Plant Based Protein Powder: Our Top Picks
There’s no doubt about it, adding protein to your diet is a smart move. Protein helps your body to build muscle, it keeps you full for longer and boosts your metabolism, gives you energy, and even helps your immune system. If you’re looking to lose fat, it can be helpful to increase protein at the same time as reducing your overall calories. If you want to gain muscle, protein is extremely important, especially after working out.
The importance of protein in living a healthy lifestyle cannot be overestimated. But it can be hard to get enough of this valuable macro-nutrient simply from the food that we eat. This is why many people choose to include protein powder as part of a healthy diet.
But is protein powder really all that healthy? The answer is yes and no. Unfortunately, the market is flooded with sub-par protein products riddled with artificial additives and toxins. The most popular form of protein powder, whey protein, can cause digestive problems in some people or even cause you to develop food sensitivities.
On the other hand, there are some fantastic protein supplements out there that contain high quality protein and are really good for you. The trick is knowing how to choose the right one, so you can be sure that what you’re putting in your morning smoothie is actually good for you.
Why choose plant based protein powder?
There are a lot of different protein sources available. Our bodies process these proteins differently, so each protein source serves a different purpose. Whey protein, for example, is absorbed very quickly and so it is useful for aiding in muscle recovery after a tough workout. Casein protein is absorbed slowly which means it’s better for the evening, as a before bed protein snack. Both of these proteins can cause health problems if taken too often, which is why we don’t recommend them.
Instead, a better choice is plant based protein powder. If you choose one that includes a mix of different protein sources, you’ll be covering all your bases and giving your body everything it needs. But there are many other reasons you might want to try vegetable protein, too. Here’s some of the benefits of plant protein:
- Natural ingredients – vegan proteins tend to use healthier ingredients and avoid all the nasty additives and artificial sweeteners.
- Easier to digest - your body will process plant protein a lot easier than dairy based alternatives
- No allergy problems - many people have food sensitivities to dairy or eggs, but that’s not a problem with plant protein
- Great for vegetarians - getting enough protein can be tough if you’re vegan or vegetarian, but a vegan protein powder can be a great help.
How to choose the right protein powder
There are a few things you should bear in mind when choosing a protein product. The first thing you want to do is check the label and make sure that .it’s free from GMO’s and artificial sweeteners. If you see sucralose or aspartame in the ingredients, give it a miss. A better choice is to choose an unsweetened flavor (you can sweeten it up yourself by blending it with fruit) or choose one that is sweetened with Stevia.
You should also consider what type of protein you are buying. Healthy sources of plant protein include brown rice, hemp, pea, alfalfa and cranberry. A great choice is to go with a mix of some of these proteins so you get the benefit of all of them. Many people find that mixed protein powders taste better too.
If you see soy in the list of ingredients, it’s best to avoid it. Too much soy can affect your hormone levels and isn’t healthy over a long period of time.
Our favorite protein powders
There are some really fantastic plant based protein powders out there so this list is in no way exhaustive, but since you want to know, here are our top picks:
- Vegan Proteins + by Genuine Health – this has a great blend of proteins, and gives 20g of protein in a low calorie serving. It tastes great too, especially in a smoothie. Our favorite is the vanilla.
- Garden of Life Raw Protein - this is one of the most popular vegan proteins and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a fantastic organic blend and with 17g of protein and super low carbs, who’s complaining?
- Plant Fusion Diet Supplement – this one is nutritionally excellent, with a mix of protein sources and a balanced amino acid profile. You get 21-22g of protein per serve and only 4g of carbs – a great choice.
- Harmonized Vegan Protein - a really healthy choice with a very balanced mix of proteins so you’re really getting everything you need.
- Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Powder - this is another well known brand, and they deserve the respect afforded to them. This is a really high quality protein powder, with a great blend of proteins and it tastes good too. An excellent choice.
These are all great options as far as nutrition goes, but taste can of course be subjective, so it’s worth trying a few different products and finding which one works best for you. We wish you well in your search for the best plant based protein powder!