Pea Protein vs Bone Broth: Which Is Right For You?
Bone broth has recently become a food people turn to for its purported benefits of providing extra nutrition to the diet and healing the gut, joints, and other parts of the body. In addition to amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, it provides a significant amount of protein. On the other hand, pea protein is a plant-based product that also provides additional nutrients and satiating protein. Among their differences is that bone broth offers an animal-based protein while pea protein provides a plant-based one. Which one is better for your protein and nutrient needs: pea protein or bone broth? Let’s look at pea protein vs bone broth side-by-side.
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What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is not the same as a meat broth. While the latter is simmered from meat, bone broth is made from animal bones simmered over an extended period of time. Both types may also contain other ingredients, such as vegetables. Beef bone broth is popular, yet bone broth can be made from other animal products such as chicken or pork. Bone broth is an animal-based protein source, which involves the process of drawing out the gelatin from the bones.
What is Pea Protein?
Pea protein is a plant-based protein source that contains soluble pea protein extracted from peas. Nuzest’s product line uses pea protein extracted from European golden peas, providing a protein powder that’s vegan, bioavailable, and easy to digest. Read more information about pea protein here.
How Do Bone Broth and Pea Protein Compare, Nutritionally?
A popular bone broth provides approximately 7 grams of protein per serving, while Nuzest Clean Lean Protein has 19-21 grams of protein per 25-gram serving. Both pea protein and bone broth are low in calories, fat, and carbs. Bone broth and pea protein fit paleo diets, while pea protein also fits vegan, vegetarian, and many specialty diets. Nonetheless, they are also both good sources of protein for people not on a specialty diet.
Is Bone Broth a Complete Protein?
Even though bone broth is an animal-based product and these tend to include complete proteins, bone broth does not provide a complete protein. It features gelatin, which does not contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. It is lacking in the amino acids methionine, tyrosine, tryptophan, and histidine while providing high amounts of glycine and proline.1
Is Pea Protein a Complete Protein?
Pea protein is a vegan protein that includes all the essential amino acids the body requires. It includes slightly less of the amino acid methionine than the body needs, but you can easily make up for this through certain other plant-based foods, which include rice, oats, sunflower seeds, nuts, and soybeans.
Benefits of Bone Broth
Bone broth is often made from grass-fed, ethically-raised animals. It is associated with benefits, including joint pain, digestion, and bone strength, but many of its purported benefits are not strongly supported by research.2,3 Nonetheless, there is some research in its favor. One study found that bone broth provides collagen peptides with certain amino acids, including proline, glycine, alanine, and hydroxyproline, although these are found in reduced levels compared to standardized collagen hydrolysates, and the amounts vary by the bone broth formula.4 Overall, this research shows bone broth may provide some of the benefits of collagen. Bone broth’s nutritional value varies by the composition, but it can provide protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other nutrients.3 However, one study found only minimal levels of calcium and magnesium in bone broth,5 and part of the nutritional value is sometimes attributed to the vegetable stock it contains rather than the bones.
Benefits of Pea Protein
Pea protein offers a plant-based protein that doesn’t harm animals and fits an eco-conscious lifestyle. It also fits vegan and vegetarian diets, while bone broth does not. Plus, pea protein is an economical protein source, while high-quality bone broth tends to come at a high cost. A serving of bone broth can cost $4 compared to $1.69 for a serving of Nuzest Clean Lean Protein. Making homemade bone broth could cut costs, although purchasing grass-fed, ethically-raised animal products will increase the price. A homemade broth also comes with less certainty of the number of nutrients found in each serving. As an added bonus, pea protein powder contains 2-3 times more protein per serving than bone broth.
How Do Pea Protein and Bone Broth Taste?
Most people find that pea protein does not have a strong flavor, and the taste tends to be overpowered by other flavors that are mixed with it. The taste of bone broth is similar to sipping a soup broth. Nonetheless, the way bone broth tastes vary by the ingredients added to it. For example, it may or may not include salt or vegetables, which impact the flavor. Both bone broth and pea protein can be mixed into smoothies and other mixtures that mostly cover the taste.
What Do I Choose: Pea Protein or Bone Broth Protein?
When compared side by side, pea protein does have a better protein profile than bone broth protein. Pea protein contains 2-3 times more protein per serving than bone broth. Also, pea protein is a complete protein that is only slightly lacking in one amino acid, which you can easily obtain through a healthy diet. On the other hand, bone broth does not provide a complete protein and lacks four essential amino acids. Pea protein is considered a highly bioavailable protein that offers satiety to potentially help you eat less.6
Pea protein has some distinct benefits over bone broth, including significantly more protein per serving, a complete protein source, and more nutrients. The benefits of bone broth haven’t been heavily studied or supported, but there is some compelling evidence that bone broth has significant amounts of collagen peptides, which may improve pain, inflammation, and mobility.
Pea protein provides a high-quality source of protein that is cost-efficient, nutrient-rich, and eco-friendly, so this combination of characteristics may make it a better protein source. Bone broth can offer a wider variety of nutrients than pea protein, but the nutritional profile highly depends on the recipe. Yet the same could be said for the variation from one pea protein formulation to the next. Also, homemade bone broth may be more cost-efficient, yet using more affordable animal products could reduce the nutritional value of the broth.
Nuzest Clean Lean Protein offers a vegan protein with 19-21 grams of protein per 90-calorie serving. This plant-based option fits the lifestyles of health-conscious, eco-friendly, and animal-friendly people.