Dietitians and trainers have been debating plant vs. animal protein supremacy for decades. But what if both options fuel your weight loss goals, muscle gains, and active lifestyle in their own ways?
On a ketogenic diet, this nutrient-dense macronutrient nourishes your body when carbs are sparse and fat becomes energy. People who prioritize protein also score more lean body mass, boost bone density, and improve their strength and speed.[*]
So let’s explore the science behind the pros and cons of each type to find the right protein source to help you dominate.
Unless you’re on a vegetarian or vegan diet, determining proteinquality is more important than whether it’s animal or plant-based. High-quality proteins contain all your essential amino acids.[*]
Amino acids are the major structural component of your muscles and tissues.[*] Your body can make 11 of the 20 amino acids found in dietary protein. But since it can’t make the other nine, you must get them from high-protein foods.[*]
That’s why it’s more beneficial to separate your sources of protein not by where they come from but by whether they’re “complete” vs. “incomplete.”
Animal products are considered complete proteins. You can find all your amino acids in animal-based protein sources like:
The most popular animal-based protein supplements include whey protein (made from cow’s milk) and collagen protein (made from cow, pork, or fish sources).
Here’s the thing: plant-based protein sources can also be complete proteins. Quinoa, hemp seeds, buckwheat, and chia seeds contain all nine essential amino acids like animal protein sources.
There’s protein in plant-based foods like legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and vegetables. Unfortunately, most plant-based proteins are missing one or more essential amino acid, so they’re considered “incomplete.”[*]
You can “hack” incomplete proteins by combining two with dissimilar amino acid profiles to form a complete protein. For example, peas are high in the amino acid lysine but lack methionine. Grains are low in lysine but high in methionine. Nosh them together, and you’ll solve the essential amino acid jigsaw puzzle.[*]
We all have different mountains to conquer. And different types of protein may be better suited for your body’s needs and goals. So let’s compare plant vs. animal protein when it comes to:
What’s the difference between plant and animal foods regarding bioavailability? The easier your body can digest and put those amino acids to work, the better.[*]
Animal proteins have high bioavailability because their proportions of amino acids closely match what the human body needs.
Whey protein offers rapid digestibility.[*] However, if you’re lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy, your stomach may rebel after this type of protein intake (cue the bloating and indigestion).
Plant protein digestibility can be a mixed bag. It’s good news for people with sensitive or lactose-averse stomachs. But a variety of plant protein sources also contain indigestible fiber, meaning it takes more work to absorb that protein.[*]
Animal protein (especially whey protein) is the undisputed champion for building and maintaining muscle mass.[*] It delivers a complete amino acid profile, ensuring your muscles get the full repertoire for optimal growth, endurance, and recovery.
Can you build muscle with plant protein? Only some plant-based food sources contain BCAAs, like quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, and brown rice. Yet, according to research, plant protein can be a potent ally in your quest for muscle growth:
Eating the right amount of protein can spark weight loss because:
Clinical trials and studies demonstrate that any high-protein diet is a “successful strategy” to prevent or treat obesity, reduce body weight (specifically, fat mass loss), and preserve muscle.[*] They may even prevent weight regain after weight loss.[*]
The Standard American Diet and a sedentary lifestyle have led to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.[*] Active lifestyles and diets that limit sugar and processed foods can prevent and reverse these metabolic conditions.[*]
Animal foods bring essential nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and healthy saturated fats to the table; plant-based whole foods are high in antioxidants and micronutrients. Together, they form the dream team of health benefits.
Scientists believe the BCAAs in animal and plant protein are vital for regulating blood sugar, cholesterol, gut health, metabolism, and more.[*] A meta-analysis of 32 studies even revealed that a higher total protein intake was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality.[*]
Unless you’re on a plant-based diet, why limit yourself to one kingdom? Combine the best of both worlds to cater to your palate and performance goals.
Researchers say incorporating plantand animal proteins empowers you to take advantage of the strengths of each type, boosting your results better than either protein could on its own.[*]
Protein is your ultimate ally for reaching and maintaining peak performance. Our Keto Bricks are shelf-stable performance bars with the perfect keto macros.
We use clean, gluten-free ingredients like raw, organic cacao butter, pure MCT powder, and ground flaxseed. EachKeto Brick packs at least 30 grams of protein thanks to:
Fueling up for a workout, embarking on an outdoor odyssey, or simply navigating the chaos of everyday life requires a readily accessible high-quality protein. Now it’s time to experiment, listen to your body’s signals, and evolve your routine.
So whether you lean toward the primal power of animal proteins or embrace the might of plant-based, let Keto Brick make your choice a reflection of your commitment to conquering new heights.
Treat yourself to the protein-packed delight of:
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