Can plant-based protein powder and muscle growth go hand in hand? Absolutely! The key is to find the right product for the job.
Do you need help finding the top plant-based protein powder for muscle growth? Here are some factors to consider as you narrow down your search.
Mixed Protein Powder vs Single-Protein Powder
Some plant-based protein powders are made from just one type of plant-based protein. Others are made from a combination of two or more protein sources.
A single-protein powder can be a good choice. However, it should be made from a complete plant-based protein. A complete protein is one that contains all nine essential amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 different amino acids, and nine of them are essential, which means the body can’t make them on its own.
With a few exceptions, such as pea protein and soy protein, there aren’t very many plant-based proteins that are complete proteins. Because of this, most plant-based protein powders contain a combination of several different plant proteins.
Combining different plant proteins gives manufacturers more to work with, even when they’re using complete protein sources. They’re able to take the best aspects of several proteins and put them together to create an effective and absorbable protein powder that produces great results.
Protein Per Serving
When comparing protein powders, take note of how many grams of protein each powder contains per serving. At a minimum, it’s best if each scoop contains at least 20 grams (0.7 ounces) of protein.
To make sure you’re getting enough protein on a daily basis, it helps to aim for about 20-25 grams (0.7-0.9 ounces) per meal. Adding an extra 20-25 grams (0.7-0.9 ounces) in your post-workout shake can also help you to fill in the gaps and maximize your intake.
Don’t forget, people who eat a plant-based or vegan diet often require more protein than those who are omnivores. Plant-based protein sources aren’t as easily absorbed as animal-based protein sources. A slight increase in protein intake can make up for this, though.
Carbohydrates and Fat Per Serving
The most important nutrient to consider in a plant-based protein powder is, of course, protein. However, the other macronutrients, carbohydrates and fat, also matter.
Take note of how many carbohydrates and fats each protein powder contains, and consider how those amounts line up with your specific nutrition goals. If you’re eating a low-carbohydrate diet, for example, you’ll need to make sure you’re not blowing a bunch of your allotted carbs when you mix up your post-workout shake.
Some plant-based protein powders are higher in carbohydrates than dairy-based protein powders. This is because plant-based protein sources are generally higher in carbohydrates.
There are plenty of options these days that take specific dietary preferences into account, though. If you’re particularly concerned about not taking in too many carbohydrates or fats, check the amounts in each serving when comparing protein powders.