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Protein powders are a nutritional supplement, once only favoured by bodybuilders and gym goers. But what does protein powder actually do? And why do so many people now include it as part of their daily regime?
Types of protein powder
Traditionally, protein powders were made from animal sources. They were made either from components of cows milk (whey or casein) or from egg white derivatives. Both of which are excellent sources of complete protein. Before they were taken up by the bodybuilding community, they would have been (and still are) widely used in hospital and healthcare settings as a nutritional supplement for those unable to eat, or that needed an extra boost.
Later arrivals on the scene were the plant-based protein powders. Also sources of complete protein, these are derived from plants such as peas, or hemp.
Why take protein powder?
Why take protein powder? Surely we can get protein from the food we eat?
For a start, protein powder can be pretty handy. It has a long shelf life, mixes into an easy to drink shake, and is fairly portable. It can also be added to cooking and baking for a bit of a protein boost.
But why would we need a protein boost in the first place?
Protein in the body
Most of us are well aware that the body needs protein. A vital component of bone, muscle, and skin, protein is crucial to all our life processes at the cellular level. Without the amino acids that are the building blocks of protein we can barely survive; let alone thrive.
There are 9 amino acids that we need to intake from food. Foods that contain all nine amino acids are known as complete proteins. Most animal sources of protein are complete, and we once believed that without these foods that our diet was somehow lacking. We now understand that we can obtain our full quota of amino acids from a range of food sources; including plants.
How much protein do we need?
Roughly speaking, between 10 to 35% of your calories should come from protein, depending on your level of activity. For the average diet of 2000kcal a day this is somewhere between 50 and 175g protein. The average, fairly sedentary adult generally aims for about 50g; a goal that is easily achievable on a diet that includes animal proteins. A bit of milk, an egg, plus a portion of fish or meat and you are pretty much there. On a plant based diet, still aiming for 50g, that looks like a cup of lentils, a cup of quinoa and several large handfuls of nuts. Also fairly doable.
But what if you need to aim higher? Long story short, it is a lot easier to maximise your protein intake with an animal based diet than it is with a plant based one. And what about those all essential amino acids? You need a really varied range of plant proteins to ensure an adequate intake.
In all likelihood, the surge in popularity of protein powders has come with increased interest (and uptake) of a plant-based diet.
Protein in plants
All plants contain protein in varying amounts, even the ones we don’t think of as protein foods. Yet only a handful are sources of complete protein; most are missing an amino acid or two. So not only is the challenge to get enough grams of protein, but also to get an adequate supply of all nine amino acids.
For many people this is not an issue an at all, and with a wide range of plant foods they cover these needs easily. But not everyone.
Why you might need to boost your protein on a plant based diet
- For active gym goers, to aid recovery and repair muscle fibre
- To replenish energy levels on the go
- To help stave off hunger and promote weight loss
- When you aren’t eating proper meals
Plant based protein powder
Plant based protein powder offers an efficient form of protein delivery. A single scoop offers about 25g of protein, with all nine essential amino acids. Blended up into a shake, with water or a non-dairy milk, it is possibly the simplest way to meet your protein needs.
The two most common types are made from isolated pea protein or hemp seed. Both are sources of complete protein, yet hemp has a whole host of extra nutritional benefits to offer.
Superfood powders are a convenient way to harness the exceptional nutritional power of superfoods. Discover just how superfood powders can help you to reach your nutritional goals, or if you need a nutrition primer our in depth article on superfoods has got you covered.
This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Superfoods Wholesales”.
See original article:- What Does Protein Powder Do?
Vegans rely on plants for pretty much everything and that includes protein. Whilst there are many sources of plant based protein for the vegan diet, there are days when you need an extra boost. Maybe you want to build lean muscle, or maybe you’ve just got a busy day ahead. Either way, vegan protein powder is a great way to get those extra nutrients that you need.
Do vegans need protein powder?
In all honesty, you should not need a protein powder on a plant-based diet. You should be getting all you need from a broad variety of beans, lentils, legumes, nuts and even vegetables. But a vegan protein powder can be a helpful supplement to an already healthful diet.
