High-Protein Diet 8 MIN READ 113 VIEWS August 31, 2021

Pea Protein Powder: Benefits, Uses, Risks, and Dosage

pea protein powder
Benefits Of Consuming Pea Protein 
Uses Of Pea Protein Powder 
Side Effects Of Pea Protein
Dosage Of Pea Protein Isolate
Myths About Pea Protein
Pea Protein Versus Animal-Based Protein: Which One to Choose
Conclusion

What is Pea Protein: Pea protein powder is a commonly used nutritional supplement that is formulated using the extracts of yellow protein peas. It is primarily incorporated as a protein filler in products like fitness shakes and smoothies and has a reputation for being a versatile dietary supplement since it is a hypoallergenic source of protein that is also naturally vegan. 


This product is typically manufactured by processing peas at high speed and then individually removing the fibres and starch present in them. 

This makes the pea protein product easily digestible for your body. Apart from being a natural source of protein, pea protein powder also contains a rich reserve of essential nutrients such as arginine, phosphorus, and branched-chain amino acids that carry out essential functions such as appetite control, regulating muscle growth, and maintaining cardiovascular health. 

Pea protein powder is primarily available in three different forms of products in the market, they are:

  • Pea protein isolate: This product is formulated by manually eliminating every other component of the pea extract apart from the green pea protein, making it the purest form.
  • Pea protein concentrate: This product has the highest saturation levels of green pea protein while containing trace amounts of other components as well
  • Pea protein hydrolysates: This product helps your body to synthesise the green pea protein in your nutritional intake using gut enzymes and stomach acid, and is the most indirect way of delivering protein to your body. 

Benefits Of Consuming Pea Protein 

Given below are some of the health benefits that you can obtain from incorporating pea protein into your daily nutritional intake: 

  • Easier On The Stomach: Since it naturally occurs as a legume, pea is dense with several fibres and starches which are relatively more difficult for the stomach to digest. Pea powder uses a distinct manufacturing method in which these components are systematically removed. This increases the absorbability of the pea protein in our body by a minimum of 90%.

    Additionally, pea protein is absorbed by our body at a relatively slower rate, which means that it can keep you fuelled for longer periods throughout the day. It also helps promote the growth of intestinal flora and fauna, which regulate digestion.
  •  Aids Muscle Health: Our body needs the right mix of proteins and amino acids so as to facilitate the optimal functioning of our muscles. They are especially beneficial for athletes who experience minor tears in the tissues of their muscles since the proteins and amino acids work together and reconstruct them. 

Pea protein is one of the quickest digestible sources of amino acids, making it the ideal choice of protein to boost your muscle gains. Pea powder can also be useful in monitoring the expansion and contraction of our muscles and increasing the overall tone and definition of the body provided that you supplement it in your diet along with the proper physical exercise.

  • Regulates Appetite: Proteins are very densely packed in nature, which means that they have the ability to naturally make you full. Pea protein powder is a relatively low-calorie food that helps you monitor your appetite by balancing out the secretion of hunger hormones like ghrelin and helping you make better nutritional choices. This can be useful for those trying to lose fat and build muscle.
  • Promotes Heart and Kidney Functions: Pea protein powder helps our body with several essential functions such as lowering triglyceride levels, reducing bad cholesterol, and balancing the good cholesterol levels in our body. This effectively reduces the blood pressure and oxidative exerted on us, preventing health complications such as cardiovascular diseases and potential kidney problems. 
  • Promotes Overall Health: Pea protein powder is also useful for improving the flow of blood in our body and increasing oxygen concentration in our cells. This helps in boosting the effectiveness of neural pathways and improves the response time in our bodies. Additionally, pea protein is also useful for regulating our body’s BMI and insulin secretion, making it one of the safest ways to ensure overall growth and development. 

Uses Of Pea Protein Powder 

Pea protein powder is one of the safest sources of protein available in the market, making it an ideal choice of nutritional supplement for people of all ages. However, it is most commonly used by bodybuilders and gym-goers, since their body needs higher amounts of protein and amino acids to support prolonged physical exertion. This is where the pea protein comes in.

Since plant-based sources of protein are relatively harder for the body to absorb, you could also include a prominent source of vitamin C along with your protein intake. This helps boost the absorption of protein in your body while also optimising your iron and vitamin D intake by about 65%

Consuming just one scoop of pea protein isolate in about 200 ml of water or milk about half an hour before engaging in physical activity can help improve the quality of workouts. Additionally, it should also be consumed within two hours of finishing said physical activity so as to maximise the effect on your muscles.

You can also include the pea protein isolate into a variety of foods such as smoothies, frozen popsicles, breakfast cereal, oatmeals, etc. Pea protein also makes for a great addition to dessert options such as brownies and muffins, making it a versatile choice.

Side Effects Of Pea Protein 

Pea protein isolate is one of the safest and well-formulated sources of protein, due to which it has the least amount of side effects. The reduced fibre and starch content also make it easier to be digested and prevent the usual gut issues like bloating or flatulence.

