According to a recent poll by the Vegan Society, the number of vegans in Britain has risen by 360% over the past 10 years. The same poll revealed that over 50% of vegans are aged 15-34 putting them in their physical prime, which explains the trend of vegan proteins supplements. But with all this hype around vegan proteins, are they actually better than whey Protein?
Pea Protein vs. Whey Protein
A recent study by the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research in 2015 has looked into both whey and pea proteins, to see which was better at promoting muscle growth and recovery. The study found no difference in performance, proving that pea is a suitable replacement for whey-based products if you’re looking for an alternative.
Rice Protein vs. Whey Protein
The Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance in USA (Florida) also researched vegan proteins in 2013, however they looked into rice protein vs. whey protein isolate. Their results found that both proteins improved growth and recovery of the body after exercise, with no distinct difference between the two test groups. This is another point for vegan alternatives, as they match whey on all counts.
The Healthy Choice
The most commonly consumed protein powder is whey Protein, but one study from 2012 by retail watchdog 'Consumer Reports' found that a variety of whey protein powders on the market today contain worrying amounts of arsenic, cadmium, or lead. This study amongst others has lead many health enthusiasts to turn away from whey and begin taking supplements like Superfood Protein by PlantWarrior.
Made from a natural blend of chia, rice, quinoa, pea and hemp proteins, they have created a protein which mixes plant-based proteins together, to balance the nutritional profile so the protein can be easily digested. It also contains all of the 9 essential amino acids needed for proper recovery of your body. If you want to help PlantWarrior start their business and take their protein to market, check out the rewards for contributors on their Kickstarter campaign here (up to 50% off at the moment).
The Bottom Line
Whilst the research shows that vegan and whey proteins are equal when it comes to growth and recovery, vegan proteins seem to be the healthiest choice. Not just for vegans, but those who want to have a healthy diet too. However, it is very important whatever supplement you pick, to take it with as part of a balanced diet and always take it with some natural food (even if it’s just a quick banana) to help it digest well.