Is Pea Protein a Complete Protein

A variety of proteins can be added to ensure a healthy diet. But how many of them actually have the essential amino acids to fill the body’s demand?

For people who just want to avoid common protein options like meat, egg, whey, and soy protein, then there are no better options than pea protein.

But is pea protein a complete protein source? How does it differ from other plant-based proteins? If these are the questions that are stopping you from adding pea protein to your diet, then this blog post is for you!

This article will go through everything you need to know about pea protein and whether or not they are the best option for your health and muscle growth compared to other protein options.

What Is Pea Protein Powder?

Pea Protein

Before we can judge whether or not pea protein is as effective as animal proteins, we should understand what pea protein and pea protein powder are. And, of course, what essential ingredients that they come with.

Pea protein powder is a plant-based protein that consists of all nine essential amino acids and is sourced from yellow split peas most of the time. But the essential components can also be extracted from green peas as well.

It is completely vegan friendly and can easily be introduced to plant-based diets.

Classifications of Pea Protein Powders

You can consume different types of pea protein powders, and they all provide some unique and a few identical benefits. But generally, pea protein can be divided into three different types:

  1. Isolated Pea Protein Powder
  2. Concentrated Pea Protein Powder
  3. Textured Pea Protein Powder

Isolated Pea Protein Powder

If you want your pea protein powder to contain the essential proteins, then this is the type of pea protein powder you should look out for.

Research shows that consuming isolated pea protein can be helpful for building muscle and weight loss. These isolation-based proteins promote muscle growth and are also rich in iron.

This is great for those who are planning a weight loss diet but don’t want to add any additionals carbs or minerals.

➡️ Ritual Protein Powder

Concentrated Pea Protein Powder

This type of protein powder is perfect for those who want to gain a bit of weight through their diet without heavily depending on meat or eggs.

Because concentrated pea protein powder consists of less protein and is filled with branched-chain amino acids along with carbs & fats.

So, if you want to increase your protein intake without going to meats or heavy meals, then concentrated pea protein might be the answer you have been searching for.

Textured Pea Protein Powder

Textured pea protein powder is rarely used as a protein supplement in diets. The sole usage of these types of protein powders is to create alternative meat products from plants instead of animal sources.

You won’t be able to find textured pea protein in your regular shops; they are very rare and only can be accessed by a selected few.

Is Pea Protein a Complete Protein – Does It Contain Every Essential Amino Acid?

If we want to consider any protein to be labeled as complete, then the one and the only quality it should have is that it must contain certain percentages of the nine essential amino acids.

But having the nine essential acids won’t be enough to fulfill the requirement as the distribution of each amino acid must require a minimum margin.

Pea protein falls short of the minimum percentage required in only 1 of the 9 essential amino acids meaning it can not be classified as a complete protein.

As you can see in the table below though, it is only slightly under the threshold.

Pea Protein Amino Acid Profile

Amino AcidComplete Protein (min %)Pea Protein (%)
Histidine1.82.5
Isoleucine2.54.8
Leucine5.58.5
Lysine5.17.5
Methionine+Cysteine2.5 1.9
Phenylalanine+Tyrosine4.75.5
Threonine2.73.7
Tryptophan0.71
Valine3.25

Why Choose Pea over Whey?

A problem that many people face when choosing pea protein is the similarities between pea and whey protein. This is a common question for people who don’t want to gain protein from meat.

Well, you will be able to enjoy certain advantages that pea protein contains, which aren’t available from whey protein.

Helps with Muscle Building

Pea protein offers steady muscle growth. Therefore, if muscle building and gaining a good muscle mass is why you are opting for high-quality protein, then pea is better than any other protein content in the market.

Completely Gluten-Free

Whey-based protein is made from cow’s milk, making it a gluten-induced protein. But that is not the case for pea, making it a far better choice than all the other proteins.

Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Peas will offer you a better defense against inflammatory issues compared to whey, and this also ensures that your body has a healthy blood flow. 

You can find scientific evidence to back up this claim as numerous numbers of tests have been done on this matter.

Improves Heart Health

One of the biggest health benefits of pea protein is that it can improve the overall heart condition of the human body. Yellow peas proteins are the best in this case.

Can Be Incorporated into a Variety of Meal Forms

Many times you will end up facing a protein isolated situation due to not having many dietary options to include protein powders in your diet. 

That is not a problem here, as you can incorporate pea protein powder with energy bars, veggie burgers, brown rice, tree nuts, and a lot more.

You can also have them as meal replacement shakes or by making some sort of protein punch. This way, you will end up taking more protein and can still have a balanced diet.

But that is not possible with other protein sources like whey or egg protein as you will end up feeling full in no time just by taking a few grams of protein.

Drawbacks of Pea Protein Intake

Similar to any dietary options, there are a few drawbacks that you will have to face with pea protein. The most common problem is having the proper quantity of essential acids in the powdered protein. 

While they are present, sometimes that small presence won’t be felt, and this can bring out a few unexpected issues.

The second problem is availability. You won’t be able to find pea proteins all the time in your local grocery store or the pharmacy. 

As most of the pea proteins are made in China, the delivery process can take a while. But these are small drawbacks that any product in the market faces from time to time. 

Key Takeaways

Without any doubt, pea protein is one of the most optimal and healthy protein powder choices that you can go for.

In some cases, it won’t perform at the level of meat alternatives. But that being said, look at the health benefits, positive impacts on muscle mass, and variety of food options. It is safe to say it is one of the best complete vegan proteins you can take.

So, what are you waiting for? Give pea proteins a shot and observe the impact yourself. We assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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