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Proteins and Their Role in Our Health

Proteins are the building blocks in our body. Muscle, bone, cartilage or enzymes all need proteins to build themselves. If your body is a building, proteins are the bricks.

Proteins in turn are made up of amino acids; these are classified as essential amino acids and nonessential amino acids broadly. Essential amino acids are necessary for body’s health and growth but cannot be synthesized by the body and have to be gained via dietary intake.

Fact: Vegan diet in general is low in protein. A good source of augmenting your daily protein requirement is by the way of consuming protein supplements that are produced from vegan sources.

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Best Pea Based Vegan Protein Supplement Powder

Olena EVOLVE Vegan Performance Plant Protein 

PLIX Olena EVOLVE Vegan Performance Plant Protein 25G Protein Rich Chocolate Flavour Digestive Enzymes Vitamin B12 Recovery Antioxidants, 1 KG, Brown, 30 Servings (2.2LB)
  Protein Source – Multi sourced plant proteins from yellow split peas and sprouted brown rice
  Lactose/Sugar Free – Yes
  BCAA – Yes 4.7 grams per serving
  Protein Available – 25 g of protein/serving
  Water Soluble – Yes and has a smooth texture
  Highlight – Vitamin B12, natural recovery antioxidants from Acai Berry Extract, Turmeric Extract, Pink Himalayan Salt and Natural Digestive Enzymes from Bromelain and Papain
  Flavours – Vanilla, Chocolate and Café Mocha
  Quantity – 1 Kilogram
  Serving – 30 Servings

Probably the most popular vegan protein supplement in Amazon and is ideal for athletes, sportsmen, and vegan body builders. Olena has a very broad range of plant-based products and this is one of their best selling products. It is an easy to digest supplement with minimal or no bloating. This product from Olena is also certified heavy metal free and complies with FSSAI, cGMP, ISO22000 certified norms and is produced in Halal conditions.


Best Soy Based Vegan Protein Supplement Powder

Develo Soy Protein Isolate Platinum 

Develo Soy Protein Isolate, 100% Vegan, Sugar Free, Plant based Lactose Free Supplement with Pre ProBiotics for Digestive Health for Men & Women, Powder - 1kg Unflavoured
  Protein Source – Plant based pure soy
  Lactose/Sugar Free – Yes and cholesterol free
  BCAA – Not mentioned
  Protein Available – 27 g of protein/30 g of serving
  Water Soluble – Yes instantized for easy blending
  Highlight – Pure soy is a complete protein and this product solves the one problem of solubility so makes it easy to digest.
  Flavours – Natural. No flavours or colours added
  Quantity – 907 grams
  Serving – 30 Servings

The Develo Soy Protein isolate powder is obtained from pure soy source and is instantized which makes it easily soluble. Soy based protein supplement powders have had this issue and this product has solved that problem successfully.


Best Protein supplement Bar

VegOChef Vegan Cocoa Sugar-free Protein Bar 

VegOChef Vegan Cocoa Sugar-free Protein Bar with Almonds, Pea Proteins and Sunflower, 50g - Pack of 6
  Protein Source – Plant based pea protein and sunflower seed protein, dates and almonds
  Lactose/Sugar Free – Minimal, around 7 g from raisins and dates
  BCAA – Rich in BCAA due to the addition of sunflower seeds
  Protein Available – 14 g of protein/bar
  Water Soluble – Not applicable
  Highlight – The cold pressing method retains all proteins since ingredients are not heated which makes them lose some of the proteins.
  Flavours – Cocoa flavour
  Quantity – 300 grams
  Serving – 6 servings with each cocoa protein bar of 50 grams

Protein supplement bars are for those vegans who prefer to take their protein as a quick snack than a drink. Protein bars are also handy when you are traveling and unable to make your regular protein drink. This particular protein bar from VegOChef is filled with dates, almonds, pea protein and sunflower seed protein which is rich in BCAAs. The combination of pea and sunflower seed proteins ensures complete proteins are available along with all amino acids essential.


Vegan Protein Sources

Vegan protein supplement powders are sourced from soy, peas, brown rice and pumpkin and sunflower seeds amongst others.

Soy protein is derived from soy beans and is a complete protein rich in BCAA. More about it later in the article.

