Pea protein - the health benefits
The main ingredient of vly milk alternatives is the protein of the yellow split pea. Pea protein was previously only known among those who either eat very consciously or are in the vegan athlete scene. Fortunately, a lot has happened in the meantime and the foundation for vly was laid. We looked very deeply into a wide variety of extraction and processing methods and came to a conclusion that we want to use to bring pea protein into the mainstream. But why?
Pea protein can regulate the blood sugar levels (1, 2)
In a study at the University of Toronto, young, healthy men were given pea protein to add to their meal. This caused them to experience a smaller increase in their blood glucose levels.(1) A large increase in blood glucose levels (e.g. from consuming very sugary foods) causes the pancreas to release large amounts of the hormone insulin. Insulin brings carbohydrates into the cells where they are burned or stored. Therefore, a large release of insulin also causes blood glucose levels to drop sharply again. This is often described as a "carb crash" or "afternoon slump." The pea protein can help prevent this.
Pea protein helps for muscle building and recovery (3, 4)
This is probably the main reason why pea protein is already so widely used in the fitness scene. Some studies also point to the effectiveness of pea protein in relation to muscle building (3,4). For instance, researchers Babault et al suggest that pea protein is sometimes even more effective than whey protein, which is often ranked below animal proteins as one of the most effective.
Pea protein provides a feeling of satiety (5, 6, 7)
Some studies have shown that when pea protein is added to a meal, the feeling of satiety increases. This is one of the properties of proteins in general. On the one hand, they give the feeling of being full faster and therefore lead to eating less and on the other hand, they keep you full longer. In some studies, pea protein performs above average, while in others it performs at the same level as casein (5). Especially compared to Whey which has a strong impact on blood sugar levels, pea protein shows great benefits for sustained satiety.
Pea protein has an attractive amino acid spectrum (8, 9, 10, 11)
Pea protein is very rich in lysine, an amino acid that is particularly important for a plant-based diet. In fact, in many plant-based foods, lysine is the limiting amino acid as shown in the figure below. Also, the EPIC study at Oxford University showed that lysine was lowest among participants eating a vegan diet. Therefore, lysine in itself is a very important amino acid.
In addition, the pea protein complements perfectly with meals such as cereals. The amino acids balance each other out, creating a complete profile. This can be very beneficial in the long term, especially if it is done naturally, like vly in muesli.