Welcome to our big pea protein test 2021. Here we present all the pea protein products that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.
We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best pea protein for you.
You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy pea protein.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The Best Pea Protein: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying pea protein
- 4.1 What are proteins and what are they responsible for?
- 4.2 What are amino acids and what should I know about them?
- 4.3 What types of protein are there and what are the advantages of pea protein?
- 4.4 Pea protein and muscle building - what should I bear in mind?
- 4.5 Why does a pea protein diet make it easier to lose weight?
- 4.6 What alternatives are there to pea protein?
- 5 Decision: What types of pea protein are there and which is right for you?
- 6 Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate pea protein based on these factors
- 7 Facts worth knowing about pea protein
The most important facts
- Pea protein is great for vegans and those with allergies. It provides a large amount of the important essential amino acid lysine.
- Pea protein covers 7 out of 8 essential amino acids in sufficient quantities, but should be combined with, for example, rice protein. This way it can be better utilised by the body.
- Losing weight can be facilitated by a pea protein diet, as proteins require more energy during digestion than carbohydrates or fat.
The Best Pea Protein: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying pea protein
What are proteins and what are they responsible for?
Proteins, or proteins, are the building blocks from which our body is "built" and, along with fat and carbohydrates, are macronutrients.
What are amino acids and what should I know about them?
If you haven't really understood what they are or what they are all about, you've come to the right place!
Simply explained: Amino acids are the "building blocks" of the body's proteins. Proteins are the "building blocks" of our body - i.e. the body's cells, enzymes and hormones.
There are 20 different amino acids, 8 of which are essential. This means that these 8 essential amino acids cannot be produced by our body itself and must be supplied through food or supplements. Chickpeas and green peas can cover the essential nutritional requirement of amino acids. (1)
If you are interested in protein for muscle building, you should pay particular attention to 3 of the essential amino acids. These are leucine, isoleucine and valine.
They belong to the group of BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) and are used to build and maintain muscle.
What types of protein are there and what are the advantages of pea protein?
Animal protein includes whey protein, casein, milk protein isolates and egg protein (egg albumin). Vegetable proteins include soy, rice, pea and lupine protein. These types of protein can also be used advantageously in combination. If pea and milk proteins are contained in one substance, you can benefit from better bioavailability of both proteins. (2)
|Animal protein||Vegetable protein|
|Whey protein||Soy protein|
|Milk protein isolates||Pea protein|
|Egg protein (egg albumin)||Lupine protein|
Animal products include meat, fish, eggs and milk. These contain large amounts of protein and are used by most people to meet their protein needs.
However, if you want to avoid large amounts of these animal products or you prefer a vegetarian or vegan diet, you will need to turn to plant-based products to meet your needs.
Vegetable protein is mainly found in cereals, soy, potatoes and legumes such as beans and peas.
Even though the protein content and the biological value are somewhat lower than in animal products, plant products definitely have many advantages.
One big advantage is that vegetable protein sources are mostly cholesterol-free. Thus, on average, they are the healthier sources of protein.
Furthermore, vegetable protein is more likely to contain mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids and provide important digestive fibre.
Explanation: The biological value indicates how well a protein ingested with food can be utilised by your body. In other words, how well your body can convert the protein into its own protein. In the case of pea protein, an increase in muscle thickness can be achieved in addition to the build-up of strength. (3, 4)
The quantity and ratio of the essential amino acids contained is decisive for this. The higher the biological value, the more similar the proteins are to the structure of the body's own protein and the easier it is for your body to utilise them.
The advantage of proteins can also have positive effects in other areas in combination with the right nutrition. In combination with yellow peas and sufficient fibre, for example, the blood sugar level can be lowered. (5)
Pea protein and muscle building - what should I bear in mind?
Not only the quantity, but also the quality of the protein is important.
Through targeted training, the muscles can be stressed in such a way that they adapt. You can imagine this as small cracks appearing in the muscle structure.
The body reacts to this stimulus with protein deposits in the muscle areas that are affected. This leads to a "strengthening" of the muscle - in other words, to an adaptation or muscle growth. This is also called hypertrophy (muscle cross-sectional growth).
Or explained a little more scientifically:
If the muscles are sufficiently stressed, there is an increase in actin, myosin and titin (each sarcomere, the smallest unit of the muscles, is made up of these three proteins) during the recovery phase, as well as an increase in glycogen, ATP and KP storage.
The trained muscle becomes thicker. If stimuli hit the muscles again after the correctly dosed regeneration phase (supercompensation), they are distributed over a larger cell mass.
Pea protein is one of the vegetable proteins and is characterised by high-quality amino acids and a high protein content of approx. 85%.
With its amino acid profile, consisting of non-essential and a high proportion of 7 of the 8 essential amino acids, it is ideal for meeting your needs. Arginine and lysine are particularly worth mentioning here.
These two amino acids are found in high amounts in pea protein. Arginine releases growth hormones. It thus promotes muscle growth and ensures a good immune defence.
Lysine plays an important role in bone health, provides firm connective tissue and boosts fat burning.
To get the full effect of pea protein, you should pay attention to the preparation. Pressure cooking, for example, leads to better protein digestibility than conventional cooking processes. (6) Studies also show that the addition of such concentrates to baking processes also helps to improve the bio-value. (7)
Why does a pea protein diet make it easier to lose weight?
