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Pea protein – the new whey powder?

Both pea and whey powders are dietary supplements designed to provide significant amounts of protein in a convenient, low-calorie package. More scientific studies have been conducted on whey powder than on pea powder. The two do have notable differences, but both are valid options as meal replacements or as strength-training supplements.

When might you want to use them?
When you’re starting a sport, exercise or weight training: If working out is new to you and you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll require more protein than you normally would.
When you are amping up your workouts. If you normally work out for half an hour a few times a week, but now you’ve decide to train for a half-marathon, your body will need more protein.

When you are recovering from an injury. Not only athletes with sports injuries frequently need more protein to help them heal – everybody will use protein for faster recovery.

If you are going vegan. People who pursue a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle eliminate a number of common protein sources from their diet, including meat, chicken, fish, and sometimes dairy and eggs as well. (Pea protein would be more suitable for this choice.)

When you are growing. A teenager needs more protein to fuel their sports activities and exercise.
Lose fat and preserve muscle. When you are working on losing weight and/or gaining muscle. Those consuming whey or pea protein preserve their muscles better and take in less calories. Try a whey protein bar or a whey/pea protein shake.

Increase size and strength. Whey and Pea protein support greater increases in fat-free mass and muscle strength. The key is to consume protein one hour before and after the exercises.
Reduce hunger. Whey or Pea Protein could help you reduce hunger. I have read that people who consumed the beverage containing 50 grams of whey had significantly reduced levels of ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry) up to four hours later. So instead of munching on unhealthy party snacks, drink a protein shake or have a protein bar.

 

Did you know?

Pea and whey powders come in concentrate and isolate forms. Concentrate powders usually contain at least 70 percent protein, but isolate powders contain more, up to 95 percent protein. Some powders contain a mixture of concentrate and isolate.
A typical serving of powder ranges from about 25 to 40 grams, and most powders come with a plastic scoop that serves about 30 grams. In that amount of whey protein, there are 110 calories, 2 grams of fat and 23 grams of protein. A 33-gram scoop of pea protein powder has 130 calories, 2 grams of fat and 28 grams of protein.
There are many benefits associated with the consumption of whey protein, and researchers are constantly finding new possible therapeutic properties.

 

What is whey powder and what is pea protein?
Whey is a “fast-acting” protein  according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association), which means the body digests it quickly and easily. This makes whey especially beneficial for stimulating muscle growth and development, in conjunction with regular strength training. Whey can also help improve body composition. In 2011, “The Journal of Nutrition” published the results of a study in which overweight adults who supplemented their regular diets with whey experienced body fat loss and waist circumference reductions over a 23-week trial period.
Pea protein is derived from a legume (a member of the plant family Leguminosae). A very mild process extracts the soluble pea protein from the yellow peas. Without the use of chemical solvents, the manufacturer maintains functional properties and delivers nutritional value. Production of the pea protein found is safe and simple:

  • A dry process produces pea flour.
  • The pea flour is then hydrated.
  • Starch and fibre separation take place next.
  • Coagulation of the pea protein follows.
  • And finally, the pea protein is purified and dried in a multi-stage dryer.

Protein sources
One primary difference between whey and pea powders is that whey is a “complete” protein, meaning that it contains all essential amino acids, and pea is an incomplete protein. Whey is a by product of cheese-making, so it is a type of animal protein as well as a dairy product  – and all animal proteins are complete. As a plant-based protein, pea powder is a suitable choice for vegans, but it’s missing some essential amino acids, so it’s not appropriate to use as the primary source of protein in your diet.

Nutrition Information – Possible side effects
Some people who are allergic to milk may be specifically allergic to whey. In moderate doses whey protein doesn’t generally cause any adverse events. However, consuming severely high doses can cause stomach pains, cramps, reduced appetite, nausea, headache or fatigue.

Pea powder
If you have an allergy or intolerance to dairy, pea protein is a healthy alternative to whey powder. Because it’s a “slow-digesting” protein, it may be able to keep you full longer than whey and may also help you combat cravings more effectively. In a study published in 2011 in “Nutrition Journal,” researchers discovered that subjects who drank pea protein powder before a meal ate significantly fewer calories at the meal than subjects who drank whey protein before eating.

Pea protein is:

  • Perfectly Aalkaline
  • Low in fat and carbohydrates
  • Highly absorbable
  • Big on essential amino acids
  • Low allergenic
  • Vegan and vegetarian
  • Ethically sourced and sustainable
  • Perfect for paleo

I believe the ideal alternative to whey concentrate is pea protein. Pea protein is derived from European golden peas.

Why do I like it so much?
Pea protein is a pure, vegan-friendly protein source made from yellow peas (Pisum sativum). It features an amino acid profile very close to ideal for human nutrition, as recommended by health organisations worldwide.

Pea protein is easy on the stomach and almost completely digestible, making it perfect for sensitive individuals, children and the elderly.