Getting protein on a vegan diet is EASY!

I've got a fun little experiment for you to try out.

Next time you're out with friends, casually drop into conversation that you're going vegan. And I can guarantee that these friends, who previously had no interest in nutrition whatsoever, suddenly become experts in protein.

"But where will you get your protein?" They'll ask, horrified.

Try as you might to explain that you just need to eat a few more lentils and pumpkin seeds than the average Joe, you can see they’re not buying it.

Sadly, there’s still a common misconception that it’s impossible to get enough protein on a vegan diet.

Even in 2017, people think that you need to eat meat, and lots of it, in order to meet your daily protein requirements.

This misconception is the reason I’m writing this article today. It’s a short one, by my usual standards. But that’s because it’s such a bogus myth, it’s going to take me all of 2 minutes to bust it.

Are you thinking about going vegan, or even just eating less animal products?

Awesome. I love it.

But there’s still a niggling doubt in the back of your mind that you won’t get enough protein, right?

I get it. I’ve been there myself. Which is why I want to tell you that the last thing you need to worry about is your protein intake.

Getting enough protein on a vegan diet is EASY.

So easy, in fact, you probably don’t even need to think about it.

No meat? No problem.

Take yesterday for example. My diet was completely vegan. And I got over 125 grams of protein without even trying.

I’ve listed what I ate below, along with the protein content of each food in brackets. As you can see, doing so was incredibly easy (and tasty):

Breakfast (7am): Oatmeal (17g protein) topped with hemp seeds (6g), blueberries, raspberries and coconut yoghurt (2.5g). Total: 25.5g protein.

(workout at 9.30am)

Post workout smoothie (11.00am): 1 banana, 200ml almond milk, 1tbsp almond butter (4g), 1 tsp chlorella (4g) and 1 scoop Madagascan Vanilla PERFORM protein (25g). 33g protein.

Lunch (1.30pm): Big salad with chick peas (15g), pumpkin seeds (7g), beetroot (1g), avocado (3g), broccoli (4g), spinach (2g) and new potatoes (4g). 36g protein

Dinner (6.00pm): Lentil dhal made with red lentils (22g), sprouted brown rice (6g), broccoli (4g), cauliflower (2g). 34g protein

Total = 128.5g protein.

At 128.5g protein, yesterday’s intake was more than double the government guideline RDA of 55g.

Is 55g per day really optimal for most males? Probably not.

But I wanted to show you how easy it is to meet what is considered to be the minimum daily requirement of protein. Which, incidentally, the government recommend you should eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy to achieve!

It would have been harder for me not to get this number. I’d have had to actively restrict my protein intake to do so.

So what if you’re active, training hard, and looking to build muscle? Can you do it on a vegan diet? 

Of course you can.

All the research suggests that the optimum protein intake for muscle building sits in the region of 1.3 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight per day.

At my current weight of 76 kilograms, 128.5 grams of protein equates to 1.69 grams per kilo of bodyweight. Sorted. Easy peasy.

I didn’t have to slam three protein shakes in a day or eat my bodyweight in protein bars to achieve it. My post workout shake using PERFORM definitely helped, but the rest of it was so easy I didn’t even have to think about it.

If you can eat a variety of nuts, seeds, lentils, beans and green vegetables every day, I’ll be amazed if you find yourself protein deficient.

So can we ditch this myth once and for all, please?

Plant Based Protein

Comments (11)

By PAolo posted on March 26, 2018

Hi Josh,
I always get this question too, almost every time I introduce the argument to someone (even my parents).
My first reply is a question, “Do you know how many g of proteins do you need?”, usually people doesn’t have any answer.
The I tell them that after doing the right calculation with a nutritionist I ended up needing 90g of proteins (I’m not a body builder), end being in the range of that is difficult because I always end up eating 110/120 g, and struggle in eating the right amount of carbs, I’m always under my target (Yes, I keep track of what I eat).
As a vegan you eat a lot of whole foods that contains a portions of proteins even if carbs are not high, and it’s tastier than the usual chicken rice and salad. for sure!

By 1 posted on February 26, 2018

1

By Simon posted on January 21, 2018

Its a nit of a false (excuse me thats wrong) incomplete picture without showing your carb fats and over all calorie intake too. Nice little article though. Keep it up.

By Lili posted on January 07, 2018

Hi Josh! Thank you for this great article! I have a question about the extra calories when going vegan. I’ve been vegan for a week and while I’ve been able to get between 40-60 games of protein a day which is lower than what I ate as a non vegan, I have been struggling getting that without eating too many calories from fat and cans. The foods you listed would add up to way more calories than I need as I am a girl who’s 5’2" and I only need about 1600 calories.

By Chris McGowan posted on January 05, 2018

Hi Josh
I write a vegan health and wellness blog (https://pearsnotparsnipsdotcom.wordpress.com) and I’m writing a post with a smoothie recipe using your Thrive for Her powder. I have included some information about your company, a link to your site and mentioned the inevitable protein question. I was about to schedule it when I received your email anout that very topic. I wondered if I could reproduce the graphic you included in this post of the protein content of your daily foods, with attribution of course.
Thank you for reading this.
Chris (not to be confused with Kris McGowan who is my son, the cyclist, and with whom I believe you have corresponded).

By Yuval posted on October 06, 2017

1 cup quinoa – 9 G protein- cooked or dry?

By Jimmy Naraine posted on July 22, 2017

Love it man! I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, gradually turning into vegan.
Very inspiring piece here – more people need to see it.

By Sophie Welton posted on June 28, 2017

Brilliant! I’ve been vegan for 18mths and train regularly and I always get asked the protein question… and sometimes people’s views make me question if I am getting enough… but I feel the fittest and strongest I’ve ever felt so I listen to my body. And now with your protein powder too I’m in no doubt I’m getting what I need! Thanks Josh – keep up the great work! One Love x

By Phil posted on March 05, 2017

Possibly the best article I’ve read on the vegan protein debate. Why? Because for one you are talking about a sensible amount of protein, and secondly the way you have broken it down is a great point of reference, and finally it was written with great integrity as you were not pumping your products. I use Vivo in exactly the same way. It goes into a smoothie. If ppl want protein, lets tell them how. That’s far better than the great many articles that say ‘you only need 45g a day’ with no palpable point of reference.

By Shaun posted on January 09, 2017

Great article Josh, I really enjoyed it and found it very useful as someone transitioning from Vegetarian to Vegan.

I’ve managed to increase my protein on a vegan diet, it’s not been very difficult, mixing it up and keeping plenty of variety is what I need to concentrate on. I’ve been trying Veganuary so it’s very early days. The other issue is dispelling the myth that nuts, seeds etc. are bad for you due to the fat content.

Thanks for another great article.

By mem posted on November 27, 2016

Great article Josh and you’re right I’ve been put under scrutiny many of times by friends and new people I meet and especially for raising my daughter with vegan eating. Of course now that people have seen how healthy we both are and that we are full of energy they see some of the benefits !!!

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