Rice protein is an great alternative for those with dietary restriction, but who still desire more protein for their fitness. To better understand what rice protein has to offer we have conducted research into rice protein vs whey protein. This research looks at amino acid profile, digestibility, nutritional facts, health issues and taste.



It takes 9 essential amino acids for a product to be considered to have a full amino acid profile. Rice protein is missing a few essential amino acids that whey protein contains. However this problem is alleviated by combined rice protein with pea protein. Depending on the reason for protein supplement consumption, you want a protein powder that is either fast digesting or slow digesting. Fast digesting supplements do well after a workout, so your nutrient depleted muscles can recover quicker and more build more muscle. Slower digesting proteins are ideal for going prolonged periods without food, such as sleep, so your muscles are gradually being fed amino acids and the body does not go into a catabolic state.  Rice protein powder digests at a slower rate than whey protein. If you are looking for a fast digesting protein source after your workout, this powder may let you down. However, since it is often combined with pea protein, the digestion rate does increase. And many find rice and pea protein comparable with whey.

Note: There hasn’t been enough research to conclude any serious bioavailability (BV) or Protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). There will be another article to define these numbers. If you don’t understand these terms, don’t worry. They aren’t important just yet.



In terms of nutritional fact differences, i.e. calories, fats, carbs, there are some notable differences. In 30 grams of rice protein there is shown to be on average 130 calories, while whey protein has 110 calories per same serving. This is not a substantial difference. If you are hard counting calories, counting each little element, then in terms of fat loss, whey protein edges out for the win. If you are focusing on muscle gain, rice protein would be the better choice. Little is to be said about fat content, as a 30g serving of either supplement results in 1g fat. In terms of protein the same serving of each shows 23g of whey protein, and 22.5g of rice protein. The biggest nutritional fact difference is shown in carbohydrates. 5.2g of carbs can be found in rice protein and only 1g in whey protein, per 30g serving. Although not substantial, if you hard count the carbs, rice protein is the better muscle gaining powder and whey protein the better fat loss protein.

It should be noted, that hard counting your nutritional intake is for the serious athlete. Most active people attempting to become fit or stay in shape do not need to worry over these small difference. The end result, both protein sources are nearly identical in terms of achieving any fitness goals.



Where the difference may lay between rice and whey is that rice protein is hypoallergenic. Because the lack of soy, dairy, gluten products in rice protein powders. This plant based protein is perfect for those with allergy problems such as lactose-intolerance. An additional benefit to being a plant based protein supplement is its appropriateness to be added into a vegetarian, vegan, or less strict paleo diet. Rice protein powder also does not produce as much intestinal problems or bad reactions in other organs as some egg and dairy based proteins. If you have a specific rice allergy this is not the protein source for you.

In term of taste, many attribute a strong flavor to rice protein powder, and flavors put in during manufacturing my not help much. Combining it with another protein source can help the taste somewhat. Most drink this protein powder until taste becomes a non factor.

In all, rice protein an appropriate choice for anyone desiring fat loss, muscle gain, muscle recovery, or overall health benefits. While great for many athletes, it is particularly well suited for those with dietary restrictions. Here are the best rice protein powders and here are the best whey protein supplements.



Lysine from cooked white rice consumed by healthy young men is highly metabolically available when assessed using the indicator amino acid oxidation technique.

Superiority of alkali-extracted rice protein in bioavailability to starch degraded rice protein comes from digestion of prolamin in growing rats

A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study

Effects of resistance training and protein plus amino acid supplementation on muscle anabolism, mass, and strength



For more options in this category or any other, including whey, casein, soy, pea, and hemp protein choices, check out the Interactive Chart Here. There are also many articles about various types of protein powders, how protein works, etc. Let us know if you would like an article created on any topic related to protein supplements or fitness goals, or if we can help you in any way . THANK YOU!!


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