Whey vs Plant: Which Protein Is Right For You?
You probably know that protein is a crucial part of any diet. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a weekend warrior, or just maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we all need the right amount of protein to fuel our bodies. But did you know that the type of protein you are consuming is often just as important as the amount of protein you are consuming? One of the common ways to ensure you are getting enough protein into your diet is with protein powder. There are two different types of protein powders: animal-based and plant-based. Each of these come with their own distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Animal-based protein sources are considered “complete” sources of protein because they typically contain all nine essential amino acids. The most common animal-based protein product and the leader in the protein supplement market is whey. Whey is generally the most popular protein powder due to its complete amino acid profile. This broad amino acid profile provides your body with all nine essential amino acids and is digested quickly to help repair your muscles faster, making whey great for post-workout muscle regeneration and recovery.
Whey is made from processed cow’s milk in order to isolate and extract the protein content. Because it is a by-product of dairy production, some whey proteins can be highly acidic and, if not isolated to purity, cause digestion problems for the nearly 65 percent of people who have some trouble digesting lactose, according to the National Institute of Health. If you have trouble digesting lactose, look for a lactose-free label if you choose to use a whey protein isolate.
Plant-based protein is considered an “incomplete” source of protein because it lacks one or more essential amino acids, but it can provide similar benefits to whey protein without the dairy allergens. The most common sources of plant-based protein are soy, pea, brown rice, and hemp or a combination of more than one. These plant-based proteins are often easier to digest because they are naturally lactose-free and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Even if you aren’t hitting the gym every day, the additional vitamins and minerals in plant-based protein provide many nutritional benefits that make it a perfect daily nutrition supplement.
While there is a perception that plant-based proteins are less effective at building muscle because they are “incomplete” sources, that is not the case. In fact, one study found that pea protein promoted muscle growth as effectively as whey when paired with a resistance training plan. Research also shows that plant protein can serve as a complete and well-balanced source of amino acids when paired with a balanced, plant-based diet. If you eat a variety of organic, nutritious foods, you will get all of the essential amino acids your body needs while meeting the daily protein requirements. Plant-based protein supplements are also a more sustainable alternative to animal proteins as production typically creates less waste and utilizes fewer resources.
Listen To Your Body
Most importantly, you should listen to your body. Everyone responds differently to what we put in into our bodies, so you should always steer clear of anything that leads to discomfort. The purpose of protein is to fuel your body, build muscle, and enhance recovery — this process should make you feel better, not worse.
Not all protein is created equal. The quality of the protein matters, and greatly depends on its sourcing and processing. We formulate our protein powders with the highest-quality ingredients and minimize allergens and artificial ingredients — making our TB12™ Whey Protein Isolate lactose-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and fat-free and our TB12™ Plant-Based Protein vegan, non-GMO, and soy-free, both with no artificial sweeteners, colors, or unnecessary fillers.
Find your Fuel
Want to find out which protein might be right for you? Take the quiz below to help you find your fuel.
Check out our favorite recipes with TB12 protein here!