Rice Protein Powder – When you hear “rice” you usually think of carbohydrates, not proteins. However, there is enough protein in these tiny grains for anyone (vegetarian or anyone else) to replenish muscle mass and strength.
Whether you are considering it or not, rice protein powder can trigger the same beneficial factors as whey when ingested in large quantities and supplemented with various high-quality meals. In addition, rice protein is allergen-free and gluten-free, easy to digest, and environmentally friendly.
The complete information about rice protein powder
If you are avoiding rice products because you consider them “high carb meals” then it is time to take advantage of the rice protein plant.
What is rice protein?
What are the benefits of rice protein?
Regardless of its representation as a carbohydrate broth, rice provides a good amount of protein – around 4 grams per cup of white rice and over 5 grams per cup of brown rice. Since brown rice provides little additional protein, most rice protein supplements are derived from it. Rice protein powder is made by grinding rice grains and treating them with an enzyme that separates the starch (carbohydrates) from the protein.
Rice protein is considered to be a digestible intermediate protein. It absorbs extra slowly than whey (the fastest on the market), but it’s faster than casein (the slowest digestible protein).
Rice protein isn’t technically going to be a complete protein, but as we’ll discuss below, it contains enough of the 9 major amino acids (EAAs) to be a fantastic plant-based muscle builder anyway.
What are the benefits of rice protein?
Since rice protein is made on a plant basis, it’s a great addition for vegetarians and vegans who don’t need to seem like a stereotypical vegetarian or vegan (just kidding!). But carnivores can also respect the numerous benefits of rice protein.
Helps build muscle
It is common knowledge that plant-based proteins do not support muscles and promote beneficial factors like dairy, eggs, and meat, but science suggests otherwise. In a 2018 study, MMA fighters were split into two teams and supplemented with rice protein or whey to find out the effects. After six weeks, both teams had gained muscle mass and lost fats with no difference between them.
“Vegetable proteins are often absorbed more slowly than whey protein because of their composition from particularly advanced carbohydrate buildings,” said Dr. Ralf Jaeger, co-founder of the meal, beverage, and nutritional supplement consultancy Increnovo and co-author on a number of rice protein studies. “Nevertheless, leucine, an important amino acid for building muscle, is definitely absorbed more quickly from rice than from whey.” (To be clear, once you’ve ingested rice protein, you are getting most of your protein, but like with whey focus powders, three to four grams of carbohydrates per serving are often equally effective.)
No allergens, no gluten
People with allergy symptoms or sensitivities to soy, lactose, eggs, nuts, and gluten don’t have to worry about anything with rice protein.
Durable and easy on the environment
Rice protein requires fewer raw materials than milk proteins such as whey and casein, and rising rice emits far less carbon than raising cattle.
Eating rice protein often doesn’t lead to gas, cramps, or any other upset stomach (many people can’t say the same thing about whey). Rice protein is less complicated to digest than whey, according to research in meal chemistry.
To get a bit more tech, rice protein has over 90% digestibility and relatively high bioavailability (how much protein is definitely used by the body). From a perspective, the ranking for soy protein is favorable and is similar to pea protein, but rice protein is not as bioavailable as whey.
Is Rice Protein a Complete Protein?
Technically, rice protein doesn’t meet the standards to think about fully (and that includes hemp or pea protein, FYI). In order to be full, a protein must not only contain all 9 EAAs (tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine + cysteine, phenylalanine + tyrosine, valine, and histidine) but also provide them in abundant amounts. Animal proteins, which are similar to whey, egg, and beef, contain all of these amino acids in large quantities, making them more famous than their plant-based alternatives.
Rice Protein vs. Whey
With a direct comparison between rice protein and whey, most muscle heads would assume that whey wins in a landslide – but this is not the case.
As mentioned in our pea protein information article, when looking for a protein powder to stimulate muscle protein synthesis – and thus promote muscle repair and progression – there is one amino acid to watch out for, in particular: leucine. It is one of three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), but more specifically, it has been found to stimulate muscle growth itself.
With 104 mg / g protein, whey contains more leucine than any other protein supply. (Sufficient leucine ranges for whole proteins are 55 mg / g and above.) For this reason, whey puts a lot of thought into the best protein for building muscle. However, when indicated, rice protein at 80 mg / g absorbs a lot of leucine. And while it can by no means compete with whey leucine content, it most likely doesn’t matter if you’re getting enough protein in your weight loss plan. Why? If you’re taking in a certain amount of leucine (almost any protein powder can be achieved with just a scoop or two), there is no added benefit to getting more of it.
This is exactly what science tells us …
0.7 to three grams of leucine is needed per serving of protein supply to stimulate muscle growth. Absorb less than 0.7 and you risk leaving positive factors on your desk. However, it seems excessive to consume more than three (not dangerous, but will not bring additional results). For best results from this variation, two scoops of rice protein or less than two scoops of whey are required.
While whey does the job a bit more effectively than rice protein, if you take two scoops of rice protein after your workout, you can be sure you’re just providing your body with enough leucine to benefit from the session.
The analysis confirms this, in particular, a study by the Nutrition Journal co-authored by Jaeger in 2013. Within the experiment, the subjects consumed both 48 grams of rice protein and 48 grams of whey after eight weeks of training, while they followed standardized resistance training three days a week. (Forty-eight grams is the correct round of two scoops of protein powder, or barely more, since most goods ship about 20 grams per scoop.)
The results confirmed that the subjects within the rice and whey protein teams showed equally optimistic positive factors in terms of muscle thickness, body composition, and upper and lower body strength.
The research shows that rice protein can be comparable to whey, but also raises the question: can you continue building muscle with much less rice protein – for example, a scoop of rice protein as an alternative to two? Since the amount of leucine in rice is much lower, would taking in much less rice protein affect positive factors?
Jaeger replies, “Twenty-one grams of rice protein could get you the minimum leucine threshold, and half of what we used in our study [24 grams] should get you there. We’re really working on this research: 24 grams of rice protein versus 24 grams of whey. After doing the unique research, it was believed that plant proteins are usually not that efficient for muscle protein synthesis, and we selected a dose that safely puts us above the maximum leucine threshold for any protein source – that’s why we picked 48 grams.
If you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can for muscle growth, use 2 scoops of rice protein to make sure you’re getting hundreds of leucine-like whey.
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