You’ve got plant-based protein questions and we’ve got answers.
Why Do I Need Protein?
Protein is one of three macronutrients (along with carbohydrates and fat). It’s made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks needed to build tissues in your body. Proteins make up many of your body’s structures, including muscle tissue, bone, skin and hair.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults is based on the amino acids needed to maintain body tissues and replace losses.
Individual needs vary however you can use this as a general guideline to calculate daily protein needs (in grams of protein per kilogram of body weight).
- Adult Men and Women:8 g/kg/day1
- Endurance-trained athletes:2 to 1.4 g/kg/day1
- Strength-trained athletes:4 to 1.8 g/kg/day1
For example, a 130lbs strength trained woman would need approximately 82-106 grams of protein (130 divided by 2.2 (to convert pounds to kilograms) = 59 x 1.4 = 90) per day. An easy way to help meet your protein needs is with a plant-based protein powder such as Vega One® with 20 grams of protein per serving.
Can Protein Help with Weight Management?
As part of a healthy diet, eating protein may help you maintain a healthy weight. In higher amounts, it may help you feel full.2
What is Complete vs. Incomplete Protein?
Animal and soy-based proteins tend to be complete, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids3 in the amount your body needs to maintain health. A food is sometimes referred to as an incomplete protein if it does not contain all essential amino acids in the amount required. That doesn’t mean you need to eat animal-based protein to get your needs met. Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods or choosing a multi-source plant-based protein powder can help you ensure you’re getting all nine essential amino acids in the quantities you need.
That’s All Great Information but What Are Some Versatile Options?
Some of our favorite sources of plant-based proteins include:
- Black beans
- Hemp Seeds
If you’re ready to swap in plant-based protein in your favorite recipes or try something new check out the Vega Recipe Center.
- Lemon, P. W. (1995, June). Do athletes need more dietary protein and amino acids? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7550257
- Douglas, Westman, Eric, Mattes, D, R., Wolfe, ... Margriet. (2008, May 1). Protein, weight management, and satiety. Retrieved from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/5/1558S.long
- National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on the Tenth Edition of the Recommended Dietary Allowances. (1989, January 1). Protein and Amino Acids. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234922/