When we think of protein powder, the go-to has always been whey. But why? It all comes down to what’s been around the longest and the brands that have the most marketing power. Is it the best option? Let’s compare pea protein vs. whey to find out how each stack-up.
Proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids are the most beneficial for health and muscle growth. Whey protein is one of few in addition to pea protein, which includes all nine. In addition to carrying all the amino acids, whey is also rapidly absorbed and is well-known for stimulating human growth. In fact, breast milk is 60% whey, making it an excellent option for most, but an unviable option for those that are avoiding dairy products.
Whey protein has a strong taste, and for that reason, it’s masked with flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry being the most common. One thing to keep in mind is that most brands use synthetic flavors rather than natural flavors, so pay close attention to the ingredients list. If you’re looking to consume organic and all-natural products, you’ll want to avoid most commercial whey protein powders. Additionally, if you have stomach problems, whey and casein are usually avoided.
These tiny orbs that your mom forced you to eat may seem cringe-worthy when you think of consuming it as your protein source. Thus making it an uphill marketing battle for the pea protein industry. However, it’s a small but mighty protein source. Pea protein is the only vegetable-based protein that includes almost all nine essential amino acids (missing methionine), including branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s). In addition to being a great source of all nine amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine.
Unlike whey protein, pea protein is known for having a wide array of additional benefits. Pea protein is easy to digest, is an anti-inflammatory, has high bioavailability, and is slow-releasing. It’s also known for lowering the body’s level of Ghrelin. Ghrelin is a substance that is secreted by the stomach to signal the brain to let the body know it’s hungry. Pea protein slows this process by forming a higher number of peptides, thus delaying gastric emptying, lowering ghrelin levels, and sustaining satiety for more extended periods.
How does the pea protein stack up when it comes to muscle-building potential? Pea protein has proven to be just as effective as whey at increasing muscle thickness after resistance training, according to studies in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Not only that, but it is beneficial in maintaining blood sugar levels and appetite.
If you are trying to avoid both dairy and soy, there is no real downside to giving pea protein a try. You can compensate for pea protein’s “slightly dirt-like” flavor by adding in other ingredients like fruit, veggies, and nut butter to your pea protein shake. Use this link to find our pea protein smoothie recipes.
Pea protein vs. whey what is your choice? Thining about giving pea protein isolate a try but not sure you’ll love it? We have a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, send it back!