Plant Protein vs Whey Protein What is the difference
Protein is an essential nutrient in the body, especially if you want to build muscle. The acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) for protein varies from 10 to 35 percent of your daily caloric intake, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The more active you are, the greater your protein need.
While you can meet your daily protein needs with whole, protein-rich foods, the ISS believes that supplementation is the most practical way to ensure that sufficient protein is obtained before and after exercise.
The most common way of supplementing this macronutrient is to supplement protein powder in two standard varieties–wheat and vegetation. Both can be beneficial if they are natural, non-GMO ingredients and do not contain artificial sweeteners or processed additives. However, there are important differences to consider when choosing between the two options.
Before selecting either, get the breakdown of the whey vs plant protein so you can make the best decision for your body.
Whey contains milk/dairy; Plant-based is vegan-friendly
Dairy consists of casein, whey, solid and liquid portion. Whey is separated from casein in the manufacturing process and this by-product is then dried into a powder. The two main forms of whey powder are concentrate and isolate, and each has its own advantages.
Whey concentrate contains more organically active compounds, making them ideal for athletic performance. However, the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine considers whey isolate to be the “purest available source” with “90 percent or higher” protein content.
Whey isolate is also considered safe for those with lactose intolerance, as it contains only traces of lactose sugar.
However, if you’re vegetarian or vegan or just want a vegetarian protein option, plant protein is a nutritious option. Brown rice, soya, hemp and pea protein are the most common protein sources in plant-based powders. Pea protein has also been shown to be as efficient as whey in the 2015 study when measuring “muscle thickness” increases, making this a good option for meatless athletes.
Whey is a complete source of amino acids ; it is not always plant-based
One important advantage of whey protein is that it contains all nine key amino acids that the body can not produce on its own. It is a complete protein. Whey also tends to digest quickly so that the muscle protein synthesis (MPS) triggered by these amino acids can be rapidly absorbed and metabolized in the body, according to Nutrients Journal.
In other words, the protein can work faster in your body.
That’s why whey promotes energy and endurance during training and then increases muscle growth and repair when you’re done.
However, in most cases the plant protein is considered an incomplete protein that lacks some of the nine amino acids. Methionine, isoleucine, lysine, threonine and tryptophan are the most frequently absent amino acids, according to the International Society of Sports Nutritions Journal.
However, soy-based protein powders contain all nine amino acids because soy is one of the only vegetable foods considered a complete protein. The good news is you don’t have to worry about the “gap” of amino acids, says Trinh Lee, MPH, RD: “Eating a combination of incomplete proteins provides the essential amino acids that your body needs. While you don’t have to eat the complementary protein foods at the same meal, try eating a variety of complementary incomplete proteins throughout the day.”
Both whey and plant-based protein can optimize resistance training
Consuming a single selection of plant or whey protein is both effective and nutrient-rich in various ways. One common advantage is that both provide the right quantity and type of fuel to make the most of your strength training. In fact, the research documented in the International Society of Sports Nutrition Journal shows over a two-month fitness regime that 48 grams of whey and rice protein can produce the same gains in muscle development and composition.
Before exercise, the concentration of amino acids from a high-protein supplement was found to maximize kinetic digestion and absorption. In other words, protein increases the body’s internal processes to convert food into power and strength, regardless of whether it is based on whey or plant.
Choose plant versus whey: you can’t lose
Whether you’re in favor of whey or plant-based training, the goal is to enhance your wellness and optimize your training–and both forms help. Check the ingredients and select the protein powder that best supports your overall health and muscle gains. This means preventing excess sugar, GMO ingredients and additives. All you have to do is choose and prepare to reap the benefits.