Friday, 14 June 2019

Is Plant based protein better than whey protein?

Whey is the by product of cheese making, when rennet is added to cow’s milk.  Cheese curds forms out of the rennet and milk mixture and the by product liquid that is strained away is whey.  Whey protein in its pure form has to be heavily flavoured as it tastes bad.

Whey protein is high in casein, the protein in cow’s milk, that is hard to digest and has a high allergenicity risk in many people.  A calf has 4 stomachs, to digest cow’s milk that contains casein. Humans have one stomach and we are not designed to drink the milk of another animal when we have weaned from our mothers.  With just one stomach and limited digestive enzymes, humans have trouble digesting whey giving rise to digestive symptoms of bloating and flatulence.  Approximately 75% of the earth’s population, and over 90% of Asians, have problems digesting lactose, the other component that is present in whey. 

There are many types of plant based protein but the 2 least controversial and low in allergy are pea and rice protein.  Pea protein is tasteless in its pure form.  Pea protein contains all 9 essential amino acids but low in methionine and cysteine but high in lysine – great for your cold sores!  Therefore when combined with rice protein, which is high in methionine and cysteine and low in lysine the two makes a complete protein.

Pea and rice protein typically do not cause allergic reactions.  These proteins are easy to digest and absorb.

Both whey and pea protein are high in leucine and BCAA, the amino acids that helps to build muscles to raise metabolic rate and lose fats.  Since there is difference in leucine and BCAA, it is better to obtain the amino acid from pea compared to whey!

Another important difference between whey and pea protein is how it affects body pH.  Whey protein is acid forming, whereas pea protein is alkalising.  A balanced body pH tending towards slight alkalinity is optimal to provide for healthy cell function.

I have a strong preference of pea and rice protein compared to whey protein for the many reasons listed above to help build muscles, burn fats and make you feel healthy!

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