Plant Based Protein

When we exercise, we're essentially breaking down muscles to allow them to grow back stronger - eating the right foods is vital for sustaining our bodies for continued fitness improvement. Fuelling your workout regime with the right nutrients is essential to aid recovery and maximise muscle regeneration. Known to help increase muscle strength, protein is the perfect nutrient to consume pre and post workout. We asked MotivatePT to give us the run down on the best plant-based protein to enjoy whilst training.

"Plant-based protein such as beans, peas, nuts, seeds, lentils and quinoa provide many health benefits and contain a huge amount of fibre, phytonutrients and are low in cholesterol. If you ensure your diet is high in plant-based protein whilst training, you’ll gain strength, aid fat loss and help protect your body long-term from diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular-related illnesses.

Animal-based proteins are often encouraged alongside a workout regime, however plant-based proteins can often be overlooked and underrated. While some plant proteins don’t contain all nine essential amino acids and therefore aren’t complete proteins, unlike animal products, plant sources can be combined to create a complete protein, such as pitta bread and hummus.

Nuts are fantastic as they are the only plant-based protein that contain healthy fats and are a great source of fibre and protein. Good nuts to incorporate into your diet are peanuts, almonds and walnuts; they’re incredibly satiating and can help aid weight loss.

Plant-based protein also has a clear nutritional advantage. For example, beans are incredibly nutritious and contain a huge amount of fibre, as well as minerals including calcium and potassium. Beans are fantastic for weight loss as they contain water, fibre and protein, ensuring you are fuller for longer, but aren’t gorging on huge amounts of saturated fat, which can be present in some animal proteins.

Another general benefit of plant-based protein is that it tends to be lower in calories and fat than animal proteins, but higher in fibre and nutrients. As a result, it’s a great choice if you’re looking to lose fat while maintaining your health.

Plant-based protein is also available in protein powders, which can be a really convenient and tasty way of upping your protein intake. Some people can feel bloated or unwell when they consume whey protein, so a plant-based option might be the solution for you. They tend to consist of pea, soy or brown rice, so are also brilliant for coeliacs. Plant-based protein powder also helps the environment due to the devastating effects that the consumption of animal proteins have on the environment; producing these powders requires less land and water than to produce animal-based protein.

There are many easy ways of getting more plant protein into your diet. Try making a lentil Bolognese instead of a meat one once a week, and snack on hummus or nuts. Another great idea is to experiment with soy meat alternatives, such as tofu. Some brilliant sources of plant-based protein are: almond butter, quinoa, black beans, chia seeds, chickpeas, edamame beans, lentils and kidney beans." 

Written by Natasha, Contributor at MotivatePT