Adding quality protein powder to your diet from whey or plant sources can increase muscle performance, increase post-training recovery, promote healthy metabolism and weight loss and contribute to a healthy body. On the market, there are so many protein powders, which can be difficult to choose from. Many powders are whey-based and animal protein, but there are plant-based soy and pea powders. But what protein is your money worth the most – protein or plant? Read to know more differences and similarities between whey vs. plant protein!
Difference between whey and plant-based protein
- Whey comes from cows; protein from plants does not contain animal products, which are appropriate for vegans and vegetarians. One can include a source of whey protein in your diet without having to go for the processed powder.
- Whey is usually mild, plant protein powders can be oily, nutty, and sometimes bitter.
- Plant proteins may generally require a lower amount of soil, water, and energy than animal proteins.
- Whey protein is always complete; certain vegetable protein or blends, depending on the mix of vegetable protein, may be incomplete. In addition, each plant supplement’s amino acid profile could differ somewhat depending on the combination used.
- The amount of protein in whey-protein-powder from brand to brand is approximately the same; powders from plants can vary greatly depending on the plant protein type used as there are many different types available.
How are they processed?
Whey is the liquid component of milk which is separated when the cheese is made. The whey is heated, microfiltered, pasteurized, and dried when it is separated. In order to produce what is known as protein powder, we add pulverizers and preservatives.
Protein sources from plant sources require little processing, on the other hand. Some of them just grow with essential amino acids, such as oats, noodles, and beans. Others require processing, including nut butter and tofu, but usually, less than it takes to create whey protein supplements.
Ways for choosing the right protein
- If BCAAs or Branched should be present -ChainBranch Amino Acids that contribute to muscle development.
- Do not contain toxins or substances, which may be harmful over the long term.
- Does not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners. Sugar can result in a long-term overall weight increase and the chronic use of artificial sweeteners can lead to an alteration of gut bacteria and hamper digestion.
- You must ensure that your protein is devoid of it if you are allergic to substances like soy, etc.
- It is also important to check whether the protein is easily digestible on its own.
Benefits of whey protein
Improve immunity: It provides Glutathione, which is a high-intensity workout antioxidant that controls significant levels of glutamine compared to other amino acids required for immunity.
Promotes overall health: The body naturally has antioxidants that minimize the risk of chronic disease. Whey protein and other high-cysteine foods stimulate natural antioxidants and help to prevent chronic disease.
Prevents muscle breakdown: Whey protein isolate is easily absorbed into the bloodstream helping to improve protein metabolism.
Reduces blood pressure: A natural bioactive peptide called Lactokine contains whey protein which helps treat high blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health.
Assist with cravings: Unwanted hunger pangs are felt due to the secretion from Ghrelin which could add cravings in snacks. Instead of sugar, the body feels these cravings, and we choose a sugar snack.
Manage diabetes: Whey protein taken during a meal increased the insulin response and decreased the levels of blood glucose significantly in type 2 diabetic patients.
Whey protein supplements are considered a full protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids, the protein building blocks. It also contains the branched amino acids (BCAAs) that are important for muscles. Leucine, isoleucine and valine are important.
The protein in herbal protein powder depends on the plant from which it is made. Typically, plant powders have fewer BCAAs than whey powders. Soy, quinoa, pea, hemp, chia, and sunflower protein are just a few of the complete proteins of the plant.
As whey protein is derived from milk, milk sensitivity or intolerance can cause complications to people. Whey protein isolate may decrease the amount of lactose per serving but it can still lead to an upset stomach, bloat, and gas when you are highly vulnerable to lactose.
The solution can be plant-based protein powder when you are looking for something easy to digest. Plant powder is not only free of allergens but also gluten-free and quickly absorbed into the body. Some types contain soy and gluten common allergens so read labels carefully and if necessary select products that are specifically labeled soy-free or gluten-free. You can identify these for vegans and vegetarians as some of the major sources of protein.
Whey Protein vs. plant protein: Which is the best for building muscle?
Whey protein supplements, which are a whole protein offering all nine muscle growth amino acids and contain a high amount of leucine BCAA, are considered to be the best for muscle growth and absorbs the fastest. The branched-chain amino acids BCAAs are another important component of the whey protein. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are known to support muscle growth. In muscle protein synthesis, they are vital, too.
However, protein plant powder may also contain full proteins and high levels of leucine if they contain two or more plant proteins or have BCAAs fortified.
Generally, when you want a sustainable protein that helps you manage your weight or a vegan or lactose-free diet, choose vegetable proteins over whey. Plant protein sources build muscle or aid recovery better than whey, but also enhance our health, offer a wider range of nutrients that benefit the environment, and improve our health. Whey protein supplements could be more beneficial if you want a quick-absorbing, complete protein to help you quickly build and repair muscles.