Ensuring you have the right amount of protein in your diet is actually not a difficult challenge for most people, but deciding what kind of protein can be. Vegan (plant-based) proteins are the better choice for a number of reasons, and using vegan protein powder in Australia is a switch many people are making. Let’s run through the reasons why here:
1. Protein vs. Protein?
First, let’s be clear. Proteins are derived from many sources. They are not exclusive to meat. Plants like grains, legumes and vegetables also have proteins. These plant-based proteins are diverse and varied, offering multiple unique benefits. There is no single ‘protein’!
2. What Exactly Is Protein?
It’s a macronutrient, as are fats and carbs. Proteins are mainly comprised of amino acids and enzymes that catalyse reactions within the body to perform endless different functions. Fats and carbs are fuels, and even protein can be burned for fuel in leaner times.
3. Amino Acids?
There are 21 amino acids (EEA) we need to regularly access. We require these to synthesise other compounds so we can fight illness, repair injury, regulate mood, control blood sugar, and so on. We can find these acids in plant-based proteins.
4. Complete Proteins?
Foods that contain the recommended mix and proportion of varied amino acids are called sources of complete protein. Vegan examples of these foods are chickpeas, whole grains, quinoa, soy, and seeds. Mixes of these foods provide the right total proportions of proteins you need to thrive.
Ensure you get what you need from proteins. Bioavailability means how well you absorb proteins from a given food. For example, soybeans are 96% bioavailable, and tofu 64%. Beef weighs in at 74%, somewhere in between.
You need around 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of lean body weight each day. This can go higher, but you will experience diminishing returns on uptake over 2 grams per day. A simple mix of vegan sourced proteins can easily provide this amount.
7. How Is Vegan Protein Made?
Most plant protein is taken from rice, soy, hemp, peas and seeds. Starches and fibres are removed, then it is then combined with other ingredients to make a powder that mixes well in liquids.
8. Why Make the Switch?
Many people looking to use quality powders traditionally rely on whey, which comes from milk. It can be difficult to absorb, however, and many people are lactose intolerant.
9. Why Are Plants Better?
Plant-based alternatives meet the same needs but are easier on the body. They contain fewer impurities as they are more natural.
10. Which Amino Acids?
9 of the 21 amino acids are essential, meaning we need these each day to perform muscle protein synthesis (repair and growth). You need to ensure your chosen powder has H, I, L, K, M, F, T, W, and V.