Protein powders are popular post-workout to aid recovery, as a protein boost for an active physical lifestyle, or to supplement the diet on those days when it is less than optimal. And lets face it, it happens. Life does have its demands.
Is whey protein vegan?
Standard protein powders are made from whey. A by product of the cheesemaking industry, whey is what’s left when the curds are removed from milk. It has a complete amino acid profile.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. The body breaks down the protein and uses the amino acids for growth, maintenance and repair. Of eleven amino acids we need to get nine from our diet. The body can make the other two. A complete amino acid profile contains all nine.
Whey protein is low in fat and carbohydrates. It is also dairy. AKA not plant-based. Which is a nay-nay for a growing number of people. Whey protein isolate may be suitable for the lactose-intolerant but it still ain’t vegan.
What to look for in vegan protein powder
When looking to buy vegan protein powder it is more about what not to look for. Many are marketed as a blend, perhaps labelled as a protein shake. This may give you the benefits of a mixture of vegan proteins but it may also come with an extra portion of fillers, fluffers and flavours. And sugar, in one form or another. What do we love to tell you? ALWAYS READ THE LABEL!
The best vegan protein powder
The best vegan protein powder is the one that suits your requirements and fits your own personal protein needs.
How much vegan protein powder per day
This very much depends on your build, the amount and quality of protein in your current diet, and your activity levels.
As a general rule you need 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight. This requirement can double, depending on how physical your lifestyle. In percentages, protein should make up between 10 and 35% of daily calorie intake.
A 30g serving of vegan protein powder can contain between 15g and 25g protein.
Hemp protein vs pea protein
Two of the most popular sources of plant protein found in powders are hemp protein and pea protein. Let’s look at them in turn…
Hemp protein powder
Hemp protein powder is essentially ground hemp seeds. Considered a complete protein source, it may however be low in the amino acid lysine. Quinoa is an excellent source of lysine.
At 15g of protein per 30g serving the protein content is lower than pea protein, but it is a whole food not a protein isolate. It therefore comes with fibre and fatty acids as well as antioxidants and minerals.
A good source of fibre, hemp protein powder can provide a quarter of the daily fibre requirement in a 30g portion. Pea protein powder contains very little fibre.
A lot of the oils have been pressed out of hemp protein powder but it is still a good source of essential fatty acids, with a healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Pea protein has little if no fat content.
Hemp contains powerful antioxidant compounds as well as minerals phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, and copper.
The flavour can vary but is considered to be fairly overpowering with earthy nutty tones. The texture is gritty.
You can buy hemp protein powder online from our online wholesale store.
Pea protein powder
Pea protein powder is also considered to be a complete protein.
Pea protein is made from yellow split peas, not the green garden kind. It is rich in the branched chain amino acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine, valine and arginine. So it is good for blood flow and heart health as well as providing fuel for working muscles. Some studies show pea protein to be as effective as whey protein at building lean muscle.
A 30g serving of pea protein can contain 24g protein.
Pea protein is more easily absorbed than many other plant proteins. Rich in iron, it is best taken in conjunction with Vitamin C to aid absorption.
The texture of pea protein powder is smoother than hemp, with the slightly sweet vegetal flavour of raw beans.
Both of these protein sources have slightly varying nutrient profiles. Our recommendation would be to supplement your diet with both, in order to take advantage of all they have to offer.
You can buy pea protein powder online from our online wholesale store.
How to use plant-based protein powder
Protein powder has so many uses. Both pea protein powder and hemp protein powder benefit from being used alongside other ingredients.
Add a spoonful to your breakfast porridge, along with fruit powder or greens powder.
Make super healthy muffins, savoury or sweet.
Blend with fruit and almond milk for a mid morning smoothie. You can learn how to make your own almond milk right here.
Add to bright and beautiful bliss balls for a post workout snack.
There are so many ways to use vegan protein powder. Keep checking the site for more ideas.