Vegan Protein Powder: Your Ultimate GuideVegan protein has become a top choice of protein powder for many people, regardless of their dietary preferences. People in the UK are becoming increasingly interested to learn more about the benefits and sustainability of a vegan protein powder. Plant-based protein offers unique benefits to assist people in reaching their health and fitness goals.
Consuming enough protein from the diet alone can be a significant struggle for many of us. Protein powders are the convenient solution for boosting protein intake so you can reach your fullest potential. With so many types of protein on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
At EHPlabs, our scientists have dedicated a huge amount of time and research to formulating the highest possible quality protein powders and supplements. Our team of athletes are passionate about our products and our fitness and nutrition experts frequently share their knowledge to support and assist people at every stage of their health and fitness journey, no matter what their dietary needs. That's why, alongside our whey proteins, we're proud to offer a plant-based protein that's perfect for those on a vegan or plant-based diet. The EHPlabs Blessed Plant Protein is a pure vegan protein powder that's trusted by millions worldwide.
We are going to explain all you need to know about vegan protein powder and the benefits you’ll get from using it!
Is vegan protein powder good for you?
Yes- there are an array of incredible benefits of vegan protein powder!
Vegan protein powder can help regulate appetite which can facilitate fat loss, enhances muscle growth and strength, promotes skin health and supports healthy digestion. You can easily consume vegan powder as a low calorie and filling snack between meals, or add a scoop to main meals such as breakfast smoothies or oatmeal, to increase the protein content and get all the incredible benefits.
Blessed Protein is the best tasting vegan protein powder, made from Golden Pea Protein Isolate, giving an incredible 23g of protein per scoop. Additionally, Blessed contains all the essential amino acids, which can often be hard to consume on a vegan diet.
Not only will you be making a great choice for your health, but using vegan protein powder is also beneficial for the environment!
Plant-based protein powders have considerably less of an environmental impact compared to other types of protein powders. Due to this reduced environmental impact, plant-based proteins are more likely to be sustainable in the long-term. In fact, pea protein produces 4-7 times less greenhouse gasses compared to dairy based protein powders. Blessed Protein is made from the finest 100% sustainable raw ingredients, and the tub is made using recycled materials, making it the perfect choice for those who are environmentally conscious.
Do vegans need protein powder?
Getting adequate protein and other essential vitamins and minerals can be a challenge for those who don't eat animal products. An essential part of our diet, protein performs all kinds of important bodily functions. We need it to produce hormones, enzymes, antibodies, and other chemicals, and to keep our immune system strong too. Plus, protein is key to building and repairing all kinds of body tissue, including tissues in glands, the liver, and muscles. During a strenuous workout, it's protein that pushes on through once your normal energy stores have been exhausted.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8g per kilogram of body weight, which can be a difficult target to achieve if you're on a vegan or plant-based diet (1). This is where vegan protein powders can be extremely useful in helping to support a healthy lifestyle.
Is whey protein powder vegan?
No. Whey protein is a by-product of the cheesemaking process and as such, it is not vegan. It comes from animal milk (typically cow's milk) that has been heated and processed with enzymes and other catalysts to make it curdle. The solids that separate during this process are then skimmed off the top, the high-protein liquid that remains underneath is further processed and turned into either whey protein concentrate, whey isolate, or whey hydrolysate.
Pea protein is a great vegan alternative to whey protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids needed to build blocks of protein. Compared with other plant-based protein products that have been isolated from rice or hemp, pea protein contains a better balance of these essential amino acids. In fact, research suggests that supplementing with pea protein can result in similar muscle gains as supplementing with whey protein (2).
Can vegans have protein powder? Is protein powder vegan friendly?
Yes. In fact, it is recommended that vegans include protein powder in their diet to help them meet their protein requirements. Dietary intolerances may be an important consideration in your choice of protein supplement and as whey protein is formulated from milk, it should be avoided by vegans or those with dairy or lactose intolerances.
There are several different types of plant-based protein powders on the market, with many brands mixing different combinations of each to create a vegan powder that delivers a healthy mix of amino acids and fats. The most common vegan protein powders are:
- Pea protein — Made from ground yellow split peas and rich in several essential amino acids.
