Pea Protein: The Real OG of Plant Protein

All athletes know how important protein is to maximize their results. Our muscles need protein to get strong, grow, and reach peak performance. That’s why most athletes supplement their diets with some sort of protein. Whether powders or bars, animal or plant based, protein supplements are important for all athletes.

For most, whey is the protein supplement of choice. But for vegan athletes it just isn’t an option. Besides, there are a number of health problems associated with milk derived products as shown by the research of Dr. Colin and the China Study, such as the potential to contribute to cancer growth. Given that danger, it just doesn’t make sense to be using whey protein, especially in the high daily doses that whey supplementing requires.

So, if whey protein isn’t the answer, what is?  For many, the simple answer is to turn to soy.  Unfortunately, while soy is a good vegan source for protein, it has several drawbacks. Studies have suggested that there are potentially a number of negative side effects that could come from consuming too much soy. These include problems with the thyroid, reproductive health, and even cancer. Given the fact that soy products are in so many foods today, and that vegans are already usually pretty loaded up with soy in their diets, it just doesn’t make sense to add more soy in the form of a supplement.

Luckily, there is an alternative to soy that is vegan and packs a major protein punch - pea protein.

Pea protein is unique as a vegetable protein source because it is essentially a complete protein source, containing all nine amino acids needed to grow and repair muscles. Most vegetable sources of protein are lacking one or more of those essential amino acids.  This is important because we need all nine amino acids to be healthy, and for our bodies to function at their peaks. In fact, pea protein isn’t just complete, it actually has a lot more of some of the power punching amino acids than even animal sources. For example, pea protein has three times the amount of arginine, a powerful muscle producing amino acid, than whey protein.

All of this talk about amino acids is nice, but at the end of the day the real question is: How well does pea protein work as a performance supplement for vegan athletes?

The answer may even convert your non vegan friends.

A study published in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” decided to test how well pea protein supplements worked when compared to whey supplements. The researchers measured muscle thickness in a group of men, then gave them a training routine and a protein supplement. Some were given whey protein, some pea protein, and some a placebo. After completing the training routine, their muscle thickness was measured again. The result was clear - pea protein showed the biggest growth! In fact, while whey protein did show more growth than the placebo group, the difference was within the margin of error, meaning only pea protein showed a real and significant growth in muscle thickness over the period of the study! 

Other studies have shown the same thing - pea protein is just as, if not more effective for muscle growth in athletes as whey protein.  It just doesn’t have any of the negative health effects associated with animal protein, and it’s vegan.

On top of that, pea protein has a number of other significant health benefits as well.

Hypertension is a major disease affecting millions people in the world today. Pea protein has been shown to help lower blood pressure, according to a report from the University of Michigan. It also helps to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, helping to prevent heart attacks and contributing to cardiovascular health.

In addition, pea protein has been shown to be particularly effective for fighting obesity and helping with fat loss, thanks to its high levels of branch chained amino acids. This is important for anyone trying to lose weight, and can be great for fitness athletes wanting to cut fat and increase definition. 

Finally, pea protein supplements are better than soy or whey because, unlike the alternatives, pea protein is usually processed by machines rather than through chemical processing. This means that it keeps its soluble protein intact, providing a healthier and more complete supplement.

If there is one drawback to pea protein, it’s that poor soil produces poor peas.  Low quality pea protein has even been found to have levels of toxic heavy metals in it that the peas picked up from the dirt they grew in.  So, it’s important to only buy your pea protein from a trusted and high quality source.

That’s why we at Vegun Nutrition only offer the highest quality products - like our VEGANMASS Premium Plant Based Mass Gainer. 

Our formula starts with the best pea protein isolate, so you get all of the advantages of pea protein to help you build thick muscles, fight heart disease, and cut fat. Then we blend in Sacha Inchi protein that is rich in Vitamins A and E and omega -3,-6, and -9. And we mix in Smooth Protein from watermelon seeds to provide B vitamins, including niacin, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, B6, and pantothenic acid.

Each serving packs you with 40g of clean plant protein, vitamins and nutrients.  It also provides 40g of a special organic complex carbohydrate blend to make sure you have the energy to work, along with the protein to build. All with no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. And it’s soy and gluten free.

Pea protein has been shown to be one of the best supplements available for muscle growth. VEGANMASS gives you all the benefits of a strong pea based supplement program along with so much more through our specialty blend. 

For clean vegan athletes, there’s no better source of performance enhancing protein and carbohydrates than VEGANMASS. And with the health benefits of pea protein and a carefully blended formula of vitamins and nutrients, VEGANMASS is the perfect supplement for all health conscious athletes - vegan or not!

Bibliography

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Fetters, K. Aleisha. “Pea Protein Powder Is Trendy Right Now-But Should You Buy It?” Men's

Health, Men's Health, 25 May 2018, www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a19522523/should-you-buy-pea-protein/.

Krefting, Jessica. “The Appeal of Pea Protein.” Journal of Renal Nutrition, vol. 27, no. 5, 2017,

doi:10.1053/j.jrn.2017.06.009.

Marsh, et al. “Protein and Vegetarian Diets.” The Medical Journal of Australia, 29 Oct. 2013,

www.mja.com.au/journal/2013/199/4/protein-and-vegetarian-diets.

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www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-10013797.

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www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-10013795.

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