Good News for Pea Protein!

by Dr. Deedra Mason

Recent studies on alternative protein sources for muscle growth sent a strong message to Whey protein.  What was the message?  Pea Protein could be an adequate, if not equal to, protein source to whey for those that are looking to start an exercise regimen, or get back into the saddle after a long break from exercise.

Classically the go to protein for muscle growth is whey.  For those that are conditioned and looking for future gains, whey is still the king of the jungle.  However a new study from the J. of the international Society of Sports Nutrition found that Pea protein is a great alternative for those that want an ally other than whey  to promote muscle growth.

Pea protein was shown after a 12 week study of resistance training to produce similar results, as those that took whey, for bicep muscle thickness.  These findings were remarkable in study participants that had not previously worked out or were returning to weights.  Pea protein may because of its amino acid profile, be suitable for maintaining muscle mass in later decades of life or to slow down the aging process in those that consume a sufficient amount of protein on a daily basis.

One reason pea is such a strong contender is its amino acid profile. Pea Proteins profile is beneficial, second only to whey and a viable option for those that avoid Whey.  Pea Protein is rich in lysine just like Whey but also includes a higher percentage of arginine with nearly 9% of Pea protein being the NO pumping amino acid.

Arginine is a precursor to creatine, already used to a great extent, by athletes,  for  muscle growth and retention.  While Pea Protein does not have the lysine and BCAA density that whey offers, the arginine does give it particular leverage.  Real muscle gains come with regular and sufficient use (Greater than 25 grams per day for females and 35 grams per day for men) in combination with a healthy diet and exercise.

For a balanced approach to well-being, do not forget the importance of sleep and keeping to a schedule. Doing so is the KEY to mental focus and longevity.