When it comes to choosing a protein, the options can be very overwhelming – whey, vegan, soy, egg, casein, etc.
Which one is “best”?
While there are tons of options on the market, arguably the two most popular are whey proteins and plant based/vegan proteins. One isn’t necessarily “better” than the other, but when it comes to how you choose to fuel your body, you may find one is going to be more beneficial than the other.
So, let’s compare and contrast these two.
Whey protein is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that your body cannot make on its own, rather, it needs to source them from food and drink. Whey proteins typically pack a high dose of protein in one serving with 25-35G protein in one shake. It’s cheaper and readily available and to most, it just tastes good. But a closer look at the labels of a few popular whey proteins on the market today, reveals the source of that good tasting protein.
Many whey proteins are also pumped with artificial sugars to make the supplement taste good. It’s not uncommon to see ingredients like sucralose, erythritol, and maltodextrin in the lineup. All of which are chemical compounds added to foods to sweeten the taste. While the macronutrient profile of a serving of protein may look inviting due to these “zero calorie” sweeteners, the long-term effects of artificial sugars on the body are cause for concern. The body cannot break down these chemical compounds which can lead to inflammation, leaky gut, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and other serious conditions if consistently consumed. Sure, in the short term, zero calorie sweeteners save calories, but long term, they can cause some serious health issues.
Furthermore, a few of the most common allergens are found in dairy products or casein. Whey protein is derived from cow’s milk and those with allergens or sensitivities should avoid it or they wind up with some GI upset. Dairy is also a known endocrine disrupter as many of the dairy products consumed today are stripped of natural fats and pumped full of sugars and added hormones which react with our bodies’ own hormone production and balance.
In addition, as we age some of our digestive enzyme production decreases. Lactase is the enzyme responsible for breaking down dairy products. As it decreases, what once may not have bothered you, may start to wreak havoc on your gut!
On the other hand, plant protein is quickly becoming a popular choice among protein drinkers. Plant based protein can be sourced from hundreds of different vegetables, nuts, and seeds. That’s because one plant source cannot provide all nine essential amino acids, so in order to get a complete protein source, you want one comprised of a few different plant proteins. In contrast to whey proteins, the amount of protein in one serving is usually lower than that of whey. A single serving is roughly 15-20G of protein, so per grams of protein, vegan brands are a bit more costly than whey options.
However, the price tag is worth it for digestive health and maintenance. Don’t have “gut issues”? Great, but as mentioned above, continuously putting chemicals and food intolerance into your body is going to increase levels of inflammation and lead to other, sometimes more serious health issues.
Plant based proteins are also chalk full of vitamins and minerals naturally occurring in vegetable, nuts, and seeds. Find one with a greens supplement mixed in, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
Protea’s VePRO is that complete source of protein. Formulated with both pea and rice protein, it contains the recommended levels of lysine and methionine. It also includes a super food mix with spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, chlorella, parsley, and more, which provide the nine essential amino acids, as well as various other antioxidants and minerals.
VePRO is also sweetened naturally with Stevia extract and monk fruit, making it both delicious and nutritious, and gentle on your gut.
Ultimately, the decision on how to fuel your body is your own. You are a product of your food choices. So, why not choose wholesome ingredients to keep your body functioning optimally?