However, pea protein isolates do have a relatively higher sodium count, with almost 200 mg of sodium in a single scoop. This means that the natural salts present in your compound have a high chance of temporarily increasing your weight when consumed in excess.

There are also certain scenarios wherein supplementing your diet with pea protein powders are not recommended, such as:

Pregnancy: Women undergo a lot of physical and mental changes during various stages of their pregnancy. Introducing additional nutritional sources such as pea protein powders during a time like that could potentially set off a lot of unwanted hormonal effects and alter the composition of breast milk, which is why it is safer to steer clear of it.

Allergies:
Pea protein is at its base, a legume, making it a potential allergen for people who are already averse to sources such as kidney beans, lentils, or chickpeas. It is best to avoid pea proteins in such cases. 

Dosage Of Pea Protein Isolate

Pea powder is, in essence, a protein supplement. This means that it is recommended for us to consume this product in such a way that the recommended daily allowance of protein is met. The exact amount remains undetermined since the bodily needs and physical compositions of bodies differ from individual to individual.

A general rule of thumb to measure out your daily intake of protein would be to consume one gram of pea protein isolate per one pound of body weight. This number can also be higher in the case of athletes and bodybuilders since they burn up a lot of protein than the average person.

However, it is imperative that your consumption of pea protein powder should not be higher than 2.5 grams per pound of body weight, since excessive consumption can lead to unwanted complications such as nausea, diarrhoea, increased levels of ammonia in our blood, and in some cases, death. 

Nutrition from Pea Protein Powders

While the exact amount of nutrition present in pea protein powders differs between brands, the general saturation levels of protein present in these supplements vary between a parameter of 48 to 90 per cent per single serving. Here is an approximation of some of the nutrients that you can obtain from one such scoop:

  • Iron: 5 mg
  • Sodium: 230 mg
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Fibre: 1 gram
  • Calories: 80
  • Total fat: 1.5 grams


Given below are a few nutritional standpoints of pea protein powder that make it a viable dietary supplement: 

  • Cholesterol and fat-free: Components such as fats and cholesterol are only found in foods that are sourced from animals. Since organic pea protein has been obtained from a plant source, it is naturally vegan and completely free of cholesterols and fats.
  • Contains super magnesium: Magnesium is one of the most essential nutrients required by our body and carries out more than 600 important responses such as muscle development and synthesis of protein. Each serving of organic pea protein powder contains about 200 mg of magnesium, which helps in meeting the recommended daily intake of 400 mg of magnesium per day. 
  • Low in carbs: Pea powder is naturally low in carbs while having a high amount of protein saturation. This is especially beneficial for those who are trying to cut down on their carb intake while still gaining muscle. 

Myths About Pea Protein

Now that you know about the benefits of organic pea powder and why it is a reliable source of protein, it is time to bust some myths: 

Myth 1: Pea protein is meant for vegans and vegetarians 

It is often misconstrued that plant-based protein products are only for individuals who wish to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. Pea protein supplements give you an adequate supply of protein and are also an allergen-free and sustainable option. Therefore, it is suitable for anyone who wants to supplement their diet to increase protein intake. 

Myth 2: Pea protein is not a complete protein source 

As mentioned above, animal protein sources are considered complete protein sources while plant sources like pea protein isolate are not. The truth is that pea protein contains all the essential amino acids. It is only the proportion that is different from animal proteins. Pea protein is lower in its methionine and cysteine levels, giving it the label of an incomplete protein. You can make up for this by including grain-based protein sources like brown rice in your diet. 

Myth 3: If you want to build and retain muscle, pea protein is not good enough 

Pea protein, when combined with grain-based protein sources can give you all the amino acids that you need in order to reach your muscle-building goals. Even on its own, it is rich in muscle-building amino acids like BCAAs that help in faster recovery and quicker muscle development. 

Myth 4: Pea protein is harsh on the digestive system 

Flatulence is a very common issue that people face with whey or casein protein supplements. Since pea protein is derived from a legume, it is believed that it has the same effect on the digestive system, too. On the contrary, pea proteins also contain enzymes like papain that boost digestion and even improve the absorption of protein

Pea Protein Versus Animal-Based Protein: Which One to Choose? 

Plant-based proteins have received a lot of attention in the recent past with many people switching to a vegan and vegetarian diet. However, there is still a lot of debate about which one is more efficient when it comes to fitness and bodybuilding. 

Animal-based proteins are considered a complete protein source. This is because they contain all the essential amino acids in the amount that the body needs. 

However, when it comes to overall health, animal-based proteins put you at a higher risk of developing heart diseases. They have a higher content of saturated fats that are not exactly healthy for your heart. 

Pea protein powder and other plant-based proteins, on the other hand, offer a cleaner source of protein. Additionally, they contain other nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that give you more health benefits. They are also a heart-friendly source of protein. 

Conclusion

When it comes to muscle building, there are several studies that show that sources like green pea protein and rice protein are as good as whey proteins. They yield similar results with muscle strength, volume, and recovery. Hence it is upto you to decide which one works best for you and gain from the many benefits of this protein.

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