The argument about which one is better – plant-based protein supplements or whey protein – never seems to end. After all, plant protein has its supporters and whey protein has its own as well. It’s perplexing to have to choose between the two. Let’s face it – your choice can affect not just your health, fitness goals and lifestyle – it can also strongly influence the quality of your life.
No matter how much research we do, we can’t shake off the fact that plant-based protein supplements and whey protein both have their pros and cons.
In order to choose the right protein supplement for yourself, you first need to understand the differences between plant protein and whey protein.
Plant-Protein VS Whey Protein: A Never-ending War
Natural VS Processed
Obviously, plant-based protein supplements are from plants. This makes it a more natural option when you’re looking for a dependable protein source. Whey protein, on the other hand, is an animal product. It comes from milk. The thing with whey protein supplement is… it goes through so many processed before it ends up in a bottle of protein powder.
Digestion and Absorption
When it comes to choosing your protein supplement, you need to find your best match. What seems to be the best protein powder for a friend may not be the best for you.
Plant protein has been known to be generally compatible with anyone. Most are hypoallergenic and also contain digestive enzymes that help in digestion and absorption of nutrients. As long as you are a healthy individual who doesn’t have any diseases that inhibit the absorption of plant protein, you can achieve your body’s daily protein needs without a problem. If you want easy digestion, plant protein is the answer.
Whey protein is also a good source of protein. A problem occurs sometimes, however, because of its lactose content. Lactose is a sugar component found in milk. Our body breaks this down in the small intestines, using the enzyme lactase.
However, when our body fails to produce enough lactase, we won’t be able to digest lactose. This causes abdominal pain, bloating and gas. There are also people who are lactose intolerant. People who are lactose intolerant can even have diarrhea every time they consume food containing lactose! Whey protein is definitely a no for people with lactose issues.
Completeness of Protein
Sadly, most plant protein sources do not provide complete protein. Some may have only a couple of the nine essential amino acids needed to have a complete protein. Don’t let that discourage you from choosing plant protein supplement though. A complete protein can still be achieved through plant sources by blending different sources together. It still helps in muscle development in just the same way whey protein does.
As for whey protein, it has all the essential amino acids. It provides complete protein, so it has been the go-to protein supplement for most people.
Plant protein has a really high nutrient density. It does not just have protein but also includes fiber, vitamins, minerals and even antioxidants. It offers protection from various lifestyle diseases too.
Whey protein is a great protein source but sadly, it does not provide you with anything else.
Check out our infographic below to learn more about the differences between a plant-based protein supplement and whey protein.