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No Whey! You get Protein From Where?

When people ask me where I get my protein from I’m often told, “You’re full of beans!” and ironically this couldn’t be more true.

It’s a common misconception that those following a vegan diet fail to get enough protein in order to support muscle growth and also cannot obtain all nine essential amino acids that produce complete proteins. According to society, supplantation is the only way. And although supplements such as Maxine’s Pure are beneficial and awesome for us who live busy lifestyles and need the extra boost, I’m about to tell you how eating protein isn’t only inevitable but definitely not the mathematical mind game you’re lead to believe.

We need protein, it’s responsible for repairing and restoring our body mass after it’s been under stress (most commonly, exercise). However there are SO MANY misconceptions and misinformation out there on our daily protein needs. Hey, I’ve even met some dudes who aim to get 300 grams. These guys don’t need another protein shake, but maybe a new pair of kidneys! The research shows that the average person needs a minimum of 42 grams per day or 10% of your daily caloric intake but of course, if you’re exercising you’ll need more to compensate. 42 grams of protein following a Vegan diet? That’s easy I have that covered half way through lunch. Realistically, ALL plant foods have protein. Some even more than steak per calorie. 100 grams of spirulina (most protein dense source in the world) carries a whopping 57 grams of protein and 100 grams of steak roughly 23 grams. All fruits, vegetables, grains, starches, legumes are packed! The best part is, they’re a packaged deal and come with all the other wonderful micro-nutrients and health benefits animal products don’t. Realistically, the only way you could be under eating your protein goals when following a plant based diet is if you’re either A) surviving off olive oil and refined sugar or B) under eating in general. It’s not a protein deficiency that paints the twiggy, vegan portrait in your head but in fact a calorie deficiency.

Like I said before folks, eating enough can be difficult for some – especially athletes! Thankfully the twenty-first century has brought us convenience. Personally, I reckon supplements are great and can be used A L O N G S I D E  a balanced diet to help us reach our goals. There’s plenty of plant-based protein powders out there for us all to try from, brown rice, soy (not for my IBS friends), pea (personal favourite) and even hemp. So how do these options compare to whey? Well other than a virtually identical macro nutrient ratio pea protein has been proven to assist with cravings and can be amazing for those who have difficulties digesting a milk based protein or struggle with acne. And since it comes from a plant it’s a lot easier on the digestive system. Now, I wouldn’t say flush the idea of plant protein down the toilet here but a little less bloating is always a plus hey? Conclusively. Give plant protein a try, it’s a great alternative and I assure you it won’t cause you to waste A-whey!

If you can’t already tell, I love my beans. And that’s exactly my favourite source of protein! Chickpeas, and butter beans have to be my favourite. But like I said every plant food has protein you’d be surprised to see that anything from bananas, broccoli, grains, potatoes, legumes, seeds, nuts are jam packed! The best part is they come along, perfectly packaged by Mother Nature (and not the evil step mother, factory farming) with all the great micro-nutrients and health benefits our bodies need to survive and thrive optimally. Fun fact, diets rich in potassium maintain healthy blood pressure. But the biggest perk of plant foods is their fibre content, the average Australian only consumes 20-25 grams a day whilst the heart foundation recommends to minimally hit 25-30 grams plus. So if you want to keep you’re digestion smooth, nutrient transport on point and waist lines under control step up your broccoli game!

I’ve left the best for last, you’re all about to become Vegucated on the nine essential amino acids we need to get from our diets (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) that our bodies don’t produce and how protein combing isn’t much of a concern for our fellow herbivores. It’s an incredibly out-dated myth that a plant-based diet is deprived of these. This idea that vegans/vegetarians must combine proteins was set by Frances Moore, mind you, she wasn’t a nutritionist/dietician/scientist, she was a sociologist attempting to end world hunger. She then retracted her claim in 1981. In 1952 William Rose doubled the minimums for these amino acids to ensure we hit them daily to. Today, the science says that the protein found in plants actually is complete you don’t don’t need to worry about eating bread and hummus to get a “real protein” you just need to focus on eating the rainbow.

There you have it folks, a little myth-busting for you. As long as you’re eating enough and a variety of plants you’ll smash your protein requirements unknowingly. And if you’re sick of whey-sting your time or even pea-crastinating on giving plants a go, I highly recommend you give it a try. Whoever said vegans are unhealthy is absolutely nuts!

 

 

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Alix Laidler

Alix Laidler
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