Should You Include Plant Based Protein Shakes in Your Diet?
What are plant based protein shakes, and what are the benefits to including them in your routine?
Whether you’re actively trying to lose weight, or you just want to focus on living a healthy life, one of the most important things to consider is your diet. Consistently consuming healthy, nutritious food is one of the best ways to ensure your body is getting the fuel it needs to be at its best. Including a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, dairy, legumes, and whole wheat items is a great way to reach your goals.
We know that eating a balance of carbs, protein, and fats is important, but did you know that in addition to getting protein from lean meats, you can also get it from plants? That’s right, in the form of planted based protein shakes. But what are plant based shakes, and are they essential to include in your daily diet?
Keep reading because we’re going to discuss:
- What plant based protein shakes are good for
- Are plant based shakes healthy?
- The benefits of plant based protein shakes
What are plant based protein shakes?
(And what are they good for?)
Plant based protein shakes have become even more popular recently. Image courtesy of The Spruce Eats.
While we all know that you can get a lot of protein from animal meat, plants are also a good source of protein that you may have not considered. Lean meats like chicken, pork, and turkey have been the go-to for a lot of folks looking to increase their daily protein intake, but did you know you can also turn to plants for this as well? Plants have a lot to offer our bodies as far as nutrients go, including as a protein source. More and more people are learning that plants can give us a wide variety of texture and taste when it comes to protein, and are making the choice to include this type of protein in addition to meat.
Doctors state that our bodies need a certain amount of protein to function properly, but it doesn’t matter so much what that source is—plant or animal based. As long as we’re getting all the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce and eating a variety of healthy foods throughout the day, we should have no problem meeting our protein needs. And you don’t need to choose one over the other, both plant and animal proteins are good options, and your body only benefits from consuming protein from different sources.
Popular plant based proteins include:
- Whole grains
Eating these in addition to lean meats throughout the day should ensure you’re adequately getting protein for your body. However, there is another way you can include plant based protein into your day, and that’s with plant based protein shakes. Shakes are a very popular (and convenient) way for people to get more protein throughout the day. These drinks often use peas as the base for their protein. The manufacturing process extracts the protein, dries it, and then makes it into a powder for easy consumption.
Pea protein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine amino acids, just like the animal based protein powder whey. It’s easy to mix plant based protein powders into your daily shake, or with any liquid, and then consume. Because just a scoop of the plant based powder gives you around 15-20 grams of protein, it’s easy to see why this supplement has really taken off.
Are plant based protein shakes healthy?
Is this something you should include in your healthy routine?
Yes, plant based protein shakes would make a great addition to your healthy lifestyle. They are typically composed of pea protein, which offers not only protein, but a decent amount of fiber as well. Both protein and fiber are important to your body, as they help your organs and systems operate at optimal performance. Protein shakes also may include additional ingredients (such as organic vegetables or adaptogens like mushrooms) that are designed to help you stay full and nourish your body.
Shakes are an easy way to increase not only the variety of protein that you consume, but also to get some nice benefits from additional ingredients as well.
Can you lose weight with plant based protein shakes?
Lots of people out there are trying to drop a couple of pounds, and starting a healthy diet is one of the best places to start. Plant based protein shakes would be a great way for someone who wants to lose weight to increase their protein intake, without increasing their daily calories by a large number. Protein shakes can have as little as 100 calories, and that coupled with the amount of protein and other vitamins and minerals included, make them a great go-to when you’re trying to lose weight.
At the end of the day, if you want to shed some weight, you need to ensure you’re also getting the right kind of exercise in. Eating right is important, but you’ve got to put in the effort with weight training as well as cardio to lose those inches. If you’re already taking anti obesity medication (such as Ozempic), consuming protein shakes is a great way to complement this treatment and has been proven to lead to sustainable weight loss.
What are the benefits of plant based protein shakes?
And are there any disadvantages to plant based protein shakes?
Plant based protein shakes are an easy way to increase your daily protein intake. Image courtesy of Diet Direct.
If you’re wondering whether or not plant based protein is for you, we’ve got 5 important benefits you should know about right here!
- Easy to digest. The pea protein powder that goes into shakes is very easy to digest for most people. In fact, a lot of folks who are sensitive to dairy or have an allergy find that it’s much gentler on their stomachs than whey protein. The pea powder also contains a good amount of fiber, which is essential to the digestive system. It is a complete protein, just like its animal based alternative, and gives the body all nine amino acids, as well as branch chained amino acids (BCAAs).
- Great for specialized diets. Because it’s made from peas, plant based protein is a widely available protein powder that vegans and vegetarians can use. Did you know that it’s also naturally gluten and lactose free? If you have either of those two allergies, you can turn to plant based protein to reach your goals. This is also the protein of choice for those people with shellfish, wheat, soy, nuts, or egg allergies, as these ingredients are not typically found in these products (but always double check to be sure!).
- Good for weight loss. If one of your goals is to lose weight, you might want to start using plant protein shakes and powders. The amount of protein that’s in each serving is designed to help you stay fuller for longer. This means you won’t be tempted to reach for snacks as often, and it can prevent you from overeating at meals. When you’re full, you don’t need to consume as many calories, which will help you reach your calorie deficit for the day.
- Helps build muscle. In addition to helping you stay full throughout the day, plant protein can also help you build lean muscle. When you’re working to lose weight, it’s imperative that you are engaging in resistance training, which will help increase your muscle mass. One great way to help your body do this is by increasing the amount of protein you consume daily. Plant protein can help you build muscle just like animal based protein, but the key is to stay consistent.
- Good for your heart. Including more protein in your diet is good for your body, but not at the expense of increasing the amount of meat (especially red meat) that you eat. That’s why plant based protein is a great choice, because you get the same protein without the excess fat, cholesterol, and calories that can come from eating additional meat portions throughout the day.
Are there any disadvantages to plant based protein shakes?
There are some minor disadvantages you should consider before deciding if this protein powder is right for you:
- May be higher in carbs than animal based protein
- Could be more expensive
- Some people may not like the taste
Are plant protein shakes right for you?
Plant protein shakes are a great way to increase your protein intake to reach your fitness goals. If you’re looking for a great option with 15 grams of plant protein, 100 calories, and 24 vitamins and minerals, check out WonderSlim’s Plant Protein Meal Replacement Shake. It comes in three amazing flavors plus a variety pack, has 1 gram of sugar or less, and just 4 net carbs so you can enjoy these shakes any time of day.
Consider picking up a plant protein shake and see if it helps you reach your goals!