Vegan Protein Source


Soy is a plant protein unlike other plant proteins, it contains all the essential amino acids that is needed to facilitate muscle growth. Believe or not, according to recent studies, beef, which is considered to be a top notch protein source in bodybuilding circles does not provide as much muscle building properties as soy. Soy is ranked with whey and eggs, which are, according to some sources, the best protein for muscle building.


According to research done earlier, protein plays a key role in muscle growth. The researchers found that subjects who supplemented with either soy protein isolate or soy protein concentrate, or whey protein isolate twice/day during a twelve week weight training program, all experienced similar gains in muscle mass. Another study was also done where subjects were given soy or whey. The results showed that both protein sources were equally effective in increasing muscle mass, however, those who took the soy protein were able to better fight muscle protein breakdown, which is a result of intense training, than those who took the whey protein.


Other studies have shown other benefits as well. It is said that soy contains plant sterols which have been shown to help in lowering cholesterol levels. Research has also shown that soy can help protect the body from some cancers as well as fight cardiovascular disease.


Soy contains high amounts of the amino acids glutamine and arginine when compared to whey. These key amino acids are not only responsible for muscle growth and recovery, they are also very beneficial to the immune system and help to enhance anabolic activity. Arginine is known to promote the release of insulin and growth hormones. It is essential to the production of nitric oxide, which helps to increase blood flow to muscles and tissues. Glutamine which is also found in soy in high concentration (almost twice the amount found in whey), helps to reduce muscle fatigue and improve muscle protein synthesis.


If soy is so awesome, how come it gets such a bad rap from bodybuilders? Well, this is due to the old belief that because soy contains three major isoflavones, which are similar to the body's natural hormone estrogen, it is believed that soy increases estrogen in the body thereby causing feminization in men. Frankly, this is not what I've experienced. I've been taking soy for well over 15 years and have not developed "moobs" or any feminine characteristics. I imagine for the estrogen found in soy to combat the testosterone in a man's body, one would have to consume an inordinate amount of soy products over a very long period of time, and even then I doubt the results would be as significant as many believe.


I spoke primarily about soy here but in addition to soy, I also take a raw protein made from organic sprouts, which in my opinion is one of the best and cleanest sources of protein for those on a very strict raw diet. And hey, if it's good enough for the raw dieters, it's good enough for me. Feel free to check it out at iHerb.com. It's also available in our Vegan Store, or you can simply click on the Amazon link below and get it there.