How to Relieve Anxiety, Improve Mood and
Still Build Muscle with Pea Protein
How much do you know about Pea Protein?
You may be thinking peas aren’t protein, so how can this common legume be classified as a protein powder?
Well, some clever researchers and nutrition gurus discovered it really can be a great source of protein!
While you may have felt forced to eat your peas as a kid, you will find these muscle building, appetite controlling, energizing little balls of nutrition will be a lot easier to consume in a powder form.
And, because the powder has such a mild flavor, it makes your smoothies taste delicious by taking on the flavor of the other ingredients.
What Is Pea Protein Powder?
While you may be aware of whey protein or brown rice protein, pea protein is making its way into the mainstream nutrition and sports industry as a dairy-free, gluten-free, and plant-based protein powder.
Surprisingly, even though pea protein is totally vegan and vegetarian, it has an essential amino acid profile that includes the Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valine, as well as a high content of arginine, lysine, and phenylalanine – all great stuff!
What’s even better is that a high-quality pea protein powder can have up to 25 grams of protein per serving!
How Does Pea Protein Help Your Body?
Pea protein helps you feel full by regulating ghrelin, a hunger hormone that is released when your stomach is empty. It also releases beneficial peptides that slow down your stomach’s hunger feelings. Researchers compared pea protein to casein and whey protein to find that pea protein helped sustain satiety (the “full” feeling) longer.
A beneficial amino acid known as L-arginine is found in pea protein. L-arginine is needed to build healthy muscles. During times of stress or illness, L-arginine is especially necessary to help restore muscle health.
Pea protein was given to men between 18 and 35 years old during a 12-week resistance-training program. Subjects taking the nutrient had improvement in muscle thickness to help individuals gain greater muscle strength.
Plant-based proteins have positive effects on blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Pea protein has been suggested to lower blood pressure through its easily absorbed peptides. By helping to regulate blood pressure levels, pea protein has been observed as a beneficial nutrient for cardiovascular health. It is also suggested to offset oxidative damage through its amino acid profile and peptides.
Blood Sugar Support
By supporting satiety, pea protein can help stabilize blood sugar levels. While consuming simple carbohydrates and sugar can negatively impact blood sugar levels, nutrient-packed pea protein aids blood sugar to avoid a sudden crash in energy and mood.
Pea protein was even added as an ingredient in pizza to observe that it improved glycemic control by making the pizza dough less of a simple carbohydrate.
Dairy-based or soy protein may lead to intolerance and allergies when these foods are consumed daily for a long duration of time. In contrast, pea protein is hypoallergenic so the risk of developing an allergy is much lower when compared to other protein powders.
Even so, it is best to rotate types of protein powder, so you will have a better chance of receiving benefits from the various combinations of nutrients.
Mood Balance And Stress Relief
The high levels of lysine (an amino acid) in pea protein has been shown to help alleviate mental anxiety and stress.
Researchers have observed that a lysine deficiency can actually induce stress as it affects the production and release of serotonin.
Among subjects taking lysine, anxiety and stress levels lowered in a study among economically weak communities that had a lysine deficiency.
By lowering anxiety and stress, people feel happier and healthier, with an improvement in energy and mood.
Does Pea Protein Taste Good?
Unflavored pea protein has little taste – similar to unflavored oatmeal. And, though you can add it to a glass of water, just like any protein powder that may seem boring without added flavors, pea protein is most fitting in a smoothie or high-protein food recipe.
Consider purchasing unsweetened pea protein powders, so you can add your own choice of flavors and sweeteners – fresh fruit, raw honey, maple syrup, etc.
This way you will be able to change the taste for variety, and you are in control of the amount and type of sweetener.
The benefits of pea protein speak for themselves. This is a great source of nutrition that can easily add more energy and health to your day.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16397797 – satiety
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16397797 – muscle
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25628520 – muscle
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15671256 – heart
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27037677 – heart and peptides
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996911001748 oxidative damage
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25302637 – glucose
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17510493 – lysine
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12468617 – lysine deficiency
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159538 – lysine and Syrian communities