When most people think about the best protein powders on the market, they instantly think of whey protein…
But if you’re someone who’s sensitive to milk or follows a vegan diet, you’re tired of hearing whey is the best option for you.
Whey protein may be effective but too much consumption can:
- Make you extremely gassy
- Increase your risk of testicular cancer
- Cause acne
- Give you cramps and bloating
- Increase fatigue
It’s your best bet to stick away from animal-based protein powders and go to the all-natural and organic plant-based route instead.
For those who think that plant-based protein is ineffective, think again.
One study showed “the data suggests that whey and pea proteins promote similar strength, performance, body composition, and muscular adaptations following 8-weeks of High-Intensity Training.”
And that was just pea protein…
There are a ton of other effective and great tasting plant-based protein powders out there on the market.
All you have to decide is which one!
Here’s a list of all the different vegan protein powders you can choose from.
Brown Rice Protein
Brown rice protein powder is a fantastic and delicious source of protein.
It also carries a number of benefits due to it being a whole grain.
It’s high in fiber, can lower cholesterol, and prevents blood clots.
Although brown rice is lacking the amino acid Lysine, it’s still been shown to have fantastic effects on building muscle. Even when compared to an animal-based protein source, one study showed that brown rice protein increased muscle mass just as much or more than whey protein.
More than just designed to build muscle, brown rice protein is also packed with antioxidants and rich nutrients to burn fat and support weight loss. It’s super easy to digest and won’t have you feeling super bloated.
If you have trouble burning fat, experimenting with brown rice protein is a great place to start.
I’ve had great experiences with brown rice proteins. Most of the brown rice powders I’ve tried tasted great. I can’t say that about all vegan protein powders…
What’s another advantage of brown rice protein powder is that it’s both dairy and gluten-free! So if you have trouble digesting gluten, this powder is the one for you.
Pea protein powder is made from yellow split peas.
Super easy to grow, yellow split peas are found on all continents, making pea protein powder a wide available source.
Similar to brown rice protein, it’s hypoallergenic and easy on the digestive system. It’s also been shown to lower blood pressure!
Another great benefit of pea protein powder is it increases your body’s ability to absorb iron.
Iron is essential for your body’s ability to produce healthy red blood cells. If you lack iron, your red blood cells will not be able to carry oxygen as well as someone who has a diet rich in iron.
Pea protein has been shown to increase iron absorption by up to 67 percent!
Now for the negative…
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the best experiences with pea protein powder. Not because it’s ineffective but due to the consistency and taste.
I’ve found it to be a little too chalky and taste like rabbit food. Of course, this could just be an issue with the brand. I’m sure there are some tasty pea protein powders out there, you just have to find them!
Soy… the root of all evil…
Or at least that’s what many people want you to think.
Soy gets a bad rap because it contains phytoestrogens, a plant-based compound that mimics estrogen.
For many years, this has lead people to believe that consuming too much soy is bad for you and would increase “feminizing effects,” although the evidence is inadequate.
It turns out that soy has even been shown to lower the risks of breast cancer in women! Who would’ve thought?
Soy, both in the form of protein powder or food is a fantastic source of protein!
It’s a great way to get an abundance of all the 9 essential amino acids, something that other plant-based proteins may lack.
I consume soy in my diet on the regular, and it’s been a great muscle building asset!
The only issue I find with soy protein powders is that most of the soy in the U.S. is genetically modified. Of course, your best bet is to find one that is organic non-GM certified. All it takes is a quick search on Google for you to find one.
Hemp protein is made by, you guessed it… hemp seeds!
These ancient seeds are considered a superfood for their nutrient-rich, protein-packed shells.
Hemp seeds themselves have over 10 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons!
Hemp seeds are also an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals such as:
- And Healthy Fats
Studies show that hemp has a pretty good amino acid profile, similar to soy protein.
But more than just packing on muscle, hemp protein is great for people with certain ailments such as:
- Heart disease
- Mental health issues
- High blood pressure
- PMS and period pain
Hemp seeds come from the hemp plant which is a subspecies of the cannabis plant and a brother of the marijuana plant. Don’t worry though, hemp doesn’t anywhere enough THC to get you stoned.
Try hemp protein powder and see how you like it!
Chia seeds are another superfood that are super high in omega-3s and helps with a wide variety of issues.
Originating from South America, these seeds are great for topping salads, yogurts, and other forms of food. But chia seed protein powder is just as good!
Chia protein can actually aid greatly in weight loss, due to its ability to absorb water and slowing the absorption of your food. This will have you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.
One interesting fact about chia protein powder is its digestibility.
One study shows that the protein digestibility of chia seeds was around 30 percent. Meanwhile, chia protein powder digestibility was around 80 percent! So if you’re looking to reap the benefits of chia, try consuming the powder over the seeds.
Sacha Inchi Protein
If you’ve never heard of this protein you’re not alone…
Sacha Inchi is a seed that’s grown in Peru and has been used for thousands of years as a source of food.
It’s been known as a great source of healthy fat and helps promote a healthy brain, heart, bones, eyes, joints, and skin.
But one great benefit of sacha inchi is its ability to boost your mood!
Turns out this seed is high in an amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is very important for the production of serotonin, the main chemical in our body that triggers happiness and a positive mood.
Give sacha inchi protein powder a try if you’re interested in increasing your joy and muscle gains!
The only downside to this protein powder is it may be more expensive due to less availability.
Without a doubt, the best form of vegan protein powder you can buy is a mixed blend.
What is a mixed blend?
Imagine combining the majority of the different plant-based proteins above into one super mixture.
Most protein blends usually contain at least these two forms of protein:
- Brown Rice Protein
- Pea Protein
And many others will also add
- Sacha Inchi Protein
- Chia Protein
- Hemp Protein
Why is it better to consume a mixed blend form or protein?
When you consuming protein from multiple different sources, you’re going to get a much wider and complete range of amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are currently 9 essential amino acids you need to consume from food.
With a mixed blend of protein, you won’t be short on any of the 9 essential amino acids, giving you all the building blocks you need for muscle growth!
Mixed blend protein will also allow you to reap the benefits from each different plant-based source.
- Brown rice protein is great for your digestive tract
- Pea protein is high in fiber
- Sacha inchi protein is rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Hemp protein is high in unsaturated fats and fiber
- Chia protein is loaded with antioxidants that fight inflammation
Each protein have their own benefits that also help neutralize the others’ weaknesses!
That’s why it’s highly recommended to get your protein from as many sources as possible.