Just because you have chosen a meat-free lifestyle does not mean that you cannot build muscles like the rest of the world. There are many viable protein supplement options for vegans and vegetarians that offer the same protein benefits as dairy and meat-based proteins. Take a look at this handy guide and explore the world of vegetarian protein powders.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
The recommended amount of protein for the most muscle gain is about 150 grams per hundred pounds of body weight. This includes protein from natural sources as well as supplements. If you take in 6 to 8 grams of protein at each meal, then you will need to consume about 120 grams from protein supplements. This can vary by person and your exercise routine, so always consult with your doctor before starting any drastic protein additions.
Best Powder Ingredients
The trouble with most protein supplements is that they are derived from animal proteins like eggs, dairy, or meat. For a vegetarian and vegan, the protein must be gathered from a different source. Thanks to the influx of vegetarian body builders, there are quite a few options for vegan and vegetarian protein supplements.
The most complete proteins that are vegan include soy and hemp. Soy protein has isoflavones, fiber, and all complete amino acids that you need to build muscle. Soy is lactose and gluten free. Hemp protein has a complete amino acid profile and is easy to digest. Hemp is lactose free.
Other vegetarian and vegan protein powder ingredients include rice and pea proteins. These proteins do not combine all of the amino acids or other ingredients that you need in one powder. Multi-ingredient powders, containing beans and sprouts offer a more complete profile than simply peas or rice alone.
When and How to Take Protein Supplements
The best time to take protein supplements is in the 2-2 window. Either within two hours of a workout or two hours after. It is also helpful to take a dose of protein just before bed so your muscles have time to regrow overnight. This will help increase exercise performance from day to day.
Rotate your powders so you get a complete mix of the proteins that you need to survive. Keep a collection of mixed powders, soy powders, and hemp powders and rotate them every week.
Vegetarian vs. Vegan Protein Supplements
There isn’t a whole lot of difference between vegetarian and vegan protein supplements. The only difference is that some vegetarians still eat eggs and dairy. If you eat eggs and dairy, then you are open to the use of dairy or egg-based protein powders. Vegans must stick to the vegetable-based powders.
Your diet choices do not have to limit your bodybuilding experiences. There are many viable vegan and vegetarian bodybuilding supplements that can help you reach your fitness goals. With these supplements, you will feel better and find it easier to both build muscles and work out regularly. You may even discover that you have more energy than ever.