Protein supplements are an important part of many peoples success when it comes to fitness, workout, or sporting goals. Protein powders are by far the most consumed and popular supplement on the market, thanks to their versatility, flavour profile and ability to help both build muscle, and aid in weight loss. New Zealand is seeing an increase in people starting to choose alternatives to the common favourite protein powders such as whey and casein. Sportsfuel have a great range of different vegan protein powder formulas, including; soy protein, rice protein and many other non-dairy protein powders in a variety of flavours. Check them out and see which one is best for you!

Is there a difference between vegan protein and plant protein?

Many people struggle to meet their daily protein intake regularly. It is particularly difficult for people following plant-based or dairy-free diets, because of the lower protein levels foods not derived from animals. Most protein powders are made from whey or casein, which are milk products and are not suitable for people with vegan diets or certain nutritional sensitivities.

Plant-based protein and vegan proteins are essentially the same products. Both are protein powders produced without the use of any animal proteins or animal by-products such as whey, casein or egg.

There are many different kinds of vegan protein powders, derived from different protein sources, these include soy protein, rice protein, and hemp protein. Any protein powders that claim to be vegan are also non-dairy protein powders.

Using a vegan protein powder can be necessary for many people, for a variety of reasons. Some people follow a plant-based/vegan diet for moral reasons and don't consume animal products out of love and respect for animals, so need alternative protein sources to remain healthy and still achieve their fitness goals. Other people use dairy free protein powder due to dairy sensitivities like lactose intolerance or IBS.

Diets free from animal products are becoming increasingly popular with more people deciding to cut out dairy, meat and eggs from their regular consumption. Many of these people are high profile fitness experts, causing the fitness and supplement industry to follow suit, with more products than ever catering to the vegan lifestyle, with everything from powders to bars, snacks and more.

Is plant-based protein powder good for you?

Protein is used by your body to repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an important building block or bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. When protein is lacking from your diet, especially for long periods, there can be some negative effects on your body such as; muscle wasting, poor wound healing and low immunity.

Plant-based proteins are a great healthy alternative to animal-based proteins that can have side effects like acne and/or stomach upsets due to their lactose content, among other things.

Pea protein has been promoted as a weight-loss supplement that can increase metabolism and control blood sugar levels. Pea protein can reduce sugar cravings, and make you feel fuller for longer resulting in eating less. Rice protein powder contains a significant amount of iron, vitamin C and a small amount of calcium. Rice protein also offers the benefits of sprouted grains like fiber, folate, and amino acids.

Soy protein is the only plant-based protein that is considered a complete protein. This means that this protein powder contains all of the essential amino acids that your body cannot make, and needs to obtain from food.

Vegan protein powder is a great dietary addition for anyone wanting to increase their daily needs, but who might be restricted in their choices due to diet, preferences or intolerances to dairy products. All of these different protein powders can be used to get a variety of results from gaining muscle mass to losing weight.

Is plant-based or whey protein better?

Plant-based protein powder and whey protein powder are derived from different protein sources, and therefore have some different pros and cons. The one considered better depends on your own health needs, preferences and tastes.

Whey is derived from cows milks. This makes it a complete protein, containing every essential amino acid that your body can't make, whereas plant powder tends to be deficient in some amino acids. Just like no one plant can give you the same nutritional value as meat, some variety is required. Pea and rice powder combined, for example, would provide you with the same amino acids found in whey.

Plant-based protein powder tends to have less artificial sweeteners added, giving them much more neutral flavours. Some people prefer both the taste and texture of whey, due to the creaminess it can bring to shakes and recipes, as opposed to vegan flavours which some people find grainy or dull.

Products derived from plants tend to be more easily digested than dairy products like whey, but there is debate on whether they work as well as the latter to build muscle and prevent muscle loss. Everyones body works differently, so it is hard to determine which may benefit you the best. If you have dairy sensitivities or an irritable bowel, a vegan alternative may be the right option so that you can continue to smash your workouts and reach your fitness goals without any of the dairy induced side effects.

Choose what works for you!

Pea protein and many of the others available are a great alternative source of fuel for the many people throughout New Zealand who have changed their diets and require a different kind of supplement. Sportsfuel are stocked up on all sorts of flavours and formulas to help kickstart your new healthy adventure!

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