Soy Protein Vs Pea Protein | Which Is Better?

Soy protein vs Pea protein

Protein is an essential part of everyone’s daily diet. Especially, if you are someone who is into bodybuilding and creates its own bodybuilding meal plan it is necessary that you intake healthy amount of protein with your daily diets to ensure good muscle growth in body.

Plant based protein has various benefits such as increases muscle mass and strength and reduces hunger and appetite. They are good for your bones and can help with your weight loss journey. If you are vegan, natural sources of protein can become a challenge to come by. But a protein deficit is never the answer.

Right now, with the booming vegan market, numerous vegan protein alternatives are popping up. Affordable vegan protein powders are one of the best ways to optimize our nutritional intake. Two of the most common vegan protein sources are soy and pea protein.

As the name suggests, soy protein is sourced from soy and is high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. It is also one of the good sources of iron, calcium, and zinc. Pea proteins are made of yellow split peas, are extremely low in fat, and contain ample iron and other nutrients. In this article, we will discuss soy protein vs pea protein to gauge which one fares better.

What Is Soy Protein?

Soy protein has 3 variations: soy protein isolates, soy flour, and concentrates. The essential amino acid in soy protein is not produced by our body naturally, so it is a great option for those on restrictive diets. Soy protein’s high amino acid content makes it a “complete protein,” quite like many pulses and legumes.

Soy protein isolate is a part of soy protein powders available in market that help you complete your protein intake. You can have it as protein shake just after a workout or as a evening snack.

What Is Pea Protein?

Pea protein is derived from yellow split peas. It contains more protein content than most other plant protein sources at a whopping 90% protein content. The yellow split peas are harvested, dried, and re-hydrated before the protein is extracted. They are often added to protein supplements and powders for the vegan community and workout enthusiasts.

Is Soy Protein A Complete Protein?

Is Soy Protein A Complete Protein

WHO defines a “complete source of protein” as one that includes all 9 essential amino acids needed by the human body for proper health. Soy protein is a complete source of protein and contains all the essential amino acids that help in training and exercise.

Is Pea Protein A Complete Protein?

Is Pea Protein A Complete Protein

Of all 20 amino acids in our body, 9 are deemed as essential. Pea protein has a great essential amino acid profile and can complement your athletic performance and goals. Pea protein contains all 9 essential amino acids, thus technically qualifying it as a complete protein, but it is low in the amino acid methionine. But this is offset by its generally high content of amino acids, almost similar to poultry.

Soy Protein Vs Pea Protein | Macro-nutrient Content 

Pea protein is high in iron, folate, manganese, copper, molybdenum, vitamins B6, B2, phosphorus, niacin, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Soy protein is rich in micronutrients like phosphorus, copper, manganese, and contains nearly 25% of the recommended daily iron intake. Soy protein contains isoflavones, compounds that have a strong hormone-like structure. This makes it unique.

ParametersSoy Protein (28 g)Pea Protein (30 g)
Calories (kcal)96120
Protein (g)2322.5
Fat (g)12.25
Carbs (g)2.11.5
Fiber (g)1.51.5
Calcium4% Daily value (DV)7% DV
Sodium11% DV15% DV
Iron22% DV42% DV

Soy Protein Vs Pea Protein | Which Is Better For Muscle Growth 

A viable parameter of judgment is their contribution to muscle growth when it comes to the question of soy protein vs pea protein. Soy protein is a complete protein, while pea protein contains a higher concentration of amino acids than soy protein.

According to recent studies, soy protein is unable to support muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in the way whey protein does, whereas pea protein’s effect on muscle thickness and strength is as great as whey protein. The reason could be because pea protein has the required branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) that support muscle growth.

Soy Protein Vs Pea Protein | Which is More Environmentally Sustainable?

Between soy protein and pea protein, people believe that soy has high environmental impact. It is harder to sustain solely due to its heightened requirement for water and other natural resources while on the farm. Peas tend to have a much lower environmental impact in comparison, owing to their requirement for much less water, land, and energy to produce.

Soy Protein Vs Pea Protein | Which Is Better?


Here’s talking about the real deciding factor- taste. After all, it does help if our healthy diet tastes good as well. As for pea protein, it has a more neutral flavor that mixes very well with smoothies. In that sense, it is much like whey isolate or simple whey.

Pea protein is much less chalky than its other plant protein counterparts. As for soy, it is quite similar to pea in both smoothness and texture and can be easily juxtaposed with other protein sources.

It is hard to gauge which one tastes better between soy protein vs pea protein since both have neutral taste. But if you are someone who prefers taste in there protein then you can opt for tasty vegan protein powder available in market.

Protein Digestibility

Digestibility is crucial to performance benefits and outcomes. The method to evaluate the quality of protein is known as the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). PDCAAs are based on our amino acid requirements and our ability to digest them.

More than most plant proteins have low bioavailability, meaning our body has a hard time absorbing their nutrients. But pea protein isolate ranks at 0.928 on a scale of 1, deemed as the highest in digestibility. Pea protein’s PDCAA is very similar to that of casein, whey, and egg. Soy protein ranks at a PDCAA score of 1, the highest rating.

Final Thoughts

Pea protein and soy protein contain all the essential and branched-chain amino acids we need for our body’s optimal performance. However, pea protein has slightly higher levels than soy, whereas soy protein has a little more protein per serving than pea protein.

When it comes to bioavailability and amino acid score, soy protein is a superior protein source than pea, but pea protein promotes better muscle protein synthesis than soy protein despite the PDCAA difference.

Both soy and pea protein has a neutral flavor and a smooth texture. So, in short, both have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day, both are extremely healthy and recommended plant-based protein sources.

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