Pea Protein - The Non-Dairy Muscle Builder

Although you can typically get enough protein each day by following a well-balanced and nutritious diet, real life often has a tendency to get in the way, and preparing a healthy meal rich in plant-based protein foods can be a bit of a hassle at times. That’s why smoothies with protein powder can be a great option, augmenting protein intake with minimal prep time.

Another great reason to use protein powder is that consuming it within 30 minutes of working out can help speed up muscle growth and recovery to optimize your workout and get faster results. But while preparing and eating a full meal is not only difficult directly after working out, it can often make you feel nauseous and heavy. A light smoothie packed with great proteins, on the other hand, is a quick and easy alternative to help bump up your protein intake.

Protein powder is available in several forms, most commonly as whey protein, brown rice protein powder and soy. Whey and brown rice protein have some incredible benefits and both are very useful in their own right. Soy protein, on the other hand, may not be so stellar for health due to its high concentration of phytoestrogens and the fact that nearly all soy in the U.S. is genetically engineered.

The rising popularity of this pea supplement should come as no surprise, considering the amazing makeup of this veggie protein powder. Pea protein powder is among the most hypoallergenic of all protein powders, as it contains no gluten, soy or dairy. It’s also easy on the tummy and doesn’t cause bloating, a common side effect of many other protein powders.

It’s common for people trying to lose weight to neglect protein intake, which can stall and slow weight loss in the long run. However, getting between 0.8–1.0 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight each day helps you to build muscle and burn fat faster. If you weigh 140 pounds — which is about 64 kilograms — for example, you should take in about 51–64 grams of protein each day.

Another way that protein benefits weight loss is due to its ability to lower levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating feelings of hunger. Pea protein can delay the emptying of your stomach and reduce the secretion of ghrelin to curb cravings and decrease appetite. In fact, research shows that pea protein matches dairy-based proteins in its ability to help you feel fuller for longer! 

Not only is pea protein good for your waistline, but it’s also proven to support a healthy heart. In 2011, one animal model out of Canada reported that pea protein lowers high blood pressure. Impressively enough, the rats in the study showed a significant drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure over the course of just eight weeks. 

In another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that intake over time of plant-based proteins, rather than animal-based proteins, was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). If you are at any sort of risk for heart problems, the best thing you can do is to eat foods that reduce inflammation, such as peas and other plant-based ingredients. Inflammation is the cause of almost every major heart disease, and CHD is not excluded from that list.

Some studies suggest that pea protein may be one of the best protein sources for those with kidney issues. In fact, according to research conducted by the University of Manitoba, pea protein could help delay or prevent the onset of kidney damage in those with high blood pressure. It could also help those with kidney disease live longer by stabilizing blood pressure levels and can increase urine function to help the body rid itself of toxins and waste more efficiently. 

A common misconception about vegetable-based natural protein powder supplements is that they don’t have the same effect on muscle growth and muscle recovery after workouts as dairy-based whey protein. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a 2015 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition proved that pea protein was just as effective as dairy-based proteins at increasing muscle thickness after resistance training. 

The muscle-boosting benefits of protein may be due to the high quantities of L-arginine in pea protein, which are found in higher concentrations than in other protein products. Arginine — and L-arginine — is an important amino acid that helps you to build muscle. This is because it stimulates the secretion of human growth hormone, a type of hormone involved in the regulation of growth, metabolism and muscle mass.

Some research shows that all-natural protein powder supplements like pea protein could be beneficial when it comes to maintaining normal blood sugar levels. For instance, a study conducted by the University of Toronto’s Department of Nutritional Sciences tested the effects of pea protein on food intake, blood sugar levels and appetite in healthy young men. While the addition of pea protein didn’t change food intake or appetite, the blood sugar levels of subjects stayed lower than they normally would. This suggests pea protein can be considered a beneficial ingredient and can help improve glycemic control when paired with other foods. 

One of the things that people often consider when shopping for protein supplements is whether or not they are considered complete protein sources. The complete protein definition includes any food or supplement that contains all nine of the essential amino acids, which are the types of amino acid that your body is unable to produce and must obtain from food sources.

Because of the varied types of soy and the confusion often surrounding protein powders, there tends to be a lot of different opinions about the assortment of amino acids in different types of proteins and what is necessary. Many people think that soy is the only vegetable-based protein with a complete amino acid profile, but that’s not the case. Hemp protein powder is also considered a complete protein, while brown rice protein also sports a complete load of amino acids but is a bit low in lysine in comparison to whey protein or casein protein.

Pea protein has a nearly complete profile, although there are a couple of nonessential and conditional amino acids missing. Does that mean you should write off pea protein altogether? Absolutely not! That’s one big reason it’s important to switch it up when it comes to protein powders and include a good variety in your routine. And remember — it’s OK to use a protein powder that doesn’t have every single amino acid. If you eat organic superfoods as a daily part of your routine, you should consume a full load of amino acids and complete protein foods every day through your diet anyway.

As the most popular and cheapest protein powder available, many people often wonder: Is whey protein good for you? Whey protein boasts a complete amino acid profile and supplies a good amount of protein for a low amount of calories. It’s especially useful for building muscle and enhancing exercise performance while also burning fat and stabilizing blood sugar levels. The biggest difference between pea protein powder vs. whey powder, however, is that it’s milk-based, meaning it may not be suitable for those with food sensitivities or dietary restrictions.

Pea, hemp and rice protein powder are a few of the most popular and best plant-based protein powder supplements available. All three are non-dairy protein powder options that are ideal for vegans or those on a plant-based diet. However, there are some minute differences between them that make each a worthy addition to your protein powder rotation.

Brown rice protein powder is often considered one of the best plant protein powder options for those with allergies because it’s free of soy, dairy and other added ingredients that may cause issues for those with food sensitivities. However, while it technically contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs, it is low in lysine and should be paired with other protein foods or powders to maximize the potential benefits.

To balance out your amino acid intake and use a truly spectacular protein powder blend, it’s a great idea to combine pea protein with brown rice protein. Pea protein fills in the gaps sometimes found in in brown rice protein (such as low lysine levels) yet both are 100 percent vegan and can help you avoid potential gas issues associated with other types of vegetable protein powders.

It’s usually recommended that healthy adults get at least 0.8–1.0 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. This amount can also vary widely based on your activity level, with some high-intensity athletes requiring up to twice as much protein. Older adults and people with certain health conditions like cancer, burns or severe wounds may also require higher amounts of protein.

Today, peas are an important ingredient in many different dishes and cuisines. They’re frequently incorporated into stir-fried dishes in China, added to stews in many Mediterranean countries and served alongside meat pies in the United Kingdom. There are a number of different varieties of peas available, each of which varies slightly in terms of flavor, nutritional value and the way it is used and consumed.

Protein powder can be an easy and convenient way to boost your protein intake when you’re running short on time or need a bit of help meeting your daily needs. Keep in mind, though, that protein powder shouldn’t completely replace protein intake from food sources. Protein foods like meat, fish, poultry, eggs and legumes are high in protein but also contain a wealth of other important nutrients that your body needs as well.

Pea protein is safe for most people and can be consumed with minimal risk of side effects. However, consuming protein in high amounts could cause several pea protein side effects. In fact, overdoing it on the protein could cause issues like weight gain, bone loss, kidney issues and impaired liver function.

Keep your intake in moderation to take advantage of the unique benefits of protein powder without going overboard and harming your health.


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