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Proteins: Animal & Plant Based

Written By Earthly Nutrition Staff 29 Jun 2018
Proteins: Animal & Plant Based

Animal-Based vs. Plant-Based Protein Supplement — How do I make the right choice?

Are you a gym goer looking for the right supplement to help build muscles or speed up your recovery?


Protein is essential, especially to build muscle. It makes about 20% of the human body. Although the human body fails to store protein, it is necessary that we consume enough diet rich in protein for individuals looking to build muscles or aid recovery.

And there are only two sources to run to — plants or animals.

Here is where you get stuck because of claims you probably heard. For instance, some individuals claim protein is protein, no difference, no advantages over the other. While some go-ahead to claim that plant protein is right source of protein. Therefore, animal protein becomes inferior.

Are those claims true? Let's find out.

Protein: Animal Based vs. Plant-Based

Amino Acid Profile Differs

Protein after consumption is broken down into amino acids for virtually all metabolic process and speed up recovery in the human body.

Although all protein gets to be amino acids, they differ in the types and content of amino acids.

Animal protein, such as whey protein, is high in virtually all essential amino acids we need for our daily metabolism. While vegan protein is low or lacks some specific essential amino acids — methionine, tryptophan, lycine, and isoleucine.

Which is a complete animal-based protein or plant-based protein?

In sum, there are about 20 amino acids - essential and non-essential - needed by the human body to build proteins.

The human body is capable of producing non-essential amino acids but cannot produce essential amino acids. Therefore, it is imperative that we consume foods rich in essential amino acids or take supplements like whey protein to aid recovery after intense exercises and build muscles.

This is where vegan protein supplement lags. Getting a complete protein from vegan protein is absolutely difficult. You may have to consume several in order to achieve your health goal. For instance, a vegan protein, Pumpkin protein, does not contain the 9 essential amino acid which fosters recovery after a long workout.


For our body to maintain the right health state, we should ensure that all essential amino acids are in the right proportion.

Which has more nutrients?

No doubt, it's rare to find protein in isolation. They often come alongside several other nutrients.

Animal protein sources including whey protein often come with a wide variety of vital nutrients, which plants protein sources does not include — Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Heme-iron, Zinc, etc.

With Vegan protein, you get a much higher nutrients density than whey protein. If you looking beyond a supplement with protein alone then vegan protein supplement is the right choice. It has a long list of vitamins and minerals essential to build muscles and enhance total recovery.