Protein is a crucial element for athletes who are trying to recover, to rebuild, or to continue training. You may know how much you need and when it’s best for you to consume it, but here you can learn some of the differences between available protein sources.
Whey protein powders have been considered the “go-to” since the bodybuilding boom occurred in the 1980s. Thanks to clever marketing, it has persuaded both athletes, as well as the general population that protein powder is a crucial (or a handy shortcut) to achieving optimal levels of performance and health.
While this is true, dairy and meat aren’t the only available sources of protein today. As more people are opting to follow a plant-based diet and this way of eating is gathering momentum, it’s easier (and tasty) to begin exploring the benefits offered by plant protein sources, instead of the old favorites, such as whey.
Whey vs. Sprouted Seed Protein: Production Methods
Whey is the liquid portion of milk that separates when cheese is produced. For several years, this by-product was treated as waste and fed to pigs. That occurred until dairy marketers and bodybuilders noticed it was full of protein and extremely affordable.
Once the whey has been separated, it’s heated up, microfiltered, pasteurized, and then dried. At this point, preservatives and sweeteners are added to create what is known as protein powder today.
On the other hand, plant-based sources of protein don’t require much processing. There are some, such as beans, nuts, and oats that grow with all the essential amino acids included. Others require some processing, but much less than what’s needed to create whey protein powder.
Whey vs. Sprouted Seed Protein: Complete Proteins
Many athletes still choose whey because it’s a complete source of protein – it contains all nine of the amino acids that are needed. The majority of animal products are total protein, while the sprouted seed protein sources may have to join forces to provide all nine amino acids.
While this is true, it’s a mistake to think that no plant sources are going to provide complete proteins. Sunflower, chia, hemp, pea, and others are just some of the total plant proteins available – which makes them as convenient option as whey when it comes to provide amino acids the body needs.
Whey vs. Sprouted Seed Protein: Nutrient Density
The phrase, nutrient density means the total nutrient’s food offers per calorie. Some of the most nutrient dense foods include things like legumes, whole grains, veggies, and fruits. Foods that are considered nutrient poor and that contain few nutrients are at the other end of the spectrum – i.e., junk food. Athletes and others who rely on performance and endurance need foods that are dense in proteins.
While whey is full of protein, it doesn’t offer any other nutrients. However, sprouted seed protein deliver all protein need and offer other nutritional goodness beyond just protein.
Whey vs. Sprouted Seed Protein: Health and Digestion
Up to 65 percent of people have some level of lactose intolerance. Since whey is derived from milk, it’s often difficult to digest. If you have ever suffered any type of GI distress after consuming whey, you may understand.
It’s also been proven that the consumption of milk products (like whey) can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. That’s before you even consider the use of antibiotics in livestock. Additives in protein powders can also be damaging to your health. Make sure to always be weary of preservatives or additives in any protein source being consumed.
Making a Decision
As illustrated by the information here, sprouted seed, plant-based protein is a better and smarter option. This is true for athletes and others. Check it out to see the benefits it offers.