Updated: Jul 17
Here is my thoughts are on vegan protein powders.
There are a lot of different ones out there, a pretty good portion of them are based on combinations of pea protein and brown rice protein but there are a lot of other forms as well.
There’s hemp, soy, quinoa, potato but in any case how do vegan protein powders compared to whey, egg, or casein and can you use them as part of your muscle-building diet. Whether it’s because you actually are a vegan or just because you get certain negative effects when you use regular animal-based protein powders.
The very simple answer here, I would say that plant-based protein powders when used as part of a complete balanced diet where you’re getting enough total daily protein in a variety of different sources to ensure that you’re getting all of the individual amino acids that you need. They’re completely fine to use just as a way to help you hit your protein needs for the day.
Now it is true on an individual gram for gram basis that an animal-based protein powder like whey or casein will have a superior amino acid profile and a higher absorptions rate in comparison to a plant-based protein. However, in the context of an overall diet where you’re consuming enough total daily protein for your goals, it’s really just not going to matter in the bigger pictures. That’s because as long as you’re getting enough total protein per day through a variety of different sources, you’ll already be getting enough absorbable protein and enough of the individual amino acids that you need to optimize muscle recovery and growth.
Remember that your body can only use and your body only needs a limited amount of protein over any given period and consuming more protein and more amino acids than your body can actually utilize that’s not going to somehow boost your results further.
If you take a look at the research that is available on protein intake for athletes and bodybuilders, the required numbers are actually a lot lower than most people think. Like 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight daily will be enough for most people. If vegan wants to be fully on the safe side since plant-based protein are less absorbable then they could increase that to 0.9 grams or one gram just sort of as a cautionary thing, but almost certainly there’s no scenario where more than one gram per pound of bodyweight would be needed.
I mean if there was some bizarre scenario where you could only consume, say 50 grams of protein per day and you had to make the absolute best of that, then in that case whey, egg or casein would be the better choice. But if we’re talking about a normal standard bodybuilding diet where you’re getting enough, a sufficient amount of overall daily protein then vegan protein powder is completely fine to use for whatever your reasons might be.
You can easily find reasonably priced vegan protein powders that will give you just as much protein per scoop as whey. I’ve actually experimented with a few different ones lately just to see what they’re like and I found that when I blend them up with my smoothies, with fruit, veggies, oats, nuts, butter, and whatever else they taste just as good too. So not much else to say on that. Vegan protein powders are totally fine to use.