The Best Natural and Vegan Protein Powders Australia Has To Offer
Turning away from meat and towards a more plant-based diet may have you wondering where you're going to get your protein from. Many people have this concern before turning vegan, especially those who rely on protein powders for bulking and recovery.
Vegan protein powders have been developed over time and now provide similar levels of protein as non-vegan protein powders. Plant-based protein powders and vegan protein powders use plant-based protein sources to ensure these supplements provide the user with protein.
If you're wondering what the best vegan and plant-based protein powders are, and what they can do for you, check out the rest of the blog.
What is vegan protein powder?
Vegan protein powder is, put simply, a vegan version of protein powder. Protein powder is usually used by athletes, gym enthusiasts, and those who cannot get enough dietary protein, to ensure that their protein intake is enough for what their body needs.
Many protein powders on the market contain animal products, like whey protein, making them unsuitable for vegans, vegetarians, and those who are dairy-free. Vegan protein powders are made up of plant-based proteins, like pea protein and rice protein, to ensure the product provides enough grams of protein, as well as being vegan.
What is a vegan protein powder made of?
Vegan protein powder is made of plant proteins. These can include:
- Pea protein. Not made from the garden peas you're used to, but from yellow split peas. These peas have incredible amounts of protein, indeed a 28g serving of pea protein powder provides around 21g of protein and only 100 calories. Though pea protein may lack some essential amino acids, it is high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which helps fuel muscles and supports the body in making protein.
- Hemp protein. From the seeds of the cannabis plant, but from a variety that has trace amounts of THC, hemp protein can provide around 12g of protein per 28g serving. Though low in some essential amino acids, hemp protein is high in micronutrients and fibre.
- Brown rice protein. With about 22g of protein per 28g scoop, brown rice protein is high in BCAAs and is thought to be just as good as whey protein when consumed after weight training.
- Soy protein. Soy is a complete protein, which is rare in plant proteins and offers about 22g of protein per 28g serving. A complete protein means it contains all nine essential amino acids.
Other plant proteins used in plant-based protein powders include pumpkin seed protein, chia protein, sunflower seed protein, and alfalfa protein.
What are essential amino acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are used throughout the body in a range of different processes. Though your body needs twenty different amino acids to function, only nine of them are considered essential. The nine essential amino acids are:
These nine amino acids cannot be made by the body and must be consumed in your diet. When you eat protein, it is broken down into amino acids and sent off around the body to work in different processes.
What is whey protein and why is it not vegan?
Whey protein is a protein made from the watery by-product of milk that separates from the curds in the cheese-making process. It is often used in protein supplements as it contains lots of protein and is known to help increase muscle mass and strength.
Whey protein is not vegan as is it formed from an animal by-product. Coming from milk means that whey protein is also not suitable for those who are lactose intolerant or following a dairy-free diet.
How should I use vegan protein powder?
Protein powder can be taken with both milk and water. Protein powders usually come with a serving scoop and instructions on the packet of how much powder should be used with the measure of liquid. Following these instructions is the best way to get the most out of your vegan protein powder.
Protein powder should be taken after a workout, usually within about thirty minutes of cooling down. This allows the protein to help repair the muscles quicker and stimulates muscle growth. Protein powder can also be used in other ways. You can add it into smoothies, pancake mixes, and even dessert recipes.
Can vegan protein replace a meal?
Protein powder is not designed to replace a meal. While some forms of protein offer more macronutrients, many vegan protein powders do not offer enough to constitute a full meal. Protein powders are designed to supplement your diet, help your muscles to recover after a workout, and help you build lean muscle.
Meal replacement shakes do exist and are used for weight loss. Protein shakes should not be used to replace a meal, though they can be used in recipes, like pancakes, to create a meal, helping to get the protein you need in your meals.
Are protein powders good for weight loss?
Though some protein powder manufacturers may claim that their product is good for weight loss, the intention of protein powders is to supplement the dietary protein you get and help you to build lean muscle.
While some may replace meals with protein powder to help themselves to lose weight quickly, once normal food consumption resumes, the likelihood is that they will gain the weight back quickly as protein shakes are not designed to replace meals.
Protein shakes can help you to get fitter and boost your health as you exercise for sustained periods and can supplement a healthy and balanced diet. Vegan protein shakes add protein to your diet and ensure all of your macronutrient needs are met each day.
The best vegan protein powder products Australia can offer you
There are many vegan protein powders on the market today and so we've gathered a list of the best vegan protein powders we can find below. Check it out and find your new vegan protein supplement today.
