Many people get their pre- or post-workout boosts from a drink mixed with protein powder for quick muscle repair and the building of lean muscle mass. If you're one of these people, it's likely that you use either whey or soy protein powders – two of the most popular types. Here's some information about each one to help you determine if whey, soy or some other protein powder like that made from split yellow peas is better for you:
Whey is one of two proteins derived from animals' milk; the other is casein. Whey protein is often used in milk-replacement foods, infant formula and ice cream, among other foods.
Whey is a fast-acting protein, meaning the body absorbs it quickly, which is why it is such a popular choice for supplements. While a glass of milk provides enough whey protein for the average person, those who want to build muscle or have other fitness goals often like to supplement their diets with a whey protein shake or meal replacement like Naturade 100% Whey™, which provides 16 grams of protein per serving, with only 1 gram of fat and 80 calories. Additionally, it contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives or colors, and it contains a full array of essential amino acids.
Aside from the muscle-building benefits of whey proteins, some research has pointed to whey's possible benefits for:
- serving as a nutritional supplement.
- preventing some types of allergies.
- treating some symptoms of diabetes.
- suppressing the appetite.
- supporting a weight loss program.
While whey is important in repairing muscle damage from an intense workout, some people claim that this means that whey is not as efficient in building new muscle because it works too quickly. Though whey protein is very beneficial, whether you use it or not also depends on your fitness goals.
Soy protein is derived from soy beans and contains all the essential amino acids and is a complete protein, just as whey is. It is added to various food products today – it's in anything from frozen waffles to organic granola bars. Soy contains arginine, which helps muscle formation. However, soy takes a much longer time to digest than whey protein. Thus, it's less beneficial for repairing and rebuilding muscle after a workout, but it does a better job of forming new muscle.
Vegan or vegetarian athletes often choose a protein powder made from soy, such as Naturade Total Soy, as they contain no animal products. Naturade Total Soy contains 13 grams of protein per serving, and it is lactose-, gluten-, and GMO-free.
Aside from aiding in new muscle development, soy protein can:
- reduce LDL – or bad – cholesterol, which can lower one's total blood cholesterol levels. This can reduce one's risk of heart disease.
- make other foods more efficient because of its amino acid profile.
- potentially reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
So, which is best? Experts seem to agree that using whey and soy proteins in combination or alternately is beneficial, though you should use whichever suits your dietary needs and restrictions as well as your fitness goals.