Pea Protein Powder Nutrition and Benefits
When it comes to protein sources, there’s no shortage of options. You have your animal-based choices like whey, casein, and eggs. And then your plant-based picks, like soybeans, hemp, and pea. That last one — pea protein — has been standing out recently, even in the crowded supplements section.
Try Openfit’s Plant Based Protein Shake with 20 grams of pea protein! Get it here today.
Here’s a look at why pea protein powder is making waves, and why you may want to make this your new protein supplement of choice.
How Is Pea Protein Powder Made?
Pea protein is commonly made from yellow split peas. It’s created by drying and then grinding the peas into a flour. Then, the starch and fiber are removed, resulting in a powder with a higher concentration of protein including essential amino acids and low in carbs.”
You can try out in Openfit’s chocolaty Plant-Based Protein Shake, which includes 20 grams of pea protein.
Pea Protein Powder Benefits
Although pea protein powder formulations vary between brands, there are some general benefits of this protein supplement. Here are a few advantages of pea protein that help it stand out among the competition.
1. Provides iron
Pea protein offers up some iron, says registered dietitian nutritionist Sarah Marjoram, RDN, LD, nutrition expert at Jamba. And this makes sense, as half a cup of peas provides about 19% of your daily iron requirements.
This is great benefit of pea protein powder, because body needs iron for a variety of functions, including carrying oxygen to muscles and making some hormones.
2. Lower allergy risk
There are eight top food allergens—milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, and wheat—and pea protein doesn’t inherently contain any of them, Marjoram says.
This means that pure pea protein powder tends to be a good option for those with food allergies and intolerances. “It is easily digested, well absorbed, and works with a variety of diets and lifestyles,” she says. If you are allergic, please carefully read the label of any product you purchase carefully to make sure it doesn’t contain of the 8 major allergens.
3. Vegan and vegetarian friendly
Speaking of different diets, pea protein powder fits in great with a plant-based diet. It has become very popular among vegans and vegetarians for its pure plant-based formulations, says registered dietitian Martha Lawder, RD, president of the California Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
Most protein shakes were traditionally made with whey protein, which is a cow dairy protein. But with pea protein, shakes can be vegan – and vegetarian-friendly. Try it in Openfit’s chocolate Plant-Based Protein Shake!
4. Helps build muscle
Plant-based protein can help with your gains! A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition compared pea protein and whey protein, along with a non-protein placebo, for muscle thickness and strength after a 12-week training program. The pea protein showed a significant advantage compared to the placebo for muscle development, especially for those who were just starting or returning to training.
5. Aids in muscle recovery
In addition to helping build muscle, pea protein can also play a role in muscle repair as well, adds Lawder. “Pea protein contains leucine, an essential branched chain amino acid that is very important for muscle recovery,” she says.
Pea Protein Side Effects
Although some people may experience gastrointestinal issues from eating peas, this is generally a pretty agreeable food. And in the case of pea protein powder specifically, the protein is isolated, making it more digestible overall, Marjoram says.
If you do experience some digestive issues with protein powder, check the ingredient list, as it may be the non-pea ingredients giving you trouble.
How Much Should You Take?
How much pea protein powder you need to take will be based on how much protein you need daily. The amount of protein you need each day depends on a number of factors, including age, gender, and level of physical activity. And according to the USDA, those who workout regularly may need more.
Check out this chart that breaks out protein recommendations for various weights and activity levels.
Where to Buy Pea Protein Powder
Much like other types of protein powders, you can purchase supplements made with pea protein in a variety of places, including big box retailers, co-ops, nutrition and health stores, and online.
We’re partial to the Openfit Plant Based Protein Powder that is formulated with pea protein, and also includes essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
You can get it here to try it out yourself!