Rice Protein vs Whey: Which is Better?

To answer the argument of rice protein powder vs. whey protein powder, we have to compare a plant-based protein with a dairy-derived one.

As with all protein sources, though, the basic criteria for scoring them stay much the same.
How do they measure up for weight loss and appetite suppression, and which is best for muscle building?

We’ll get into the details of how each performs in the article below.

How Are Rice Protein Powder And Whey Similar?

Nutritionally, the two protein supplements score remarkably similar. For one serving, the two brands we compared contained practically no fat and only 1-2g of carbohydrates.

The rice served a little higher in protein at 27g but also a little higher in calories at 117, while the whey provided 26g of protein for only 109 calories.

But how about in performance? In a study conducted in 2013, both rice protein and whey protein supplements were compared.

The study tested for their effects on performance, recovery, body composition, and muscle building in comparative doses. There was no discernible difference, with both scoring positively in equal measure.

How Are They Different?

The fundamental difference between the two is that one is derived from an animal product, namely milk, while the other is a plant-based protein. This means one of them is obviously preferred by the vegan and the dairy intolerant communities.

‘Whey may be faster-acting and have some minor additional benefits, but are you really going to see those benefits directly? I don’t know if you will.’
– Kelly Pritchett, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Nutrition and Exercise Science, Central Washington University

Rice Protein – Pros

1.Additional Nutritional Benefit
Being made from rice, there are a few additional benefits to be found in a rice protein powder that you can’t get from whey.

Rice protein is rich in fiber, which aids in healthy digestion. It is also high in antioxidants and B vitamins too.

2. Easy To Digest
Not only does the fiber in rice protein aid a healthy gut, but it is also free of lactose, which is a common bowel irritant with over 65% of the world’s population being intolerant.

An ever larger percentile is sensitive to lactose, and if whey gives you the tummy rumbles, you should at least try an alternative.

3.Less Expensive
It should come as no surprise that rice is a lot easier to produce, so the protein derived from it reflects the lower cost of its production.

With studies proving rice protein to be just as effective as whey, it’s clear to see that cost and value are not interchangeable. If you’re looking to be as cost-effective per scoop as possible, rice protein powder is a great choice.