Protein has become something that’s non-negotiable. You’ve got to get it into you whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle. It’s a must-have item. For years whey protein stood as the lone hero for this macro nutrient. It’s fast digesting. Tastes great. Is rich in protein with very few fats. A few people may suffer digestive issues from it, but that’s usually remedied with a switch from whey concentrate to whey isolate. It ticked pretty much every box that you could imagine, but the new protein options may have sown a seed of doubt into your mind. Plant protein may have been something you’ve considered. It’s like having another serve of vegetables. Before you make the switch, it is worth weighing up the pros and cons.
Whey protein has pretty much zero losses, it’s all protein. This means its biological value is one of the highest in the world and it gives your muscles all the amino acids they need to maximize muscle growth. Many other plant proteins offer you just as much quality as whey. They’re processed to create a clean source of protein that has all the amino acids you need for muscle growth. Many plant proteins do offer additional nutrients and vitamins that whey can’t deliver to you, but these are often coupled with carbohydrates, which can be stifle any kind of fat loss efforts. If you are after pure, straight up protein, whey is about as clean as it gets.
Whey can be a little tough for some people to digest. How will you know? If you feel a little off after a protein shake then you could be struggling a little to digest it which can show up in the form of bloating, gas or discomfort. That said, plant protein isn’t much easier on your stomach to digest. Plenty of people feel a little off after having a pea protein shake and that’s not just because it doesn’t taste all that flash. The bottom line is to explore both options then pay attention to how you feel afterwards. Make a little diary entry if you must because it will make sure you remember how you felt.
Plant protein loves to show pictures of how it’s planet friendly and you’re doing mother earth a favor. While it is always good to eat more vegetables, common sense suggest that farming vegetables may be better than farming cows. Animal farming is a prickly topic and does have drawbacks, but you should know that whey protein is a byproduct. It’s something that used to be thrown away and we’ve now found a use for it. There’s nothing unethical about consuming it. Finally, if you think you need to choose plant protein because you’ve got a dog and you love animals then you need to wise up. Being a vegetarian may save a cow’s life but you’re killing many other sentient creatures through farming. When producing something like wheat and other grains, at least 25 times more sentient animals are killed per kilogram of useable protein. How? Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers all impact the lives of a little creatures like mice and insects. Are their lives worth less than that of a cow? Perhaps you say yes, but you may want to ask yourself by what degree. Whey protein on the other hand doesn’t harm the cow and may actually have less of an impact.
Don’t decide without trying many different types of protein and the flavors that are available to you. They’ve come a long way from the days of strawberry and chocolate. Instead, you can now try things like fruit cereal and chocolate peanut butter. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t explore all options and see which one agrees with your body the best.
Photo by Marwan Ahmed on Unsplash.