Protein is considered the building block of the body. It is an essential nutrient that is required for muscle growth, damaged cell repair or the general functions of the cells. We all are sure that you have heard about whey protein, a complete protein that is considered the go-to product for bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts who look for strong muscles and a lean body simultaneously. However, with the development of nutritional sciences, pea protein is now considered a tough competitor for whey protein.
The debate between whey protein and pea protein has been dragging for quite some time now. Both of them have been claiming the top spot for themselves and have abundant benefits lined up on their sleeves, however, they do have some disadvantages as well. If you are also confused about what to include in your regime then continue reading that article as we compare pea protein and whey and help you to get a better idea between them.
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What are pea protein and whey protein?
Pea protein is a plant-based protein obtained from yellow split peas. The extraction process generally involves two phases:
- Dry phase- In this stage, the peas are dried and then grounded into a fine powder which is filled with protein, starch and fibre.
- Liquid phase- The powder obtained from the dry phase is then mixed with water so that the fibre and starch can be separated.
Pea protein is found in concentrate and isolates forms. However, the isolate form of pea protein is considered to have more fibre and starch content. Pea protein is a complete protein, i.e., they contain all the nine essential amino acids that are needed by the body for the proper functioning of the system. The nutrients present in a 100gram serving of pea protein are:
- Protein- 1.15grams
- Carbohydrates- 3grams
- Fibre- 1gram
- 80 calories
On the other hand, whey protein is a primary protein that is found in cow’s milk. It is also a natural byproduct obtained during cheese production. Whey protein is also considered as a complete protein, containing all the nine essential amino acids needed by the body. Similar to pea protein, it is also present in two forms, concentrate and isolate. The nutrients present in a 100gram serving of whey powder are:
- Protein- 0.85gram
- Carbohydrates- 5.14grams
- Fat- 0.36grams
- 112 calories
Benefits of pea protein and whey protein
Both whey and pea protein has numerous health benefits lined up on their sleeves and some of the common benefits are:
- Pea protein is a plant-based protein and therefore it is free of many allergens that can cause severe complications for some people.
- Nutritionists usually recommend animal proteins over plant proteins since plant proteins usually do not have all the nutrients present in them.
- However, pea protein is considered an exception. It is considered a complete protein as it contains all the nine essential amino acids in it.
- Pea protein has a very high content of arginine as compared to whey protein which helps in enhancing healthy heart health and blood flow.
- Pea protein gets digested very easily since it does not have lactose and glutens present in it.
- Pea protein acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps in ameliorating the symptoms.
- It has high bioavailability as compared to whey protein i.e., it gets absorbed very easily by the body.
- Unlike whey protein, pea protein is cholesterol and fat-free.
- Whey protein provides higher protein content per serving as compared to pea protein.
- Helps in building lean muscles quickly. No wonder, it is the most sought-after protein drink for gym enthusiasts.
- Due to high leucine content, consuming whey protein helps in stimulating protein synthesis in the body which enhances the repairing of damaged muscles, tissues and cells quickly.
- Whey protein helps in maintaining proper blood sugar levels in the body and can also ameliorate inflammation.
- Consuming whey protein will help you in accelerating weight loss.
- Whey protein is considered a valuable probiotic which helps in the growth of gut-friendly bacteria
- According to an article published in a leading medical journal, it was stated that whey protein concentrate can be used in cancer treatment as it has abundant anti-cancer properties.
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Disadvantages of pea protein and whey protein
- Pea protein is considered a complete protein but it has very less content of methionine.
- Pea protein has a very unattractive taste and texture. It has a chalky and gritty consistency and has a very earthy and vegetative taste to it.
- People who have chronic kidney ailments should restrict their pea protein content
- Whey is derived from lactose and therefore it can be extremely difficult to digest for some people especially those who are lactose intolerant.
- Very similar to pea protein, it also has a very bland taste and therefore manufacturers usually add sweeteners that can produce side effects in the body.
- Whey protein leads to stomach pain, cramps, reduction in appetite, nausea and headache when consumed in high doses.
Now there you go, everything you need to know about the differences between pea and whey protein. Each of them has a fair share of advantages and disadvantages lined up on their sleeves.
Whey protein which is separated from the milk and during cheese production has always been the favourite for bodybuilders. Its amazing benefits of providing lean muscles and removing unwanted fat from the body have already made whey protein create a niche for itself in the nutritional world. However, on the other hand, pea protein has been an amazing exception when we come to the category of plant-based proteins.
As we mentioned earlier that how nutritionists usually value animal proteins over plant proteins since they have more nutritional content for them, pea protein proudly stands against the notion. It is a complete protein and is also extremely beneficial for people who are lactose intolerant or who are vegetarian or follow a vegan diet.
With all that being said, we like to conclude by hoping that this article was able to provide you with a quick insight between pea and whey protein. And we recommend that whatever you choose, do consult a dietician or a nutritionist before adding it to your daily diet.