When I first started over a decade ago, I was a big soy protein drinker. EAS Soy Protein and I were best friends. Over the course of time though, the soy would leave me bloated and heavy feeling. Something you DON’T want after you’ve just worked your ass off for two hours at the gym.
Which left me wondering, which is the best source of protein to take? There’s a few different ways to get your protein intake, but the most popular and most often talked about are soy and whey (there’s also casein, but that’s for a different day). Upon doing my dutiful job of researching before moving in one direction or another, I discovered that there really isn’t much difference. Studies have shown that both soy and whey proteins have the desired effect in increasing lean body mass. In the end, the only difference was: If you were vegetarian, you’d want to chose soy. So I gave whey a whirl, and didn’t notice a difference in gain or maintenance. What I did notice was, I felt a million times better after drinking my protein drink after leaving the gym, before bed or first thing in the morning.
Over the years, I’ve started trying to get the majority of my needed protein from food sources (eggs, meats, etc.) and the protein drinks have given way to smoothies that contain items that are giving my body what it will need at that moment in time. Which, brought me back to the whey vs. soy argument. Again.
What I learned this time around is, look for the balance of both. Whey digests quickly through your system and soy is more of a gradual or slow digest. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is perfect. Case in point why I think this? When you sleep, your body is going to go to your muscles to break them down for energy. To prevent this from happening, you’d want a slower digesting protein (which will also help curb your appetite until morning). Enter soy protein.
Other reasons why you should consider adding or keeping soy as part of your protein routine: It improves antioxidant status, reduces risk of heart disease and some cases/studies have shown it to reduce risk of certain kinds of cancer.
That, added to the benefits of whey, which are: helps boost your immune system, reducing risk of heart diseases and cancer, better ability to control/maintain weight and stress reduction… You can’t really go wrong, can you?