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Vegetable (vegan) protein supplements are a substitute for whey protein designed for people who do not eat meat or animal products. Vegetable protein is also a product intended for food allergy sufferers. Check what vegetable protein supplements are available on the market and whether it is worth using them.

Vegetable proteinis a good alternative for people who are on a vegetarian and vegan diet -plant-based protein supplementscan successfully supplement protein deficiency in their diet. People who practice sports can benefit from powdered plant-based protein for faster recovery and better muscle growth.

Find out how vegan protein supplements differ from those obtained from animal raw materials and whether they are worth using.

vegetable vs animal protein - differences

Protein is, as we know, the basic building block of muscles. It consists of endogenous amino acids (which the body must produce on its own) and exogenous amino acids (which must be ingested with food).

Protein is divided into those of animal origin and vegetable protein. Animal protein contains all 20 amino acids needed for the proper functioning of the body, including the 8 most important, i.e. exogenous proteins, i.e. phenylalanine, isoleucine, lysine, leucine, threonine, methionine, tryptophan, and valine. If a given product contains all 20 amino acids then it is referred to as a complete protein. Plant products are not wholesome protein, but contain many other valuable nutrients, i.e. they are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Plant proteins are present, among others in legumes, grains and nuts. They are deficient, although in some products, e.g. soybeans, we can find all the amino acids we need. However, their quality compared to the amino acid content of animal proteins differs greatly.

See also: Post-workout protein cocktails - recipes

Plant protein supplements - when to use them?

Proteins play a very important role in our body and play a number of important functions, e.g. they transport hemoglobin, improve the immune (immune) system, are the basic building blocks of tissues (keratin,collagen, elastin), regulate the course of genetic processes, generate and transmit nerve impulses.

Protein supplementation can be used by anyone, not only a person training in the gym or practicing other types of physical activity. Additional protein supplementation is especially recommended for vegans and vegetarians whose diets are poor in wholesome protein.

Find out which plant-based nutrients are valuable and which should be avoided.


Animal protein contains a complete set of amino acids needed for the proper functioning of the body. For this reason, whey protein is much more beneficial to he alth than vegetable protein, which does not consist of lysine, methionine, and tryptophan. Only soy protein can compete with animal protein, because it exceptionally contains all the necessary amino acids, although its quality is slightly worse (it is less digestible).

Plant protein supplements - types

1. Soy protein

Soy protein, compared to other plant-based nutrients, contains all the essential amino acids. It is better to choose soy isolate than concentrate, because it contains as much as 90% of protein and a negligible content of fat and carbohydrates. On the other hand, soybean concentrate is characterized by a much lower percentage of proteins, i.e. up to 65%, with the rest being fat and carbohydrates.

In the past, soy protein supplements were very hard to digest and contained inferior quality amino acids, but nowadays even the cheapest soy protein is very easily digestible.

It is worth using soy supplements not only because of their attractive price. Soybean (if it is of good quality and not a GMO product) has many he alth-promoting properties. It protects cells against free radicals, reduces the risk of atherosclerosis (they lower the level of bad cholesterol), and increases the amount of phytoestrogens (female hormones).

See also: High-protein meals - recipes

2. Wheat protein

Wheat protein is an unpopular plant nutrient because its only advantage is a fairly high dose of glutamine (an endogenous amino acid). It does not contain the full composition of amino acids, so it does not contribute to a significant regeneration of the body or the growth of muscle mass. Wheat protein is a relatively cheap product, often of lower quality. This can make it unclean, and in that form it can cause digestive problems.

3. Pea Protein, Rice Protein And Hemp

These proteins are of much lower quality (less than 1.0) than soy protein, so separate use is not recommended, but can be consumed in conjunction with other typesvegetable protein supplement, because they have a good effect on he alth.

  • Pea protein- as you know, legumes are a great source of vegetable protein. In addition, peas provide our body with a lot of fiber and valuable minerals, such as iron, calcium and magnesium. Pea protein does not cause allergies, so it is recommended for people who are sensitive to food allergens. Pea protein, however, does not provide spectacular amounts of protein and does not contain all amino acids. Use them to supplement your supplementation.
  • Rice proteins- similarly to pea protein, it will be a good supplement to the diet and an alternative for people who do not use whey. It is very easily digestible and rich in dietary fiber. Rice proteins are also attractive due to their low fat content and he alth-promoting anti-allergic properties.
  • Hemp- are highly soluble and do not burden the digestive system. They contain almost all essential amino acids (eight out of nine), but not of the same quality as other plant-based protein supplements.

Does vegetable protein help build muscle?

Trainer Jacek BilczyƄski presents the results of research on the effectiveness of plant protein in building muscle mass.

Is it worth using vegetable protein supplements?

Plant protein supplements should be used when there are good reasons for it, e.g. veganism, vegetarianism, food intolerance. When we are not on a meat-free diet and our digestive system is functioning properly, we should consume standard protein supplements (whey protein isolate will be the best). Thanks to this, we will achieve much better sports and he alth effects.

In comparison with the quality of protein in whey protein supplements with vegetable, animal protein looks much better, because it contains all the necessary amino acids - endogenous and exogenous. Vegetable protein is a good dietary supplement, but it is definitely not necessary for the proper functioning of the body.

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