Getting enough protein on a plant-based diet can be tricky. There are hundreds of vegan protein powders on the market these days but many of them taste terrible and aren’t particularly bioavailable. If you’re wanting a plant-based protein supplement but aren’t sure which one to go for, read below. This blog will discuss what options NZProtein have available and the pros and cons of each. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll know which plant-based powder is perfect for you.
Pea Isolate Protein
Pea isolate is one of our most popular vegan options. It is incredibly affordable and comes in a range of flavours such as gourmet vanilla and jelly tip. All of our different options get excellent reviews. Pea protein tends to be quite gritty however NZProtein customers say ours mixes well and the consistency is smooth. One serving of pea isolate gets you a whopping 25.4g of protein and only 2.2g of carbohydrate. It’s incredibly macro friendly for a vegan protein and ideal for those on low carb or ketogenic diets too. The biggest issue with most plant based options is that they don’t contain all of the amino acids your body needs. NZprotein pea isolate is different. Ours contains all of the essential amino acids meaning it is a nutritionally complete source of protein. If you’re willing to spend a bit extra, we also do a hydrolysed pea protein option. It’s basically the same as the regular one but even less gritty and easier for your body to digest. This is the result of the extra filtering that occurs during the manufacturing process. If you want a pea protein that goes straight to the gains, go for the hydrolysed. If a basic protein is all you need, the standard pea does just the trick.
Another great option for vegans, vegetarians and those with allergies is rice protein. It is hypoallergenic, gluten free and best suited to those with sensitive stomachs. Customers with irritable bowel disease say this supplement has been a game changer for them. A single serving gets you a massive 25g of protein and all of the essential amino acids. The only downside is we don’t do a wide range of flavours. It only comes unflavoured but that means you can use it in smoothies and your other ingredients won’t be overpowered. Rice protein has a thick consistency and blends up very well. If you’re wanting a product to include in shakes and have previously experienced gastrointestinal issues after consuming protein, rice is a great option for you. It won’t leave you feeling bloated but it will help you hit your protein target and make those important gains.
The hemp plant is great for many uses and protein is one of them. Just like our other plant proteins, this one is free from dairy, soy and gluten. It comes unflavoured but has a unique nutty taste which goes brilliantly in smoothies, bliss balls and muffins. Although it only has 20.2g of protein per serve, it contains all of the essential amino acids. This characteristic is quite unique for a plant-based protein (unless you’re buying from NZprotein of course). On top of this, hemp contains other important nutrients like omega-3 and fibre. Not only does it get your protein intake up, it will also help with heart health and regular digestion. If you’re basing your supplement choice on protein content alone, then hemp is probably not the best option. However if you love the taste of nuts and want a decent supplement that provides other health benefits, hemp is a great option for you.
Faba Bean Protein
If you need a creamy protein that tastes awesome just by itself, faba is fabulous for that. We usually recommend it to those who have tried plant proteins in the past and have not been a fan of the taste and texture. Compared to pea and rice, faba protein is much creamier and rather delectable (if we do say so ourselves). One serving will get you a solid 23.1g of protein and eight of the nine essential amino acids. It comes in four different flavour options (banana, chocolate, unflavoured and orange) and works incredibly well in cooking. This is because faba protein has an impressive ability to remain stable at high temperatures. We recommend stirring it into oats, blending it in your smoothies or using it to whip up some homemade brownies. We have plenty of protein recipes for those who are in need of ideas. For those who want a plant protein but mostly care about taste and texture, faba is the one for you.
You probably haven’t heard of this one before. Yeast protein is quite a unique product and NZProtein are one of the few businesses who actually supply it. Yeast is a complete protein that provides you with all of the essential amino acids. One serving gets you 23.8g of protein and it comes either unflavoured or in chocolate caramel. Its taste and texture is very similar to pea isolate, however it’s a bit more eco-friendly. The manufacturing process for yeast protein involves fermentation and is not influenced at all by the environment. This means we can sustainably produce it at a low price without relying on plants or animals. A major issue we have with whey protein is that its availability depends on the cost and supply of dairy. Yeast protein doesn’t come with this issue so we are able to provide it year-round at a consistent price.
Getting sufficient protein is essential if you want to achieve your health and fitness goals. Being on a plant based diet doesn’t preclude you from getting a great tasting powder. The perfect protein depends on your individual goals and preferences. If you want a creamy powder that tastes lush on its own, go for faba. If you want something a bit more eco-friendly, get the yeast. Or just try them all and see which option you like best. NZProtein offer sample sizes so you can test a few out before you commit to an entire bag. Grab a packet and let us know what you think. There’s nothing we love more than quality customer feedback.
Written by Lauren Carruthers