Is Rice Protein Powder A Good Protein Source?
Believe it or not, rice is not only rich in carbohydrates; it is also rich in essential amino acids. Because of this, rice protein powder is considered to be an alternative to dairy-based protein especially for those who are vegetarian and those who are lactose-intolerant. In fact, this can be very helpful for vegetarian athletes who need to maintain muscle performance but have fewer sources of protein. Rice protein is also useful for those who have allergies from dairy products.
It is produced usually from brown rice, which is treated with enzymes that makes proteins and carbohydrates break up. After this, the proteins are isolated and processed into powder that is vegan and gluten-free. It is also interesting to note that the amino acids are ensured to be kept in the rice by processing the raw material in low temperature. Rice protein can also be produced from whole grain rice or from white rice.
The whole process of making rice protein powder makes this type of protein healthy, natural, and hypoallergenic. Aside from this, it is also less expensive compared to other powders, especially for countries that consider rice as the staple food. People living in these countries can now depend on rice as an alternative protein source.
But what about its health benefits? As mentioned earlier, rice protein powder is rich in essential amino acids; some of which are called branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). These BCAAs are useful in muscle strengthening and in building up muscle mass even during strenuous physical activity. Leucine, valine, and isoleucine are examples of these BCAAs, which are also needed for faster and more efficient recovery of the muscles after working out.
Rice protein powder is also helpful for those who want to lose weight while building muscles at the same time. This is because each serving of rice protein contains fewer calories compared to other types of protein powder. It also contains B vitamins which are known in enhancing cell metabolism. Vitamin E is also present in rice-based powder, which is known to protect the cells from harmful chemicals and substances such as free radicals.
Aside from building lean muscle mass and keeping trim at the same time, some studies have shown that it may also have an effect in lowering cholesterol. In fact, it was shown that rice protein combined as supplement with a high cholesterol diet can help in improving insulin sensitivity, aside from lowering cholesterol in the liver and serum. Meanwhile, other studies proved that it may also aid in lowering the risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, some people may find this type of protein powder a bit bitter and chalky, although it does not have any typical taste or odor for other people. Nevertheless, it is still great as an additional ingredient in smoothies and other recipes. And because rice is not readily available in some countries, rice protein powder may also be harder to find compared to whey protein powder.
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