- Soy protein — Another complete protein source that's isolated from soybean and contains all nine essential amino acids.
- Hemp protein – This protein comes from the cannabis plant, although it contains only trace amounts of THC. It's rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and all 9 essential amino acids.
- Brown rice protein — This protein is made from ground rice grains that have been treated with an enzyme to separate the protein from the starch.
Other, less common sources of plant-based protein include sunflower seed, sacha inchi, pumpkin seed, and chia seed variations.
What is the cleanest vegan protein powder?
Pea protein is a great source of high-quality, organic vegan protein powder which is also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. Raw pea protein isolate (such as the EHPlabs Blessed Plant Protein) is made from ground yellow split peas, which have a higher protein content than the more commonly known green pea. Pea protein isolate is one of the most protein-packed plant sources available (3). Rich in iron and is particularly full of three essential amino acids needed for protein production, fat metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and muscle growth (4).
What to look for in vegan protein powder
Maximize your physical performance and recovery by choosing a wholesome, natural vegan protein that:
- Is completely dairy and lactose-free
- Packs a powerful yet tasty protein punch with a whopping 23g of protein per scoop
- Contains all nine of the essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis (5)
- Contains only the finest 100% sustainable raw ingredients, with no artificial additives, sweeteners, grit, or digestive enzymes
- Has an alkaline pH of 7.8, for improved energy and recovery
- Is low on the glycemic index (GI), so it supports healthy blood sugar levels
- Has only 4g net carbs per scoop
- Is sweetened with only 100% natural stevia and natural flavors
- Is Halal certified
- Has a high satiety index to help you stay full for longer
Does vegan protein powder cause constipation?
Plant-based proteins are typically kinder to the digestive tract and are high in natural fiber, which helps keep the digestive system moving and your bowel movements regular.
Many people have dairy intolerances or allergies, and therefore, experience digestive problems when consuming whey protein. Vegan protein does not contain dairy, making it more suitable for many individuals. Pea protein in particular is thought to be more easily digested than other plant-based protein alternatives (6). In fact, the shell of the pea has been deliberately removed from this sprouted pea protein isolate to minimize the risk of digestive discomfort and bloating.
Blessed Protein is the best vegan protein powder which is naturally gluten, soy and lactose free. This makes it suitable for those with intolerances to gluten or Celiac Disease, and helps to reduce digestive complaints amongst those with a soy intolerance. It also contains psyllium seed powder, which is a source of fiber to help improve digestion and manage constipation.
Does vegan protein powder cause acne?
No. In fact, did you know that vegan protein may be the better choice compared to whey if you struggle with acne? This is because whey protein contains six growth factors, including IGF-1, which trigger acne. This component of whey protein accelerates sebum production and stimulates the formation of acne on the skin.
Comparatively, vegan protein does not contain these acne-promoting growth factors. This is because vegan protein does not contain dairy, which is where those growth factors come from. Since vegan protein is lactose-free, there is no mechanism in which vegan protein can increase acne. In fact, vegan protein such as pea protein isolate is the perfect choice for those who wish to preserve their skin health, as you do not have to worry about acne being triggered.
Does vegan protein powder help you lose weight OR does vegan protein powder make you gain weight?
Vegan protein powder alone does not make you gain weight, only eating in an overall calorie surplus does. Vegan protein does however, have the capacity to support fat loss.
Studies show that pea protein isolate results in an increase in satiety (sensation of fullness) after consuming, which makes it easier to reduce consequent food intake. Vegan protein powders are also useful in reducing total cholesterol and blood pressure (7).
Blessed Protein is low carb and low glycemic index to support fat loss and overall weight management. Containing only 6g of carbs per serve, and up to 2.5g of fiber per serve, this plant-based protein powder keeps blood sugar levels stable to prevent unnecessary insulin spikes and unwanted fat storage.
Vegan protein also tends to be lower in calories compared to whey. This is the case for Blessed Protein which contains between 110-120 calories per serve (depending on the flavor), so you can get all the nutritional benefits to support fat loss without adding an excess amount of calories to your diet.
