9 Awesome Benefits of Pea Protein + Why It’s Quickly Becoming My Favorite Protein

Pea protein is making its way to the forefront of protein sources, and for good reason! Learn the 9 benefits of pea protein and why you should include it to up your protein intake!

Pea protein is making its way to the forefront of protein sources. Learn the 9 benefits of pea protein and why you should use it to up your protein intake!

You know I love my smoothies and shakesOpens in a new tab. and also putting a protein powder in yummy baked goods, like cookiesOpens in a new tab.. In fact, my Peanut Butter Protein Cookies have 10 grams of protein per cookie. 

In my post How to Calculate Your Macros for Weight Loss: More Than Just Counting CaloriesOpens in a new tab., I tell you about protein, as it is one of the macronutrients that make up the calories we eat each day (fat and carbs are the other two).

I also explain the aim for your macro percentages based on your goals (building muscle, losing weight, etc.). The average person should aim for 10-35% protein daily. To figure out what’s best for you, hop on over to the postOpens in a new tab..

But let’s talk about pea protein specifically this time. It’s packed with nutrients and provides a ton of benefits. Read on, and I’ll give you the scoop!

Close up view of a large white spoon full of yellow peas, which are used to make pea protein.

WHY IS PROTEIN IMPORTANT?

Protein does a lot for the body. In fact, I have an entire video on proteinOpens in a new tab., which I am sure you will find helpful. In a nutshell, protein aids the following:

WHAT IS PEA PROTEIN?

Pea protein is made by extracting protein from yellow peas. The pea shell is removed and the pea is then milled. Two scoops of pea protein contain 120 calories and around 27 grams of protein. 

Pea protein is low in sugar and carbs, and is vegan-friendly because it contains no animal ingredients. Do check the label before purchasing though, just to be sure.

Close up view of a blue scoop on its side, with pea protein powder poured on a surface.

IS PEA PROTEIN EASILY DIGESTED?

Yes, pea protein is easy to digest. The reason for this is that it does not contain lactose or gluten, which can be hard for the body to process, especially if you are gluten or lactose intolerant.

That’s why pea protein is so popular: it is lactose and gluten-free, it’s vegan, and it is also allergy-free. Just remember to always check the label on the protein you are buying to ensure that there are no additives that will interfere with your dietary requirements. 

And one more thing, the fiber in the pea protein is good for your digestive system. 

DOES PEA PROTEIN HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS?

Pea protein can help with weight loss, yes. How is that? Like any form of protein (full-fat dairyOpens in a new tab.chickenOpens in a new tab.nut buttersOpens in a new tab.), pea protein boosts metabolismOpens in a new tab., helping you to burn more calories.

You’ll also feel fuller and the protein takes longer to digest than processed or sugary foods, so it’s a win-win.

Combine the consumption of protein with exercise and you will gain lean muscleOpens in a new tab.. Your clothes will fit better and you’ll feel amazing. I can speak from experience. If you haven’t watched my weight loss journeyOpens in a new tab. video, take a look!

Overhead image of a bowl overflowing with yellow peas, used to make pea protein.

SIDE EFFECTS OF PEA PROTEIN

Pea protein is relatively side-effect-free, and that is one of the great things about it. It’s easily digestible and even though it contains fiber, pea protein does not cause bloating or gas. 

You do have to look out for the sodium content, however. Keep that in mind and if you are on a sodium-restricted eating regimen, you may want to discuss the use of pea protein with your doctor, just in case.

Besides the sodium content, there may be a concern with kidney problems. This is really only an issue if you consume too much protein every day. You have to be careful to not overdo the recommended daily amount (between 10 and 35%Opens in a new tab.). As with the sodium, if you have kidney issues, consult your doctor for guidance on the protein intake that is healthy for you.

DOES PEA PROTEIN CONTAIN ALL THE ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS?

Yes, with a minor detail. Pea protein is considered a complete proteinOpens in a new tab., even though it is quite low in the amino acid methionine+cysteine. Complete proteins have 25mg/g and pea protein has 11mg/g. It’s easy to make up the balance though, by eating foods that are complete proteins such as eggs and chicken. 

If you are vegan, brown riceOpens in a new tab. is an excellent accompaniment to pea protein. It is very high in methionine+cysteine (but low in lysine, which pea protein is high in). You can either eat the brown rice in a meal or add brown rice protein to a shake or smoothie. 

If you are not vegan, you can also add in collagen with your protein, as collagen peptides make up for the lower amino acid count with the pea protein. You can either purchase collagen peptides to do this, or find a protein powder that already contains both types of protein.

9 BENEFITS OF PEA PROTEIN POWDER

1. PEA PROTEIN IS HIGHLY NUTRITIONAL

Pea protein is a great protein source. It contains all nine of the essential amino acids and also has branched-chain amino acidsOpens in a new tab., including arginine which is good for the heart and promotes the flow of blood throughout the body. It’s also high in iron and low in fat. To fully benefit from the iron, take it with vitamin C, or with foods containing vitamin C, such as oranges and broccoli.

2. PEA PROTEIN IS GOOD FOR HEART HEALTH

Blood pressure and cholesterol both affect the heart. Although the studies are mostly in animals, it’s been shown that pea protein can reduce cholesterolOpens in a new tab. and lower blood pressureOpens in a new tab..

3. PEA PROTEIN IS GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS

We’ve talked about how protein fills you up and reduces the chances of hunger-driven snacking. Pea protein is an excellent protein source that can keep you fullOpens in a new tab., reducing the number of calories you consume in a day. 

4. PEA PROTEIN IS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND ANTIOXIDANT

According to a recent trial, consuming pea protein may lower the riskOpens in a new tab. of inflammatory-type diseases. Its antioxidant properties were proven in the same study. Supplementing with pea protein is a sure-fire way to ensure you are taking care of yourself.

Overhead image of a glass bowl containing vanilla protein powder, with a scoop being dipped into the bowl.

5. PEA PROTEIN IS GOOD FOR THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

Pea protein contains a lot of fiber. That’s always a benefit since fiber is so good for youOpens in a new tab.. Pea protein is easily digested and does not contain glucose or lactose. It does not cause bloating or gas and mixes well into smoothies and puddings.

6. PEA PROTEIN IS VERSATILE WITH DIETARY NEEDS

Because pea protein is a vegan product, it is highly versatile. Those allergic to dairy products, shellfish, nuts, soy, wheat, or eggs can use pea protein as a supplement without worry. However, checking the label is always essential in case other ingredients were added in processing.

7. PEA PROTEIN CAN HELP YOU BUILD MUSCLE

Even though pea protein is plant-based, it is just as effective as an animal product-based protein. A study over 12 weeksOpens in a new tab. showed that men taking pea protein gained just as much muscle as participants taking whey protein.

8. PEA PROTEIN IS EASY TO USE

Pea protein has a good consistency and mixes well with liquids when making smoothies, or adding it to a recipe for cooking (think protein-rich pancakesOpens in a new tab. ← yum!) or baking. 

I touched on this above, but it’s worth noting again that pea protein is the ideal supplement for people who have intolerances to certain foods but still want to add extra protein to their diet. Can’t have eggs or dairy? Soy causing digestive issues? Are you gluten intolerant? Look to pea protein as an alternative.

Do check the label when shopping though, to avoid artificial flavors, sugar, and additives.

Overhead image of a white plate with a stack of Lemon Blueberry Protein Pancakes, topped with cream and blueberries.

MORE POSTS ON PROTEIN POWDER

I’ve written a few posts on protein powder and why it’s good to include it in your diet. Take a look:

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

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