If you are vegan, you may think you have limited options on the types of vegan protein powders available. But you might be surprised to know there are actually a few options available with different benefits.
In this article, I’ll list the main four options.
So, what are the types of vegan protein powder supplements available?
There is a good variety of options suitable for vegan diets including pea, soy, brown rice, and hemp. Each type has its own set of benefits and taste. The best vegan protein powders use fermented or sprouted ingredients so that they are easily digestible and so that your body can get the most out of the ingredients.
So, what is the difference between each type of protein? Read on to find which powder is perfect for you.
Four Types Of Vegan Protein Powder Options
Pea Protein Powder
Pea protein powder is produced from yellow peas. It is a high-quality vegan and hypoallergenic protein making it a good choice for people with sensitive stomachs. Look for bio-fermented yellow pea protein when using this kind as it’s the best pea protein available.
Pea Protein Quick Points:
- Contains all 9 amino acids that you would get from eating a variety of foods.
- It is low in methionine, an amino acid often found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy and is responsible for tissue growth and repair. Due to the low level found in pea protein, many supplement companies choose to mix it another type of plant-based protein.
- A terrific source of branch-chain amino acids that keep your heart healthy and support healthy blood flow and muscle development.
- One of the most easily digested plant protein.
- Pea protein is rich in iron. However, plant-based iron is more difficult for your body to absorb. This issue can be improved by adding foods and beverages high in vitamin C.
- Pea protein can be added safely to a variety of restrictive diets since it is hypoallergenic. It is free from gluten, dairy, and some of the most common allergens including peanut, milk, soy, wheat, and tree nut.
- It is a finer powder that will easily blend with liquids without feeling granular or chalky in texture.
- Pea protein can be added to your diet plan if you are trying to lose weight. It can satiate you by giving you a full feeling so that your overall calorie intake is reduced.
- It is a good choice for individuals watching their cholesterol and blood pressure.
- This type of protein powder is low in fiber so you are not likely to experience gas and bloating.
Brown Rice Protein Powder
Brown rice protein is also free from animal-based proteins making it another option for people who follow a vegan diet. It is derived from sprouted brown rice through an extraction process.
Brown Rice Quick Points:
- Besides using it in a protein shake, you can also add it to soups, smoothies, or even bake with it.
- Free from gluten, dairy, and soy.
- Brown rice is a terrific source of natural fiber.
- Similar to Pea protein, brown rice protein is hypoallergenic making it a good option for people who experience allergies from dairy, wheat, or soy.
- Helps provide protein that would otherwise have come from meat and dairy sources.
- Contains amino acids needed to build and repair muscle tissue.
- Produces a thermic effect during digestion to speed up fat burning. This makes brown rice protein a good addition to a weight loss diet plan.
- Brown rice protein helps keep blood sugar balanced.
Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp protein is made from the seeds of a hemp plant. It does NOT contain any THC (the psychoactive compound) and is a rich source of protein and amino acids. The hemp protein option is becoming more popular due to its many benefits and nutty flavor.
Hemp Protein Quick Points:
- Contains 20 amino acids including ALL NINE ESSENTIAL ACIDS that your body cannot produce and has to get from food sources.
- Hemp protein has more omega fatty acids (both omega-3 and omega-6) than most other common forms of protein. This makes it beneficial for those looking after their heart health.
- Great source of fiber.
- Using hemp protein powder increases your energy levels and gives your immune system a boost too.
- Hemp can help regulate your blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
- The omega-3 and gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp protein powder can help slow the effects of osteoporosis.
- Hemp protein is full of soluble and un-soluble fiber. This can keep your digestive system moving, decrease constipation, diarrhea, reduce hemorrhoid pain and their development, as well as flush toxins from your body.
- It is full of dietary fiber that can help you combat unhealthy cravings for sweets. It also helps regulate your blood glucose levels.
Soy Protein Powder
Soy Protein Quick Points:
Soy is a go-to meat alternative for people on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Soybeans can also be made into a good protein powder alternative to whey.
To achieve a protein powder from soybeans, the beans are defatted, turned into flakes, and then washed in alcohol or water to remove any sugar and dietary fiber. They are then dehydrated and ground into a fine powder.
- Soy protein contains every essential amino acid that your body is unable to naturally produce.
- Provides nutrients for muscle building. Research shows that it is slightly less efficient than whey regarding muscle building but more effective than casein.
- Soy protein is a terrific source of concentrated protein. However, it does contain phytates which are known to inhibit mineral absorption.
- Soy can be a good option for those trying to lose weight and decrease appetite.
- Improves heart health and cholesterol levels
- Soy protein is virtually tasteless allowing you to add it to a variety of food and beverage items without altering their tastes.
- Unlike other types of protein powders, soy will blend smoothly into liquids so you do not have to worry about any grittiness.
- Lactose-free and gluten-free
- Naturally contains Vitamin B complex, vitamin E, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and potassium
Using a plant-based protein powder is a great way to get extra protein when working out, but also a good way to just top up your protein intake when following a vegan diet.
Certain amino acids cannot be made naturally in your body and need to be gained through the consumption of certain foods.
Plant-based protein powders are a great way to help fill that nutritional gap.
Which one is the best from the above choices?
I would actually say it’s a mix of two, hemp and pea protein. Vivo Life protein, for example, use that combo and I find it’s great.
You can check out my Vivo Life review here and see why it’s the best choice for vegan protein powders.