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Did you know that in the UK, over 9,000 peas are eaten per person, per year?
That’s a lot of peas for them Brits, and it should come as no surprise that pea protein is one of the most popular plant-based protein powders on the market, both in the UK and here in the US.
You’ve got a couple of options when it comes to vegan protein powder and meal replacement supplements – your main contenders are soy protein and pea protein, both of which are excellent plant-based vegan protein powder products.
Here, we go over the best pea protein powders you can buy, whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle!
Our Top 6 Pea Protein Powders (2020 Updated)
OUR #1 RATED
OUR #2 RATED
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1. Transparent Labs Organic Vegan (Best Overall)
I’ve kind of cheated a little bit here, as this pea protein powder is only partially made from peas, containing a 2:1 brown rice protein to pea protein ratio.
What can I say? I’m a flawed human being who likes their pea protein mixed in with other stuff.
Nonetheless, each serving of Transparent Labs’ powder delivers 24g of pea protein per serving, which is the same as 4 large eggs. The reason behind it being mixed with brown rice is to your benefit too providing you with a complete, healthy, plant-based protein source, with all 8 BCAAs to boot in its amino acid profile.
There are only 120 calories per scoop and most of the flavors are really tasty (not keen on the chocolate flavor myself) so it’s one of the easiest pea protein powders to incorporate into your diet without feeling like you’re torturing your tastebuds. It’s also a great source of nutrients for those that avoid animal products in their diet.
2. Nuzest Clean Lean
This is my personal favorite pea protein powder and it does exactly what it says on the tin:
With 21 grams of pea protein, Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is GMO, gluten-free and soy-free, so you’re in safe hands if you have a highly-restricted diet.
It’s great for weight loss too, as it is very low in fat, carbohydrates, and naturally-occurring sugar.
Plant eaters losing weight will really appreciate this pea protein source. In fact, in one serving, you will find less than 0.5g fat, 0.25g sugar, and 1g carbs in it making it the best choice for those trying to shred, shrink, or shed.
3. Zen Principle Organic Pea
Our favorite pea protein powder if you're on a low carb diet is this one from Zen Principle.
Featuring high levels of L-arginine, this pea protein powder helps you to build thicker and stronger muscles.
This supplement is also good for reducing your blood pressure and absorbing protein easily.
Create your own healthy vegan smoothies with Zen Principle. It is unflavored, which is great if you hate the taste of artificial flavors or you prefer to mix your powder with other foods.
4. NorCal Organic
Organic pea protein powder makes you question what is so unorganic about all the other supplements?
What makes it so organic then, you ask? Because it only contains one ingredient – organic protein isolate derived from yellow peas. Meaning with every serving you can be sure you’re getting nothing but the good stuff.
This supplement is perfect for those who are worried about ingesting anything that was grown in a lab rather than the ground. It’s an all-natural plant-based protein source perfect for those following a vegan lifestyle.
This pea protein source is packed with 22g of protein, 4.8g of BCAAs in its amino acid profile, and 2.18g of arginine in each serving, making it great for vegan health enthusiasts looking to hit their nutritional targets without scarfing down hundreds of grams of protein to do it.
Looking for an affordable vegan protein powder? Then look no further – this is one of the best value offerings on the list.
BulkSupplements, who are leaders in this space, have perfected making their pea protein from yellow split peas.
Suitable for those sensitive to gluten and for those on a plant-based diet, this pea protein powder clearly doesn’t like to discriminate.
Free from the additives far too often found in other powders, this supplement contains only pure pea protein powder, so it suits the healthy gym-goers who want to know exactly what goes into their bodies.
This is my recommendation if you're on a tight budget.
6. Naked Pea
With their titillating brand name and super sleek packaging,, Naked Pea is a great bodybuilding clean protein powder which allows you to get the nutrition you need without consuming animal by-products to do so.
Naked Pea contains 27 grams of protein derived from peas, 2g of sugar, 2g of carbs, 120 calories, and 5.7g of BCAA amino acids per serving. So it’s not quite as naked as it may have led you to believe, but the ingredients list is still fairly stripped back and simple.
