THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER
If you’re a proud vegan, lactose intolerant, or just someone who prefers a plant-based diet, the choices of foods and products available that meet your dietary requirements yet also provide flavour and nutrition has increased significantly over the years. Finding vegan-friendly products in your supermarket aisles and on the menus of your local restaurants seems to be much easier, and having options for on-the-go snacks and meals that you can enjoy and deliver the nutrients you need daily is also less of a challenge too.
That’s where vegan protein powder comes in.
Adding vegan protein powder into your diet is a great way to up your protein intake and get the nutrient boost you need, bringing benefits to both your mind and body, all from plant-based sources. As our lives seem to get busier by the day—the demands of kids, family, career and relationships—it can be hard to find time for ourselves, and mealtime is often something we skip or fit in around other responsibilities. Vegan protein powder provides an easy and efficient way to eat healthily without interrupting your day or missing meals altogether!
So, what actually is vegan protein powder? What are the benefits of adding a vegan protein powder to your diet? How do you choose the best vegan protein powder for you, and why is vegan protein powder a perfect fit for a busy lifestyle?
Read on to discover all of this and more.
WHAT IS VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER?
Walking into a supplement store or shopping for protein powder online, you’ll no doubt notice an abundance of whey protein powders available, which used to be the go-to for workout queens (and kings) the world over. Vegan protein powder, however, is battling animal-based proteins in the popularity contest, for not only do they deliver a rich source of protein, but they have added benefits not found in whey protein powders—benefits that are more suitable to those who are opposed to animal products or have sensitivities to dairy, and even benefits to the planet too (more on that later).
Vegan protein powders are usually made with either rice, soy, pea or hemp protein, but you’ll often find a blend of two plant-based sources of protein, which creates a complete protein.
What do we mean by complete protein?
For something to be considered a complete protein, it needs to contain all of the 9 essential amino acids needed from our diet. Amino acids are often referred to as ‘the building blocks of protein’ and are required for optimal bodily function. There are 20 amino acids in total—11 that are found in our bodies already and named ‘non-essential’, and the other 9 must be sourced from our diet or suitable supplements and are therefore called ‘essential’.
On their own, most plant-based sources of protein either don’t provide all of the essential amino acids required from our diet, or they do, but they’re in such low amounts that they can’t be considered a complete protein (this is the case for rice and pea protein). This is why the combination of two are blended together—to deliver higher quantities of certain essential amino acids, boosting their nutritional value.
The only plant-based proteins that are considered complete are hemp and soy protein. However, it should be noted that hemp protein has considerably low levels of the amino acid lysine, therefore making the quality or protein levels found in hemp much lower than a plant-based blend. This is where animal protein differs, as they’re all complete proteins being that they contain the full amino acid profile that our bodies need.
Does that mean plant-based protein isn’t as good as dairy-based protein powder? No, of course not. It just means that you need to look for a vegan protein powder that has blend of two plant proteins, or if you’re using a protein powder made with a single source of plant-based protein, you enjoy it in conjunction with additional plant protein sources in your diet (think rice, seeds, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, oats and grains). See our quick breakdown below of each plant-based protein.
- It’s easily digestible, allergen and gluten-free.
- Predominantly derived from brown rice as it provides higher levels of protein than white rice.
- Contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids (it’s without lysine).
- Sustainable and environmentally friendly.
- Made from yellow split peas.
- High in iron and contains all 9 essential amino acids (although low in methionine), particularly rich in arginine and branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.
- Low allergen and gluten-free.
- Easily digestible.
- Has a smooth, creamy texture, making it easy to blend and mixes well.
- Easily digestible.
- Contains all 9 essential amino acids (although low in lysine).
- Rich in fibre and various minerals, including iron, zinc, and magnesium.
- Contains beneficial unsaturated fats.
- Earthy taste.
- Sourced from dehydrated soybean flakes.
- Free from cholesterol and low in fat and calories.
