One of the biggest myths about going vegan is that you miss out on protein, which we all know is vital for post-workouts.
The truth is, there are loads of great vegan snacks you can enjoy both before and after exercise that is loaded with protein and benefits for your body.
What are the best vegan protein snacks? The protein-rich snacks that vegans can enjoy plant milk smoothies, bliss balls, nut butter on toast, roasted chickpeas, and more.
Depending on your taste preferences, how convenient the food should be, and how much protein you need, there are loads of options for plant-based protein.
Numerous studies have shown the power that protein holds after physical activity, and there’s no need to look to animal sources to get it.
We’ll show you how to enjoy protein-rich and plant-based snacks after your workouts and what the power of vegan protein is capable of.
Why Do We Need Protein Post-Workout?
Everyone knows that protein is an essential part of any pre-workout meal, without realizing that it can be just as effective once the exercise is done.
When taken after physical activity, protein has loads of benefits, and if you’re vegan, getting as much of this nutrient as possible is a necessity.
As you work out, your muscles rely on the body’s natural fuel source of glycogen to keep them going. When you’re done, your glycogen levels are depleted and you must try to rebuild them.
Giving them a source of protein to help them do this will ensure they have the nutrients to get the job done in a lot less time while ensuring their muscles are being built up as well.
Secondly, most people experience hunger after a workout, no matter the exercise they enjoy, and eating something protein-rich is the best way to fix this.
You’ll feel satisfied and give your body a slow-burning source of fuel that can keep you going through the day, making you less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks.
The Best Time to Eat Protein
The timing of your protein consumption can have a huge impact on how effective it is. Although most people assume that pre-workout is the best time, experts believe it’s after physical activity that the protein will get the most results.
Taking a protein supplement or eating a protein-rich snack between 15 to 60 minutes after you work out will ensure it fits into your anabolic window.
It’s during this time that you’ll reap the most rewards from the nutrients within the snack, so having some protein-packed snacks ready to go will guarantee that you meet this timeframe.
5 Vegan-Friendly Protein-Rich Snacks
Whether you’re vegan or not, having some go-to foods that provide a major source of protein is essential following exercise.
These are five of our favorite snacks that tick all of the boxes of being vegan-friendly, protein-rich, and convenient enough to carry on the go.
#1 Plant Milk Smoothie
A plant milk smoothie made with plant-based protein is going to deliver a serious amount of this nutrient, and you can add in frozen fruit, natural sweeteners, rolled oats, and more.
Many vegans find that pea and hemp proteins are the best sources, but there are other options like soy powders that work just as well.
If you can’t bring along the smoothie to the gym, consider adding some protein powder to water, but be prepared for the taste to be lacking somewhat.
Otherwise, make the smoothie before you head out and keep it refrigerated somewhere while you exercise.
#2 Bliss Balls
‘Bliss balls’ is a general term used to describe a snack ball made of protein-rich ingredients, and they’re usually homemade.
These balls can be whipped up in a food processor using the most basic ingredients, or you can get creative and add in all kinds of things to change up the flavor and add more nutrients.
A bliss ball will usually contain ingredients like protein powder, nuts, dates, coconut oil, and more. they’re rolled up and refrigerated until you need a quick hit of protein, so they’re the perfect thing for ending a workout.
#3 Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas contain around seven grams of protein in a ½ cup serving, making them a powerful source. Some people like to sprinkle them on soups and salads while others eat them as-is for a quick snack.
You can make your own roasted chickpeas or buy them at the store already roasted, and both ways they’re easy to eat on the go. They’re tasty, satisfying, and protein-rich which is everything you need to follow up an intense workout.
#4 Nut Butter on Toast
All vegans understand the importance of a good nut butter, especially if they’re trying to eat more protein.
If you’re after a post-workout snack, there’s nothing simpler than putting a piece of whole wheat or sourdough toast into the toaster and then spreading on a thick layer of your favorite nut butter.
The best nut butter for optimal protein could be almond, cashew, peanut, and macadamia. If you want a snack on the go and don’t have a toaster, make a nut butter sandwich ahead and pack it in your bag.
#5 Breakfast Bars
A breakfast bar doesn’t just need to be eaten at the start of the day, but can be enjoyed any time for a protein boost.
Best of all, you can add just about anything you want into these bars when you make them yourself, including protein powder, nuts, and seeds, nut butter, and rolled oats, all of which are full of protein.
There are loads of vegan breakfast bar recipes to try out or you can experiment with one of your own. Pack a slice away for your next gym session and enjoy a tasty post-workout treat that’s both satisfying and full of protein.
Is Plant-Based Protein Enough?
There was once a time when people thought you had to chow down on a steak or a dozen eggs just to see results at the gym, but those days are over.
With an overwhelming number of professional athletes and fitness fanatics praising the benefits of a plant-based diet, it’s clear that these natural protein sources are more than enough.
The average requirement for daily protein intake is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, depending on your activity level and lifestyle.
For men, this equates to around 56 grams a day and for women, 46 grams per day, both based on someone with a sedentary lifestyle.
While animal protein has all of the essential amino acids we require, there are plant sources and supplements that can provide just the same.
Because we’re unable to rely on animal protein, there is some effort that goes into meal planning for protein intake when you’re a vegan. However, it’s not impossible once you get an idea of which foods are naturally rich in protein, so you can add more of them into your diet.
The Power of Plants
Gone are the days when you need to eat a chicken breast or a few boiled eggs just to get a dose of protein, as plant-based foods have made them obsolete.
With a little bit of prep, you can create tasty, nutritious, and protein-rich snacks to enjoy post-workout, and all without sacrificing your vegan lifestyle.
Protein is an important building block for the human body but people struggle to get enough of it when they become vegan. To learn more about the basics of protein and souring it from plants rather than animals, read on for a few FAQs.
Does Hemp Have More Protein Than Meat?
Hemp seeds are a valuable source of vegan protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids which makes them a complete protein source.
A 100-gram serving of hemp seed has 24% more protein than a 100-gram serving of beef, which shows that the plant-based option is higher.
Which Nuts Have the Most Protein?
Although technically a seed, almonds are considered the nut with the most protein, at around seven grams of protein in a 35-gram serving. Other high protein nuts include walnuts, macadamias, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts, also offering a load of other health benefits.
Do Men Need More Protein Than Women?
The general consensus has always been that men need more protein than women each day, but it’s not entirely accurate. For a more precise understanding of protein requirements, you should look at the weight and activity level of the individual to determine how much their daily needs are.
Lorraine Pinnix is a passionate nutritionist and loves seeing people living healthy, and fulfilled lives. She believes that food is an essential piece of staying fit and strongly believes in going vegan. PureGrowthOrganic is a passionate work that details her research in helping you go on complete organic diets. She is available for questions, comments, and follow-ups.