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Why Plant-Based Protein Powders are Superior to Whey

Written by Type A Training

September 26, 2023

If you’re looking to supplement your diet with protein powder, you may be wondering which type is best for you. Plant-based protein powders have been gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason. When compared to whey protein powders, plant-based options offer a variety of benefits that make them a better choice for many people.

Plant-based protein powders are made from sources like pea, hemp, and rice, while whey protein is derived from milk. One of the main advantages of plant-based protein powders is that they are often easier to digest than whey protein. Additionally, many plant-based protein powders are free from common allergens like dairy, soy, and gluten, making them a great option for those with dietary restrictions. Plant-based protein powders can also be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than animal-based options, as they require fewer resources to produce.

Key Takeaways

  • Plant-based protein powders are often easier to digest and free from common allergens.
  • They can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than animal-based options.
  • Plant-based protein powders offer a wide range of nutritional benefits and are a great choice for many people.

Health Conscious Consumers Demand Transparency in Food and Supplements

As of 2024, consumers have become increasingly focused on health and fitness since the COVID-19 pandemic. People are more aware of nutrition’s importance and how food impacts health. Consumers demand transparency on ingredients and seek nutrient and sourcing details.

The nutrition facts panel provides calories, fat, protein facts. Consumers want ingredient specifics, pressuring manufacturers to disclose details on ingredients, sources and production. Plant-based protein powders rose in popularity for fiber, vitamin benefits. Their sustainability appeals to consumers.

Manufacturers develop products, improve labels and invest innovatively to meet health, transparency and sustainability demands. They differentiate with high quality, ethically sourced products. This represents an opportunity for informed consumers focused on nutrition, wellness and the environment. Transparency seeking will likely continue as health remains important.

Understanding Protein Powders

Protein Powder Basics

Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps build and repair tissues in the body. It is also crucial for muscle growth and recovery. Protein powders are a popular supplement for people who want to increase their protein intake. They come in different forms, including whey, casein, and plant-based protein powders.

Protein powders are made by extracting protein from whole foods like milk, soy, and peas. They are then processed into a powder form and packed into containers. Protein powders can be added to shakes, smoothies, or other recipes to increase protein intake.

Protein Powder Types

Whey protein is the most popular type of protein powder. It is derived from milk and is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs. Whey protein is quickly absorbed by the body, making it an ideal choice for post-workout recovery.

Plant-based protein powders are becoming increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts. They are derived from plants like peas, hemp, and brown rice. Plant-based protein powders are also complete proteins, and they offer a range of benefits over whey protein. They are often easier to digest and do not contain lactose, making them a great option for people with lactose intolerance.

Benefits of Protein Powders

Protein powders offer a range of benefits for people who want to build muscle, improve athletic performance, or simply increase their protein intake. Some of the benefits of protein powders include:

  • Muscle growth and recovery: Protein is essential for muscle growth and recovery. Consuming protein powders after a workout can help repair muscle tissues and promote muscle growth.
  • Improved athletic performance: Protein powders can help improve athletic performance by increasing strength and endurance. They can also help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.
  • Weight management: Consuming protein powders can help you feel full and reduce hunger. This can help with weight management and weight loss goals.
  • Convenient and easy to use: Protein powders are convenient and easy to use. They can be added to shakes, smoothies, or other recipes to increase protein intake.

When it comes to choosing between whey protein and plant-based protein powders, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and dietary restrictions. While whey protein is a popular choice, plant-based protein powders offer a range of benefits and are a superior choice for many people.

Comparison Whey Protein Plant-Based Protein
Protein Source Milk Plants (peas, hemp, brown rice)
Complete Protein Yes Yes
Lactose-Free No Yes
Digestibility Fast Easy
Allergen-Free No Yes

 

Plant-Based Protein Basics

Plant-based protein powders are a great source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. They contain all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Plant-based protein powders also have a good amino acid profile, including branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) like leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids are important for muscle growth and repair.

Plant-based protein powders also contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for overall health. They are also easier to digest than whey protein powders, which can cause bloating and other digestive issues.

Types of Plant-Based Protein

There are many types of plant-based protein powders available, each with their own unique benefits. Some of the most popular types include:

  • Pea protein: Made from yellow split peas, pea protein is a great source of protein and is highly digestible.
  • Soy protein: Made from soybeans, soy protein is a complete protein that is high in BCAAs.
  • Hemp protein: Made from hemp seeds, hemp protein is a good source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Brown rice protein: Made from brown rice, this protein powder is hypoallergenic and easy to digest.
  • Legume protein: Made from beans and lentils, legume protein is a good source of protein and fiber.
  • Grain protein: Made from grains like quinoa and amaranth, grain protein is a good source of protein and fiber.
  • Seed protein: Made from seeds like chia and flax, seed protein is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Benefits of Plant-Based Protein

Plant-based protein powders offer many benefits over whey protein powders. They are:

