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:
- 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’!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Which Kind of Powder Should I Look For?
For reliable vegan protein powder in Australia, ensure you’re getting all the essential amino acids and nutrients you need and opt for a powder that uses multiple types of plant sources.
- Does It Taste Better?
Natural proteins tend to taste better, while whey-based powders tend to be highly processed. You can mix with a milk alternative in shakes.
- What’s IFG-1?
This is a hormone present in whey that causes muscle growth. It is also linked to acne. Plant-based powders do not contain this.
- 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.
- Which Amino Acids Are Most Critical?
Plants are low in leucine, so make sure your powder gives you 2.5g worth per meal.
- Are Vegan Powders as Effective at Muscle Growth as Whey?
Yes, studies show plant proteins work just as well, even in high-intensity athletic training. Vegan protein powders in Australia are the perfect choice for an active lifestyle.
- Sprouted or Non-Sprouted?
Soaked, sprouted grains have lower starch and phytic acid content. They also increase the enzyme and protein content since the plant is activated.
- Which Sources Are Best?
Soy has a neutral profile that gives you a minimum of 90% protein, whereas hemp contains 20 amino acids and is a true ‘superfood’. Pea protein, on the other hand, does not contain all 9 essential aminos so it needs to be mixed.
- Rice and Pea Protein?
A great hypoallergenic choice, and low stress on the gastric system. A great all-rounder.
Opt for a mixed product like Vegan Protein Powder Australia so you can combine all your essential aminos with as many varied nutrients as possible. They also give a better texture to shakes.
- What About for Athletic Use?
Look for a vegan powder that gives you all of the blended goodness, but also includes electrolytes and some carbs for reliable energy replenishment after strenuous exercise.