Whey or no whey? Vegan or dairy-free or soy?
With so many types of protein powders out there, it can be overwhelming to determine which is best. Which protein is right for you? Clients ask me this question all the time. My philosophy is that vegan (i.e., plant-based) protein powders are best, and here’s why.
Vegan Ingredients are SO GOOD for You
The ingredients are only plant sources, often hemp, rice or pea. Flip the container over and read the ingredient list. Vegan protein powders rarely include refined sugars or artificial ingredients (you want to stay away from those).
Why no whey, dairy or soy? Whey is what I call “milk trash.” It contains dairy (super hard for your body to digest) and is acidic (which can cause serious health problems down the road). As for soy, it’s one of those leading ingredients that people think is a healthy option. Unfortunately, it’s quite the opposite because soy is often modified and processed and may interfere with your hormones and thyroid and wreak havoc on your body!
The best protein powders, of course, don’t contain artificial ingredients and don’t even add things like probiotics, vitamins or “super” ingredients. Manufactures like to make us feel like we’re getting a “better” product by advertising a bunch of additives. They like to hype the newest superfood on the label in BIG BOLD print! But here’s what they don’t tell you: the amount they actually throw into the protein powder is often so miniscule; its effects are insignificant.
Here’s why I love Vegan Protein Powders
High in alkaline foods. Back up, what are “alkaline foods”? Alkaline has to do with our pH balance. Our pH balance is an indicator of how much acid and alkaline are in our diet. Foods high in acid can cause serious health problems. We want a healthy pH balance with more alkaline foods than acidic foods. How do we know what foods are high in alkaline? The greener the better! Other common alkaline ingredients found in vegan protein powders include flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, quinoa and lentils.
Easy to digest. Your body can digest whole, vegan foods easier than other big ingredients in whey or dairy-free protein powders. Why? Whole foods, especially raw whole foods, contain fiber, which is the main player in digestion. Think about the benefit: if your body spends less time digesting food (which takes ENERGY!), it has more energy to use throughout the day. Win-win.
You Can Get Complete Proteins from Vegan Protein Powders
It’s a common misconception that you cannot get all the protein your body needs unless you consume animal protein. Athletes, especially, fear that they will lose muscle if on a vegan diet. But here’s what they don’t know: the best protein comes from whole, alkaline-forming foods, such as sprouted nuts and seeds – two common ingredients in vegan protein powders! Not only are vegan proteins a complete protein, but they’re also full of antioxidants, which help you recover faster from a workout by reducing the inflammation caused by exercising.
Many of my clients have seen great results switching from soy/whey to vegan protein powder! Which protein powder do you like best?