Protein is an essential part of a balanced diet, and supplementing meals with additional proteins can make a huge difference to anyone’s health journey. For years, animal products were seen as the best source of protein out there, but plant-based alternatives are quickly becoming the preferred option for many people.
Vegan protein powders are undeniably better for the environment than animal products, but there are many other benefits. They are packed with fiber, help boost the metabolism, and are high in vitamins and minerals. They also contain very few calories, acids, or allergens. Even if you’re not on a plant-based diet, vegan protein powder might be the best choice for your needs.
From Beyond Meat Burgers to oat milk lattes, the world is starting to realize the power of the plant. This article will detail all of the different benefits that vegan protein powders offer so that you can figure out whether they might be just the alternative you are looking for.
What Are the Benefits of Using Vegan Protein Powder?
You might have all sorts of reasons you want to choose a vegan protein powder, but you might be surprised by how many benefits these powders can provide. It’s not just about saving the planet and avoiding meat products; vegan protein powders can be better for you in several different ways.
1. High in Protein
The first and most important thing to note about vegan protein powder is that it can compete with any of the other options on the market regarding the amount of protein that it offers and how much is absorbed by the body.
There are different options to choose from for vegan protein sources, and some are absorbed more readily than others, but they can all offer as many grams of protein as any milk or egg-based powders. Additionally, vegan powders that are supplemented with enzymes to accelerate digestion are absorbed and processed just as quickly as whey.
2. Full of Fiber
Plants are high in fiber compared to animal products, and this provides great benefits for your digestive system. They can help you to feel full while at the same time regulating digestion and improving the way that your body processes waste.
4. Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
It’s no secret that plants are filled with vitamins and minerals that are essential for our health and general wellbeing. Vegan protein powders are naturally higher in vitamins and minerals than alternative sources, which is a win-win for your health.
5. Low in Allergens
One of the biggest problems with traditional protein powders is that many people have allergies to whey or problems digesting dairy. You might not even be aware that you have an issue with dairy products and suffer unnecessarily from inflammation or discomfort using a dairy-based protein powder.
One of the most common complaints that people have about protein powders is feeling bloated and gassy, which is often a result of digestive problems or an allergic reaction. Vegan protein powders are dairy-free and contain very few common allergens – there are even gluten-free and hypoallergenic options on the market.
6. Boosts the Metabolism
Some vegan protein sources, like pea protein, are absorbed more slowly than whey protein, but this can positively affect your metabolism. One of the reasons why protein is better for weight loss than fat or carbs is because your body digests it over time and therefore becomes more effective at metabolizing. Through slow digestion, vegan protein powders can improve your body’s ability to burn excess fat.
7. Good for the Environment
There is no question that we should all be doing more to protect the environment, and reducing our dependence on animal products is a big part of that. Plant proteins require far less water, land, and other resources to produce and have the added benefit of generating fewer greenhouse gases.
Where Are Vegan Protein Powders Available?
There are many different vegan protein powders on the market, but most are derived from a few core protein sources. Most plant-based protein powders use pea protein, hemp protein, or brown rice protein, though there are also many mixed plant proteins that you can find.
Because they are high in fiber, plant proteins are usually slower to digest than animal proteins, so some vegan protein powders incorporate enzymes or probiotics to boost digestion.
Our favorite vegan protein is Huge Vegan by Huge Supplements. They use four different food sources – fava bean, mung bean, pea, and brown rice, which will provide your body with all the essential amino acids. On top of that, it also tastes beyond amazing!
Let’s go over the different types of vegan proteins below.
Very popular and high in fiber, pea protein is rich in amino acids and has been shown to positively affect people with high blood pressure. While it can take longer to digest than whey protein, some studies have shown that it has a similar impact on muscle growth.
Hemp protein is less common than other plant-based proteins, but it is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have many important health benefits for the brain and the heart.
Brown Rice Protein
Brown rice protein powders have been around for longer than other vegan options as they are simple and easy to digest.
Mixed Plant Protein
To get all of the amino acids your body needs, many vegan protein powders use a mix of different protein sources, like brown rice, hemp, pea, alfalfa, chia seeds, etc.
Does Vegan Protein Powder Help You Gain Muscle?
All vegan protein powders positively affect muscle growth, and they generally provide as much benefit as animal protein alternatives.
Studies have shown that brown rice and pea protein are as effective as whey for body composition and performance compared to a placebo.
No protein powder on its own will be enough to add muscle. The purpose of these proteins is to refuel and repair your muscles after a workout, and vegan alternatives do this just as well as any animal product can.
Is Vegan Protein Powder Healthy?
Vegan protein powder can be a healthy way to add protein to your diet, but you need to pay attention to what you are putting into your body.
Whatever the protein source may be, some powders, particularly flavored options, have extra sugars, calories, and additives incorporated into the mix.
When choosing the healthiest protein powder for your needs, a vegan option is full of benefits. They are full of the proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals your body needs. They are better for your digestive system and are far less likely to cause an allergic reaction than animal proteins.
Featured Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash