watch out for is allergens. Sure, plant-based proteins are likely more allergen-friendly, being naturally free from lactose and dairy. Plant-based proteins still pose some risk of allergic reactions from soy. This is another reason why pea protein is gaining such traction - it’s practically free from all common allergens, including gluten!
Compared to regular protein powders, plant-based protein powders are also less likely to come with artificial preservatives, colours and flavours. That’s not to say you won’t find a few containing them, but it’d be easier to find safer options. Especially on our site!
How Do You Take Plant-Based Protein Powders?
Plant-based protein powders can be used the same to how you use regular powdered protein supplements. You’ll find unflavoured and flavoured ones, composed of a mixture of plant-based proteins. Discover some of our favourite blends here, too!
1. Four Sigmatic - Plant-Based Protein Powder Unflavoured
Some unflavoured options like Four Sigmatic's Plant-Based Protein Powder Unflavoured can be added to your morning smoothie, bulking them up with some pea protein, without worrying about it affecting taste. If you’re already happy with the taste of your smoothies, pick this!
2. Four Sigmatic - Plant-Based Protein Powder | Multiple Flavours
For flavoured options, you can get Four Sigmatic's Plant-Based Protein Powders. It contains a blend of pea, coconut, hemp, and pumpkin protein. If you like baking, then this is for you. You can add them to pancake, waffle, or brownie batter recipes.
3. Nuzest - Clean Lean Protein Real Coffee
For more exciting-tasting plant-based protein powders made from peas, Nuzest's Clean Lean Protein Real Coffee is a great pick. Think about it. It’s coffee and protein - what better way to start a morning? Also, coffee milkshakes should be a thing. This way, you get bulk and energy!
Do Vegans Really Lack Protein?
You may have heard at some point or another that a vegan diet lacks sufficient protein. That’s not actually true if you’ve planned out your meals properly.
We said that plant-based proteins are made from rice, peas, soybeans, potatoes, and hemp. From those foods alone, you already get variety. Tofu, seitan, plant-based milk… loads of options are open to you! Some protein-rich foods are also lentils, chickpeas, almonds, and quinoa.
If all those ingredients already sound familiar, that’s because they should be! You see, most healthy vegans don’t really lack protein. That’s a misconception. Additional protein intake may be wanted when building up muscle and sometimes weight, though.
Plant-Based Protein Power
Are plant-based protein powders safe and effective in helping you build muscle? Yes. That’s why they're worth considering regardless if you’re vegan or not.
At PlantX, we have different plant-based protein powders you can try. Sometimes, it takes trying a few to find one that you think tastes great and works for your body!