When we hear about protein powders, the most commons forms we might be aware of are Whey Protein and Soy protein. On the rise, and one of the newer proteins on the market, here we take a look at Pea Protein.
What is pea protein?
Pea protein is a vegetarian protein that is extracted from peas. It comes in the form of pea protein powder that you will see in many of your local supplement shops and health food stores. Pea protein is a complete protein which means it contains the essential amino acids.
It is actually the most hypoallergenic of all protein powders because it doesn’t contain dairy or gluten. Because of this, it has been described that pea protein contains no side effects and can be gentler on the stomach than other protein powders and doesn’t cause bloating.
What are the benefits?
Aside from being gluten free, dairy free and suitable for vegetarians, below is a list of further benefits:
- It can keep you feeling full for longer
When your stomach is hungry the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’ is released. Pea protein is said to produce peptides that delays the hunger hormone being produced and therefore helps to suppress your appetite.
- It contains high amounts of protein vs whey protein and other proteins
It can contain up to 5g more protein than regular whey protein which is great news if you’re trying to build muscle, increase your protein intake and hit certain macros.
- It can help to build muscle
It is about 9% leucine by weight. Leucine is an amino acid which can help boost the process of protein synthesis thus meaning it is great for helping to build muscle.
What are the drawbacks?
- Pea protein is low in methionine
Methionine is one of the nine essential amino acids, and pea protein powders contain low amounts of it. On a practical level, this isn’t necessarily an issue because lots of other every day foods like oats, chicken and eggs contain it, and you can therefore boost these levels by eating those foods. If however pea protein is your only source of protein, then this may be an issue.
What are the macros?
In one 25g scoop are the below macros – which I think you will agree are great. I have used Vital Greens: Pea Protein, Unflavoured variety as the example:
- 374kj (89 calories)
- 20.9g protein
- 0.3g fat
- 0.7g carbs
- 0.0g sugars
This Pea Protein is low in calories, low in fat and sugars and high in protein which is what I would look for in a protein. Being honest, I would probably opt for a flavour variety such as chocolate, which is admittedly slightly higher in fat (2.2g) and carbs (3.2g) but would be more satisfying in porridge or as a post-gym protein shake.
Is it right for me?
Pea protein is definitely an option to be considered if you are looking to increase your protein intake. It doesn’t have a distinct taste like some whey proteins, and is therefore a versatile option to add into smoothies and oats. It’s also easily digestible so if you have a delicate stomach, it might be worth a try. Both of the Protein Bread Co.’s bread mixes contain pea protein too – so if you want to test how it sits with you, why not try one of our bread mixes?