Is pea protein or soy protein better?

Protein powders are useful for both those who need to gain weight and those who want to build muscle mass. Diets that exclude all animal products, such as veganism and vegetarianism, are gaining significant popularity. As a result, there has been a skyrocketing demand for proteins derived from plants. 

Whey protein is typically avoided by vegans and many vegetarians due to the fact that it is derived from animal sources. Soy protein and pea protein, two plant based protein alternatives, are gaining popularity. In this article we compare pea protein vs soy protein, we’ll see which one is the best fit for your needs and goals.

1. Pea Protein

What is Pea protein?

Pea protein comes from peas, as its name so eloquently and accurately conveys. In most cases, split peas or yellow peas are used to make pea protein, which has a higher protein concentration (90%) than other plant-based sources of protein. After harvesting, drying, and rehydrating the peas, the protein is extracted.

Complete or Incomplete?

There are 20 amino acids found in the human body, however only nine are considered essential. They are considered essential because you have to get them through your diet or from dietary supplements. Protein sources, which are typically sourced from meat, poultry, or dairy, are the food sources that contain all nine essential amino acids. There are several plant sources of protein that do not contain all nine essential amino acids, making them incomplete sources of protein. 

Pea protein possesses an exceptional necessary amino acid profile, which is of the utmost importance for supporting your muscle building and weight loss objectives. However, there is continuous discussion regarding the question of whether or not pea protein may be considered a complete supply of protein. 

Pea protein is technically considered to be a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids; however, it does not contain a significant amount of the amino acid methionine. Pea protein is the most similar to animal-based protein sources like whey in terms of amino acid composition.

2. Soy Protein

What is Soy protein?

Soybeans are the source of soy protein, the beans are dehulled, the protein is extracted, and the fat is separated. Tofu, tempeh, and soymilk are all popular veganway alternatives made from soy, which is also a popular dairy substitute. Soy has a reputation for being a fairly contentious food. While many consider soy to be a super food, others consider it to be a health hazard.

Complete or Incomplete?

Soy protein possesses all of the essential amino acids that are necessary for improved performance in physical activity and training. Pea protein, on the other hand, has higher amino acid content per unit of protein than soy protein.

Which protein is better?

1. Macronutrient

Protein derived from peas and soy are both quite high in protein concentration, clocking in at over 90 percent each. When compared to soy protein, which has 26 grams of protein per serving, pea protein only has 24 grams. Both are very low in fat and carbohydrates, making them both excellent choices for optimizing body composition.

2. Micronutrient

Micronutrient content is a significant factor that differentiates animal and plant sources. 

Pea protein contains high amounts of a variety of essential nutrients, including iron, manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, vitamins B6, B2, and niacin; molybdenum; fiber; vitamins A, C, and K; and molybdenum. Soy protein includes 25% of the daily required intake of phosphorus and is high in micronutrients like manganese and copper (to name just a few).

What differentiates soy protein from pea protein is the presence of a class of molecules known as isoflavones, which have a strong hormone-like structure. But almost all of these phytoestrogens are taken out of soy protein powder during the isolation process.

3. Amino Acid Content

Pea protein and soy protein are both considered to be complete proteins since they include all of the essential amino acids that are necessary to stimulate the production of muscle protein and to grow and restore muscle mass.

When compared to whey protein, the amino acid profile of pea protein is quite comparable. High levels of essential amino acids, such as arginine, leucine, isoleucine, valine and alanine are found in this food source.

There is a higher concentration of the amino acid L-Glutamine in soy protein, which has been shown to aid prevent the breakdown of muscle protein and speed up recovery time. Whey protein has a lower concentration of the amino acid arginine compared to soy and pea proteins.

4. Taste

Unlike other plant proteins, pea protein does not have a gritty texture and has a neutral flavor. It also blends like whey or whey isolate. Compared to other protein sources, soy is quite close to the texture of a pea. Unfortunately, the flavor between peas and soy is difficult to distinguish due to the similarity in texture.

5. Digestibility

A method for determining the value of a protein is known as the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). PDCAAs are derived from human amino acid requirements as well as the body’s ability to absorb them. The bioavailability of the vast majority of plant proteins is quite poor (meaning the body has a hard time absorbing the nutrients).

Pea protein isolate, on the other hand, scores a 0.928 on a scale where 1 represents the highest level of digestion. As a result, the PDCAA profile of pea protein is quite comparable to that of whey, casein. Soy protein, on the other hand, has been given a PDCAA score of 1, which is the greatest possible value.


In terms of quality, quantity, flavor, and digestion, both pea and soy protein are excellent options. Pea protein, on the other hand, contains more amino acids per serving and has been shown to enhance athletic performance over soy protein. If you’re not allergic to soy, tofu, tempeh, and edamame are excellent additions to any diet. 

Choosing between pea protein powder and soy protein powder should not be based on such a small amount of information as this. Before beginning any new supplement regimen, make sure to speak with your physician to make sure it is safe for you to do so.

Meera Sharma