Is Soy Protein Powder Healthy?
To answer the question if soy protein powder is healthy, we need to take a closer look at the vegetable that is used to obtain soy protein powder – the soybean. To learn more about the health benefits of soybeans, and their applications for athletes in soy protein powder, please read our information below.
Excellent Source of Protein
One of the reasons why the soybean can be used to make soy protein powder, is its high levels of protein. The soybean is considered to be equal to animal-based sources of protein, which means that soy protein powder could be a great alternative for athletes staying away from animal products.
Soybeans are processed differently than animal products though, and this results in differences where cholesterol levels are concerned. Soy generally has lower cholesterol levels when compared to animal-based sources of protein. Therefore, the soybean can be a valuable and healthy source of protein for those struggling with high cholesterol on a regular basis.
The Presence of Phytoestrogens
Chemicals that are generally found in plants are also present in phytoestrogens, so it is only normal that soybeans also contain these chemicals. Even though there are many different types of phytoestrogens, soybeans contain very specific and powerful phytoestrogens called isoflavones. These substances have numerous benefits, not only for athletes, but also for those who like to enjoy a healthier and more balanced diet.
There has been a considerable amount of research into isoflavones. Researchers are mainly interested in the protective abilities of isoflavones, because some studies indicate that isoflavones may have the ability to prevent certain types of cancer. Some studies have shown that women who eat a soya-rich diet have a decreased risk of developing breast cancer, which is why medical experts and researchers are so interested in the abilities of soybeans and isoflavones in particular. However, we do need to mention that research surrounding isoflavones is still ongoing and that researchers are still trying to determine if there is a genetic or environmental link to this phenomenon, which could mean that the consumption of soybeans could be more effective for certain people than others.
Phytoestrogens have other abilities that are definitely worth mentioning here. Phytoestrogens also have the ability to block the effects of excess oestrogen in the body; this is done by rebalancing the levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Phytoestrogens attach themselves to the oestrogen receptors of cells, which enables them to block the stronger and naturally occurring oestrogens. Because of this particular function, phytoestrogens could prove especially useful in the improvement of oestrogen dominance symptoms, which often occur in certain conditions like PMS and endometriosis.
Considering the function of phytoestrogens, soybeans prove especially useful for women. Due to their unique functions, women tend to use soybeans in their diet during the menopause, since the natural production of oestrogen stops during this period of time. Since phytoestrogens are weaker forms of the stronger oestrogen, it could alleviate some of the symptoms experienced during the menopause.
The Presence of Phytosterols
There are additional benefits to soybeans where your cholesterol levels are concerned, because soybeans also contain compounds known as phytosterols. Plant compounds known under the name phytosterols are characterised by a similar structure to cholesterol and steroid hormones, therefore they are actually able to stop the absorption of cholesterol, similar to the way in which phytoestrogens block the absorption of natural oestrogens.
We do need to mention that your genetics and your environment can play a major role in how you will react to eating certain foods. Even though preliminary studies about phytosterols shows great promise in the field of cholesterol reduction, it is not certain that these compounds can work for everyone.
Soybeans and Health Concerns
Soybeans contain substances called goitrogens, which are substances that can cause problem with gland activity. It also contains oxalate, so soybeans should be avoided by people who suffer from kidney stones. To avoid problems when taking a soy protein powder, ensure a balanced diet in combination with your soy protein supplement.
A Better Metabolism
Athletes focussed on losing weight should also consider adding soybeans to their diet, because soybeans have benefits for the metabolism as well; this has everything to do with the amount of protein present in soybeans. If your body gets enough protein to function properly, it is going to reflect in the effectiveness of your metabolism as well.
Protein actually consists of the building blocks of the human body. These building blocks are better known under the name “amino acids”. They are responsible for creating cells, blood vessels and other parts of the human body, as well as regrowing, repairing and replacing cells where needed.
While most people can get their protein from dairy, there are some people that cannot due to an allergy to dairy products or due to the fact they are vegan. For those people, soy protein supplements can be a great way to add more protein to the diet.
This benefit can somewhat contradict the previous benefit we mentioned, but soybeans can work both ways. While soybeans can work as an appetite suppressant and stop people from overeating, soybeans also contain huge amounts of fibres and protein. The combination of these can lead to weight gains, but only if soybeans are eaten in larger quantities.
Considering the fact that eating soybeans in large quantities is not really a part of a balanced and healthy diet, it can be a good idea to combine your soybeans with a diet that will help you to put some weight on. Of course, weight gain can also be achieved by increasing your muscle mass. In this case, there are other supplements at Nutrients Direct that could be used for this purpose.
Those who put on weight by using soybeans do not get unhealthy fats or high levels of cholesterol, which could lead to heart disease. Soybeans can make you gain weight in a healthy manner, without subjecting yourself to unhealthy fast foods and without putting your health at risk. If you are considering using soybeans in your diet for weight gain, please contact a nutritionist to discuss your diet plan and the suitability of soybeans for weight gain in your situation.
|Data based on vanilla flavour||ND Naturals WPC||Rice Protein Isolate||Pea Protein Isolate||Soy Protein Isolate||ND Natural WPI|
|Protein per serve (g)||23||23.6||24.1||25.4||26.2|
|Type of protein/s||Whey||Vegetable||Vegetable||Vegetable||Whey|
|Carbs per serve (g)||4.2||4.8||2.5||1.8||2.2|
|Fat total per serve (g)||1.3||0.6||2.0||0.4||0.6|
|Sugars per serve (g)||3.4||0.6||0.6||1.0||1.6|
|Serving Size (g)||Stevia||Stevia||Stevia||Stevia||Stevia|
|Serves per kilo||Choc, Vanilla||Choc, Vanilla, Natural||Choc, Vanilla, Natural||Choc, Vanilla, Natural||Choc, Vanilla|
|Additional Premium Ingredients||30||30||30||30||30|
|Flavours||All natural flavours and sweetener||Vegetarian, all natural flavours and sweetener||Vegetarian, all natural flavours and sweetener||Vegetarian, all natural flavours and sweetener||All natural flavours and sweetener|