- Contains all 9 essential amino acids in similar amounts, unlike other plant proteins.
- Does contain phytates which are also known as ‘anti-nutrients’, decreasing the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body.
- May want to avoid it if you suffer from food sensitivities, as soy can be a common allergen.
BENEFITS OF USING VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER
Consuming a plant-based diet has its benefits—not just for your well-being, but for the environment too. By reducing the greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and, therefore, decreasing the degradation of Mother Nature, choosing vegan-friendly products can have a significant impact on the planet as well as on your health too.
We’ve mentioned that a vegan protein powder is ideal for those with sensitivities to dairy or who have issues with digestion, but there is also a heap of other benefits that come with adding a vegan protein powder to your diet that support you both physically and mentally and can help you reach your personal health and fitness goals.
So, what are they? See below.
HELPS TO MEET DAILY PROTEIN INTAKE
Finding the time in our day to stop for a nutritious feed can be an impossible task at the best of times. Factor in work deadlines, family responsibilities, daily errands and pups who want your attention 100% of the time (just us?), and getting the nutrients your body needs to perform at its best can be challenging. Incorporating a vegan protein powder into your diet is a quick and convenient way to meet our daily protein requirements and also provides a rich source of fibre and antioxidants.
Both vegan protein powder and whey contain a similar amount of protein per serving—on average, 20-30 grams—so it’s quite easy to hit the recommended average daily protein intake of 46 grams for adult women and 56 grams for adult men.
In Australia, the guidelines for the daily protein intake for individuals aged between 19-70 are:
Men – 0.84 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Women – 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Whether it be in a smoothie or shake, snacks or baked goods, finding a flavour and formula that you like can provide a healthy alternative to unwanted snacking and the occasional meal substitute.
SUPPORTS MUSCLE GROWTH & RECOVERY
If you’re someone who plays competitive sports, works out regularly or has personal fitness goals of increasing strength and building lean muscle, then incorporating a vegan protein powder into your diet is the way to go.
As mentioned earlier, when a vegan protein powder is made with two sources of plant-based protein (Happy Way vegan protein powders contain pea and rice protein), they’re considered a complete protein because they contain the full amino acid profile, with each amino acid at consistent levels. In particular, a complete vegan protein powder has BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids ) which are necessary for protein synthesis.
BCAAs are made of three essential amino acids—leucine, isoleucine and valine—and are absorbed rapidly by the muscles in the body instead of being broken down by the liver. They stimulate muscle growth in the body, increase strength, and help maintain lean muscle mass by preventing the breakdown of muscle during exercise. The other benefit of adding a vegan protein powder into your routine is that it can assist with recovery post-exercise. Enjoying a vegan protein powder shake or smoothie after an intense workout can help repair any muscle tissue damage that may have occurred during your training, as well as allow for a quicker recovery between workouts.
ENCOURAGES HEALTHY DIGESTION
Whilst some people experience symptoms of bloating when consuming dairy-based protein powders, this is less likely to occur when adding a vegan protein powder to your diet. Lactose can cause stomach issues or discomfort for those who have intolerances to dairy products or suffer from allergies, but being that vegan protein powders contain no dairy and they’re gluten-free, it often makes them much easier to digest for many individuals.
Happy Way vegan protein powders also contain psyllium husk, which is a soluble fibre that supports overall gut and digestive health, preventing constipation or irregular bowel movements.
When choosing a vegan protein powder to include in your daily routine, it’s important to look at the list of ingredients to ensure it’s packed with nutrients that not only help to boost energy and assist with your fitness goals but that’ll also support your overall health and well-being (more on how to choose the best vegan protein powder later).
At Happy Way, our vegan protein powders are made with a blend of organic superfoods, including organic chia seeds, organic cacao, organic maca powder etc., that are each packed with various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help to fight off illness and disease, support blood and heart health and lower cholesterol.
