How Do I Choose the Best Pea Protein?

Vegetable protein powder can be made from peas.
Pea protein comes from the Pisum sativum plant.
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  • Written By: Sunny Griffis
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Pea protein is a vegetable protein powder extracted from the legume Pisum sativum. It is high in essential amino acids and contains no cholesterol. High quality protein powders can be used to supplement a well-balanced diet and help meet nutritional needs. Manufacturers harness the valuable proteins naturally contained in this garden pea.

Vegetable proteins normally contain complex sugars which may inhibit the protein from being absorbed. When choosing a vegetable-based protein, purified powders that contain no sugars to ensure maximum absorption are recommended. Selecting proteins with very few additives promotes easier digestibility.

Pea protein is allergen-free. It contains no substances listed as major allergens, making it suitable for the many people who suffer from food allergies. Protein powder from peas also contains no non-genetically modified (non-GM) substances. Genetically modified foods have not been proven safe for human consumption, and pea protein can safely supplement a non-GM diet.

The protein contains approximately 105 calories per serving, with zero fat and 25 grams of protein. It contains beneficial amino acids, including lysine, arginine, glutamine, and branched-chain amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and benefit the body in numerous ways, such as helping to rebuild muscle, promoting metabolism, and preventing muscle loss.

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The recommended daily allowance for protein suggested by the National Academy of Sciences is 46 to 56 grams per day for adults. Pea protein can help meet those recommendations because it has various health benefits and may help fight high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease. Its nutrient profile with high amounts of protein and vitamins promotes overall health.

Protein powder made from peas is a suitable choice for vegetarians and vegans. It contains no gluten, so those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can safely incorporate it into their diets. Bodybuilders and other athletes may require up to 1 gram of protein for every 2.2 lbs. (1 kg) of body weight per day. Pea protein is a viable option to help meet athletes’ needs, helping rebuild muscle and ensure adequate protein intake.

The straightforward extraction process of pea protein is environmentally-friendly. No chemical solvents are used in the manufacturing process. The peas are made into pea flour and then rehydrated where the starch is removed. The congealed protein portion is then purified and dried, resulting in comsumer-ready protein powder. Most commercial pea protein has a neutral taste and is often consumed with other foods, such as in smoothies. Because it doesn’t have an overpowering flavor, it works well with many salty and sweet foods.

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Discuss this Article

myharley
Post 5

@andee - I am a vegetarian, and that is one reason why I love using pea protein as a supplement.

I don't have a specific kind that I use, other than I make sure to buy an organic pea protein. Since I buy organic fruits and vegetables, it only makes sense to buy an organic supplement too.

You can buy this at most health food stores. I buy mine from a food co-op where I get a lot of my organic food.

This is a great way to get extra protein in your diet. When I mix this in with other foods, I don't even taste it.

It always tastes great in smoothies, but I also like to sprinkle it on my oatmeal and other kinds of cereal too.

andee
Post 4

I recently switched from a soy protein to a whey protein isolate powder, but never even knew about pea protein powder.

This is something I would be very interested in as I am trying to eat less meat and add more protein to my diet.

I love to start out my day with protein shakes that include some fresh fruit and vegetables. This will fill me up and keep me from getting hungry until lunch time.

I also notice that I have more energy when I get more protein. I have also tried to make sure my snacks have protein in them as well.

Since I have not heard of this before, has anybody tried a pea protein that they liked better than other forms of protein powder?

truman12
Post 3

You can actually make a really great protein supplement from hemp protein. Unfortunately, regulations against the growth and sale of hemp make it difficult to find and there are few places which can process the protein out of it.

This is really a shame. Hemp is one of the most productive and versatile plants on the face of the earth. It has so many uses that could benefit human kind in a meaningful and sustainable way. I hope that in the future we can learn to embrace this incredible plant.

whiteplane
Post 2

Wow, I am a little embarrassed to admit that I am a vegetarian but have been taking straight forward whey protein for years. I had no idea that it contained meat products.

I guess its one of those things that you don't even think about. I am not a fanatical vegetarian but I try to be as strict about it as I can. I figure the only way to stick with it is to be kind of rigid about it.

I will have to look into this pea protein powder. If it works as well and is not way more expensive I will probably make the switch.

gravois
Post 1

There are actually only a few different companies that make pea protein so picking the best one becomes kind of a non issue.

I just tried the various brands that are available close to where I live and chose the one that I thought tasted the best. There was little difference or only superficial differences between all the different brands.

I found one I like and it really works. I have been getting more out of my workouts since I started on this than I ever have before.

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