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Plant protein vs whey: which is best for building muscle?

By James King

While bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Flex Wheeler and Iris Kyle have long praised whey supplements as a muscle builder, there’s a new kid on the block. Plant protein powders, while certainly not strictly new, is now used by more and more people looking to build muscle. So, which is better for you?

Plant protein vs whey: what’s the difference?

In case you’re not familiar with the different types of proteins, let’s explain some basic differences.

The most obvious difference between plant protein and whey is that one comes from plants and the other from animals. Plant protein powders are produced from a variety of plant sources. For example, peas, faba beans and brown rice are common sources. Whey, on the other hand, is sourced from milk.

Incidentally, there are other types of proteins that people can use, but plant protein and whey are the most common.

Why use protein powders

While most of us don’t want to become body builders or look like Arnie, a significant proportion of the population does want to build muscle. Whether it’s to look better, as part of their health and fitness goals, as a lifestyle choice or as part of their sport.

Protein powders – whether sourced from plants or animals – aren’t just muscle builders, however. They can do a whole lot more. For example:

Some people struggle to get enough protein and amino acids into their diet. For these people, protein powders are a great way to supplement their diet.
Some protein powders are also full of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which are vital for health. A diet rich with protein can help people feel fuller for longer, which can help weight management. Protein helps to repair damaged muscles and tissues and is therefore perfect for recovery after exercise and sports.

See this article about protein powders for more information on the health benefits.

Muscle matters

While there are many benefits to taking protein powders as part of your diet, let’s get back to the main subject which is building muscle. Is either plant protein or whey protein better for building muscles?

One of the key benefits of whey is that it contains all essential amino acids needed for building muscles. In addition, it contains other amino acids, such as branched chain amino acids or BCAAs, that can also be important in building and repairing muscles. This is why whey is considered a complete protein source.

Not all plant protein powders are complete protein sources. So, if you’re after a powder that does contain all essential amino acids you need to choose carefully. Take faba (fava) protein, for example. It does contain all the protein you need to build muscle. It’s naturally rich in all nine essential amino acids and is considered a complete protein.

In summary, plant protein powder can be just as good as whey in building muscle and has the added benefit that’s it sourced from plants. Which makes ideal for those reducing or abstaining from animal products and those that have issues with milk. You just have to make sure you choose the right products.

Sourcing reliable plant protein powders

How do you make sure the plant protein powders you use are good for building muscles? How do you know they’re good for your health?

A good guide is to check the labels of any protein product you are intending to purchase. Make sure – whether it is plant protein or whey – that it’s rich in protein and essential amino acids. Also make sure that it’s not loaded with sugar, fillers and other additives that can make the health claims of some powders questionable.

If you’re looking for a simpler way of making sure the plant protein you choose will meet your needs, just head to the Pure Plant Protein website. All plant based protein produced by Pure Plant Protein is developed to provide the protein and essential amino acids required for muscle growth.

While you will find high quality protein, what you won’t find on the labels or in the product, is lots of sweeteners, fillers or additives.

Most importantly, once you open our products and start using our powders, you’ll find a product that is pleasant to drink. It tastes great, is smooth, creamy and not gritty, unlike some plant based protein powders on the market.

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