Vegan Protein Powder: Everything You Want to Know

24 Aug 2022
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Perhaps you want to experiment with a plant-based diet. Maybe you're already a vegetarian or vegan and looking for methods to integrate more plant protein into your diet. Perhaps you're curious about the benefits and drawbacks of plant-based proteins and whether you should try plant protein supplements (powder). 

Whatever your reason and regardless of your health and fitness goals, incorporating plant protein powder into your diet is a fantastic way to support your body. It's such an easy way to add high-quality macronutrients, vitamins and vital minerals into your diet while saving time. Toss a scoop into a shake, oatmeal, cereal, yoghurt, plain almond milk or water. You can add it to baked goods, pancake batter, and other foods like mashed sweet potato or pumpkin. Get creative!

First, let's examine the difference between plant and animal protein, the advantages of organic protein powder over non-organic protein powders, and other critical variables to consider when choosing an organic protein powder to meet your needs. 

*Please keep in mind: if you have pre-existing health concerns, you should consult with your healthcare practitioner before changing your diet too dramatically; for instance, by replacing meals with protein water as a way to lose weight. Also, you may need more than just protein in every meal, especially if you are deficient in something.

 

Plant Protein Versus Animal Protein

Protein synthesis in a nutshell: Protein consists of amino acid chains. Your body builds protein out of 20 amino acids - it needs all of them. However, 9 of them need to be obtained by eating, and the other 11 your body can make using those 9.  

Animal protein is more accessible because it contains enough of all nine essential amino acids from a single food source. On the other hand, plant proteins have all nine, too, but depending on the food source, certain amino acids are present in meager quantities. For example, nuts, seeds and grains don't provide much lysine and beans, peas, and lentils are low in methionine and cysteine. 

Therefore, you need to eat various plant protein sources together sometimes to get enough of all nine essential amino acids. Nevertheless, you'll give your body what it needs as long as you eat a range of plant protein types. Protein deficiency is unusual among vegetarians and vegans who maintain a well-planned and diverse diet.

 

 

Benefits and Precautions of a Vegan Diet

A plant-based diet has been linked to several health benefits like better blood sugar regulation and reduced blood pressure and can help with heart health, weight loss and other issues. In addition, studies show vegans have lower BMIs than non-vegans, which may result in a lower risk of chronic disease in particular populations. 

A vegan diet has also been related to lower cancer risk. Furthermore, it appears to lessen arthritis pain and may reduce your chances of having age-related cognitive impairment

However, without careful planning, vegan diets may cause nutritional shortages. If they are poorly planned or include too many overly processed foods, they can raise your risk of nutrient deficiencies, particularly in vitamin B12, iron, iodine, zinc, calcium, and long-chain omega-3s. 

You can reduce your risk of nutritional deficiencies by limiting your diet of processed plant foods. In addition, using supplements and fortified foods to fill nutritional shortages is an easy way to reduce your chances of having adverse side effects from a vegan diet.

 

 

Vegan Protein Powder Benefits

Plant-based protein supplements have many benefits, including:

  • Plant protein powder is nutrient-dense, including antioxidants, minerals, nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Plant proteins are fibre-rich.
  • They're lactose-free. However, plant protein powder digests more smoothly even if you're not allergic to dairy. Casein and whey are challenging to digest.
  • They can ensure you get sufficient protein to meet daily requirements if you're mostly eating salads and vegetables. 

 

Vegan Protein Powder Disadvantages

Plant-based protein supplements also have some disadvantages, including:

  • Most plant proteins are incomplete and must be combined to get all necessary amino acids.
  • Some plant-based proteins are heavy in carbs, which isn't optimal for low-carbers.
  • Plant protein supplements cost more than whey.
  • Plant-based protein powders are sometimes grainy and hard to blend.
  • Plant-based iron isn't absorbed as quickly as animal iron. To improve iron absorption, combine plant protein with vitamin C-rich meals like citrus, cruciferous vegetables, strawberries, and tomatoes. Or take vitamin C supplements with it. 
  •  

How Much Protein Your Body Needs

Depending on your degree of physical activity, the average individual requires 0.45-0.73 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.0-1.6 grams per kg) daily. That equates to 70-113 grams for a 155-pound (70-kg) person. 

