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Difference Between Soy Protein and Whey Protein


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I was looking at protein powder today and I noticed that there were too different kinds-soy and whey. Whats the difference? Which is better?

Im not sure if this thread should be in fitness or foods, so if its in the wrong forum, I apoligize.

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Whey is a milk by-product. Soy come from soy beans (aka tofu). I'm not sure anyone can say which one is better then the other, since they both are kind of processed into order to get that level of protein. IMO it makes more sense to just get protein from your diet, because all these products just seem like marketing to me and many are outrageously expensive. There are plenty of very, very strong people in third world nations that don't use protein shakes.

Original Post by inkblue:

 IMO it makes more sense to just get protein from your diet, because all these products just seem like marketing to me and many are outrageously expensive. There are plenty of very, very strong people in third world nations that don't use protein shakes.

I am no expert, but I'm pretty dang sure that there are plenty of reasons for protein supplements to be used for weight lifters and for other sports. Don't ask me what they are because again, I'm not the expert here. I think it's hard to get enough protein for some people and not eat 6 billion calories or eating 24/7. Not sure what this has to do with third world nations, though

Original Post by inkblue:

There are plenty of very, very strong people in third world nations that don't use protein shakes.

They may be strong, but they don't have much muscle mass. I've never seen a picture of anyone from a third world country with bulky muscles. They're often emaciated and have many health problems because of poor diets.

From The New Rules of Lifting for Women (paraphrased bc I don't feel like typing it all out:

Soy protein is the best vegetarian source of protein. When you use the biological standard (the food's protein quality and the human's ability to use it) to rate protein sources, soy finishes far below eggs, milk, fish, beef, and chicken. The food with the highest biological value ever measured is whey protein.Therefore, soy protein is the best source of protein for vegetarians, while whey is the best source for non-vegetarians.

Original Post by inkblue:

Soy come from soy beans (aka tofu).

Sorry, I had to get this too...soy beans aren't also known as tofu, tofu is a product made out of soybeans just like cheese is a product made out of milk.

There are other kinds of protein powders too - I've seen pea, egg, hemp and rice protein powders, but soy and whey would probably be the easiest to come by.  I've read in some posts that whey is the most efficient type in terms of getting the protein digested and readily available, and I'm sure that there are lots more articles out there that would detail what the differences are.  Here's one I found: link.  There are some people that are concerned about the use of soy isolates, which I assume is what would be found in a soy protein powder.

Had to jump in here. I've used a balance of Soy and Whey proteins over the past several years and have done my fair share of research on the two. It used to be that whey protein tended to have fairly high amounts of cholesterol (my primary reason for at first steering clear). Lately however, whey protein manufacturers have been stripping away the cholesterol while maintaining the low levels of fat and high levels of protein.

Soy protein also has very little fat, zero cholesterol, and high amounts of protein. The downside is that it is a significantly less efficient form of protein. It takes nearly double the amount of soy protein powder to equal the amount of protein in whey protein powder. Additionally, branched chain amino acids (BCAA for short) are far more prevalent in whey protein. BCAA's are known to be the most important form of protein for muscle retention over time.

To summarize, you have to pay more for soy protein, you use it up faster, and it also has higher levels of calories per gram of protein. This used to be worth it when whey protein had elevated levels of cholesterol but these days whey protein is significantly more advanced in nearly every way. 

One needs to do nothing more than examine the figures on whey protein sold per year to the figures on soy protein sold per year to see which one has won out as the best form of protein.

Hope this helps!

Eric

Original Post by ncxcrnnr:

One needs to do nothing more than examine the figures on whey protein sold per year to the figures on soy protein sold per year to see which one has won out as the best form of protein.

Agree with you up until here...just because a bunch of morons will fall for something (fad diet industry, anyone?) doesn't make it legit. BUT...in this case, the facts are behind whey.

