What is Vegan Protein Made From?
Vegan protein, like all vegan food, is free of animal-based foods, therefore is plant-based. Eating a vegan diet can be difficult for some people in order to still consume a lot of protein and build muscle. However, by being aware of different sources of vegan-friendly protein supplements, a person eating this type of diet can still make the same health and fitness progressions as any other diet and often lead an even healthier lifestyle.
Where Do Vegans Get Most of Their Protein?
While supplements may be needed, vegans can get a number of natural proteins in their diet. Common foods like lentils, tofu, peanuts and chickpeas have a high protein content, as do lesser known foods such as spelt and seitan. Seitan, which is made from gluten, is actually incredibly rich in protein. For every 100g you eat, you’ll get around 25g of protein.
People often assume that there is not a lot of protein in plant based foods, but foods like seitan clearly show this is not the case! Plant foods can provide all the essential amino acids your body needs, which are the building blocks of protein.
Vegan Protein Powders
As mentioned, many vegans choose to use supplements in addition to eating a protein rich diet. That way, they can ensure they get a healthy amount of protein. This is particularly important for those looking to build up their muscle mass. We’ve listed five of the most common vegan protein supplements below:
This supplement is made through removing the protein from yellow peas and concentrating it into powder form. As well as being a good source of protein it is also high in iron. Typically this powder is blended together with almond milk or water and consumed after workouts or during the day. This is also a low-fat protein source.
This is consumed as a wholefood through eating soybeans or turned into a protein powder and consumed in a liquid form. When in powder form, it is washed through with water in order to remove sugar. It is a low-fat source of protein. There are many studies on soybeans that suggest it is not as strong at protein synthesis as whey and casein protein, although it is low fat. Therefore when building muscle or looking to eat a balanced diet, an individual should make sure they vary their protein sources.
Hemp protein is made into powder form by processing hemp seeds into powder form. It is then consumed in liquid form, by mixing with water or milk. This is popular among athletes or people wanting to consume a whole protein source. This is because it contains all nine amino acids as well as being high in fibre. It is high in antioxidants and is nutrient-dense. However, when consumed on a regular basis, due to its high fibre content, it can cause diarrhoea and bloating.
Sunflower Seed Protein
Sunflower protein is usually consumed through grinding the seeds to powder form and consuming alongside a liquid. It is often consumed in bar form and also by eating the seeds whole. Sunflower seeds also help prevent heart disease and diabetes due to their anti-inflammatory nature. They are nutrient-dense but also high in calories, should be consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
Brown Rice Protein
A 28g serving of brown rice protein powder has approximately 22g of protein and just over 100 calories. Obviously this will depend on the brand, so it’s good to check the nutritional information before buying this powder. Some early studies have shown that brown rice protein could be just as effective in supporting muscle growth as whey protein, when you take it after weight training. One thing to look out for though is the arsenic levels of this protein – rice products often come with such contaminants.
Vegan Protein in the Diet
As with all food sources and supplements, there are positives and negatives of the consumption of vegan protein. It is recommended that where possible, a person looks to consume their protein from whole foods. However, this is of course not always possible. Therefore an individual can take supplements in order to reach the recommended daily intake for protein. A person should always stick to the recommended daily intake and consume the supplement in moderation. Otherwise you can experience discomfort or health implications.