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Pea protein powder is a vegetable source of protein isolated from peas. It is free from common allergens and is both vegan and vegetarian-friendly.
This article discusses pea protein in more detail and suggests some pea protein powders that people may consider trying.
Peas themselves are a good protein source, and pea protein powder makes these proteins convenient and accessible. Pea protein is relatively easy for the body to digest and use, making it a popular vegetable protein choice.
There are a few different types of pea protein powder on the market, including:
Pea protein isolate: This type removes most of the other compounds in peas, leaving only the protein behind.
Pea protein concentrate: Pea protein concentrate may still contain other compounds of peas but still has a high protein content.
Pea protein hydrolysates: Hydrolysates are products that use certain processes to partially break down the protein, such as through heat, acid, or enzymes.
Some people may choose to add pea protein powder to their diet as a supplement if they feel they do not get enough protein from their diet alone.
Getting enough protein may also help keep the body full, so people looking to lose weight or cut calories may look to protein sources to help keep them full.
For athletes and those who exercise regularly, pea protein powder may be a helpful alternative to other options, such as whey protein, which comes from cow’s milk.
Some people, such as those who are severely lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, do not tolerate whey,
As a plant-based product, pea protein is also suitable for vegan diets. It is also free of most common allergens.
A 2019 review notes the importance of making vegetable proteins higher in quality, either by blending them with other protein sources to complete the amino acid profile or supplementing them with other sources, such as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Doing so may create a complete, high quality protein.
Many companies do mix pea protein with other protein sources to provide all amino acids.
When it comes to the pea protein’s effectiveness, it may produce similar results to other standards for protein, such as whey.
A 2019 study found that after 8 weeks of use on similar high-intensity training schedules, those who took either whey or pea protein had similar outcomes regarding muscle thickness, strength, and body composition.
This indicates that pea is an effective protein. However, this was a smaller study, and researchers need to conduct more studies to support these results.
Similarly, a 2020 systematic review notes that plant and animal protein sources have comparable effects.
Most people tolerate pea protein powder well in the correct doses.
Some people may experience side effects when taking pea protein powder. This may be more likely if the person takes very high doses of protein. Side effects may include digestive issues such as:
Some companies will include enzymes or other processes to reduce these symptoms as well.
Most pea protein options are simple to use by following the instructions on the label. Consuming more than the recommended amount of pea protein powder may increase the risk of side effects and digestive upset.
Typically, a person will mix a scoop of the pea protein powder with water or a milk substitute, shake, then consume the beverage. They may also add it to foods such as porridge. People may have one or two protein shakes a day, usually before, during, or after a workout.
Many pea protein powders are available to buy. Below, we list eight products that people may wish to try.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All product information is purely research-based.
Naked Nutrition Naked Pea
Naked Nutrition offers a simple pea protein isolate made from raw yellow peas. Each serving delivers 27 grams (g) of protein and 5.7 g of BCAAs.
The unflavored product contains no other ingredients, though it also comes in both chocolate and vanilla flavor.
According to the company, Naked Pea is non-GMO and soy-, gluten-, and dairy-free.
Orgain Organic Protein
Orgain Organic Protein provides an organic plant-based protein blend suitable for many diets. The protein blend also includes protein from brown rice and chia seed. Each serving delivers 21 g of protein, along with 4 g of fiber.
According to the company, the product is vegan and gluten-, soy-, and lactose-free.
Vega One All-In-One Shake
Vega One All-In-One plant-based protein powder combines pea protein with a blend of fruits and vegetables to deliver even more nutrients. Each serving contains 20 g of protein.
According to the company website, the product also contains vitamin K, vitamin A, and iron.
Now Sports Organic Pea Protein
Now Sports Organic Pea Protein is an isolated pea protein from organic yellow peas.
It contains no other ingredients and delivers 15 g protein per serving. This may be best for people looking for a pure option or those who wish to create their own blends.
According to the company website, this product is USDA certified organic and verified non-GMO.
KOS Organic Plant Protein
Each serving contains 20 g of protein.
Nutrasumma Fermented Pea Protein
Nutrasumma Fermented Pea Protein contains an isolated protein powder, fermented to help break down the amino acids and make them ready to digest.
This may be a good option for people who feel they do not digest pea protein isolate easily. Each serving delivers 20 g of protein with only 2 g of carbohydrates and no sugars.
According to the company, this product is vegan, non-GMO, and gluten- and dairy-free.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Chocolate
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein utilizes a sprouting technique that the company claims activates ingredients to make them more bioavailable.
The blend also contains 12 other plant-based ingredients, creating a complete and varied amino acid profile. It also contains a blend of raw probiotics and enzymes to break down the proteins further for easy absorption.
Each serving delivers 22 g of protein, along with other nutrients.
According to the company, this product is organic, non-GMO, dairy-free, and vegan.
Sunwarrior Warrior Blend
Sunwarrior Warrior Blend combines fermented pea protein with other plant proteins such as hemp and goji berry. This creates a complete, easily digestible protein.
The product also contains coconut oil and acacia fiber to add fats and fibers to the mix.
Each serving contains 19 g of protein.
The company state that they use organic & non-GMO ingredients when possible.
There are many vegan-friendly and lactose-free protein sources on the market, including:
- hemp seeds
- chia seeds
Many companies will include a mix of these ingredients to complete the amino acid profile of a vegetable protein.
Pea protein powder offers a vegetable option for protein supplementation. Companies may mix pea protein with other vegetable sources to complete the essential amino acid profile, making it more beneficial to the body.
While protein powders can supplement a person’s protein intake, people should not use them to replace a healthful, balanced diet. Anyone experiencing side effects, such as stomach aches, should stop taking these supplements.