What is a PDCAA score? Why is that important and what does it mean for Plant Based Protein?
You may have heard about the PDCAA score and wondered what all those letters crammed together meant. Or maybe you’re just reading about it for the first time right now. Either way, you probably have questions, and we have answers.
What Does PDCAA Mean?
The acronym stands for Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid score. Basically a PDCAA score is the measurement of a protein’s nutritional quality by comparing its amino acid composition to a human body’s ability to digest it. It gives a score with a 1.0 being the best possible score.
The quality of protein—or rather, the completeness of the protein, having all the essential amino acids, is what determines a protein’s quality.
Protein sources come from many wonderful plant-based places: brown rice, oatmeal, beans, peas artichoke, guava, and broccoli. It also comes from nuts like almonds and walnuts. And it comes from seeds like chia, hemp, and pumpkin.
The main difference between plant-based and animal-based is the animal foods tend to score higher on the PDCAAS rating chart. It’s a little unfair that most animal proteins score between a .98 and a 1.0. Of course, the reason they score high is they have all of the essential amino acids needed by our body for proper functioning. While many plant-based sources need to be consumed in a variety to reach those same amino acid combinations, reaching those amino acid combinations isn't really all that complicated if you're eating a varied diet.
All of this matters to you because getting all of your essential amino acids means you are providing your body with the building blocks it needs in order to function at its best.
Getting that Perfect Score
A vegan gets those necessary amino acids by consuming a variety of sources of protein. The good news is consuming all the needed proteins does not have to happen at one meal. If you eat hemp seeds in the morning with a fruit smoothie, quinoa in your lunch bean burrito, and brown rice with your vegetable stir fry for dinner, this will be plenty of variety to get the amino acids you need to maximize muscle growth and overall health. Vegans have just as much ability to get plenty of protein in their diet.
Another consideration is there are vegan protein sources that score very high on the chart as well, soy with .94, quinoa with .96, hemp seeds .90–.92, pumpkin seeds .91–.93. And it’s truly exciting to know that you can also get vegan protein powders that score a perfect 1. Sunwarrior’s Active Protein holds that perfect score, allowing you to mix up a protein shake and get all the amino acids your body craves to push you to the finish line of whatever your activity might be.
Your body’s performance depends on the fuel you feed it—especially pre-workout. Our clean, organic Active Protein builds and repairs lean muscle while replenishing vital minerals and it does all of that with a perfect 1.0 score on the PDCAA rating.
So build with 30g protein, recover with 6g BCAAs, and replenish your minerals with our earth-based mineral replenishment matrix. Add to that probiotics DE111, which may reduce systemic low-grade inflammation and provide digestive health, and you have a protein that performs as hard and with the same intensity as you.
Shop now, or sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your order