Post-Workout Recovery with Vegan Protein Done Right
Protein is essential for regular exercisers because it aids in recovery and serves as a building block for muscle repair and growth. Protein is composed of 20 different organic compounds called amino acids. While our bodies produce some of these amino acids, the body does not produce nine of them, which are known as essential amino acids. These must be obtained through diet. When most people think of protein sources, they think of lean meat, fish, dairy, and eggs, but there are many plant-based options available, such as soy, tofu, and quinoa. Getting enough protein on a plant-based diet is perfectly possible as long as you eat a variety of healthy foods.
If you think athletes can’t get enough protein on non-meat or vegan diets, think again. Plants provide plenty of protein to fuel your post-exercise recovery, and vegan products can nutritionally match non-veggie products in every way. And, if you know which plant-based sources to use, you won’t have to sacrifice power, flavor, or texture.
Vegan or non-vegan, you should aim to consume some form of protein and carbohydrate – to replace the energy used by your body – within two hours of exercising, preferably within the first 45 minutes. The body obtains protein from a vegan diet in the same way that it obtains protein from an animal-based diet: by eating protein-rich foods. You may have heard that you need to combine plant-based protein types to get a ‘complete’ protein, but thankfully, that complicated concept has been debunked.
A normal adult requires 0.75g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. If you regularly cycle, run, go to the gym, or work out, your protein requirements increase to help promote muscle tissue growth and repair. Try these healthy vegan protein sources if you want to add more plant-based protein to your diet.
Pulses are seeds that grow in pods and are edible. Beans, peas, and lentils are all examples of pulses and are high in protein.
Oatmeal and porridge, every athlete’s favorite breakfast, are ideal for slow-release energy before a long ride or run, and they’re also high in protein.
- Protein bars:
Protein bars can help you meet all of your protein and carbohydrate needs, especially when you need a protein boost but aren’t quite ready for a meal, or when you’re on the go and need the convenience of a portable sack. Look for bars made with all-natural, high-quality ingredients, as these will taste far better than cheaper, processed muscle-bulking protein products.
Tofu and tempeh, which are made from fermented soya beans and are much tastier than they sound, are both high in protein.
Nuts are a great portable snack that can be added to cereals, stir-frys, curries, and almost any other meal you can think of. Almost all nuts are healthy, but peanuts (26g of protein per 100g), almonds (21g), and pistachios (20g) are especially high in protein.
- Brown Rice:
Rice is a common staple in most diets, and while you may think of it as a carbohydrate, it is also a good source of protein. Brown rice contains approximately 2.6g of protein per 100g. Wild rice, which is actually the seed of aquatic grass, contains about 4g of lysine, an amino acid found in soy products that some vegans may be deficient in.
Quinoa is a South American seed that can be used in place of grains like rice and couscous. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids. The protein content is 4.4g per 100g.
- Chia seeds:
These tiny black seeds from Central and South America can be used as a topping on cereals, salads, and meals. They’re also known for their ability to absorb liquid, and when soaked in water or plant milk, they form a gel-like paste that’s commonly used in puddings or as an egg substitute in baking. The protein content is 16.5g per 100g.
If you eat a healthy, varied vegan diet, you should be able to get all of your protein from food, as well as all of the wonderful vitamins and minerals that real food provides. However, if you need a quick fix, vegan-friendly recovery powders – typically made from pea or hemp protein – have a place. Plant protein powder for weight loss is also consumed by many people who are looking to shed extra kilos from their bodies. Origin Nutrition provides one of the best vegan protein powders for muscle gain and fat loss, it can be the ideal post-workout fix for vegans as well as nonvegans