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one green planet

A study has found that plant-based protein is just as effective at building muscle as whey protein for athletes.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and presented at the The International Society of Sports Nutrition Annual Conference looked at the effects of animal-based and plant-based protein supplements for athletes practicing mixed martial arts.

“The study concluded that supplementing the diet of elite-level mixed martial artists with an average of 0.41 grams of protein per pound of body weight helps to maintain their lean body mass while undergoing high volume and intensity training,” said Dr. Douglas Kalman, who led the study. “There were no additional benefits of one protein source over the other as both whey and rice protein provided statistically similar results.”

The clinical trial focused on 11 current and former mixed martial artists who supplemented with either whey protein or Axiom Foods’ Oryzatein brown rice protein.

Growing Naturals, the company behind the brown rice protein, said the study was changing ideas about protein.


“This study is sending a shock wave through the fitness industry, hopefully toppling long-held ideas that animal-based whey protein is necessary for serious athletes,” said Growing Naturals’ VP marketing, Kay Abadee. “Basically, we are finding that animals are no longer needed to get our protein.”

However, it’s important to be careful to know about what’s in your protein powder, even if it is plant-based. Another study by the Clean Label project indicated that a number of commercially sold protein powders, both animal-based and plant-based, contained “detectable levels” of heavy metals.

“The bottom line is that when you get protein from whole foods, you are getting extra micronutrients and fibre that contribute to a healthy diet,” added nutritional sciences Professor Nancy Rodriguez. “It’s a more complete nutrient package.”

Make Your Own Protein At Home!

If you’d like to be sure about what’s going into your vegan protein powder, why not try making your own at home?

Here are some recipes from the Food Monster App that will help you build strength without buying the commercially sold protein products, and without whey. First, learn how to make your own plant-based protein, and then use it to make delicious and protein-packed vegan smoothies!

Make Your Own Protein Powder

Sarah and Peter Hagstrom’s guide on how to Make Your Own Protein Powder will have you making your own protein in no time! Plus, it’s affordable to make.

Cake Batter Protein Smoothie

This Cake Batter Protein Smoothie by Kat Condon is a luxurious, protein-packed smoothie that tastes like a dessert. It’s the perfect thing to test out your homemade protein with!

Chocolate Strawberry Almond Protein Smoothie

Karielyn Tillman’s protein-packed Chocolate Strawberry Almond Protein Smoothie will help you build up strength and muscle! Almond milk and hemp seeds boost this smoothie’s health benefits even further.

No-Protein-Powder Protein Smoothies

Or, if you’d rather get some protein in your diet without using protein powder, here are some No-Protein-Powder Protein Smoothies from Carri Pattinson. They all have veggies for some added nutrition!

Hungry for more protein ideas like 26 Delicious Vegan Sources of Protein? Download the Food Monster App. The app is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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