Whey Protein vs Plant-based Protein | Which is better
by Snehal Snehal on Jul 26, 2022
We all have different fitness goals. Some of us want to bulk up, some of us want to slim down, and some of us just want to stay in shape. But no matter what our individual goals may be, we all need protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, after all.
So which kind of protein should you choose? Whey protein or plant-based protein? Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of each type to help you decide which one is right for you.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a type of protein that is derived from milk. It is the liquid that remains after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a complete protein, which means that it contains all of the essential amino acids that our bodies need. Whey protein is a popular choice for athletes and bodybuilders because it is easily digested and absorbed by the body.
What is Plant-based protein?
Plant-based protein is a type of protein that comes from plants. This includes proteins from soy, lentils, beans, peas, and hemp. Plant-based protein is a complete protein, which means that it contains all of the essential amino acids that our bodies need. Many people choose plant-based protein because it is lower in calories and fat than animal-based proteins.
Whey Protein vs Plant-based Protein | Let's Compare
Now that we know a little bit more about whey protein and plant-based protein, let's compare them to see which one is the better choice.
In terms of taste
Whey protein powder generally has a more neutral taste than plant-based protein powders. This means that it can be easily mixed with other ingredients and flavors to create a delicious shake or smoothie.
Plant-based protein powders, on the other hand, can sometimes have a chalky or grainy texture and may not always mix as well with other ingredients.
In terms of Nutrition
Whey protein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. It is also very rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are important for muscle growth and recovery.
Plant-based proteins are not always complete proteins, but they can be paired with other foods to create a complete protein. For example, pairing rice and beans provides all the essential amino acids your body needs. Plant-based proteins are also generally lower in calories and fat than whey protein.
When it comes to environmental impact
Animal agriculture, including dairy production, is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Since whey protein is a dairy product, it has a large environmental footprint.
Plant-based proteins are much more environmentally friendly than whey protein. They require less water and land to produce and generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
In terms of health
Plant-based proteins are generally lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than whey protein. They can also provide other health benefits, such as fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Plant-based proteins are also typically lower in calories than whey protein, making them a good choice for people who are trying to lose weight.
Whereas whey proteins are fast-digesting and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, plant-based proteins are slower to digest and have a more balanced effect on blood sugar. This is especially important for people with diabetes or other conditions that require careful management of blood sugar levels.
In terms of safety
Plant-based proteins are generally considered to be safer than whey protein. This is because they are less likely to contain harmful substances, such as heavy metals or antibiotics. Plant-based proteins are also less likely to cause allergies or intolerances.
Whereas whey protein is a by-product of the cheese-making process, plant-based proteins are made from whole foods. This means that they are more natural and less processed.
So, what’s the bottom line?
Both whey protein and plant-based proteins have their pros and cons. Whey protein is a good source of protein and can help build muscle, but it may not be suitable for everyone. Plant-based proteins are generally considered to be safer and more natural, but they may not provide as much protein as whey protein.
However, certain things make plant-based protein a better choice, such as:
- Most plant proteins are low in saturated fat, whereas whey protein is high in saturated fat.
- Plant proteins are rich in fiber, which is important for gut health. Whey protein is low in fiber.
- Plant proteins are typically gluten-free, whereas whey protein may contain gluten.
- Plant-based proteins are more sustainable than whey proteins.
So, if you're looking for a protein powder that is safe, natural, and sustainable, then plant-based protein is the better choice. But if you’re looking for a protein powder that will help you build muscle, then whey protein is a better choice.
At the end of the day, the best protein powder is the one that meets your specific goals. So, be sure to choose a protein powder that is right for you.