Whey isn’t the only game in town when it comes to protein powder. You can still get a protein supplement that is considered a complete protein (containing all the essential amino acids) without dairy. My two favorite options are soy and egg protein powders.
I think eggs are great in all forms so why not try an egg based protein powder? Did you know that as many as 40 different proteins are present in egg whites? Drinking a shake with egg white protein powder can be an easy fix for those too busy to cook eggs but still want the benefits of this “moderate” digesting (not as fast as whey but not as slow as casein) protein.
I wouldn’t recommend drinking it on it’s own with a cup of water or almond milk, but it blends well a variety of food ingredients. You can try blending egg protein powder with fresh fruit or frozen berries for a non-dairy post workout treat or a quick breakfast. Or you could give this scone/muffin hybrid called Sneaky Scuffins from Kaila at Healthy Helper blog a try.
Soy protein powder is another non-dairy complete protein option. Soy can be a controversial subject and the research is varied on its risks and benefits. A recent comprehensive literature review in the journal Alternation Therapies in Health and Medicine found soy consumption may provide relief from menopausal symptoms and help prevent breast cancer and heart disease. Soy does not appear to provide any protective benefit against osteoporosis and the jury is still out on it affect on the thyroid. (Note: talk to your doctor about soy consumption if you are on thyroid medication).
From an exercise perspective, a 2004 study at the University of Ohio indicated that soy could be better at protecting against oxidative stress than whey, making this easily digestible protein a great alternative for your post workout shake. You can try it in this Banana Smoothie from Vegetarian Times or for a treat try their No Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies.
But what if you’re vegan or soy is not an option? Not to worry. There are plenty of plant based protein powders with some unique benefits you won’t find in whey or egg. Next week, we’ll talk vegan protein powders.
Ever tried soy or egg protein powders? What do you think?