In recent years, plant protein has emerged as a nutritional powerhouse, captivating the attention of everyone requiring a protein boost, from the health-conscious to high-performance athletes and nutritional experts alike. With the rising interest in plant-based diets and the quest for sustainable and ethical food choices, plant protein has become a preferred alternative to dairy-based protein sources like whey protein. This blog post explores your plant protein options, their benefits, and their potential to revolutionise how we nourish our bodies.
What is Plant-based Protein powder?
As the name suggests, plant protein powder is derived from plant sources. The increased demand for greener living has ensured that the market caters for plant-based lifestyles by offering multiple protein powders that are not only highly nutritious and delicious but are environmentally friendly. Plant protein options range predominantly from pea, rice, hemp, soy protein, and pumpkin seed sources.
The most popular plant-based protein powders:
Pea protein isolate packs a nutritional punch, being one of the few plant protein sources with a complete amino acid profile. Rich in all of the nine essential amino acids as well as branched-chain amino acids (l leucine, l isoleucine, and l valine), pea protein offers added performance benefits such as enhanced muscle recovery and growth. Pea protein is a great option for those with intolerances as it is hypoallergenic and is easily digestible.
Sourced from brown rice, these grains are excellent solutions for those sensitive to dairy-based protein powders. This plant protein powerhouse contains all nine essential amino acids and is easily digested. Rice protein has the added benefit of being rich in lysine, an amino acid often lacking in plant-based diets, supporting calcium absorption.
Another complete protein source, hemp protein powder, is rich in minerals and vitamins whilst containing the essential amino acids. Fortified with a high dose of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, hemp protein powders benefit heart health. It could be enjoyed as a delicious, fast-digesting shake or added to your healthy recipes, from smoothies to those delicious plant-based treats.
Plant protein blends:
Blending multiple plant-based protein sources has recently become a trend, and for good reason. The nutritional value is bolstered by blending different plant protein sources, such as hemp and pea protein powders together. Getting the best of these non-dairy protein powders offers vegans and those who follow vegetarian lifestyles multiple health benefits and ensures that they reach their daily protein intake requirements.
Click here to see our wide range of complete plant protein powders enriched with active ingredients to suit your lifestyle.
What makes plant protein better than dairy-based protein powders?
- Natural flavours: Plant protein powders have the added value of delicious flavours closer to nature, unlike the rich, artificial flavour enhancers popular in milk protein powders.
- Digestibility: Plant or vegan protein powder is dairy-free and less likely to cause stomach upsets. Protein powders consisting of whey protein or casein will likely require higher amounts of digestive enzymes to help the body break down the lactose content. This makes plant-based protein powders a welcome solution for individuals battling lactose intolerance.
- High in Fibre: Plant-based protein sources are typically higher in fibre, which promotes healthy digestion, regulates blood sugar levels (reducing sugar cravings), and supports cardiovascular health. Fibre also enhances satiety, may increase metabolism speed and aid weight loss efforts.
- Sustainability: The environmental impact of plant protein is considerably lower than that of animal protein, making vegan protein powders ideal for the environmentally conscious. In addition, many vegan plant protein powders are GMO-free.
- Performance-based results: Backed by this scientific study*athletes following a plant-based diet are more likely to perform at optimal levels and overall health. Protein powder supplementation post-workout is known to promote muscle recovery.
Plant-protein: The future of protein powders
The future of nutrition is moving towards a plant-centric paradigm. As more people embrace plant-based diets for health, ethical, and environmental reasons, the demand for plant protein continues to soar over that of animal proteins. Supplement manufacturers are increasingly developing innovative plant-based protein products.
Moreover, athletes and fitness enthusiasts recognise plant protein’s performance benefits, as it aids in muscle recovery, enhances energy levels, and promotes overall well-being. With ongoing research and technological advancements, plant protein products’ quality, taste, and availability are expected to improve further, appealing to a broader consumer base.
By harnessing the power of plant protein powders, vegans and vegetarians can promote plant protein as a viable and superior alternative to animal-based protein, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable future for individuals and the planet.
- Fuhrman, Joel; Ferreri, Deana M.. Fueling the Vegetarian (Vegan) Athlete. Current Sports Medicine Reports 9(4):p 233-241, July 2010. | DOI: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e3181e93a6f