Protein from peas is derived from the yellow split peas which contain more protein than the green peas. This is high on BCAA but low on methionine which is an essential amino acid.

Brown rice protein is a good source of BCAA but low on lysine. It is highly preferred for quick muscle growth.

Pumpkin and Sunflower seeds are also good sources of vegan proteins.

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Who Needs Proteins?

Everyone, to be honest! But the good news is most proteins you need could be gained from your dietary intake. But if you fall under any one of these categories then you might need to supplement your diet with protein powders.

If you are a Vegan, then you might have to supplement your diet with protein powders. Generally, vegan diet is low in protein and even if you are a person not engaged in strenuous physical activity or sports, it is advisable to add a protein supplement powder to your daily routine.

If you are an athlete, sportsman or a body builder and vegan your need for protein is higher and it can only be served by a protein supplement powder.

The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate at which your body burns calories and it is highest up to the age of 20 and then slowly drops as the person ages. This is because the muscle building happens during this phase and muscles burn more energy. So if you are a teenager and involved in active sports then you would definitely need a protein supplement to help sustain muscle building. This is more pronounced in males than females and the need for supplement might vary in quantity.

If you are recovering from an injury, then protein supplements will help speed up the recovery. Also, if you are starting a daily exercise regimen or adding to your routine, then protein supplements can help greatly.

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How Much Protein Do You Need In A Day?

A normal person needs about 0.8 g of protein/kg of body weight in a day. This requirement goes up in the case of active athletes and sportsmen and body builders need up to 2 g/kg of body weight/day. Some of it can be obtained via diet but for a vegan, protein supplement powders ensure that they don’t miss out on the essential nutrition needed. A growing teenage athlete would need just as much as a normal adult, roughly 0.8 g/kg of body weight/day.

Amino Acids And Their Role In Building Proteins

Proteins themselves are made up of amino acids. There are about 20 amino acids that are needed for the body’s growth and maintenance. Some can be synthesized by the body and some have to be gained via only diet. Based on these properties and their need amino acids can be categorized into three groups.

Essential amino acids – Cannot be synthesized by the body and have to be absorbed via diet

Nonessential amino acids – Can be synthesized by the body

Conditional amino acids – Those that become essential under special conditions like injury and recovery from disease 

Essential Amino Acids

There are a set of 9 amino acids that are classified as essential amino acids. These are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, histidine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These can be obtained only via diet.

The term BCAA could often be found in the information on protein supplements. What does BCAA mean? BCAA stands for branched chain amino acids. These are a group of 3 amino acids, namely, leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA help with muscle growth and prevent muscle wasting and fatigue.

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Other Good Pea Based Vegan Protein Supplement Powders

OZiva Organic Plant Protein 

OZiva Organic Plant Protein (30g Vegan Protein - Pea protein Isolate, Brown Rice Protein & Quinoa, Soy free) for Everyday Fitness, Unflavored, 1kg
  Protein Source – Blend of organic pea protein isolate, organic brown rice protein and organic quinoa
  Lactose/Sugar Free – Yes/ gluten-free/soy-free/lactose-free, cholesterol-free
  BCAA – Yes 5.2 grams per serving
  Protein Available – 30 g of protein/serving
  Water Soluble – Not applicable
  Highlight – It is non GMO and contains no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. It is easy to digest
  Flavours – Neutral flavour
  Quantity – 1 kilogram
  Serving – 15 Servings

This product is soy free, gluten free and non GMO so it is completely organic and easily digestible.  It also does not contain any sweetener or flavouring agent.


Unived Organic Pea Protein Isolate with Natural Digestive Enzymes 

Unived Pea Protein Isolate with Natural Digestive Enzymes, 100% Vegan & Plant-Based, BCAAs, Amino Acid, Lean Muscle Development, Non-GMO & Sugar-Free, Natural (Chocolate 15 Servings)
  Protein Source – Non GMO pea protein that is hypoallergenic
  Lactose/Sugar Free – Yes/gluten free/cholesterol free
  BCAA – Yes 4.58 grams per serving
  Protein Available – 25 g of protein/serving
  Water Soluble – Yes and has a smooth texture
  Highlight – Natural digestive enzymes blended with acid, neutral and alkaline protease, papain, & amylase for greater bioavailability
  Flavours – Chocolate, Vanilla and organic raw
  Quantity – Around 600 grams (each serving around 40 grams)
  Serving – 15 Servings

This is one good product that is packed with sugar free, gluten free plant proteins and rich in BCAAs. It has digestive enzymes blended for easy digestion and quick absorption and no bloating. Builds and maintains lean muscles.


