Supplementing your diet with high-quality protein powder derived from whey or plant sources will help you build muscle, improve post-workout recovery, maintain a healthy metabolism, lose weight, and tone and define your body. But, if you had to choose between protein and plant protein, which would you choose? Continue reading to get the inside scoop on the protein powder wars.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a milk-derived protein that comes from animals. It’s high in BCAAs, or branch chain amino acids, which aid muscle maintenance and development while also increasing immunity.
There are two types of whey protein available: high-quality and low-quality.
- Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) contains 30–90% pure protein. This will have a higher lactose content.
- Whey Protein Isolate is a 90-95 percent pure protein isolate with very low lactose content.
Health Benefits Of Protein Powder
Protein is a necessary ingredient for muscle development, tissue repair, the production of enzymes and hormones, and weight regulation. To keep our bodies working properly, we must consume adequate protein regularly.
Protein powder is sometimes misunderstood as a nutritional supplement used solely by athletes to “bulk up.” It is, however, an excellent source of protein for anybody trying to up their protein consumption, and it is a tasty addition to smoothies, baked goods, and more!
Protein may be extracted from both animal (whey) and plant sources and then powdered. Normally, this method yields a powder that is high in protein and low in carbs and fat.
Let’s compare and contrast the benefits of whey protein with plant protein.
Nutritional Values of Whey Protein
Here are a few of whey protein’s nutritional advantages:
- Low fat and carbohydrate content
B-vitamins are present in this product. Whey protein has been found in studies to help older people with their vitamin B12 and folate levels. These vitamins can aid in the health of the body’s nerve and blood cells and the prevention of various age-related disorders (Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B12, 2020). Other vitamins and minerals are present in small amounts (unless added)
What is Plant Protein ?
Soy, brown rice, pea, pumpkin, hemp, chia, and a variety of other plants provide plant protein. Many of these powders also contain a mixture of other plant proteins, such as a pea and rice protein combination.
Plant protein powder is your best buddy if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant. It supports muscular building while also being nutrition dense and high in fiber!
There have also been studies that suggest a substantial reduction in postmenopausal symptoms in women who consume a lot of soy protein. Enhanced vascular health, lower cholesterol levels, and improved prostate health for males have all been reported.
Nutritional Values of Plant Protein
The nutrition facts will vary depending on whatever plant protein source you use. However, the majority of them are high in nutrients.
- Fiber-rich food
- Carbohydrate content is greater than whey protein.
- Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in plenty
- Essential fatty acids are present.
What Different Kinds Of Plant Protein Are There?
Plant protein comes in various forms, and some brands blend various proportions of each to create a plant-based powder with a healthy balance of lipids and amino acids.
Pea, soy, hemp, and rice are the most frequent plant-based proteins. Here’s a rundown of each’s nutritional advantages:
Protein From Peas
Pea protein is created from yellow split peas (not the delicious green peas you’re probably more familiar with) and has a higher protein concentration than other vegan protein powders. Although pea protein is low in the essential amino acid methionine, it is high in three other essential amino acids that are necessary for muscle growth: isoleucine, valine, and leucine.
Protein From Soy
Soy protein is a complete protein that includes all nine necessary amino acids, unlike most other plant-based proteins. It also has a high protein content and several plant components that may aid in cholesterol reduction.
Protein From Hemp
Hemp protein is derived from the cannabis plant, but it does not have the same euphoric effects as marijuana since it contains only tiny quantities of THC. Hemp protein, on the other hand, is high in heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats, as well as zinc, magnesium, iron, and fiber.
Protein From Brown Rice
Brown rice powder is usually affordable and widely accessible, and it has a high protein ratio in its nutritional profile. Rice protein is also often simple to digest. It includes all of the necessary amino acids, but it isn’t a complete protein since it lacks lysine.
Can Plant Protein Be Used To Build Muscle?
Building muscle mass while following a vegan or vegetarian diet might be difficult. However, if you pick the correct type of protein, consume enough of it, and supplement your diet with adequate exercise, you may develop muscle swiftly and effectively with plant protein.
