Pea Protein: How to use it for maximum health benefits

pea protein
Pea protein powder. Photo: Shutterstock

Pea Protein benefits

Numerous nutrition experts agree that pea protein isolate is one of the best proteins for human consumption.

In addition to being a healthier alternative to animal proteins, pea protein is also very high in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and Phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals are also found in foods like broccoli, onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, soybeans, oranges, and flax seeds.

Research conclusively has shown that diets rich in phytochemicals can reduce the risk of many chronic degenerative diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

In addition, they’re also a good source of B vitamins and niacin.

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Psychological conditions such as depression and paranoia can result from a vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Depressed people are frequently deficient in B Vitamins and when left untreated, a niacin deficiency can cause dementia and pellagra.

Other proven benefits of pea protein are:

  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Increases muscle thickness
  • Supports weight loss
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes

Pea Protein powder

Pea protein powder is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction as it contains no gluten or dairy.

It’s also easy on the stomach and almost completely digestible which means it doesn’t cause bloating, a common side effect of many other protein powders.

A serving of pea protein powder is around 20 grams and contains about:

  • 80–100 calories
  • 15-20 grams of protein
  • 1-2 grams of fat
  • ZERO trans fat
  • ZERO cholesterol

Pea protein contains an ideal combination of essential amino acids for sports performance:

  • Lysine – A necessary building block for muscle growth.
  • Arginine – For heart health and exercise performance.
  • Glutamine – Helps to replenish muscle glycogen levels after a heavy workout.
  • Leucine, isoleucine, and valine – To help maintain tissues during exercise.

Pea protein vs whey

A drawback to pea protein is that even though it contains all nine amino acids, it’s low in methionine and cystine.

Whey protein, on the other hand, contains all nine amino acids in a pretty well-balanced combination.

This means whey protein can be used for not only supplementation but also as a replacement.

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But having pea protein combined with brown rice protein or hemp protein will provide the same benefits as whey.

As Pea protein is low in the amino acids cysteine and methionine, but high in lysine, it pairs perfectly with brown rice protein or hemp protein which are low in lysine, but high in cysteine and methionine.

Mixed together they make the first vegetarian protein that can compete with animal proteins and meet the demands of hard-training gym-goers.

Best Pea protein powder

As mentioned above, pea and rice protein powder or pea and hemp protein powder are much better than just straight pea protein.

But some of the packets you find in grocery stores contain nasty artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame.

If these are ingredients are on the label, put it back on the shelf.

Remember to shop as wholesome and organic as possible. The more whole, natural foods you eat, the better off you will be.

Also, soy protein powders should be avoided as they contain enzyme inhibitors that can that block trypsin, a type of enzyme, from doing its function which is to aid in the digestion of protein.

Pea Protein side effects

There have been no proven short or long-term side effects from pea protein powder.

But remember having too much of a protein powder could cause problems so stick to the prescribed amount and follow the instructions.

Most of these side effects are experienced by individuals who are allergic to peas.

These side effects can include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, hives, nasal congestion, throat irritation, and shortness of breath.

People that get herpes infections (including cold sores), shingles or similar need to be careful because the protein in peas is moderately high in arginine which can feed the herpes simplex virus.

It could also cause flare-ups for people with gout.

Pea Protein shake recipes

The simplest way to have this is to add it to your favorite smoothie.

Protein is essential for boosting muscle growth, reproduction and healing as well as supporting a healthy immune system.

To maximize the use of Pea protein for weight loss, have a shake 45 minutes before workouts, and within 15 minutes after workouts.

This will give your body the nutrients it needs to burn fat, build muscle, and recover.

A quality protein shake like the one in the video below can also be had on rest days in the morning after waking up or during the day in place of a meal.

Aside from increasing your protein intake, this will help you feel full for longer.