Pea Protein Powder: Nutrition, Benefits and Side Effects

Pea Protein Is A Good Alternative To Whey Protein For Weight Loss?

The question whether or not pea protein is good alternative to whey protein for weight loss is a common one among many people. There are several reasons why pea protein might be better than whey for weight loss.

Protein Is Better Than Fat For Weight Loss Because it Contains More Water And Less Calories

Whey contains more calories than other proteins such as casein and soy. Therefore, it’s considered to be bad choice for weight loss because it causes fat gain. However, there are some studies which show that pea protein does not cause any fat gain even when consumed at high levels. In fact, the amount of water contained in pea protein is higher than that of whey. So, it doesn’t contain any excess water and hence it helps in weight loss.

Protein Is Better Than Carbohydrate For Weight Loss Because It Contain Essential Amino Acids That Are Required For Growth And Maintenance Of Muscle Mass

There are many studies which prove that pea protein is superior to whey for muscle building purposes. In fact, it contains essential amino acids which are required for growth and maintenance of muscle mass. It is one of the best options for people who are fitness-conscious because it builds lean muscle and prevents muscle loss.

Protein Is Better For Weight Loss Because It Makes You Feel Full For Longer Periods Of Time

One of the main problems with weight loss is lack of feeling full. If you eat a low-calorie diet, you will feel hungry all the time. If you don’t, you will gain weight. However, if you eat foods that contain high amounts of protein and fiber, they make you feel full for longer periods of time. For this reason, pea protein is an excellent weight loss food for people who are fitness-conscious.

Pea Protein Is A Good Protein Powder For Vegetarians And Vegans

The only source of protein in the diet of a vegetarian or vegan is usually soy. Though it’s an excellent source of protein, it gets boring having to eat foods which contain it all the time. Though pea protein is not a complete replacement for meat, it is a very good substitute. Pea protein can be used to prepare dishes like chili, pancakes, and nuggets. All these dishes are usually high in fat and calories; however, if you use pea protein instead of animal based protein, they become healthy.

Pea Protein Is Low-Carb

Though it contains carbohydrate, it is low in carbohydrate. More precisely, 1 tablespoon of pea protein contains less than 0.5 gram of carbohydrate. It is the best option for people who are on low-carbohydrate diets or people who want to avoid starchy carb foods like potatoes, wheat, corn, rice and pasta.

What’s The Best Type Of Pea Protein?

There are several types of pea protein on the market right now. However, they can be divided into two broad categories:

1. Concentrated pea protein

This type of pea protein is more expensive than the other types but it contains more protein per serving, usually 20 to 25 grams per scoop. One of the best concentrated pea proteins on the market is Plamor’s All Natural Pea Protein.

One downside of concentrated pea protein is that it contains roughly 5-10 grams of carbohydrate and 2-5 grams of fat per serving. However, some of this carbohydrate and fat is coming from dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fat respectively, which are required by the body.

2. Isolated pea protein

This type of pea protein contains less protein per serving but it comes at a cheaper price. One of the best isolated pea proteins on the market is Now Foods Pea Protein. It contains only 1 gram carbohydrate and fat per serving. However, it also contains less than 2 grams of fiber per serving.

Because it contains carbohydrate and fat, some people prefer to call this type of pea protein “semi-isolated” instead of isolated.

What’s The Difference Between Concentrated And Isolated Pea Protein?

Both pea protein types areDigestible.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are easily digestible. This means that they do not require any extra work from your pancreas, which should theoretically prevent tiredness after consumption. This makes both types of pea protein better than whey, casein and soy for people who suffer from fatigue or low energy levels.

Both types of pea protein are versatile.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein can be used to prepare a wide variety of dishes. You can make pancakes, waffles, bread, muffins, brownies, stuffing, gravy and more. Though the semi-isolated type may be slightly less versatile than the concentrated type.

Both types of pea protein are easy to prepare.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein only need water to prepare. Furthermore, both can be consumed either cold or hot. The only difference is that the concentrated type must be mixed with a blender or mixer before consumption and the isolated type can be drunk “as is”.

Both types of pea protein are easy to find.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are available almost worldwide. Though the isolated type is more commonly found in North America, Europe and Australia. Both the concentrated and isolated types are not difficult to find in their most popular online stores.

Both types of pea protein are good at preventing elevated insulin levels.

Insulin is a hormone which signals the body to store energy as fat and it also stops the body from breaking down fat for energy. Elevated insulin levels are one of the major causes of obesity.

While both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are low in carbohydrate and they stimulate the secretion of insulin in the body to a certain degree, they are both far lower than most other protein sources like whey, casein and soy. They also do not cause a rapid spike in insulin which can lead to a “sugar crash”, a sudden drop in blood sugar which makes people feel tired and hungry soon after eating.

Both types of pea protein are easy to digest.

While many types of protein can leave people feeling bloated, have a grainy texture or cause gastric distress, pea protein is easy to digest. Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea proteins are easy on the stomach and do not contain any fiber. This means that people who have issues digesting grains will have no issues digesting pea protein.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are cholesterol free.