  • Vegan and organic: Plant-based protein powders are made from natural, plant-based sources and are free from artificial ingredients.
  • Better for the environment: Plant-based protein powders have a lower carbon footprint than whey protein powders, which are made from dairy.
  • Easier to digest: Plant-based protein powders are easier to digest than whey protein powders, which can cause digestive issues for some people.
  • Rich in essential amino acids: Plant-based protein powders contain all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own.
  • High in fiber: Plant-based protein powders are a good source of fiber, which is important for digestive health.
  • Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals: Plant-based protein powders contain a variety of nutrients that are essential for overall health.
Type of Plant-Based Protein Benefits
Pea protein Highly digestible
Soy protein Complete protein, high in BCAAs
Hemp protein Good source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids
Brown rice protein Hypoallergenic and easy to digest
Legume protein Good source of protein and fiber
Grain protein Good source of protein and fiber
Seed protein Good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids

Sustainability

When it comes to sustainability, plant-based protein powders have a clear advantage over whey protein. A comparison of the environmental impact of the two types of protein powders shows that plant-based powders have a much lower impact on the environment.

Firstly, plant-based protein powders require significantly less water to produce than whey protein. This is because plants require less water than dairy cows and the crops used to make plant-based powders are often grown in areas with higher rainfall. Additionally, plant-based protein powders do not require water for the production of dairy products, which is a significant source of water usage for whey protein.

Secondly, plant-based protein powders require much less land to produce than whey protein. This is because dairy cows require large amounts of land for grazing and the production of feed. In contrast, plant-based protein powders can be made from crops grown on much smaller areas of land.

Finally, plant-based protein powders have a much lower greenhouse gas emissions footprint than whey protein. This is because the production of dairy products is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane. In contrast, the production of plant-based protein powders has a much lower impact on the environment.

In addition to these environmental benefits, plant-based protein powders also have other sustainability benefits. For example, plant-based protein powders are often made from crops that are more efficient to grow than dairy cows. This means that plant-based protein powders require less resources to produce, making them a more sustainable option.

Allergies

For individuals with food allergies, plant-based protein powders may be a better choice than whey protein. Plant-based powders typically contain fewer common allergens, such as dairy, gluten, and soy, compared to whey protein.

A comparison of common allergens in plant-based protein powders and whey protein reveals that whey protein is more likely to cause allergic reactions due to its dairy content. In contrast, plant-based protein powders are often made without dairy, making them a safer option for individuals with lactose intolerance or milk allergies.

Additionally, plant-based protein powders are typically gluten-free, which is important for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Whey protein powders, on the other hand, may contain gluten due to cross-contamination during the manufacturing process.

To illustrate the differences in allergen content, the table below shows the most popular allergies associated with whey protein:

Allergen Percentage of Whey Protein Allergies
Dairy 75%
Gluten 10%
Soy 5%
Egg 5%
Tree Nuts 5%

In summary, if you have food allergies, plant-based protein powders may be a safer choice than whey protein. With fewer common allergens and less risk of allergic reactions, plant-based options are a superior choice. Additionally, always read the labels and ingredient lists carefully to ensure that the product is safe for you.

Processing

When it comes to processing, plant-based protein powders have a clear advantage over whey protein. The extraction methods used for plant-based protein powders are generally less harsh than those used for whey protein, resulting in a more natural and less processed product. Additionally, plant-based protein powders tend to have fewer additives and preservatives, making them a healthier choice overall.

One of the key differences in processing between plant-based protein powders and whey protein is the extraction method. Plant-based protein powders are typically made by grinding up whole foods such as peas, hemp, or brown rice and then extracting the protein through a gentle process such as water extraction or enzymatic hydrolysis. In contrast, whey protein is extracted from milk using high heat and harsh chemicals such as acid and bleach.

Another factor to consider is the use of additives and preservatives. Plant-based protein powders tend to have fewer additives and preservatives than whey protein, which often contains artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors. This is because plant-based protein powders are often made from whole foods and require fewer additional ingredients to achieve a desirable taste and texture.

In addition to being less processed, plant-based protein powders also offer minimally processed options. For example, some plant-based protein powders are made from sprouted grains or seeds, which are simply dried and ground into a powder. This minimal processing helps to preserve the natural nutrients and flavors of the original food source.

Overall, plant-based protein powders are the clear winner when it comes to processing. They are less processed, contain fewer additives and preservatives, and offer minimally processed options. By choosing a plant-based protein powder, you can ensure that you are getting a natural and healthy source of protein.

 

Processing Method Plant-Based Protein Powder Whey Protein
Extraction Method Gentle water extraction or enzymatic hydrolysis Harsh chemical extraction using acid and bleach
Additives and Preservatives Fewer additives and preservatives Often contains artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors
Minimally Processed Options Yes, such as sprouted grains or seeds No

Animal-Based Protein Powders

Animal-Based Protein Powders

If you’re looking for a protein powder, you’ll find that many of them are made from animal-based sources. Animal-based protein powders are derived from milk, eggs, meat, and fish, and they are considered to be complete proteins because they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to build and repair muscle.

