When we think of food that provide our bodies with dietary protein, we think of the main contributors. I’m talking chicken, steak, eggs, and fish. These guys will get the job of getting your protein done, no doubt about it. However, has brown rice ever crossed your mind as a food that provides your diet with protein? If you’re like me, you probably laughed at the thought of a food like rice, known for its complex carbohydrates, can provide the body with dietary protein. So much so, they make supplements out of our favorite little grain friends. Don’t believe me? Read on to know what is brown rice protein powder.
What Is Brown Rice?
It should be pretty important to understand what brown rice really is before jumping into any of its supplement friends. Brown rice is called “brown rice” due to its color being brown, genius I know. It’s brown because of the lack of processing it goes through, brown is the original color of rice when harvested. The reason why rice becomes white is due to the processing of removing some of the structure of rice. Have a quick look a this sketch of a rice grain broken down into its main parts.
On the outermost shell of rice, we have what’s called the hull. This gives the rice its brown color, its original color. Then we have the oh so great bran, the layer behind the hull. This part always gets removed when making white rice. That is because once the bran is taken off, the color of the grain changes to white. This is also why white rice doesn’t provide the same nutritional value as brown rice since all the nutrients have been processed out of it. Hence why brown rice is considered a whole grain, and white rice isn’t.
What exactly classifies as a whole grain? Well, take one more look at the diagram provided, we’re referencing that a bunch here. The three components a whole grain must have are the endosperm, germ, and bran. You already have a good idea of what the bran is, but if you’d like to know more about the endosperm and germ, you can go ahead and click here for more information. Moving on from that, when eating about ½ a cup of rice, you won’t be consuming all the much protein, but more carbs. Not much to work with for a protein powder, but it can be done.
How is Brown Rice Protein Powder Made?
Time to get to the exciting part of the article, how exactly the protein powder is made. Hard to believe our little grainy friends can be mushed up to become a powder-like substance utilized for protein, out of all things. Essentially, brown rice is thrown into a process that separates its nutrients to the liking of the manufacturers. The process focuses on separating carbohydrates and protein, and you already know which macronutrient we want in this scenario. Once we got the isolated protein, substances and additives are thrown in to create a high-quality protein powder ready to be consumed.
So the process isn’t just crushing the living heck out of rice until they become straight up powder. That would still leave the carbohydrates in the powder, which we don’t want in a supplement specified for protein. It’s also crucial to use brown rice, and not the already processed white rice. Since the untouched rice contains all the protein nutrients, we’re looking for here. Using the white rice won’t guarantee you much nutritional value even if it is still rice, the unhealthy kind.
Rice Protein Powder vs. Whey Protein Powder
With any distinct type of protein powder, I always like to compare it to the grand champion of protein powders, whey protein. It doesn’t get any more classic and legit than whey protein, and stooping up to its level is no easy task. So what benefits does rice protein powder hold over good old whey? Believe it or not, there are a handful of them that you might want to keep in the back of your mind when whey isn’t cutting it for you for whatever reason.
This is quite honestly the biggest advantage rice protein has over whey; the lack of allergic reactions it tends to provoke. Rice is hypoallergenic, meaning it has a very slim chance of causing allergic reactions. This way, you can have zero worries of the rice, potentially causing you to puff up or begin to get a rash. Then we have whey protein, which is more or less the complete opposite of hypoallergenic. Whey comes from the milk, along with casein, which is one of the most allergic reactions causing foods.
Allergies to dairy are very common, and the reactions to allergies can differ greatly depending on how your immune system reacts to it. Some reactions can be mild, with uncomforting feelings like sneezing, sniffling, or itching. Then we have the more serious cases of allergic reactions, these are known as anaphylaxis reactions. These include reactions that could potentially lead to the death of someone, with reactions like trouble breathing, neck tightening, eyes swelling, and wheezing. When you know you could potentially experience anaphylaxis reactions, you’re always on your toes about allergens. By clicking here, you will find another article I wrote explaining allergic reactions with protein powders more in-depth.
This is another big win rice protein has over whey protein, the actual digestion process of rice is much smoother than whey. This is especially true for many people who are lactose intolerant, one of the most common digestive disorders known to man. I’ve explained lactose intolerance many times on this site, but if you still don’t understand it completely, here I go. I always start with breaking down the word; lactose is the sugar in milk, and intolerant is a synonym for unbearable. Put them together, it means that your stomach cannot handle or bare lactose. But why is that?
Well, to break down lactose, an enzyme called lactase is produced by your small intestine to get the job done. The amount of lactase produced in your body varies for everybody. Individuals who produce lots of lactase in their body, they can easily break down lactose and enjoy whatever dairy product they’re consuming. This portion of the population are lactose tolerant, not common to hear that around. Then we have those who do not produce enough lactase to break down sugar, which are our lactose-intolerant folks.
Their unbroken lactose stays in their stomach to ferment and be broken down by the liver. Here’s where the known side effects of lactose intolerant comes into play. The gassiness, bloating, upset stomach, vomiting, and or diarrhea happen because of the leftover lactose. Since rice protein, once again, has no whey, this makes things on your digestive system much easier. Rice protein easily slides through with no trouble, and no worries of lactase running out on you.
In conclusion, what is brown rice protein powder? It is a reliable source of vegan protein powder that anyone can consume. Those allergic or uncomfortable with drinking whey or casein have the perfect option of drinking brown rice protein powder. It’s made from a fantastic grain that mostly anyone can consume.
Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments.