The Protein Debate: What’s the Difference Between Whey and Plant-Based Protein?

Protein is one of the essential macronutrients that help muscle-building, repairing tissue, and making hormones and enzymes. Adding protein powder to your diet helps you stack up your reserves of protein to get your body in optimal condition. Proteins are the main building blocks of our bones, muscles and skin.

That being said, you don’t consume nearly enough of them in your fast-paced daily life to satisfy your body’s needs. Protein powders not only provide you with the recommended amount that you need for the day, they also help you with your fitness goals. Today, we have many different types of protein powders. These are produced to suit people’s various preferences, dietary restrictions, and lifestyles.

raw vegan protein powder


Different Types of Protein Powders

Today’s versatile range of protein powders has options suited for everyone – whether you’re lactose-intolerant, have a gluten-free diet or any other dietary restrictions. Compared to the first protein supplements of the 1950s, today’s protein powders are much more effective, they have a range of delicious flavours, and some even contain added nutrients.

Although there are a lot of different types, they can roughly be classified into three groups: whey protein, casein protein, and plant-based or vegan protein. Out of these three, vegan and whey protein powders are the most popular. Although there are several differences between these two types, they’re both equally effective.

Plant-Based Protein

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, I imagine you’re already sick of people asking you how you get enough protein to survive. There are plenty of ways to get enough protein in a plant-based diet, but raw vegan protein powder with added nutrients will help you meet these needs in a pinch. There are many misconceptions going around about how plant-based proteins aren’t as effective as their dairy-based alternatives. Despite this, dieticians say otherwise.

One of the myths surrounding plant-based powders is that they don’t offer as much protein as whey powders do. The average protein supplement offers you 20-50g of protein per serving. If you read the labels, you will notice that both of these types provide an equal amount of protein.

The second misconception about vegan powders is that they have a revolting taste. While protein supplements in the past used to have questionable flavours, today’s plant-based proteins are just as versatile as any other type. They come in natural flavours like berry, chocolate, vanilla, and others depending on your preference.

The raw vegan protein powder has an advantage over dairy-based proteins in that it’s suitable for those with a lactose intolerance. Even if you’re a non-vegan, these supplements are a great option if you tend to get cramps and bloating after consuming your regular shake.

whey protein


Whey Protein

While plant-based proteins are made from various types of plants, like brown rice, pea, soy and hemp, whey protein derives from cow’s milk. Whey is in fact a milky liquid by-product in cheese making. Once they remove the carbs, fat, water and other components, the manufacturers spray-dry the remaining protein into powder.

These supplements contain the standard 20-50g of protein, depending on the brand and product. They’re popular among athletes and gym enthusiasts, as well as those that look to maximize their protein intake to maintain their health. If you’re sensitive to lactose, these proteins may cause an upset stomach, bloating and gas and you might be inclined to choose vegan protein powders instead.

However, plant-based proteins aren’t free of faults. Those containing pea protein can also sometimes cause disturbances in your digestive system. If you want to choose the most suitable protein, you will need to go through a process of trial an error. Once you find the ideal option for you, your health will thank you in the long run.

What are the Health Benefits of Including Protein Powder in Your Diet?

  • Weight management. Eating foods that are rich in protein and taking quality raw vegan protein powder or whey supplements helps people feel fuller longer. This results in eating smaller portions and snacking less frequently, which helps you maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight. Studies link the consumption of protein powder with reduced body weight in obese people. Some also claim that it can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.
  • Muscle growth. An analysis of 49 studies proved that supplementation with protein helps to improve muscle size and strength. This is why many athletes and gym enthusiasts consume protein shakes after strength training to help them bulk up.
    It’s important to note that you shouldn’t exceed the recommended dosage of these supplements. Adding more protein than what’s recommended won’t give you better fitness results and can only lead to troubling side effects.
  • Recovery after exercise. Protein helps repair damaged muscles and tissues. Athletes often take protein supplements to speed up the recovery of their sore muscles after exercise.
  • Nutrition. The recommended daily intake of protein for adults is 46g for women and 56g for men. People who find it challenging to meet these amounts can be at risk of side effects from not consuming enough proteins. In these cases, protein powder provides an easy solution. Vegans and vegetarians especially benefit from these supplements since their sources of proteins are significantly cut short. Today’s market offers different vegan powders as an alternative for the already well-known whey proteins.