Protein Supplements: Whey Protein vs. Soy Protein
Protein is an amazing nutrient. It helps repair damaged muscle, build new muscle, and restock energy stores in the body. To encourage a balanced diet, protein supplements such as soy or whey protein powder are frequently used. Powdered protein supplements are consumed especially by those who work out often and by serious athletes as a way to quickly rebuild old muscle and add new muscle. There are two main types of protein powder supplements: soy protein and whey protein. Here, we explore the unique characteristics of each.
Whey protein is the most common form of powdered protein supplements. Whey is a by-product of cow milk; approximately 20% of cow’s milk is whey protein, while the other 80% is casein protein. When making cheese, whey can be found in the water solution that separates from the curds.
Whey protein is called a “complete protein” because it has the optimal combination of amino-acids and immune system enhancing antibacterial compounds. Likewise, it has demonstrated a rapid utilization capacity, which means that this protein is quickly metabolized by the body and distributed to the muscles as fast as possible. This makes whey protein a great post-workout drink for building new muscle in a timely manner.
Soy protein supplements, unlike whey protein, do not contain lactose, and is a great option for those who are lactose intolerant or vegans. Soy protein contains the same nine essential amino acids found in whey protein. Soy protein is plant-based and also available in powdered form. Soy protein has even been found to help with certain heart problems such as high blood pressure.
Benefits of Soy Protein
Along with its high percentage of protein, soy provides copious amounts of potassium, zinc, iron, vitamin-E, and the full set of B-vitamins. Soy protein supplements help with muscle hypertrophy, which is the growth of a muscle after a workout. In the past, soy has been under criticism as increasing estrogen levels in both men and women, which is often seen as a detriment to workouts. Recently, though, that has been expunged as a myth as numerous studies showed no difference in testosterone levels after being on a soy-based protein program. In fact, soy protein supports gains in lean muscle mass while maintaining stable hormone levels.
Whey and soy protein supplements make for great workout and diet supplements due to their ability to be added to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and other tasty treats. Whether you choose to use whey or soy protein, your body will thank you for the extra aid in repairing and rebuilding its muscles as well as increasing the body’s overall energy levels. If you have never tried protein supplements before, pick up a bag from your local health store, or even grocery store. Be sure to follow the recommended serving sizes so as to maximize the protein’s benefits. Happy protein-ing!