Whey Vs. Plant-Based Meal Replacement Shakes: Which is Better for Weight Loss?

You can use many types of meal replacement shakes for your fitness goals.. At IsoWhey, we offer the best plant-based meal replacement shakes in Australia, and the best whey protein meal replacement shakes to help you on your fitness journey. No matter your goals, we have suitable meal replacement shakes to complement your diet plan and dietary requirements.

But what exactly is the difference between whey and plant-based products? Is one necessarily better than the other?

Read below to learn how whey and plant-based products differ and their individual benefits.

What is the difference between whey and plant-based protein?

Whey protein is a high-quality protein that is derived from milk. Whey protein is considered a “complete” protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids that the human body requires for various bodily functions.

Plant-based protein refers to protein derived from plant sources - as opposed to whey protein which is derived from dairy. These proteins come from a variety of plant foods to provide essential amino acids to the body that can take the place of regular dairy proteins.

There are a variety of other factors that make whey and plant-based proteins different - read more about their differences below.

 They come from different sources

As discussed above, one of the main differences between plant-based and whey is their sources; whilst whey protein is made of cow’s milk, plant-based products come from various blends. Some well-known sources of plant-based meal replacement shakes are pea, hemp, brown rice, and soy, but this can differ brand-to-brand.

They have different environmental impacts

Regarding the environmental impact of these sources, Verywell Fit states that a plant-based lifestyle can reduce greenhouse gases, save more land and water, and decrease food production-related pollutants. When compared to the dairy industry, plant-based products create an environment that is much more humane, as food production tends to have issues with animal cruelty and exploitation when produced on a large scale. That being said, all of IsoWhey’s products are derived from Australian-sourced ingredients and are created in line with industry standards.

They offer different levels of digestibility

When we say that a product has a higher digestibility, it means that the nutrients absorbed are at a higher value. Research shows that the biological value of whey protein, referring to how efficiently a nutrient is used for the body’s benefit, is higher than that of plant-based products. While specific plant-based alternatives such as soy are almost as digestible, whey still trumps them in that regard.

The difference in the ease of consumption between the two can boil down to one factor: their lactose content. While whey meal replacement shakes have lactose in them due to their dairy milk source, plant-based shakes are lactose-free. As such, people with lactose intolerance may find plant-based meal replacement shakes easier to consume without painful complications.

Their amino acid content differs

Healthline states that whey has nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Additionally, whey protein has higher branched-chain and leucine amino acids. These amino acids are instrumental for muscle growth and injury recovery, ideal traits that would benefit you significantly if you’re regularly doing strenuous activity and physical exercise.

In comparison, the status of plant-based shakes as a complete protein depends on their plant source. Depending on the product you’re buying, you might not be getting complete proteins. If you’re sticking to plant-based products, we recommend blending complementary plant-based sources to get all the essential amino acids you need, or opting for IsoWhey’s complete plant-based meal replacement shakes.

Despite their differences, both are good for muscle building and weight loss support. Both are also available in different flavours, so whichever you choose will be delicious and helpful in reaching your goals.

What’s better for you: whey protein or plant-based protein?

Knowing what we know now, which one is better? That all depends on your personal preference, as each product has key benefits and drawbacks, but both still fulfil their functions in providing a filling protein intake to help you grow your muscle and reduce body fat.

From a certain angle, plant-based meal replacement shakes are the better choice for those with lactose intolerance and those who are more environment-conscious. From another viewpoint, whey meal replacement shakes provide complete protein without the need to combine different sources and have better digestibility and biological value. When it all boils down to it, there is no “better” alternative between the two. It all depends on your dietary needs and your preferences. You’ll be sure to benefit greatly from either of these options.

To learn more about these shakes and how you can integrate them better into your diet, research the benefits of meal replacement shakes. You can also check on supplementary information, such as our guide on plant-based shakes. Whatever type of shake you prefer, IsoWhey ensures that you get the best available products to further your fitness goals. Browse through our collection of shakes and other health products now to get started!