What is the BEST Vegan Protein Powder? | Soy vs Rice vs Pea

I talk about protein a lot around here, and
I feel that I haven’t yet justifiably cover protein discussion for my wonderful folks
that aren’t as privy to animal consumption. For the sake of helping as many people as
I can, it’s only right that I do my best to provide objective information on plant-based
supplements. But I do want to preface this video with the
disclaimer that I personally have no experience with vegan supplements. Because of this, I will be relying quite heavily
on external research and other protein-based information. With that in mind, let’s talk about the
best vegan-based protein powders. First, let’s cover what exactly we need
in a good protein supplement. Other than simply the total protein per serving,
there are two factors often considered as crucial to a protein supplement’s effectiveness:
Its biological value and its amino acid profile. First, biological value. In short, biological value is the measurement
of a protein’s value based on its level of absorbability. This is commonly measured through nitrogen
balance. Now, the entire essence of biological values
and nitrogen balance is quite complicated and this is, at best, a very very big simplification. But the most important thing to understand
here is that the more our body can absorb a protein, the more it can be used to make
bodily proteins. Now, amino acid profile. This factor is more straightforward. It’s simply a protein’s composition of
amino acids, aka the body’s building blocks. For this, our interest is to consume proteins
that contain amino acids that our body itself cannot make. These are known as essential amino acids. Protein sources that contain all essential
amino acids are known as a complete protein. For fitness goals, we probably want more of
the essential amino acids that helps build muscle known as branched-chain amino acids,
aka BCAAs. More specifically, the BCAA leucine is of
greatest paramount for its role in muscle protein synthesis. Now, taking these things into consideration,
what would then be the best vegan protein supplement? In all honesty, the three most popular vegan
supplements, soy, pea, and rice proteins, all can be very effective. Based on the current scientific literature,
all have shown to increase markers of muscle growth quite effectively, at times even as
great as the arguably best protein supplement known as dairy whey protein. There is a caveat though. When studies do pit these plant-based protein
powders against whey protein, it always has to be a large serving. This is due to its relatively lower leucine
content, that muscle building BCAA we talked about. Whey protein is far and away much more leucine-dense. Some studies show that one needs as much as
50 grams of plant-based protein versus half that in whey in order to reach similar leucine
thresholds. But if we disregard its comparison to whey,
how do these vegan powders stack up to one another? When considering biological value and amino
acid profile, out of three most studied plant-based powders, SOY is perhaps the best option. Soy has the highest digestibility rate out
of all plant proteins and also a decent amount of all essential amino acids, although only
middle-of-the-road in terms of leucine content. The only area it might be lacking is in the
essential amino acid methionine. Overall though, its robust profile and absorbability
makes it stand slightly above its other plant-based counterparts. But… this is only in terms of protein sources
in ISOLATION. Things change a bit when we introduce protein
BLENDS to the argument. In this matter, the mixture of 70% pea plus
30% rice protein is the best option. With this blend, you’re once again getting
all the essential amino acids but with leucine yields greater than soy in isolation. More importantly, pea and rice make up for
each other in places they each lack. Pea is poor in methionine like soy but high
in the amino acid lysine. Rice, on the other hand, is low in lysine
but have moderate amounts of methionine. Thus, 70/30 pea to rice mix yields perhaps
the best amino acid profile one can get from plant-based proteins which arguably makes
it the BEST protein powder supplement for vegans. But again, to be frank, any of these vegan
supplement powders CAN work fine, as long as you’re treating them as how they’re
supposed to be treated – as supplements. The goal is still to aim on getting most of
your protein and nutrients from whole food sources. And only if there are gaps to fill, then any
of these protein powders should work just fine. Perhaps other factors like flavoring, allergies,
and GMO sentiments would dictate your choice more so than the subtle differences in the
“completeness” of each protein. Ultimately, you should enjoy the one that
you… enjoy! And also, let me know what that is in the
comments. Are you a single plant-protein kind of person
or do you appreciate a blend? Let me know! If you enjoyed this video, please give it
an amino thumbs up and share it with your vegan-loving friends. As always, thank you for watching and… GET YOUR PROTEIN!