Rice Protein vs Whey Protein – Which is Better

Using protein powder to increase athletic performance and body composition has been widely studied and proven to be very beneficial, but with all the different kinds of protein powders available today, you might be left wondering which one is best for you. Rice Protein vs Whey ProteinRice Protein is one of the newer protein powders available, but it’s important to look beyond the glossy label and really research the differences between protein sources.

Amino Acid Profile

The table below is a side-by-side comparison of Well Wisdom’s Proserum® whey protein (WP) vs. a leading brand of Rice Protein (RP).  As you can see, the whey protein contains more amino acids per serving in all of the BCAA’s as well as the majority of the other amino acids listed. Also something to note is the amino acid Cysteine vs. Cystine. Cysteine is one of the three components necessary for intracellular Glutathione (GSH) production. If Cysteine undergoes prolonged heating or processing, it is denatured and converted into Cystine. Vital Whey® and ImmunoPro® whey proteins retain exceptional, naturally occurring levels of Cysteine in its original form.            BCAA’s            WP        RP         
Leucine 12.6 6.61
Isoleucine 7.03 3.52
Valine 6.68 4.76
           Amino Acids’s      WP        RP
Alanine 5.44 4.33
Arginine 2.84 7.28
Aspartic Acid 12.54 6.85
Cysteine/Cystine* 2.24 1.95*
Glutamic Acid 19.93 13.7
Glycine 2.13 3.38
Histidine 2.06 1.66
Lysine 10.48 2.71
Methionine 2.10 2.52
Phenylalanine 3.59 4.33
Proline 6.49 3.95
Serine 5.73 3.8
Threonine 8.26 2.99
Tryptophan 1.75 .95
Tyrosine 3.24 4.28

Immune Modulating Factors

Another aspect to consider when choosing a protein source is the effect it can have on your immune system. In some cases you can literally get a two-for-one deal — you can supply your body with the building blocks necessary to repair and build muscle AND support your immune system at the same time. Studies have shown Lactoferrin, Immunoglobulins and Serum Albumin — found only in a whey protein — to be extremely important, and helpful tools for our immune system and body functions.

Whey Protein Contains Lactoferrin that Benefits Immune System

Lactoferrin is a protein found in milk that is iron modulating, has shown antimicrobial activity within the body and also stimulates production of Immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins transfer antibodies that neutralize bacteria and viruses in the body. Serum Albumin functions primarily as a carrier protein for steroids, fatty acids, and thyroid hormones and plays a role in stabilizing extracellular fluid volume. None of these proteins are found in plant based proteins, such as a RP. There are actually many people who are on a whey protein regimen that are taking it strictly to boost their body’s immune system and raise GSH levels!

Other Nutritional Factors

One of the most popular reasons for someone taking a protein supplement is of course…the protein.  Both WP and RP contain 16g of protein per 20g scoop.  The protein found in Proserum® is a non-denatured protein which means that the protein has been minimally processed specifically to retain the highest volumes of these fragile protein components.  It is still in it’s original form which the body naturally recognizes and breaks down for use.  Proteins that have been denatured (or damaged) like many isolates and other “high end” proteins on the market, are not recognized by the body and are removed as waste.  Below is another quick comparison for some of the other nutritional factors per 20g scoop:                                                                                                                                      
Calories 85 70
Fat 1 1
Carbs 2 3
Sodium 30 50
Calcium 80 60
        In conclusion, when you compare rice protein vs whey protein, the whey protein wins hands down in amino acids per servings, and offers the added benefit of immune boosting components.  So, unless you have specific allergies or are trying to stick to a vegan diet, it’s really hard to beat a grass fed whey protein concentrate.And either protein source may help you lose weight!    
Ronald K. Wright