Summary: Vegan Vs Whey Protein
Weve seen a few things here:
- Whey protein isolate is a higher quality protein if examined in isolation.
- Studies show that both vegan and whey protein powders are both effective when combined with resistance training.
- Vegan and whey protein appear to be essentially equally effective.
- Whey proteins generally taste better, but there are many good tasting vegan protein powders these days.
- Whey can cause acne and stomach problems in some people.
Overall, if you dont have a dietary restriction whey protein and vegan protein will have an essentially identical effect on your weight loss or muscle building.
If youre new to using a protein supplement, I would just say to try both and find one that you like the taste of. Make note of whether or not one of them gives you any skin or stomach issues.
If youd like recommendations on a plant-based powder, see my guide to the best vegan protein powder.
Whey Protein V Plant Protein: The Environment
A quick online search will highlight the effect of the dairy industry on the environment. We’ve nothing against farmers, but whey production is wasteful, and until that changes its hard to justify the environmental cost.
Just as an example, plant-based milks – soy, almond, etc – create at least 70% less greenhouse gas emissions than ordinary dairy milk, as recorded by a recent Oxford University study.
Growing plants to feed cattle for us to eat/milk makes little sense when you consider the amount of land and resources needed to raise a cow. Taking the crop straight from the field to our plates is way less wasteful.
The Best Choice For You
If you want quality, youre going to have to pay for it regardless of the type of protein. You can find both cheap plant protein and whey protein, but it wont provide you with the results youre looking for and deserve. Whey does tend to run cheaper, though.
Taste is different for each person. Some enjoy whey flavors and variety better than plant protein. I personally LOVE IdealRaws protein. And the great thing about IdealRaw is if you dont like the taste, you can send it back for a full refund!
You dont even have to take my word for it. Check out all these other customers who LOVE the taste:
Just wanted to say I love IdealRaw. -Mercedes
I blended the chocolate in with a frozen banana and almond milk. it was the best thing Ive ever had for breakfast. -Kirsten
Just received my first batch of IdealRaw, Chocolate flavor, so delish!!!! -Heather
I have finally found something that tastes excellent, and isnt too sweet! The big thing with me is the ingredients and that they are clean, this protein powder is on point! Love it!!! -Melissa
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Nutritional Benefits Of Plant Protein
More Cost-Effective Than Whey Protein
Plant proteins are typically the cheapest source of protein available, although whey protein has the added benefit of being a complete protein and making a significant impact on muscle growth over time.
Lower In Calories Than Whey Protein
Plant proteins are typically the least calorie-dense of all sources of protein .
The other major advantage is they contain absolutely no cholesterol.
Easily Digested and Absorbed by the Body Intolerance 8.
Lower GI than Whey Protein
The GI score of plant proteins ranges from 70-100, while whey proteins GI ranges from 80-100. 9. Higher Mineral Content
Higher Calcium and Phosphorus Content
Plant proteins contain about 50-60% more calcium than whey protein, as well as 10% more phosphorus.
Norcal Organic Pea Protein Powder
This plain protein powder uses pea protein for a complete amino acid profile. Its unflavored and designed to blend seamlessly with a beverage, vegan yogurt, or other food sources.
It has 22 grams of protein per serving with 4.8 grams of BCAAs and 2.18 grams of arginine .
It uses no added flavors, sugars, or colors and is sourced from an organic farm in Canada. The company works with the farm to ensure sustainable farming practices for the environment and fair treatment for workers and animal welfare.
This pea protein is isolated without the use of hexane or enzymes, eliminating any toxins. Its third-party tested for nutritional content and provides around 35 servings per container.
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Is Whey Better Than Pea Protein
The answer to this question is that “it depends.” Pea protein is free of dairy, which for vegans and people with lactose intolerance can play a critical role in achieving protein macros. However, whey protein is a common choice among active, athletic populations due to its superior amino acid profile and muscle building affinity.
