Protein is one of the three essential macronutrients needed for building muscle mass. Proteins are one of the building blocks of body tissue, and they also serve as fuel sources. Proteins provide the same level of energy density that carbohydrates provide. The highest amount of protein is found in animal products. That is why most people prefer to eat animal meat to fulfill their protein needs. Other sources of protein include nuts and legumes. Macronutrients provide our bodies with energy, which is required to perform day-to-day tasks.
Of course, eating animal meat has its own negative impacts on the mind and body. Also, it is not wise to kill an innocent animal to satisfy your taste buds. That is why many companies have started creating plant-based protein sources, like soy and pea proteins. Plant-based protein sources are not only cruelty-free, but they are also equally as healthy as animal sources. In this post, we are going to compare soy protein vs pea protein and to find out which is best for you.
Here we go…..
Primary Difference in Soy & Pea Proteins
As the name states, soy protein is made of soybeans, which is classified as a legume. Soy protein contains no cholesterol and is hugely protein-dense. It is a popular vegan protein alternative that is used in various food items, such as tofu, tempeh and granola bars.
Pea protein is derived from peas. Typically, it is made with split peas or yellow peas by extracting dried and re-hydrated peas. The protein content is higher in pea protein than other plant protein sources; it has 90% protein content.
Macronutrient Content in Soy & Pea Proteins
Both soy and pea proteins are very protein-dense as they contain around 90% protein content. Soy protein contains 26g of protein per serving, while pea protein contains 24g per serving. However, the fat and carbohydrate content is shallow in both soy and pea proteins, making them a healthy and excellent food option.
Soy protein is rich in phosphorus, manganese, copper, and iron when it comes to micronutrient content. In addition to this, soy protein also contains isoflavones (compounds with strong hormone-like structure). In contrast, pea protein has a rich amount of iron, manganese, fiber, copper, folate, phosphorus, niacin, molybdenum, and vitamins B6, B2, A, C, and K.
Amino Acid Content in Soy & Pea Proteins
Amino acids are essential for the body. They are required in order to restore muscle protein synthesis to build and rebuild muscle mass. Different proteins contain different amino acid content and composition; known as the amino acid score. That is why different proteins have different effects on muscle protein synthesis.
Here is the vast difference between the two. Soy is a complete protein. Pea is an incomplete protein. When we say complete protein, it merely means that the protein can provide all nine essential amino acids in adequate amounts.
They contain all the essential amino acids, which makes them a unique and healthy option. Soy protein contains all the essential amino acids, and it contains more L-Glutamine, which impedes muscle protein breakdown and speeds up recovery time. At the same time, pea protein contains very high amounts of amino acids, specifically arginine, isoleucine, leucine, and valine. Due to all these essential acids, pea protein is considered the best plant-based protein option for athletes and sports personalities. Arginine in pea protein facilitates the release of nitric oxide and increases oxygen and blood flow, thereby resulting in increased muscle growth and better recovery. Pea protein contains three times more arginine than whey.
Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score
Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score or PDCAAS is a method by which the quality of protein is evaluated. It is based on both the amino acid requirements of our body and its ability to digest the protein. Protein digestibility plays an instrumental role when it comes to performance, benefits, and overall outcomes. Essential amino acids are needed to rebuild and repair lean muscle mass, especially post-workout. These acids promote more muscle mass and faster recovery.
According to research, most plant proteins have low bioavailability (which means the body takes more time to absorb the nutrients). The PDCAA of soy protein ranks at a 1, which is considered the highest rating. In contrast, pea protein ranks 0.928, on a scale of 1. The PDCAA of pea protein is very similar to that of eggs, casein, and whey.
Nutrition in Soy and Pea Proteins
One hundred grams of soy protein provides you with 388 calories, 56 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, 29 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fat. In contrast, the same amount of pea protein nutrition will provide you with 387 calories, 56 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 21 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fat. This means the fiber and carbohydrates content in soy protein is more compared to pea protein. Moreover, it only provides you an extra one calorie per 100 grams.
Taste & Texture of Soy & Pea Proteins
Both soy and pea proteins have the same texture and smoothness. As for taste is concerned, it is very tough to differentiate as both are plant-based sources, and both have a neutral flavor.
Usage of Soy & Pea Proteins
Both soy and pea proteins can be used as whey protein. You can use them in powder form to make protein shakes. They can be your excellent companion post-workout. It is very easy to make soy protein and pea protein shakes; both mix very smoothly. They are both healthy and easy to digest!
Time To Try Both!!
Both soy and pea proteins are great plant-based alternatives for building muscles. There are slight differences between the two, but both are good options for optimal performances. Based on bioavailability and amino acid score; soy protein is considered a better protein source than pea protein. However, according to research, pea protein promotes muscle protein synthesis better than soy protein despite the difference in PDCAA.
You can choose to buy either of the two as long as you are not allergic to soy or soy products. Soy is considered to have high allergens, and pea protein is hypoallergenic.
What do you prefer? Leave a comment below!