Whey Protein vs Plant Protein
Published on Apr 23, 2023
By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience
Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build and repair tissues in the body. Today, protein powder has become one of the most popular sources of consuming protein, especially whey protein. While whey protein has long been the go-to for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, plant protein is gaining popularity for its potential health benefits and ethical considerations. Ayurveda also recommends plant protein for anyone who is vegan or is unable to consume milk, especially in case of kapha-dominant people. In this guide, we'll compare whey protein and plant protein to help you decide which one is right for you.
Whey Protein vs Plant Protein: How are they Made?
In this section, we will read about the key difference between whey protein and plant protein and how they are made.
Whey protein is derived from milk and is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Whey protein contains all 9 amino acids and is widely available in powder, premix and isolate form.
Now, let us learn what is plant protein. Plant protein is derived from sources such as peas, soy, and rice. Plant protein is often easier to digest and can be a better option for those with lactose intolerance or other dairy allergies. Unlike whey protein, you don’t consume any amount of carbs alongside plant protein.
Is Whey Protein Good?
Now that we know what is plant protein and whey protein, you may wonder if whey protein is good for you. While whey protein is a popular choice for many fitness enthusiasts due to its high protein content and fast absorption rate, some people may experience digestive issues or allergies to whey protein.
Whey Protein vs Plant Protein Varieties
When it comes to variety, both whey protein and plant protein offer a range of options. Whey protein is typically available in three forms: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate.
Plant-sourced protein, on the other hand, can come from a variety of sources such as pea, soy, rice, hemp, and more. Each source has its own unique amino acid profile and nutritional benefits. It's important to choose a protein source that aligns with your dietary needs and preferences.
Pea Protein vs Whey
One of the most popular forms of plant protein is pea protein powder. While we already know about whey protein, let us know in detail what is a pea protein. Pea protein and whey protein are both popular choices for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, but they differ in several ways. Pea protein is a plant-based protein that is hypoallergenic and easily digestible, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions or digestive issues.
Whey Protein vs Plant Protein for Fitness
Now that we have learned about the varieties of whey protein and plant protein, let us learn about their most important benefit ie fitness. If you are wondering if whey protein is good for fitness then you would be glad to know that due to its high protein content, it has the ability to aid in muscle growth and recovery. It is quickly absorbed by the body, making it an ideal post-workout supplement. Whey protein also contains branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are essential for muscle protein synthesis.
Plant protein, on the other hand, is a great option for those looking to meet their fitness goals, especially for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. Plant protein sources such as soy, pea, and hemp contain all nine essential amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair. Additionally, one of the key benefits of plant based protein powder is that it is often lower in calories and fat than whey protein, making it a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy weight. Plant protein has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can aid in muscle recovery after a workout.
Ayurveda on Whey Protein vs Plant Protein
In Ayurveda, plant sourced proteins are often preferred over animal-based proteins like whey. This is because plant proteins are considered easier to digest and less likely to cause inflammation in the body. Additionally, Ayurveda emphasises the benefits of plant based protein powder by focusing on the importance of balancing all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent) in one's diet, and plant proteins can offer a wider range of tastes compared to whey protein.
Consulting with a registered dietitian or nutritionist can also provide personalized guidance on protein intake and supplementation.
Now that we know the key differences between whey protein and plant protein, we would recommend you to analyse your requirements and priorities. You can also consult our expert ayurvedic doctors to find the right fit for your fitness needs.