When it comes to protein, there are two main sources: animal-based and plant-based. But what is the difference between whey protein, which is derived from animals, and plant-based proteins? Let's take a look at the key differences between these two types of proteins. Whey protein is derived from cows, while plant-based proteins do not contain any animal products. This makes them suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Whey protein is always a complete source of protein, while some plant-based proteins or vegetable blends may be incomplete. Plant-based proteins also have a higher nutrient density and are more environmentally friendly than whey. The most important difference between animal and vegetable proteins is their amino acid composition. Animal proteins provide all nine essential amino acids, while plant proteins are often incomplete sources of protein.
Both types of protein have benefits and concerns. Diets that rely primarily on plants for protein have been linked to a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, and premature death. Whey protein isolate contains less lactose than whey protein concentrate, but it is still possible to consume adequate amounts of all essential amino acids from plant-based sources. Plant proteins also have a variety of vitamins and minerals that animal proteins don't.
Since whey is a dairy product, it contains lactose, which can be difficult to digest for some people. Animal-based protein powders tend to have a more neutral flavor and blend more easily than vegetable protein powders. Whey protein has also been linked to the development of large liver tumors in laboratory mice when exposed to a toxin found in corn. If your goal is to reduce your carbohydrate intake, the best thing to do is to opt for animal proteins and supplement them with isolated or hydrolyzed whey protein.
Whey protein is particularly rich in calcium, healthy fats, and other beneficial compounds such as omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that whey and plant-based protein powders are equally effective in promoting muscle hypertrophy or muscle growth, as long as they contain similar amounts of protein and BCAAs per serving.