Does vegan protein powder build muscle?
Whilst some people think muscle growth is only a result of whey protein, an array of studies have disproved this. Pea protein isolate is equally as effective as whey protein in stimulating muscle growth. Studies have shown that pea protein isolate can increase muscle thickness and muscle strength when consumed every day for 12 weeks.
This is especially important for those on a vegan diet, as those on a plant-based diet have a lower intake of protein compared to other types of diets. Without consuming enough protein, the ability to build muscle is compromised. One of the easiest and most convenient ways to combat this is through regularly consuming a plant-based protein powder, such as Blessed Protein.
Taking vegan protein powder after a strength and resistance workout can help speed up recovery and repair by reducing and improving muscle protein synthesis (8). However, it’s also important to obtain an adequate amount of protein in your diet in order to build muscle and support a healthy diet with adequate strength and training exercises.
First, we recommend filling your diet with a range of protein-rich, plant foods such as chia seeds, lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, beans, spelt, hempseed, nut butter, tempeh, seitan, tofu, peas, and oats.
Then, train smart. That means sticking to a consistent strength and training regime, focusing on the four larger muscle groups first if you're a beginner (quads, glutes, deltoid, and triceps), and increasing your weights and reps over time.
Then, supplement your diet, power your workout and support your recovery with a high-quality, vegan protein powder that contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs for muscle building and repair.
For best results, drink your plant-based protein shake either right before or within one hour of finishing your workout. This will allow you to obtain the full nutritional benefits of the supplement and will give your body the best chance to strengthen muscle tissue and repair any damage.
The EHPlabs Blessed Plant-Based Protein contains all 9 essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis, as well as 23g of high-quality protein per scoop and has a pH of 7.8 to assist with recovery, so it's a great option to drink post-workout. It's also naturally sweetened with stevia and natural flavor technology, so you can enjoy it even with just chilled water. Alternatively, mix a scoop of this best tasting vegan protein powder with your favorite almond milk, smoothie, yogurt, coffee, or juice.
Is vegan protein powder complete?
There are 20 different amino acids in total, but only nine of them are called essential amino acids. These are leucine, methionine, histidine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, threonine, lysine, tryptophan, and valine. While our bodies naturally produce these essential amino acids, we should also aim to get them from our diet.
Whey proteins are packed with essential amino acids and particularly high in leucine, perhaps the most important amino acid in the muscle building and muscle recovery process. However, the best vegan protein shakes on the market also contain all nine essential amino acids and pea protein, in particular, which is an excellent source of leucine. Organic protein powder made from peas, hemp, and soy tend to be packed full of amino acids and other healthy nutrients too — making them a complete source of protein and an excellent substitute for whey.
EHPlabs’ Blessed Plant-Based Protein contains all the essential amino acids and is full of extra healthy minerals and vitamins. In addition to its nutritional value, it contains just 4g of net carbs for every 23g of protein, which might be a more preferable alternative to whey options for those who are aiming to reduce fat or body weight. Typically, it also takes the body longer to metabolize plant-based protein powders, which means plant-based protein could keep you feeling fuller for longer and stop you from reaching for the snack cupboard in between meals. Lastly, being an alkaline formula, some pea proteins (such as Blessed Plant Protein) may assist with post-exercise recovery.
Is vegan protein powder safe?
When choosing a vegan protein powder, there are a few things to look out for to ensure your supplement is high-quality, safe, and 100% vegan. It’s important to look for a formula that's free from artificial additives, sweeteners, grit, and digestive enzymes.
How long does vegan protein powder last?
Vegan proteins generally have a shelf life of two years. Our Blessed Plant-Based Protein is available to purchase in 15 or 30 servings per tub, so it can last anywhere from two weeks to one month.
Vegan protein is the perfect choice of protein powder for those on a vegan diet, or anyone else who wishes to reduce dairy consumption. The benefits of vegan protein will help you build lean muscle and support fat loss, whilst enhancing overall health and wellbeing!
Want to find out more?
If you want to learn more about plant-based protein powders and vegan supplements from EHPlabs, check out this YouTube video of FAQs with the face of Blessed, Katya Elise Henry.