In the world of protein powders, there are tons of options. Surprisingly, things get even more complicated when you start looking specifically at vegan protein powders.
As it turns out, many plants are good sources of quality proteins so, with all the choices out there, you’re faced with a tough question: which is the best vegan protein powder for you?
Allergies and Side Effects
Several plants that are commonly used for protein, such as soy, can be pretty potent allergens despite their nutritional reputation. If you have any food allergies, then you would clearly want to avoid those type of products.
It’s also important to remember that protein powders aren’t always all about protein; they often contain other compounds that typically go ignored. These substances, despite their relative anonymity, can have powerful impacts on your health – both good and bad.
If we continue discussing soy, for example, you may be uncomfortable with the concerns over the phytoestrogens found in the plant that have been linked to various cancers and developmental problems.
Other phytochemicals in vegan protein powders may also have unique interactions for you if you’re on any medications or are otherwise dealing with a health condition.
When deciding on the best vegan protein powder, you will need to consider these health facts and decide what’s the safest option for you.
What Do You Need?
Assuming that you do not have any major concerns over the health impacts of a particular protein powder, the other consideration would be your nutritional needs and how you would hope to use the product.
Some vegan protein powders have incomplete amino acid profiles and would need to be completed by other protein sources. If you plan on using the powder as your main protein source, these incomplete options would not suit your nutritional needs at all.
For those who have an otherwise balanced diet, though, the completeness or incompleteness of a protein powder wouldn’t really be a large apprehension.
Then there’s the flavor to think about. Some vegan protein powders – like pea protein – have fairly distinct flavors that may or may not be something you enjoy.
If you like to get adventurous and cook with your protein powders instead of just adding them to shakes, you’ll also want to think about the flavor and how that particular powder reactions with other ingredients. Rice protein powder, for example, is excellent for baking because it tends to hold on to liquids and helps create moist cakes and breads.
Finally, price is always a necessary factor. Certain vegan protein powders are difficult to harvest and process, which tends to hike up the prices.
Hemp protein, for instance, is generally one of the most expensive options because of the association between it and marijuana – which limits how and where the plant can be grown.
Ultimately, deciding which option is the best vegan protein powder for you is a very personal decision based on your individual needs. To make a fully informed decision, consider: any potential allergies you may have, your nutritional needs, your taste and usage preferences, and the price range you’d consider.