Animal-Based Protein Basics

Whey protein powder is the most popular type of animal-based protein powder. It is made from the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production. Whey protein powder is available in two forms: whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. Whey protein isolate is a purer form of protein and contains less lactose than whey protein concentrate. Both forms of whey protein powder are rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are important for muscle growth and repair.

Casein protein powder is another popular type of animal-based protein powder. It is also derived from milk and is a slower-digesting protein than whey. Casein protein powder is often recommended for use before bed because it provides a slow and steady release of amino acids throughout the night.

Types of Animal-Based Protein

In addition to whey and casein protein powders, there are other types of animal-based protein powders available, including egg protein powder and beef protein powder. Egg protein powder is made from egg whites and is lactose-free, making it a good option for those who are lactose intolerant. Beef protein powder is made from beef and is a good option for those who are allergic to dairy or who prefer not to consume dairy products.

Benefits of Animal-Based Protein

Animal-based protein powders have several benefits. They are a convenient way to increase your protein intake, and they are easy to digest and absorb. Animal-based protein powders are also rich in calcium, which is important for bone health, and they contain high levels of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are BCAAs that are important for protein synthesis.

However, animal-based protein powders also have some issues. For example, they can be high in lactose, which can cause digestive issues for some people. Additionally, some animal-based protein powders may contain hormones and antibiotics that were given to the animals during their lifetime. Finally, animal-based protein powders may not be suitable for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Pros Cons
Convenient way to increase protein intake High in lactose
Easy to digest and absorb May contain hormones and antibiotics
Rich in calcium and BCAAs Not suitable for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet

Related:

Choosing the Right Protein Powder

When it comes to selecting a protein powder, there are several factors to consider. Whether you’re lactose intolerant, following a keto diet, or simply looking for a plant-based option, there are plenty of options available. In this section, we’ll discuss the factors to consider when selecting a protein powder and how to read the label to ensure you’re making the right choice.

Factors to Consider

Personal Preference

When it comes to protein powders, personal preference is an important factor to consider. Some people prefer the taste and texture of plant-based protein powders, while others prefer the taste of whey. It’s important to try different options to determine which one you prefer.

Allergies

If you have allergies, it’s important to choose a protein powder that is free from the allergen. Plant-based protein powders are often a good choice for people with allergies, as they are typically free from common allergens such as dairy, soy, and gluten.

Lactose Intolerance

If you’re lactose intolerant, whey protein powders may not be the best choice for you. Plant-based protein powders are often a better choice, as they are typically free from lactose.

Weight Loss

If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s important to choose a protein powder that is low in calories and carbohydrates. Plant-based protein powders are often a good choice, as they are typically lower in calories and carbohydrates than whey protein powders.

Bloating

If you experience bloating after consuming protein powder, it’s important to choose a protein powder that is easy to digest. Plant-based protein powders are often a good choice, as they are typically easier to digest than whey protein powders.

Keto

If you’re following a keto diet, it’s important to choose a protein powder that is low in carbohydrates. While whey protein powders are often low in carbohydrates, plant-based protein powders can also be a good choice.

Nutrients

When selecting a protein powder, it’s important to consider the nutrients it contains. Plant-based protein powders are often a good choice, as they are typically high in nutrients such as iron and fiber.

Resistance Exercise

If you’re engaging in resistance exercise, it’s important to choose a protein powder that is high in protein. Both whey and plant-based protein powders can be a good choice, as they are typically high in protein.

Reading the Label

When selecting a protein powder, it’s important to read the label to ensure you’re making the right choice. Look for a protein powder that is free from allergens, low in calories and carbohydrates, and high in protein and nutrients.

Here is a table showing the pros and cons of plant-based protein powders compared to whey protein powders:

Plant-Based Protein Powders Whey Protein Powders
Pros: Pros:
– Typically free from common allergens such as dairy, soy, and gluten – Typically higher in protein
– Typically lower in calories and carbohydrates – Typically lower in fat
– Typically higher in nutrients such as iron and fiber – Typically easier to digest
Cons: Cons:
– May not be as high in protein as whey protein powders – May not be suitable for people with lactose intolerance
– May not be suitable for people who prefer the taste and texture of whey protein powders – May not be suitable for people with allergies to dairy or soy


Plant-Based Protein Powders That Add Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Plant-based protein powders are a great alternative to whey protein for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet or those who are lactose intolerant. However, not all plant-based protein powders are created equal. Some may not contain all of the essential amino acids needed to provide a complete protein source. This is where branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) come in.

BCAAs are three essential amino acids that help support protein synthesis and muscle recovery. They include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. While most plant-based protein powders contain some BCAAs, they may not contain enough to provide a complete amino acid profile. This is why some plant-based protein powder brands add BCAAs to their products.

Pea protein is a popular plant-based protein source that is often combined with other plant-based sources such as brown rice protein to provide a complete amino acid profile. Some brands also add BCAAs to their pea protein powder. Soy protein is another complete protein source that naturally contains all the essential amino acids, including BCAAs. However, some people may be allergic to soy or prefer to avoid it for other reasons.

