Just because you don’t consume animal products doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of protein shakes as pre- and post-workout snacks. You can get all the amino acids you need from vegan protein powders, registered dietitian Matt Ruscigno told the Men’s Fitness website. But he adds that you may want to use different kinds of powder in rotation, ensuring you get an assortment of nutrients.
Soy and Hemp Powders
Soy is a complete protein, containing all the amino acids, making soy protein shakes a top choice for vegan athletes. An ounce of soy protein powder supplies a whopping 23 grams of protein. Hemp powder is also a vegan option, with 13 grams of protein per 30-gram serving, but because it is derived from seeds, it is higher in fat content than other powders, notes Men’s Fitness.
Pea and Rice Powders
Pea protein powder and brown rice protein powder both provide incomplete vegan protein, but if you combine them with foods like tofu or consume them together, you will get all the amino acids you require. Look for rice protein powders that are certified low in heavy metals; in Consumer Wellness Center tests, researchers found many rice powders were contaminated with tungsten, an industrial heavy metal.
- Men’s Fitness: 8 Best Protein Powders for Vegetarians and Vegans
- American Family Physician: Soy: A Complete Protein
- Consumer Wellness Center: Heavy Metals in Rice Protein Products to Be Strictly Limited Thanks to History-Making Agreement
- PETA: Pump Up Your Workouts With Vegan Protein Powder
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Soy Protein Isolate