According to The United States National Library of Medicine, “Approximately 65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy”. This would mean that some people are unable to use or have a reduced tolerance to using whey protein for building muscle and weight loss. To add to this dilemma, there are limited products available on the market that can even come close to the proven benefit of whey. So this beckons the question, can a dairy-free protein shake help with weight loss?
Let's Be Clear On Why Whey Is Best
Simply put, whey protein has a complete profile of amino acids and a high concentration of BCAA's or Branched Chain Amino Acids. What are BCAA's you ask? BCAA's contain 3 vital amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids play an important role with:
- Maintaining Muscle
- Have High Concentrations Stored In The Muscle
- Preserve Glycogen (Sugar Energy) Stores
- Prevent Muscle Breakdown During Exercise
- Help With Post Exercise Recovery
When compared to plant based protein, whey has them beat!
In order to compete with whey, a shake would need to have the best amino acid configuration. The two plant-based proteins that can achieve this are pea and hemp protein. Pea protein has the ability to build muscle because of the higher concentration of BCAA's. It also helps the body to feel full. Hemp protein's benefit is that not only does it contain all the 21 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids, it is digested easier. Hemp also is a cleaner source of protein since it is easier to grow organically. Soy, on the other hand, has been genetically modified. Another important point is that this is a great alternative for vegetarians and vegans as an essential source of protein for their diet.
What's The Best Dairy-Free Protein Shake To Help With Weight Loss?
When looking for a dairy-free shake, your best option is a meal replacement in order to get the balance of not only muscle building protein but the healthy fats and carbs needed to support proper nutrition. That being said, check the ingredients to make sure you have the good fats, such as sunflower oil, flax seed oil and coconut giving you a variety of omega fats 3, 6 and 9. Many shakes on the market use soy limiting your nutrients.
Having a prebiotic fiber allows the good bacteria to grow supporting digestive health. By helping the right bacteria to proliferate, it will keep the bad bacteria from taking over.
No artificial ingredients are a must! This includes no GMO's, especially soy. Why go and begin a healthy diet and then turn around and put harmful products in your body. Soy has become one of the most genetically modified food sources and unfortunately it is in many products. Consumers are becoming very savvy to this.
Lastly is taste. Have you already tried some products and think that you need to compromise on this? There are some products out there and most do not have a palatable appeal. There are other options that have a great taste using natural ingredients such as stevia, molasses and fruit powders and can provide the balance of protein, fat and carbs in a meal replacement shake to promote muscle building, satiety and weight loss. So my answer is YES! With the proper balance of plant proteins, a dairy-free shake can help with weight loss, be a healthy source of nutrition and taste good too!