Supplementing your workout with protein and carbohydrates gives your muscles a chance to begin their reparation and building processes. The suggested 20-30g of post-workout protein is most easily consumed and digested in the form of a protein shake. You’re faced with about a zillion different options when choosing a protein powder, so we’re here to break down the basic differences between whey and plant-based protein supplements!
The Shakedown: Whey vs. Plant-Based
Whey is one of two proteins derived from milk (the other is casein). Because it is derived from milk, whey protein contains all essential amino acids and is considered a complete protein.
Plant proteins are derived from plants (surprise!). Because they are NOT derived from milk or another animal source, plant proteins do not contain all essential amino acids on their own. HOWEVER, by combining multiple plant-based sources you can come up with all the essential amino acids. Most commonly, a combination of both brown rice and pea proteins provides you with all nine essential amino acids.
Some of the most common plant protein sources include: Pea, soy, rice, and hemp.
Many people have trouble digesting whey properly because it is derived from milk. Those who have issues processing whey may have an intolerance to lactose, while others may have an intolerance (or allergy) to dairy altogether. Choosing a plant-based option is a great way get your post-workout amino acids if dairy doesn’t work for you.
Plant protein powders will generally run you a bit more money than the whey-based. Many plant-based powders also require MORE volume to meet the same intake of BCAA’s (your 9, essential amino acids) as whey. Not to mention, plant-based can pack a higher number of carbohydrates per serving than whey protein, so check the nutrition facts when choosing a brand!