Protein is one of three macronutrients that the human body needs to stay healthy. Macronutrients are the nutrients that the human body needs to consume in large quantities in order to properly function. The other two macronutrients are carbohydrates and fats. Proteins main role as a macronutrient is to aid the body in building and maintaining muscle mass. But not all proteins are created equal. In this article, we’re going to answer a common question we receive: “what is the best source of protein?”
What Is the Best Source of Protein: Two Types
All protein falls into one of two categories: plant-based or animal-based. In the interest of full disclosure, we here at BioGains are all about plant-based proteins that are organic and vegan-friendly. So, all of our protein powders will fall under the plant-based category.
Plant-based proteins tend to get a bad reputation. Many believe that plant-based protein doesn’t stack up to animal-based protein. In some cases, this is true. Some plant-based proteins, such as rice protein, aren’t what are referred to as ‘complete proteins.’ This means that the protein doesn’t contain all nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are the amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own and must received through a proper diet.
However, other plant-based proteins such as chia, hemp and pea are complete proteins. And they contain all nine essential amino acids that the human body needs to properly function.
On the other hand, animal-proteins come from animals. The most common animal-based protein is whey. Whey protein was the first protein to become widely available through commercialization and has benefited greatly from being the first protein powder to market. However, plant-based protein powders are becoming increasing more popular for several reasons. As the vegan population continues to grow (it’s up 600% over the last three years), more people opt for plant-based proteins. Additionally, animal-based proteins such as whey are known to be hard on the digestive system and leave many people feeling bloated and fatigued.
What Is the Best Source of Protein: Two Decisions
There are two decisions that you have to make when deciding what is the best source of protein for you. The first of which, is to decide whether you want an animal-based protein or a plant-based protein. Quickly I’ll make the case for plant-based proteins: plant-based proteins are typically much easier on the digestive system than animal-based proteins, many plant-based proteins contain a complete amino acids profile, and no animals are harmed in order to manufacture plant-based proteins.
The second decision you have to make is to decide how much protein that your body actually needs. Different protein powders contain different amounts of protein. For example, hemp protein contains 7 grams of protein per serving while pea protein contains 12 grams of protein per serving. Since protein is vital for both building muscle and losing weight – most people who elect plant-based proteins opt for pea protein.
And as a side note, if your primary goal is to lose weight. Then you should increase your protein intake and decrease your carbs. Many people who diet and/or exercise to lose weight solely focus on cutting calories – which are generally carbs because they make up the largest portion of the macronutrients we consume. But, upping your protein intake will help your body adjust for the decrease in carbs while ensuring that your body is able to build and maintain its muscle mass.
What is the Best Source of Protein: Plant Vs Animal
Animal-based proteins are undoubtedly the most popular protein powders on the market. Although plant-based proteins are rapidly becoming increasingly popular, they still have a ways to go to catch animal-based proteins like whey. However, there is one plant-based protein that seems poised to become the most popular protein powder on the market.
That would be pea protein powder.
Now, you may compare pea protein powder to whey and immediately come away thinking that whey is a better option. After all, almost all whey protein powders advertise that eat serving contains approximately 22 to 24 grams of protein. That number will be right on the front of every bottle.
Most people who are looking to increase their protein intake see this and assume that it’s the highest amount of protein available. However, it isn’t! I recently wrote an article comparing pea protein vs. whey. This article went fairly in depth comparing the most popular plant-based protein to the most popular animal-based protein.
Spoiler alert: In that article, I identified the main difference between pea protein and whey protein. The recommended serving size for pea protein is significantly smaller than the serving size for whey protein. If you were to take the same serving size of pea protein and whey protein, the pea protein powder would actually contain more protein per serving. Pea protein contains a ridiculous 80% of protein per serving and is ideal for anyone looking to build muscle or lose weight.
What is the Best Source of Protein: The Conclusion
We a firm believers that pea protein is the best source of protein on earth. It’s high protein content and its easiness on the digestive track make it second-to-none. Many professional athletes that are making the switch from animal-based proteins to plant-based proteins have endorsed pea protein for its high protein content and helping to avoid the fatigue and bloating that are associated with animal-based proteins.
We believe that pea protein will not only grow as the most popular plant-based protein, but it will also eventually become the most popular protein powder on the market – including animal-based proteins. It won’t happen overnight, but when it does happen – remember you read it here first!
So, our answer to the “what is the best source of protein?” question is definitely pea protein. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think. We know you won’t be disappointed!