Do you need an alternative to whey protein powder? Taking high doses of this milk protein might cause side-effects like thirst, nausea, and cramps. You will want to avoid such an unpleasant experience whether you are making a protein shake for breakfast or as a pre-workout drink. If you are vegan, you should consider substitutes for the animal product, including plant protein.
Here are some of the main benefits of plant-sourced protein:
Meat and dairy are complete proteins since they provide daily requirements of all nine essential amino acids (EAAs) that people must get from food and supplements. Some plant-based foods, such as soybeans, are also complete proteins.
However, it is also possible to combine two “incomplete proteins” to form a complete protein. Popular combinations include brown rice and green peas.
Such foods are individually lower in some EAAs, but when combined provide all amino acids that people need daily from outside sources.
There is a difference between plant ingredients that are natural and organic. For example, while peas and rice are natural foods, they might contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Nutrition experts have been debating the possible effects of GMOs for a while. However, if you want supplements that have been produced with no synthetic substances, pick organic/non-GMO variants.
Studies show that about one-fifth of a person’s total body weight is made up of muscle protein, according to Britannica. Polypeptide chains form proteins, and they are made up of amino acid chains. Besides building lean muscle mass, the macronutrient protein is also beneficial for body tissues, including muscle tissue.
People who want to build muscle must have enough of all 9 EAAs and 11 non-essential amino acids (NEAAs). Even if you do workouts, you will need enough of all 20 amino acids for bigger muscles.
You can find plant-based powders in popular flavours like chocolate and vanilla. In many cases, animal-sourced protein powders like whey and casein proteins contain artificial flavours. They taste good but might cause unwanted symptoms due to synthetic ingredients.
A healthy choice is natural flavouring like cacao beans and vanilla beans. These are the original sources of chocolate and vanilla, so they not only provide good taste but also better nutrition. For example, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants. This makes it a good option for fighting off free radical molecules that attack healthy cells and can cause illness.
There are various reasons this is possible. Plant-based proteins tend to contain less fat and calories than animal-based proteins. Other factors include their amounts of nutrients and fibre, which can also help to shed pounds and burn fat.
Studies show that animal-sourced foods account for over 75% (2009) of worldwide agricultural land use, according to the World Resources Institute. This includes various factors, including cattle grazing and protein powder manufacturing. Meanwhile, plant-based protein creates a smaller carbon footprint based on factors like carbon emissions. This makes plant-based supplements generally “greener” versus animal-based ones.
Besides the protein sources being plant-based, you can also find natural sweeteners including stevia leaf and monk fruit. These options tend to be less processed than white sugar, which is manufactured from sugarcane juice.
Another benefit of natural sweeteners like stevia is they also do not cause blood sugar spikes like sugar. It is especially important for people with conditions like insulin resistance and diabetes. In these cases, spikes in glucose levels could trigger unwanted symptoms.
It is possible for plant protein powders to provide the same nutritional value as animal-sourced powders. These plant supplements can also include other benefits including complete proteins, natural ingredients, and a smaller carbon footprint.