Over the past decade or so, there’s been an explosion of protein powders that use naturally forming plants. From soybeans to hemp, the different types of proteins that can be used in theses powders seem endless. One type of plant used in protein powders that I’m sure would be a shock to many people is the pea. The unassuming pea – that vegetable your mum made you eat that goes so well with carrots? Yes, that one. Pea protein has been gaining popularity in vegetarian and vegan communities for its high protein content and, obviously, because it’s completely derived from plants.
According to Women’s Health, one serving (¼ cup) of unsweetened and unflavored pea protein powder typically is about 100 calories and is low in fat (1.5g), carbs (2g), and has a surprising amount of protein (21g). An article on protein intake published by Harvard Health Publishing states that a woman who weighs 140lbs should be getting about 53g of protein – meaning that pea protein can be a viable source of protein if implemented into a person’s diet. The nutritional facts for the Klaire Labs Functional Plant Protein, a flavored pea protein powder supplement, has comparable stats. It is clear that the protein has a lot of pros, however, due to the protein extraction process, protein powders will have a low amount of fiber. If you want to use pea protein as a replacement for meat, make sure to supplement the loss of fiber with another source.
Like most other proteins, pea protein helps those looking to gain muscle mass when paired with exercise. Since it’s low in carbohydrates and fats, pea protein could be helpful to those who want to lose weight. When comparing it to non-vegan proteins, the ecological footprint pea protein extraction uses fewer resources than animal-based proteins. So not only will pea protein makes your body feel good, but it’s also helping the plant feel a little bit as well!