Can Vegans Have Protein & Nutrition Supplements?
Luckily there are now heaps of amazing plant-based sports nutrition products available, from vegan sports drinks to plant-based protein powder. We’ll be looking at how some of them can help you enhance your performance as well as suggesting some great options for you to try alongside your routine.
When it comes to working out or playing sports, the three most important things are preparation, performance, and maintenance, and this applies to sports nutrition as well.
How Does A Vegan Protein & Sports Nutrition Supplement Impact Performance and What Are The Nutritional Benefits?
Let’s start with hydration. You don’t need to have a Ph.D. in sports science to know that hydration is important, but do you know how pre-hydration helps with your body's performance during exercise? Hydrating an hour before exercise gives fluid time to reach all the areas of your body, it also helps your heart pump blood around, better preparing your body for movement.
So what are the benefits of hydrating with sports drinks rather than just regular water? Sports drinks contain electrolytes, which help your body to maintain the balance of fluids on a cellular level.
They ensure water is getting to the areas of your body that need it most and in doing so help you stay hydrated for longer, which is essential when doing intense or long stints of exercise.
Next, performance. Performance supplements can be a great way to maximize the results of your workouts. They are designed to help you get more out of your body during exercise, that extra set of reps in the gym, or the additional kilometer on your daily run.
During intense exercise, your muscle fibers are broken down. Consuming protein straight after a workout maximizes muscle growth and recovery time through a process called muscle protein synthesis which is effectively your body replenishing your muscles with protein. Your broken muscle fibers are built back bigger thanks to the additional protein available.
So, why plant-based protein powder? The simple answer is convenience. Of course, you can get a big protein hit to your body through food, but it’s a little harder if you’re on a vegan diet. Who wants to be throwing a bowl of lentils down their neck after a workout? You can simply slurp down a plant-based, protein-rich shake with all the post-workout protein and nutrients your body needs.
There are many great sports drinks on the market, and they more or less do the same thing. It's best to try to pick one without added sugar or preservatives - the more natural, the better! For an effective sugar-free electrolyte and hydration fix, it’s got to Biosteel Hydration Mix. This sports drink is the drink of choice for top athletes the world over and it comes in planet-friendly packaging.
Performance supplements tend to come in varying combinations of different herbs, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. So how do you know which ones to take? Well, we're afraid there isn't an easy answer to this but there are things you can look out for to help you make an informed decision.
When shopping for performance supplements, our philosophy is, that mother nature knows best – so go for plant-based, non-GMO supplements that contain simple, natural ingredients. It’s also important to choose brands that have tested their products with results that back up their claims. There are plenty of snake oil sports nutrition brands out there with nothing to back their claims, so always do your research.
Onnit’s Shroom Tech Sport capsules are vegan, non-GMO, and made using – you guessed it – mushrooms. Clinical trials showed results that would suggest taking Shroom Tech Sport capsules can significantly increase your performance. No nasty ingredients, just good results.
When it comes to choosing a plant-based protein powder, again, we suggest keeping it simple and natural, and Orgain’s Organic Plant-based Protein Powder is exactly that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Plant-Based Protein Powder Make You Gain Weight?
Plant-based protein powder will not make you gain weight if used properly. Like all sports nutrition, it should be taken as part of an exercise routine. If you started taking protein powder on top of your normal diet without exercising, you would probably put on weight. Always do your research and make sure you’re taking the right supplements for your body.
How Much Vegan Protein Does An Athlete Need Daily?
While it is not unhealthy to take plant-based protein powder if you’re not exercising or working out, you will be increasing your daily calorie intake. However, your basal metabolic rate will remain the same. So the amount of vegan protein required will be different depending on how much exercise an athlete is doing.
Is Vegan Protein Good For Post Workout?
Plant-based protein powder is great for post-workout and just as effective as its non-vegan counterpart, whey protein. It’s significantly better for the environment as no animal products are used, and it also carries a higher amount of nutrients than whey protein. It’s a win for you, your body, and the planet!
Is Vegan Protein Good For Athletes?
The answer is yes, many top athletes, like Venus Williams for example, swear by their plant-based diets. A lot of the vegan ingredients you find in organic sports nutrition products are full of complex carbs, carbs, and protein, which is everything a successful athlete needs to perform.