• Plant based Protein

Which Protein Powder is Right For You?

You’ve got to get the precious protein.

That’s what we hear from the guys at GNC.


Okay you understand protein builds muscle.

But there are so many contradictory statements out there. After this article you should have some clarity. 

Plant Protein Powder? Dairy Based Protein Powder? Here’s how they stack up 

 What’s the best option for you? Do you even NEED protein powders? 

Getting enough protein is INTEGRAL to health as well as building muscle and optimizing for performance.

If you want to get a protein powder but don’t know what type to get, here is a list of the attributes of all the popular kinds.




Are there “optimal” proteins for staying lean, building mass, building muscle, and losing weight?  What about all of these “ates” which ones are the best??



there a million protein powders.

There are countless brands, blends, and types of protein derivatives.

Many have categories in and of themselves such as whey -isolate. 

So there are a lot of choices. What are the best ones? Are they necessary?

Those “ates” in protein are simply referring to how they’re gathered.

  • Protein concentrates. They usually contain about 70–80% protein, with the remaining 10–30% of calories from fat and carbs. Taken from the whole food.

  • Protein isolates: Protein isolate powders comprise about 85–95% protein. Filtered an additional time from protein concentrate.

  • Protein hydrolysates: These are made by further heating with acid or enzymes, which dislodges the bonds between amino acids. This allows your body to absorb them more quickly, and your muscles to take them up more easily.



Are protein powders necessary?

They aren’t necessarily necessary. Food is amazing, you can either get a quick pop top of protein through a shake out of convince or you can eat a wholesome meal.  It is all dependent upon context and really what YOU want.

There are advantages of protein powders

  • On the go convenience.

  • Don’t feel like eating a meal but having a tasty shake.

  • Great for hitting protein targets if you’re not into eating large sums of food. (not me)

  • Can be low in carbohydrate and fats, which make them effective for meal coordinating.

  • Doesn’t give you that full slow feeling after a big meal

  • It may be more frugal per gram of protein to purchase powder.


What are the best ones…

There isn’t necessarily a one protein to rule them all for everyone. The main objective is to find the best one for yourself.  

Here are the attributes for various protein compounds.


Whey protein

Whey is the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production. If you are vegan this is not a suitable protein compound for you. Open the yogurt container and see that white filmy liquid, that’s whey. Whey protein is a mixture of proteins in whey, which forms as a by-product of cheese production.



Arguably second in acceptance behind whey, and it is a protein found in milk as well. The curds that form as milk congeals are casein.

Casein protein is digested slower than whey,

Casein is slower digesting. It causes a smaller rise in amino acids in the blood.  It is a longer duration of release into the blood.

There’s a continuing discussion about if whey is better than casein for building muscle or vice versa, but here’s what most reputable experts agree on:

  • Due to its speedy digestion and richness of leucine, a 25-40 gram serving of whey is probably your best choice for post-workout protein.



Egg White Protein

BV – 100


Egg white protein powder is one of the most optimal and bioavailable proteins at a very high-quality. It is so bioavailable it is the representation of the biological value that these other proteins are compared to. That is the reasoning of whey being 104 in the bioavailable scale. (more on that later)


It doesn’t have to be dairy-based like whey, egg white, or casein , if you’re sensitive or want to avoid animal products.

 There is nothing wrong with alternative protein powders, and in the case of egg whites, you might even see added benefits by incorporating them into diet.

But that doesn’t mean you need any protein powder!

If you’re pressed for time, or can’t cook these are great ways to get the protein you need for the day. Here are some plant based proteins.


Plant based proteins


Soy is the most popular plant-based protein powder, there are others such as

  • rice

  • hemp

  • pea protein.

There is skepticism with plant based protein powders because it’s believed that they’re “incomplete” sources of protein.

Some so-called specialists purport that such proteins are missing essential amino acids in their profile and stated you HAVE to combine in distinct ways to create “complete” proteins because these plants based ones are lacking.

