Plant-based Protein vs Whey

Plant based protein has gained immense popularity over the last couple of years, which has sparked a hot debate; which is better, plant-based protein or whey? If you’re tossing up between the two and are unsure as to which one will provide the most health benefits, we’re here to break it down for you. Both sources provide protein, we can agree on that.  

But, due to where each protein derives from, there are a few key nutritional differences. Which one will be the best option for you? Let’s find out. 

The Benefits of Both 

Both whey protein and plant-based protein have the same objective; to fuel your body. Getting in your protein, wherever it might be from, will help you build muscle and reach your body composition goals. Your body will take whatever protein it can get and use it to build muscle and help you recover after workouts. So, in that regard, either option is suitable.

Pros and Cons of Whey 

Whey protein is a byproduct of dairy milk, so it is not suitable for vegans. Through various processes, the whey is separated from the milk and is turn into a powder form, which is then flavoured. 

The Pros of Whey Protein are: 

  • High in amino acids (which help the protein build muscle) 
  • High in Leucine 
  • Usually cheaper as it is more frequently produced 
  • Quick absorption 

The Cons of Whey Protein are: 

  • Can be hard to digest 
  • Most whey's have added artificial colours and flavours 
  • Higher fat and calorie content 
  • Can go against ethical beliefs 

Whey protein can be a great option for those of you who are looking for a convenient, affordable, high protein supplement. Its impressive nutritional profile makes it a tough competitor, however, like anything, it does have its cons.  

Pros and Cons of Plant-based Protein 

There are a few variants of plant-based protein such as, pea, soy, hemp and brown rice protein. Contrary to popular belief, plant-based protein powders don’t give you less protein, in fact, they can sometimes provide more. Unfortunately, though, they don’t contain the same amino acid profile as their dairy counterpart. 

The Pros of Plant-based Protein: 

  • Easy to digest and keeps you fuller for longer 
  • Mostly natural ingredients 
  • More sustainable than the production of whey 
  • Suitable for vegans and people sensitive to dairy 

The Cons of Plant-based Protein 

  • Can have a grainy texture 
  • Not naturally high in amino acids 
  • Slower absorption 
  • Can be expensive 

Plant-based proteins have some amazing benefits and you can be confident knowing you’re not going to be missing out on a high-quality protein supplement. If your body doesn’t respond well to dairy or your ethical beliefs don’t align with the production of whey, a plant-based protein powder could be a great alternative.  

Both proteins have their pros and cons, and you should choose the one that best aligns with your lifestyle. Both options are going to help you build muscle and support your recovery after a gruelling workout. However, depending on the things you value and your current diet, one option may work better for you than the other. Either way, both options have their benefits, and you certainly won't be missing out on any protein. Let the gains begin! 

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