Whey protein may be the most popular of the protein powders, but it’s definitely not the only type to offer amazing benefits!
You’ll find that all the types of protein have their pros and cons. For example, casein protein (also made from milk) is a slower-digesting type of protein that’s not as good as a pre- or post-workout supplement, but it’s ideal for a late night snack to help your body make repairs overnight.
Or take soy protein, which is perfect for vegetarians but doesn’t contain as many nutrients as animal product-derived proteins.
Pea protein is one of the more popular vegan/vegetarian protein options, but is it as good as whey? Read the comparison of whey protein vs pea protein to find out everything you need to know about these two amazing proteins so you can decide which is better, pea protein vs whey.
Whey Protein vs Pea Protein: Benefits of Whey
What makes whey protein an ideal choice?
1) Better Nutritional Profile
Whey protein contains a very wide range of nutrients in addition to the whey protein. Many whey protein powders come with added Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), which make up 66% of muscle tissue.
Whey protein is also rich in calcium and potassium, two nutrients that will enhance bone growth. In the end, the nutritional profile of whey protein is the best in terms of overall health benefits.
2) Easiest for Body to Use
Whey protein is easy on the digestive system. Your body is able to break down the whey protein into individual amino acids, which it can then use to produce ATP energy and repair/restore damaged muscle fibers.
The molecular structure of whey protein makes it easy to digest and absorb quickly. That’s why it’s the ideal pre-workout supplement: taking it 90 minutes before workout will give you a quick boost of energy for your training.
3) More Energy Per Serving
Whey protein is derived from cow’s milk, which means it contains the saturated fat found in all animal products. Contrary to how it sounds, this is actually a good thing.
The saturated fats provide your body with the energy needed to get through your workout. The fat will also encourage fat burning, helping your body to activate fatty acids in addition to the glucose in your bloodstream. Most whey proteins also contain carbohydrates, which give you a boost of energy for your training.
4) Best for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain
Not only is whey protein easy for your body to use right away, but it will help to speed up your metabolism.
In one 2008 study, it was discovered that adding whey protein to a reduced-calorie diet helped to speed up weight loss. After 12 weeks, those who consumed whey protein lost 6.1% of their body fat, but they didn’t lose muscle mass. If you’re trying to lose weight, whey protein is the way to go!
If you’re involved in any type of resistance training, whey protein can help promote muscle gain.
One recent review found that whey protein is an optimal protein source for supporting muscle mass compared to other proteins because it is more easily absorbed and has a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA).
5) Suppress Your Appetite
Whey protein suppresses the production of ghrelin, the hormone that tells your body you’re hungry. By reducing ghrelin production, you prevent hunger pangs from causing you to cheat on your diet or eat at the wrong time!
6) Helps to Fight Diabetes
Whey protein is ideal for those who are trying to get healthy despite their Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. Whey protein helps to increase insulin production AND sensitivity, and it helps to enhance weight loss–getting your diabetes under control the natural way.
Drinking whey protein has shown to help improve blood sugar control for people with diabetes. One 2022 study found that drinking a small amount of whey protein before meals may help people with type 2 diabetes improve their blood sugar control.
In the study people with type 2 diabetes drank whey protein before meals for one week, and then drank a control beverage that didn’t contain any protein for a week in order to measure the results against each other.
Researchers found that blood sugar levels were better controlled when taking whey protein before meals. In fact, their blood glucose levels were 0.6 mmol/L lower compared to when they consumed the supplement without any protein.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits of whey protein!
Whey Protein vs Pea Protein: Benefits of Pea Protein
Here are some reasons to love pea protein:
1) Lower in Fat and Calories
Peas are a fairly low-calorie food, though their high protein content makes them the ideal source of amino acids.
They also contain very little fat. Any fat content in peas is unsaturated, the heart-smart type of fat that promotes weight loss and improved cardiovascular function.
A scoop of pea protein is lower in calories and fat than a comparable amount of whey protein.
2) Easily Digested
Peas, like all vegetables, are VERY easy on your digestive system. You’ll find that their high fiber content will actually improve digestive function, cleaning out your colon and promoting healthy elimination.
Pea protein contains a good deal of that healthy dietary fiber, making them one of the best types of protein for a healthy digestive system.
For those who cannot support the consumption of animals, pea protein is the perfect source of amino acids.
It is derived entirely from plant-based sources, and it contains NO animal ingredients. It’s a fully vegetarian and vegan product, making it ideal for those trying to live the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle.