This purported statement is now classified as an error, due to the methods used in the study that cites this. It was discredited by MIT in 1994. Every protein that is found within vegetables is whole. MIT Study


Some vegetable proteins are though lower in AMOUNTS of amino than others. That do make other choices better options to use.


This is referred to as bioavailability or biological values.



Biological values (BV).

Biological value is a form of measurement of a proteins ability to be used by the body.  The higher the biological value the larger amount of protein can be manufactured by the cells in the body.


 Additionally, the higher biological value the higher essential amino acids. “essential” amino acids are acquired only through food, the body cannot create these compounds.  It is the measurement of how efficient the body utilizes protein consumed in the diet, and the higher the better.




Why you potentially want to get your protein from food?

The more powders you use the less its affective.

Biological Value goes down with greater protein intake.

The bioavilaibilty of whey is 104 at ingestion of 0.2g/kg; it declines to about 70 at 0.5g/kg.




Three type of plant based protein powders are rice, hemp, and pea protein.

Let’s take a look at how they compare:


Rice Protein

BV – 83

PDCAAS – 0.47

Rice protein powder is created by isolating the protein from the brown rice grain


  • Pea protein is equally good. Its biological value is about as good as rice’s, It also has high amounts of leucine. Leucine is an essential amino acid it is quite integral to begin protein synthesis.  While training fasted, this amino acid helps deter muscle tissue breakdown. Pea protein is also particularly rich in branched-chain amino acids.

Pea Protein

BV – 65

PDCAAS – 0.69


  • Hemp Protein has a very good micronutrient profile, the protein also has including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid

Hemp Protein

PDCAAS – 0.46

But of the other plant based selections hemp is only about 30-50% protein by weight while other options are 90-100%. It’s absorbed ineffectively by the body

 Hemp should be viewed as more of micronutrient supplement and a healthy food choice rather than a protein substitute .



Soy Protein



Soy brings up some emotion when talked about. There is concerns brought up towards men when soy protein intake is mentioned. And for good reason. If there is a chance that it can be harmful hormonally why wouldn’t you take it seriously. Soy has shown its effectiveness at building muscle.  But there are other affects and concerns


Some research has laden the idea that regularly ingesting soy has feminizing effects in men. The Harvard study that is highly cited measured the semen quantity in 99 men 

While comparing their soy intake for 3 months prior to their measurement.

Soy intake was associated with a reduction in sperm count. Men in the highest consumption class of soy  had around 41 million sperm/ml less on average than men abstained from soy.


Another study had found that soy does not affect men’s testosterone levels


Does that help? I know,  not really but here’s what we do know.  More research is needed for the simple answer of yes or no.

But there is a relative factor is the intestinal bacteria of people ingesting soy. This gut flora (bacteria) metabolize daidzein into equol. Which is a similar hormone to estrogen. This bacteria is present in about 50% of people.

If you’re supplementing with a protein powder several each week, and still would like to include soy, then I recommend you alternate with another source of powder as well.


Soy and women.

There is less evidence that soy is harmful to women’s hormonal levels. But it has shown to promote cancer growth 

Try and keep the amounts each day below 30 grams per day. If your vegan and decide to opt out of the risk, choose rice or pea protein. They’re very suitable and capable counterparts.


Figuring out protein powders is an investment with time and money. You should be looking at what are your goals and what is best suitable for you. There are countless out there but the quantity of their existence doesn’t justify their necessity. You can get adequate protein from foods alone. But if you have trouble getting higher amounts of protein each day, or have to eat large sums of food to gain muscle then you may want to look at these types of proteins powders, but they’re not essential if you’d rather eat whole foods.

Foods like

High quality grains

  • wheat

  • rice

  • oats

Vegetables & Legumes:

  • Potatoes

  • Peas

  • Black beans.


  • Pistachios

  • Almonds

  • Peanuts

  • Walnuts



  • Quinoa

  • Buckwheat

  • Regrettably most other seeds are poorly digested unless ground into a flour



Want the first chapter of our 4Everlean Recipes? 

These recipes will allow you to build muscle and lose fat much faster


plant protein powder





If you want to check out the programs we provide here is a link to our full body programs that will get you the body you want for life!

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