Non-Dairy Protein Shake Alternatives
Whey protein is the most popular form of protein powder on the market. Whey is rich in essential amino acids, it has a high biological value so a large proportion of the protein is absorbed into the body, and it is digested very quickly. This is great for muscle growth and repair, making whey an ideal post-workout shake.
Despite its many benefits, whey protein comes from cow’s milk, which many people find difficult to digest. Whey also isn’t ideal for vegans who avoid consuming animal products.
When looking at alternative sources, you have to consider the amino acid profile and the bioavailability (BV) rate. Here is a list of the best non-diary protein shakes in order of amino acid profile and BV rates. Please note only options 2-4 are vegan.
1) Beef Protein Isolate 97 (bulkpowders.co.uk)
Beef protein isolate is an outstanding product for a non-dairy alternative. It is manufactured from premium grade fresh beef and contains 97% of protein per serving, meaning the remainder of the serving is low in carbohydrates and fats. Each serving contains vitamins A, B and D and a whopping 29.1g of protein per 30g serving. It is rich in essential amino acids and beef has a BV rate of 80, therefore this dairy-alternative tops the charts.
2) Soya Protein Isolate 90 (theproteinworks.com)
Soya protein is undoubtedly the best protein powder for vegetarians and vegans. It is refined from the soya bean, which is in the legume family, making it naturally low in fat with virtually no cholesterol. Soya beans are one of the very few plant-based products that contain all of the essential amino acids, which are important for muscle repair. This makes it an essential part of an animal-free diet. Each serving contains 108 calories and 25.4g of protein per 30g serving. Soya also has a BV rate of 74 and isolated soy protein shakes have a digestible rating of 95-98% making it the number one shake for vegetarians and vegans.
With all of these protein powders you have various options for non-dairy milks, such as soya, oat, almond, hemp, rice, coconut and quinoa milk
3) Hemp Protein (theproteinworks.com)
Hemp protein is produced from milled hemp seeds, ensuring that most of the nutritional benefits are retained. Hemp is free from gluten, dairy, lactose, GMO, hexane, pesticides, additives and preservatives. Like soya, hemp also contains all of the essential amino acids, but is also rich in omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, as well as vitamins and minerals. It contains 14.1g of protein and 4g of fat per 30g serving. Due to its low protein content per serving but its high amino acid profile, hemp makes it to 3rd on the list.
4) Pea Protein Isolate & Brown Rice Protein (myprotein.com)
Pea and brown rice protein are plant-based protein powders that are free from gluten, soy and dairy. Pea and brown rice protein are the perfect solution for vegetarians or vegans who are looking to boost their daily protein intake who might be allergic or intolerant to soy or gluten. Even though pea protein is high in certain essential amino acids, it does not contain all of them. This is why I have put these 2 separate products together on the list. If you combine pea and brown rice protein together, this will make it complete protein. You can do this by mixing half a serving of each into a shake or if your diet is relatively low in protein, try mixing 1 scoop of each in a shake. This will give you around 48 grams of protein (without milk).