Well yeah but I had to sum up my post somehow right? haha

Original Post by ncxcrnnr:

Well yeah but I had to sum up my post somehow right? haha

It was quite a catchy line. You should write for infomercials, I'd buy from you!!Wink

 

if you're vegan, go for soy.  it's cheaper than the non animal ones (i think...).  i, however, am not, so i use whey: cheaper, easier to come by, and you don't need as much for the same result.  i only use it once in a while so a tub lasts me a long time.

I've only ever tried two sorts of soy protein and it was awfully powdery-grainy, even when mixed well in the shaker, either with water, milk, yoghurt and fruit.

My question is if whey protein somehow dissolves in liquids or does it also have the annoying texture like eating flour?

Thanks for all the replies. The only protein supplement I had ever heard of was whey protein, but the soy protein came in a smaller bottle, so I was considering soy just because I didnt want to purchase the huge container of whey and not be able to use it. I guesse I will have to keep looking for a smaller bottle of whey to try, as it seems to be the better of the two.

I would go with Whey. In my opinion and other will differ soy is not good for women. There have been some studies done that link soy to certain types of cancer in women. Other studies have been done that say soy prevents some types of cancers. I lean on the side of caution. Any thing that effects or changes hormone levels in my body I avoid.

Thanks for all the information and that link. I'm relatively new to this whole protein shake stuff, but I've been doing soy protein because I like the taste of this particular brand. However, I'm going to start incoporating whey as well to get the best of both worlds.

Original Post by inkblue:

...all these products just seem like marketing to me and many are outrageously expensive...

 If you do the math, protein supplements are WAY cheaper than real food in terms of price per gram of protein.

Original Post by littleshellys:

I would go with Whey. In my opinion and other will differ soy is not good for women. There have been some studies done that link soy to certain types of cancer in women. Other studies have been done that say soy prevents some types of cancers. I lean on the side of caution. Any thing that effects or changes hormone levels in my body I avoid.

 I think that may be near impossible these days, unless you eat only organic. As for the soy studies, there are so much speculative research that sways one way or another. It seems that more often than not, data are inconclusive. Who knows.

Original Post by hawkeyegal:

Original Post by littleshellys:

I would go with Whey. In my opinion and other will differ soy is not good for women. There have been some studies done that link soy to certain types of cancer in women. Other studies have been done that say soy prevents some types of cancers. I lean on the side of caution. Any thing that effects or changes hormone levels in my body I avoid.

 I think that may be near impossible these days, unless you eat only organic. As for the soy studies, there are so much speculative research that sways one way or another. It seems that more often than not, data are inconclusive. Who knows.

Yeah Soy research has been very contradictory as far as I have read. And much of the research against soy has not been conducted well and I believe may have some affiliation to some industries...

But anyway, most of the pros and cons of soy protein has been said. Since I'm vegetarian, I use brown rice protein, which is pretty grainy...but it's not bad. It's also an alternative to soy and whey protein though. It's also a bit expensive... which sucks since my boyfriend i go through it rather quickly...

Original Post by ncxcrnnr:

Had to jump in here. I've used a balance of Soy and Whey proteins over the past several years and have done my fair share of research on the two. It used to be that whey protein tended to have fairly high amounts of cholesterol (my primary reason for at first steering clear). Lately however, whey protein manufacturers have been stripping away the cholesterol while maintaining the low levels of fat and high levels of protein.

Soy protein also has very little fat, zero cholesterol, and high amounts of protein. The downside is that it is a significantly less efficient form of protein. It takes nearly double the amount of soy protein powder to equal the amount of protein in whey protein powder. Additionally, branched chain amino acids (BCAA for short) are far more prevalent in whey protein. BCAA's are known to be the most important form of protein for muscle retention over time.

To summarize, you have to pay more for soy protein, you use it up faster, and it also has higher levels of calories per gram of protein. This used to be worth it when whey protein had elevated levels of cholesterol but these days whey protein is significantly more advanced in nearly every way. 

One needs to do nothing more than examine the figures on whey protein sold per year to the figures on soy protein sold per year to see which one has won out as the best form of protein.

Hope this helps!

Eric

I've done similar research.  I've basically found out that from a fitness standpoint that there are really 2 main proteins that are preferred. 