Hemp protein is a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. However, it is not a complete protein source and may need to be combined with other plant-based sources or supplemented with BCAAs to provide a complete amino acid profile. Brown rice protein is another plant-based protein powder that is often combined with other plant-based sources to provide a complete amino acid profile. Some brands also add BCAAs to their brown rice protein powder.

10 Brands of Plant-Based Protein Powders

Vega Sport Premium Vegan Protein Powder

Vega is a popular brand of plant-based protein powders that offers a variety of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, and berry. Their powders are made from a blend of pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, and sunflower seed protein.

*By Vega Team We don’t use soy as an ingredient in our nutritional shake formulations, however not all our products are produced in an exclusive soy free facility. Safety is paramount to us at Vega, therefore all our facilities are 3rd party audited and follow GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) to ensure all allergen ingredients are stored away from non-allergen ingredients, and strict sanitation Practices are followed, to ensure risk for cross contamination is minimized. Speak to your health care practitioner if you have a known food allergy.

FAVORITE
Vega Sport Premium Vegan Protein Powder
4.5
$46.99 $43.73 ($1.48 / Ounce)
Protein per serving: 30
Protein source: pea, pumpkin, and sunflower-seed
Third-Party Testing: NSF certification
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03/14/2024 04:36 am GMT

Garden of Life – Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Garden of Life is another well-known brand of plant-based protein powders. They offer a range of flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and vanilla chai. Their powders are made from a blend of pea protein, sprouted brown rice protein, and other plant-based ingredients.

Garden of Life – Organic Vegan Protein Powder
$35.69 ($1.53 / Ounce)
Protein source: pea protein, sprouted brown rice protein, and other plant-based ingredients
Third-Party Testing: Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Vegan, Kosher, NSF Certified Gluten Free & Contents Certified
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03/14/2024 04:46 am GMT

Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Powder

Orgain offers a range of plant-based protein powders, including organic and non-organic options. Their powders are made from a blend of pea protein, brown rice protein, and chia seeds.

Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Powder
5.0
$26.99 ($0.83 / Ounce)
Protein source: Organic pea, organic brown rice, organic chia seed
Third-Party Testing: All facilities also have a third party Food Safety and GMP certification from either NSF, or other Global Food Safety Initiative (also known as GFSI) benchmarked certifications such as SQF, BRC, or FSSC.
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03/14/2024 05:15 am GMT

NOW Sports Nutrition, Pea Protein

NOW Sports Nutrition, Pea Protein
$43.99 $29.11 ($0.91 / Ounce)
Calories per serving: 160
Protein per serving: 24g
Third-Party Testing: GMP Quality Assured: NPA A-rated GMP certification means that every aspect of the NOW manufacturing process has been examined, including our laboratory/testing methods (for stability, potency, and product formulation).
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03/14/2024 05:45 am GMT

PlantFusion Complete Vegan Protein Powder

PlantFusion offers a variety of plant-based protein powders, including vanilla, chocolate, and cookies and cream. Their powders are made from a blend of pea protein, artichoke protein, and other plant-based ingredients.

PlantFusion Complete Vegan Protein Powder - Plant Based With BCAAs
$46.22
Protein source: Pea Protein - Keto, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Non-Dairy, No Sugar, Non-GMO
Third-Party Testing: Produced in a USDA Organic, GMP, NSF certified facility. Each batch is 3rd party tested for heavy metals and purity.
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03/14/2024 04:57 pm GMT

Kaged Plantein, Vegan Protein Powder

Kaged Plantein, Vegan Protein Powder;
Protein source: Pea Protein
Third-Party Testing: Informed-Choice
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KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder

KOS offers a variety of plant-based protein powders, including vanilla, chocolate, and peanut butter. Their powders are made from a blend of pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, and chia seeds.

When choosing a plant-based protein powder, it’s important to consider the protein content, calories, carbs, and fat per serving. Use the table above to compare the different brands and find the one that best fits your needs.

KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
$34.50 ($1.67 / Ounce)
Protein source: 5 protein blend of Pea, Flax Seed, Quinoa, Pumpkin Seed & Chia Seed + essential vitamins & minerals.
Third-Party Testing: Nearly every ingredient is certified organic and free of gluten, dairy, soy, hormones, artificial sweeteners, colors, and GMOs. Made with USDA and CCOF certified ingredients.
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03/14/2024 05:16 pm GMT

Momentous Essential Plant-Based Protein Powder

Maintaining a high-protein diet is key for muscle building. Research shows that a well-formulated plant-based diet can be just as effective as one including meat. Momentous Essential Plant-Based Protein supports muscle growth with its blend of pea and rice proteins. It offers a complete amino acid profile, such as leucine, a branched-chain amino acid integral to muscle development. The protein sources in this supplement provide all the necessary building blocks for increasing strength and size without animal ingredients.