As such, it allows you to eat a clean diet and make huge muscle gains in the gym.
Who says you can't gain lean muscles in a plant-based diet?
What Is Pea Protein Powder?
Pea protein powder is a powdered source of protein which is extracted from yellow peas.
This makes it ideal for vegans and people with intolerances to supplements made in whey or soy.
Pea protein itself is a high-quality protein source which contains high levels of iron and BCAA amino acids.
Due to its protein and BCAA content, pea protein powder is often used by gym-goers who are trying to lose weight and gain muscle mass. It is renowned for its role as an appetite suppressant, helping people to feel fuller for longer after consuming it.
In fact, one study found that it could reduce calorie intake by 12% if consumed 30 minutes before a meal (1).
Pea protein powder steers clear of the 8 major allergen groups and is also completely free from animal products, so it is a very versatile and healthy powder for losing weight and boosting protein levels (2).
What to Look for in a Pea Protein Supplement
If you can afford it, organic powder is definitely the way to go! Organic protein powders are made from ingredients which have not been sprayed with chemicals and pesticides which can work their way into your food and harm you.
One study found that switching to an organic diet reduces the level of toxins in
your body dramatically, with a toxin called “malathion” being reduced by 95% when switching to an organic diet.
2. Amount of Calories per Gram of Protein
As you should know, getting your calories right is an essential aspect of vegan bodybuilding, or any bodybuilding and weight loss regime for that matter.
So, when you’re buying your pea protein, you should carefully analyze the calories-protein ratio and work out whether making a vegan protein shake with this powder will send you over or under your calorie count for the day.
What are you going to use the supplement for? If you’re going to use it for baking or cooking, you probably may want to opt for an unflavored protein powder.
On the other hand, if you’re just going to be making basic vegan protein smoothies or shakes with pea protein powder, then choose a flavor that appeals.
Potential Side Effects
1. High Sodium Content
If you’re watching your sodium intake, then pea powders could pose a bit of a problem, as they are relatively high in sodium. On average, each serving contains around 110-390mg.
Nonetheless, vegan protein powder made from peas tends to be completely safe and adverse side effects are very rare. In the unlikely event that you experience a side effect, do consult a doctor.
2. Gout Flare-Ups
Split peas (where the powders come from) are filled with purines, which create more uric acid in your body.
If you have ever had problems with gout, uric acid can cause a gout flare-up.
However, if you’re reading this, you’re probably a healthy vegan who does a decent amount of exercise, so you probably shouldn’t worry too much.
3. Kidney Issues
It is thought that getting too much protein in your diet can actually be bad for you, causing your kidneys to not work properly.
But I should clarify that this is unconfirmed and applies to various forms of protein (i.e. not just from peas) so it’s unlikely that you’ll be calling up your dad and asking for a spare kidney any time soon.
Pea Protein vs Whey
Bodybuilders can use a variety of protein powders to help them gain muscle mass and last for long periods of time in the gym.
Two of the most common are pea protein and whey.
The most obvious difference is that whey is derived from cow’s milk, so it is not vegan.
In contrast, pea-derived powder contains no animal products, making it a brilliant vegan protein powder.
When you stack the two powders side by side, they are quite similar, although pea protein doesn’t contain as many BCAAs as whey protein. However, pea powder contains almost 3 times more arginine than whey, an amino acid which is strongly linked to muscle building.
Some people claim that pea protein tastes worse than whey-based protein, having an almost dirt-like quality. Still, this can be easily masked by blending it in with vegetables and fruits in your shakes.
You can watch this video to learn more about the differences between the two.
Our #1 Pea Protein Powder Is...
Our pick for the top product goes to Transparent Labs Organic Vegan.
Its pea-based protein also helps to reduce your appetite, in addition to providing your body with all the building blocks that an athlete could ever need.
And if all that wasn’t enough, it’s got a wide range of flavors, so you can blend it into the drink or meal of your choice, which allows you to customize your new means of protein intake and lessening the chance of you getting bored.
You may also like our post on the best vegan protein powders where we find products that best suits your fitness goals.
TRANSPARENT LABS ORGANIC VEGAN
Best Pea Protein Powder
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