Pea protein isolate is a new alternative to whey and soy protein powders for bodybuilders.
Like soy, pea protein contains the wide range of amino acids necessary for muscle growth.
However, pea protein actually has more grams of protein per serving compared to soy protein and often more than even whey powder.
Why, then, has pea protein only recently come to be recognized as a valuable bodybuilding supplement?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, peas have been overshadowed by other protein sources that have historically dominated the fitness market. Modern bodybuilders who try pea protein isolate will be pleased with not only its balanced amino acid profile and neutral taste but also a number of other benefits.
What is Soy Protein Isolate?
Peas have long been a staple food even in regions of the world where other legumes are not commonly eaten. Like other legumes, peas enrich the nitrogen content of soil, which makes them a highly sustainable crop. Not everyone enjoys the taste of peas, of course, and that’s okay.
Today, new processing methods have enabled food manufacturers to extract the protein from peas and leave the flavour, carbohydrates and anti-nutrients behind. The product of this purification can be used to bolster the protein content of processed foods or consumed as supplements by bodybuilders and other athletes.
How is it Made & What are the Benefits?
Manufacturers make pea protein isolate from field peas, which are different from the green peas people usually eat fresh. Field peas can be yellow or green but are normally produced for drying.
The dried peas can be split in half and marketed as split peas or processed further for use in a variety of products. Through removal of the fats and most other substances from the pea powder, pea protein concentrate or pea protein isolate results. Whereas the concentrate includes more of the nutrients that are present in the whole pea, the isolate contains almost exclusively purified amino acids.
Branched chain amino acids, or BCAAs, are the amino acids that researchers have pinpointed as being most valuable for muscle building. Like whey and soy protein, pea protein is an excellent source of BCAAs. In fact, about five grams of BCAAs are present in an average scoop of pea protein isolate, which compares well with the six grams in an equal scoop of whey protein. Consumed in multiple servings each day, this will promote a positive nitrogen balance and ensure that the body has what it needs to make lean mass and reduce fat stores.
In terms of overall health support, pea protein isolate is impressive. Studies have shown that pea protein can reduce both blood pressure and risk of kidney disease. For individuals with digestive problems, pea protein may also be preferable to other protein sources thanks to its easy digestibility. In this way, the superior absorption of pea protein could not only reduce the amount of supplemental protein bodybuilders need but also save money through improved results per dollar spent.
Finally, pea protein isolate has been stripped of most of the carbohydrates present in the whole pea, making it a low-carbohydrate food that is appropriate for diabetics and people eatinglow-carbohydrate diets.
Does it get results?
With any supplement, results may outweigh taste for bodybuilders focused on size and strength goals. However, pea protein is not only effective but also easy to use and even enjoy. The powder mixes well with water, eliminating clumps that can lead to frustration during preparation and disgust during ingestion. Long after pea protein isolate is consumed, it helps keep bodybuilders full.
As a result, it can be ideal for use during cutting. Whether used for bulking or cutting, in shakes or in snacks, pea protein isolate can be a strong addition to bodybuilding regimens. Here are the five best pea protein isolates currently available.
Here are the top five pea protein isolates available today
1. Iso-Pea by International Protein
Iso-Pea contains 100 percent cold-processed pea protein isolate from yellow field peas and has key nutrients that support muscle development and overall health. The company states that the product is free of allergens, making it ideal for those who avoid soy and dairy. Like other products from International Protein, Iso-Pea has gained a following among athletes at the top of their sports.
In addition to its hypoallergenic status, Iso-Pea is free of artificial fillers and a variety of other ingredients that many bodybuilders prefer to avoid. The product contains no sugar, preserving the naturally low-carbohydrate status of pea protein isolate and making it a good choice for athletes with diabetes. Because Iso-Pea contains no animal protein, it is also completely free of cholesterol.
Iso-Pea comes in delicious chocolate and vanilla flavors, making it a tasty option for use in post-workout and meal replacement shakes. However, the product is also available with natural flavor. For bodybuilders who want to maximize their protein intake, the ability to add Iso-Pea to soups, breads and other foods without changing the flavor can be a major advantage.
Easily digested and totally pure, Iso-Pea is an excellent choice of pea protein isolate for bodybuilders interested in a great-tasting protein source or an effective alternative to other protein powders. Highly versatile, the product functions equally well as a primary shake ingredient or as part of a recipe. Once again, International Protein has come through with a powerful product the amateurs will appreciate and professionals will prefer.
2. Vital Protein by Martin & Pleasance
Martin & Pleasance has created a superior pea protein isolate with a combination of a high-quality base and a special extraction process. According to the company, Vital Protein is made from Golden Peas grown in Europe and extracted using its own patented process, which utilizes enzymes. The result is 88 percent protein, which means that Vital Protein has triple the amount of protein compared to the average pea protein concentrate.
Like other pea protein isolates, Vital Protein boasts an exceptionally low carbohydrate content that makes it a worthwhile choice for bodybuilders who are watching their carbohydrate intake. The product is free of dairy, soy, gluten and wheat, so it is safe for those with vegetarian diets, celiac disease and food allergies. Vital Protein is also certified Kosher.