HELPS CONTROL APPETITE & SUPPORT WEIGHT LOSS
Being that vegan protein powders are rich in fibre and protein, they can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer periods, preventing unnecessary snacking and temptations between meals. Plant-based protein powder is also usually lower in calories than dairy-based protein too, which is great if you’re monitoring your calorie intake or daily macros. If you’re looking to lose or control your weight, having a smoothie or shake throughout the day can be used as a meal replacement or a healthy alternative to high-sugar snacks, which can be a great choice if you’re looking to lose or control your weight, considering it provides numerous nutritional benefits and can help to control your appetite.
The other way vegan protein powders help with weight management is in their ability to boost energy, endurance and focus, therefore allowing you to train for longer periods which encourages weight loss and a decrease in fat. As mentioned, vegan protein powders also assist with recovery, which means you can get back to the gym quicker with minimal aches and pains and maintain a consistent training schedule which will help towards your weight loss goals.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER
When it comes to choosing the best vegan protein powder to add to your daily routine, there are some things you should consider.
QUALITY OF INGREDIENTS
We all want to consume things that nourish both the mind and body and provide nutritional benefits that support our health and well-being. So, when deciding on which is the best vegan protein powder that will not only meet your needs but also help you achieve your personal goals, the first thing is to look at the quality of ingredients listed on the back of the product.
Many protein powders out on the market today, whether they be dairy or vegan protein powders, contain artificial ingredients designed to enhance the flavour or improve the texture and formula of the product. Anything artificial in your vegan protein powder—whether it be artificial sugars, flavours or preservatives—will have its own set of side effects that will impact the overall quality of the protein powder and, therefore, the benefits you receive from it. Another important thing to look out for is the amount of protein in the vegan protein powder. To gain maximum results, ensure it contains approximately 20-30 grams of protein per serving.
When deciding on a vegan protein powder to add to your daily routine, look for one that is without any hidden nasties and instead is made with all-natural ingredients. You want to pick a protein that’s gluten-free, non-GMO and contains high-quality, organic superfood ingredients to ensure it’ll provide ample nutritional benefits. Choosing an organic vegan protein powder means that the ingredients are in their purest form, bursting with nutrients that haven’t been covered by chemicals, and non-GMO is important as it means your vegan protein powder won’t be genetically modified and contaminated with harmful pesticides or toxins.
At Happy Way, our vegan protein powders are 100% natural and proud to tick all of the above when it comes to the quality of ingredients. They also contain just over 20 g of protein per 30 g serve.
FLAVOUR & TASTE
If you’re adding something to your diet that you plan on consuming daily, there’s no question that it should taste amazing, right?! Sure, you may want a vegan protein powder for its nutritional value and for the purpose of gaining benefits that support your health and fitness, but even if it’s just for those reasons, your vegan protein powder shouldn’t be something that you don’t look forward to tasting in your morning smoothie or post-workout shake.
A lot of protein powders available can have a rather chalky flavour or powdery aftertaste to them, but this isn’t the case for all protein brands. You can find vegan protein powders that deliver a smooth texture and creamy taste, and whose flavour actually tastes like what it says on the bag. Vanilla is a popular flavour as it can be enjoyed in a smoothie with any additional ingredients like fruits etc., and it provides a subtly sweet base to many baked goods and recipes. Chocolate varieties are also a customer favourite in vegan protein powders as they provide a healthy alternative to a high-sugar chocolate snack and help to satisfy any sweet tooth cravings.
Some brands offer smaller sample-size packs of protein powder which is a great option if you’re just starting out on your protein journey, as it allows you to try various flavours before committing to a full-size protein.
Check out our Happy Way Vegan Protein Powder Sample Packs, available in a two-serve, 60 g size.
PRICE & BRAND REPUTATION
Of course, price can be a consideration and deciding factor when it comes to implementing anything new in your lifestyle. You want to ensure you’re getting value for money and that you’re paying for quality when it comes to ingredients, flavour and benefits of your vegan protein powder. Brand quality and reputation is also a factor to consider and can be important when it comes to any support you might need or questions you might have surrounding products you’ve purchased or are looking at purchasing.
