Whey Protein Versus Plant Protein

What is Whey Protein? 

Whey protein is the protein found in cow’s milk and is a byproduct of the cheese-making process. Whey protein is found in powder form and contains essential amino acids that carry out bodily functions. Whey protein can be added to liquids, soft foods, milkshakes and smoothies to reduce nutritional deficiency and improve athletic performance.  

Since whey protein is made from milk by isolating its whey content, whey protein powders may contain lactose and gluten. It either tastes bland or milky and is thin in consistency. 

What is Plant Protein? 

Plant protein is a protein that is found in plant sources and not from any animal sources. Plant protein has lower calories than animal or whey protein. Plant protein is used to repair tissues and muscles for weight loss. Sources of plant protein include nuts, tempeh, seeds, beans, and vegetables.

Plant protein is made from soy, peas, hemp, or brown rice and has a raw and earthy flavour. It usually is lactose and gluten-free and is creamy in texture.

Types of Plant Protein 

Brown Rice Protein 

As the name suggests, brown rice protein powder is made from brown rice. Brown rice protein is light on the stomach, so it does not cause protein grumbles or gas build-up. The chances of brown rice protein causing any allergic reactions are also slim. 

 In a study conducted at the University of Tampa, research suggests rice protein, when given to athletes over eight weeks had the following effects compared to whey protein consumption: 

  • Increased lean body mass 
  • Increased skeletal muscle growth
  • Decreased fat-mass
  • Enhanced strength and power 

Pea Protein 

Pea protein is a supplement derived from ground yellow peas. It contains essential amino acids like arginine that promote blood flow and heart health. It also includes those amino acids that help in muscle growth.

Since pea protein is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, it is most suitable for any diet. 

Hemp Protein 

Hemp protein is derived from the cannabis plant and is made from hemp seeds - a type of nut. Hemp is the part of the cannabis plant with no mind-altering properties and is safe to use. Not only does hemp protein contain essential amino acids, but it also contains antioxidants, minerals, fibre and unsaturated fats that are good for the heart. It can be used as a vegan protein source and is a lean protein that bulbs strong muscles. With Iron, zinc and magnesium, hemp protein is an excellent source of minerals for the whole body. 

Soy Protein 

Soy protein is a form of protein derived from soybean. Soybean is known to help with weight loss, energy boosts and building muscle. Soy protein is a great way to reduce cholesterol and prevent heart diseases. 

Factors to consider while choosing the best protein source for yourself 

Effectiveness for weight loss or muscle growth 

Both whey and plant protein provide an energy boost at a cellular level during long workouts and recovery. In fact, brown rice protein has been proven to be just as effective as whey protein in boosting energy. 

Another aspect to consider while choosing the source of protein most suitable for you is to have your goal in mind. The goal over here is the desired result one desires from consuming a protein powder. Plant protein is most suitable for weight loss since it has fewer calories and keeps you full for longer than whey protein, thus avoiding hunger pangs. 

Whey protein is more suitable if your desired outcome is to build muscle and improve athletic performance. Whey protein contains essential amino acids required for muscle recovery.

Calorie Content of the Protein Source

Studies show that the body can metabolise whey protein faster than it metabolises plant protein. This indicates that the slow metabolisation of plant protein keeps individuals fuller for extended periods, avoiding hunger pangs. Since whey protein is derived from milk, it tends to have higher calories.

Digestibility of the Protein Powder

For those individuals who are lactose intolerant or have irritable bowel syndrome, why protein may be difficult to digest and causes irritation or flatulence. In this case, a source of plant protein is the clear winner. 

SwisseMe Plant Protein Powder is Made with herbal extracts and digestive enzymes that aid easy digestion and absorption in the body without causing bloating or discomfort. It is 100% plant-based protein powder and contains 24 grams of protein and 4.2 grams of BCAA per serving, which is perfect for people seeking active life with adequate nutrition.

Protein Powder Content and Quality 

Whey protein or animal-based proteins contain more protein content per serving compared to plant proteins. Protein content varies from brand to brand. Thus, it is crucial not to blindly follow the ‘one size fits all’ approach and calculate your daily protein intake. Understand the serving size and protein content required to fulfil your protein requirement. 

Plant and whey protein may be formulated with additional sweeteners depending on the formulation. For best results, it is best to avoid these additives.