As you may have heard, the vegan movement is growing every single day, and with more and more people following vegan lifestyles, the vegan-friendly products currently available are more diverse than ever. You probably heard about the “controversy” a vegan ‘sausage’ roll caused recently, but don’t worry, for today’s article we’re going down a much healthier route. Yes, today we’re going to be looking at vegan protein powder. There is a common misconception that vegans are all frail and weak because they allegedly don’t get enough protein. While it is true that it is tougher to find high protein sources while adhering to a vegan lifestyle, if you know where to look there are still plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking to bulk up and build muscle, or simply ensure that you reach your daily macro requirements for protein intakes, vegan protein powder supplements could prove extremely beneficial. But how do you find a vegan protein powder, which proteins are available, and how can they be used? Read on, and all will soon become clear.
Different vegan protein powder options
First off, when it comes to choosing a vegan-friendly protein powder, there are now more choices than ever before. Decades ago, if you wanted a vegan-friendly protein powder, the only alternative you had available was soy protein. While soy is still available, there is now much more to choose from. Popular vegan protein powder options include:
Soy protein – Soy protein has been around a long time and once upon a time, it was the only alternative to whey. Soy protein is derived from soya flour, which is in turn made from soya beans. Now, recently soy protein has fallen out of favour with health enthusiasts, because there is some evidence to suggest that soy can increase Estrogen production, which in turn lowers testosterone and promotes increases in body fat.
Pea protein – Pea protein is a very popular vegan-friendly protein. It is derived from yellow split peas and is made by removing the fibre and the starch. Typically pea protein powder is roughly 80% protein, though there are isolates available that are even higher. It is however, allergen-free so not only is it vegan-friendly, it’s great for people suffering from food allergies and intolerances as well.
Brown rice protein – When people think of rice, they generally think of carbohydrates, and for good reason. Rice is indeed rich in carbs, but it turns out that brown rice is also a great source of vegan-friendly protein as well. Brown rice protein is a great source of minerals as it is packed full of magnesium, selenium, zinc, and manganese. It’s also rich in B vitamins, that are great for our energy levels. In order for the rice to become a protein, it has over 80% of its starch removed, so in reality the protein powder is no higher in carbs than any other protein out there. It too is hypoallergenic so people with allergies and intolerances will also benefit hugely from it.
Hemp protein – Yes, hemp protein does indeed come from that plant, but don’t worry, there are no mind-altering substances found in hemp protein at all. Hemp protein is a fantastic source of plant-based protein that is fantastic for people looking to bulk up, while adhering to a vegan lifestyle. Hemp protein is actually a complete protein because it contains 20 unique amino acids, including all 9 essential amino acids that the human body is unable to synthesize by itself. Hemp seeds also contain healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which is yet another reason why hemp protein is considered to be so beneficial. Hemp protein is therefore a fantastic protein for anybody looking to increase their protein intakes, build muscle, and improve their health and well-being in general.
Vegan protein blends – Lately, vegan protein blends have been trending worldwide, and for good reason. Vegan protein blends are ideal for vegans looking to find a healthy and quality protein that ticks all of the boxes. Different companies do of course offer different blends, but typically you will find that most vegan protein blends are made up of three different plant-based protein sources, which are usually: hemp protein, pea protein, and brown rice protein. Combining all three together is fantastic because you get all of the benefits from each one. For example, brown rice protein is rich in minerals, but doesn’t contain healthy fats. Hemp protein however, also contains healthy fats, so by combining the two together, along with the pea protein, you get the fatty acids and the minerals. Basically, each protein brings its own unique benefits to the table, and by combining them all together you enjoy each benefit with none of the drawbacks.
How to use vegan protein powder
A lot of people often wonder whether vegan protein powder can be used in the same way as other protein powders on the market. It can. Here are some suggestions of ways in which you can use vegan protein powder to get the most from it.
As a shake – The simplest way to use vegan protein powder is to simply consume it in the form of a shake. Vegan protein powders are now available in a variety of delicious flavours, and in all honesty, they taste virtually the same as any other protein shake out there. Simply add to a shaker cup or blender, mix, and enjoy with water. Milk substitutes such as almond milk or coconut water may also be used.
As a smoothie – If you want the ultimate early morning pick-me-up, why not start your day with a vegan protein smoothie? Simply take a blender, fill with water/almond milk etc, add some ice and your protein. Now, you get to add whatever you like. Some people will add banana, flax seeds, mixed berries, spinach leaves, and oatmeal before blending, but in truth, you can add whatever you like.
Bake with it – Vegan protein powder can also be used in baking. You can make vegan pancakes, vegan muffins, vegan flapjacks, vegan cupcakes, and much more besides. Not only will they taste delicious, they will also be extremely good for you as well.