Protein Digestibility Of Plant Vs Animal Protein
It is also important to take into account protein absorption, and in turn, biological value. This is a measure of how much of the protein you consume from a food can be readily used for functions within your body.
Experts assess a protein food’s value by using the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score, or PDCASS. They determine this number by calculating the total protein consumed and then determining nitrogen intake versus fecal excretion. The higher amount of nitrogen retained compared to what’s excreted through your waste is associated with a higher biological value for that given food.
- Animal based products, including dairy, meat, fish, eggs, and poultry have a high biological value.
- Plant-based proteins, like legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds have a lower biological value. Again, this relates to missing essential amino acids.
While low biological value sounds like a negative for plant protein, consuming adequate amounts of total protein, and pairing the right plant proteins together can offset this down side.
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Sports & Active Nutrition Summit
Protein is just one of the many topics lined up for the upcoming Sports & Active Nutrition Summit, hosted by NutraIngredients-USA in association with the American Herbal Products Association’s Sports Nutrition Committee. The event will take place in sunny San Diego Feb 14-16, 2022. For more information and to register, please click HERE.
Source: Sports Medicine2021, Volume 51, Pages 13171330. Doi: 10.1007/s40279-021-01434-9HighProtein PlantBased Diet Versus a ProteinMatched Omnivorous Diet to Support Resistance Training Adaptations: A Comparison Between Habitual Vegans and OmnivoresAuthors: V. HeviaLarraín et al.
Copyright – Unless otherwise stated all contents of this web site are © 2022 – William Reed Business Media Ltd – All Rights Reserved – Full details for the use of materials on this site can be found in the Terms & Conditions
Does Whey Protein Powder Taste Better Than Plant
In my opinion, it doesnt matter which type of protein you consume as long as its high quality.
Ive used both whey and soy protein powders and have found them to be just as delicious and healthy.
So, go ahead and experiment with whey and soy powders. Youll find that theyre both delicious, nutritious and useful for your health.
Its important to note that the amino acid profile of whey protein can vary slightly depending on the quality of the protein used .
For this reason, its usually best to use a whey concentrate or isolate supplement for optimal results.
The most important thing here is to get enough high-quality protein in each meal, ensuring youre getting at least 20-35g of high-quality protein per day.
This can be achieved with an adequate amount of vegetables and low-fat dairy products .
A whey protein shake can supplement your diet with additional sources of protein and a variety of BCAAs, but it is not your sole source for all of the essential amino acids you need to stay healthy.
Also note that everyones needs are different its generally suggested to take in around 1g of protein for each pound you weigh .
Dairy Allergies and Lactose Intolerance
More and more people are being diagnosed with allergies, intolerances or sensitivities to one or more dairy products every day.
The symptoms range from runny noses, headaches and intestinal upset to serious health conditions like asthma.
Final Thoughts on Whey Protein Vs Plant Protein
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Health And Fitness Goals
If your fitness goals center around muscle-building and increasing your strength, then hands down whey protein is a superior choice when it comes to protein powder. The presence of BCAAs, as well as the high bioavailability of the amino acids in whey, make it an excellent choice for athletes.
However, if your fitness goals lean more towards endurance, you could go with either whey or plant-based protein. While whey has the superior amino acid content, some plant-based powders include naturally occurring nutrients that are protective of your heart.
Can You Build Muscle With Plant Protein
If youre following a vegan or vegetarian diet, building muscle mass can seem like a challenge. It is, however, entirely possible to quickly and effectively build muscle with a vegan plant protein, as long as you choose the right type of protein, consume enough of it, and support your diet with proper exercise.
First, fill up on a variety of protein-rich, plant-based foods such as lentils, quinoas, chia seeds, tempeh, tofu, peas, chickpeas, nut butter, and oats.
