Whey Protein Expensive? Try Pea Protein

Many bodybuilders drink whey protein to increase their calorie and protein intake.

The problem is that the price of dairy products (including whey protein) is rising. It is getting more and more expensive.

Rather than pay more and more for whey protein, my suggestion is that bodybuilders (or anyone wanting cheaper protein in their diet) instead switch to pea protein.

At many websites, a comparison of pea protein against whey protein shows that pea protein is much cheaper.

At bulknutrients.com.au, whey protein concentrate is $540 for 30kg = $18 per kg whereas pea protein isolate is $319 for 20kg = $15.95 per kg. Furthermore, pea protein isolate is 82.4% protein compared to whey protein concentrate, which is only 76.5% protein. To make the comparison fairer, pea protein isolate needs to be compared to whey protein isolate, which contains 87.7% protein. However, WPI costs $810 for 30 kg = $27 per kg, almost double the price of the pea protein.

Bottom line is that WPC is 13% more expensive than PPI but contains less protein.

Bulk Nutrients is an Australian company shipping protein to Australians. Those outside Australia should look at local retailers or look for pea protein from websites that ship internationally, e.g. pea protein from iHerb.

Some people will claim that pea protein is lower quality than whey protein, but this is not the case. The study below shows that for increasing muscle mass, pea protein works just as well as whey protein.

If you can get the same quality protein for lower cost (and not support the dairy industry), then why not opt for pea protein?

RESULTS: Results showed a significant time effect for biceps brachii muscle thickness (P < 0.0001). Thickness increased from 24.9 ± 3.8 mm to 26.9 ± 4.1 mm and 27.3 ± 4.4 mm at D0, D42 and D84, respectively, with only a trend toward significant differences between groups (P = 0.09). Performing a sensitivity study on the weakest participants (with regards to strength at inclusion), thickness increases were significantly different between groups (+20.2 ± 12.3%, +15.6 ± 13.5% and +8.6 ± 7.3% for Pea, Whey and Placebo, respectively; P < 0.05). Increases in thickness were significantly greater in the Pea group as compared to Placebo whereas there was no difference between Whey and the two other conditions. Muscle strength also increased with time with no statistical difference between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: In addition to an appropriate training, the supplementation with pea protein promoted a greater increase of muscle thickness as compared to Placebo and especially for people starting or returning to a muscular strengthening. Since no difference was obtained between the two protein groups, vegetable pea proteins could be used as an alternative to Whey-based dietary products.


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