If you are into plant-based proteins, you have probably heard about Vega. This company makes all kinds of plant-based, vegan-friendly supplements including protein, pre-workout, post-workout, bars, meal replacement shakes. Now, among their most popular products, meal replacement protein shakes, two names come up - Vega Essentials and Vega One. In this article, we will talk about both of them, giving you information and suggestions, but we will also do a confrontation, Vega Essentials vs. Vega One, telling you which one is a better choice, in our modest opinion. Stay tuned as we dig a bit deeper into the Vega protein world.
Why Plant Protein?
In bodybuilding, whey protein is the go-to muscle building supplement, and there is no denying that. It is around for a long time, works great and is quite affordable. However, it has some definite drawbacks. First, it is an animal-based product, which makes it a big no-no not only for vegans but also for some religious groups - many religions have fasting periods that restrict any intake of animal products for extended periods of time. This can be quite a problem since it is tough to intake enough protein that is detrimental for muscle building if you are vegan, or during a religious fast.
Furthermore, whey, like many other dairy products, can be quite challenging on the stomach and can cause bloating and discomfort for many people who are forced to look for other protein sources to supplement their muscle growth, even if they are not vegan.
Plant-based proteins, especially those isolated from pea are a perfect solution. They cause fewer difficulties for people intolerant to whey, and of course, people who are vegan, or religious can eat them too. The main problem with plant-based proteins used to be the price, they were quite expensive. But nowadays, some companies make high-quality plant protein, that is also affordable, and Vega is a perfect example of that.
The Benefits Of Pea Protein
Plant proteins come from different sources - hemp, rice, soy... - but pea protein is the king of them all, here are few reasons why:
Hypoallergenic - among all protein powders, pea protein causes by far the least problems. This is huge since you are going to intake proteins everyday - whey, casein, soy are known to frequently create issues and intolerance over a longer period of time. That is why it is a smart idea to start using pea protein as your primary protein source, or to at least rotate it from time to time with your favorite form, which will decrease any allergy-related problems caused by other protein kinds.
Easily digestible - pea protein will not cause bloating or discomfort as some other plant protein powders will. On the other hand, pea protein is a slow-digesting protein (slow does not equal hard) and will supply your body with protein over a more extended period. Slow-digesting proteins are shown to be a better choice for muscle building
Packed with protein - a scoop of pea protein can hold up to 25 grams of protein, which is competition even to whey protein. Pea protein is a complete protein which means it supplies your body with all the amino access it can not naturally make on its own. Most other plant proteins have around 15g per scoop. Also, whey protein is easily mixable with water, son no more clumpy goo that you have to force down your throat if you don't have a mixer at hand.
Excellent source of L-arginine - L-arginine is a non-essential amino-acid shown to boost muscle building directly. That is why it is frequently supplemented and can be found in pre or post workout supplementation of many athletes. Pea protein is full of it!
Good for your heart and kidneys - pea protein lowers high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of premature deaths tied to heart problems. Pea protein also reduces inflammations, which are directly linked to nearly every heart disease. Lowering high blood pressure is also related to healthier kidneys, preventing or delaying the chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Vegan, gluten, lactose-free - finally, the most probable reason why you are looking for plant proteins is because you are vegan, or have gluten or lactose intolerance. If that's true, pea protein is a terrific choice, as it does not contain any gluten or lactose.
Vega Essentials is a meal replacement shake that will give you all of the nutrients your body needs to kickstart the day right. Each serving is full of vitamins, veggies, greens, and of course, plant-based protein.
Vega Essentials has 20 g of protein per serving, a blend of pea, hemp, and flaxseed protein. For a meal replacement shake, this is awesome, and it can help you to reach your daily protein requirements. Moreover, each serving has 16% of the recommended daily value of fiber and will allow you to hit your macro target. Fiber is also excellent for digestion and will keep you full for longer, suppressing hunger, and helping you lose weight.
This shake is full of veggies, including broccoli, kale, and spirulina. From it, you will get 1g of Omega-3 fatty acids, derived from flaxseed. Vega Essentials has only 1 gram of sugar, and 130-140 calories per serving. You can choose one of three tastes, chocolate, vanilla or mocha.
The key selling point of Vega One is that it contains USDA organic certified protein powder, which will suit those of you who are not only vegan but also take extra care in the quality of your nutrition. This all-in-one vegan shake is a perfect option for busy mornings. Each serving will give you 20 grams of plant protein, which comes from pea, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Non-Gmo, gluten-free, without any grains, added sugar, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, only real, natural ingredients
You will also intake 4 grams of fiber (16% DV), as well as eight vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy and energized, including antioxidant vitamins A and C. Your digestion will be further boosted by probiotics since Vega One has 2 billion CFUs bacillus coagulans. Each Vega One serving has 150 calories, and only a gram of sugar. It comes in seven different tastes.
The Final Comparison
As you can see, both of these shakes are very similar. Both are meal replacement shakes, which offer you 20 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, which is excellent. Both of the shakes have a comparable amount of calories, with Vega Essentials having a little less.
However, Vega One is undoubtedly an upgrade and a better shake than Vega Essentials. Not only that it is organic, but it also has probiotics which makes it a much healthier option. Vega One also has twice as many vitamins and minerals when compared to Vega Essentials. Vega One also has more flavors to choose from, and you are more likely to find the one you like.
On the other hand, Vega One is much more expensive than Vega Essentials, and you should check your budget and think twice before making this decision. If you are not an anti-GMO fanatic, you will be just fine with Vega Essentials, but if you want to go a step further, getting an organic protein solution, as well as few more extras at a much higher price, Vega One is for you.
If we had to choose one, we would take Vega Essentials. Yes, Vega One is better, but the price increase is quite big, and for us, that is a deal breaker. Also, Wega Essentials has fewer calories, which makes it a better option for people who are looking to restrict calories.