Plant vs. Whey Protein: What's Best for Endurance Athletes?

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If you were to ask any endurance athlete what they depend on the most to conquer their goals and keep their performance at an all-time high, they’d most likely tell you all about how protein is a staple in their diet. 

Why your protein intake matters

Protein is high up on any athlete’s much-needed nutrient list because it is essential for proper recovery, muscle growth, and performance in the long run. By taking the time to know how many grams of this macronutrient you should consume daily, you’ll be able to give yourself a competitive advantage without fail.

When it comes to getting the recommended amount of protein, it’s important to note that the quality of where you get it from also matters as to how effectively you can perform. Fortunately, getting an apt serving to fuel the body for prime athletic performance no longer has to entail stuffing oneself with all types of meat and eggs every day.

Out of all the different ways to take in your daily dose of protein, there are two options that have played a crucial role in helping the world’s top athletes boost their performance: 

Plant and whey protein. 

Plant-based vs. whey: a side-by-side comparison

For the past few decades, whey protein has become a staple form of supplementation in the cupboards, gym bags, and kitchen counters of endurance athletes because of its convenience and effectiveness. While whey has definitely become an absolute necessity for any endurance athlete, however, plant protein has also become another option to watch out for because of how it can provide the same benefits.

If you want to invest in a viable source of protein but don’t exactly know which option to go for, here’s a side-by-side comparison between both options according to essential factors: 

1. Production

    Whey protein is derived from a production-heavy process and begins its life as a by-product of cheese. To create the protein supplement, manufacturers first separate the whey from the cheese and then go through a series of steps that involve heating, micro filtering, pasteurization, and drying, resulting in the powder itself. 

    As opposed to its dairy-derived counterpart, plant-based protein doesn’t require processing because its various forms already have amino acids and other components ingrained into their structure. In the cases in which processing is needed, however—such as nut butter and tofu—it is worth noting that the required work is minimal either way.

    2. Protein structure

    When it comes to a comparison of components, athletes themselves are far more inclined to go for whey because it contains every essential amino acid that the body needs to perform as best as possible. Plant protein, on the other hand, requires a bit of assistance in blending with other ingredients to provide the same protein structure as its whey counterpart at a slightly higher cost.

    3. Nutrient density

    In terms of how many nutrients are offered per calorie, plant-based protein triumphs over whey because its components are all nutrient-dense in nature. While whey protein may have more of the namesake ingredient, natural alternatives provide the same level of supplementation while yielding even more health benefits. In fact, plant-based protein is also a great option for lactose-intolerant athletes!

    Conclusion

    As an endurance athlete, it’s important to note that the ingredients that you fuel your body with should also help tremendously in keeping yourself in great shape long after you’ve finished your last competition. By using a plant-based protein, however, you can easily enjoy all the key benefits of whey without any form of compromise!

    If you want to fuel your body with plant-based protein, check out our range of products on our website today!