When it comes to optimizing athletic recovery and performance, vegan protein powder has become a hot topic for discussion. Well known for offering a number of benefits ranging from higher protein absorption to dense amino acid profiles designed to repair muscles after exertion, vegan protein supplementation is a win for good reason. You just need to make sure that you’re consuming the right types, especially if you’re lifting heavy weights, going long distances, or exerting yourself physically while training or participating in sports.
Certain types of vegan protein powders provide incredible benefits for athletes and sports enthusiasts seeking to maximize the results from their training. Without naming any specific brands, below we share a few of these “types” (or characteristics) to look for in the best vegan protein powders to improve athletic recovery. And if you’d like further information on this subject and would like to check out these vegan protein powder supplement reviews.
Vegan Protein Powders Rich With Amino Acids
Arguably the most important aspect of high-quality vegan protein powders are those that offer rich amino acid profiles. Essentially, amino acids are the building blocks in protein that contribute muscle repair. Not only do amino acids contribute to muscle growth and repair (particularly essential amino acids [EAA’s] and branch chain amino acids [BCAA’s]), but they also help prevent muscle loss or cannibalization, which is common in endurance athletes.
So if you consider yourself a high level athlete, one of the most important qualities of a vegan protein powder supplement is ensuring the blend has a solid amino acid profile. A good way to know this is simply whether or not the product actually lists the amino acid contents on the label (as most products do not include these nutritional facts.) Some of the best vegan protein powder supplements are often the “sport” blends and cost slightly more than your average protein powder, but they’re worth it.
Vegan Protein Concentrates vs. Isolates
Another factor to consider when reviewing vegan protein powders is to consider the sources of protein and whether or not they’re concentrates or isolates. Concentrates are ideal in that they are proteins still in their natural form, only concentrated into powder. Isolates, on the other hand, have been introduced to chemical process in order to isolate the protein from its true source.
The issue with protein isolates is that these types are stripped of their true nutrient composition and don’t quite offer the same nutritional value as protein concentrates. And while this shouldn’t always be a deal-breaker (as some products will have a combination of vegan protein isolates and protein concentrates,) ideally you’ll want to stick to mostly concentrated proteins when supplementing with protein on a vegan diet.
Glutamine, Digestive Enzymes, Anti-Inflammatories & Other Nutritional Factors
Lastly, it’s important to take into consideration other nutritional variables found in vegan protein powders. When it comes to getting the most from your athletic endeavors, incorporating additional supplementation to fuel recovery and buffer inflammation can be beneficial.
For instance, several vegan protein powder supplements on the market also contain digestive enzymes which help the breakdown and absorption of the proteins and amino acids. Some of the sport-centric vegan protein supplements are infused with l-glutamine, which can help in muscle repair and growth. Additionally, some product contain concentrated cherry, turmeric, and other anti-inflammatory compounds.
From appetite-suppressing vegan protein powders for weight loss to green coffee bean extracts to increase metabolism, the list goes on as to what to look for in vegan protein powders. Just be sure to do your research and review the best vegan protein powder products thoroughly before spending your hard earned money on these expensive supplements.
For informative reviews of vegan protein powders, see these videos below: