Whey Protein vs Soy Protein

Whey Protein vs Soy Protein: Which Protein Powder Is Right for You?

Protein is a necessary food for your body to produce new enzymes, muscular tissue, and hormones. Protein is present in every cell of the human body, therefore you need a lot of it in your diet to keep your body running smoothly. Amino acids are the building components of protein, which are linked together in chains to create the molecule. After digesting dietary protein, your body rearranges amino acids to generate new protein structures required for numerous physiological activities.

Protein smoothies are one of the greatest methods to ensure you receive enough protein in your diet. Protein powder comes in a wide range of flavours, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Soy protein and whey protein are two of the most prevalent protein sources. Knowing the distinctions between soy protein and whey protein can help you make the best decision for your body.

What Is Whey Protein?

Soy Vs Whey

Whey protein is an animal-based protein derived from dairy, according to Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, a certified Sports Dietitian in Orlando, FL. “Milk is pasteurised and split into casein and whey proteins. “The whey protein is then further processed to eliminate the carbohydrates, fat, and water, leaving a whey protein powder,” she explains. While lactose (milk sugar) is removed from whey protein isolate, lactose may still be present in whey protein concentrate.

Benefits Of Whey Protein

It May Help Athletes Perform Better: According to Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, nutrition consultant, speaker, and author of The Small Change Diet, whey protein may help athletes perform better. “There is evidence that it may aid in improving athletic performance, increasing strength, and increasing muscular mass,” she adds.

According to Gans, it May Assist with Psoriasis: Whey has been proven to help with psoriasis by decreasing itchy skin symptoms. It May Aid with Weight Reduction: According to Gans, several research have shown that whey protein can help with weight loss.

It’s High in Nutrients and Amino Acids: According to Collingwood, whey has a lot of nutritional value. It not only contains all essential amino acids as well as branched-chain amino acids, but it is also naturally high in calcium, making it beneficial to your bones.

It’s Simple to Add to Your Favorite Dishes: Collingwood says it’s ideal for adding to smoothies and other recipes since it absorbs fast, has a creamy texture, and a mild flavour with no aftertaste.

What Is Soy Protein?

Soy is a plant-based protein, whereas whey is produced from an animal. Collingwood says that soy protein originates from soybeans, which are a legume. “Ground soybeans are processed into a powder to produce soy protein isolate.”

Benefits Of Soy Protein

It May Help Manage Cholesterol: According to Gans, scientific evidence suggests that soy may be useful to cholesterol management. She says, “Some studies have indicated that it may help decrease the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while raising the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.”

Because soybeans are a legume, Collingwood points out that soy protein is a wonderful choice for anybody following a plant-based diet. It’s Lactose-Free: Soy protein is a wonderful alternative because it doesn’t include any dairy ingredients if you’re lactose sensitive.

Nutrients and Amino Acids are abundant: Collingwood claims that soy has a lot of nutritional benefits. It not only contains all essential amino acids as well as branched-chain amino acids, but it is also naturally high in calcium, making it beneficial to your bones. According to Collingwood, soy may be readily put to a shake, smoothie, or other drink since it absorbs fast.

Whey Protein Vs Soy Protein: The Key Difference

Whey Protein vs Soy Protein

Soybeans are a kind of legume that has a high protein content while being low in fat. Soy protein is made by grinding soybeans into a meal that is free of hulls and oil. Soy protein isolate, which contains 90 to 95 percent protein, is made from this soybean meal (Soyfoods Association of America, 2013). The powdered soy protein isolate is then marketed. To prepare a protein shake or to add protein to other meals, use soy protein powder. Many manufacturers add extra ingredients to commercial soy protein to improve its flavour, texture, and nutritional value, despite the fact that soy protein isolate is inherently high in protein but low in carbs.

Cow’s milk is used to make whey protein, on the other hand. Cow’s milk has a natural protein content of 3.5 percent and a fat content of 4%. (MyProtein, 2014). After the milk has been pasteurised to eliminate any germs, enzymes are added to separate the casein (the milk solids needed to create cheese) from the whey. Carbohydrates, lipids, and extra water are removed from this whey before it is processed further. The end result is a high-protein powder that may be used in protein drinks.

The main distinction between the two is the material they are composed of. “Because whey is an animal-based protein and soy is a plant-based protein,” Collingwood explains, “if someone has a milk allergy or is vegan, they are restricted to soy.”

