Powerful plant based proteins
With so many different sources of protein available to you these days, it’s hard to know which one best suits your needs. Protein supplements can be used for those looking for higher levels of protein in their diet, weight loss, muscle building and general wellbeing, so it’s important you understand the benefits of your protein source to achieve the results you want.
Protein provides the structural or building blocks for your body. Protein is vital for many of your body’s functions including:
- repair and maintenance of cells
- creation of hormones, antibodies, neurotransmitters and other important compounds
- regulation of metabolism
- energy production
Once digested, protein is broken down into amino acids to be utilised by your body. There are 20 types of amino acids, consisting of non-essential amino acids and essential amino acids. Non-essential amino acids can be produced by your body, whereas essential amino acids can only be obtained through your diet. All amino acids have different functions in your body.
Are you getting enough protein?
You may think you are eating enough protein to fulfil your daily requirements, but you may be surprised to learn that reaching your recommended daily intake (RDI) of protein can be difficult for many people. It’s quite easy to work out your daily protein RDI in grams:
- Men - multiply your weight (in kilograms) x 0.84 grams, so if you weigh 90 kilograms x 0.84 grams, your daily protein RDI equals 75.6 grams.
- Women - multiply your weight (in kilograms) by 0.75 grams, so if you weigh 70 kilograms x 0.75 grams, your daily protein RDI equals 52.5 grams.
If you don’t eat enough protein, you can always increase your intake with plant based protein supplements, but which one is the best source of protein and nutrients for you?
Pea protein: low-allergy protein alternative
Pea protein is derived from yellow peas and provides a good source of essential and non-essential amino acids. Pea protein is highly bioavailable and easily broken down by your digestive system. Pea protein makes an excellent source of protein suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is ideal for those who suffer from dairy allergies or intolerances. Pea protein helps to alkalise your body, reducing inflammation levels.
Rice protein: the superior plant based protein
Rice protein is derived from sprouted, wholegrain brown rice and contains a balanced amino acid profile. Rice protein is high in the branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) leucine, isoleucine and valine which are particularly important for muscle growth and repair. Rice protein can be used by most people as it’s free from many common allergens including dairy, gluten and soy, and is also another good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Many people assume that whey (dairy based) protein is superior to plant based protein. You may be surprised to learn that a recent study published in Nutrition Journal found that participants consuming rice protein were found to have a decrease in fat mass and an increase in lean body mass along with power and strength comparable to that of whey protein isolate.
Protein. Retrieved at 14/5/2015.
Plant Proteins: Oryzatein Brown Rice Protein Powder. Retrieved at 14/5/2015 at
Brown rice protein could be the whey killer. David Janow, Axiom Foods Mar. 20, 2013 | Nutrition Business Journal
Joy, J.M., Lowery, R.P., Wilson, J.M., Purpura, M., Souza, E.O., Wilson, S.M…Jäger, R. (2013). The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance. Nutrition Journal. 12:86.