Pea Protein for Weight Control

Why Use

Pea Protein

Why Do Dieters Use It?*

Pea protein is sometimes promoted as a weight-loss supplement that increases metabolism, reduces appetite, and helps control blood sugar levels. People who use pea protein say it reduces their sugar cravings and helps them feel full and eat less. Vegetarians and vegans often use pea protein to help them reach the protein intake of a high-protein, weight-loss diet. It is also safe for people who can't use dairy, egg, or soy-based proteins due to allergies or sensitivities.

What Do the Advocates Say?*

Weight management experts often recommend a high-protein diet to help overweight and obese people lose weight and keep it off. Vegetarians and vegans often find it easier to reach protein intake goals for weight loss by adding a supplement such as pea protein. Pea protein's high levels of branched-chain amino acids might make it particularly helpful for preserving muscle mass and stimulating fat loss during weight loss.
*Dieters and weight-management advocates may claim benefits for this supplement based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles.

Dosage & Side Effects

Pea Protein

How Much Is Usually Taken by Dieters?

People who use a high-protein diet for weight loss typically aim to get 25-30% of their daily calories from protein; in other words, a 1,500 to 1,800 calorie per day diet would include 95 to 135 grams of protein. Most people who use pea protein to reach this goal use one or two 30-gram servings, with each serving providing as much as 25 grams of protein.

Side Effects

People with peanut, soybean, or other legume allergies should be careful when adding pea protein to the diet. Even though peas are not a major cause of allergies, pea allergies are more common in people who have other legume allergies.1

Carbohydrate molecules called oligosaccharides may be present in varying amounts in pea protein extracts. These molecules can cause intestinal discomfort and gas in some people. A processing technique called ultrafiltration reduces the amount of oligosaccharides remaining in pea protein and reduces this side effect.2

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

Pea protein extracts have varying amounts of phytic acid, a plant chemical found especially in legumes that interferes with the absorption of minerals including iron. One study found that babies given a pea-based formula absorbed iron better when the formula was fortified with vitamin C.3 Processing techniques like dialysis, ultrafiltration, hydrolysis, and enzymatic treatment can reduce the amount of phytic acid remaining in protein extracts from legumes.4, 5, 6

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

More Resources

Pea Protein

Where to Find It

Cooked split peas contain about 8% protein, or 7 to 8 grams per ½ cup. Pea protein extracts are used in some protein powders, meal replacement powders, and high-protein bars. As with other protein supplements, there are three types of pea protein extracts: concentrates (about 60-70% protein), isolates (about 70-95% protein), and hydrolysates (about 90-95% protein).