Momentous Essential Plant-Based Protein Powder
$47.50 ($1.92 / Ounce)
Protein source: Pea and Rice Protein Powder
Third-Party Testing: Highest Quality Certification - NSF and Informed Sport certified for safe and elite results.
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03/14/2024 05:26 pm GMT

NAKED Nutrition Naked Shake

NAKED nutrition Naked Shake - Protein Powder
$41.99 ($1.19 / Ounce)
Protein source: yellow split peas
Third-Party Testing: Informed Choice
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03/14/2024 05:43 pm GMT

Ritual 18+ Vegan Protein Powder

Rigorously Tested
Ritual 18+ Vegan Protein Powder
$48.00 $44.50 ($2.97 / Ounce)
Third-Party Testing: Rigorously Tested & Trusted by Athletes: Essential Protein is Informed Sport Certified (2023) and it’s also the first plant-based protein to earn the Informed Protein Verification. Every batch is rigorously tested for heavy metals and free from 250+ banned substances. It meets the highest quality standards for even the world’s most elite athletes.
Protein source: pea protein
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03/14/2024 06:11 pm GMT

Best Plant-Based Protein Powders for Digestibility

When it comes to digestibility, plant-based protein powders have an edge over whey protein. Whey protein comes from dairy and contains lactose, which can cause digestive discomfort for those with lactose intolerance. On the other hand, plant-based protein powders are lactose-free, making them a better option for those with lactose intolerance.

In addition, plant-based protein powders are generally easier to digest than whey protein. This is because they are made from plant sources that are naturally easier to digest, such as pea, rice, and hemp. Whey protein, on the other hand, can be harder to digest due to its high lactose content and the fact that it is a byproduct of cheese production.

Another benefit of plant-based protein powders is that they are less likely to cause bloating than whey protein. This is because plant-based protein powders are typically lower in fat and lactose, which are two common causes of bloating. In fact, many people who switch from whey protein to plant-based protein powders report feeling less bloated and more comfortable after consuming their protein shake.

5 highly digestible plant-based protein powders:

  1. Pea Protein – Pea protein has a very similar amino acid profile to whey. It is low in fat and fiber, making it gentle on the gut.
  2. Hemp Protein – Hemp protein contains all essential amino acids and is low in fat and carbs. Its alkaline nature aids digestion.
  3. Rice Protein – Rice protein is hypoallergenic and low in fat/carbs. The sprouting process pre-digests it for better absorbability.
  4. Pumpkin Seed Protein – Pumpkin seed protein closely resembles animal proteins in structure and amino acid makeup for high digestibility.
  5. Collagen Peptides – Collagen peptides are pre-hydrolyzed into smaller, more easily absorbed molecules. This pre-digestion makes it gentle on the digestive system.

These proteins are highly bioavailable due to their amino acid profiles, pre-digestion processing, or natural structures that closely mimic animal proteins. This supports easy breakdown and uptake of nutrients. They also tend to be low in fat, fiber and other compounds that can irritate the gut. Overall, pea, hemp, rice, pumpkin seed and collagen proteins are very well-tolerated and gentle on digestion.

 
 
 
3.5
5.0
3.5
$35.69 ($1.53 / Ounce)
$26.99 ($0.83 / Ounce)
$46.22
Organic peas, sprouted grains, seeds, legumes
Organic pea, organic brown rice, organic chia seed
Pea Protein - Keto, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Non-Dairy, No Sugar, Non-GMO
3.5
$35.69 ($1.53 / Ounce)
Organic peas, sprouted grains, seeds, legumes
5.0
$26.99 ($0.83 / Ounce)
Organic pea, organic brown rice, organic chia seed
3.5
$46.22
Pea Protein - Keto, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Non-Dairy, No Sugar, Non-GMO
03/14/2024 01:51 am GMT

Best Plant-Based Protein Powders for Muscle Building

When it comes to building muscle, protein is essential. Plant-based protein powders are a great option for muscle building, and in some cases, they may even be better than whey protein.

Absorption Rate

One factor to consider when choosing a protein powder for muscle building is absorption rate. Plant-based protein powders tend to be absorbed more slowly than whey protein, which can actually be beneficial for muscle building. When protein is absorbed slowly, it can help to promote muscle protein synthesis over a longer period of time.

Amino Acid Profile

Another factor to consider is the amino acid profile of the protein powder. Plant-based protein powders may not contain all of the essential amino acids, but they can still provide enough to support muscle growth. Some plant-based protein powders also contain branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are important for muscle building.

Plant-based protein powders can still support muscle growth, even without containing all of the essential amino acids. Adequate intake of plant-based protein can still provide the necessary building blocks for muscle growth.

One study found that pea protein was just as effective as whey protein for building muscle when consumed after resistance training. Additionally, some plant-based protein powders contain BCAAs, which are important for muscle building.

