As a vegan, it can be difficult to obtain all the protein you need simply from plants alone.
If you’re exercising every day and trying to build muscle, a vegan diet is hard to maintain unless you have the money, time, and knowledge to pull it off. A simpler answer is to use supplements. Even omnivores turn to supplements when they’re regularly working out and trying to build muscle fast. Vegan protein powder is a great way to increase your daily protein intake quickly and easily, without the frustrating side effects of regular protein powders.
What is Vegan Protein Powder Made Out of?
Vegan protein powders are completely plant-based, typically blending different plant proteins into a powder you can add to a drink to create a protein shake. The majority of plant protein is taken from peas, rice, soy, hemp, and pumpkin seeds. This protein is combined with different ingredients to make a flavored powder that mixes well into water, milk, or milk substitutes.
Why Use Vegan Protein Powders?
Vegan Protein powders are an excellent option for those who don’t consume animal products, but they also prove to be a great alternative for people who have been having trouble with their current protein source. The most popular source of protein powder for most people is whey. Whey comes form milk, and it can prove to be difficult on the body when you consume a whole lot of it.
Negative Side Effects of Whey Protein
Vegan Protein Powder is a Better Alternative
Vegan protein powders come from plants, so they are much easier on your stomach and your body. The more natural a product, the less impurities and chemicals it contains, making these powders a better choice for your health without sacrificing athletic performance. Plus, these natural proteins typically taste better than their highly processed counterparts.
Vegan Protein Powder Is Less Likely To Cause Acne
- Unnatural Ingredients and Whey Contribute to Acne
Unnatural ingredients contribute to the imbalances in your body, which inevitably leads to more acne. Whey, as well, contributes to acne because it is a milk derivative. Milk products contain high concentrations of lactose, which can be difficult to properly digest. Plus, whey can increase the amount of IGF-1 in your body, a hormone which causes muscle growth. This makes it effective as a protein powder, but unfortunately, IGF-1 has also been shown to be clearly linked to acne.
- Carbohydrates Can Trigger Acne
Some brands of vegan protein powder will cause acne, but not because of the protein sources. Brands that contain a high sugar content can contribute to acne as well. This is because high concentrations of carbohydrates in the body, like sugar, can increase IGF-1 production as well. The sugars in your protein will contribute to acne, which is why it’s best to use as little sugar as possible in your protein shakes to minimize acne.
Can Vegan Protein Powder Cause Constipation?
The two most prominent causes of constipation from protein intake are dehydration and an inadequate intake of fibers. There are a few reasons why protein powders exacerbate these issues.
A high intake of protein requires a large amount of water for your body to digest and process. If you’re not drinking enough water, this process will leave your body dehydrated, making it much more difficult to break down and pass through high volumes of protein. Additionally, protein powders that contain a ton of sugar contribute to this as well. Sugar is known to add to dehydration.
The best way to prevent dehydration while you’re using protein powder is to watch your daily water intake. You should be drinking at least 7-8 glasses of water a day, and possibly even more if you’re exercising in hot weather or taking other supplements or prescriptions which would dehydrate you. You can also consider switching to more natural vegan protein powders, and checking to find a brand which contains a low volume of sugar.
- Inadequate Intake of Fiber
Because protein is so difficult to digest, natural fiber can help your body to digest and pass high amounts of protein without discomfort. Unfortunately, most protein shakes don’t contain a lot of natural fibers. Check for vegan options which contain natural plant fiber. These powders will have a much kinder impact on your digestive tract and prevent constipation.
Can Vegan Protein Powder Cause Diarrhea?
Many protein shakes have an added side effect of diarrhea. This is caused by excessive protein intake, milk allergies like lactose intolerance, and excessive changes in fiber.
- Too Much Protein
An excessive amount of protein can cause diarrhea. The average person can only digest about 5-9 grams of protein an hour. Most men only need about 56 grams of protein daily, while women normally only need around 46 grams. If you’re eating a high protein diet and drinking protein shakes, you might be taking in more than your body can handle. This causes diarrhea, as your body attempts to remove the excess protein. This is a risk with vegan protein powders, but it can be prevented by watching your protein intake and balancing proteins in your diet with carbs and fats.
- Milk Allergies and Lactose Intolerance
Anyone who is allergic to milk or intolerant to lactose will absolutely experience diarrhea with a whey-based protein powder. Vegan protein powders contain no milk products, and won’t cause digestive issues due to lactose content.
- Sudden Changes in Fiber Intake
This does actually pose a risk with vegan protein. Because it is derived from plants, vegan protein typically contains large amounts of fiber as compared to other protein powders. If you change your diet to include more fiber as well, you might be overloading your body. This causes diarrhea as the fiber passes rapidly through your digestive tract.
Can Vegan Protein Powder Cause Bloating?
The high concentrations of fiber in some vegan protein powders can also cause bloating as it passes through your digestive tract. Also, some of the protein often comes from legumes, which are notorious for causing gas as they are digested.
If you’re experiencing gas from a protein powder, first check if the protein is derived from legumes or beans. If not, you simply need to start with lower amounts and work your way up as your body adjusts to the increased fiber intake. If you use a protein powder that is made with legumes, consider either changing brands or taking a probiotic.
Probiotics encourage better gut health, helping your body naturally digest more efficiently with beneficial bacteria. If probiotics aren’t enough to reduce the gas and bloating, you should switch to a vegan protein powder that contains less protein from legumes.
Vegan protein powders are a safe, healthy, and natural way to supplement your daily protein intake. These powders are an excellent alternative to other typical protein powders because they lack the harmful and uncomfortable side effects of whey-based protein. Remember to keep track of your protein and fiber intake, and drink a lot of water to help your body process the large amounts of protein.