We all know how important exercise is to any lifestyle. The only difficulty that vegans face with this is recovery. Sure, a well-known protein recovery source can be meat, but are there better, more effective options? Absolutely! In fact, there are an abundance of ways to recover from a workout without the use of animals; it just depends what is convenient for you.
More or less, there are two basic approaches to this. One being whole foods and the other being protein powder. Now, its more essential to get your protein in liquid form after a workout so that the blood can be more easily transferred to your muscles and more the less, solids tend to slow down that process. And no, dairy is not a superior liquid that will help with this process. In fact, dairy is notoriously hard to digest!
But if you still wish to use whole foods as a muscle recovery, there are many cheap options available instead of protein shakes. It’s not that eating whole foods is bad, it just can take up to 30 minutes longer. A great way to avoid this time lapse if you choose the whole food route is to make your foods into powdered, liquid consistencye by grinding them up with a food processor or blender and adding water so that it is more easily digestible.
And though whole foods aren’t traditionally the best option for muscle recovery, it is recommended that you first consume liquid formed protein first, then move onto solids if you choose to do so.
What are some of these whole foods that make a great protein, post-workout meal? Dark greens, beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, and setitan. But personally, I find that protein shakes are more time effective and work best with my busy schedule. Do what’s best for you.
Now, you’re probably thinking how difficult it might be to find a vegan protein powder to gain muscle at a decent price, to say the least. Vegans can’t eat whey, casein, eggs, or drink milk. But the joke is on you! There are so many vegan proteins on the market and though some work better than others and range from a verity of prices, let me tell you that these do work. And of course, they are animal-friendly, too!
In fact, there are even vegan protein powders that are said to work more effectively than whey! Besides that, what else is there besides whey, casein, or egg powders? Vegan options include brown rice, hemp, soy, wheat, pea and vegetable blends.
If you’re wondering the most popular amongst vegans and vegetarians, here are a few:
Of course there so many more vegan protein powders available on the market so don’t be afraid to search around for one that benefits you the most! Also, other proteins like pea, hemp, and wheat alone are not complete proteins, but the ones above are. Again, complete protein profiles are essential if you plan to drink the shake by itself and not add complementary proteins like tofu, beans, or quinoa.
My recommendation for vegans and vegetarians who are in the search for a convenient powder is to stick with a mixed protein powder so that it contains a complete amino and protein profile and doesn’t need to be combined with other foods. Typically sourced from a combination of sprouts and beans, like quinoa, millet, buckwheat, garbanzo beans, lentils, bean sprouts and flaxseeds, a mixed powder can provide you with a nice profile of vitamins, fatty acids and fiber to help you diversify your supplements. The only difficulty about this is that they can tend to be a bit pricey. But not all!
Though I have not tried any of the above protein powders, from what I have come across, my all time favorite protein powder is Nitrofusion Protein because it is naturally organic, raw, full of complete protein and tastes great. Compared to most vegan complete protein powders, Nitrofusion is the best I have come across, especially for the price! It is 100% vegan — no animal products, wheat, soy, or dairy! The Pea Protein Isolate, Brown Rice Protein Concentrate, and Artichoke Protein all work together to make this protein powder a great source of completed protein. It even have more BCAA and glutamine than whey, key components of building muscle! Another great thing about Nitrofusion is the digestibility and longitivtiy. Check out the key components according to their website:
* Highest BCAA’s and L-Glutamine Science Allows
* Amino Acid Profile Similar to Mothers Milk
* 100% Natural, No Artificial Colors or Sweeteners
* Contains No Animal, Dairy, Wheat or Soy Protein
* Hypoallergenic, Vegan Certified
* Lactose Free (zero digestion problems)
* Instantized for Easy Mixing
* Non GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms)
* Highest Biological Value
• Highest Protein Efficiency Ratio
• 25g of Protein Per Serving
• More BCAA’s and L-Glutamine than Whey
• Protein Digestibility (PD) score 99%
• Contains No Animal, Dairy, Wheat, or Soy Protein
• Complete Protein
• Low Glycemic Index
• Residual Carbohydrate Structure is Complex
• High Level of Functionality and Nutrition
• Improves Nitrogen Retention for Growth and Repair
• Deliciously Healthy Taste
Brown Rice Protein
– Pure Vegan source
– Amino acid profile similar to mother’s milk 98%
– Protein Digestibility score of 99%
– Residual carbohydrate structure is complex
– Plant based high biological value
– Provides surplus of amino acids (especially lysine)
– Easily digested
– Staple in Europe for centuries
– Rich in essential amino acids
– Biologically active food source
– Great source of inulin, which aids digestion
– Inhibits triglyceride and cholesterol synthesis in liver
So how much does this protein cost? Well the price is great compared to many! In fact, it’s currently about $30 for a 2 lb and $60 or so for a 5 lb. That’s as much money as some powders want just for a 2 lb! This product really does the job, I find. Definitely give it a go if you’re looking for a reasonably priced complete vegan protein in a convenient form.
Surely, you don’t NEED animal products to fuel your muscles after an intense workout, the key thing is to find a method that works for you, your life, and your body.
You can even make tasty recipes by baking with these powders where you would normally add flour (it expands!) to increase your protein intake. Some of my favorite ways to eat protein, other than just a shake mixed with fruits, veggies and flax seeds, is to mix a scoop of protein with frozen blueberries and water or mix the protein in coconut or soy milk, hemp seeds, goji berries and let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to become pudding!
Ultimately, the options are endless and there is really no disadvantage to being a vegan and wishing to take care of your body the right way. Besides, muscle recovery is important to prevent injury, so why not do it in a way that’s best for your body, animals, and the environment — the vegan way.