Whey Protein vs Plant-Based Protein

by Natalia Urdiales July 06, 2020

Whey Protein vs Plant-Based Protein, all you need to know

Today many people question which is the best protein powder to consume, and is that having so many options in the market today make the choice for the public somewhat difficult. Although there are many powder proteins, don't be deceived, each one has very different properties and chemical compositions: there are protein powders that are animal based and come from eggs, milk and meat, and those that are 100% plant-based and come from diverse seeds or legumes.

Although the most popular protein powder of animal origin has always been Whey Protein, we'll compare it with proteins of vegetable origin also known as vegan proteins and we'll see which characteristics define each one of them. We are going to break the myths about these two proteins since many people discredit vegan proteins by labeling them as low-quality proteins, which is simply not true.

The Plant-Based Protein is powerful

Contrary to what many believe, many nutrition professionals know that some plant-based proteins have deficiencies in their aminogram, ie, for example, rice protein powder is rich in some amino acids and in others don't, that's why vegan powdered proteins today contain intelligent mixtures that make a beneficial synergy. For example, when brown rice protein is combined with pea protein, a very powerful and complete mixture of amino acids is obtained, since of the amino acids that one lacks, the other complements it.

What you should know about each one

In reality, it's not about one being better than the other, each one has its own characteristics, so you need to be neutral when you see and learn the properties of each one.

Points to consider in Whey Protein:

  • Whey proteins are slightly higher in BCAAs (Branched Amino Acids)
  • They are difficult to digest.
  • They can be allergenic
  • Calcium source
  • Their ecological impact is high
  • Most contain artificial sweeteners
  • They can have traces of hormones and antibiotics

Points to consider in Vegan Protein:

  • They are easy to digest
  • They are very tolerable for people with food allergies
  • Iron source
  • Its ecological impact is low
  • Most contain natural ingredients
  • They usually do not contain artificial sweeteners
  • Due to their nature are very pure proteins
  • Most are organic
  • They are low in calories

Quality is something to take into account both types of protein

Apart from the points to consider already mentioned, we must also understand that each protein powder available on the market has its qualities. There're whey proteins that are very pure, almost as pure as vegan proteins, but that doesn't mean they don't represent a high ecological impact, since much more water is needed for the cows to drink and their food is vegetable, so in that aspect the vegan protein comes out winning, thanks to that is ecological to a certain extent. Besides, vegan proteins are more complete in formula than others in the market and there are even vegan proteins in a powder that contains a more complete aminogram than others.

How to identify a high-quality vegan protein?


It's quite simple. Check the labels of the protein powder and check the excipients it contains, the sweetener it uses, if is organic or not. Also a good vegan protein must contain enzymes and probiotics for better use of the amino acids. You can also compare aminograms between two different vegan proteins to know which comes with a better synergy of ingredients because some contain more BCAAs and Glutamine, which makes them more powerful.

So which one is better?

As we said, there is no protein better than other, they are simply for different preferences and people, but if you want to take care of the planet and you are interested in health beyond a certain physical appearance, we think your best bet is the vegan protein.

So, be smart with your choices, balance them up and choose what's best for your body, life style and goals.


Natalia Urdiales
Natalia Urdiales


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