This is actually one of the primary reasons that people choose pea protein over whey protein. Whey is made from milk, which contains a type of sugar known as lactose.
In recent years, lactose intolerance has increased. In some cases, it’s caused by a deficiency of lactase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose. Undigested lactose that enters the colon can cause gas and fluid to build up, leading to diarrhea, flatulence, and digestive upset.
However, pea protein contains no lactose, and it contains nothing that can trigger any sort of allergy. If you are worried about lactose intolerance or sensitivity, pea protein is definitely one of the best options to consider.
Pea Protein vs Whey Protein: Which Is Better?
Unless you are vegan/vegetarian or have a serious lactose allergy, whey protein is the better option. Not only is its nutritional profile better, but it’s the more effective choice for weight loss, fat burning, and muscle building!
If you want only the best whey protein for your diet, look no further than Well Wisdom’s Vital Whey protein powder.
It is clean and pure, made from 100% grass fed cow’s milk, meaning there are none of the hormones or chemicals often found in regular cow’s milk.
You’ll find that the natural formulation makes it easy to digest, and it will promote the synthesis of proteins and glutathione. All in all, it’s one of the best choices around!
Can I take both whey and pea protein?
While protein powders generally contain one type of protein, protein blending is when you mix more than one type of protein like whey and pea together.
Some research has found that taking a blend of proteins may help to prolong the delivery of amino acids after resistance training. The slow release of amino acids can help to increase muscle recovery time and also help promote muscle growth.
How is pea protein different from whey protein?
One of the key differences between whey vs pea protein is where they come from. Whey protein is animal-based as it is derived from milk, while pea protein is plant-based and made from yellow split peas.
Whey protein is made from milk, which contains a type of sugar known as lactose, which may pose a problem for people with a lactose intolerance or allergy. Pea protein is lactose-free and is suitable for people with a lactose allergy or intolerance, or for people following a plant-based diet.
Whey protein is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids and contains particularly high amounts of the essential branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Pea protein also contains all nine essential amino acids, but in smaller quantities compared to whey protein.
Due to its amino acid profile, whey protein is considered an optimal protein for weight loss, muscle building, and fat burning.
Is pea protein or whey protein better for fat loss?
Both pea vs whey protein may help play a role in fat loss but in different ways. Adding whey protein to your diet may help boost your metabolism and in turn, help to burn fat. Due to its higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids, whey protein may also support muscle gain which can promote further weight loss.
Pea protein is low in fat and high in fiber. This combination can help promote weight loss by increasing satiety, as foods that are high in fiber are digested more slowly than low fiber foods.
Naclerio F, Seijo M. Whey protein supplementation and muscle mass: current perspectives. Nutrition and Dietary Supplements. 2019;11:37-48: https://doi.org/10.2147/NDS.S166195.
Smith K, Taylor GS, Brunsgaard LH, Walker M, Bowden Davies KA, Stevenson EJ, West DJ. Thrice daily consumption of a novel, premeal shot containing a low dose of whey protein increases time in euglycemia during 7 days of free-living in individuals with type 2 diabetes. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2022 May;10(3):e002820. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2022-002820. PMID: 35618446; PMCID: PMC9137348.
Reidy PT, Walker DK, Dickinson JM, Gundermann DM, Drummond MJ, Timmerman KL, Cope MB, Mukherjea R, Jennings K, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Soy-dairy protein blend and whey protein ingestion after resistance exercise increases amino acid transport and transporter expression in human skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2014 Jun 1;116(11):1353-64. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01093.2013. Epub 2014 Apr 3. PMID: 24699854; PMCID: PMC4044402.
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I really do.not want to eat dairy products.. it is a very cruel industry.. the calves suffer as do their mothers….so it would be good if you could push the benefits of pea protien.. one question tho’.. does it mean.l need to have larger quanties of pea protien.. and would that then have the same benefits of whey protien? Thankyou
Then pick a cruelty free, farm raised,free range, no factory produced whey–and organic. They are out there if you look [ ]…
Cruel to calves and cows. Are you ok? Obviously, you didn’t grow up on a farm. Probably haven’t even visited a dairy farm. You don’t want to consume dairy, that’s fine,your choice. But really, do your research first.
Pea protein has a similar profile to whey but probably doesn’t have the healing benefits of whey. Pea protein is way superior to soy though. Plus it’s very inexpensive. Also don’t forget the gas from whey, yuk