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Mushroom protein powder – a good alternative for vegans?

A mushroom next to a spoon of dried, ground mushroom powder

Not everyone enjoys the taste and texture of mushrooms, but no-one can deny that this humble fungus is packed full of nutrients and vitamins.

In fact, there are numerous benefits of mushrooms, such as being high in potassium and rich in vitamin B.

One of their key benefits is their antioxidant properties . Thanks to this, mushrooms have been used for thousands of years.

They are also a vegan diet staple, helping non-meat eaters increase their vitamin and mineral intake in order to remain healthy.

Whether they’re used as meat alternatives or as protein powder, we’re here to explore the power of the mushroom.

So, is mushroom protein powder the next best thing, or just the latest fad?

What is mushroom protein powder?

What is mushroom protein powder?

As you would expect from the name, mushroom protein powder is made from dried and powdered mushrooms.

Most edible mushroom species are used to make the powder, but shiitake, reishi and lion’s mane are the most popular.

Protein powder is used as a nutritional supplement. It helps active people increase their protein intake when they don’t have time to make a full protein-based meal.

Is mushroom protein powder vegan?

Mushroom protein powder is made with organic plant protein, making it one of the best vegan protein powders available.

Mushroom protein powder has a subtle nutty taste and has been specifically formulated to be palatable. It also has a very fine texture, making it easy to drink in a protein shake form.

This means it is suitable for vegans and vegetarians who don't particularly enjoy the taste of mushrooms but are looking for a way to increase their protein intake.

However, most traditional protein powders are added to milk to further increase protein and fat intake.

While mushrooms are used to create a non-dairy protein powder, vegans will need to use water or plant-based milk (such as almond or coconut) to ensure it remains free from animal products.

Mushroom powder protein content

Although we now know that mushroom protein powder is vegan, bodybuilders or avid gym-goers may be wondering how much protein is in mushroom powders?

Mushrooms on their own do not contain a substantial amount of protein (around 3g per 100g 3), especially when compared to high sources of vegan protein such as soya (tofu/tempeh), which contains around 8g per 100g4.

Due to this, they are not equivalent in protein content to meat, meaning that as a vegan sourcing high-protein foods, mushroom meat alternatives probably aren’t the most protein packed option.

However, when combined with organic plant protein in mushroom protein powder, this makes them a much higher protein option for those looking to build muscle on a plant-based diet.

Which mushroom has the most protein?

Which mushroom has the most protein?

Although mushrooms on their own may not contain the most significant amount of protein, it could be useful to understand the typical protein content of different types of mushrooms:

  • Shiitake mushroom – 2.2g of protein per 100g5
  • Oyster mushroom – 3.1g of protein per 100g6
  • Portobello mushroom – 3.1g of protein per 100g7
Why are mushrooms so healthy?

Mushrooms are well known as a superfood because of their vast range of health benefits, which include:

Vitamin D for bones and teeth support

Mushrooms contain excellent levels of vitamin D.8 The body uses vitamin D to regulate calcium and phosphate levels, maintaining the health of teeth and bones.9

 

Help to maintain normal blood pressure

Mushrooms are also high in potassium, which is essential for regulating the body’s fluid balance.10 It also helps the nervous system and muscles function normally11. Similarly, potassium may help reduce blood pressure by cleansing the body of excess sodium.12 This is because too much salt stops the kidneys from being able to remove fluid efficiently.13

When fluid builds up in the body, it causes the blood vessels to stiffen and narrow, making it hard for the heart to pump blood around the body.

Many people are deficient in potassium. Because we get all the potassium we need through what we eat and drink, mushroom protein powder can help support the body’s natural levels.

 

Help with weight management and muscle building

Mushrooms are naturally low in calories and have virtually no fat.14 They are also a vegan-friendly protein source.15

As a result, large quantities – such as that provided in protein powder – can help vegans burn excess fat and build muscle when combined with a healthy, balanced diet.

 

Help to improve athletic performance

One of the main functions of protein is to rebuild muscle and tissue, especially after a strenuous workout.16

As a result, drinking vegan mushroom protein powder after a workout can speed up the recovery process, helping you perform better when you next train.

 

Mushrooms contain antioxidant properties

Research has found that mushrooms may contain high amounts of two important antioxidants: ergothioneine and glutathione.17

Both compounds help and support overall health.

Find out more information about the benefits of mushrooms from our helpful guide.

 

How should I use vegan mushroom protein powder?

You don’t just have to limit your use of protein powder to a mushroom protein shake – there are so many other ways to serve it, too.

For example, if you love coffee, add a sprinkle to your morning cup of Joe.

You can also add it to your pancake batter to create delicious and healthy protein pancakes.

The possibilities are endless with a little culinary imagination!

If your vegan diet is already rich in protein or you do not work out with heavy weights, you may not need the additional protein that this plant-based protein powder provides.

However, if you know your protein levels are lower than they should be because of your meat-free diet, fungi protein powder is an excellent way to keep your body topped up with this all-important nutrient.

Alternative vegan protein powders

If mushroom protein powder really isn’t for you, there are plenty of other vegan protein powder options for you to try.

Alternatives to mushroom protein powders include hemp, rice, soy or pea. 

As a vegan, it’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough protein through your diet, too.

Check out the best sources of vegan protein from our helpful blog for more vegan diet tips!

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