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Everyone who carries out strength training knows it’s important to get enough protein but what about pea protein?
Is pea protein a useful protein in strength training and, more to the point, is it vegan for those looking to eliminate animal products from their lives?
Pea protein is entirely sourced from yellow peas.
As these are 100% vegetable, yes, pea protein is vegan.
It’s most commonly used to boost the protein content in shakes and smoothies instead of whey proteins.
It’s a great source of nutrients too, so let’s take a closer look at the benefits of pea protein.
Pea protein is supplied as a beige powder and the exact nutritional content will vary a little between brands (so, it’s important to check the packaging).
However, typically 100 grams of pea protein powder will contain:
OK, so there’s plenty of protein in pea protein but how does it stack up when it comes to providing amino acids?
Well, if you want your strength training to have the maximum benefits, your diet should contain 9 amino acids that our bodies cannot produce for themselves.
Pea protein contains all 9 of these amino acids!
That doesn’t mean you can exist on pea protein alone, however.
There’s not much methionine in pea protein.
If you need another vegan source for this amino acid – brown rice is ideal otherwise, it’s also in eggs, meat, fish and poultry.
Pea protein also contains “branched-chain amino acids” which are amazing for your heart and also to promote the growth of muscle.
It is, perhaps, worth noting that animal protein is easier to digest than plant protein but pea protein is one of the most easily digestible sources of plant protein.
Just 20 grams of pea protein powder contains around half the iron that a woman (before menopause) needs a day and 90% of the iron that a man or woman (after menopause) needs!
Yes, it’s a great source of iron.
However, it’s harder for your body to make use of iron in pea protein than in animal products and it’s best consumed with Vitamin C or products rich in Vitamin C, if you want to get the full benefit from the iron content.
This is because Vitamin C increases iron absorption by as much as two-thirds!
It is possible to be allergic to pea protein but it is rare.
However, it’s fine to eat if you’re allergic to any of the major allergens such as soy, peanuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, dairy, wheat and tree nuts.
Pea protein is relatively tasteless and it has a better texture when you compare to other forms of plant protein.
Is pea protein vegan? Yes, it is.
In fact, we’re positive that our favorite vegan bodybuilding influencers couldn’t live without it.
It’s full of essential nutrition and for many, it’s the perfect protein supplement, even if they’re not vegan.
Pea protein is also relatively low cost and thus, it’s a very easy supplement to add to your strength training diet.