- Athletes who need both protein and essential branched-chain amino acids necessary for muscle growth and recovery.
- Those who experience digestive upset. It’s also a fantastic option for those who experience bloat or an unsettled stomach from using other protein powders such as whey, since plant-based proteins are easier to digest.
- Vegetarian and vegan diets. Many plant-based proteins have low allergenicity, so everyone, including vegans and vegetarians are sure to love its rich nutritional benefits.
- Cholesterol conscious individuals: Pure plant-based proteins offer the benefits of protein and BCAAs while promoting healthy cholesterol levels.
If you're on the hunt for plant-based proteins but need help narrowing your search, you've come to the right place. We've rounded up five plant-based proteins that pack a huge protein punch plus provide other great (and essential!) health benefits. There are many myths and misconceptions out there that try to diminish the value of plant-based protein and brand it as inferior to its animal-based counterparts. This is simply untrue. As with anything else, there's a wealth of proteins out there sourced from plants and animals that can provide you with the nutrients you need. At the end of the day, it simply comes down to personal preference and values. That said, let's make the case for five amazing plant-based protein options that vegans, vegetarians and whole-food foodies will love.
PLANT PROTEINS ARE PERFECT FOR:
Unlike whey protein powders, Pea Protein is easily to digest since it contains no lactose or gluten. This means no uncomfortable gas or bloating. Pea protein is derived from yellow peas, known as split peas, and is naturally cholesterol-free and soy-free. It provides generous amounts of isoleucine, valine, arginine and lysine—the essential branched-chain amino acids that support lean muscle mass.* This study by the National Institute for Health and Medical Research suggests that pea proteins promote muscle thickness and gains during resistance training.
Quinoa contains more protein than most grains and supplies all nine essential amino acids that can’t be made by the body. To top it off, it's very nutrient rich and a provides 58% of the daily recommended value of Manganese in a 1 cup serving. Manganese is an essential mineral that the body needs to function properly and support strong bones.*
Rice Protein is an easily digestible protein that contains a nice ratio of fiber, protein and branched-chain amino acids that are important for a healthy lifestyle. It's amino acid profile is similar to casein or soy proteins. As a grain-derived protein, rice protein is especially high in cystine and methionine. It is commonly paired with pea protein which is high in the amino acid lysine, because together they offer a superior amino acid profile comparable to dairy or egg protein. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health concluded that supplementation of rice protein promotes lean muscle mass.*
Organic Oat Bran is a deliciously smooth, high protein, high fiber blend of organic oats. The protein quality of oat bran is similar to that of dehulled soybean meal and typically provides 16 grams of protein in 1 cup. It's a rich source of soluble fiber which helps slow digestion and contains a good amount of magnesium. A study published by the National Library of Medicine shows that oat bran promotes healthy cholesterol levels.*
Potato Protein: a new form of vegan protein, potato protein has a high biological value—higher than other vegetable protein and close to whey and egg protein. A high biological value means that this protein contains the essential amino acids in a proportion similar to that required by the human body. It's a measurement of how well our bodies can use the protein we consume. The potato is a carbohydrate-rich, energy-providing food with little fat. Potatoes are particularly high in vitamin C and are a good source of several B vitamins and potassium.
Ready to give plant-based protein a whirl?
All five of these premium protein sources are available in Optim Nutrition Vitra Plant Protein. Optim Nutrition Vitra is made from natural, whole food ingredients that provide the nutritional boost you want with a sweet and creamy taste you’ll love. Try it in this vegan-friendly shake recipe below.