Vegan Protein Debate with Anastasia Zinchenko, PhD.

Anastasia Zinchenko, PhD.

Anastasia Zinchenko, PhD.

Anastasia is international level powerlifter, bodybuilder and badass scientist with a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, researcher in the field of sports nutrition and exercise science, passionate coach and creator of the Science Bakes Protein Pancake and Waffle Mix.

Anastasia Zinchenko, PhD joined me to discuss protein. Anastasia is a scientist who specializes in protein – so she is the perfect fit for this topic! But what is more important, Anastasia walks her talk! She is a powerlifter, and she has built all her muscle and strength on a vegan diet.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • We dive into Anastasia’s background , how she became vegetarian and the a vegan and a scientist;
  • We quickly mention our thoughts on the ideal diet and what we think is wrong with how people relate to food;
  • We discuss differences in plant and animal sources of protein;
  • Anastasia gives her vegan specific protein requirement recommendations for vegans or anybody who want to source their protein from plants;
  • We cannot omit some myths about protein;
  • Anastasia also explains why we should not be afraid of processed foods such as TVP or seitan and how to use it
  • Then she answers your questions, specifically, why you might look soft while trying to build muscle and why muscle soreness is not the thing to aim for in your training!

Show notes

00:09:33 What is an ideal diet?
00:10:03 Should we eat like our ancestors?
00:15:33 How we lost our touch with the food we eat
00:17:30 Disordered eating, food obsession, binge eating
00:18:30 What made Anastasia interested in protein research? Anastasia became vegan and build her muscle at the same time!
00:20:05 Differences between animal and plant-based sources of protein.
As a vegan you want to get protein from different protein sources: legumes, grains and nuts&seeds
00:22:10 How much protein vegans need?
  • Is 0.8g/kg of protein enough for an average person?
  • Will over-consumption hurt your kidneys?
  • Does protein leaches your calcium from bones?
  • Does IGF-1 promotes cancer growth?
00:28:50 Proteins are needed for different body functions, not only for building muscles.
00:29:50 Importance of protein for elderly people.
00:31:00 Protein recommendations for plant-based sources.
00:32:50 What kind of problems do people on a plant-based diet face? Anastasia speaks about positive and negative processing of food.
00:38:00 What is the deal with highly processed vegetable proteins like TVP? Can we consume them safely?
00:39:30 Are anti-nutrients in soy problem? Processing it is a good example of positive processing of food. Sprout, pressure cook and ferment your legumes.
00:44:19 What is Anastasia’s advice for people who want to build muscle but they look soft.
00:48:35 Why you should not train to the point of muscle soreness. Muscle soreness is a genetic issue, there is also a pain tolerance issue and how severe the soreness is.
00:54:25 Who does Anastasia work with and how to connect with her. If you feel like you might have an eating disorder, you are looking for a training paln or customized meal plan, visit

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