Which Protein is Right for You? A Guide to Whey, Soy, and Pea Proteins
There is a sea of protein options on the market, each with its positives and negatives. These features may or may not suit you, your body, and your goals.
So, when it comes time to choosing the protein powder for you, it will help to understand their main differences. Refine your knowledge in each of them, and you’re sure to land on the product that will provide you with all the gains, and none of the pain.
Whey, Soy, and Pea: The Differences
If there’s just one difference between proteins that sticks in your mind, let it be this one – whey protein is animal-based, where pea and soy proteins are plant-based. But there are plenty of other factors that may lift one option above the other in your eyes, so let’s break it down.
Whey protein is one of the two proteins found in cow’s milk - the other being casein. Sold either as an isolate or concentrate product, its wealth of nutritional benefits has made it the most popular of the protein family.
Containing all nine essential amino acids, whey protein can majorly boost restoration and growth of muscles and cells. The molecular structure of whey protein is easy on your digestive system, encourages fat burning, and absorbs into your bloodstream almost as fast as you’ll be running on the treadmill.
This all makes whey protein a great pre or post workout solution, and a scoop of this great tasting protein is definitely available in your price range, quantity, and flavour of choice. It’s clear why whey protein is the athletes’ go-to way to nab a burst of energy.
Whilst orientated for vegetarians, vegans, or the allergen sensitive, we think you shouldn’t underestimate the power of the vegetable. Made from yellow peas, this protein is full of branch-chained amino acids, just like its animal-sourced siblings.
This completely natural, vegetable-based protein is increasingly upping in popularity. It’s not just easily digestible – containing high amounts of dietary fibre, you’ll likely even see your digestive system improve. Plus, unlike whey protein, it contains little to no fat, improving cardiovascular functions and reducing the caloric intake from that scoop in your smoothie.
And don’t worry – consuming pea protein won’t taste like a sad batch of vegetable soup. This protein comes in a wide variety of flavours, just like its whey counterparts.
So, if you’re ethically orientated or sensitive to ingredients like gluten or lactose – you may have found your perfect match.
Soy protein tends to be dismissed by the health and fitness community for containing less essential amino acids per gram than its competitors. But soy protein still provides a valuable alternative source of protein for anyone looking for a plant-based protein supplement.
How can you ingest soy protein? Let us count the ways.
Soy protein concentrate is a powdered version of the soybean, containing 60-70% pure protein, with the rest being leftover carbohydrates and fats. This form of soy protein is created by removing a majority of the fat from soybean grits, and then extracting the protein through heat treatment.
Soy protein isolate provides the largest percentage of pure soy protein on the market, by taking defatted soybeans and removing all other ingredients through alkaline extraction, leaving a huge 90% of the protein in the powder, ready and rearing for your muscles to feed on.
Textured soy protein is what you may have seen making up a majority of the mock meat products on the market, and is made from the initial soy protein concentrate.
When it comes to a formula for choosing the right protein powder, we think Naturade sums it up best:
1. “Understand that there are different types of protein”
2. “Identify your dietary restrictions and choose a base protein”
3. “Choose a flavour or variation of added ingredients”
4. “Compare the prices”
After following these steps, add a scoop of your protein powder of choice to your favourite health food recipe. You’ll be well on your way to looking and feeling your best, by introducing the benefits of protein and other to your diet in a delicious, easy way.