Nutrition Tips

Whey vs Plant Protein: Is Vegan Protein Powder Just as Good as Whey?

By September 24, 2019 No Comments

Research has shown that, along with helping muscles grow, protein powder quickens the recovery of muscles after working out. This supplement can also aid in weight management and weight loss.

Some people can even take protein powder to meet their daily protein requirement. Whey protein is a well-known supplement that’s used by many athletes and people who exercise and lift weights.

Plant protein is another option for increasing protein intake. But what’s the difference between whey and plant protein, and is one of them better for you?

Continue reading to find out as we discuss whey vs plant protein.

Whey

Whey is a type of protein found in cow’s milk and dairy products. Cow’s milk contains whey and casein, another kind of protein supplement. These proteins are extracted from the milk during the cheese-making process and separated.

Whey is water-soluble or able to dissolve in water. The protein can be mixed in with smoothies, drinks, cottage cheese, yogurt, soup, applesauce, pudding, and more.

The variety of ways you can add whey to food and drinks is great for those who don’t really like the taste or aftertaste of whey.

Benefits

Whey protein is a complete protein because it’s animal-based. Complete proteins have all of the essential amino acids.

Amino acids give you energy, help repair body tissue, aid food digestion, keep your immune system regulated, and have other functions.

We can only get the nine amino acids from food as they aren’t produced naturally by the body. Therefore, whey protein is an excellent source of amino acids.

Whey is digested quickly so it doesn’t take as long to reap the benefits compared to other proteins.

Another benefit is that it can help people lose weight. The protein is filling and boosts your metabolism. This means you’ll consume fewer calories and burn them more rapidly.

Whey can also lessen inflammation, reduce the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, and lower high blood sugar.

The supplement increases muscle gain even if someone is losing weight.

Disadvantages

Protein is one of the few nutrients that you can get out of taking whey. Whey also contains calories, fat, carbs, and various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, and calcium.

Although whey is quickly digested, it may not be a pleasant experience. People who are allergic to cow’s milk or are lactose intolerant have problems digesting whey. They often get stomach cramps, nausea, constipation, or gas.

Whey is a high-quality protein, but it’s not a vegan-friendly option. It’s a byproduct of dairy. Luckily, vegans can choose plant protein.

Plant Protein

Plant protein is protein made from plants. Examples of plant-based proteins are hemp, chia, flax, pea, soy, peanut, and rice.

You can add some of these proteins to drinks and food such as milk and oatmeal.

Soy protein is the only plant protein that contains the nine essential amino acids.

Benefits

One of the major benefits of plant protein is that it’s non-dairy. It’s an option for vegans, vegetarians, carnivores, people with dairy allergies, and those who are lactose intolerant. If you’re allergic to soy, you have other choices.

These powders also have additional nutrients found in the plant they came from. Pumpkin seed protein contains zinc, magnesium, and more. Hemp protein has fiber, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and others.

They reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and hunger. Like whey, plant protein can help you lose weight and gain muscle. They have fewer calories than whey and more nutrients.

Disadvantages

Not every kind of plant protein dissolves well in liquids or mixed with foods. Adding rice protein to water would create a grainy texture. On the other hand, pea protein is water-soluble and will thicken when mixed into drinks.

Most plant proteins don’t have all of the essential amino acids. To get around this downside, you can find a supplement that consists of multiple plant proteins.

You can even mix powders together with the correct calculations. Combining a powder with protein-rich food is another option.

The aftertaste may not be tasty. Try adding sweetener, spices, or citrus to improve the flavor.

Whey Vs Plant Protein

Plant protein is the obvious choice for vegans, but it may be the better choice for non-vegans as well. It has many of the same benefits as whey. You can get around most of the downsides.

Plant protein is more nutritious than whey and has fewer calories, a bonus for people who are trying to lose weight.

It seems like plants could be winning in the whey vs plant protein debate. Even if you’re not vegan, consider trying plant protein.

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