Soy protein is a nutritional supplement
Abstract: Soybeans are widely grown all over the world. Its protein content is higher than that of all beans. Therefore, many countries regard soy products as their main food, and soy protein is in short supply. Soy protein is a complete protein, making soy protein a nutritional supplement.
Keywords: soy protein, nutritional supplements, muscle, protein
The soya bean is a widely grown crop throughout the world. Its value is derived from its high protein content, which is higher than all other beans grown for human consumption. The soya bean is also a complete protein, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids (EAA) your body can’t make itself and needs to obtain from food.
“Soy” and “soya” are interchangeable, although some cultures tend to use one more than the other.
Soy products are a staple food in some parts of Asia, and soy protein is widely used in manufactured products in many countries. After purchasing from soy protein suppliers, they are produced and processed into soy products. These products include soy milk, meat substitute tofu, and fermented products such as miso, tempeh and soy sauce.
Bodybuilders and weight trainers like to take commercial protein supplement powders to support their training and, hopefully, build muscle. That hope is generally realized. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), which issued a review of the intake of protein for healthy exercisers in 2017, results from many studies indicate that in both men and women protein supplementation exerts a small-to-modest impact on strength development. And pooled results of multiple studies consistently indicate that protein supplementation—specifically 15 to 25 grams over four to 21 weeks—exerts a positive impact on performance.
Most protein powders are derived from either the milk proteins casein and whey, egg protein, or the extracted soy protein from soya beans. Soy protein is particularly well suited for vegetarians and vegans.
Of course, there is great debate among purists on the best type of protein powder and also the best commercial brands for athletes and weight trainers. Many varied formulas of protein powder supplements exist. Whether you actually need to take special protein powder supplements is another discussion, as some believe skim milk powder will do a satisfactory job at less cost.
Health benefits of soy protein
Boost Muscle Growth
Of all the plant proteins, soy overwhelmingly has the most research. However, that research has shown that soy is considered a lower-quality complete protein when it comes to increasing muscle mass and strength gains, according to the ISSN report.
One key point from the report is that while soy is considered a complete protein, research shows that products containing animal- and dairy-based proteins contain the highest percentage of essential amino acids and result in greater gains following resistance training when compared to vegetarian proteins like soy.
Soy contains lower amounts of “branched chain amino acids” (BCAAs) than cow milk as well. BCAAs refer to a trio of EAAs considered key when it comes to maintaining muscle: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Of the three, leucine is one that’s considered the switch that stimulates protein synthesis.
Research also finds that dietary soy phytoestrogens inhibit “mTOR expression,” which regulates numerous components involved in protein synthesis, in skeletal muscle. In short, not only does soy contain lower amounts of the EAAs and leucine, but it may also be responsible for inhibiting growth factors and protein synthesis.
Clinical research bears out these findings. In one study, participants that consumed milk protein increased lean mass and decreased fat mass more than the control and soy groups—and the soy group was not significantly different from the control group. Similarly, another study found that the ability of soy to stimulate muscle protein synthesis both at rest and in response to a single bout of lower-body resistance training was greater than the dairy protein casein but less than whey.
What are the side effects of soy protein
The Estrogen Effect
Soy contains plant estrogens called “soy isoflavones.” These chemical compounds have biological effects similar to human estrogen hormones but are mostly of lesser potency. Soy-based foods are often recommended to women to blunt the effects of menopause.
Bodybuilders don’t like excess estrogen because, they theorize, too much may inhibit the effects of testosterone or make them store fat. They want to maximize muscle and strength and minimize fat. As a result, many bodybuilders, weight trainers, and athletes won’t use soy protein foods or supplements because they fear this negative effect on body and performance.
This concern is controversial and the research shows mixed results. One small study on 10 resistance-trained men published in 2013 demonstrated that 14 days of supplementation with soy protein did appear to partially blunt testosterone following an acute bout of heavy resistance exercise. But a 2018 study on 47 previously untrained men that resistance trained for 12 weeks found that soy supplementation didn’t appreciably affect either male or female hormones. Two earlier studies reported similar findings.
In light of the fact that soy doesn’t seem to be as effective as other types of protein supplementation, if you’re concerned about effects on testosterone, you may want to consider supplementing with a different form of protein.
Anyone with thyroid disease or a predisposition to thyroid dysfunction should limit his or her intake of soy-based protein, due to its potential to affect hormone balance and inhibit the absorption of thyroid hormone medication. No soy product should be consumed within 2-4 hours after taking thyroid medications. If you choose to eat a soy product it, should be done as far apart from thyroid hormones as possible.