Friday, 1 September 2017

Protein Powders?? What's The Deal?? Whey Vs Vegan!

Happy Friday lil chickpeas! I hope you've all enjoyed the 4 day week!

I'm getting down n dirty in the well known topic of protein today which as we ALL know is extremely popular in the health and fitness industry. Protein this and protein that.

 I remember when I first began training and had no clue about weights, macros or a gym one of the first things that was shovelled into me was 'you need a protein shake!!!!!!' With very little knowledge and overwhelmed by the whole process, I did no research, didn't really know what a 'protein shake' was and simply went along with it.

Now obviously my health and fitness journey has come a longggg way since then. I know I lot lot more than I did back at the beginning. I have knowledge in nutrition, training, supplements etc. Along with what they are actually doing to my body! Stuff I wish I had known back when I was downing the protein shakes like there was no tomorrow with no clue at all!

So lets talk protein powders, I firstly want to state NO they are NOT essential. They're a wonderful supplement say if you're on the go and need a quick snack after a workout, great for athletes to maximise muscle gains, a good idea if you struggle to get enough protein and want to add to baking/foods etc. I love adding them to oats or my smoothies! But you do NOT NEED protein powder and can see results without it! So don't think if you'e suddenly started training you need to go an invest in some expensive protein powder, I'd always opt for real wholefoods before!

 But if you do want to supplement with protein powders which type?

  Honestly there are so many different types! And not all of them will suit you! For me know I know Whey protein doesn't suit me which typically contains dairy. I've tried many different kinds, dairy and dairy free, all with various benefits and negatives but all have there place. I'm going to discuss some of the most popular ones you'll probably see!

 So if you're also confused, want a insight on proteins, not having any look with whey etc. Then you've come to the right place!

Whey Protein 

One of the most popular protein powders on the market is Whey! It's great for how fast it's absorbed by the body's muscles and tissues making it a great supplement for post workout. It's also a high concentrate giving you a large g of protein per serving, low in fat and usually not that expensive (depending on the brand)  Whey protein usually comes in a whole variety of flavours and typically used in most protein bakes/recipes!

The down side to Whey protein is that it contains animal products and dairy, making it harder to digest. It can leave you feeling bloated or gassy which isn't the most comfortable! Secondly it isn't the most nutrient dense source of protein, I'd always choose a food based protein source before. You also want to keep check on the brand and type you get, as a lot of extra ingredients, chemicals, artificial sweeteners and flavours will be added!


Soy is a plant-based protein taken from soybeans which are packed with fibre and protein and very common with Vegans and Veggies wanting to increase their protein intake. It's one of the most popular plant based protein powders and contains the essential amino acids in the right quantities. Unlike Whey, Soy protein is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals! Providing vitamins B-Complex, Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc and Iron, all providing various benefits to the body. It's helps boost immunity and energy levels. So it's a great alternative for veggies or anyone who cannot tolerate dairy/whey.

The down side to soy is that it is know to could have an effect on hormone levels and could be known to reduce testosterone levels in men and fertility in women. However consumed in small quantities with the rest of a balanced diet I don't believe it's going to effect you massively, unless you have a specific intolerance to soy!


Hemp protein is a great complete protein again containing all essential amino acids! It's a brilliant source if you're looking to up your protein in a natural, vegan & plant - based way. Hemp is also a much easier protein to digest and a great alternative! Not only that but Hemp protein is packed with Omega fatty acids and fibre, known to reduce fatigue, boost metabolism, help the CV system and boost the immune system. It's the much healthier and friendly protein choice!

The downside is that it can be a little bit more expensive than most typical protein powders! Despite it being a nutritional powerhouse it's also typically lower in protein than whey and soy. And due to it's high fibre content, if you suffer with leaky gut it probably isn't the best option for you!


Pea protein is a great plant-based alternative and seen to be just as good as Whey for building muscle and recovery. It's becoming one of the more popular plant-based proteins! It's usually high in protein and rich in amino acids. Not only that but the reason it's nearly as good as Whey is that it is also mainly pure protein at 85%. It's also known to be a lot lot better on the kidney's and heart. It's easy to digest and actually digests slowly, so it's a great option to also take before bed. I've personally found it to be the best digesting one for me!

You can usually find it naturally flavoured if you're looking for a flavoured version too!


Rice protein is extracted from rice which is the same amount of protein you would get from rice milk. It's again a good alternative if you're Vegan or Vegetarian or have any tolerances but want to keep your protein levels up.

The down side to Rice is that it's not really the best quality of proteins, and from my personal experience I've only ever used it in Vegan Protein blends. It's a higher in carbohydrates and deficient in some amino acids, so wouldn't be a first choice. However it is really easily digestible so may be a good option for many or like I said really good in a Vegan Protein blend.


When typically using Plant-based protein sources they come in blends which combine various proteins. My favourites are ones which use natural & wholesome ingredients along with the proteins themselves!

VivolifeUK which contains a blend of  Hemp and Pea along with other health boosting ingredients and naturally sweetneed! The do 4 amazing flavours Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Maca Caramel (MY FAVE) and their newest addition Acai & Blueberry!

MissFits Nutrition is another one of my favourites which is Pea Protein isolate with lots of other added ingredients such as Glutamine to help with muscle recovery, Vitamin B12 which helps tiredness and fatigue & digestive enzymes and flax seed promoting good gut and digestive health! They are naturally sweetened with stevia and come in 4 flavours Chocolate, Coffee, Mixed berry and Vanilla!

My last favourite is The PE Science Select Vegan protein (Chocolate Flavour is the best!) which is a Vegan blend of Pea & Brown Rice! It's again naturally sweetened, with no nasty additives and it blends amazingly well! Works amazing in oats too!

When do I use them?!

It's rare I actually use protein powder as a typical 'post workout shake' anymore! I prefer to use it in my food or smoothies! Mainly for texture and flavour but of course the added protein boost as my diet is mainly plant-based! I love adding protein powder to:

- Oats
- Cookies
- Brownies
- Energy Balls
- Chia Puddings

And much more!!!

I hope this has helped a few of you and give you a lil insight into protein powders, which ones you may be wanting and what the bloody hell you should do with them!!!