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What is Pea Protein?

what is pea protein
Last modified: January 14th, 2019 05:43 am

We’ve recently spent some time going over the different side effects and, more recently, the benefits of pea protein supplementation.  It’s come to our attention that apart from the fact that it is extracted from peas, we haven’t really told you what pea protein is.  If we’re going to be preaching so hard about the importance of protein supplementation and pushing our Leftovers product line, we should probably spend a bit more time on the ingredients and help our readers understand just what they’re putting in to their systems.  We know you’re not lemurs just waiting to blindly follow us off the cliff, so without further ado…

How is Pea Protein Made?

Since pea protein was first marketed as an alternative to the more traditional dairy based methods of protein supplementation, most companies continue to treat it as such.  Targeting vegans may be a niche market, but with little else in the way of alternatives, almost all vegans that supplement make pea protein powder and drinks a regular staple in their diets.  The manufacturing process starts here: absolutely no mixing with any sort of dairy products of any kind. Keeping the extract separated from all animal-derived substances is pretty much ubiquitous and expected nowadays.

Once millions of peas have been mashed to bits and the protein isolate hidden within has been extracted, the excess pea mush is usually mixed into organic foods for humans or used in feed for farm animals.  There are still a lot of useful nutrients left behind in the core and skins of the peas so rather than just discarding it, the mushy mess is used in other products that the manufacturer makes. The extract, which is not entirely pure as it consists of other healthy nutrients and antioxidants, is then power-heated and dried in to powder.

Why is Pea Protein So Effective?

On numerous occasions, we’ve talked about casein, the family of proteins that many of us leverage in our quest for muscle gain.  Casein is found in milk, whey, and soy. Well, think of legumin as the pea protein equivalent of casein. Chemically very similar to casein, legumin too is able to wildly improve the muscle growth of mammals by rejuvenating and repairing tired muscle cells [1].

Which is more effective?  We can’t definitively say which product is more effective when it comes to muscular growth and enhancement.  There are studies published by different schools and governmental bodies that seem to conflict when it comes to the comparison between the two.  If you’re a vegan or are concerned with the genetic modification in soy plants, cows, and dairy products, pea protein is a 100% viable option for you!  Combine that with the fact that pea protein actually contains other beneficial agents for your body and is usually cheaper to pick up in your local supplementation supply store [2], it’s a no brainer that you’re going to need to make the switch.  We’re here for you. Try our Leftovers line if you’re looking for the same protein boost as WheyXX but wish to explore some new beginnings.


  1. Jordan M. Joy,corresponding author1,2 Roxanne M. Vogel,1,2,3 K. Shane Broughton,1 Urszula Kudla,4 Nathaniel Y. Kerr,1 Jason M. Davison,1 Robert E. C. Wildman,1,5 and Nancy M. DiMarco1,2
    Daytime and nighttime casein supplements similarly increase muscle size and strength in response to resistance training earlier in the day: a preliminary investigation
    J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018; 15: 24.
    Published online 2018 May 15. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0228-9
  2. Nicolas Babault,corresponding author Christos Païzis, Gaëlle Deley, Laetitia Guérin-Deremaux, Marie-Hélène Saniez, Catherine Lefranc-Millot, and François A Allaert
    Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: a double-blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. Whey protein
    J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015; 12: 3.
    Published online 2015 Jan 21. doi: 10.1186/s12970-014-0064-5

SR Content Strategist & Fitness Expert

Matt Weik, the owner of Weik Fitness, LLC, is a well-respected fitness expert/author/podcaster with a global following. His work has been featured in nearly 100 fitness magazines (Flex Magazine, Men’s Muscle & Health Magazine, Oxygen Magazine), 2,000+ websites, as well as having numerous books and audiobooks that are published.  Matt Weik graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Kinesiology. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. Matt is a member of the supplement expert panel at the Awards 2018.

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