Although whey protein powder is undoubtedly the most popular diet shake powder on the market right now, certain plant-based proteins aren’t far behind. And in general, plant proteins are becoming more and more popular due to their proven health benefits and potential for assisting with weight loss and lean muscle gain. Research continues to show that non-dairy proteins show significant potential in supporting a healthy lifestyle and long-term wellness.
In this article, we’re going to tell you all about brown rice protein, which is particularly beneficial when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. Along with whey and soy, rice protein is one of the top-selling protein powders on the market right now – yet brown rice protein has benefits that may rival the others, making it your healthiest diet shake choice. Read on to learn more…
Why Brown Rice Protein Powder?
If you’re a fan of whey protein powder and you’re reading this article, you may be thinking, why should I switch over from whey to rice protein? Although there’s nothing wrong with whey (which can absolutely support your fitness goals), getting more plant-based protein into your diet is simply a healthier alternative to getting most of your protein from animal sources only.
In short, you don’t have to toss your whey protein – but it would benefit you to explore more plant-based options, which you may even find you like better than your beloved whey! In fact, one of the reasons that many people switch from a dairy protein powder over to plant-based is because whey, casein and other milk-based protein powders can have some side effects.
In general, if you’ve ever experienced digestive distress after drinking a whey supplement, it’s because many people are sensitive to the lactose (or dairy sugar) within milk products. Some side effects that you may experience after consuming a dairy-based protein powder include gas, nausea, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. In addition to that, other people have allergies to milk products in general and can’t safely consume them.
In contrast, plant-based proteins are known for being easy on your digestive system. In particular, brown rice protein is very easy to digest, and does not typically cause any type of gastrointestinal problems. In addition, it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and very hypoallergenic, therefore unlikely to cause any type of allergic reaction.
Finally, though there are many different plant-based protein options to choose from, brown rice protein offers some particularly special benefits, which we’ll talk about next…
Top Brown Rice Protein Benefits
Along with being easy on your digestive system, brown rice protein offers some exemplary benefits for plant- and meat-eaters alike…
1) Assists with muscle growth
While you may have heard that whey protein stands on its own as the best protein powder for lean muscle growth, research actually shows that certain plant proteins – namely brown rice protein – are comparable for fitness gains.
In a 2013 study in Nutrition Journal, it was shown that brown rice protein is just as effective as whey protein in positively affecting body composition and improving exercise performance. The study showed that just like whey, brown rice protein taken after exercise can help reduce fat mass and increase lean body mass, while contributing to muscle gain and increased strength.
2) Helps burn fat
Next, adding more protein into your diet in general has been shown to be incredibly beneficial for weight loss, by boosting metabolism and promoting satiety. That being said, brown rice is actually a great source of protein, especially when you consume it in the form of a protein powder. While the brown rice protein content in 1 cup of regular long-grain rice is about 5g per serving, you’ll typically get about 20-24g per serving in a brown rice protein powder.
On top of that, research shows that brown rice in particular contains unique peptides that may reduce weight gain more than soy or white rice proteins!
3) Balances blood sugar
Keeping your blood sugar stable is another “must do” when it comes to dietary choices for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, plus fending off certain diseases. Specially, if you’re trying to lose weight, have diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions, are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it’s especially important to balance your blood sugar levels and prevent spikes – which can leave you feeling ill and fatigued.
Sprouted grains in general, (and specifically brown rice protein), has been shown in many studies to reduce the “glycemic response” – or the rise of blood glucose after eating. Therefore, taking it may help reduce the severity of blood sugar spikes and help balance/regulate glucose levels.
4) Helps regulate cholesterol
Studies show that the peptides in brown rice protein (which we just discussed in regards to helping with weight loss), may also be able to help regulate your cholesterol levels. Basically, they help your liver produce the good cholesterol that you need to stay healthy; In addition, brown rice is an excellent source of dietary fiber which can help to lower “bad”, LDL cholesterol in your body.
How to Find The Best Brown Rice Protein Powder
Now that you know what brown rice protein powder can do for you, let’s talk about how to find the best one…
Although plant-based proteins like brown rice have a number of overall health and fitness benefits, you need to know the best way to consume them. Although recent research shows that plant proteins do actually contain all the amino acids your body needs, the issue is that each plant offers varying amounts of each amino acid.
In the case of brown rice protein powder, it’s a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids that your body does not produce itself – but on the flip side of that, it’s very low in lysine, which assists with the synthesis of muscle.
To combat this, the best plant-based diet shakes will include a protein powder blend consisting of brown rice protein, pea protein (and potentially other plant proteins). It’s important to mix brown rice and pea proteins because pea protein is high in lysine – making up for what brown rice lacks. In addition, brown rice protein is high in the amino acids, cysteine and methionine, which pea protein lacks – so they’re the perfect high-performing pair.
Check out our list of in-depth diet shake reviews (including some of the best brown rice protein powders). In particular, our #1-rated diet shake right now, 310 Shake, contains a powerful blend of brown rice, pea and hemp, for superior health and muscle-boosting benefits.