CO-FITNESS
04 - 04 - 2021

How to Choose Your Vegan Protein Powder

Protein shakes, amino acid powders: you are a bodybuilder and you have been told to take them, right? However, you are a vegetarian and do not want to consume proteins of animal origin? No problemo, I explain everything to you about vegan protein powder in order to make the right choice.

Nicodème Germeau
Nicodème Germeau
Author

Why Take Veggie Protein Powder as a Supplement?


Although a 100% plant-based diet can provide all the proteins and amino acids necessary for good health and regular sports practice, taking plant-based protein powder can be complementary and even necessary.

In the case of intense sports activities and high muscle load, the daily amount of protein should be increased: from 1.1 to 2.1g instead of 0.8g/kg. Consuming vegan protein shakers is a quick and convenient way to increase your daily intake. Besides, there is no need to vary the sources to get all the amino acids. In general, powders are designed to be well assimilated and digested, with digestion being a key consideration when choosing a choosing a vegan protein powder.

Why Take Veggie Protein Powder as a Supplement?


Although a 100% plant-based diet can provide all the proteins and amino acids necessary for good health and regular sports practice, taking plant-based protein powder can be complementary and even necessary.

In the case of intense sports activities and high muscle load, the daily amount of protein should be increased: from 1.1 to 2.1g instead of 0.8g/kg. Consuming vegan protein shakers is a quick and convenient way to increase your daily intake.

1) Pay Attention to the Amino Acid Content

Unlike animal proteins, most plant proteins are not ‘complete’ as they do not contain all the essential amino acids. Most plant proteins have a limiting content of one type of amino acid. This is the case with cereals, which are low in lysine, and legumes, which are low in methionine.

In order to benefit from all the amino acids it is, therefore, necessary to vary the sources of protein or to take a powder that combines two types of vegetable protein.

2) Digestibility of the Vegan Protein Powder

There is a scoring system for proteins, the “PDCAAS“, Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score, which provides a means of assessing protein quality. It is based on the amino acid requirements of the human body and digestibility. The higher the score, the closer the protein source is to this number, the more digestible it is and the higher the quality.

From this ranking, we can see that the protein in egg white (albumin) is the most digestible of the animal protein sources. Among the vegetable proteins, soya is the most digestible with a score of 0.91, followed by quinoa with a score of 0.89.

How to Choose the Best Veggie Protein Powder?

1) Pay Attention to the Amino Acid Content

Unlike animal proteins, most plant proteins are not ‘complete’ as they do not contain all the essential amino acids. Most plant proteins have a limiting content of one type of amino acid.

In order to benefit from all the amino acids it is, therefore, necessary to vary the sources of protein or to take a powder that combines two types of vegetable protein.

2) Digestibility of the Vegan Protein Powder

There is a scoring system for proteins, the “PDCAAS“, Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score, which provides a means of assessing protein quality. It is based on the amino acid requirements of the human body and digestibility. The higher the score, the more digestible and higher quality it is .

From this ranking, soya is the most digestible with a score of 0.91, followed by quinoa with a score of 0.89.

3) The Importance of the Leucine Content in Your Vegan Protein Shaker

Leucine is one of the amino acids grouped under the term BCAA (branched-chain amino acids). Together with isoleucine and valine, they are the preferred amino acids for muscle rebuilding. Its strength is its anabolic (promotes muscle growth) and anti-catabolic (anti-muscle breakdown) power and energy supply. Present mainly in food sources such as eggs, dairy products, meat and fish, it can be difficult to find in a vegetable protein powder. It will therefore be necessary to add this amino acid (alone or with the other two) to the protein shaker.

3) The Importance of the Leucine Content in Your Vegan Protein Shaker

Leucine is one of the amino acids grouped under the branched-chain amino acids term . Together with isoleucine and valine, they are the preferred amino acids for muscle rebuilding. Its mainly present in food sources such as eggs, dairy products, meat and fish, it can be difficult to find in a vegetable protein powder. It will therefore be necessary to add this amino acid to the protein shaker.

Bonus of the day to get better daily habits:

Leucine is one of the amino acids grouped under the term BCAA (branched-chain amino acids). Together with isoleucine and valine, they are the preferred amino acids for muscle rebuilding. Its strength is its anabolic (promotes muscle growth) and anti-catabolic (anti-muscle breakdown) power and energy supply. Present mainly in food sources such as eggs, dairy products, meat and fish, it can be difficult to find in a vegetable protein powder. It will therefore be necessary to add this amino acid (alone or with the other two) to the protein shaker.

Vegan proteins infography
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Image Source:

  1. First Photo by LYFE Fuel on Unsplash
  2. Infography on Pinterest

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