Soy protein is a great product to include in the diet to help with weight gain. Merely increasing the amount of protein in your diet, whether it is soy protein or otherwise, will not result in weight gain if you’re still consuming the same amount of calories. In order to gain weight it is necessary to consume more calories than the body needs. The University of Illinois McKinley Health Center suggests adding between 250 and 500 calories to your daily diet for a gradual increase of around half a kilo each week. A simple way to get these calories is by consuming soy protein shakes between your usual meals.
Soy Protein for Vegetarian and Vegan Weight Gain
If the aim is to achieve weight gain in the form of lean muscle, which is usually the kind preferred by body-builders and athletes, then soy protein could be the ideal choice. Most people will be able to choose which type of protein they consume, but vegetarians and vegans may prefer or be limited to soy protein as a non-dairy option. Scientific studies carried out on subjects who trained with weights found that those who consumed soy protein for several weeks gained as much muscle mass as those consuming whey protein so there is no disadvantage to a vegan diet in this respect. In addition, the latest research confirms that soy protein does not lower t-levels.
Soy Protein and Weight Gain with Thyroid Disorders
If you have a thyroid disorder, then a high intake of soy protein can act as an endocrine blocker and disrupt the metabolism of other food you consume. This can also lead to weight gain but it may not be in the form of lean muscle mass. If you do have low thyroid function, you can still eat soy protein as long as you consult your doctor to ensure your thyroid medication is adjusted to take your soy protein intake into account.
How to Increase Calorie Intake with Soy Protein Drinks
A 30g serving of Soy Protein 90 Isolate mixed with water to make a shake will contain around 116kcal. Substituting the water for juice, milk or a non-dairy alternative will quickly increase the calorie count of your shake. For example, a soy protein shake made with 200ml of whole milk will increase the calorie count to approximately 250kcal. Adding soy protein to smoothies is another great way to get additional calories into your diet easily. Blend your soy protein powder with other ingredients like frozen yoghurt, fresh or frozen fruit and nut butters. A soy protein smoothie made with a cup of plain yoghurt, a frozen banana and a tablespoon of nut butter can ramp up the calorie count to over 450kcals. Any of these combinations will work for either weight gain or weight loss as long as it is in line with your calorie goal for the day.
For the best weight gain results, soy protein should be part of a diet or nutrition program designed for muscle gain in conjunction with a strength training program. Drink a shake or smoothie before or after your workout or between meals 2-3 times a day. By ensuring that the diet includes a healthy mix of carbohydrates, un-saturated, plant-based fats and lean proteins weight gains will be in the form of lean muscle mass.