For those of us who work out regularly, protein powder or drinks probably play a big part of your daily fitness regime. But if you’ve chosen to adopt a vegan or non-dairy diet, many of the proteins on the market may no longer be suitable for you. This is all down to an ingredient called whey.
Is Whey Protein Vegan?
Whey is the bi-product of the manufacturing of cheese. It is used in protein powders and shakes because it contains casein - a group of phosphoproteins that make up 80% of the protein in cow’s milk
So to clear it up once and for all - Whey protein is NOT vegan, there is no such thing as vegan whey protein, but that doesn’t mean vegans have to miss out on their protein fix.
Is there a Vegan Alternative to Whey?
Whey is considered a complete protein as it contains all nine of the amino acids. There is no alternative in singular plant based foods.
Never fear, if you follow a vegan diet, you can still get all the energy you need from plant based protein.
Here are some of the most Popular vegan protein powder options:
Soy Protein – A bi-product of the Soy bean, it contains all the amino acids you need for muscle growth, alongside fibre and isoflavones
Hemp Protein – Derived from the hemp seed, it also contains all the essential amino acids, and is easily digestible but can be high in fat content, so may not be suitable if weight loss is also a goal.
Brown Rice Protein- Brown rice powder is high in fibre and B-vitamins, which helps with muscle growth. Brown rice isn’t a complete protein in itself, and therefore powders also contain enhanced amino acids. As well as being vegan, it is also gluten free.
Yellow Pea Protein- Peas are famously high in protein but, again, alone, they are not a complete protein source as they do not contain the full profile of amino acids. This is often blended with other protein sources to create the full protein profile.
Blended Vegan Protein Powders – The best option as a vegan to give you the full plant based protein package is to use blended protein powders such as PRO V-GAIN™ PROTEIN, an advanced blend of rice, soy and pea protein.