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Pea Protein Vs. Whey Protein: Which One Is Better?

Protein powders are a staple in many diets. What is easier than adding a scoop of high-quality protein into smoothies, brownie mixes, and other recipes to get a boost of nutrition with little effort?


Many of us know that protein powders can be a healthy addition to many diets, but knowing which type of protein powder to choose can be a challenge.


While some may find it overwhelming to have tons of options of protein powders at our fingertips, health professionals find it to be an advantage, as different options allow for people to find the best choice that meets their individual needs.


Two popular protein powder sources are pea protein and whey protein. Between those two, which one is a better choice? And what are the differences between those two options?


Two scoops of different protein powders


What is Pea Protein?


Protein may not be top-of-mind when people think of the mighty pea. These little legumes are often a side dish that are a thorn in many children’s sides and are not always served as a protein in dishes.


Peas are a vegan source of protein that is easily digestible, relatively inexpensive, and accessible. When people think of peas, they often conjure an image of little circles of green.


But pea protein powder is made from the yellow split-pea, not the classic greens. Once yellow pea protein is extracted from the starchy pea, the key ingredient in pea protein is available to create a high-quality vegan protein source.


How to choose the right pea protein


When choosing a specific pea protein, some offerings are better than others. One downside to some pea protein options is that the extraction process uses chemicals to remove the protein from the pea.


Choosing a pea protein powder like Naked Pea that is processed via water extraction instead of with chemicals is a cleaner way to include this protein into your diet.


Some pea proteins are packaged with ingredients like fillers, artificial flavors, and ingredients that contain GMOs.


Including a pea protein powder that is made from only one ingredient, pea protein, will ensure that you are putting the right thing into your body to help you reach your health goals. Naked Pea is made from only pea protein that is harvested in the USA and Canada, nothing else.


Pea protein smoothie next to a bunch of bananas, spinach, and a tub of Naked Pea


What is Whey Protein?


Most milk that comes from mammals – cows, goats, and even humans – are made of two types of protein: casein and whey. Both contain important amino acids, and both are sources of protein.


Whey protein is water-soluble and will remain in a liquid state. Some people prefer whey protein as it is water-soluble, and is typically well-tolerated.


Most commercial whey proteins are made from cow’s milk. The casein is removed, and the whey is provided in powder form.


For this reason, those who follow a vegan lifestyle avoid this protein choice along with any other protein that comes from an animal. Whey protein mixes with other liquids very nicely and is a high-quality protein source.


How to choose the right whey protein


Whey protein is a popular protein powder; however, many are flavored with either sugar or artificial ingredients. They may have added fillers or colors as well.


It is important to choose a whey protein powder like Naked Whey to ensure that you are only getting the ingredient that you want in your body: whey protein.


Choosing a whey protein that comes from grass-fed cows is an additional step to support your health.


Some data suggests that the milk that comes from grass-fed cows is richer in certain nutrients like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids.


Data published in the Journal of Food Science and Nutrition showed grass-fed milk contained 147% more omega-3 and 125% more CLA than the milk of cows fed grain-focused diets.


Grass-Fed Protein is used to build lean muscle and aid recovery. Naked Whey is made with only cows that are on a grass-fed diet.


1lb tub of Naked Whey in a gym bag


Whey Vs. Pea Protein: Which is Better?


If you are deciding between whey protein and pea protein, then you are already making a wise choice. Since both whey and pea proteins are sources of protein that will provide your body with important amino acids, neither is a bad choice.


One major distinction between the two options is that one is sources from an animal, while the other is 100% vegan and vegetarian-friendly. Whey protein comes from cow’s milk, so it is not an appropriate choice for those who are avoiding animal products.


Allergies and intolerances need to be considered when choosing the best protein powder for your personal needs.


If a person has a known peanut allergy, the slight possibility of reacting to pea protein exists and should be taken into consideration. Of course, if a person has a true pea protein allergy, pea protein should be avoided.


Likewise, if a person has a true cow’s milk protein allergy, whey protein should be avoided.


Note that those who suffer from lactose intolerance should be able to tolerate whey protein powder. Since whey is a protein and not a sugar, using this type of powder should not exacerbate lactose intolerance symptoms.


Final Notes


Both whey protein and pea protein are excellent choices when considering which protein powder to include in your diet, as long as you are choosing one that is clean, non-GMO, and free from anything artificial.


Choosing a protein powder made from only one ingredient, like Naked Pea and Naked Whey, will ensure that you are putting only what you want into your body – and nothing else.