Difference Between Pea Based Proteins And Soy Based Proteins

Both Soy and pea/plant based proteins contain the range of essential amino acids needed and are good protein sources. Soy protein has been found to be of beneficial use in coronary artery disease and this claim has been upheld by the Food and Drug Administration too.

However, Pea based protein supplement powders are easily soluble in water than soy based supplements and taste better too. In addition there have been concerns regarding soy protein powder made from genetically modified soy beans. Soy protein also has random issues of allergies and intolerance. In fact, soy is one of the top ten common allergens.

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Other Good Soy Protein Supplement Powders

Zenith Nutrition Zenith Protein Pure Soy 

Zenith Nutrition Zenith Protein Pure Soy - 500 Gms
  Protein Source – Pure soy that is non GMO
  Lactose/Sugar Free – Yes
  BCAA – Yes 4.58 grams per serving
  Protein Available – 25 g of protein/serving
  Water Soluble – yes medium solubility
  Highlight – Complete range of amino acids made available. No sweetener, flavouring agent or preservative. Economic package
  Flavours – Neutral flavour
  Quantity – 500 grams
  Serving – Around 20 Servings

This is an economic product that is made from pure soy. It also has the complete range of essential as well on nonessential amino acids. Ideal for regular body maintenance.


Nouriza 100% Soy Protein 1kg 

Nouriza 100% Soy Protein 1kg
  Protein Source – Pure soy, non GMO
  Lactose/Sugar Free – Yes and lactose free, Trans fat free
  BCAA – Yes 4.50 mg/serving
  Protein Available – 24 grams/serving
  Water Soluble – Yes, but medium solubility
  Highlight – Good amount of dietary fibers that help fight obesity along with 27 vitamins to help boost immunity. Enriched enzymes for faster absorption.
  Flavours – Café Mocha
  Quantity – 1 Kilogram
  Serving – Around 30 Servings

This product combines dietary fiber and complete range of essential amino acids (9.52g). Addition 27 vitamins makes it a comprehensive supplement.


Other Good Protein Supplement Bars

AG Taste Vegan Protein Bar 

AG Taste 15G Protein Bar-Vegan & Glutenfree, Sugarfree Chocolate Cranberry Almond -270 g (6x45g), Pack of 6 bars- Meal Replacement & Workout bar, No Added Sugar, No Preservatives.
  Protein Source – Plant based soy protein and chia and flax seeds
  Lactose/Sugar Free – Yes and gluten and cholesterol free
  BCAA – Not mentioned
  Protein Available – 15 g of protein/bar
  Water Soluble – Not applicable
  Highlight – Red cranberries and chia seeds ensure availability of vitamin B12 up to 33%.
  Flavours – Cranberry, Blackcurrant and assorted
  Quantity – 270 grams
  Serving – 6 servings with each protein bar of 45 grams

This protein bar is again a great snack for those fitness buffs before or after a workout or for those who travel often.


VegOChef Vegan Organic No Sugar High Protein Bar 

VegOChef Vegan Organic No Sugar High Protein Bar, 240g - Pack of 6
  Protein Source – Plant based pea protein and sunflower seed protein, dates and almonds
  Lactose/Sugar Free – Minimal, around 7 g from raisins and dates
  BCAA – Rich in BCAA due to the addition of sunflower seeds
  Protein Available – 14 g of protein/bar only 146 kcal per bar
  Water Soluble – Not applicable
  Highlight – Cold pressing method that retains most of the proteins.
  Flavours – Neutral
  Quantity – 240 grams
  Serving – 6 servings with each protein bar of 40 grams

Once again, this is an offering from VegOChef that is ideal for a power snack before or after the workout or while traveling. It can be consumed as an add-on during meal or as a meal substitute as well


As a matter of principle and caution, all supplements must be taken in consultation with your physician and only if needed.



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