This interview was conducted by Adam Kitchen, and the question answered by Reflex Nutrition's very own Karl Schwick.
Question: Quite simply, how does Reflex Vegan Protein stack up against whey protein in terms of overall quality? Can pea protein really be considered on par as a viable alternative, even for non-vegans?
Karl Schwick: From our perspective, those that are looking at Vegan Protein would be doing so because they donâ€™t/canâ€™t use dairy proteins. Vegan Protein is was not launched as an alternative to whey protein but to provide an alternative in a market that doesnâ€™t have a great deal of choice. However, whilst I would say that in terms of overall amino acid profile whey is stronger, our Vegan Protein certainly isnâ€™t too far behind and if you cannot use whey then it makes itâ€™s a great choice. As an example, 18% off the protein content is BCAAâ€™s, where as 25% of whey protein is typically BCAAs. Naturally this is a little lower isnâ€™t a dramatically low as many would think. It also contains high levels of glutamine/glutamic acid and is a richer source of arginine when compared with whey or micellar casein. It has a PDCAAs score of 92, which compares well with whey and casein and favourably against most other vegetable sources of protein.
Question: Pea protein generally has a reputation for not tasting so great. What have Reflex done to combat this without compromising their renowned quality?
KS: This was always the tricky issue when tackling a vegan source of protein, they generally donâ€™t taste that great, particularly pea protein. We have partnered with a very large European company who have developed a pea protein with a better taste profile than previously available. The great thing about this company is that they are a perfect match for us as the production of their pea protein has very strong green credentials. All of the peaâ€™s used within their material are grown within a close proximity of their manufacturing site. During the manufacturing process, there are no solvents used to extract the protein and only uses water.
What people need to remember is that by its very nature it is not a dairy protein, so it does not have a creamy taste texture, so will automatically have a different taste profile. Additionally the mouth feel of the protein is different too. None of this is bad, however if you are using a whey protein you may be a little surprised at first, however as I said, it's not aimed at those who can use whey. Compared with most vegetable proteins currently available, we would be confident of its taste profile against them.
On a personal level, I have been using Vegan Protein as my only protein powder for the last 3 weeks and find the taste very pleasant.
Question: How does the digestion time compare to other proteins such as whey, casein, egg, etc. - and what would be a suitable time to consume Vegan protein?
The company we are working with have recently undertaken in vitro experiments on the digestion of their material and they found that it was a fast digesting protein source, not quite as quick as whey protein but not far behind. They are going to be doing more research on specific timing of peak blood amino acid timing, etc but these results wont be available until the end of the year.
In terms of timings, given its fast nature of digestion makes its good source post workout. However it can easily be applied in making home made MRPs/Weight gainers with the addition of oats/peanut butter, etc and used any time.