Protein is an important nutrient your body needs to help build and repair muscle and tissue. It provides energy to tackle daily activities and also helps your immune system fight against various diseases. It is also a very filling macro nutrient - meaning it keeps you full longer.
The are many dietary sources of protein including animal proteins (beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, etc) and protein rich plant sources.
There are also many commercially available protein powders on the market to help supplement your protein needs. Two of the most common are Whey Protein and Vegan Protein.
But when it comes to the topic of vegan proteins and whey proteins, which comes out on top? Which is right for you?
It’s not necessarily the brands that you should go for when it comes to sports supplements but the ingredients instead. So let’s talk about vegan vs whey!
What is vegan protein?
Vegan proteins are plant based proteins - meaning they contain non-animal forms of protein. Natural sources of plant based proteins include: tofu, nuts, seed, chickpeas and soy are some of the common plant based protein sources. Natural plant based proteins are less protein dense than animal sources. This makes eating a high protein diet more difficult for vegans and vegetarians.
As a result, vegetarians and vegans eating a high protein diet will usually choose to supplement their diet with a vegan or plant based protein powder. This helps them to increase their daily protein consumption.
One key point is that most plant based proteins are not complete proteins - meaning they do not contain all 9 essential amino acids. Two common plant based protein sources that are complete proteins are soy and pea. Because most plant based proteins are not complete, many vegan proteins will use a blend of multiple plant based sources to make the blend a complete protein.
Vegan proteins are commonly slower digesting, have a slightly higher carb count, and usually have a higher fiber amount than other protein powders. This is also why they have a thicker and sometimes grittier taste. They are also lactose and dairy free, which can make them easier on the stomach for some people.
What is whey protein?
Whey protein is the most common protein supplement. It is considered the gold standard for muscle recovery and is used by athletes and bodybuilders globally to increase their daily protein consumption.
Whey protein is found in dairy products and comes from cow's milk. It is the watery byproduct of cheese making. Whey protein is also found in some yogurts too.
Whey protein is fast digesting and has a smooth and thin taste. It has been described by many to taste like a milk shake. Since it comes from cow's milk, there is lactose in this protein. This can be an issue for some people.
Whey protein is a complete protein providing all nine essential amino acids.
Which one is better?
Generally speaking, a gram of protein is a gram of protein - meaning it doesn't really matter if it comes from animal or plant sources. But diving deeper you begin to look at speed of digestion, bioavailability, amino acid profiles, lactose content, taste, mouthfeel, and other attributes important to you.
Even though they may be similar at surface level, these differences ultimately determine what is best for you. Obviously, vegans will choose vegan proteins every time. But many vegetarians and animal consuming individuals will choose a vegan protein because of a lactose intolerance, taste preference, or just because they get enough animal protein already in their diet.
Whey protein is the gold standard for muscle recovery and it is very low in fat and carbs. It also has a smooth, milk shake taste and consistency and appeals to many for this reason.
Ultimately, you can't go wrong with either choice. You just need to weigh your options and choose the one that best suits your dietary needs and preferences.
Use protein powders for workout recovery
During your workout, you push your muscles to their limits and deplete your body of nutrients. To start the recovery process, your body needs to refuel. Eating a meal of carbs and proteins is a great way to refuel after your workout, but not everyone can handle a heavy meal right after a workout.
This is where protein powders come in. They are a great option to jumpstart your recovery and are light and easy on the stomach. Pair your protein shake with a piece of fruit (apple, banana, etc...) and you have the perfect carb and protein combo!
If you are looking to enhance your recovery between workouts, then it’s definitely worth getting yourself a protein powder of some sort. Whether you mix it in with other ingredients to make a protein smoothie or you mix it with water, it can really help with your workout recovery and provide all the health benefits that come with having a high protein diet.
Propello Life provides premium, natural supplements and offers both Vegan Protein and grass fed Whey Protein. Learn more about these protein powders now.