Amazonia Raw Paleo Fermented Protein, Salted Caramel
This fantastic, salted caramel flavoured protein is made with a blend of superfoods and vegan proteins and is packed full of essential amino acids. It's suitable for those following the paleo diet and supports muscle development.
Botanika Blends Plant Protein, Blueberry Pancake
First and foremost, blueberry pancake flavoured protein? Yes, please! This protein powder uses certified organic vegan proteins, like organic pea protein, and is gluten-free as well as vegan.
Botanika Blends offers a large range of vegan proteins, all of which use certified organic ingredients. If you can't choose from their fantastic range, then why not try this sampler set to find a flavour you love.
Eden Health Foods Ultimate Protein
This brown rice protein is high in protein and available in natural, vanilla, and chocolate flavours. The brown rice is sprouted using a traditional bio-fermentation process and is easy to digest.
Happy Way Vegan Protein Powder, Chocolate Hazelnut
This chocolate hazelnut flavoured vegan protein powder from Happy Way is made using organic ingredients, including rice and pea protein. It is suitable for vegans and is gluten-free.
Herbal Wellbeing Australian Fava Bean Plant Protein Movement, Chai
Made using certified organic ingredients, this vegan plant protein is made with fava bean protein isolate and turmeric. It contributes to muscle growth, tissue repair, and the maintenance of normal bones. It is 100% natural and GMO-free!
Nutra Organics Clean Protein Salted Caramel
Made from a gut-friendly blend of pea, rice, coconut, and pumpkin seed proteins, this vegan protein is packed full of amino acids and essential micronutrients. Suitable for those on the paleo and keto diets, and those who are gluten-free, this protein is a real all-rounder. And its salted caramel flavour!
Protein Supplies Australia PeaPro, Honeycomb
This non-GMO, vegan protein is made using certified organic pea protein and is full of nutrition. With high levels of amino acids, including BCAAs, and made using natural, clean ingredients, this protein is fantastic for those wishing to live a more natural life.
Macro Mike Peanut Plant Protein, Caramel Cinnamon Bun
With a blend of peanut, pea, and Australian faba bean proteins, this plant-based protein is perfect for a post-workout dose of protein. The great taste and smooth texture mean this versatile protein can be added to smoothies and other recipes for extra protein whatever you're eating.
Amazonia Raw Protein Pregnancy Plus
Another Amazonia product, this pregnancy protein is suitable for mums-to-be and new mums. Packed full of vitamins, fibre, and plant protein, it is designed to improve fertility as well as help your muscles recover.
Locako Fit Lean Protein, White Chocolate Caramel
Made with lots of great and nutritious ingredients, including MCT oil, this flavourful protein from Locako is designed as a daily supplement to ensure you get the protein you need every single day. Also great as a post-workout snack, this protein shake is low in carbs.
Vegan protein powder can be made with a variety of high protein plant proteins and is designed to supplement your dietary protein, as well as support a healthy exercise regime. Plant-based protein should be mixed with water, or added into other recipes, and can be consumed daily. Protein powder is not a replacement for a meal but can help you to lead a healthier and more nutritious life.
Frequently asked questions
What are the side effects of vegan protein powder?
Vegan protein powders, when consumed in moderation and according to the packet, can be a nutritious way to supplement your diet and help your body recover from exercise. As with many supplements, there are some side effects if vegan protein powder is consumed in excess. If too much protein is consumed, the liver may not be able to process it properly which can lead to side effects like nausea and diarrhea, and in extreme cases death. Vegan protein powder may also contain harmful pesticide residue and so care should be taken to choose organic options to shield from this.
Is vegan plant protein powder good for you?
Vegan plant protein powder is a great way to supplement your diet and ensure you get enough protein each day. It can also help to speed up recovery after an intense workout. All ingredients in plant protein powders are plant-based, meaning that they are full of vitamins and minerals which are good for you. Consumed in excess, protein powders can have harmful side effects and so, care should be taken to only consume as directed by the product.
Is vegan protein worse than whey?
While whey protein, and other animal-based proteins, have more essential amino acids and other healthy components, vegan protein can offer the same level of protein. If you're following a healthy and balanced diet, then the nutritional value of vegan plant protein is good enough to provide the protein you need while you get the other essential nutrients elsewhere.
Can vegan protein powder cause bloating?
As many vegan protein powders are made using legumes, pulses, and seeds, there is a risk of bloating. These high fibre nutrients can lead to bloating and so choosing a protein that has no added fibre is best for your body if you find you bloat easily.