While there are many protein powders available in the market, the options for vegans are few. To learn more about this different type of protein powder, read more.
Protein is an essential food group, needed by the human body. But when working out or exercising, a good amount of protein is needed by the body, to build muscles. For skinny people or featherweights, protein content forms a major part of the correct diet, as protein helps in building mass and healthy weight gain. The market is filled with gazillions of protein powders and supplements, of every flavor and price. But what about vegans and people who cannot eat animal products? Standard protein powders contain dairy or animal ingredients. So what’s a vegan, who needs to add protein to his/hers diet to do? Don’t fret, keep practicing your veganism and gain mass the healthy way, with a vegan protein powder.
Types of Vegan Protein Powder
Most protein powders are whey and egg. But lesser known and healthier options are vegan powders, whose protein isolates are rice, hemp and pea. Such powders are free of any animal and dairy ingredients. This makes them ideal protein supplements, for those following a holistic or vegan lifestyle. Even people who cannot consume animal products, due to diet, religious or ethical reasons, can make up their protein content, with these sort of powders. And while most protein powders are designed for heavy mass gain, associated with body building and sports, a vegan powder is a better choice for less bulked up weight gain. It is also useful as a nutrient source for convalescents. While non-vegan protein powders have whey, soy or animal protein isolates, there are 3 main vegan protein isolates:
Hemp Seed Protein
Hemp seeds are naturally rich in proteins. Their powder is a good vegetarian source of protein, coupled with healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Plus it is gluten-free and rich in antioxidants. Hemp seed also boosts the immune system.
Rice protein powders are characterized by their easy digestibility and gluten-free properties. While natural whole rice is not a pure protein source, with refinement processes, the protein is isolated, to increase its concentration in the powder. Rice protein is hypoallergenic, so it is a good choice in protein powders for those with allergies.
Pea protein powder is made from yellow peas. It is cholesterol-free and has branched chain amino acids, that help in mass and muscle gain. It is a little rare and hard to find, as compared to rice and hemp. It is also easily digestible and hypoallergenic, and is said to be the best in taste among vegan protein powders.
To make your search for the best vegan protein powder, to suit your fitness regime and diet easier, here are the top 10 powders:
- Garden of Life Raw Meal – $30
- Nutribiotic Rice Protein Vegan Vanilla – $30
- Pure Advantage 100% Natural Vanilla Pea Protein Powder – $45
- Sun Warrior Ultimate Raw Superfood Protein – $50
- Olympian Labs Pea Protein – $30
- Bio Chem 100% Vegan Protein – $20
- Lifetime Life’s Basics Plant Protein Power – $20
- SeQuel Vega Sport Performance Protein – $50
- Nature’s Way Alive! Rice Pea Shake – $25
- Genuine Health Vegan Proteins – $35
Vegan Protein Powder Nutrition Facts
To truly understand what goes into a vegan protein powder, here’s a nutritional analysis of a popular and high quality protein powder.
Sun Warrior Protein Raw Vegan Chocolate
- Whole brown rice protein
- Xanathan gum
1 scoop(21 grams) of Sunwarrior Protein Raw Vegan chocolate powder contains the following nutrients:
- 80 calories
- 1 gram of fat
- 0 grams of cholesterol
- 50 milligrams of sodium
- 5 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 gram of sugar
- 15 grams of protein
- Amino acids like Cystine (370 mg), Glutamate(2590 mg), Leucine(1240 mg) and Lysine(520 mg)
Sunwarrior’s formula of protein powder mix, has a 98.2% digestibility rate, making it very easy to digest.
A common complaint with protein powders, vegan and non-vegan, is their taste. But flavors and taste often come at a price, with an increase in sugar content and artificial flavorings. To get the best taste out of your powder, be creative in mixing and blending. To make a cold shake, instead of plain water, add ice cubes, or freeze the shake. A chilled shake is more replenishing and better-tasting than at normal temperature, or a warm one. Add vanilla or chocolate powder, just a small sprinkle, to add some extra flavor. Add extra water or vegan milk, to make a thicker shake. With a vegan protein powder, you get a healthier protein option, with no need to compromise on your vegan beliefs.