Pea protein is one of those with divided opinions, yes it’s good for you, but the expected taste of pea is often too much for some people to manage. It may not yet be in the top 3 most popular protein powders, but pea protein is gaining tracking at a rapid rate.
By grinding peas into a powder and removing the starch and fibre we’re left with a highly concentrated pea protein isolate - or what we like to call pea protein. Whether you like the little green spheres or not, it’s hard to argue that it forms one of the very best plant-based proteins available today.
Still not convinced? Here are 7 things you probably don’t know about pea protein to let you decide if it’s the best vegan protein source for you:
1. Pea Protein Can Increase Muscle Mass
Although once thought to be inferior to animal-based protein, pea protein and plant-based protein as a whole is equally effective and building muscle thickness as they’re whey and casein counterparts.
In one study following a 12-week training plan, men who consumed 50 grams of pea protein per day gained the same amount of muscle as those taking the same amount of whey protein. Not all protein is created equally, but at the end of the day, they're all designed to do the same job.
2. Pea Protein Is High In Digestive Fibre
Like almost all plant-based protein powders, pea protein contains fibre which is excellent for digestion. This not only helps keep your digestive system healthy, but also helps you feel fuller for longer periods of time which aids appetite control.
The great thing about pea protein, is it only contains approximately 4g of fibre per 100g, meaning it won't leave you feeling too bloated.
3. Pea Protein Contains All The Essential Amino Acids
Of all the popular plant proteins, pea protein contains the most amino acids (except for sacha inchi protein powder, which contains more amino acids but much more fat and less protein). On average, pea protein powder contains approximately 26g of amino acids per 100g of powder, with approximately 10g of that being BCAAs.
Everyone knows the importance of amino acids (particularly BCAAs) for muscle building, including lean.
4. Pea Protein Contains No Gluten, Soy or Dairy
For those of us with allergies and intolerances, buying protein powders can be a bit of a headache - but it doesn’t have to be.
As the ingredients in pea protein are, well, peas, there's very little included in the powder that most are allergic to. With no gluten, soy or dairy, it’s a great substitute for those that struggle with the intolerances.
That’s another big plus for the pea camp.
5. Pea Protein Supports A Healthy Heart
If the increased muscle mass and the easy digest wasn’t enough to sway you, then how about the support to your heart?
Studies have shown that pea protein actually works to lower high blood pressure with significant drops in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. If there’s one way to win over our hearts, it’s by supporting them!
6. Pea Protein Helps Balance Blood Sugar
If you’re susceptible to high blood sugar, you might be familiar with a whole host of diabetes symptoms including fatigue and increased thirst.
What you might, therefore, be interested to hear is that pea protein can be beneficial when it comes to maintaining normal blood sugar levels. When paired with other foods and/or used as a a supplement, pea protein can be considered beneficial and help glycemic control - super useful!
7. Pea Protein Promotes Healthy Kidney Function
Last but not least, pea protein can also promote kidney function (what can’t it do).
With some studies suggesting pea protein as the very best of the bunch when it comes to those with kidney issues. With the stabilisation of blood pressure levels and prevention/delay of damage to the kidney - it’s perfect for those with health conditions and concerns around the kidneys.
And there you have it! As you can see, pea protein powder is most certainly an excellent option for anyone looking to switch to plant-based nutritional source to supplement their diet. For more details on plant protein powders, see our Ultimate Guide To Vegan Plant Protein Powder.