Muscle Building: Pea Protein found to be as efficient as Whey Protein

It’s always been common knowledge in the body building community that whey protein is the best for muscle building. But so many people get stomach pains or gastrointestinal issues, bloating or diarrhea from whey protein (dairy in general). Is it really the best?

An interesting study was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2015 that found pea protein to be just as effective as whey protein for building muscles! Pea protein has a 92.8% index out of 100% on the Protein Digestibility Acid Corrected Amino Acid Score, which is highly similar to whey or casein protein.

161 males from 18 – 35 years of age were split into three groups randomly: (1) whey protein , (2) pea protein and (3) placebo. For 12 weeks subjects exercised their upper limb muscle groups. All subjects ingested 25 g of either proteins or placebo, morning and evening.

Bicep muscles were evaluated with ultrasound, and strength evaluated with isokinetic dynamometer at baseline, mid training and post training.
Results: Muscle thickness increased 12.3% for pea protein group, 13.5% for whey protein group and 7.3% placebo group. Significant increase in muscle thickness in pea group when compared to placebo. No significant difference between whey protein and other two groups observed.

Conclusion: Pea protein had a greater effect on growing muscles than placebo. No difference observed between pea and whey protein, pea protein can be an alternative to whey protein.

This study found pea protein to be particularly helpful in those who are starting back up in weight baring exercise, and for elderly with sarcopenia (muscle wasting). According to this study, larger muscle increases were observed when protein is consumed right before and after training.

What I like:

UltraMeal Advanced Protein by Metagenics:

OptiCleanse-GHI by Xymogen

PurePea Protein by Designs For Health



Babault, N., Païzis, C., Deley, G., Guérin-Deremaux, L., Saniez, M., Lefranc-Millot, C., & Allaert, F. A. (2015). Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: A double-blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. Whey protein. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 3. Retrieved August 27, 2018, from

Author: Melissa Mullin