With meat free lifestyles becoming more of the norm, there has been a rise in the demand for plant based protein powder––and with good reason. Aside from the ethical reasoning behind many individuals choosing to cut animal protein from their diets, there are some very strong nutrition based arguments for non plant based eaters to make the switch.
When compared to animal based protein formulas––whey, the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained, or casein, a gelatinous material derived from the denaturation of milk––there are 5 benefits of plant based powders that stand out above the rest.
1. They're hypoallergenic
Unlike animal/dairy based protein supplements, plant sourced powders are much easier to digest across the board. Lactose intolerant or not, dairy isn’t easy on your intestinal tract, and sadly many individuals new to the protein shake world aren’t aware that whey/casein are dairy. Unless you have a specific allergy to the plant source used in a supplement powder, chances are you’re not going to have an adverse reaction to it, so no bad surprises!
2. They reduce gut inflammation
Dairy causes inflammation in a very large percentage of the population. We’re all lactose intolerant to some level, it just depends which end of the spectrum you’re on. As both whey and casein are dairy bi-products, they often result in digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea, but outside of those immediate side effects, people can also suffer from acne, faster aging, and increased cancer causing agents without knowing the root cause. Gut health is one of the most important components of your overall health, take care of it!
3. They contain less hormones and antibiotics
While we tout the benefits of plant based protein, not all powders are created equal. You should always read your labels and find how and where the ingredients you’re putting into your body are sourced. That being said, animal products sadly contain the highest levels of hormones and antibiotics. Because of this, whey and casein are often sourced cheaply and contain many additives, fillers, and things we should be avoiding in our health supplements.
4. They hit all 9 essential amino acids
A main argument for animal based protein powders is that they cover all essential amino acids. Thankfully we figured out quite some time ago which plant based foods make complete proteins––the most common being rice and pea––and provide us with the same necessary nutrition. Score!
5. They're ethically sound
Plant based means no animals are involved. Vegetarian/vegan or not, we can agree that’s a big bonus!
While plant based protein powder is rising in popularity for the above reasons, getting the protein your body needs from real foods (the right variety of fresh fruits and veggies) is the most ideal way to do it. The primary downside here is that it requires more effort and knowledge of the variety of foods to eat, but it most certainly can be done! To make things easier on yourself, adding in a (plant based 😉 ) protein shake will help hit your much needed daily quota.
As always, we encourage you to read your labels and avoid ingredients that damage the nutritional integrity of your supplement of choice. We hope this article helps in your pursuit of the perfect protein and puts some points on the board for the plant based team!