Nutrition Market

Plant-Based Protein Powders

Plant-based protein powders are becoming an increasingly popular way for health-conscious consumers to add more protein to their diets from natural, vegan sources. Made from faba beans, peas, rice, hemp, and other high protein plant-based sources, these powders provide all the essential amino acids your body needs without the cholesterol and lactose found in animal-based proteins like whey.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the benefits of plant-based protein powders, how to choose the best organic vegan protein powder for your needs, delicious ways to incorporate them into your diet, and answers to frequently asked questions about meeting your daily protein needs on a plant-based diet.

What is Plant-Based Protein Powder?

Plant-based protein powders are supplements made from vegetarian sources like peas, faba beans, rice, hemp, and more. They contain all nine essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source. The powders are easy to add into smoothies, baked goods, and other foods to significantly increase your daily protein intake.

Compared to whey protein powder made from cow's milk, plant-based protein powders are cholesterol-free, lower in saturated fat, and free of lactose and animal products. This makes them suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and people with dairy sensitivities. Those with soy allergies can also often tolerate plant proteins like pea and hemp protein.

Benefits of Plant-Based Protein Powders

There are many excellent reasons to add plant-based protein powders into your diet:

  • They provide all nine essential amino acids needed to build and repair muscles.
  • The powders are naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat.
  • Great option for vegans, vegetarians, or people avoiding dairy.
  • Can aid muscle recovery and growth when consumed after workouts.
  • Helps increase overall daily protein intake from plant-based sources.
  • Easy to digest and absorb for most people.
  • Available in a wide variety of plant-based protein sources like pea, rice, hemp, and more.
  • Adds high quality vegan protein to smoothies, baked goods, yogurt, oats, and more.
  • More environmentally friendly than whey protein from animal farming.

How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?

Most experts recommend getting 0.36g - 0.45g of protein per pound of body weight per day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, that equals 54-68g of protein daily.

Calculate your specific daily protein needs and portion your plant-based protein powder accordingly to help meet your goals. Consuming 20-30g of plant-based protein powder delivers a solid protein boost.

Those following a vegan diet may have slightly higher protein needs than non-vegans. Make sure you are consuming sufficient protein daily from a variety of whole food sources like beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and tofu in addition to a plant-based protein powder supplement.

How to Choose the Best Plant-Based Protein Powder

With so many plant-based protein powders on the market, it can be tricky to determine which is the best vegan protein powder for your individual needs. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a high quality powder:

  • Protein source - Pick powders made from complete proteins like peas, faba beans, rice, hemp, or blended plant-based protein sources. Avoid soy if you have an allergy.
  • Protein content - Look for at least 15-20g of vegan protein per serving from the powder.
  • Third-party testing - Choose powders that have been independently lab-tested for safety and label accuracy.
  • Other ingredients - Select a powder with recognizable, natural additional ingredients. Avoid excessive unnecessary additives.
  • Taste - Sample different flavours and brands to find a plant-based protein powder you genuinely enjoy. Many brands offer sample packs.
  • Mixability - The powder should blend smoothly into liquids and foods without clumping.
  • Price - Plant-based protein powders range from $0.05 to $0.25 per gram of protein. Find your budget sweet spot.

Some of the most popular and reputable powders include Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder, Nuzest Clean Lean Protein, and Vega One Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder. Compare a few top-rated options to determine your favourite.

Tips for Incorporating Plant-Based Protein Powder Into Your Diet

Plant-based protein powders are extremely versatile and can be easily incorporated into your daily diet and recipes:

  • Smoothies - Blend vegan protein powder into your favourite smoothie recipe for a nutrition and protein boost. Chocolate and vanilla powders work well.
  • Overnight oats - Mix a scoop of powder into overnight oats along with plant milk and toppings for an high protein morning meal.
  • Baked goods - Add protein powder when baking healthy muffins, energy bites, protein bars and more.
  • Pancakes - Mix pea or other plant-based protein powder into your favourite pancake batter to up the protein.
  • Yogurt - Stir vegan protein powder into non-dairy yogurts like coconut or almond yogurt for a protein-packed snack.
  • Protein shakes - Blend powder with plant milk and fruit for a satisfying post-workout recovery drink.

Get creative and add it to soups, chia pudding, or on top of fruit and oatmeal too! Smoothies and protein shakes are easy go-to methods for incorporating plant-based protein powder into your daily diet.

FAQs

Are plant-based protein powders as effective as whey protein?

Yes, high-quality plant proteins like pea and rice protein provide all the essential amino acids needed to build muscle just as effectively as whey protein does. Studies show plant-based proteins produce similar muscle building and recovery results to animal-based proteins.

How much protein powder should I consume each day?

Most experts recommend getting 0.36g - 0.45g of protein per pound of body weight daily. Calculate your individual needs and portion your protein powder accordingly to help meet your goals along with other protein sources. 20-30g of powder is effective for most.

When should I take plant-based protein powder?

You can take plant-based protein powder anytime! But it's especially effective to consume a serving within an hour after strength training workouts for optimal muscle recovery.

Can I use plant-based protein if I'm allergic to soy?

Yes, there are many soy-free, plant-based protein options like pea, faba bean, rice, hemp, and blended plant proteins. Always check the label if you have a soy allergy.

Do I still need other protein sources if I use plant-based protein powder?

Yes, eating whole food proteins like beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and tofu as part of your regular diet is still recommended for overall health. Protein powder is a supplemental boost.

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