Pea Protein Vs. Whey Protein Powder
While doing research for Shakeology Alternatives, I found the most unique part about Shakeology was that it contained Whey protein powder.
You might be thinking; of course a nutritional shake, like Shakeology, would contain protein powder. And you’d be right a nutritional shake is likely to contain some form of protein, after all it’s a staple when it comes to weight loss.
However while writing that article it was difficult to find nutritional shakes that weren’t plant based and could stack up to Shakeologies long list of beneficial ingredients. What I found was nutritional shakes would usually be a blend of a plant based protein powder with one of the primary powder’s being pea protein powder.
The Upside of Pea Protein Powder
The most obvious benefit is the fact that pea protein doesn’t contain dairy. Whey protein powder is a by-product of milk and as a result if you’re sensitive to milk (news alert, you probably are – 65% of the population has troubles digesting dairy) it should be avoided.
I love when body builders refer to having “protein farts”. Yes I know part of it is caused by too much protein, but more likely you’re allergic to dairy products and you’re slamming a whey protein shake almost daily.
And it’s not just the dairy, most whey protein powders are riddled with additional ingredients like artificial sweeteners. Of course, I don’t want to say you can’t find pure whey protein powder, because you absolutely can.
It just happens that plant based protein powders are generally cleaner from an additive perspective.
The Upside of Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powder is by far the most popular protein supplement on the market. It’s cheap, it’s readily available and it contains all of the amino acids.
One of the common misconceptions is that pea protein powder is more expensive than whey protein powder, which simply isn’t true. Both pea and whey protein powder are extremely cheap.
Here is pea protein powder versus whey protein powder. As of publishing this, pea protein powder was actually cheaper.
Of course demand also fuels price and when we’re looking online it’s easy to compare apples to apples. If you go into a supplement store odds are they aren’t going to carry a lot of pea protein powders.
The other distinct advantage of whey protein powder is that it is a complete protein. This is one of the reason, why a number of nutritional plant based shakes or protein powders will blend a number of different powders (pea, hemp and brown rice are all common). Of course there is a downside to having to blend multiple powders to create a complete one; it tends to be more labor intensive and more expensive.
Is Plant Protein Only for Vegans?
Just because pea protein is plant based, doesn’t mean that it’s only for vegans or vegetarians. Whey protein is highly processed and it’s a dairy based product; two things which often can irritate our digestive system.
The argument can easily be made that it’s healthier for you than whey protein powders.
Of course, what you really want to know is, is it as effective as whey protein powder? The short answer is no, pea protein powder isn’t as effective as whey protein powder.
As we discussed above, pea protein isn’t a complete protein. However, combined with brown rice protein powder it becomes a very formidable alternative to whey protein powder.
The Verdict: Whey or Pea Protein, Which Is Better?
The majority of my friends are in denial, none of them believe they are allergic to lactose. And frankly, I think this is the majority of the population – I encourage you to cut dairy out of your diet for a week and see how you feel. Better yet, pay particular attention to the gas, or lack there of.
Meaning if you’re taking whey protein powder cut it out for a week too. Try a blend of pea and rice protein powder. If you’re finding that you’re guts are feeling better it’s probably time to move to an alternative source of protein.
If not, then I can’t say I’d recommend pea protein over whey protein powder. It’s roughly the same price but it’s an incomplete protein. You can buy both of them in clean forms so why change a good thing?
Recommendations: Pea Protein Powder & Whey Protein Powder
For straight no nonsense protein powders I recommend bulk supplements for both the pea protein powder and the whey protein powder.
Pure Pea and Whey Protein Powders
If you can’t hack the pure stuff my first recommendation is to find a recipe that makes it taste OK. If you’re stubborn and really could care less about the additives you can try this pea protein blend.