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Supplementing with Pea Protein as an Alternative to Whey

4 Health Benefits of pea-protein

Like many, I often drink protein shakes after I work out to help optimize muscle recovery. I prefer whey protein because of the research behind its effectiveness and because I have no issues digesting dairy products. If you prefer whey protein as well, here is a somewhat inexpensive one you might try.

I also like using protein shakes as a quick meal if I am in a rush. However, if that is your primary use for a protein shake, you might want to try a whey protein shake that is more specifically designed to be a meal replacement.

However, whey protein may not be right for some, such as those who are vegans or those who have lactose intolerance. If one of these apply to you, pea protein may be a  good plant based protein option to take after your workout or to take as a meal replacement.

4 Benefits of Pea Protein

An article on ultrafitnessdynamics.com, “The Surprising Benefits of Pea Protein,” mentions a number of reasons taking pea protein might be a good idea.

1. Pea protein has no gluten or allergens.

It also mentions that pea protein has a very high absorption rate. For those who have trouble digesting other forms of protein like whey or soy, this may make pea protein an appealing option.

2. Yellow peas (which are the type of peas typically used in pea protein supplements) contain a high amount of plant protein.

Pea protein is also high in the amino acids isoleucine, valine, arginine, and lysine. Other proteins may not contain all of these amino acids at the level that pea protein does, so adding pea protein to your diet may help you to optimize your amino acid intake.

3. Yellow pea protein hydrolysate may also help those who suffer from kidney disease.

Kidney disease can cause certain negative cardiovascular health effects, including an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol. Because yellow peas contain a certain protein that may help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, pea protein may be helpful in reducing the effects of kidney disease in those who suffer from it.

4. Because of pea protein’s ability to slow the production of ghrelin in the stomach, it may help to promote weight loss by causing feelings of fullness to last longer.

If you want to take pea protein as part of a weight loss program, you might consider taking a meal replacement shake formulated with pea protein.

Another article from nutribodyprotein.com, “The Difference Between Meat, Soy, Whey, Dairy, and Vegan Types of Protein“ points out that rice protein is another hypoallergenic  protein with a high absorption rate that is often combined with pea protein. Rice and pea protein complement each other well because rice protein contains higher levels of the amino acids cysteine and methionine, while pea protein is high in lysine. This combination may offer a more complete profile of amino acids to help build muscle. Pea protein powder also helps to counteract the chalkiness associated with rice protein powder. Here is one protein powder that combines the two.

Because of these potential benefits, you may want to consider adding pea protein to your diet even if you’re not vegan and without allergies.

Pea Protein Smoothie Recipe

A friend of mine uses pea protein and she offered this smoothie recipe she likes:

  • Mix 1 scoop pea protein powder with 1 cup almond milk,
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup of ice…

Throw it in your Vitamix and you’ve got a great smoothie!

Feel free to share your smoothie recipes below or  comment on how pea protein has worked for you.