Yes, whey protein is better than soy protein for building muscle. It is controversial, but in this article, you’ll discover why to say no to soy.
The importance of sufficient protein in our diet can’t be underestimated. It is responsible for the growth and repair of muscles, tissue, tendons, ligaments, hair, skin, and nails. Protein supports proper hormone function and aids in digestion as well as supporting the immune system. No one will argue that a diet deficient in protein is likely to result in poor performance and less than optimal health.
What has been argued is which source of protein is the best option. We will specifically be comparing whey and soy sources. In the fitness world, whey protein has long been considered the superior choice, and for good reasons. Although soy has its health benefits, whey has the advantage for several reasons.
Phytoestrogens are chemicals found in plants and plant-based foods, including soy, that mimic the hormone estrogen. Phytoestrogens can upset the hormonal balance and may be responsible for a modest reduction in testosterone with the rise of estrogen.
There may be a link between soy and hormonal imbalance, digestive disorders, infertility, and thyroid complications.
While it is not yet 100% proven, it stands to reason that it would be counterproductive to opt for a soy protein, especially during the post-workout period when anabolic hormones are at an advantage.
With intense workouts, hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone will rise, creating a perfect opportunity to refuel and benefit from the anabolic process. Consuming whey protein is the preferred option due to the negative effects of soy on hormonal harmony.
A good quality whey protein is superior in branched-chain amino acid makeup than that of soy. While soy may contain more glutamine and arginine, whey protein is made up of more essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that our bodies can’t produce and must be consumed through diet.
The biological value of protein is a measurement used to assess how much protein consumed is used and utilized by the body. Whey protein has a higher biological value than any other protein including soy, beef, and dairy. This means the protein we consume through whey products is more available and able to do its intended job over any other.
Fast action and digestibility
For those that do not suffer allergies, whey protein is an easy, rapidly digested protein. It makes whey the superior choice, especially for a post-workout meal. The faster your body digests the high-quality protein, the faster you can take full advantage of the anabolic process.
Immune system benefits
Whey protein is an immune system booster. Whey protein contains the amino acid cysteine, which raises levels of the powerful antioxidant glutathione. It fights toxins and strengthens our immune system. Glutathione may help slow the aging process, reduce the risk of certain cancers, improve heart, lung, and mental function and increase energy.
While Whey may be the superior choice between the two, soy does have its place as well. For people that are allergic or intolerant to whey protein, soy is a good option. For those that follow a vegan diet, soy may be necessary to acquire all essential amino acids and add some variety to the diet. Soy does have its health benefits and reducing the risk of certain cancers and aiding in the relief of some menopausal symptoms.
The bottom line is that when it comes to choosing between the two, whey protein comes out on top.