FAVORITE
 
 
 
 
4.5
3.5
3.5
5.0
3.5
$46.99$43.73 ($1.48 / Ounce)
N/A
$43.99$29.11 ($0.91 / Ounce)
$26.99 ($0.83 / Ounce)
$50.39 ($1.31 / Ounce)
180
150
160
150
160
30
25
24g
21
20
FAVORITE
4.5
$46.99$43.73 ($1.48 / Ounce)
180
30
3.5
$43.99$29.11 ($0.91 / Ounce)
160
24g
5.0
$26.99 ($0.83 / Ounce)
150
21
3.5
$50.39 ($1.31 / Ounce)
160
20
03/14/2024 04:36 am GMT

Plant-Based Protein Powders for Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, choosing the right protein powder can make a significant difference. Plant-based protein powders have several advantages over whey protein powders that can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

One of the main benefits of plant-based protein powders is their ability to promote satiety. Studies have shown that plant-based proteins can help you feel fuller for longer periods, which can ultimately lead to consuming fewer calories throughout the day. This is because plant-based protein powders tend to contain more fiber, which slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full for longer.

Moreover, plant-based protein powders are often lower in calories than whey protein powders. This is because they are made from whole foods like peas, rice, and hemp, which are naturally low in calories. For example, a scoop of pea protein powder contains around 120 calories, while a scoop of whey protein powder contains around 160 calories.

In addition to being lower in calories, plant-based protein powders are also often lower in fat and sugar. This can be beneficial for weight loss, as consuming too much fat and sugar can lead to weight gain.

03/14/2024 04:57 pm GMT

Taste and Texture

When it comes to taste and texture, plant-based protein powders have come a long way in recent years. With a variety of flavor options available, plant-based protein powders can offer a delicious alternative to whey protein. Additionally, some plant-based options have a smoother texture than whey protein, making them a great choice for those who prefer a creamier shake.

One of the benefits of plant-based protein powders is the wide range of flavor options available. From chocolate and vanilla to more unique flavors like pumpkin spice and matcha, there is a flavor to suit every taste preference. This variety can make it easier to incorporate protein powder into your daily routine without getting bored of the same flavor every day.

Another advantage of plant-based protein powders is the texture. Many plant-based options have a smoother texture than whey protein, which can be beneficial for those who find whey protein to be too gritty or chalky. This smoother texture can make it easier to mix into smoothies or other recipes without affecting the overall texture.

While taste and texture preferences are subjective, plant-based protein powders offer a variety of options to suit different tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer a creamy shake or a more unique flavor, there is a plant-based protein powder out there for you.

Cost

When it comes to choosing a protein powder, cost is an important factor for many people. Plant-based protein powders can be a cost-effective option compared to whey protein. Let’s take a closer look at the cost comparison between the two.

Price per serving

Plant-based protein powders can be more affordable than whey protein when you compare the price per serving. For example, a 2-pound container of a popular whey protein powder can cost around $30 and provide about 30 servings. In contrast, a 2-pound container of a popular plant-based protein powder can cost around $25 and provide about 40 servings. This means that each serving of the plant-based protein powder is significantly less expensive than the whey protein powder.

Cost of high-quality options

It’s important to note that not all plant-based protein powders are less expensive than whey protein powders. Some high-quality plant-based protein powders can be more expensive than whey protein powders. For example, a 2-pound container of an organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free plant-based protein powder can cost around $40 and provide about 30 servings. This is more expensive than the whey protein powder mentioned earlier. However, it’s important to consider the quality of the ingredients and the benefits they provide.

Ethics

When it comes to ethical considerations, plant-based protein powders have a clear advantage over whey protein. Let’s take a closer look at why.

Animal Welfare

One of the primary ethical concerns with whey protein is its impact on animal welfare. Whey protein is derived from milk, which means that it comes from cows that are often raised in factory farms. These cows are often subjected to inhumane conditions, including cramped living spaces, lack of access to pasture, and routine use of antibiotics and hormones.

On the other hand, plant-based protein powders are made from a variety of sources, including peas, rice, and hemp. These sources do not require the use of animals, which means that plant-based protein powders are a more ethical choice for those concerned about animal welfare.

Environmental Impact

Another important ethical consideration is the environmental impact of protein powders. The production of whey protein requires a significant amount of resources, including water, land, and energy. Additionally, the production of whey protein generates a significant amount of waste, including manure, which can pollute soil and water.

In contrast, plant-based protein powders have a lower environmental impact. Many plant-based sources of protein require fewer resources to produce and generate less waste. For example, pea protein is a popular plant-based protein source that requires less water and land than dairy-based protein sources.

Sources:

  1. “Environmental Impact of Plant-Based Protein Sources Compared with Dairy-Based Protein Sources: A Systematic Review.” Advances in Nutrition, vol. 10, no. suppl_2, 2019, pp. S280-S293.
  2. “The Animal Welfare Implications of Dairy Cow Housing and Management: A Review.” Animals, vol. 8, no. 5, 2018, p. 70.
Ethical Consideration Plant-Based Protein Powders Whey Protein
Animal Welfare No animals used in production Cows often raised in factory farms
Environmental Impact Requires fewer resources and generates less waste Requires significant resources and generates significant waste

GMOs: Weighing the Pros and Cons for Agriculture and Society

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally through mating or natural recombination. The use of GMOs in agriculture has been a topic of debate and controversy for many years, with some people arguing that they are beneficial for increasing crop yields, reducing the use of pesticides, and improving the nutritional value of crops, while others argue that they pose significant risks to human health and the environment.