At Happy Way, we pride ourselves on creating premium products that support people on their health and wellness journey. Whilst they’re filled with only the best ingredients, deliver delicious flavour and provide a multitude of benefits to both the mind and body, we offer a competitive price so that our products are not only affordable but so that more people can access the support they need to live a healthier and happier way of life. We’re also here at any time, should you require any guidance or advice about our products and how to include them in your day-to-day. You can connect with us via email@example.com
HOW TO USE VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER
There are many ways to include a vegan protein powder in your daily routine to ensure maximum benefits and support in achieving your health and fitness goals.
A protein shake or smoothie are both quick and easy ways to get the nutrients you need to help boost energy and focus and increase strength and stamina pre-workout whilst also assisting with recovery and muscle repair post-workout. If you’re constantly on the go, a protein shake or smoothie can provide a nutritious and flavourful breakfast to enjoy on your morning commute or as a healthy lunch or an alternative to afternoon snacking. See our tips below for how to use our vegan protein powders in a smoothie or shake and how to ensure you get maximum benefits before and after your workout.
- If you want to make a pre-workout shake, add 30 g of protein to 250 ml of water or milk in a shaker and mix well. Drink approximately 45 minutes before your workout to ensure maximum benefits.
- Having a shake, energy ball or protein bar within 30 minutes post-workout is also super beneficial as it will provide essential amino acids to muscles, promoting muscle growth, repair and assisting with recovery.
- Always ensure you add your liquid (water, milk or even yoghurt) before including the vegan protein powder.
- Use a blender, bullet or protein shaker bottle to mix your smoothie or shake well. Don’t just mix your protein powder into a liquid with a spoon.
- If using a shaker bottle, choose one with a mesh screen or a metal ball whisk, as this will help keep out the lumps.
- You can also use protein powder in smoothie bowls, chia puddings, baked goods, or even sprinkled over yoghurt and fruit!
- Get adventurous with ingredients! At Happy Way, we love adding nuts, fruits, oats and superfoods with our protein powders to create nutritious and, more importantly, DELICIOUS recipes to enjoy at home, at work or on the run.
Vegan protein powder is also a great addition to baked goods like cookies, slices, brownies and muffins, as it provides a smooth, fluffy texture in treats the whole family can enjoy. Whether it be adding a scoop to a cake mixture for added flavour and nutrition or to a sauce or topping for that final touch on a mouth-watering dessert, there are many ways that vegan protein powder can quickly become a kitchen essential. Check out our many recipes here.
THE WRAP UP
So, in conclusion, vegan protein powder is a great way to increase your daily protein intake and get the nutrients you need to support your overall health and well-being. If you prefer plant-based, have allergies to dairy or actively live a vegan way of life, incorporating a vegan protein powder into your diet can provide numerous benefits and also help you achieve any personal health or fitness goals you may have.
These benefits include…
- Increased energy, strength and endurance
- Improved performance and focus
- Supports healthy digestion
- Assists with weight loss
- Boosts immunity
- Helps build and maintain lean muscle
- Supports muscle recovery and repair
It’s important to choose a vegan protein powder that meets your needs when it comes to ingredients, flavour and benefits delivered, but also one from a brand that aligns with your values and can support you along the way.
At Happy Way, we’re proud to offer a range of vegan-friendly protein powders that are made from all-natural ingredients and organic superfoods and without anything artificial you may find in proteins elsewhere. They’re designed to help you live life to the fullest—helping you achieve your goals and providing you with the energy you need to get through your day! And lastly, we’ve worked hard to ensure our flavours taste just like the real deal—if it says Vanilla Vegan Protein Powder, you better believe it tastes like the creamiest, most delicious vanilla ice cream you’ve ever had!
So, what are you waiting for? Why not try the best vegan protein powders that are out there?!