Last Updated December 15, 2016
You’re at your local health foods’ store on the aisle where protein powder is displayed. There are so many types of protein powder to choose from, and so many protein sources to choose from. You see a protein powder that you haven’t seen before. It’s called pea protein powder, and you start to wonder what makes this supplement different. After doing some research on this fascinating protein source – where it comes from, how it is made and how it works, you decide to give pea protein powder a try.
Pea protein powder is made from field peas – the same kind of peas that are served in split-pea soup. Field peas may be green or yellow, and are often dried.These peas are then defatted and then ground up into powder, which is rich in protein. Field peas are an easily renewable food source and this makes them a great option for those looking for a less costly option than whey or casein protein. Peas are also inexpensive to grow, making pea protein very cost-effective.
Due to its source being vegetation, pea protein is easy to digest. Pea protein was used in other types of protein powders for years, but is now a popular source of protein completely on its own. Pea protein is also great for those with whey or soy allergies, making it a great choice for almost anyone. Pea protein can even be used in place of eggs in many baked foods, as an alternative to those with egg allergies. Pea protein is also gluten free, so those with wheat allergies and Celiac’s disease can ingest it. For a true hypoallergenic protein source, look for pea protein isolate as opposed to pea protein blended with other proteins.
Pea protein is a high-quality source of protein. Although not quite a complete source of protein, pea protein contains many of the essential amino acids. “What are complete sources of protein?”, you might ask. Complete sources of protein contain all nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are amino acids that the human body cannot make on its own. Most complete sources of protein come from animals. Being a complete source of protein makes pea protein a great supplement to consume if you’re a vegan, or do not consume a lot of meat or other animal products. Studies have shown that high-quality pea protein has a similar profile to protein sourced from eggs, and pea protein can contain anywhere from 10 to 25 grams of protein per scoop, depending on the quality.
Pea protein can help you build muscle. Aside from the fact that protein in general builds muscle, pea protein contains L-arginine, an amino acid which is vital for muscle growth and recovery. (Think of delayed onset muscle soreness.) L-arginine is also great for the immune system and helps your body heal itself in times of sickness or high stress.
Pea protein also contains high amounts or BCAA’s or branched chain amino acids. BCAA’s are important for helping you stay satiated between meals and giving you energy for your workouts. So if you’re looking for a supplement to help you lose weight, pea protein can be a great option.
Pea protein is low in starchy carbohydrates. This makes pea protein a great option if you’re on a low-carb diet. Many proteins have added sugar in them, but pure pea protein does not. There is not a lot of sugar in pea protein, making it great for diabetics.
While the idea of putting peas in your protein shakes and smoothies may sound strange, but pea proteins lack of flavor allows it to blend well with other ingredients. Pea protein may also be substituted for flour in some recipes. It can also be baked into breads or used in cooking soups or stews.
Pea protein is a wonderful option for anyone looking for a protein supplement. Pea protein is high-quality, builds muscle, contains BCAA’s. gives you energy for workouts, helps you recover from workouts, keeps you fuller longer between meals, can be used in smoothies and cooking and is hypoallergenic. With so many benefits, you can likely improve many aspects of your health. So the next time you’re considering a protein supplement, try pea protein.