Note: Your body can only absorb 25 to 30 grams of protein at a time, which is why bodybuilders space out their eating schedule to meals every three hours. 

 

Choosing the Best Vegan Protein Powder 

The following criteria usually ensure a good product choice:

  • quality ingredients
  • lack of fillers, additives, chemicals, preservatives, and artificial flavours or ingredients
  • third-party testing approved
  • compliance with manufacturing quality standards

 

 

Other Easy Guidelines for Picking the Best Vegan Protein Powder

Look for the "USDA Organic" Label

Look for the USDA Certified Organic certification if you want an organic protein powder that is devoid of artificial ingredients or preservatives and was produced without the use of synthetic pesticides. Sorry, but words like "natural" are insufficient. (It is entirely unregulated.) 
Because conventional foods are not required to fulfil the stringent organic food standards, you have less information about how it was grown and what was used to treat them. However, paying a little more for organic is worth it because organic and non-GMO foods minimize pesticide contamination, which is toxic to gut bacteria and can lead to a leaky gut. 

Opt for Blend Protein Mixes to get all your Amino Acids

The best plant-based protein powders integrate various plant proteins to make a complete protein. Check the label to ensure that your powder has a well-balanced mix of amino acids. A plant-based protein blend (for example, a combination of hemp, pea, and rice) is your best bet. 

Go


od Mix Choice:
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, Vanilla Bean 

USDA Organic Plant Protein (Beans, Brown Rice, Chia Seeds), low carb, 0 g sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free, lactose-free, Soy-free, kosher, GMO-free, carrageenan-free, and no artificial ingredients

CLICK TO BUY


 

 

It Should be Carrageenan-Free

Carrageenan is a seaweed-derived natural component occasionally used as a thickener or emulsifier in protein powders. Even though it is now permitted in certified organic foods, previous studies indicate that it can cause unpleasant gastrointestinal inflammation. 

It Should be Low- or Sugar-Free

Choose an unflavored, unsweetened protein powder because you'll be mixing it with fruit in your smoothie anyway. If you want something sweet, pick a protein powder with stevia. Sugar alcohols such as xylitol and erythritol can cause gassiness and bloating, and artificial sweeteners have been shown in tests to be harmful to your health.

 

Plant Protein Powder Types

Vegan protein powder can replace whey protein powder and casein protein. Types include:

Soy Protein

Soy is the best plant-based complete protein (it contains all nine essential amino acids) that provides moderate digestion and absorption. In addition, soy is a superb source of glutamine (a naturally occurring amino acid that may help prevent muscle damage and expedite tissue repair during muscle growth), iron, zinc, calcium, fibre, and B vitamins. It also contains BCAAs, which build muscle.

Furthermore, soy isoflavone can reduce oxidative stress (unbalanced antioxidants and free radicals cause oxidative stress), blood pressure and hypertension.

Good Choices:
Soy Vegan Protein Powder MyProtein AUTHENTIC | Perfect Meal Replacement
It's made from defatted soybeans and uses an innovative process to produce low fat, low sugar, and low carbs – it's ideal for increasing protein intake without adding unnecessary extra calories.

CLICK TO BUY


 

Bodylogix Vegan (Chocolate 4 LBS) Plant-Based Protein Powder, NSF Certified, Non-GMO, Lactose-Free
SF Contents Tested & Certified

  • 100% of the Protein is Plant-Based
  • Gluten-Free & Lactose-Free
  • Contains Chia & Sprouted Quinoa Superfoods
  • Sweetened with Stevia
  •  

This plant-based protein alternative has a complete amino acid profile, is made without soy, and contains 25g of highly bioavailable, multi-source plant proteins. In addition, it supports gut health with 4g of prebiotic fibre and builds red blood cells with over 50% DV of Iron per serving.

CLICK TO BUY


Pea Protein

Pea protein absorbs quickly in the body, like whey. Pea protein powder is mildly earthy. Some brands sell flavoured protein powder if you don't like pea flavour.