Pros and Cons of GMOs

Pros of GMOs Cons of GMOs
Increased crop yields Safety concerns for human consumption
Reduced use of pesticides Negative effects on the environment
Improved nutritional content of crops Potential for genetic contamination of non-GMO crops
Addressing nutrient deficiencies in certain populations Driven by corporate profit motives rather than genuine concern for food security

Related:

Whey Protein vs. Plant Protein: Which Is Better?

Plant-based protein powder supplements can effectively build muscle just like whey protein powder supplements, despite whey showing a greater improvement in lean body mass in some studies.

Research suggests that plant protein may have positive outcomes on metabolic health compared to animal protein. A review of studies comparing soy and whey protein found that soy resulted in less oxidative stress and increased antioxidant levels compared to whey protein. Another meta-analysis found that soy and whey protein produce similar gains in strength and lean body mass in conjunction with resistance exercise.

While whey protein may increase muscle size more than plant protein, both can build strength, and plant proteins can be a better long-term choice for your health.

Remember, whole foods are the best sources of not just protein but other nutrients as well. However, protein powders can be a convenient source of amino acids. It’s important to choose a high-quality plant-based protein powder that is free from additives and artificial sweeteners.”

Sources:

  1. Joy, J. M., Lowery, R. P., Wilson, J. M., Purpura, M., De Souza, E. O., Wilson, S. M., … & Jäger, R. (2013). The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance. Nutrition Journal, 12(1), 1-8. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-86
  2. Babault, N., Païzis, C., Deley, G., Guérin-Deremaux, L., Saniez, M. H., Lefranc-Millot, C., & Allaert, F. A. (2015). Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: a double-blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. Whey protein. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 1-10. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0109-4

Conclusion

In conclusion, after reviewing the benefits of plant-based protein powders over whey protein, it is clear that plant-based protein powders are a better choice for those looking to supplement their protein intake.

Personal experience and research have shown that there are many high-quality plant-based protein powders available on the market, with a variety of delicious flavors to choose from. Some of the favorite brands include Vega, Garden of Life, and Orgain.

Using plant-based protein powders has provided numerous benefits, including improved digestion, increased energy, and better recovery after workouts. Compared to whey protein and other protein sources, plant-based protein powders offer a complete amino acid profile and are easier to digest, making them a great choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.

While the debate between plant-based and whey protein continues, it is important to choose the right protein source for your individual needs and goals. Whether you are looking to build muscle, improve your overall health, or simply supplement your diet with more protein, plant-based protein powders can provide the necessary nutrients and benefits without the negative side effects of whey protein.

In summary, choosing a high-quality plant-based protein powder can be a great way to support your fitness and health goals. With a wide range of options available, it is important to do your research and choose a brand and flavor that works best for you.

  1. Vega Sport Premium Vegan Protein Powder
    4.5
    $46.99 $43.73 ($1.48 / Ounce)
    Protein per serving: 30
    Protein source: pea, pumpkin, and sunflower-seed
    Third-Party Testing: NSF certification
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    03/14/2024 04:36 am GMT
  2. Vega Organic All-in-One Vegan Protein Powder
    $49.99 $43.87 ($1.75 / Ounce)

    Vega Organic All-in-One Vegan Protein Powder in chocolate flavor contains superfood ingredients, immunity-supporting vitamins, and keto-friendly pea protein for women and men.


    Protein per serving: 20
    Pros:
    • high-protein
    • dairy-free
    • gluten-free
    • non-GMO
    Cons:
    • not soy free, but...
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    03/13/2024 11:47 pm GMT
  3. Truvani Organic Vegan Protein Powder
    $59.99 $46.22 ($1.96 / ounce)

    Truvani Organic Vegan Protein Powder Chocolate is a plant-based protein powder that contains 670g of organic pea protein. It is a vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free option suitable for both women and men.