When it comes to flavour, they are also different. Soy can taste “nutty,” and “some report a type of harsh aftertaste,” according to Collingwood. Whey has a creamy texture and mild flavour with little to no aftertaste. It can also be “a touch more gritty and not nearly as creamy as whey protein” in terms of texture.

How Are Soy Protein And Whey Protein Made?

Soy protein is a kind of vegetable protein. Soybeans are a high-protein legume. Soybeans are crushed into a meal to make this plant-based protein. There are no husks or fat in this dish. After that, the soybean meal is turned into soy isolate. This isolate has a protein content of 90-95 percent. Soy protein has a low carbohydrate content by nature. As a result, it’s frequently combined with other nutrients to increase flavour, texture, and nutritional value.

Cow’s milk is used to make whey protein. To eliminate any germs, the milk is pasteurised first. The casein—the milk solids required to create cheese—is next separated from the whey using specific enzymes. After that, the whey is further processed to eliminate carbohydrates, lipids, and water. Whey concentrate is all that’s left. This is the purest type of whey protein available. Whey isolate and whey hydro-isolates are the results of further processing.

Which Type Of Protein Is Best For You?

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, soy is the superior choice. If you can handle dairy, Gans recommends whey protein over soy since it “is most likely more beneficial for growing muscle growth and boosting strength.” It has a somewhat greater amino acid and vitamin-mineral content, according to Collingwood. “Soy, on the other hand, contains more naturally occurring phytonutrients, which can help prevent disease,” she says. Taste is also a factor, since some individuals dislike the nuttiness of soy.

Which Protein Is Superior?

So, which is the better option? In actuality, they both provide significant results. Both have extremely high absorption rates and, when eaten consistently after an exercise, will provide a considerable increase in lean muscle tissue or lean body mass. When compared to whey protein, soy protein provides customers with a plant-based or vegan alternative to conventional whey isolate proteins.

Soy protein also has the fastest rate of amino acid absorption after ingestion and is the only protein supplement that is a full amino acid; although Whey protein includes most amino acids, Soy protein contains all of the necessary amino acids. Soy protein also has the same health advantages as soybeans, such decreasing LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and maintaining HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels.

In most situations, soy can also help with bone strength. And the cost differential is the most significant benefit Soy protein has over nearly all whey protein products. In compared to whey protein supplements, soy protein supplements are significantly less expensive. If you can’t eat dairy or follow a vegan or plant-based diet, soy protein is unquestionably the finest option. However, if you are not vegan or lactose intolerant, the option is yours, but many individuals still prefer and suggest Whey. However, at this point, it’s purely a matter of personal choice.

Is Whey Protein Or Soy Protein Better For Losing Weight?

In terms of body fat loss, whey protein may be more effective than soy. Researchers gave 30 men 56 grams of whey protein per day and 30 men 56 grams of soy protein per day over the course of five months in a trial. Another 30 men were given a carbohydrate supplement instead of a protein powder supplement. The guys who ate whey shed an average of 2.3 kilos of body weight and 1.8 kilograms of body fat over the course of five months.

1 Men who ate soy and carbohydrate, on the other hand, did not lose weight much. The only guys who shed a substantial percentage of abdominal fat were those who took whey protein. The researchers came to the conclusion that “…different sources of dietary protein may promote weight reduction and change body composition…” as a result of their findings.

Is Soy Or Whey Protein Superior For Muscle Growth?

Protein is required for muscle mass development and maintenance. Researchers looked examined the effects of whey, soy, and casein protein on muscle development in a 2009 study (FSR). Guys who ate whey protein grew the most muscle at rest, followed by those who ate soy, and finally men who ate casein. After weightlifting, the researchers discovered that males who ate whey protein had significantly greater muscular gain than those who ate soy or casein. “Whey protein consumption promotes [muscle development] more than either casein or soy protein consumption,” the researchers concluded.

Another nine-month study found that those who ate whey protein acquired 83 percent more lean body mass (muscle and bone mass) than people who ate soy protein. As a result, the researchers came to the conclusion that daily whey protein supplementation was more beneficial than soy protein in encouraging lean body mass increases.

Are These Protein Supplements Capable Of Increasing Testosterone Levels?

