When you’re vegan and a fitness enthusiast, you need amazing protein sources. Let us show you where to find them!
Fitness enthusiasts or just plain active individuals burn more energy than the average person, and if you're among them, you may be wondering whether you can stay properly fueled on plant-based foods alone. Don’t worry! It is definitely possible to maintain proper fuel levels on plants alone, in fact, some of the world’s most elite athletes swear by a plant-based diet.
There is a huge misconception that we need to consume huge amounts of animal protein to gain muscle mass while losing fat, and this is simply not true. The body can only absorb a certain amount of protein and the rest is excreted as urine. So there really is no point consuming massive amounts of protein as it will just go to waste. Of course, those who are active do require more protein, but nothing that plant foods won’t cover!
Here are the top five plant proteins to eat if you’re active:
1. Lentils – These are one of the best sources of protein as they’re rich in fiber and easy to digest. When cooked or sprouted, they’re a rich source of protein (and even iron). They can be consumed in soup or stews, shaped into a burger or tossed into salads.
2. Spirulina – Don’t underestimate this blue-green algae, which comes from warm sources of fresh water. It’s said to have more protein than red meat! It’s also full of vital amino acids and minerals that are easily assimilated by the body. The best and easiest way for an active person to take spirulina is to add one teaspoon to one tablespoon to water, a smoothie, or fresh 100% juice.
3. Tempeh – Fermented, nutty, and full of texture, this plant based protein is amazing for the athletic person and anyone plant-based because it’s hearty and easy to digest. The best ways to enjoy tempeh are in a burger, stir fry, or marinated and baked.
4. Quinoa – This nutty seed is loaded with a full spectrum of amino acids and is brilliant for fitness gurus. It’s the perfect post-workout recovery meal as it’s easy to digest and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
5. Plant-based protein powder - As long as it’s a raw, sprouted plant protein, this definitely falls into the category of plant-powered proteins. It breaks down easily in liquids and makes amazing smoothies. Be sure to select a powder that’s source from rice, hemp, or pea like the kind you get from Sunwarrior!
Protein BUILDS muscle, it doesn’t FUEL muscle, and that’s why protein is best eaten post-workout. Eating too much protein before intense exercise can result in muscle cramping. This is because protein requires more fluid in order to be metabolized than carbs or fat, and cramping occurs when the body isn’t properly hydrated. Protein also creates toxins when it’s burned, which puts unwanted stress on the body during exercise, leading to a decline in endurance. So the next time someone asks you what you eat for protein, you have a whole list of delicious ideas to choose from!