    Protein source: Plant-based protein
    Calories per serving: 130
    Protein per serving:
    Pros:
    • vegan
    • non-GMO
    • gluten-free
    • dairy-free
    • soy-free
    Cons:
    • High Price
    What made me choose it : I choose Truvani Organic Vegan Protein Powder Chocolate for its high-quality, plant-based protein source. It's vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free, and comes in convenient packaging. The delicious chocolate
    Carbohydrate per serving:
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    03/13/2024 04:26 pm GMT
  4. Orgain Organic Vegan Protein Powder
    5.0
    $26.99 ($0.83 / Ounce)
    Protein source: Organic pea, organic brown rice, organic chia seed
    Third-Party Testing: All facilities also have a third party Food Safety and GMP certification from either NSF, or other Global Food Safety Initiative (also known as GFSI) benchmarked certifications such as SQF, BRC, or FSSC.
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    03/14/2024 05:15 am GMT
  5. NAKED nutrition Naked Shake - Protein Powder
    $41.99 ($1.19 / Ounce)
    Protein source: yellow split peas
    Third-Party Testing: Informed Choice
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    03/14/2024 05:43 pm GMT
  6. KOS Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
    $34.50 ($1.67 / Ounce)
    Protein source: 5 protein blend of Pea, Flax Seed, Quinoa, Pumpkin Seed & Chia Seed + essential vitamins & minerals.
    Third-Party Testing: Nearly every ingredient is certified organic and free of gluten, dairy, soy, hormones, artificial sweeteners, colors, and GMOs. Made with USDA and CCOF certified ingredients.
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    03/14/2024 05:16 pm GMT
  7. Orgain Organic Simple Vegan Protein Powder
    $24.99 ($1.25 / Ounce)
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    03/13/2024 04:45 pm GMT
  8. EarthChimp Organic Vegan Protein Powder
    $39.99 ($1.25 / Ounce)
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    03/13/2024 04:56 pm GMT
  9. Ka’Chava All-In-One Nutrition Shake Blend
    $79.97 ($2.36 / Ounce)
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    03/13/2024 04:50 pm GMT
  10. KOS Vegan Protein Powder Erythritol Free, Chocolate - Organic Pea Protein Blend, Plant Based Superfood Rich in Vitamins & Minerals - Keto, Dairy Free - Meal Replacement for Women & Men, 28 Ser...
    $50.39 ($1.31 / Ounce)
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    03/13/2024 09:38 am GMT
  11. Garden of Life – Organic Vegan Protein Powder
    $35.69 ($1.53 / Ounce)
    Protein source: pea protein, sprouted brown rice protein, and other plant-based ingredients
    Third-Party Testing: Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Vegan, Kosher, NSF Certified Gluten Free & Contents Certified
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    03/14/2024 04:46 am GMT
  12. PEScience Select Vegan Plant Based Protein Powder
    $39.99 ($1.23 / Ounce)
    Calories per serving: 120
    Protein per serving: 20g
    Third-Party Testing: Yes
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    03/13/2024 07:16 am GMT
  13. Kaged Plantein, Vegan Protein Powder;
    Protein source: Pea Protein
    Third-Party Testing: Informed-Choice
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  14. PlantFusion Complete Vegan Protein Powder - Plant Based With BCAAs
    $46.22
    Protein source: Pea Protein - Keto, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Non-Dairy, No Sugar, Non-GMO
    Third-Party Testing: Produced in a USDA Organic, GMP, NSF certified facility. Each batch is 3rd party tested for heavy metals and purity.
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    03/14/2024 04:57 pm GMT
  15. Ritual 18+ Vegan Protein Powder
    $48.00 $44.50 ($2.97 / Ounce)
    Third-Party Testing: Rigorously Tested & Trusted by Athletes: Essential Protein is Informed Sport Certified (2023) and it’s also the first plant-based protein to earn the Informed Protein Verification. Every batch is rigorously tested for heavy metals and free from 250+ banned substances. It meets the highest quality standards for even the world’s most elite athletes.
    Protein source: pea protein
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    03/14/2024 06:11 pm GMT
  16. Sunwarrior Vegan Organic Protein Powder Plant-Based
    $24.97 ($0.95 / Ounce)
    Protein source: Curated blend of organic pea, brown rice, quinoa, chia seed, and amaranth proteins.
    Protein per serving: 17
    Third-Party Testing: Yes, but only for heavy metals. Proteins are Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and consistently test below EU, WHO, and FDA safety standards. We’re also Prop 65 compliant, which is the strictest standard and nearly impossible for plant-based sources to meet. We test internally and through an independent lab for more than is required
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    03/25/2024 09:33 pm GMT
  17. Vega Protein and Greens Protein Powder
    $34.99 $21.99 ($1.18 / Ounce)
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    02/20/2024 04:42 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of protein powder available?

There are several types of protein powders available, including whey, casein, soy, rice, pea, and hemp. Whey and casein are milk-based proteins, while soy, rice, pea, and hemp are plant-based proteins.

What are the benefits of vegan protein powder?

Vegan protein powder is a great alternative to animal-based protein powders for those who follow a plant-based diet or have lactose intolerance. It is also a good source of essential amino acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Can plant-based protein powder help with weight loss?

Plant-based protein powders can help with weight loss as they are low in calories and fat and high in fiber, which can help you feel full for longer. They can also help maintain muscle mass while losing weight.

What are the advantages of using plant-based protein powder over whey?

Plant-based protein powders are a better choice for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet or have lactose intolerance. They are also easier to digest, have a lower risk of contamination, and are more sustainable for the environment.

Is plant-based protein powder as effective as whey protein for muscle building?

Plant-based protein powders can be just as effective as whey protein for muscle building as they contain all the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth. However, some plant-based protein powders may have lower levels of certain amino acids, so it is important to choose a high-quality plant-based protein powder.

Can muscle be built using only plant-based protein powder?

Yes, muscle can be built using only plant-based protein powder as long as you consume enough protein and follow a well-balanced diet. It is important to choose a variety of plant-based protein sources to ensure you are getting all the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth.

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