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Plant proteins are rapidly growing in popularity. But they’re also bringing with them a variety of questions, like which is the best one to choose? Is there a “best” one? Does the type of plant protein powder you choose change the way you eat and train? Let’s look at a few things to consider when looking into plant proteins.
The Health Benefits of Protein and How the Body Uses It
Protein typically contains 20 different amino acids. The body naturally produces 12 of those acids and the remaining 8 need to be consumed through your diet. These are the “essential” amino acids.
Most people require around 35-60 grams of protein every day, which isn’t very much, really. A lot of people claim that whey or whey protein is the better source, but I would like you to reconsider. Plant proteins are an excellent protein source and can be a great addition to your overall healthy diet and regime.
What Should you Consider When Opting For A Plant Based Protein?
- The cost. All proteins consist of similar stuff, so shop by price and budget.
- Taste and texture. This is where the plant protein you choose will have the biggest impact. Certain protein sources tend to lend themselves naturally to different textures. (This is especially true if you love protein shakes as much as I do!)
- The use of additives. Plenty of protein manufacturers mix their powders with various bulking agents, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. These can detract from the nutritional value of the powder.
- Organic vs inorganic. Protein powders are usually purified, but any food with a high oil content (such as soy) is processed with a toxic substance called hexane. Foods that have been processed in this way lead to lower percentages of protein extraction. On the other hand, hexane is forbidden to be used in
Animal vs Plant Proteins
These proteins differ in the types of amino acids they contain. Also, animal proteins contain more sulfur-type amino acids such as methionine. These constituents metabolize into sulfuric acid which the body has to work at neutralizing.
Different Types of Plant Protein
Soy protein is arguably the most common form of plant protein. Although it has come under fire of late due to GMO’s issues and different processing techniques, soy really is the most complete plant protein. There are continued studies on the safety and efficacy of soy protein from various sources. You can look for a soy protein isolate if you want the purest form, or simply choose a soy protein powder to meet your needs.
Soy protein also boasts a long track record of great health benefits such as delaying menopause, aiding in lowering blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. I will, of course, keep you in the loop on any updates when it comes to the safety and efficacy of all protein products.
This protein is beginning to be used more and more. The reasons, though, are somewhat surprising. Pea protein is often spoken of as a new high-quality protein. But in truth, it’s favorable as it’s not as pricey as other protein supplements. So if you’re on a budget, pea protein is a good way to maintain a degree of quality standards while reducing costs.
Many people ask if vegan proteins are a complete protein? This question comes from the dated research that vegetable proteins are not complete proteins in an of themselves. Pure pea protein does contain all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
The different manufacturing processes can lead to different amounts of phytic acid in proteins and this, in turn, can affect nutrient absorption.
Protein, overall, is essential for our health and it’s a valuable source of energy. You can meet the daily protein requirements by consuming animal products like milk and meat, but you can also consume your daily requirements through supplements. Pea protein is the latest alternative to protein powders. It’s made using yellow peas, is allergen free and easily absorbed. It also tastes pretty good.
It’s an ideal protein for people who are lactose intolerant and those who battle to properly digest milk and meat. Vegan protein powders can be an effective way for vegans and people trying to improve their diets to get the right amount of protein in their diet.
Pea protein boasts a high digestion rate and can be used to complement non-dairy foods, beverages, pasta and various meal replacement shakes. It also helps to regulate appetite and reduce weight.
Pea protein can be consumed both before and after a workout, particularly for weight training. The chain amino acids that it contains help to restore muscles and also treat some chronic disease like
Soy Protein vs Pea Protein
Soy protein does contain high allergens and can’t really be considered as a good alternative. The more soy you consume the higher your chances of developing allergies. And if the phytate content isn’t removed, soy protein tends to prevent the absorption of major minerals, including calcium.
If this protein is not fermented, it can also contain enzyme inhibitors which can result in a blockage in the enzymes needed to digest protein. In turn, this will lead to the formation of gas and the promotion of conditions in the pancreas.
I recommend sticking to a pea protein supplement. While there are some good soy supplements with strong track records, I’d rather take my chances with a pea protein based product. For starters, I would recommend checking out Source Naturals Pea Protein Power, just to see if you like it.
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.