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The Vegetarian Protein We Can't Get Enough Of

here’s a new vegetarian protein in town… and it offers lots of muscle-building benefits without some of the allergens contained in protein powders of old. We talked to JULIE UPTON, MS, RD, and co-founder of to get the skinny on pea protein…

What is pea protein, anyway?

Pea protein is the isolated protein from green and yellow split peas. It’s a hot ingredient right now and being added to all types of foods, from cereal to meat-free burgers.

How is pea protein different from whey or soy protein?

Pea protein is considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body can't produce on its own. That said, pea protein is low in the essential amino acid methionine, so it’s not as “complete” as animal-based proteins.

What are some health benefits of pea protein?

There are published studies that show that pea protein can keep you fuller, longer (your body digests it more slowly than other proteins) and that pea protein has the ability to increase muscle protein synthesis post-exercise.

Pea protein is also considered sustainable and inexpensive, which are another reasons why it’s extremely popular.

Are there any downsides?

The vast amount of research to date shows that whey protein is still the best protein for optimizing lean muscle mass.

For pea protein recipe inspiration, check out these recipes here and here.

Article by Julie Upton MS RD of Appetite for Health
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