Plant-based protein powder vs whey?
Plant based protein powder vs whey. Keep reading to learn more about why you should choose plants over whey.
Although whey protein powder is the best selling type of protein powder, it has its fair share of drawbacks. Plant-based protein powders, on the contrary, offer similar results without the unwanted side effects.
Do I need a complete protein?
One purported advantage of whey protein is that it is a complete protein, whereas most plant proteins are not. A protein is considered to be a complete protein when it contains the nine essential amino acids that our body needs, but cannot produce on its own. Because most plant proteins are not complete proteins, many plant-based protein powders contain a blend of plant-based proteins, like brown rice and pea. Pea protein is low in the amino acids cysteine and methionine, but rich in lysine. Brown rice protein, on the other hand, is low in lysine, but high in cysteine and methionine. Together, brown rice and pea protein offer a complete amino acid profile, making them (according to some) a superior source of protein to either one on its own.
If you are eating a balanced diet and getting your protein from a variety of sources, however, you DO NOT need to worry about whether or not your proteins are complete. In other words, you do not need to mix and match incomplete proteins to create a complete protein every time you eat. Eating a variety of plant foods like legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains on a regular basis will suffice. This means that for the vast majority of people, whey protein’s complete amino acid profile does not make it a better choice.
Can plants help me achieve my goals?
Whey protein is quickly absorbed by the body and offers, as I mentioned, a complete amino acid profile. It is therefore the protein powder of choice for bodybuilders. This does not mean, however, that plant-based protein is somehow less effective at helping you meet your fitness/nutrition goals. Research has shown that whey and plant-based proteins promote similar strength, performance, and body composition adaptations. In other words, you are by no means holding yourself back by choosing plant-based protein. In fact, if you keep reading, it will become abundantly clear that you are doing the opposite.
Plants are better for the environment.
Plant-based proteins have a considerably smaller environmental impact than whey protein. Although whey protein does offer a way for farmers to reduce waste – whey protein is a byproduct of yogurt and cheese production – it is part of the industrial dairy industry, which has a profound impact on the environment. Dairy cows and their manure produce enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. The poor handling of manure and fertilizers pollute local water resources. Unsustainable dairy farming and feed production can also lead to the loss of ecologically important areas such as prairies, wetlands, and forests. If you care about our planet, whey protein can be a hard pill to swallow.
Plants are better for your skin.
Casein and whey protein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, can cause acne. Dairy indirectly stimulates insulin production, which regulates sebum production. Sebum, an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands, can clog your pores and cause pimples. Dairy can also hinder your ability to process blood sugar efficiently, which can cause inflammation in your skin. This matters because acne is an inflammatory disease, that is, clinical evidence shows that inflammation occurs at all stages of acne development. Plant protein, on the contrary, will not make your breakout.
Is plant protein easy to digest?
One important difference between whey and plant-based protein is digestibility. Plant protein, for the most part, is easy to digest. Dairy-based proteins, on the other hand, are not. Whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose sensitivity, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose sensitivity are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As a result, it sits in their gut for longer than it should. This gives your gut bacteria more time to ferment (eat). As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating, cramps, and nausea. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation.
“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have IBS and every protein powder hurts my stomach…except drink wholesome!”
Vegan protein powder vs whey, which one should you choose? Many people would say, “Well it depends. You have to take into consideration a number of different factors, blah blah blah.” Wrong. Plant-based protein powder is better than whey. It does not matter who you are, or what your goals are.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.