For both men and women, having optimal testosterone levels is critical. Testosterone increases muscle repair, maintains libido, and enhances mood, in addition to promoting muscular development. So, what are the effects of whey and soy on testosterone?

Researchers fed whey or soy protein to 10 male athletes as they continued to lift weights in a trial. The researchers discovered that males who consumed soy protein had lower testosterone levels after weight training than those who consumed whey protein after 14 days of supplementation. Cortisol, a hormone that inhibits muscle repair and lowers immunity, was also lower in the whey-eating group. One thing to note: the males who ate soy had no increased oestrogen levels, according to the study.

Whey also appears to enhance testosterone, according to a 2008 research including some complex biochemistry. However, additional study into the link between whey and soy and testosterone is required. Whey may boost testosterone, according to a modest body of studies. Soy does not raise oestrogen or testosterone when consumed in moderation.

Which Is The Best Option?

According to a new study, whey protein is better for fat loss, muscle gain, and testosterone stimulation. Soy protein isn’t always a terrible choice if you want a plant-based alternative. It’s even healthier for your heart health than whey, according to the FDA. However, there are a variety of fantastic plant-based protein sources, ranging from pea to rice powder, that are better for your general health and athletic performance.

Whichever protein you select, keep a close eye on how it affects you both on the inside and out. We can provide you with all of the vital information from your blood, as well as all of the innovative, research-based methods for improving your health and performance over time.

Protect Your Cells With Whey Protein

According to a research published in 2003 in the journal “Toxicology In Vitro,” whey protein, a protein produced from cow’s milk, may have antioxidant and other health-promoting properties. According to the scientists, whey is efficient in boosting glutathione, which is the most important antioxidant in human cells.

Whey protein appeared to protect human prostate cells against oxidant-induced cell death, according to the findings. According to a report published in 2000 in “Anticancer Research.”

Whey Beats Soy For Muscle Building

When it comes to muscle development, whey protein outperforms soy protein in a variety of ways. Whey protein was shown to be more quickly absorbed, had larger concentrations of essential amino acids for muscle development, and so resulted in more muscle protein synthesis than soy protein, according to a research published in 2013 in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition.”

Furthermore, according to another 2013 study published in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” whey protein has positive effects on hormones that can help grow muscle, but soy protein does not. Following exercise, whey protein lowers cortisol, a hormone that can break down muscle, whereas soy protein lowers testosterone, a hormone that is crucial for muscle development.

Whey Protein Vs. Soy Protein For Weight Loss

Whey and soy protein were both evaluated for their effectiveness in changing body composition in obese adults in a research published in 2011 in “The Journal of Nutrition.” Individuals who ingested whey protein had a lower waist circumference, according to the research.

The scientists found that different sources of dietary protein had varying impacts on weight reduction and body composition, despite the fact that the processes remain unclear. “Dietary guidelines, particularly those that stress the importance of dietary protein in weight loss, should also reflect the therapeutic potential of supplementary [whey protein],” they said.

Whey Vs Soy Protein Debate

There are a few more variables to consider when deciding between whey and soy protein, in addition to the numerous health advantages and potential downsides.

Taste and Texture

The texture of whey protein is smooth and creamy, with a slight nutty flavour. Soy protein has a nutty taste and a grainier texture than most other proteins. Both proteins come in a wide range of tastes and formulas. If you sample one, you could notice that it has a chalky feel that you don’t like. Trial and error is the best way to select a protein powder that tastes and feels good to you.

Dietary Restrictions

Animal whey protein is derived from cow’s milk. As a result, vegans and vegetarians should avoid it. Soy is a vegan protein source that is low in fat and high in protein. Furthermore, because soy does not contain lactose, it is a preferable option for lactose intolerant people.

Consumers are still enthralled with the ketogenic diet. Both protein powders are low in carbs and can help you stick to a keto diet. The majority of the carbohydrates in the powders are removed during processing. A protein-rich powder is left behind. Check the nutrition data on both soy and whey protein powders before using them. Other additives are frequently added to mask some of the off-putting gritty sensations and flavours. These components, together with additional sugars, can raise the carb level. Check the label to see if you’re purchasing soy or whey protein.


Soy protein is an excellent choice for any vegetarian, vegan, or lactose intolerant person searching for a simple post-workout drink. Whey protein will always be the preferred post-workout protein source for the vast majority of individuals, and with good reason. In the end, it’s up to you to make the decision.

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