Vegetable protein or whey protein?

“I need more protein in my diet but I don’t know if I should go for vegetable protein or whey protein?”

Before we answer that question let’s look at a few options:

Do I Need to Supplement with Protein Powder?

Protein is important to repair muscle and maintain metabolic function especially if you work out and strength train. Some people don’t want to rely on meat all the time, because a) they might not want to eat it, b) their body finds it hard to digest c) they want the convenience of a protein shake. But look a little closer…not all protein powders are created equal…

Let’s start with whey protein

Whey protein powder is made from milk solids and is considered a complete protein.  Meaning that it is derived from an animal product, eg milk and is, therefore, better for the body.  In fact, any animal protein powder is a complete protein, because all the essential amino acids that the body needs to build muscle is contained within it.  

Whey is the most readily available protein out there.  It absorbs faster than any other protein and as the body only has a limited window for maximum absorption after a workout, this protein is often the best man for the job.

But it’s not all rosy in the whey garden. Because cows are often fed antibiotics as standard, and these may end up in the protein shake you drink. Also, some people are lactose intolerant or vegan, however, whey isolate typically contains less than 1% lactose, so most sufferers should be ok.  We recommend doing your homework before you spend your hard-earned cash, however, protein powder made in Australia tend to be stricter on quality than those produced in the US.

On the plus side, whey is rich in BCAA’s (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), which are vital for maximum muscle growth.

We like Dr. Mercola's Miracle Whey; which is a great tasting whey protein mix derived from pasture fed cows.  Dr. Mercola Miracle Whey comes in 3 great flavours, namely; natural, vanilla and chocolate and has a whopping 20g of protein per serving.  It's also good to note that Dr. Mercola's products are very low in sugar, containing a mere 5g per serve, it's also loaded with other necessary vitamins and minerals.  As a complete protein, you can't get much better than this.

Dr. Mercola's Miracle Whey is available at EPT for $370/454g

Vegan Sources

If you are vegan or want to steer clear of any animal derivatives or additives, then a vegan protein source could be the way to go.  Rice protein is low allergenic and often has higher protein concentrations than pea.  Some people shoot for soy protein, but there is a risk of high oestrogens in soy products.  Hemp is an option, although it has a lower protein content, but it does provide a good dose of fibre and omega 3 fatty acids.  Ideally, pair it with rice or pea protein to complete its amino acid profile.

Pea Protein

Pea protein typically has a very good amino acid profile, including BCAAs and high lysine content. They tend to be well assimilated, which means they can be used quicker and easier in the body.

We like Nuzest's Clean Lean Protein because it's all natural and 100% vegetable.  Clean Lean Protein is not just any old protein; it comes from the highest quality European Golden Peas and is the most potent of all vegetable proteins - up to 90% protein.  Most importantly, it contains all your essential amino acids and is really easy to digest. It's a great low-fat, non-lactose option and contains a total of 21.5g of protein per serve.

Clean Lean Protein is available at EPT in Natural, Vanilla, Chocolate, Cappuccino flavour for $490/500g

What Else to Look For?

How Is the Powder made to taste sweet?

It’s best to avoid artificial sweeteners and go for Stevia if you want to avoid sugar calories

Is it GMO or organic?

If you choose non-GMO and organic in other foods, then ensure your protein powder reflects this

What flavour should I choose?

Neutral or vanilla tends to be most versatile


Make sure the list is short to ensure you are mainly getting protein and not lots of additives.