I’d like to start off by saying that the proteins that will be mentioned below are not only for vegans. Many assume that vegan proteins are second tier when it comes to fitness. However, vegan protein should not be the “alternative” protein but the “go-to” protein for several reasons.
Dangers of Typical Protein Powder (Whey, milk, soy)
Non-plant proteins come from animal byproducts. This is important not just to those who care about animals but their health as well. It’s important to understand that cow’s milk, for example, was formulated purely for their offspring, not humans. Also, most animals are cramped up in small spaces and injected with hormones, antibiotics, and other “goodies”. To make it worse, manufacturers enhance your typical protein (whey, casein, milk, soy) with “natural” and artificial flavors, sweeteners, and other harmful additives. We’ve included soy protein in the list as it’s quite controversial and has been linked to thyroid problems, brain damage, cancer and more. Also, over 90% of soy grown in US is genetically modified (GMO).
We will go more in depth on why it’s wise to stay away from the most commonly found proteins in another article. For now, just realize that if you are taking protein with whey concentrate, whey isolate, casein or milk proteins you are most likely being counter-productive to your health. Stay away from the artificial stuff and eat only what’s pure.
Downsides of Plant Protein
It’s important to understand that plant proteins, although less likely, may still contain some ingredients that you should stay away from. Furthermore, some plant proteins lack the necessary amino acids. As mentioned in our previous article, there are 22 amino acids which are considered essential to your health. They perform important tasks within your body which help with growth, repair and protection. Unfortunately, your body is unable to make 9 of these amino acids. This is where you come in. It’s important to provide your body with these amino acids. Complete proteins include all 9 of these amino acids (in a correct ratio). Animal proteins are complete proteins. Commonly, vegan proteins may lack 1-2 of these amino acids. However, hemp proteins include all the necessary amino acids.
We’ve hand selected the proteins that are the most effective, safe and readily available.
Vega sport is probably one of the most popular plant based proteins on the market today. It contains a blend of alfalfa, brown rice, sacha inchi and pea proteins. It packs 25 grams of complete protein and it has a great vanilla taste.
-Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy, added sugar free
– Complete protein
– Plant based
-Great natural taste, mixes well
Downsides: The blend which makes up the protein contains brown rice. Recently, FDA has found that rice contains arsenic. Inorganic arsenic can contribute to adverse effects in health. While the effects and safe doses of arsenic are being studied, it’s important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Other grains and milk products may include arsenic as well. Those who do not enjoy the taste of stevia may be put off by the taste of this protein. It is not organic certified. It’s a bit expensive at $1.75 per ounce.
Organics rating: 3.5 / 5
This protein has popped up recently, and has gained some momentum due to its availability in Costco stores. It is a mixture of brown rice, chia, pea and hemp proteins. It contains 21 grams per scoop.
– Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
– No added sugars
– USDA Organic Certified
– On the sweet side, tastes great
– Mixes well
Downsides: includes a mixture of brown rice (see above to why it’s a concern). Does have a slight stevia aftertaste. Should have less ingredients.