Next, supplement your diet with a quality, plant-based protein powder. Opt for a brand that mixes different types of plant proteins to ensure youre consuming all the essential amino acids your body needs, as well as benefitting from a wide range of nutrients.
Drink your protein shake either right before or within one hour of finishing your workout to obtain the full benefits and give your body the best chance to build, repair, and strengthen muscle tissue.
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Is Whey Protein Safe
Whey protein is safe to take for most people. However, some people that are allergic to milk or have a lactose intolerance should avoid taking whey protein. In some cases, the consumption of whey protein in high amounts can cause:
The benefits of whey protein far exceed most of these potential side effects but as always consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet or supplementation.
Elite Blend Of Pea And Hemp Protein Brf Vegan Protein
BRF is another lip-smacking vegan protein powder.
Having impressive ingredients, it is free of Artificial Sweeteners or Coloring.
Moreover, the blend contains additional digestive enzymes for easy breakdown of macronutrients and reduced bloating.
The nutritious ingredients help in improving and flourishing the gut biome. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best vegan protein powders.
- No Artificial Sweeteners or Colorings
- Based on Pea Protein and Hemp Protein
PRICE: $28.99 for 1 Tub
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Whey Protein V Plant Protein: Health Benefits
Nutritionally, whey protein powder is a bit lacking.
The additives and processing involved in whey production, plus the fact it usually comes from a nutritionally poor source – industrial dairy farming – has led scientists to discover in numerous studies that whey:
- Increases cancer risk
- Plays a key role in obesity
- Encourages cardiovascular disease
This is the real kicker for us at 33 right here because while whey has these big health pitfalls, plant proteins instead are a major health plus. So not only do they deliver the same sporting and performance benefits as whey, while they’re doing that they also:
- Lower risk of heart disease
- Lower cholesterol
- Reduce inflammation in the body
- Optimise recovery and immune function
No surprise then Harvard Medical School reports that the latest and best scientific evidence shows that a plant-based diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and healthy proteins lowers the risk of weight gain and chronic disease.
Plant Protein Vs Whey: The Environment
Sure, were talking about protein sources for endurance athletes, but itd be remiss to ignore the effects these decisions can have on the environment. A brief Google search will highlight the unsustainable impact of the meat and dairy industries on the environment, highlighting the need for alternatives.
As an athlete, one aspect I love most about my sport is training and racing in nature. If my dietary choices can benefit those places, then Ill do my best to adjust them towards a more sustainable future.
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Protein And Athletic Performance
The primary role of dietary proteins is for use in the various anabolic processes of the body. As a result, many athletes and coaches are under the belief that high intensity training creates a greater protein requirement. This stems from the notion that if more protein or amino acids were available to the exercising muscle it would enhance protein synthesis. Research has tended to support this hypothesis. Within four weeks of protein supplementation in subjects resistance training, significantly greater gains were seen in protein synthesis and body mass in the group of subjects with the greater protein intake . Similarly, Lemon et al. also reported a greater protein synthesis in novice resistance trained individuals with protein intakes of 2.62 versus 0.99 g·kg-1·day-1. In studies examining strength-trained individuals, higher protein intakes have generally been shown to have a positive effect on muscle protein synthesis and size gains . Tarnapolsky and colleagues have shown that for strength trained individuals to maintain a positive nitrogen balance they need to consume a protein intake equivalent to 1.8 g·kg-1·day-1. This is consistent with other studies showing that protein intakes between 1.4 2.4 g·kg-1·day-1 will maintain a positive nitrogen balance in resistance trained athletes . As a result, recommendations for strength/power athletes protein intake are generally suggested to be between 1.4 – 1.8 g·kg-1·day-1.
