Plant Based Protein vs. Whey Protein Powder


So you’re hitting the gym more and need something to make sure your body gets sufficient protein to fuel it. But with the many kinds of powder supplements available today, which one should you get?

Here’s where plant based protein vs. whey protein powder comes in.

Do you get the whey? Or do you stick with one of the plant protein powders instead.

In this article we compare these two kinds of supplements and see which one is better. More importantly, which one works better for you.


Whey vs. Plant Based Protein Powder

How does plant based protein powder compare to whey protein powder and what are advantage and disadvantages of each?


Their Similarities

For a start, as the names suggest, both products are rich in proteins. They’re both used as supplements to increase protein intake.

Whether whey or plant based, protein powder is often used by those who are active. This may be to gain weight, or build mass. It also helps others lose weight. Allowing them to eat less calories.

Because both powders contain a good amount of protein, you derive all the major benefits of proteins when you consume these products.

Some of these benefits include:

  • balancing blood sugar, which in turn assists in healthy weight loss,
  • derive essential amino acids which are vital for the repair of your muscles as well as enhancing your immune cells and neurotransmitters.


Their Differences

Of course the major difference is in the raw materials used to make these powders.

While whey powder is derived from animal products mostly from goat or cow milk, plant protein powder is exclusively made from plants largely from crops such as hemp, rice and soy.

The reason that there are variations in these powders is because of the diet preferences of some individuals.

Vegans and vegetarians prefer not to consume meat and dairy. As such, having the alternative option of a plant based protein powder allows them to enjoy protein supplementation without having to compromise their diet.


Plant Protein Powder


plant-protein-powderThe basic crops used to produce this powder are easily tolerated by most people: they are hypoallergenic.

This means most people who are allergic to other forms of protein or have lactose intolerance can derive the same benefits by consuming plant protein powder.

It is argued that this form of protein is easier to digest. It takes less effort on the body’s part to break down and ingest these types of proteins when compared to other forms of protein.

Some also believe that plant based sources of protein like soy, hemp peas and rice aren’t as heavy on the kidneys as meat sources.



Plant protein powder contains lower levels of amino acids. Thus they are not the ideal source of proteins for anyone whose ultimate goals is to build muscles.

The lower level of amino acids compromises the production of glutathione which is crucial for detoxification of your body.

This does not however mean that you can’t gain muscle using this type of protein. It just means you’ll have to complement it with other foods to make it complete sources of protein. Or, it can take a bit longer to reach you goals.

The possibility of contamination entering the food chain from the plants to consumers is possible. There have been reports, albeit rare, of rice proteins showing indications of contamination with arsenic. Such contamination can be hazardous to the consumers of these products.

Choosing a good quality plant protein powder is a good way of avoiding any issues like this. A trusted brand will have certified safe products and ingredients.

Finally, though this is a matter of personal preference, the taste of some of the plants might be unappealing to some consumers since the powder ends up tasting like the primary raw material used to make it.


Whey Protein Powder


whey-proteinIf you are looking for complete protein, this is it. It contains the entire range of all the known essential amino acids especially. This makes it excellent for muscle building and growth.

When it comes to taste, most people find whey protein powder to quite appealing in taste. Plus, there are tons of flavors available. So, you can choose your favorite and go with that.

When it comes to the the taste debate however, it really depends on one’s preference and taste buds.

The whey version of this powder is also handy in supporting detoxification.

The higher level of cysteine, one of the amino acids in it, is useful for the production of glutathione. Glutathione is a potent antioxidant and detoxifier.

You can count on animal protein powder to boost your immune system as well. This powder contains Lactoferrin, a crucial immune enhancing molecule which comes with powerful anti-cancer and anti-microbial effects.

Finally, the calcium contained in dairy products has been shown to prevent colon cancer.



If you are sensitive to dairy products then you will not be able to enjoy this category of protein powder.

Otherwise you will have to deal with digestive discomfort and other unwelcome gastrointestinal symptoms.

There are some cancers, acne and diseases that have been linked to the consumption of dairy milk. In fact, it has been suggested by researchers that dairy products might be instrumental in promoting the growth of cancer cells.


Closing Remarks

The difference between plant protein and whey protein powders comes down to the raw material used to make it. As a result, you get the benefits as well as the drawbacks of whey or the plant protein source, be it soy, peas, rice or hemp.

In essence, as far as protein quality is concerned, whey protein offers higher quality. It contains all the essential amino acids and is denser compared to plant based protein sources.

While they do different because of their constitution, they are both meant to be used for supplementing a person’s protein intake. And both types are effective in doing that.


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