Cholesterol is only found in animal products and your body can naturally produce all the cholesterol it needs. While this fact is widely known, cholesterol has still wrongly acquired a reputation as being bad for your health. However, this assumption could not be further from the truth. Cholesterol is an essential building block of all your cells and banning it from your diet could lead to health complications in the long term.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are low in sodium.

Pea protein is also very low in sodium. Most types of food that are protein sources, such as meat, fish and poultry products, are high in sodium. Pea protein is an exception to this rule. It is particularly low in potassium though.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are good for endurance athletes.

The amino acid profile of pea protein is ideal for endurance athletes. By consuming pea protein, endurance athletes can improve their endurance, stamina and muscle strength while reducing their muscle fatigue.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are dairy free.

Most types of protein come from dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese. While people who cannot digest dairy or who are allergic to it have fewer options, pea protein offers a viable alternative for them.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are suitable for vegetarians.

While most types of protein contain some form of meat or fish, pea protein is one of the few types of vegetarian protein sources. This makes it suitable for people who do not eat meat for ethical or religious reasons. With its complete amino acid profile, pea protein can substitute for meat and fish in any diet. It can even be used as a vegan “egg” substitute in baking or as a fake “ground beef” substitute in recipes.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are gluten free.

Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. People with gluten intolerance, which is an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease, cannot digest gluten properly which can lead to malnutrition and a weakened immune system. Eating foods that are high in gluten on a regular basis can even be fatal.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are easy to add to any kind of meal.

Most types of plant-based or animal-based proteins, such as soy protein and beef protein, need to be cooked or fermented before they can be eaten. This is not the case with pea protein. It can be mixed into foods and liquids before being consumed. This makes it easy to add to any meal, regardless of whether it is a breakfast, lunch, dinner or a between-meal snack.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are an excellent source of antioxidants.

Many people know that eating fruits and vegetables is critical in maintaining a healthy diet. However, not everyone has the time to eat five portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Powdered pea protein is a great alternative to fresh or canned fruits and vegetables. Both types of pea protein are an excellent source of antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin C. These antioxidants fight the free radicals that can cause cancer, heart disease and premature aging.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein increase muscle mass.

The primary difference between the concentrated and the isolated types of pea protein is the amount of fat they contain. Since the concentrated type contains three times as much fat as the isolated type, it may not be suitable for people who need to lose weight. Both types of pea protein can increase muscle mass, especially if used in conjunction with strength training exercises.

Cons of Using Pea Protein

The concentrated and isolated types of pea protein taste… well, like peas.

Both the concentrated and isolated types of pea protein have a taste that some people may find off-putting. While this can be masked with sweeteners such as fructose, many people find pea protein to have a “beany” taste that is hard to disguise. People who are used to the taste of soy protein, however, may find pea protein to taste better than soy.

The concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are more expensive than other types of plant-based protein.

While the price is coming down as more companies begin manufacturing pea protein, it is still around twice the price of other types of plant-based protein such as rice and hemp. Companies have to pay a higher price to Pea Protein International for the rights to use their extraction process. This has to be factored into the final price of the product.

The concentrated and isolated types of pea protein only come in vanilla and chocolate flavors.

Some other types of plant-based protein, such as soy, come in a wide variety of flavors including chocolate, strawberry, banana cream and even apple strudel. While vanilla and chocolate are the most popular flavors for pea protein, this may not suit everyone’s taste buds.

The concentrated and isolated types of pea protein only come in the form of powder.

Some people would prefer to have their protein come in the form of a shake or a pill. While pea protein can be used to manufacture these products, it is not commonly done due to its taste and cost. It can, however, be used as an additive to other protein supplements.

The concentrated and isolated types of pea protein may not be suitable for people with milk allergies.

While most people who are allergic to milk can safely consume pea protein, a small percentage of these people are actually allergic to peas. Always consult your doctor before adding any type of new food product to your diet.

The concentrated and isolated types of pea protein are not a great source of prebiotic fiber.

While pea protein is high in fiber, this fiber is not of the prebiotic type that can be used by gut bacteria. If you’re looking to improve the biodiversity of your gut flora, you would be better off taking a prebiotic powder such asulinamax.

So, Is Pea Protein Right For You?

All types of plant-based protein have their pros and cons. Some people prefer one type of protein over another for personal reasons. If you’re looking to add more protein to your diet, pea protein might be a good choice for you.

Just remember that, like all protein sources, pea protein should never be over-consumed. No matter how healthy a food is, if you eat too much of it you’ll eventually develop a health problem. Stick to the recommended daily allowances provided by the USDA and consult your doctor before beginning any new diet.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Pea protein isolate–high methoxyl pectin soluble complexes for improving pea protein functionality: Effect of pH, biopolymer ratio and concentrations by Y Lan, B Chen, J Rao – Food hydrocolloids, 2018 – Elsevier

Pea protein isolates: Structure, extraction, and functionality by ACY Lam, A Can Karaca, RT Tyler… – Food Reviews …, 2018 – Taylor & Francis

Pea proteins: a review of chemistry, technology of production, and utilization by YJ Owusu‐Ansah, SM McCurdy – Food Reviews International, 1991 – Taylor & Francis