Using soy protein as a supplement can be a real advantage to bodybuilders looking to gain lean muscle mass. Protein is an essential part of our diet. Soy protein is considered to be a complete protein and the only vegetable source to contain all the essential amino acids that our bodies need for general health. Afterall, muscle is made from protein and you need to make sure you eat enough protein to maintain and build healthy muscles. In fact not eating enough protein can hinder your gains no matter how hard you train. Enter Soy Protein.
Is Soy Protein Effective for Building Muscle?
A lot has been written about soy protein being linked to reduced t-levels. This hormone plays an important part in building muscle mass but the latest research confirms that taking soy protein does not lower t-levels and it will not have a negative impact on building muscle mass.
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that that subjects who consumed whey protein had an earlier increase in amino acids in the blood after exercise. However, the level of amino acids in the blood remained even higher for longer in those who took soy protein. This shows that the body digests soy protein at a slower rate than whey protein but still gives good results. The amino acids arginine and leucine play an important part in muscle formation and hypertrophy. Soy protein contains less leucine than whey protein but is far richer in arginine. This makes soy protein slightly less effective at rebuilding muscle but it will still yield results.
For best results is recommended that a 2:1 ration of whey to soy protein is taken two – three times a day to enhance muscle building. Of course if you are body building on a vegan diet, or have a dairy intolerance, soy protein is a great alternative to whey protein.
How Much Soy Protein Do I Need to Take to Build Muscle?
If Soy Protein is your choice of protein, it is recommended that you should be consuming one gram of soy protein per pound (lb) of bodyweight each day in your diet. In order to build muscle you should be aiming to increase that to around 1.5-2 grams of soy protein per pound of bodyweight daily. This will give you faster gains in size and strength.
You will also get better results if you spread out your soy protein consumption evenly over the day. Rather than trying to meet your requirement over two or three meals try and spread it out over five or more. This way your body will have a steady supply of amino acids available for growth and repair. It is also easier for your body to digest smaller, more frequent meals than larger portions. An easy way to achieve this would be to drink a shake made with Soy Protein Isolate 90 after a workout. One 30g serving of Soy Protein Isolate 90 provides 27g of protein so is a very effective way to supplement the protein content of your regular meals.