Protein is found in practically every cell of your body, so you need to get plenty of it in your diet to ensure your body continues to function properly. Protein is a nutrient used by the body to create muscle tissue, enzymes, and hormones. One way to get enough protein is to drink protein shakes. Two common forms of protein powder are whey protein and soy protein. Comparing whey vs soy protein will allow you to make the best choice to meet your goals.
What Is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is made from cow’s milk. Cow’s milk contains about 3.5% protein and 4% fat. After undergoing pasteurization to kill any bacteria, enzymes are added to the milk to separate casein (milk solids used to make cheese) from whey. The whey is processed further to remove fats, carbohydrates, and excess water. The end product is a protein-rich powder which can be used to make protein shakes.
What Is Soy Protein?
Soybean is a type of legume high in protein and low in fat. To create soy protein, soybeans are ground into a meal that contains no hulls or fat. It is then processed into soy protein isolate, consisting of 90 to 95% protein. Soy protein isolate is sold in powder form. The powder is used to make a protein shake or add protein to other meals. Though soy protein isolate is naturally high in protein and low in carbohydrates, manufacturers usually add other nutrients to soy protein to improve its texture, taste, and nutritional value.
Things to Consider When Choosing Between Soy and Whey Protein
The following are some considerations when choosing between whey vs soy protein powder:
Taste and Texture
Whey protein has a smooth, creamy texture and a slightly nutty taste. On the other hand, soy protein has a strong nutty flavor, with some people finding the texture a bit grainy. Whey vs soy protein taste and texture really comes down to personal preference. The good news is, both are available in various flavors and formulations.
Type of Protein
One important factor when evaluating protein powders is the amino acid profile. The body uses 22 amino acids, 9 of which must be obtained from dietary sources. Both whey and soy protein are “complete” proteins; they contain 9 essential amino acids. However, they slightly differ in concentration.
Whey protein contains more leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and methionine. In contrast, soy protein is higher in arginine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine. Because lysine is associated with muscle growth and methionine with fat loss, many people choose whey protein over soy protein.
Other Nutritional Considerations
Protein is not just the only consideration when choosing whey vs soy protein powder. These powders contain other nutrients that support overall health. Soy contains vitamin B complex, vitamin E, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium. Meanwhile, whey protein contains vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium. The exact amounts of such nutrients vary by brand, so it’s important to check the labels before you buy.
Final Thoughts on Whey vs Soy Protein
It may be daunting to choose a protein powder that will help you achieve your fitness goals. You can experiment with various types, flavors, and ingredient ratios until you find the one what works best for you. It all comes down to personal preference. If you’re searching for the best whey protein powder, please click here.