Whey Protein And Pea Protein – Which One’s Better?

now organic pea protein

Whey protein has been around for decades. It became the new Protein King not long after it first came out. That’s for good reason, it’s the highest quality protein on the market. More recently, pea protein has hit the market. It’s a major step up in quality for vegan-based protein powders. In fact, pea and brown rice often make up many of the plant-based proteins on the market. That leads to an obvious question: Whey Protein And Pea Protein – Which One’s better? Well, we’ve already answered that question. In this article, we’ll look at our best choices for both whey and pea protein, and also look at the ratings for both. Let’s get started!

What Is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is a by-product of the process that turns milk into cheese. It naturally contains proteins, peptides (protein segments), lactose (milk sugar), fat, salt, and water. There are 3 main types of whey: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate. While concentrate is the most common, isolate is the highest quality. Hydrolysate is the same as isolate but it’s broken down into smaller particles for faster digestion. There are several methods that determine protein quality, and whey is at or near the top in all of them. 

What Is Pea Protein?

Pea protein is a complete protein that’s extracted from yellow split peas. It was originally brought to market in 2014, making it a relatively new protein source. As plant-based protein powders have stormed the market, pea protein has established itself as a high-quality option.

 

Methods Of Determining Protein Quality – Some Examples

Before we go any further, let’s look at some of the methods used to determine the quality of a protein. First up is BV, or Biological Value. The BV determines how well a protein is absorbed and used by the body. Whey averages 104, but can be higher. In comparison, pea averages 65. Before whey, egg white protein was the highest at 100. 

 

Another common method of determining protein quality is the PER, or Protein Efficiency Ratio. The PER is the gain in body weight divided by the amount of protein consumed. It’s something of an unusual method because the test is based on the growth of rats. Further, any weight gain may be because of other factors. Even so, it’s an accepted method of determining protein quality. 

Whey has a PER of 3 to 3.2, higher than pea (2.4). 

 

There’s also the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). This method determines protein quality by looking at the amino acid requirements of humans and our ability to digest the protein being tested. In this case, 1 (one) is the highest rating, and 0 (zero) is the lowest. Whey rates a 1, as does milk, casein, and egg protein. In comparison, pea rates .72 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) 

Which One Is The Best?

We’ve already seen that whey rates are higher in the methods discussed above. Both are fast-digesting. Since both are sources of protein, they ultimately do the same thing. What it really comes down to is whether or not you want a vegan protein powder. Certainly, if you’ve experienced gastric problems with whey protein, it makes sense to give pea protein a try. Also, if your lifestyle advocates the use of a plant-based protein, then pea (or a plant-based blend that includes pea) is the protein powder for you. Otherwise, if it comes down to which one is the highest quality, go with whey isolate. 

Here’s A Look At 3 Of Our Best Whey Proteins

AllMax IsoFlex – Whey Isolate Protein

One serving of AllMax IsoFlex provides 27g of whey isolate per serving. This isolate protein is actually a blend of cross-flow, ultra-filtered whey isolate, ion-charged particle-filtered whey isolate, and alpha-lactalbumin-rich whey isolate. While it’s naturally flavored, it also includes artificial flavoring and sweeteners. There are several flavors, including Cookies and Cream and Strawberry. Known for its amazing taste, IsoFlex mixes easily. If you would prefer an all-natural whey isolate, we have AllMax IsoNatural. Very similar to IsoFlex, IsoNatural uses natural flavoring and is sweetened with stevia. Please check our stock levels for availability.

 

See it here: AllMax IsoFlex – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)

 

See IsoNatural here: AllMax IsoNatural – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)

PROS

  • 27g Ultra-Pure Whey Isolate Per Serving
  • Tastes Great – Lots Of Flavors!
  • Zero Fat, Zero Sugar, Low Sodium

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Ingredients

NutraBio 100% Whey Protein Isolate

When it comes to quality and transparency, NutraBio can’t be beat. The label of their 100% Whey Protein Isolate is so transparent, they provide the exact amount of flavoring, salt, gum, and sweeteners. Plus, all their products are just as transparent. One scoop provides 28.74g of whey isolate, which yields 25g of protein. What does that mean? It means that of the 28.74g, 25g, or 88%, is pure protein. The rest is fat and lactose. Also, NutraBio is known as a great-tasting protein powder. If fully disclosed labels are important to you, look no further than NutraBio.

