Is protein powder vegan?
Ask your Uncle Barry (who “used to go to the gym” …in the 80s) and he’d probably say protein powder is whey. To be fair to the man, there was a time when protein powder was very basic. But times have changed. Protein powder is no longer limited to whey (or other dairy by-products). These days there’s almost more choice if you’re vegan!
Is whey protein vegan?
No, whey protein is not vegan. All types of whey protein – whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate – are a by-product of the dairy industry. Whey is made from milk (milk is separated into whey and casein).
Standard vegan protein powders
Whether you’re a strict vegan, eat plant-based for health, or simply prefer to avoid whey, it’s a great time to be alive. You can choose from a massive range of vegan protein powders. We’ve already listed the most common ones: pea protein (made from split peas), hemp protein (made from hemp seeds) and brown rice protein.
But you also have the choice of vegan blends, plus some newer plant-based powders which have tremendous nutrition benefits (far beyond protein). Plant-based protein powders are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and micronutrients. Definitely not a poor alternative to whey!
Hemp protein suffers from an unfair (and unfounded) association with the illegal kind of hemp. Let’s end the comparison right now. Hemp protein is absolutely nothing to do with that. It’s made from cold-pressed hemp seeds (the kind of seeds you can buy whole in the supermarket and sprinkle on your salads). It’s an excellent choice of vegan protein because it is “complete” – containing all 20 amino acids, essential fatty acids 3, 6, and 9, and a ton of vitamins and minerals. Hemp protein has a slightly nutty flavour, mixes well, and has quite a thick mouthfeel. It’s a satiating choice which works well in a shake, stirred into porridge, or in protein baking.
Organic Pumpkin Protein
If you’ve never tried pumpkin protein powder, give it a go. This exciting new type of vegan protein has 60% protein and a lovely smooth taste. It makes a great addition to your plant-based protein powders. It’s great in shakes and smoothies and works particularly well in protein baking. As you’d expect from 100% pumpkin powder, it’s a good source of fibre and extremely low in sugar with nothing else added (no sweeteners, thickeners, or soy). Our Organic Pumpkin Protein has become a customer favourite very quickly – some people are even reporting that it helps their skin!
Vegan protein blends
You’re not limited to single source vegan proteins. A great way to cover your nutritional bases – and get a wide spectrum of amino acids – is to choose a vegan blend.
Vegan Protein Powder
Our Vegan Protein Powder is a really advanced vegan blend of pea protein isolate, brown rice protein, pumpkin protein (for the extra minerals it provides), flaxseed powder (for smoothness), and quinoa flour. That incredible combination gives you 23g protein per serving, and it’s available in four flavours – including Banana Caramel.
We’re proud to be the first supplement company to bring a Vegan All-In-One to the UK market. All-in-ones are ideal for after training, with a balance of protein and carbs to boost your recovery.
But ours has much more than just vegan protein and carbs. The vegan blend is our V+™ protein blend of super pea protein isolate, brown rice protein, pumpkin protein, flaxseed powder and quinoa flour. We’ve added Vitargo®, creatine monohydrate, glutamine, HMB, vegan amino acids and digestive enzymes. It’s gluten free and soya free and sweetened with Stevia (which is a natural sweetener). And if you fancy a change from traditional flavours, try it in Lime and Coconut.
Vegan mass gainer
Vegans need a mass-gainer option, too. Mass gainers are useful any time you need to bump up calories from quality food sources. Of course, if you’re vegan, you’ll want to be extra careful about how you bulk up. A lot of foods will be off the menu for you. Our Vegan Mass Gainer is a great choice.
Vegan Mass Gainer
Our Mass Gainer is packed with quality ingredients (no rubbish fillers here!) The protein is our V+™ blend of pea protein, brown rice protein, pumpkin powder, flaxseed powder, and quinoa flour. Carbs come from ultra-fine oats and maca powder. And then we’ve added goMCT™ for healthy fats, and digestive enzyme complex DigeZyme®. It’s got no soy, no artificial colours or artificial sweeteners. This really is a great quality mass gainer.
Vegan protein isolates
On the other end of the spectrum you have vegan isolates. These single-source protein powders are ultra-filtered and pure, to give you as much protein as possible per serving. Ideal if you are dieting or just want to bump up your protein without excess calorie intake.
Super Pea Protein Isolate
Our Super Pea Protein Isolate is a second-generation isolate that comes from yellow split peas. It has an incredible amino acids profile, 80% protein, and is around 50% more soluble than other pea proteins on the market.
Soya Protein Isolate 90
Our Soya Protein Isolate has an amazing 90g protein per 100g (and less than 1g fat!). This kind of protein powder comes from soya beans, and has the highest PDCAAS score (this is a popular method of categorising protein quality).
What’s the best vegan protein powder?
Difficult question. First of all, ask yourself what you want from a vegan protein powder. Do you want the high protein, low fat purity of a vegan isolate? Or a blend, to get a wide spectrum of amino acids from a few quality vegan sources? Or maybe you need a mass gainer to get quality calories into your diet?
Take a look through our Vegan range and check out the newest and most exciting products. One thing’s for sure – you will definitely find something to suit your needs!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicola Joyce has been writing for (and about) sport, fitness, nutrition and healthy living since 2004. She’s also a keen sportswoman: her background is in endurance sport but she now competes as a natural bodybuilder, most recently winning a world title with the INBF. When she’s not writing content, she can be found blogging. Follow her here www.nicolajoyce.co.uk and on Facebook & Twitter (@thefitwriter) too.