Protein is a very important nutrient for overall health. Protein helps to increase muscle performance, boost post-workout recovery, promote healthy metabolism, support weight loss, and help to tone and define the body. Incorporating protein into your daily diet can be challenging; hence a lot of people add protein supplements in their regular diet.
A protein supplement is the most preferred health supplement amongst fitness enthusiasts. People can choose between a plant protein supplement and a whey protein supplement based on their dietary preferences. Before choosing between the best whey protein powder and the best plant protein powder, Let’s try and understand which one is better.
What is whey protein?
Whey proteins, which make up around 20% of all milk proteins, are soluble milk proteins. In order of abundance, the bovine whey proteins are composed of -lactoglobulin, -lactalbumin, protease peptone, serum albumin, and immunoglobulins. They typically consist of whey, a by-product of the dairy industry, and are available as ingredients in the forms of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey powder.
Types of whey protein
- Whey protein concentrate (WPC) – has low-fat content and low carbohydrate content. The amount of protein in WPC is proportional to its concentration. Lower-end concentrates typically comprise 30 percent protein, whereas higher-end concentrates might have up to 90 per cent.
- Whey protein isolate (WPI) – whey protein isolate has all of the fat and lactose removed. WPI typically contains at least 90% protein.
- Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) – it is the pre-digested form of whey protein since it has already undergone partial hydrolysis, which is required for the body to absorb protein. WPH takes less time to digest than the other two types of whey protein.
What is Plant Protein?
One of the more recent developments in the field of protein-rich diets is plant-based protein. It is a kind of nutritional supplement that mixes organic and plant-based ingredients to deliver an absorbable protein meant to meet daily requirements. It was developed with the same standards in mind as the other animal-based and non-vegan protein powder sources presently available on the market. It offers users the same nutritional benefits.
Whey protein vs Plant Protein
This article aims to help someone better understand the similarities and differences between plant and whey protein. After reading this article readers can make an informed decision about which protein is right for them.
Whey protein powders are made from whey, a byproduct of cheese making process. Once the liquid is collected, carbohydrates, fat, water, and other components are removed. The remaining protein is dried into a powder. Since whey protein powder is made from cow’s milk, it contains lactose. People with lactose intolerance should avoid consuming whey protein.
Plant protein supplements are made from one type of plant or a combination of plants. Plant-based protein powders are made from various types of plants — commonly brown rice, pea, soy, and hemp. Plant protein supplements are made entirely from plants, hence plant-based protein powders don’t contain dairy or lactose, which makes them a good option if you follow a vegan diet or are lactose intolerant.
Protein content in whey and plant-based protein powders is generally similar, with a regular supplement providing 20–30 gm per serving.
Given that it contains all nine essential amino acids, which are the protein’s building blocks, whey protein powder is regarded as a complete protein. Additionally, it contains the BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are crucial for developing muscles.
The protein content differs depending on the plant from which the protein powder was derived. Generally speaking, plant-based powders have less BCAA content than whey powders. Additionally, the only complete protein source is soy powder. It is better to consume plant protein which contains a blend of vegan sources.
Protein content and amino acid profile should be considered before choosing between plant and whey protein.
Digestibility and allergens
Whey protein powder contains lactose, and lactose intolerance is fairly common among people. Opting for whey protein may lead to stomach upset, bloating, and gas if someone is highly sensitive to lactose.
Plant-based protein powders contain varying ingredients. Some of these contain allergens soy and gluten; hence it is important to read the labels carefully and choose protein which is soy-free and/or gluten-free.
One misconception people have is that the price of whey protein powder is more than plant protein as it is more processed. This is not the case in reality. Plant-based and whey protein powders’ prices largely depend on serving sizes, ingredients quality, authenticity certification and brand. So, it comes down to which protein supplement is right for someone and how frequently someone will consume it. You can adjust the budget accordingly.
Both whey and plant protein powders can make for a nutritious and effective addition to any diet and exercise plan, but choose one that suits your body’s needs.
In general, Whey protein may be more helpful if someone wants a fast-absorbing complete protein to help build and repair muscle quickly.