The vegan trend is growing. Today, you can find vegan-friendly supplements, snacks, and food almost everywhere. Recently Bloomberg Intelligence released a report claiming that vegan food sales will increase fivefold over the next decade. This means that consumers will only be presented with an even greater variety of plant-based options.
Vegan supplements aren’t just for vegans, though. Many non-vegans can benefit from vegan vitamins, plant-based protein, and other supplements. Below, I’ll show you some of the key differences between vegan and non-vegan supplements, and show you some of my favorites!
Vegan Supplements vs. Non-Vegan Supplements: What’s The Difference?
If you’re new to the whole vegan movement, then you may be wondering, “What makes vegan supplements different from those offered by other brands?”
For one, vegan supplements are made with zero animal by-products. Mainstream supplements often use fillers such as pork fat. Additionally, plant-based supplements don’t use any protein, vitamins, minerals, or other compounds obtained from animals.
Vegan supplements are made from 100% plant-based ingredients or a combination of plant-based and synthetic ingredients. Here’s a quick table outlining some of the key differences between vegan and non-vegan supplements:
|Vegan Supplements||Non-Vegan Supplements|
|Contain few (if any) fillers||Often contain fillers with no nutritional value|
|Made from plant-based and synthetic ingredients||Made using a combination of animal-derived, plant-based, and synthetic ingredients|
|Often produced by companies that limit their environmental impact||The company may use environmentally-damaging manufacturing processes|
Are Vegan Supplements Better For You?
For the most part, vegan supplements are absorbed just as easily by your body as animal-derived supplements. The main difference is the source of the nutrients you’re consuming. I’ve also found that vegan supplements contain fewer filler ingredients, which means that you’re getting more out of what you’re consuming.
While vegan supplements may not necessarily be “better” for you, they’re every bit as good for you as a non-vegan supplement, and you can rest easy with the fact that you’re not hurting the planet or contributing to animal exploitation.
The Best Vegan Supplements For Non-Vegans
You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy fruits and veggies. Similarly, you don’t have to commit to a vegan lifestyle to take advantage of vegan supplements. Whether you’re on the fence or you’re just curious to try something new, here are some of the best vegan supplements to consider.
1. Vegan Probiotics
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that reside in your gut. They help you digest your food, can protect your stomach from bad bacteria, and can help reduce inflammation throughout your body.
Many of the mainstream probiotic supplements you’ll find in stores are made from dairy cultures (which are a natural source of probiotics). Vegan probiotic supplements, on the other hand, are made from plant-based cultures derived from algae and other superfoods.
2. Vegan Protein Powder
Whey protein is, arguably, the most popular protein powder on the market. The only problem is that whey protein is a by-product of dairy. Those who are lactose-intolerant (or think they might be) could benefit by switching a plant-based protein powder, such as:
- Chickpea protein
- Pea protein
- Pumpkin protein
- Soy protein
- … and others
Gram-for-gram, plant-based protein has the same nutritional value and protein content as animal-derived protein. The only difference is that it’s sustainable and 100% green.
3. Vegan Collagen Boosters
Collagen is a very popular supplement in the health and beauty industry. This compound makes up around two-thirds of the cartilage that protects your joints and is also a key protein that supports skin elasticity and a youthful appearance.
Collagen, itself, is not vegan and is derived from animal remains.
Instead, vegans take plant-based collagen supplements, known as “collagen boosters.” These collagen boosters contain key minerals and vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and plant-based proteins that encourage your body to produce more of its own natural collagen.
Are Vegan Supplements More Expensive?
You may find that vegan supplements cost a bit more than their non-vegan counterparts. Unfortunately, that’s just the cost of doing business. The higher cost of vegan supplements is typically due to various factors including:
- Vegan products contain fewer cheap filler ingredients
- Vegan certification programs cost manufacturers extra
As a whole, plant-based supplements are healthier than many of the mainstream supplements on the market. They’re every bit as effective and nutritious as well. Whether you’re a vegan or a carnivore, vegan supplements can give you the extra edge you need to maintain your health and energy levels.