Protein is essential no matter what kind of diet you follow; however, there are different types of proteins out there that have an effect on your health. Though there are many distinguishing features that have set whey protein as a standard that does not negate the effect of other plant proteins.
What is Plant protein?
Plant protein, essentially is the amino acids derived from plant sources. The most common sources of protein among plants are soy, peas, rice, and hemp. Often used as ideal alternatives to animal based proteins, they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants apart from fiber.
They are more suitable for people with lactose intolerance and/ or vegans.
Suggested Read: Whey vs. Soy vs. Casein Protein- Which is best for you?
What is Whey protein?
It is one of the 2 milk proteins that is acquired during the cheese making process. It is deemed ideal for people with an active lifestyle. The reason whey protein is high quality as compared to any other protein is because it has the highest amount of Biological value apart from having a complete protein with higher amount of individual amino acids. Other than that, it helps keep you satiated for longer, is low in carbs, fat and calories while helping preserve the lean muscle tissue during intense exercise. Also, whey has higher digestibility and absorption rate which makes it a quicker fuel to be supplied to the muscles.
Whey vs. Plant:
The most important requirement that either of the protein type needs to fulfill or meet is that all the necessary parameters for the amino acids should be met for optimum function and results.
A recent study stated that the benefits of using rice protein as compared to whey protein, in two sets of group. In the study, it was found that both the group on supplementation of 48 gm. protein, each, showed similar amount of gains at the end of 8-weeks. The slight variation was due to 5.5 gm. of leucine in whey and 3.8 gm. leucine in rice protein, however, the results were almost similar.
Earlier studies suggest that consuming at least 2-3.5 gm. of leucine is important for maximizing muscle protein synthesis. The results of studies show that an individual can achieve similar lean mass and strength with either plant or whey protein, provided that the amino acid levels in plant protein are high enough to equate whey to provide a significant effect.
An additional effect that plant based protein may provide is the dietary fiber, whereas in case of whey protein, fiber needs to be added to enhance the nutrition quality of the protein.
Suggested Read: Whey vs. BCAA- Which is better?
As far as texture is concerned, plant protein have received flak over being less in textural quality as whey but it really depends on the overall quality of the product. Whether the product is whey or plant based, if the quality used is good, it will give you better texture. Whereas taste is more or less a matter of flavours. With time, there have been several flavours that you can choose from as per individual preference.
The bottom-line is plant protein may appeal more to people with allergy or digestibility issues or vegan choices while whey remains the best option for the rest. Adding to that on a concluding note, it is okay to go for either kind of protein as long as you are getting the necessary amount of amino acids from either source.
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