Good Choices: 
Soluxe Vegan High Fibre Organic Pea Protein Shake Powder Unflavoured (500g) 
SoluxeTM HIGH FIBRE Pea Protein (unflavored) is a 100 percent pure plant-based pea protein isolate with added inulin, a natural high fibre enhancer that boosts satiety and keeps you fuller for longer. The inulin is produced from chicory root using a mild hot water extraction method. It promotes growth of beneficial bacteria, which has been linked to improved bowel function and overall health. It is a pure pea protein isolate with excellent nutritional and functional value. It has an extremely high protein content of 85 percent.

The Soluxe (TM) Protein is obtained from a reputable Belgian pea protein producer. It is a pure pea protein isolate with excellent nutritional and functional value.

CLICK TO BUY


 

Soluxe x Niko Neko Premium Vegan Hojicha Latte Organic Pea Protein Shake Powder Powder Isolate (500g)​

Treat yourself with this luxurious premium hojicha latte with all the goodness of matcha green tea and less caffeine. Authentic Japanese green tea is roasted in a unique way to provide a rich caramelly, mild umami, and smoky flavour. This delectable blend gives an antioxidant boost and additional protein to help you achieve your daily dietary requirements. It is free of milk and soy and contains the finest MCT coconut cream and sunflower lecithin for a healthy yet indulgent smoother texture.

CLICK TO BUY


 

The next supplement is a Keto-friendly version pea powder!

Orgain Keto Plant-Based Protein Powder, Vanilla

Keto Friendly, Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free, Organic Prebiotic Fiber with coconut and avocado oils.

Ingredients include:

  • Orgain organic keto plant creamer™ (organic coconut oil, organic acacia, organic avocado oil, organic cocoa butter).
  • Organic pea protein.
  • Organic erythritol.
  • Organic alkalized cocoa.
  • Organic and natural flavours.
  • Organic rice bran extract.
  • Organic guar gum.
  • Sea salt.
  • Organic stevia.
  • Xanthan gum. 

 

CLICK TO BUY


 

Rice Protein 

Brown rice protein is high in B-vitamins, fibre, and lactose and is gluten-free. You must combine rice protein with another protein to be complete. Because brown rice is deficient in lysine, it's not a complete protein. Brown rice protein has a nutty flavour.

Some manufacturers soak brown rice in water to sprout and ferment for added nourishment. Germinating brown rice increases nutrients like fatty acids while reducing anti-nutrients like tannins and phytates. 

Good Choices: 

Sunwarrior Classic Plus, Vegan Protein Powder with Peas & Brown Rice, Raw Organic Plant Based Protein 375g (15 Servings

CLICK TO BUY


 

This next one has greens in it too!

Orgain Organic Protein & Greens Plant Based Protein Powder, Creamy Chocolate Fudge, Vegan, Gluten Free, 1.94

This protein powder contains 21g of organic plant protein (beans, brown rice and chia seeds), organic leafy greens and vegetables, a perfect blend of organic fibre spinach, kale and broccoli, and 7g of sugar (1g naturally occurring sugar). It is USDA organic, vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free, kosher, carrageenan-free, with no artificial ingredients, and medically developed. It is ideal as a supplement for your diet and nutritional needs. It's also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and phosphorus; thus, it's suitable for healthy nutrition on the go for men, women and children. This supplement is great for busy lifestyles, meal replacement drinks, weight management, smoothie or breakfast blends, snacks, muscle recovery, and pre-and post-workout.

Classic Plus is rice protein with the addition of amino acids from peas, quinoa, chia seeds, and amaranth. It also contains calcium, fibre, and B vitamins; these additional beneficial nutrients help to balance the amino acids.  

CLICK TO BUY


 

 

Hemp Powder

The hemp seed is ground up and pulverized to make hemp protein powder. Hemp powder provides all nine necessary amino acids. Hemp powder also contains omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, magnesium, zinc, and iron. 