What Are The Different Kinds Of Plant Protein
There are several different kinds of plant protein, and some brands combine different amounts of each to produce a plant-based powder that delivers a healthy mix of fats and amino acids. The most common plant-based proteins are pea, soy, hemp, and rice. Heres a summary of the nutritional benefits of each:
Which Should You Choose: Whey Or Plant
Plant based and whey protein powders can both support muscle growth, weight loss and boost protein intake. All whey powders have a high protein content and contain all nine essential amino acids. All plant based powders are lactose-free and vegan friendly. As a protein source whey and pea isolate are the leading powders and will be the best option for most fitness and athletic goals. For those with goals outside of fitness and athletic performance other protein powders may be superior options.
Should Athletes Use Plant Protein
That answer depends on you.
If you have ethical or environmental reasons for not eating meat, then a plant-based diet supplemented with plant protein is likely a great choice for you.
If you are considering a vegetarian diet to lose weight, research does show a correlation between a lower BMI and a plant-based diet.
There are a lot of strong athletes who only fuel with plant-based athletes.
But there are also athletes like Zach Bitter, who holds the American World Record in the 100 mile race and Pete Jacobs, who won the 2012 Ironman on a carnivore diet.
And then there are athletes like Lael Wilcox and Courtney Dauwalter , whos sport of choice makes it impossible to follow any kind of strict diet.
Reportedly, they eat anything and everything they can get their hands on.
Dauwalter wins 200-mile foot races outright, fueled by quesadillas and candy. Wilcox can be seen chugging half & half and stuffing french fries into her bike bags. And guess what?
They kick ass, too.
And yet, every vegan swears by being vegan, and every carnivore swears by being a carnivore.
It seems that when it comes to diet, only one thing is certain: athletes perform at a top-level when they adhere to just about any diet that promotes general health.
- FDA. Protein. Interactive Nutrition Facts Label.
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Benefits Of Plant Protein
Plant proteins contain high levels of fiber and antioxidants, two important nutrients that are in low or even non-existent quantities in animal sources.
Soy protein powder is the only plant protein with concrete data that it contains all essential amino acids. So when it comes to protein quality, soy earns the highest mark amongst the plant proteins.
There is research to indicate hemp, rice, and pea proteins do have all essential amino acids, although much of this information is conflicting and differs brand to brand often based on fortification of the products.
Chia Seed Protein Powder
Chia is a popular source of protein for vegans, and it comes in a convenient protein powder as well. A quarter cup of chia protein powder has just 50 calories and around 10 grams of protein. Its low in lysine, so be aware of that, but the low calorie count may be helpful depending on your needs.
Chia powder may be more digestible than the raw seed form according to one study, allowing your body to absorb nutrients better. Its high in other nutrients and minerals, including biotin, and provides a plentiful amount of fiber per serving.
Chia is great for those of you who want a small protein boost but are concerned about the number of calories in protein powders. Its best if you already have plenty of plant-based protein sources in your diet, and you just want to add a bit more.
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Safety And Side Effects Of Protein Powder
In general, protein powder is completely safe to use.
Protein powders generally contain very low amounts of calories, serving as more of a supplement than anything else.
There are also some potential side effects worth noting, however, such as:
Bloating and Gastric Distress
If you have any existing conditions that affect your digestion, you may notice some indigestion or bloating when using protein powder.
This effect is usually mild but it can be uncomfortable for many people who already suffer from abdominal discomfort or pain due to other health conditions.
Diarrhea and Constipation
In severe cases, diarrhea or constipation can occur with whey proteins. Since whey protein is a milk product, be sure to use caution if you have a milk allergy or sensitivity.
Individuals with lactose intolerance may also notice mild problems with this product.
But in general, it is completely safe to use if you take enough of it and have no preexisting diseases or conditions that affect your digestion.
Weight Gain or Weight Loss
Another common side effect of whey protein is weight gain or weight loss.
This is because its a source of amino acids and calories, and its consumption can potentially influence your metabolic rate.
In general, I wouldnt expect any changes from using this product unless youre taking in massive amounts of protein every day .
If your thyroid isnt functioning properly, it may be possible to experience some issues when taking whey protein.