Plant-Based Protein PowdersVanessa Underwood
A common misconception about plant-based diets are that you can’t get the same amount of protein as you would from animal products. This couldn’t be more wrong! You can get the same amount of protein from a plant-based diet. Although plant foods aren’t protein packed the way meat and fish are, food processors tend to remove most of the fat and carbs to isolate the protein.
When plants go through the food processor, they become a powder. A popular trend is to use protein powder as a nutritional supplement to aid in weight loss and help people tone their muscles. It’s also often used to promote recovery after exercise.
If you’re on a plant-based diet or are considering becoming plant-based, read on for a list of common types of plant-based protein powders.
Pea protein is not made from sweet green peas, but rather by their relative that’s higher in protein: yellow split peas.
Once yellow split peas have been made into a powder, a quarter cup is equivalent to 21 grams of protein and 100 calories.
In one study, young men ate about 1 ounce of pea protein powder twice a day. The lowest performing participants had a 20% increase in bicep muscle thickness.
Brown Rice Protein
The great thing about brown rice protein is that it’s super easy to find and relatively inexpensive. A quarter cup of brown rice protein powder is equivalent to 22 grams of protein and 107 calories.
There was a recent study that showed that brown rice protein might be better than whey protein at supporting muscle growth when consumed as part of a weight training regimen.
Soy is a complete protein, which is uncommon for plant protein. This means that it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Not only is it complete, but it may lower cholesterol because of the beneficial plant compounds it contains.
A quarter cup of soy protein powder has 22 grams of protein and 95 calories.
Chia seeds come from Salvia Hispanica, which is a plant that’s native to South America. These little seeds have become very popular since you can add them to smoothies and baked goods. When chia seeds are turned into a powder, they contain 10 grams of protein and 50 calories.
Although chia protein is very low in providing certain essential amino acids, the powdered form is much more digestible, which means that your body can absorb more of its amino acids.
Plant Protein Blends
For example, pea protein may be combined with rice protein. These two proteins fit together like puzzle pieces so that all 9 essential amino acids are there.
Other Types of Plant-Based Protein
● Pumpkin seed
● Sunflower seed
● Sacha inchi
There’s a variety of plant-based protein sources out there. Due to their essential amino acid content, these protein powders support protein synthesis that’s needed for muscle repair and growth in your body. Mixing in a good variety of plant-based proteins will ensure you are getting your required amino acid intake.