Hemp powder tastes earthy or nutty. Once opened, hemp protein powder should be refrigerated to prevent rancidity. It also should be consumed in moderation because the fibre content is high, and too much fibre can produce bloating, gas or cramping. 

 

Sacha Inchi

Sacha Inchi Powder is a grain-free, paleo-friendly protein source. Sacha inchi is a complete protein, including all nine necessary amino acids. In addition, sacha inchi contains omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids aren't generated by the body and must be eaten. They improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and boost mental well-being. Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential and can minimize chronic illness. Omega-9 fatty acids aren't "necessary," but they're healthful. They reduce inflammation and insulin sensitivity.

Studies suggest sacha inchi may prevent cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure and cholesterol due to its high essential fatty acid content. Sacha inchi's fatty acid profile is similar to flaxseed, another "superfood." It also can reduce insulin resistance, helping you digest a large meal and absorb its nutrients. 

Sacha inchi also contains Vitamins E, and A. Vitamin A is suitable for your eyesight, bones, growth, and reproduction. Vitamin E can protect cells from free radicals, enhance the immune system, and prevent degenerative illness.

 

Good Choices:

Omegoodness T60 Vegan Protein Powder 907g Pack

Sacha Inchi Vegan Meat substitute powder Protein powder instead of meat. From Inca star seeds Made from 100% natural farms, Fair Trade products, grown and processed by natural and organic methods. This is a life-changing food, bursting with complete protein and all the essential amino acids your body needs; give your body what it's been craving. This powder is 60% protein by weight.

CLICK TO BUY


 

This next one is a mix that contains sacha inchi.

Epic Protein, Plant-Based Protein & Superfoods Powder, Original, Unflavored | Organic Protein Powder, Vega

CLICK TO BUY


 

Other Plant Proteins That are Unconventional But Great

Dr Murray's, Super Foods, Unflavored, 3 Seed Vegan Protein Powder, 16 oz (453.5 g

Description Plant Protein Blend 19 g Protein - 0 g Net Carbs - 0 g Sugar - 120 Calories Soy Free, Keto Friendly, Non-GMO, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, USDA Organic, No artificial or "natural" flavouring, no sweeteners, no gums, or additives. This vegan supplement offers 19g of protein per serving derived from pumpkin, sunflower, and flax seeds, yellow pea, and sacha inchi. These sources combine to provide significant advantages compared to other vegetarian proteins. In addition, its optimal formulation with phytochemicals and prebiotics from Jerusalem Artichoke and Cranberry Seed provides complete muscle recovery and boosted digestion.

CLICK TO BUY


Organic Plant Coconut Protein Powder Pure Vegan 7 Serves 280 g CocoFit

CocoFit Plant Protein Made from organic coconut, 100% vegan and GMO-free, 18 g protein per scoop (46% protein),

CLICK TO BUY


 

Freshly Ground Almond Powder Sweet Rich Protein Various Vitamin Delicate Taste Smooth Fragrant Vegan

No added sugar, no artificial flavours, no preservatives, and has HACCP, ISO22000 double certification.

CLICK TO BUY


 

In Conclusion

Adopting a plant-based diet can be difficult if you're used to consuming meat, dairy, and eggs. Knowing how to incorporate a healthy balance of foods and keep to a new, unfamiliar diet can be challenging. With all the hype about "superfoods" and unique ingredients, you may think you need hundreds of dollars (and a nutrition degree!) to get started. But as you can see, you don't! 

A plant-based diet isn't rigid. Eat a balanced mix of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and legumes. Incorporate some of the above-mentioned protein powders, and you're sure to get it right! You can substitute plant-based proteins for animal ingredients in most recipes.

Plant-based eating involves whole, clean foods that fuel your body. Listen to your body, and be patient and persistent while starting a plant-based diet. It could take you only a few days, or it could take you weeks to adjust, but plant-based living is worth it. You will undoubtedly notice and feel an improvement in your energy levels, mental health, and overall well-being if you stick with it! 

Additionally, plant-based diets have a smaller carbon footprint than meat and dairy. So, it's the more sustainable decision. Eat more vegetables and fewer animals for health, money, animal cruelty prevention, and the environment!