If you were to google “protein powder,” you’d quickly realize there are a TON of different options out there. The two most popular types, however, are whey-based proteins and plant-based proteins.
In this article we’ll be comparing these two types of protein powders to help you decide which one is right for you.
Whey has been around for decades and is by far the most common type of protein powder. It’s dairy-based and is actually a byproduct of the cheesemaking process. Whey is considered a “complete” protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that are necessary for muscle growth and repair. It also has high levels of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), specifically leucine, which aid in muscle growth and recovery.
Despite all of these benefits, there are some drawbacks to this type of protein. Whey can cause digestive issues in some people due to its lactose content. In addition, at the time this article is being written, whey protein prices are increasing significantly for manufacturers, resulting in higher prices for you as well.
Plant-based proteins can be made from several different sources, with the most popular being pea protein, brown rice protein and soy protein. One of the weak points of plant-based proteins is that these protein sources, by themselves, are not considered complete as they lack or are low in several amino acids. This issue can be solved, however, by mixing different plant-based protein sources together. For example, pea protein and brown rice protein are incomplete by themselves, but when mixed together, they have enough of each amino acid to be considered complete. Plant-based proteins are also typically lower in BCAAs like leucine relative to their whey protein counterparts, so to get the same muscle building benefits as whey, you may need to add a leucine supplement into your diet (or, find a plant-based protein that already has some added - more on that later).
Although plant-based proteins have some drawbacks, they are have several benefits over traditional whey proteins. To start, plant-based proteins are lactose free, which means they are much easier on the stomach for people who have difficulty digesting dairy. In addition, plant-based proteins are considered to be better for the environment, as they require less processing and aren’t animal based. Lastly, plant-based protein prices are significantly steadier than whey protein at the moment, meaning they may be less expensive.
Plant VS Whey - Which is Better?
Ultimately, the answer to this question will depend on your own personal goals, dietary restrictions and budget. If you don’t have a lactose intolerance and are willing to spend a little extra for a more “optimal” protein source, whey may be a great choice for you. However, if you are vegan, have an intolerance to dairy, are environmentally focused, or simply just looking to decrease animal products in your diet, plant-based protein is an excellent choice!
Massif - A Next Generation Plant-Based Protein
If you think a plant-based protein is the right option for you, check out Massif! It is a 70/30 split between pea protein and brown rice protein, making it a complete protein source. In addition, we’ve fortified it with leucine so you don’t lose out on any muscle building benefits that you would get with whey protein. To round it out, we’ve added digestive enzymes to make it even easier on your stomach. Not to mention, it tastes pretty damn good too! Try some today and start getting more out of your plant-based protein!