Plant vs whey protein

edited November 2017 in General Nutrition

Hi all,

I am an avid weight trainer. Over 2 decades consistently. So Whey protein powder is something I'm very familiar with to say the least. I've consumed at least 1,400 pounds of whey powder! 5lbs a month over 22 years. Sometimes I'd use a 5lber in as little as 3 weeks. So 1,400lbs is accurate.

I have made the choice after researching plant based proteins to give up whey in favor of both pea and brown rice proteins.

For one, I no longer drink Milk so why do I want to continue whey?
Also whey certainly does give bad gas and my goals are changing when it comes to nutrition.
Also, I do not want to continue taking the artificial sweeteners mixed into most whey powders. Something I never thought or frankly cared about when I was younger.

So does anyone have first hand experience with both? From what I've read if I take pea and rice they give you a solid profile of all essential amino found in whey.


  • Hi @Pryme !

    Thanks for your great question! I'm a vegan dietitian and have dabbled in body building, so can speak to your concern.

    The concept of plant proteins being incomplete is a bit of a myth nowadays. Provided you are eating a balanced, plant-based diet and including several sources of protein-rich plants, you will easily accumulate your requirements for all essential amino acids throughout the day (Cronometer does a great job of letting you see this). Plus, your body does have an amino acid pool that it can draw from should you be slightly low on one or two days, so deficiency isn't a major concern.

    Regarding protein powders, I'm partial to mixed grains and those containing hemp. I personally like Vega Sport Performance or Iron Vegan.

    Best of luck!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • I know your question was specific to rice and pea protein, but you had mentioned wanting to avoid sweeteners and such. I found this difficult even with some vegan protein powders. My new favorite is hemp protein. The kind I use has nothing else in it but hemp protein so I usually blend it with some banana and a little cocoa powder. I just thought I'd mention it in case you haven't heard of it and would consider trying any other type of protein powder. It has a pretty nice balance of amino acids too. :smile:

  • Thank you, I will research that as well. My rice and pea protein will arrive today so I will post my thoughts after trying them.

  • Okay so the pea protein is very smooth, but foams up a bit when shaken in a shaker. I tried both with just water. It didn't really taste like anything. But I liked that.
    The brown rice protein mixed well too with no foaming. But it had a very small amount of grit in it. And a little rice type taste. When mixing with a smoothie it will not be noticeable.

    Both seem good to me.

  • @Pryme

    Thanks for sharing! @VeganLife123 - great suggestion! I often recommend the plain hemp protein for pregnant women as I feel it's the safest since many herbs need to be avoided during pregnancy.

    One thing to note is that some of the protein powders don't show amino acid concentration, so you may want to enter them as a custom food instead.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • To add to @Susan_RD_101 's suggestion of adding protein powders as a custom food, the Curation Team would LOVE users to submit extra information you don't see in our database already! If you are using a protein powder with amino acids listed on the label but not in our database, make sure you submit it as an issue (along with a clear and complete photo of the packaging that shows the amino acid breakdown) as well so that we can add the information to the listing in our database for your future use and other users!

    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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