Dairy proteins like whey and casein are well established as the gold standard, and make up the majority of the market, but these are not for everybody. Milk allergy, lactose intolerance, and dietary preference lead a lot of people to seek out an alternative protein source. Mild flavoured, digestible, pea protein is one of the best.
Health Benefits of Pea Protein
Pea protein is a pure, vegetable based protein. This rich amino acid source helps a number of people maintain top up their protein intake and maintain good health. Protein, including pea protein, has been shown to be effective in promoting weight loss, and many people have used pea protein to help them build muscle. Modern pea proteins are processed to maximise their biological value and digestibility. While these values may not be as high as those for soy, which is also a very popular plant based protein, pea protein is better digested, less allergenic, and can give peace of mind to those people who are concerned by soy phytoestrogens. Pea protein has an alkaline pH, making it popular with people who believe acidic foods can damage health.
Pea Protein vs Whey Protein
Whey protein is a more complete source of protein than pea. Biological Value is a measurement of how well the body can absorb and utilize a protein. Whey protein has one of the highest biological values, at 104, while the value for untreated pea protein is a lot lower, at 65. This means that the body is able to make better use of whey protein than pea. Despite this, pea protein is still an excellent protein source, and it is a great option for people who cannot handle dairy.
Best Pea Protein Powder
The market for alternative proteins, like pea, is quite small. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent products for those people who wish to use a pea protein.
3. NuZest Clean Lean Protein
NuZest Clean Lean Protein is one of the purest sources of vegetable protein available. The company has developed a natural enzyme process to isolate the protein, and Clean Lean Protein is 96% pure, digestible pea protein. Clean Lean Protein contains next to no fat or carbohydrate, so it is perfect for dieters or people who are building muscle. This protein is available in four flavours, including a natural variety that blends in perfectly with sweet and savoury foods. Clean Lean Protein is a little pricier than other pea proteins, but for many people, the quality is worth the extra expense.
2. International Protein Natural Pea Protein
International Protein is an Aussie brand known for manufacturing innovative, high quality products. Their Pea Protein is part of a new “naturals” range that features pure, all natural protein isolates. The Natural Pea Protein in this product is extracted using gentle, non chemical techniques. This is said to maintain digestibility at 98% and maintain an optimimal amino acid balance. This great value product is one of the most palatable pea proteins available, and comes in chocolate, vanilla or natural varieties.
1. Vital Protein Pea Protein Isolate
Vital Protein are the pea protein leaders, and their Pea Protein Isolate has been the most popular pea protein on the market for a number of years. The secret to the success of this product is their patented enzymatic protein extraction technique. Vital Protein claim that using their method, they are able to increase the amino acid score, a measure of protein quality similar to biological value, from 0.69 to 0.9, which approaches the perfect score of 1 given to whey and other dairy proteins. Plant proteins may contain natural chemicals which inhibit absorption of nutrients, and Vital Protein is very low in these anti-nutritional factors. This product is perfect for anyone, as it is is low in fat and carbs, and comes in at a huge 88% pure, easy to digest pea protein. Vital Protein Pea Protein comes in coffee, chocolate and vanlla flavours, and also an unflavoured variety which is perfect for baking and for stirring into soups, stews, and smoothies.