Fill up on protein-rich plant-based foods like lentils, quinoas, chia seeds, tempeh, tofu, peas, chickpeas, nut butter, and oats. After that, add a high-quality, plant-based protein powder to your diet. Choose a brand that incorporates a variety of plant proteins to guarantee you’re getting all of the key amino acids your body requires, as well as a diverse range of nutrients.
To get the most out of your protein shake, drink it shortly before or within an hour of completing your workout. This will offer your body the most chance to create, repair, and strengthen muscle tissue.
Which Is Better For Weight Gain And Muscle Growth?
Whey and plant protein are equally effective for weight gain, muscle building, and general weight management!
Adding protein powder to your meals and beverages is a great method to boost the calorie content of your meals while also preventing unexpected weight loss. When it comes to picking between the two, it all comes down to personal choice!
Protein Derived From Whey
All three BCAAs, which are branched-chain amino acids that stimulate muscle repair and development, are found in whey protein.
Protein Derived From Plants
Look for rice, peas, and soy protein powders in plant protein powders. These are the greatest plant-based protein powders for muscle growth since they also include the three BCAAs.
Which Protein Is Better Than Plant Protein?
The optimal protein source for you will be determined by your lifestyle, any food intolerances, and your specific needs and goals. If you want to gain muscle, pick a protein powder that is easy to digest and absorbs fast, and drink it before or immediately after your workout.
Whey protein is thought to be superior to plant protein in this aspect due to its high leucine content and rapid digestion. Whey protein also contains all of the key amino acids required for muscle repair and synthesis following a workout.
Plant proteins take longer to digest, so they may help you feel fuller for longer if you’re trying to lose weight. However, casein protein, another complete protein derived from milk, is a viable substitute. Casein protein is digested and absorbed more slowly than whey protein, and it may be better than plant protein for boosting muscle building in between meals or before bedtime.
Is Whey Better Than Meat Protein?
If getting adequate protein is your sole concern, you should be able to satisfy your protein needs entirely from meat or whey. On the other hand, protein smoothies have the benefit of being less expensive than specific types of meat, as well as being handier for individuals on the go or with limited time.
Furthermore, whey protein drinks are often simpler for the body to digest and absorb than protein derived from whole meats. Protein shakes are an excellent choice for immediate post-workout muscle repair and recovery, as well as for people with a weak appetite or difficulties digesting or swallowing solid foods.
Several studies have found that whey protein may have a greater effect on satiety than animal and fish protein sources like turkey and tuna when it comes to weight control. Of course, this does not imply that whey and beef are nutritionally equivalent.
Whole meats provide not only a full amount of protein and numerous critical vitamins and minerals, making them a more strong nutritional punch overall. Artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives are commonly found in whey protein shakes, making them harmful and frequently caloric additions to your diet.
On the other hand, consuming particular types of meat is connected with greater health risks. Processed red meat consumption, in particular, has been linked to an elevated risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Yes, the whey protein vs. plant protein argument will always exist. However, ultimately, the decision to consume one or the other is a personal one.
Here are some pointers to help you pick the ideal protein for you.
- Try a whey protein and a plant protein powder if you’re not allergic to dairy. See which one your body prefers to digest.
- Look at the ingredients.
- Choose the one that will be most beneficial to your personal health.
- Experiment with the tastes after you’ve found the one you like.
After trying both powders, I’ve found that I prefer to eat plant protein most of the time! I like knowing that I’m getting a lot of protein while also receiving many other nutrients! My plant protein powder never makes me feel bloated and tastes great in smoothies and porridge.
Whey and plant protein powders are both healthful and effective additions to any diet and workout routine, but one will most likely fit your needs better than the other.
In general, pick plant proteins over whey if you want a long-lasting protein that will help you lose weight or if you’re on a vegan or lactose-free diet. Whey protein may be more effective if you want a fast-absorbing complete protein to help you develop and repair muscle swiftly.