Is Whey Protein Vegan? Protein Powder Options for Vegans
As people are becoming more accustomed to different lifestyles, more and more find themselves leaning towards veganism. Unfortunately, switching to this kind of diet means that there will be restrictions as to what one can and cannot eat.
There are some who rely on organic, vegan-friendly food options to meet their daily nutrition requirements, while others opt to take dietary supplements. This begs the question, is whey protein vegan?
Is Whey Protein Vegan?
The quick answer to this question is no. But then again, don’t lose hope just yet. There are plenty of whey protein powders that are manufactured to be vegan-friendly. Now, to understand why it isn’t vegan, allow us to explain to you where whey protein comes from.
Whey itself is derived from milk, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as milk protein. Due to the fact that veganism revolves around not consuming animals as well as any byproducts of animals, you can guarantee that your diet won’t allow for you to consume whey protein.
What Protein Powders Are Vegan-friendly?
If there’s one thing that you’re going to learn as you transition to veganism, it’s that mother nature has provided us with plenty of natural items that are filled with protein. These items are used to create vegan protein powders.
For example, nuts and tofu are just two examples of natural ingredients with incredibly high protein contents. If you’re someone who is looking for a quick and easy way to get the protein you need without having to focus on eating very specific items every day, some great suggestions for people who are wondering is whey protein vegan include hemp protein powder and rice protein powder.
Brown Rice Protein Powder
Brown rice, as delicious as it is, isn’t something that is going to give you enough protein on its own, especially as rice typically doesn’t have much nutritional content at all. However, rice protein powders are filled with other ingredients designed to give your body and muscles the support they need.
When it comes to brown rice protein, we recommend finding a blend that also includes amino acids, B vitamins, and fiber. Another advantage to brown rice protein powder is that it’s typically lactose-free and gluten-free, which makes it a very versatile alternative to whey protein for people with a variety of dietary restrictions.
As an added benefit, brown rice is hypoallergenic. This means that you likely won’t have any gastrointestinal discomfort or an allergic reaction if you consume this even on a daily basis.
Hemp Protein Powder
In a single serving (three tablespoons) of hemp protein powder, you’re going to be consuming 15 grams of protein. This is much more than what you would receive with a single scoop of whey protein powder as it typically offers up to 25 grams per scoop.
Hemp is one of the most interesting ingredients to implement into a vegan diet because it’s filled with protein and has one of the highest amino acid profiles that you can get your hands on. It’s also easy for our bodies to digest, which is ideal for people who deal with gas, bloating, or discomfort while using other types of protein powder.
The main concern to take under advisement with hemp protein powder is the fact that it has a very high-calorie content, so you’re going to have to make sure that you power through your workouts rather than use it as a dietary supplement. Alternatively, you’ll have to take the time to make sure that it fits into your daily calorie intake so that you don’t end up gaining weight if you’re trying to cut.
Yellow Pea Protein Powder
Yellow pea protein powder has 15 grams of protein per serving but also 20 fewer calories than hemp protein. This makes it a better option for someone looking for a healthy yet vegan alternative to whey protein.
However, similar to brown rice protein powder, you’re not going to get a lot of nutrition from yellow peas on their own. You’re going to need to find a blend of healthy ingredients to give your body support. We recommend finding a yellow pea protein powder that also has the essential amino acids that your body needs for bulking, though it’s a great meal supplement for someone looking to cut weight.
Pairing this type of protein with other ingredients, such as beans, tofu, or quinoa, can help you to fight off hypertension and kidney disease. However, if you’re dealing with a soy allergy or lactose intolerance, you’re not going to want to consume this type of protein regularly.
Vegetable-blend Protein Powders
Instead of focusing on a single ingredient in protein powders recommended for vegans, there are plenty of manufacturers who use a variety of different plant-based ingredients to create a vegan- and vegetarian-friendly formula. It’s important to remember that there are dozens of vegetables that are equally as healthy as their meat counterparts, especially in the protein department, which is why most vegans opt for vegetable-blend protein powders.
In most cases, these blends will include ingredients such as lentils, flaxseeds, sprouts, beans, and even millet. This helps to develop a full profile of essential ingredients including fiber, fatty acids, and vitamins, which is also essential for giving you all of the supplements you need in a straight shot rather than having your protein shake in the morning and taking supplements throughout the day.
The main concern with vegetable-blend protein powders is that since they include so many different ingredients, they are going to have a much higher calorie content, so you’re going to have to spend some time developing a healthy meal plan to manage your calorie intake.
If you’ve ever wondered, is whey protein vegan, it certainly isn’t as it’s derived from milk, similar to casein. With that being said, if you’re in the market for a protein powder as a vegan, there are plenty of different options for you to choose from, especially if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to help you build muscle or lose weight. With the right ingredients, you can be successful with your body goals without relying on traditional sources of protein.