Is Pea Protein Still a Good Option for Plant-Based Diets?

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

When it comes to getting enough protein in your diet, you might wonder if there’s a better alternative to whey, right? Well, pea protein is quickly becoming one of the most trending plant-based proteins on the market and is rapidly becoming a popular and highly effective source of plant-based protein for those who are looking for a whey alternative.

Not only is pea protein suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets, but it’s also a great source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle. It contains all nine essential amino acids, including lysine, which helps your body to better absorb calcium and form collagen.

Also, if you are looking for a new way to get your protein without overloading on animal products, pea protein could be the perfect solution!

Let’s dive a little deeper and get a better understanding of what exactly pea protein powder is.

What is Pea Protein Powder?

Pea protein powder is a protein-based supplement extracted from yellow peas. Sure, many people may not prefer the typical peas they find on their dinner plate, but those who are looking to increase their protein intake may find a pea protein powder advantageous.

You have the ability to add pea protein powder to shakes, energy drinks, smoothies, and more, and it can be a perfect fit for any diet because it’s vegan and hypoallergenic.

This incredible powder offers various benefits to improve health. Let’s jump into some of the most common health benefits associated with pea protein.

The Health Benefits of Pea Protein Powder

As more and more people become health-conscious, they are turning to alternative protein sources to meet their dietary needs. One such is pea protein, which offers the following health benefits:

1.      Easily digestible

Unlike some other plant-based proteins, pea protein is easy to digest and doesn’t cause digestive issues like some other forms of protein. This makes it an ideal choice for people with sensitive stomachs or digestive disorders like IBS.

The great thing about pea protein is that many mention it doesn’t leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. It’s also relatively low in calories and fat, making it an ideal choice if you’re trying to lose weight.

2.      Helps to build muscle mass

Pea protein can be your best friend when it comes to building muscle mass. As per a study, consuming around 50 grams of pea protein per day can help you build muscle in the same way as consuming whey protein.

This simply means that pea protein is as effective as dairy products when it comes to muscle growth and repairing torn-down muscle fibers. However, it should be noted that pea protein powder needs to be paired with proper exercise to get the desired results.

3.      Good for heart health

Are you wondering how pea protein powder and heart health are interlinked? Well, pea protein powder helps to reduce risk factors like cholesterol and high blood pressure. As per a study, 3 grams of pea protein powder per day can help lower systolic blood pressure by around 6 points.

However, more research is needed to see the effects of pea protein powder in reducing cholesterol levels.

4.      The versatility of pea protein

One of the best things about pea protein is its versatility. From protein shakes to baked goods, and even in savory vegan-friendly dishes like veggie burgers, you can use it in literally everything.

It’s an amazingly great way to add protein to your favorite dishes without adding animal products. So, if you’re looking for a way to get your protein without relying on the use of animal products, pea protein is definitely worth looking into.

It’s a great vegan alternative to whey protein, and it’s packed with essential amino acids and plenty of other beneficial nutrients. Plus, it’s easy to incorporate into almost any recipe.

Are There Any Potential Side Effects?

The consumption of pea protein is generally considered to be safe. However, in some cases, there may be a few side effects like gas or bloating.

Moreover, pea protein is very high in sodium, so people who are on a sodium-restricted diet should actually try to avoid pea protein. Or it is better to consult a doctor before consuming the supplement.

And in case you witness any of the side effects, immediately consult a physician.

Should You Consider Trying Pea Protein?

Overall, pea protein is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a plant-based source of protein that’s low in calories and fat. It’s also a great way to get the essential amino acids your body needs to build quality lean muscle and boost overall health.

So, pea protein might be right up your alley if you’re looking for a protein alternative. And most importantly, it’s easy to incorporate into almost any diet (regardless of if you’re a vegan/vegetarian or not).

Give pea protein powder a try and see what it can do for you!