Soy Versus Whey: The Latest Research!

Author: Nicole Adler   Date Posted: 31 August 2016 

The differences between soy protein powder and whey protein powder have been a topic of heavy debate over the past few years. With the latest research of soy protein powder being released, it is time to disclose some of the new information that has come to light about the supplement. Read our information below to discover more about the never-ending battle between whey and soy protein powder.

Is Whey Protein Still the Most Popular Protein Supplement?

According to the latest studies, whey protein is still counted amongst the most popular protein powders on the market, mainly due to the fact that whey protein powder has a powerful anabolic effect on the human body; this is especially beneficial for athletes wanting to gain muscle mass.

Many athletes claim that whey protein is the perfect blend of amino acids, which do not only feed muscles, but also increase the functioning of the immune system. Whey Protein Powder is also absorbed by the body fast, which means muscles will be able to absorb the maximum amount of protein possible over a short period of time.

How Effective Is Soy Protein Powder Compared to Whey?

Whey was claimed to be superior to other protein powders for years, which is why many athletes chose not to combine several protein supplements to get maximum benefit. However, recent study results have shown that the alternative protein source of whey, soy protein powder, is just as effective.

Why Has the Viewpoint Regarding Soy Protein Powder Changed So Drastically?

As is the case with most protein supplements on the market, soy protein has been debated by numerous scientists over the past few years. Several scientists executing separate studies can lead to variable results and different interpretations. For that reason, further research into the inner workings of soy protein was necessary.

Soy protein has been known as the female-dedicated protein supplement for years; this mainly has to do with the reduction of menopause symptoms or PMS symptoms through the use of the supplement. However, further studies indicate that soy protein powder is a great option for both men and women.

Does Phytoestrogen in Soy Protein Meddle with Male Hormone Levels?

One of the main concerns of male athletes is the level of phytoestrogens in soy protein. High levels of phytoestrogens can lead to a decrease of testosterone and an increase of estrogen, which could be disadvantageous for men. 

However, the claim that isoflavones (phytoestrogens) could have a negative impact on the hormonal balance of athletes, is not true. Even though some nutritionists claim that phytoestrogens could lead to digestive problems, low energy and infertility, recent studies have shown that the use of a soy protein could be harmless. 

What Are the Current Benefits That Can BE Obtained from Soy Protein?

Soy protein contains a high amount of potassium, zinc, iron, vitamin E, phosphorous and the full B-complex; this means that athletes can benefit from these nutrients while using a soy protein supplement in addition to their regular diet.

A soy protein supplement  will be most effective when combined with a good exercise routine, because the protein inside this supplement must be absorbed by the muscles in order to benefit from them. 

In some cases, athletes will combine two protein supplements to get maximum benefit. Athletes looking to combine soy with another supplement, should choose the faster absorbing whey protein supplement. Soy will be absorbed by the body slower, so choosing a faster supplement such as whey protein will give you the best of both worlds! There is also a difference between the levels of amino acids in soy protein and whey protein. Soy protein contains higher levels of arginine and glutamine, while whey protein is mainly high in branched chain amino acids. Combining the two will therefore enable athletes to get all the benefits these nutrients are known for.

What Is Arginine?

Arginine  is a nutrient that performs numerous functions in the human body. Due to its unique functions, it provides quite a few health benefits as well. Arginine is needed to heal wounds, remove waste products from the body, the maintenance of the immune system and hormones, and cardiovascular health, which is why this nutrient cannot be missing from your diet.

What Are Branched Chain Amino Acids?

Branched chain amino acids , also known under the abbreviation BCAAs, are three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Products containing these branched chain amino acids are often used for people with a lack of protein in their diet, considering branched chain amino acids are essential for muscle protein synthesis and increased muscle growth. 

We do need to mention that the protein supplement is not the only source of branched chain amino acids, because they tend to be very present in protein-rich foods such as eggs. If you have a serious shortage of these nutrients, be sure to combine your supplement with healthy food as well.

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine  is an amino acid that is present in the muscle. When you do an intensive workout, glutamine will start to leave your body; this will have effects on the human body such as strength, stamina and recovery as well. When glutamine levels are depleted, the body may need six days for your body to fully recover.

To ensure heavy workouts do not have such a heavy impact, glutamine in supplements can help you to replenish glutamine after heavy training quicker. Considering soy protein contains high levels of glutamine, this protein supplement will be a great option to get your glutamine levels back to normal quicker.


Opposite to what was claimed over the past decade, soy protein supplements are certainly not inferior to whey protein supplements, or any other supplement on the market for that matter. If you are looking for a vegetable-based supplement, be sure to try out a soy protein supplement!

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
Take For
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
Notes 33 33 33 33 33
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

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