In part 2 I discussed about different form of Whey protein available in market. In this part I will discuss about Vegan protein like Pea protein, Rice Protein, Hemp protein and of course Casein protein (missed in 2nd part).
Casein Protein: In Casein it is best to use Hydrolysate form so I will explain about Casein Hydrolysate. Protein contained in milk is known as Casein and when treated with enzymes or acid it is broken down in smaller particles known as peptides and the process is known as Hydrolysis. The size of peptides depend upon the enzymes or acid used during Hydrolysis. The same process is used for Hydrolysate whey as well. They are then micro filtered to separate the smaller peptides from larger one. The smaller the peptides better is the absorption and assimilation. The most researched Casein Hydrolysate is brand called “Peptopro” with positive results in recovery and strength improvements. I have used this product myself as Intra or Pre workout mixed with other supplements and Post workout as well. It works really well better than BCAA for recovery and post workout muscle soreness. The only brand to trust is Peptopro, sadly not available in India. The beauty is that dose is very less and it has high amino acid profile with great Biological Value, but its expensive than Whey Protein.
Pea Protein: Pea protein Isolates is derived from Yellow split peas and is a good option to milk derived proteins for Vegans. Pea protein comes in category of hypo allergenic as people hardly have and allergy or sensitivity for pea and also free from lectins. Its easy to digest, gluten and dairy free. The maximum protein content for Pea protein isolate goes upto 90% and it has less solubility and chalky taste. Most people don’t like the taste because of all this. The best part is that it goes well with Stevia as added sweetener but difficult to mask its taste as even after flavouring it gives after taste and limited flavour options are available. I used Pea protein for my clients when they are on Elimination Diet where they have to avoid Milk based products or supplements. Pea protein lacks one amino acid Methionine which can be covered easily from other vegan foods. Pea protein is high in BCAA’s and it is high in sodium as well so check if you have high pressure. You can reduce sodium intake from other sources if you are consuming Pea protein. I personally can consume Pea protein as raw without flavours and sweeteners but people like flavours and sweeteners.
Rice protein: Rice protein isolate is made from brown rice and is also considered as Hypoallergenic. It has protein content no more than 80%. Its easy to digest, gluten and dairy free. The problem with Rice protein is that people usually don’t like the taste and its difficult to mask the taste even after flavouring. In real terms it taste worse than pea protein. The amino acid profile is also not much better than Pea protein because of missing amino acid like lysine. That’s why it is mostly used in combination with pea protein.
Hemp Protein: Hemp protein is extracted from Hemp seeds by removing the oil and then rest is powdered to get Hemp Protein. It has protein content close to 40-50% but it is the most healthiest among the plant proteins and my favourite as well. It can be consumed without any flavour and sweeteners, at least I can. It has some chalky taste but better than pea and rice protein. It has high fibre content ranging from 20-25% including both soluble and insoluble and high in healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It is also a good source of magnesium and potassium which keep our blood pressure in check. If I have to choose the healthiest protein without considering protein content I will choose Hemp protein.
Conclusion: If you are Vegan and looking to have high protein content then go for pea protein and rice protein mix but If you want protein which can improve your health with giving you moderate amount of protein then Hemp is best choice. There are few brand which contain all the three proteins in combination. Price wise Hemp is expensive than Pea and Rice protein.