Proteins have a thermic effect. This means that heat is generated when they are digested. Digesting proteins uses more energy than digesting carbohydrates or fat.
So if you want to lose weight, make sure you eat a protein-rich diet. Of course, it's best if you also exercise. This way you can benefit twice from pea protein.
For people with obesity, the method of ingestion can be crucial. If pea protein is administered via the duodenum rather than orally, food intake can be massively affected. The thus successful bypassing of gastric juice can be used both for the treatment and prevention of obesity. (8)
What alternatives are there to pea protein?
If you are on a vegan diet and only want to consume plant-based products, you should look at the amino acid profiles and combine several protein products if necessary. This way, even with purely plant-based products, you get a complete source of protein with good bioavailability.
Other protein products, such as protein bars, can also be a good alternative. Especially if you are on the go and don't want to carry a shaker to prepare your protein powder and simply want to cover your protein needs in the form of a snack.
If you prefer liquid, whey can be an interesting alternative. Combined with high-intensity functional training, a similar improvement in muscle thickness and strength production could be seen. (9)
Pea protein is often combined with rice protein. If you combine these two protein sources in a 30:70 ratio, you will achieve about the same biological value as whey protein.
This video lists 10 vegan foods that are good for building muscle. Peas are also included.
In this video you will find 9 vegan foods that are good alternatives or supplements to pea protein.
Decision: What types of pea protein are there and which is right for you?
On the protein market, pea protein is mainly represented as a powder. But protein bars with pea protein are also very popular.
So we are talking about two different types of pea protein:
- Pea protein powder
- Pea protein bar
What is pea protein powder and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Usually yellow peas are used to make pea protein powder. These are first ground into pea flour. Then the protein is separated and the powder obtained is dried.
Pea protein powder is ideal for vegetarians and vegans. However, it should be combined with another protein powder - preferably rice protein - to get a better biological value and amino acid profile. This way you can ensure that your body can use it well.
Although the protein content of pea protein powder is lower than animal products, there are still a number of benefits. For example, it is mostly cholesterol-free and on average offers a healthier source of protein.
Another positive aspect is that mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids are more abundant. Furthermore, the pea protein powder shines with important digestive fibres.
Since pea protein powder is available in a variety of flavours, you are sure to find a tasty product for you.
What are pea protein bars and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
You can think of pea protein bars as normal bars. However, they are characterised by particularly good nutritional values and are also available with pea protein and in different flavours.
Pea protein bars are especially good when you're on the go. You don't always need a shaker at hand to prepare your protein powder. You can also easily cover your protein needs with a bar.
Here, too, you are sure to find the right product for you from the large product range. Just take a look at the nutrition tables of the bars and choose the product that suits you and your dietary preferences.
Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate pea protein based on these factors
If you want to buy pea protein, you should inform yourself in advance about the respective product in order to be able to assess its quality. In the following section, we would like to show you how you can compare and evaluate products.
We would like to take a closer look at the following factors:
- Protein content
- Calorific value
The protein content plays a very important role, especially if you want to cover your increased protein requirements as an athlete. The protein content is listed in the nutritional value table, as is the case with all other foods or food supplements.
In this context, you should also consider the digestibility and efficiency ratio of the proteins contained. Field peas, for example, belong to those species for which these values are particularly high. (10)
The calorific value is measured in kilocalories (kcal) and kilojoules (kJ). It indicates the energy released during the combustion of nutrients.
The calorific value is interesting as a comparative value when you want to calculate your daily requirement or use it as a guide.
Your daily energy requirement is mainly dependent on:
- physical activity
If you want to gain weight, you should exceed your daily requirement. If you want to lose weight, you should always try to go below your daily requirement.
Protein powder, including pea protein powder, is available in neutral flavours as well as in countless different flavours. Not only chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, but also unusual flavours such as latte macchiato or egg liqueur are available.
It all depends on your personal taste. It's best to try it out and find a flavour that suits you.
Other ingredients are only interesting for some products. If you choose a pure pea protein isolate or concentrate, this will not be relevant for you.
However, there are some combination products on the market that not only cover your protein needs, but also provide you with important vitamins, trace elements or other important ingredients for muscle building.
Depending on your needs, there is also the option of using ready-mixed products or all-in-one products. This saves you the often time-consuming preparation of various nutritional supplements.
Facts worth knowing about pea protein
What is the daily protein requirement and can I cover it with pea protein?
The German Nutrition Society advises a daily guideline of about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for women and men.
An average adult with a body weight of 75 kg therefore has a daily protein requirement of about 60 grams.
But what does it look like as an athlete or in a muscle-building phase? The requirement is significantly higher for muscle building. Here, a protein intake of about 1.6-2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight is recommended.
To stick with our example calculation for an average adult with a body weight of 75 kg, a mean value of 1.8 grams results in a daily protein intake of 135 grams.
Covering the daily protein requirement with pea protein is not a problem. However, as mentioned above, you should preferably combine pea protein with rice protein to enable your body to better utilise it.
This will ensure a balanced protein intake and that you provide your body with all essential amino acids.
When should I not take pea protein?
As a general rule, you should not take pea protein if you are allergic to one or more of the ingredients it contains. However, as pea protein is generally low in allergens and is particularly suitable for allergy sufferers and vegans, there should be few problems here.
However, if you cannot tolerate pea protein products for other reasons, you can use other vegetable protein sources.
But note that you may need to combine several of these protein sources to provide your body with a complete amino acid profile.
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