Sat, 22 Jan 2022

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Protein is a critical nutrient for building muscle, creating enzymes and hormones, strengthening your immune system, balancing fluids, and repairing tissue after an intense workout. As protein has achieved a positive reputation over the years, so have alternative variations of this nutrient.

Nowadays, more and more people are shifting to plant-based protein from traditional animal-based proteins. Plant-based proteins tend to be higher in essential nutrients and fiber but lower in calories and fat compared to animal-based proteins. And athletes need lots of protein to maintain a healthy physique. There are many plant-based protein sources out there, but it isn't always easy for the body to absorb the protein from those foods.

The best way to boost protein intake is through plant-based protein powders. With so many options available today, what should you look out for in a plant-based protein powder?

Consider The Quality

When looking for a plant-based protein powder, it is important to look at the amino acid profile. Remember that amino acids are the body's building blocks of protein, which means when we digest protein, our body uses amino acids for many different functions.

Generally, there are nine amino acids that the body can't synthesize on its own. These are:

  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine
  • Histidine

Hence, we must get them from food. A food is deemed a complete protein if it contains all nine amino acids. However, most plant-based protein sources are lacking in at least one essential amino acid. Thus, they are considered incomplete proteins.

That's why when you're out shopping for a plant-based protein powder, it's crucial to look out for a product that contains a complete amino acid profile. It is often accomplished by mixing at least one complementary plant-based protein, such as pea protein and brown rice.

Look At The Quantity

Experts always suggest a food-first approach when it comes to your nutrient intake. Hence, this means getting your fill of micronutrients and macronutrients through a well-balanced diet. However, gaps can still occur, no matter how well we eat.

As such, it's essential to learn and understand the approved dietary allowance to strive for and take vegan and clean supplements accordingly and responsibly. For healthy individuals, the recommended RDA is 0.8g/kg of protein per day.

Allergen-Free

Because most plant-based protein powders mix many different ingredients and proteins, it is crucial to check the label. By doing so, you can ensure that the product does not contain anything that may be an irritant, such as peanut, cow's milk, and eggs.

Look for Real Food Ingredients

Protein powders, whether plant-based or animal-based, may contain untraceable and questionable additives and fillers. For this reason, experts recommend taking a thorough and meticulous look at the ingredients list. Search for recognizable and simple ingredients that are represented by real food.

Stay Away from Artificial Sweeteners

Don't buy protein powder with artificial sweeteners or added sugars. These fillers can diminish or discredit the nutritional quality of the product. Look for a sugar-free plant-based protein powder.

Organic

Plant-based protein powders must be organic. Take note that some products may carry protein from plants supplemented by a lot of pesticides. In particular, this is common with soy protein.

While these pesticides don't make it to your immune system, they are still endangering the planet. So, find an organic option and care more about the environment.

Third-Party Tested

Because the FDA does not generally regulate protein powders, you need to know if a third-party tests the product before buying. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is one of the most reputable third-party testing organizations.

A protein powder that has been third-party tested means its shown proof of its quality and safety.

Significant Benefits of A Plant-Based Protein Powder

The most significant benefit of taking plant-based protein powder is getting the necessary daily protein while on a vegan diet. What's more, studies have shown that people who take plant-based protein powders tend to have a healthy gut. A healthy gut means fewer instances of autoimmune diseases, skin problems, fatigue, and depression.

Another thing, for those who are trying to build up their muscle mass or strength but want to cut down on their dairy and meat intake, plant-based protein powders have been shown to boost energy levels, performance, and the ability to recover quickly. What's more, consuming more plant proteins could lead to weight loss, as well.

To Wrap Things Up

There are a lot of plant-based protein powders available today. As such, how can you possibly find the right one? First and foremost, it's crucial to look at the product's label and ingredients list. Find relevant ingredients that you may be allergic to. Also, it is vital to consider your nutritional needs. Figure out whether or not these ingredients are beneficial to your training, and make sure to choose accordingly.

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