Hearing “eat your peas!” may bring back some images of childhood nightmares for some of us, but truth is, our parents were certainly on to something! In recent years pea protein has made quite the come-up in the fitness industry as a vegan option that rivals the ever-praised but animal-derived whey protein. So, what’s so good about these peas? Today we’re breaking down five reasons you should consider introducing pea protein to your routine (or atleast take advantage of this week’s free sample!.)
Whether you struggle with a sensitive stomach, allergies, or follow a restrictive diet, pea protein is a safe bet to keep you on track with the nutrients you need without upsetting your health. Pea protein powder is among the most hypoallergenic of all protein powders, as it contains no gluten or dairy. It’s also easy on the tummy and doesn’t cause bloating, a common side effect of many other protein powders.
2. It can help increase muscle thickness
A common misunderstanding about vegetable-based proteins is that they don’t have the same effect on muscle growth and muscle recovery after workouts as dairy-based whey proteins. However, that’s not true at all! A 2015 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition proved pea protein increase muscle thickness just as potently as dairy-based proteins.
The source of this muscle growth probably has something to do with the high quantities of l-arginine in pea protein, which are found in higher concentrations than in other protein products. Arginine — and l-arginine — is a conditional amino acid that helps you to build muscle. Conditional amino acids are those not produced by your body that aren’t necessary except in times of stress or illness. However, consuming these amino acids during healthy times certainly doesn’t hurt!
3. It aids weight loss
As with all good protein powders, pea protein is a handy tool in your arsenal of weight loss weapons. Especially if you’re looking to lose weight fast, introducing protein is one of the best ways to do it.
It’s common for people trying to lose weight to neglect protein intake — which generally means they don’t actually lose much weight. However, getting between 0.7 and one gram per pound you weigh of protein each day causes you to build muscle and burn fat faster. So, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should take in about 98–140 grams of protein each day.
Another great feature of pea protein is its thought ability to lower levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Your stomach secretes ghrelin when it’s empty to tell your brain that you’re hungry. Pea protein produces a great number of peptides that delay the emptying of your stomach and secretion of ghrelin. In fact, pea protein matches dairy-based proteins in its ability to help you feel full for longer!
4. It’s high in BCAA’s
Studies show a diet rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) can help keep your body in a muscle building state throughout the day, decrease belly fat, keep your full longer between meals, energize your workouts, and much more. Like whey, pea protein powders are packed with BCAAs.
Every scoop of pea protein powder has about 5 grams of branched chain amino acids. This is almost as much as whey which has a little more than 6 per serving. Drinking 1-2 shakes daily will help you get the extra BCAAs your body needs to build muscle, lose fat, and stay healthy.
5. It’s vegan!
Whether you’re full-on vegan, looking to transition to a plant-based diet or just trying to cut back on animal products, pea protein is a much needed answer to the “well, where do you get your protein?” question that has plagued vegetarians for centuries. As a vegetable-based protein, pea protein is 100% animal (and cruelty) free.