Diets rich in protein increase thermogenesis, spare muscle protein, and improve glycemic control. Consuming protein before or after exercise also increases protein synthesis. Put together, these benefits have the potential to improve body composition. Let’s take a look at whether or not soy protein has a role to play in increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat.
The process of making whey protein creates three main products: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate (or hydrolyzed whey). The main difference between the three is protein content, the protein’s amino acid length, and cost. Does this added cost lead to additional benefits?
Whey protein is a byproduct of cheese production. Milk is made up of two proteins: whey and casein. To make cheese, the proteins are separated. The protein powder we take after a workout starts its journey as a thin, watery liquid. This liquid is processed, and eventually turns into the powder we all love. The amount of processing dictates its final form.
We don’t think of protein as a way to improve cardiovascular performance in the same light as we do with strength gains. If protein improves strength, does it also do the same with cardio? More specifically, does soy protein improve cardiovascular performance?
Fitness enthusiasts use protein supplements to increase performance gains. With interest in healthy lifestyles on the rise, many are searching for alternatives to animal products such as whey or casein proteins. Soy protein is an easy alternative as it’s plant based and contains all of the essential amino acids. Resistance to soy protein is fierce due to its supposed association with pro-estrogenic and anti-anabolic effects.
Few foods evoke greater emotion than soy. It elicits fears of decreased testosterone, less optimal strength, and feminization of masculine features. There’s plenty of misinformation about soy. The truth is there are plenty of health and performance benefits to consuming soy protein with plenty of research to back it up.