Whey isolate is one of the best due to its quicker absorption.  It's best use is pre or post workout  but can be taken at any point in the day.  Lots of BCAAs but a short lifespan. 

Casein is a very valuable form of protein but not ideal for pre or post workout due to a long digestive time.  It is very good because it is a rich protein and it keeps working a long time after you take it.  This one is usually fairly expensive.

If you're taking any protein blend supplement, one of these two forms of protein should be at or near the top of the ingredients list.  The one I use is a blend of Whey Isolate and Whey Concentrate. 

 

 

Original Post by weiing:

Original Post by hawkeyegal:

Original Post by littleshellys:

I would go with Whey. In my opinion and other will differ soy is not good for women. There have been some studies done that link soy to certain types of cancer in women. Other studies have been done that say soy prevents some types of cancers. I lean on the side of caution. Any thing that effects or changes hormone levels in my body I avoid.

I think that may be near impossible these days, unless you eat only organic. As for the soy studies, there are so much speculative research that sways one way or another. It seems that more often than not, data are inconclusive. Who knows.

Yeah Soy research has been very contradictory as far as I have read. And much of the research against soy has not been conducted well and I believe may have some affiliation to some industries...

But anyway, most of the pros and cons of soy protein has been said. Since I'm vegetarian, I use brown rice protein, which is pretty grainy...but it's not bad. It's also an alternative to soy and whey protein though. It's also a bit expensive... which sucks since my boyfriend i go through it rather quickly...

Soy Protein vs. Whey Protein

Well to put my two cents into the conversation of soy vs. whey. Soy tends to be the choice of women, because the generally speaking soy tends to regulate a woman's hormones. This happens because of the "phytoestrogens" (quoted), or plant chemicals that act like estrogen.

"Soy protein, long recognized as having cardiovascular benefits, is a rich source of phytoestrogens (isoflavones)." (http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstr act/17/11/2524)

This is said to help women, who often struggle with their hormones (which effects the amount of fat we store). For example if you are a women with Hashimoto's or a hormone disorder, Soy protein is probably good for you in comparison to whey, due to the fact that it will help the regulation of your hormones.  I was using Soy protein when I was younger, and for a girl who had the worst time with her period, I was very regular. 

Increasingly with increase of phythoestrogens, one can either have their hormones regulated, or if ones hormones are already well accustomed to the level of exercise or regulated it may amplify the effects of estrogen (hence you just have more of it):

"...contain phytoestrogens, plant chemicals which act like the hormone estrogen in the body... the risk of estrogen effects, such as appetite changes, bloating, breast swelling or tenderness, general swelling, nausea, and weight gain, may increase." (http://www.drugdigest.org/)

***Please note that this is poorly documented, and considered by medical professionals minor.

However soy protein should never be used if you are allergic to soy, and if you are allergic to peanuts I would highly recommend avoiding it as well (for soy and peanuts are from the same family). Check with your doctor or a dietitian, perhaps get a hormone panel done.

Whey is another animal, which many people have said before me: it has a large BCAA profile (Branch Chain Amino Acid), which are the building blocks of muscle.

Should you use Soy/Whey Protein during weight loss?

In all reality you can use these things to lose weight - its not as if they will "inhibit" weight loss. Many of these are designed to provide weight lifter's a quick increase in amino-acids so that they can take advantage of the precise anabolic moment to gain lean mass.  (Hence why they are all liquids)

Generally speaking as weight loss seekers, one should avoid the long term proteins like calcium casinate (although some would argue that it is good for weight loss).  I would simply say this because it will prolong the digestion of the protein, the thus you will essentially burn less fat.

Original Post by juleroo:

if you're vegan, go for soy.  it's cheaper than the non animal ones (i think...).  i, however, am not, so i use whey: cheaper, easier to come by, and you don't need as much for the same result.  i only use it once in a while so a tub lasts me a long time.

If you suffer hypothyroidism, steer clear of soy.  You can use rice protein as an alternative to whey if you are either vegan or allergic to milk products.

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