 

See it here: Nutrabio 100% Whey Protein Isolate – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)

 

PROS

  • Fully Transparent Labels
  • Ultra Pure Protein
  • Mixes Easy & Tastes Great

CONS

  • Contains Some Artificial Ingredients

Rule 1 R1 Protein

Rule 1 R1 Protein is a blend of whey isolate and hydrolysate. One serving provides 25g of what will be a very fast-digesting protein. R1 Protein also includes a BCAA/Glutamine blend to stimulate protein synthesis and improve recovery. Rule 1 R1 Protein mixes well and tastes great, especially its Fruity Cereal flavor. Finally, R1 Protein contains zero sugar, zero lactose, and zero fat. However, it does contain some artificial ingredients. 

 

See it here: Rule 1 Proteins R1 Protein – Find Gym Protein Powder (illpumpyouup.com)

PROS

  • Fast Digesting Isolate & Hydrolysate Protein
  • Added BCAAs And Glutamine
  • Tastes Great

CONS

  • Contains Artificial Ingredients

Here’s 3 Of Our Best Pea Proteins

NOW Sports Pea Protein

One serving provides 25g of yellow pea isolate protein. There are no other ingredients. NOW Sports Pea Protein is a non-GMO protein with zero artificial ingredients. It comes in two flavors (Chocolate and Vanilla), mixes easily, and tastes great. NOW Sports Pea Protein also provides 4.4g of BCAAs per serving, which are essential for protein synthesis. Finally, all NOW products are premium quality and tested for potency as well as purity. 

 

See it here: NOW Pea Protein – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)

PROS

  • Premium Quality Pea Isolate Protein
  • No Other Ingredients
  • Mixes Easy & Tastes Great

CONS

  • There Are Only Two Flavors

 

NOW Sports Organic Pea Protein

This version of NOW Sports Pea Protein is organic, that’s the only difference. Otherwise, the scoop is smaller, resulting in 15g of organic yellow pea protein per serving. Also, the smaller scoop means BCAAs drop to 2.7g per serving. Still, like their regular Pea Protein, there are no other ingredients. NOW offers the same two flavors, and Organic Pea Protein mixes easily and tastes great.

 

See it here: NOW Organic Pea Protein – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)

PROS

  • 100% Organic
  • Smaller Serving Size Provides 15g Organic Pea Isolate & 2.7g BCAAs
  • There’s Only One Ingredient

CONS

  • Only Two Flavors

PEScience Vegan Series Select Protein

This is a protein blend. One serving provides 20g of pea and brown rice concentrate per serving. This combination creates a premium quality plant-based protein. Both pea and brown rice are fast-digesting, making Vegan Series Select Protein ideal for post-workout use. The only other ingredients are natural flavoring, stevia, and guar gum. This product offers several great-tasting flavors, including Peanut Butter Delight, and Vanilla Indulgence. As you’d expect from PEScience, the taste is amazing!

 

See it here: PEScience Vegan Series Select Protein – Order Gym Protein Powder (illpumpyouup.com)

 

PROS

  • 20g Pea & Brown Rice Protein
  • Zero Artificial Ingredients
  • Several Flavors To Choose From

CONS

  • None!

Tips For Using Whey Or Pea Protein

Regardless of your goals, protein is one of your keys to success. Whether you’re going for mass or fat loss, you’ll need to consume plenty of protein. Since both whey and pea are fast-digesting proteins, there are a few key times you should be using a protein powder. First, have a shake first thing in the morning, before you do anything. It doesn’t have to be a huge shake. It just has to get you through to when you eat breakfast. The purpose is to kick you back into a positive protein balance after sleeping for 7-10 hours. For example, if you wake up at 7, but don’t eat until 8 or 9, a small protein shake will help you get into an anabolic state literally within minutes. 

 

Next, make sure you have a protein shake with fast-digesting carbs right after you work out. By this, I mean literally as soon as you’ve ended your last set. Finally, don’t slack off on your off days. Growth is a direct result of how well you recover, and protein is one of the key components of proper recovery. 

Recap

The bottom line is, Whey is still King! Don’t worry, pea is a high-quality protein that works quite well as a plant or vegan-based whey alternative. Again, while it can’t be denied that whey rates are higher, if your lifestyle calls for pea, choose the highest quality pea proteins you can find, such as NOW Sports Pea Protein and NOW Sports Organic Pea Protein. Don’t forget the plant-based blend of PEScience Vegan Series Select! You can stock up on the protein powder of your choice and get all your supplements right here: I’ll Pump You Up – Fitness Products At Warehouse Prices! (illpumpyouup.com). In the meantime, keep hitting those weights!

 

References:

  1. Protein Efficiency Ratio – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
  2. Foods With a High Protein Efficiency Ratio (sfgate.com)
  3. Protein Efficiency Ratio – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
  4. Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score – Wikipedia
  5. PDCAAS of different protein sources in human nutrition [25, 18]. | Download Table (researchgate.net)

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