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Plant-based protein powder is on the rise, and for good reason. People are taking control of what they put in their bodies, and turning to vegan protein powder as a cleaner option. I’m here to break down what kinds protein bases are the best (and worst)… as well as explain why hemp protein powder won’t make you high.

You might also like my Homemade Protein Powder recipe, which I add to most of my smoothie recipes to turn them into a meal replacement or post-workout recovery drink. If you’d rather buy a plant-based protein powder, I suggest Ritual Protein or Complement Essential.

Best plant based protein powder for smoothies

The Importance of Protein

Protein is used to build and repair tissue (like muscle). It also helps the body create hormones, enzymes and other essential chemicals, and, bottom line: makes your hair, skin, and fingernails look great. Basically your whole body needs protein to function properly.

Yet the body also needs carbs + healthy fat to help break down the protein you just ingested. So when you are looking for a great plant-based protein powder, look for one that also has fat as well as fiber to help break down that protein.

Healthy protein for families

Who Should Use Protein in Smoothies?

Let me be clear: bodybuilders don’t own the rights to protein powders (vegan or otherwise). Any active athlete looking for an easier way to increase their protein intake should consider using a protein powder. Those who regularly work out need double the amount of protein over those with a more sedate lifestyle. It’s also helpful for people looking to…

  • Increase muscle mass
  • Lose weight
  • Lower cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Make quick healthy meals

If you said yes to any of the above, then a protein powder supplement might be right for you. Protein boosted smoothies can help you:

  • Gain Muscle. This is probably the most widely known benefit of protein powders. Added protein helps muscles rebuild faster after a workout. Because of the direct ways protein affects the muscles, the best time to consume protein powders are after a workout.
  • Lose weight. Protein is also a great way to stop any unwanted snacking. You stay full longer after that green smoothie when you boost it with plant-based protein powder. It also boosts the metabolism, burning fat and keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels low.
  • Protect the Immune System. Protein doesn’t just strengthen muscles, it also strengthens every cell in the body. This makes them less likely to be infected- keeping you strong and healthy.
  • Commit to a healthy diet. Using a protein powder with healthy fats can turn a daily smoothie into a meal replacement. This is truly the healthiest “fast food” there is as well as an easy habit to embrace daily.

Shakes and smoothies are the best way to consume protein powders. I love adding hemp protein powder to my daily smoothie, workout or not. It helps me stay full longer and be more productive with my day, as well as help me recover faster from a workout.

fuel your body naturally for workouts

Best Protein for Smoothies

After years of trying to find a powder that I enjoyed adding to my smoothies, I gave up. It didn’t exist. There was either too much junk in it, or not enough of the right stuff. I went on a quest to create my own powder that I could use every day and love how it tasted, what was in it and the results I got. And I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I really do love my homemade protein powder recipe. It isn’t gritty, tastes good in a fruit smoothie and contains all 9 essential amino acids. I think you’ll be pretty impressed with it.

If you’re looking to buy a plant-based protein powder to add to your smoothies, I suggest Ritual Protein or Complement Essential.

What Makes Protein Powder Vegan?

Protein powders most commonly start from whey protein, casein, or soy. Whey protein as well as casein comes from dairy. If you have any kind of dairy intolerance, then be sure to check the label on your protein powder! These are not naturally occurring ingredients, so I lean toward plant-based protein powder.

Vegan Protein Options

Soy based protein powders are the number one vegan protein powder option. Soy is a complete protein, yet is a bit controversial in terms of helping or harming the body. I take an even more natural route in using hemp protein powder.

Hemp protein is also a complete protein, yet it ranks even higher than soy in terms of quality. It not only contains all 9 essential amino acids, it also contains healthy fat and fiber, as well as other essential minerals. Hemp protein powder starts out with a slightly nutty flavor, so no need to cover up the taste like you do with whey, casein, or soy based powders.

A side note: while hemp is part of the same plant family as marijuana, it contains little to no THC and therefore does not have any mind-altering effects.

Healthy sources of nutrition

Heavy Metals in Plant-Based Protein Powder

Protein powders can also contain heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and cadmium that easily build up in the body. These known carcinogens are harmful to the immune system. These elements are found in our soil (which in turn grow in plants that cows eat or plants grow into). You cannot completely avoid it, yet you can be aware and use brands that test their levels and are conscious of this.

Oftentimes, heavy metals go unnoticed because protein powders are considered a supplement and do not need to be approved by the FDA. Your protein powder brand should pay for “heavy metal testing” as well as easily disclose the results to you when asked. As you can see, it’s not easy to find a vegan protein powder for smoothies that you can feel really good about!

By grinding up the plants, the nutrients are pre-digested and ready for your body to absorb immediately. The vitamins, amino acids, and minerals become easily accessible to the body. Plant-based protein powders can give you the same results that other powders do. They just leave out all the antibiotics, toxins, and lactose.

Now, time for you to spill all your protein secrets with me! Please share in the comments your fav protein to add to smoothies, or what you’re looking for (and not finding) in a vegan protein powder.

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  1. Hello I was just wondering when making the protein powder. How much is one serving equal to when making smoothies?

  2. Where do we get the good hemp protein powder to make our own protein powder as in the recipe?

    1. HI Marcia! Here’s a recipe you can use to make your own homemade protein powder. In this recipe I use Just Hemp Foods brand, yet you can use any other brand you want. You can find it at target, walmart, trader joes, amazon etc!