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 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 (2019 Updated)
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1. Best Overall: Transparent Labs Organic Vegan
I’ve kind of cheated a little bit here, as this pea protein powder is only partially made from peas, containing a 2:1 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, which is the same as 4 large eggs.
It’s a great source of nutrients if you avoid animal products in your diet.
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.
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.
In fact, in one serving, you will find less than 0.5g fat, 0.25g sugar, and 1g carbs in it.
Plant eaters losing weight will really appreciate this pea protein source.
3. Zen Principle Organic Pea
Our best 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.
It is unflavored, which is great if you hate the taste of artificial flavors or you prefer to mix your powder with other foods.
Create your own healthy vegan smoothies with Zen Principle.
4. NorCal Organic
Organic pea protein powder sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t!
Why is it so organic, you ask? Because it only contains one ingredient – organic yellow pea protein isolate.
You’ll never clog up your body with additives again, which will allow you to take back control of your nutrition.
This pea protein source is packed with 22g of protein, 4.8g of BCAA amino acids, 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 –
BulkSupplements, who are leaders in this space, make their pea protein from yellow split peas.
This way, it is suitable for you if you are vegan or intolerant to gluten.
Free from additives often found in other powders, this supplement contains 100% pure pea protein powder, so it is brilliant for healthy gym-goers who want to know exactly what goes into their body.
This is my recommendation if you're on a tight budget.
6. Naked Pea
With a brand name reminiscent of an upscale lap dancing bar, Naked Pea is a great bodybuilding clean protein powder which allows you get the nutrition you need without consuming animal products to do so.
Naked Pea contains 27 grams of pea protein, 2g of sugar, 2g of carbs, 120 calories, and 5.7g of BCAA amino acids per serving.
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 vegan 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 in 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,
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.
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 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.
This supplement is absolutely jam-packed with L-arginine, which is brilliant for building muscles, far outweighing the performance of whey.
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 to customize your new means of protein intake. This, in addition to everything else we’ve said above makes it something we wouldn’t be afraid to recommend to anybody.
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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