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[Study] Rice Protein Has Identical Benefits To Whey, MASSIVE Ground-Breaking Study Proves


Move over whey – findings from new groundbreaking research revealed that plant-based rice protein has identical benefits and produces identical results to that of its dairy-based counterpart.


The Details

A new double-blind study from the University of Tampa, announced Monday 3/11, tested the effectiveness of rice protein vis-a-vis traditional whey protein isolate on 4 key metrics: recovery & soreness, muscle growth, change in body composition, & strength improvement.

The study meticulously followed 24 healthy, college-aged, experienced bodybuilders over the course of 8 weeks.1 Participants were split into two groups, both of which completed an identical workout routine 3x per week, and consumed 48g of either (a) plant-based rice protein or (b) whey protein isolate immediately post-workout. Each supplement contained an equal number of calories & protein.

Throughout the study each of the groups was tested on the following 4 metrics:

  • Perceived ratings of soreness, recovery, and readiness to train
  • Muscle thickness
  • Body composition (% body fat, % lean muscle, etc.)
  • Bench press and leg press strength

At the end of the 8-week program researchers shockingly found identical results – across all 4 measurements – between the rice and whey protein groups.

Between the two test groups there were no significant differences in reported soreness or recovery time. Additionally, each group experienced major improvements in strength, power, muscle mass, and body composition, including a decrease in body fat. All observed improvements were statistically identical across the rice and whey protein groups.


What It Means

sunwarrior rice protein, sunwarrior brown rice protein

This is MASSIVE science, especially for vegans. Between its full-spectrum of amino acids, high bioavailability and digestibility (AKA your body’s ability to absorb and use a given type of protein), and purity, whey was touted for decades as the de facto, standalone gold standard of protein powders.

And rightly so. This study is not an indictment on whey – it’s still the same muscle-building, fat-shredding powerhouse that it’s always been – but rather a revelation for vegans and the larger fitness community as a whole. If you’re vegan, someone with lactose intolerance or other GI issues, or simply scared off by rBGH hormones and other preservatives added to dairy, consider rice the definitive, go-to source for raw, plant-based protein powder. It should effectively be held in the same upper echelon as whey.2

I personally switched over to a bag of SunWarrior’s Raw Vegan Rice Protein about a month ago (before this study came out) to test out the hype – my growth and muscle recovery haven’t missed a beat, and my stomach feels considerably better.

This study erases any second-thoughts I had. I’ll be sticking with the rice for the foreseeable future – I highly recommend that you give it a shot, too.

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Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  1. PRNewswire: First Double Blind Study Proves Plant-based Rice Protein Has Identical Benefits To Animal-based Whey Protein []
  2. Soy is under assault for its high phytoestrogen content and low bioavailability; the jury is still out on hemp and other plant-based proteins []
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