The world of protein supplements is growing day by day. With more brands, greater demand and innovation comes more variety in the industry. No longer are you confined to either milk based proteins or soy based proteins, now you have access to wide variety of other proteins including beef protein, fish protein, rice protein, hemp protein and the fast growing pea protein.
Pea Protein Powder
Pea protein powder is a vegetarian protein supplement that is derived mostly from yellow split peas. A sustainable source of protein, pea protein generally has a high digestibility rate at around 90-95% depending on the source and the form of protein. Pea protein also has the additional benefit of being hypoallergenic due to the absence of common allergens and intolerance ingredients such as lactose, gluten and wheat.
Pea Protein Isolate
Pea protein can be separated just like other protein supplements into different purity’s including pea protein concentrate and pea protein isolate. Pea protein concentrates typically have a protein content of over 80% with the rest coming from predominantly carbohydrates and a bit of fat. Pea protein isolates however tend to have a higher protein value at usually over 90% protein and lower in carbohydrates and fat.
Pea Protein Nutrition Information
Pea Protein contains most of the amino acids in high amounts, especially the essential amino acid lysine. However pea protein is lacking in the sulphurous amino acids of cysteine and methionine, which is often why pea proteins are either fortified, mixed with rice protein or hydrolysed wheat protein which is higher in cysteine and methionine or mixed in with rice milk.
Pea Protein Benefits
As previously mentioned, pea protein is extremely hypo-allergenic, even more so than soy. Devoid of the common allergens such as lactose, gluten and wheat and milk proteins, pea protein is also a sustainable and environmentally friendly protein. Pea protein does not require external pollination and the crops tend to draw nitrogen from the air, so do not require the use of external fertilisers. Unlike soy protein, pea protein has no negative health consequences associated with it and furthermore, pea protein is an extremely cost-effective protein source.
Pea Protein Taste & Mixability
Pea protein tends to have a grainier texture than whey protein and soy protein, but is not entirely unpleasant. The texture of pea protein supplements tends to increase satiety and fullness as compared to smoother, more fluid proteins, which is beneficial for those looking at weight loss and fat loss or those using protein supplements for a meal replacement. Pea protein is naturally slightly sweet and the flavour profile is enhanced when mixed with cold rice milk.
Pea Protein vs Whey
While whey protein does contain more branched chain amino acids and a higher protein content, your body only really requires 20g of protein in a single sitting to exert its beneficial effects on muscle protein synthesis. Furthermore, pea protein tends to have the highest arginine content of most protein sources including that of whey. Increased arginine intake has the following benefits for trainers:
a) Exogenous sources of arginine can help to promote growth hormone release
b) Involved in the synthesis of creatine
c) Precursor to nitric oxide synthesis
All the above factors can impact positively on training and performance over that of simply increase muscle protein synthesis. In terms of digestion rate, pea protein has an intermediate fast digestion rate, which affords you a longer period of amino acid delivery to the muscles.
Pea Protein Supplements
Pea protein is a rising star in the protein and supplement market due to its high digestibility and bioavailability, its low allergenic nature and it being a sustainable and cost-effective source of protein. So if you were after a good alternative source of protein, pea protein is definitely one of the best choices on the market today.