Vital Protein, like Vital Greens, offers strong nourishment for the whole body. Its glycemic index is low so that effects on blood glucose levels are slow and easily controlled. Instead of including sugar, Martin & Pleasance has used the natural sweetener thaumatin, which is derived from organic katemfe fruit. The product also has a pH of 7.8, helping to keep the body in the alkaline state that many health experts agree is optimal.
Natural vanilla flavour makes Vital Protein a delicious and welcome addition to a variety of recipes, including protein bars, cakes and drinks. 98 percent of Vital Protein is digestible, and its inclusion in recipes is unlikely to interfere with enjoyment. Of course, with the high-quality nutrition Vital Protein provides, bodybuilders are sure to appreciate its presence in any part of a bulking or cutting program.
3. 100% Natural Pea Protein Isolate by Tony Sfeirs
This pea protein isolate is bound to appeal to bodybuilders interested in a healthy way to replace meat, eggs and other animal proteins. The excellent digestibility of its protein paired with its full amino acid profile makes it a respectable alternative to whey and soy for those who cannot or will not consume those foods. Furthermore, Tony Sfeirs states that its 100% Natural Pea Protein Isolate is free of gluten and wheat, two problematic ingredients receiving more attention in recent years.
Several properties of this product are highlighted by Tony Sfeirs. For example, the company says that its pea protein isolate has an alkaline pH of 7.5, making it different from whey and soy protein powders and valuable for certain health goals, such as prevention of inflammation. This pea protein isolate is also low in salicylates, making it acceptable for those with salicylate sensitivity.
Chocolate, vanilla and other flavours are popular among protein powder consumers, but flavour is not necessarily always desirable. With this in mind, Tony Sfeirs preserved the natural flavor of its 100% Pea Protein Isolate. As a result, bodybuilders can flavour shakes as they please and can include the product as an ingredient in recipes without altering taste.
This protein powder contains only natural pea protein isolate from non-GMO peas. This may be a major advantage considering recent reports of organ damage from genetically modified foods. For health-conscious bodybuilders, this can be just one more reason to choose 100% Pea Protein Isolate made by Tony Sfeirs.
4. Nutra-Life Whole+ Organic Protein
With a combination of pea protein isolate and rice protein isolate, this product gives consumers a broader range of amino acids compared to products containing only one of the two. Completely natural and including extra ingredients that enhance digestion, Whole+ Organic Protein is ideal for not only vegetarians, vegans and health-conscious bodybuilders but also those who suffer from bloating when they use other protein sources.
Whole+ Organic Protein is flavoured with natural cocoa bean and natural organic vanilla bean as well as extra natural vanilla flavour. These flavours are easily superior to artificial versions, and those who like to enjoy their protein shakes are sure to be satisfied. Everything in the formula is Certified Organic by Australia, ensuring further peace of mind for consumers.
Unlike many other protein powders containing enzymes, Whole+ Organic Protein includes not just protein-digesting protease but also a full range of other plant-based digestive helpers. It has amylase for starch digestion, lipase for fat digestion, lactase for lactose digestion and cellulase for breaking down fiber. This will prevent bloating from the protein powder itself while also boosting absorption of anything the product is paired with as long as it is not exposed to cooking temperatures, which will deactivate the enzymes.
No sugar is included in this protein powder. Steviol glycosides, extracted from natural stevia leaf, are used instead. The pectin contained in the product will enhance texture when blended. While vegans may prefer mixing Whole+ Organic protein with non-dairy milks, others can combine it with dairy products for equally excellent results.
5. Pea Protein Isolate 1kg by Protein Supplies Australia
Protein Supplies Australia offers bodybuilders a high-quality pea protein isolate taken from non-GMO Canadian peas and extracted using their own secret process. According to the company, its Pea Protein Isolate is free of both dairy and gluten, two of the most common allergens.
Bodybuilders who follow Halal and Kosher dietary requirements will be glad to know that Protein Supplies Australia has met their needs with the respective certifications. The total absence of dairy in this formulation also ensures that vegans and vegetarians can consume it with confidence.
The bioavailability of any protein source is crucial to its value for bodybuilders, and Protein Supplies Australia has specifically stated that its Pea Protein Isolate offers easy digestibility. For individuals who experience digestive problems when they consume soy or whey protein, this product represents a welcome step toward their ability to meet daily protein goals.
Free of sugar, this pea protein isolate is versatile and appropriate for a host of dietary needs. Because the product is unsweetened, it can be used in savory dishes as well as in shakes that users can sweeten if they like. For bodybuilders focused on minimizing fat gains, the absence of sugar is essential. This product is also a good option for diabetics because it will not affect blood glucose levels as intensely as sugar-containing products would.
This product can also be a top choice for bodybuilders who are concerned about heart disease risk. Since Protein Supplies Australia has not included any animal products in its Pea Protein Isolate, this product is totally free of cholesterol. The naturally low glycemic index of pea protein isolate may also be beneficial for heart health. Protein Supplies Australia has truly come through with a pea protein isolate that builds lean mass while also fostering overall health.