Whey-based vs. plant-based protein powder: How to choose?
April 7, 2022
Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, adhering to a keto diet, following the latest fad out of Hollywood or eating whatever happens to be in front of you, protein needs to be part of it.
It’s a key macronutrient your body needs to function at its best. For many people, getting enough protein in their diet is not a challenge. Protein is found in several different types of foods like meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, grains and vegetables.
It’s also readily available in protein powder supplements. In fact, some people prefer protein powder. Protein powder is easily measured and tracked, perfect for people with busy schedules and no time to cook, a great option for those wanting to swap out fatty proteins for leaner sources.
“Many dietary protein choices can be high in calories, total fat and saturated fat,” said Dr. Dawna Venzon, a principal research scientist for Nutrilite™ products and a registered dietitian with more than a decade of experience in the dietary supplement industry. “For this reason, adding a high-quality protein supplement can be a useful solution to provide adequate protein without compromising one’s weight management or heart health.”
Protein powders also come in several flavors and varieties to help people meet their fitness or nutrition goals, such as organic, vegan or non-GMO.
Protein can either be animal based or plant based. Animal-based proteins – meat, fish, eggs and dairy – are considered complete proteins, meaning they contain the right amounts of all nine essential amino acids your body needs to get from food sources to function properly.
Plant-based proteins, such as peas, brown rice, soy, quinoa, chia, hemp or peanuts, tend to have fewer amino acids per individual source. But you can easily compensate for that by eating a variety of them.
Protein powders are also either animal based or plant based. Deciding which one is right for you depends on your personal preferences and any goals you have for fitness and nutrition. Let’s take a closer look at the two main options: whey-based protein powder and plant-based protein powder.
The two most popular types of animal-based protein powders are whey and casein. While both come from milk, they provide different benefits.
Casein protein has peptides that can benefit your immune and digestive system, to help support healthy blood pressure and weight loss. It also stays in your system longer, which can help to preserve your muscle.
Whey protein works faster than casein and is preferable if you’re looking to build some muscle. It should be taken before a workout, while casein can be consumed before going to bed to help with recovery. Many people use a combination of both.
Whey is a liquid byproduct of cheese making. Because it’s animal-based, whey protein powder is a complete protein loaded with those essential amino acids. It comes in three main varieties based on how it is processed:
Whey protein powders should indicate what type of whey protein they use. For example, XS™ Protein Pods are made from 100% whey protein isolate, and it’s listed on the front of the package. It’s lactose-free with zero fat and sugar.
For those looking for an alternative to dairy, there are plant-based protein powders. You can find plant-based protein powders made from peas, brown rice, soy, chia, hemp, wheat, quinoa, coconuts, peanuts and more. Plant-based protein powders can be made from a single plant source, or a blend of sources.
Depending on the plant protein used, the plant-based protein powders can also be an excellent source of other nutrients like fiber, the good kinds of fat, and plant nutrients. For example, pea protein is a good source of iron, chia protein provides extra antioxidants, and brown rice contains calcium and is easy to digest.
The plant sources also differ in the number and amount of essential amino acids they provide. Some, like pea protein or chia protein, have all nine essential amino acids. Others, like brown rice, only have a portion. So it’s important to choose a protein powder from multiple plant sources.
Nutrilite™ Organics Plant Protein Powder uses a blend of pea, chia and brown rice to deliver all nine essential amino acids along with 21 grams of organic plant protein in each serving.
With so many options, you’re likely wondering which protein powder is best for you. It all depends on what is important to you. Are you focusing on a plant-based diet? Do you want to buy organic? Are you a vegan? Do you want to supplement your workout? Are you looking for convenience? Do you have allergies?
Start answering questions like these and you can quickly narrow down your choices. If your need for protein stems from a desire to build muscle and fuel your workout, you want to look at the whey-based protein powders.
Whey-based protein powders are a typical choice for someone looking to support muscle growth. They are often complete proteins and are easily digestible for most people. Just read the labels carefully for any other qualifiers you’re looking for.
XS Protein Pods are designed to help people build muscle and support other fitness goals. They deliver 20g of protein that is non-GMO and free from gluten, soy and lactose. The quick-dissolving pod format also makes them super convenient. Drop them in a water bottle for a quick protein drink before, during or right after your workout.
Vegetarians, vegans or those trying to eat a majority plant-based diet typically lean toward a plant-based protein powder. Plant-based protein also include a variety of plant nutrients to support your overall wellness—just choose your plant sources wisely.
If you are prone to allergies or are looking for non-GMO products, it’s best to avoid plant-based protein powders made with soy, Venzon said, as many people are allergic to soy, and it’s also often genetically modified.
To avoid allergy risks and feel better about knowing what you’re consuming, you might consider an organic plant-based protein powder. Nutrilite Organics Plant Protein Powder is USDA certified organic, non-GMO Project verified, vegan and free of gluten, soy and dairy. That organic seal makes it a great option for someone looking to easily add lean protein to their diet while also making smart choices for their family and the environment.
Organic farms are good for the earth because they don’t use any harmful chemicals, they focus on sustainability and encourage biodiversity. Nutrilite Organics Plant Protein Powder uses organic brown rice plus peas and chia grown on certified organic Nutrilite farms. In fact, Nutrilite is the first and only global vitamin and dietary supplement brand with a USDA Organic product line to grow, harvest and process plants on their own certified organic farms.*
With a little bit of homework, you should be able to find the protein powder that’s right for you. Interested in more information about health and nutrition? Check out additional articles on Amway Discover.
*Source: Euromonitor Limited
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