As a dietician who “puts food first,” I always recommend that my clients prioritize food over supplements when it comes to getting their daily nutrients. Meeting protein requirements is absolutely achievable with a plant-based diet, even without protein powder. Eating a balanced diet with soy, legumes, beans, nuts and vegetables will help you meet your protein needs. Mix and match plant-based proteins from this list to reach the recommended daily intake.
Excessive consumption of animal protein has been linked to fatal diseases, such as cancer, while excessive consumption of vegetable protein does not. Protein is essential for muscle building and repair, which is why many people consume protein after intense training. Fortunately, there are more clean and tasty plant-based protein powders than ever before, made from pea, hemp and rice protein, as well as soy. It's easy to find the right one for you if you decide you need more protein than your daily food intake provides. However, whey protein is made from milk, which is an animal product, and not from meat, so it is generally appropriate for vegetarian consumption.
Check out the Consumer Tips section of Protein Powders magazine for more information on these different types of proteins. Protein needs depend on activity level, age and other factors, but a good rule of thumb for calculating the recommended daily protein intake is to take body weight (in pounds) and multiply it by 0.36. Whey protein is particularly rich in branched-chain amino acids, which are important to replenish after exercise and are needed to maintain muscles. People who follow a vegan diet will most likely choose not to consume whey protein. For those who understand the benefits of protein powders, as they are a convenient way to ensure adequate protein consumption, it is generally recommended to use a mix of sources, such as combining a grain-based protein, such as rice, with a legume-based protein, such as pea protein. If your calorie intake is too low, some of the protein in your diet will be used for energy purposes rather than to produce proteins important to your body.
Both whey and casein are complete proteins, meaning that they contain all the essential amino acids. In conclusion, try to get your protein from food whenever possible but don't hesitate to include protein powders from time to time if they help.