There are two main types of protein that are used for supplementary products: plant-based protein and whey protein. As you can probably guess, plant-based proteins are proteins derived from plant sources (such as quinoa, lentils, peanuts, almonds, spirulina, etc.). Whey protein is created from the liquid derived from the process of creating cheese and some other dairy products. Protein is great for building muscle and bones, repairing tissues, creating enzymes, and more, but there are some major differences between plant-based protein and whey protein.
Because whey protein contains lactose, it is not as easily digestible and absorbed in the human body. Even for people who are not lactose-intolerant, lactose-based foods can still be more difficult to digest. This can lead to feelings of discomfort and bloating. With less protein being broken down through digestion means less protein being absorbed and circulated through the body. On the flip side of all this, plant-based protein is easily digestible and easily absorbed. Plant-based protein contains fiber which facilitates the protein passing through the digestive system and making its way into other areas of the body.
Whey protein is also lower in nutrients compared to plant-based protein. As mentioned previously, whey protein derives from the production of dairy-based products. As a result, it is a highly processed product. During the process of its creation, it is brought to a very high temperature which burns off some of the protein and vitamins. Plant-based protein is organic in nature, meaning it is not being robbed of any of its nutrients. It is guaranteed to create higher nutritional levels. It is also not loaded with harmful additives, unlike its non-organic counterpart.
While it’s not the greatest for our bodies, believe it or not, whey protein has a large negative impact on the environment as well. There are such high levels of dairy production around the world, and with that comes an excessive amount of whey waste. While many of that whey waste can go into processing for whey protein, there is still more than factories know what to do with. The manufacturing, transportation, and dumping of whey is very harmful to the environment and contributes a great deal to carbon emissions and global warming. Plant-based protein does not require this usage of harmful energy sources as whey protein does. Because it is organic it is protective of the environment. Organic farming has even been shown to reverse some of the effects of global warming and is proven to be a sustainable practice. Plant protein has greater benefits for both your body and the environment compared to whey protein.
While both types of protein provide some level of nutrition to the body, plant-based protein is hands down the healthier and more environmentally-friendly option. Whey protein is highly processed and is loaded with unhealthy additives, while plant-based protein is purely organic and achieves greater benefits for the body.
“Plant vs Whey Protein Showdown.” The Good Inside at Touchstone Essentials, Touchstone Essentials, 15 Apr. 2018, thegoodinside.com/plant-vs-whey-protein-showdown/.