Soy protein isolate has become a popular alternative to whey protein thanks to its broad amino acid profile, affordability and benefits related to digestibility and overall health.
Soy protein isolate is also a balanced source of protein for bodybuilders who cannot or will not consume dairy products, such as whey and casein.
Furthermore, modern soy protein isolates are purer than older versions and are quite different from the soy protein concentrates with which many bodybuilders are familiar. Here’s a deeper look at soy protein isolate and the top five products available in this category.
What is Soy Protein Isolate?
Despite the cheap and effective nutrition that soy offers, this food has not always been well accepted by all consumers because of the antinutrients and isoflavones it contains.Bodybuilders in search of fast, reliable protein have often chosen whey over soy, but this has changed as technology has enabled extraction and refinement of soy protein.
To produce soy protein isolate, manufacturers first clean and process the hulled soybeans into flakes. After taking the oil out of the soybean flakes, manufacturers dry the flakes and proceed toward the goal product.
Textured soy protein is commonly added to foods while soy protein concentrate and soy protein isolate may be used as food fillers or consumed directly by athletes, such as bodybuilders, as purified, bioavailable protein.
Benefits of Best Soy Protein Isolate Powders
Studies on soy protein isolate have found several advantages for athletes. For example, remaining isoflavones actually offer antioxidant effects that reduce inflammation and hasten recovery from workouts. Thanks to the balanced amino acid ratio in soy protein isolate, the supplement is ideal for maximizing gains after strength training.While the faster absorption of whey protein can be desirable for certain applications, the more gradual digestion of soy protein isolate provides a longer-lasting supply of amino acids to the muscles.
This makes soy protein isolate equally appropriate for post-workout shakes, meal replacement and pre-sleep feeding to prevent catabolism, or muscle breakdown.
Soy protein isolate also boosts bodybuilding results indirectly through general health support. Health agencies worldwide have performed research showing that soy protein reduces risks of a variety of serious health problems.
For example, heart disease risks may be lowered in regular soy consumers thanks to the ability of isoflavones to decrease levels of LDL cholesterol. Isoflavones also lower risks of several cancers, including those of the prostate, breast and colon. Finally, soy protein has been shown to help protect against osteoporosis, which can have devastating effects on the ability to stay active.
What’s the Cost & is it worth it?
Although prices vary on the best soy protein isolate powders, bodybuilders can generally expect to pay significantly less per pound for soy versus whey.
Extra ingredients, such as added methionine or digestive aids, can further increase results from soy protein isolate but may be expected to raise price somewhat.
Whichever soy protein isolate bodybuilders choose, they will benefit from the ability to consume more protein more frequently, amplifying the results they receive from working hard in the gym.
It is no wonder that soy protein isolate is becoming the protein of choice among not only many bodybuilders but also professional athletes concerned with performance, recovery and overall health.
Here are the top five soy protein isolates available today
1. SPI Natural By International Protein
SPI Natural is completely free of dairy, making it suitable for strict vegetarians and those who cannot consume dairy because of intolerance to lactose or casein.
Because it is free of animal protein, it also has absolutely no cholesterol and is ideal for bodybuilders who are concerned about heart health.
This formula consists of only natural ingredients and contains no artificial flavours, colours or fillers, giving peace of mind to bodybuilders who are interested in natural health support.
International Protein has thoroughly purified SPI Natural, eliminating almost all of the carbohydrates and fat present in the whole soybean.
As with other soy protein isolates, this product is low in total isoflavones, but International Protein has retained some of the genistein and daidzein, which help prevent fat gain and actually block estrogen from its receptors in the body.
With 30 grams of protein, each serving of SPI Natural provides more than the minimum 20 grams of protein recommended by experts for post-workout intake.
Furthermore, ample amounts of amino acids such as arginine and glutamine, the most important ones for building lean mass, are present in SPI Natural. Each 900-gram container of SPI Natural has 30 servings and is available in natural, vanilla and chocolate flavours.
With the attention given to quality, content and purity, it is easy to see why International Protein has become the post-workout choice of many athletes at the professional level. Feedback from consumers has been used by International Protein to perfect its products, ensuring satisfaction for those seeking performance and aesthetic results.
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2. 100% Soy Protein by Optimum Nutrition
Optimum Nutrition presents its own delicious, non-GMO soy protein isolate to bodybuilders who don’t want to give up taste or nutrition when they boost their protein intake. Like other soy protein isolates, this one from Optimum Nutrition is completely free of cholesterol and saturated fat. However, Optimum Nutrition has gone a few steps further to improve the wholeness of its product.
Every serving of 100% Soy Protein contains 25 grams of balanced amino acids to keep the muscles in an anabolic state. At only 120 calories per serving, this product can be perfect for bulking with minimal fat gain or cutting prior to contests. No sugar is present in 100% Soy Protein.
Instead, Optimum Nutrition has sweetened this product with sucralose and acesulfame potassium, two common artificial sweeteners that do not add calories. As a result, the protein is also an excellent choice for low-carbohydrate bodybuilders and those intent on preventing bloating before shows.
Every serving contains 25 percent of the daily requirements for iron, which is essential for blood oxygenation, tissue growth and thyroid hormone production.
All of the eight essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth are present in 100% Soy Protein. The product also contains almost two grams of l-arginine, an amino acid that fuels production of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and increases the pump during workouts. Alkali-processed cocoa is combined with natural and artificial flavors to make Optimum Nutrition’s soy protein isolate delicious as well as effective.
3. Designer Physique Soy Protein Isolate
Soy protein isolate from Designer Physique is free of dairy, adding it to the list of soy protein isolates appropriate for those who avoid milk products because of health concerns, food intolerances or other reasons. This product is also made from non-GMO soybeans, giving it one more advantage amid growing concerns over genetically modified crops. With a similar amino acid profile to that of meat, Designer Physique soy protein isolate provides an alternative to whey without sacrificing protein quality.
The sizable protein dose in one scoop of Designer Physique soy protein isolate speeds metabolism and, according to the company, may help individuals who want to minimize fat gains. Supplemental calcium has been added to Designer Physique soy protein isolate, rounding out the mineral profile of the product, supporting sturdy bones and aiding muscle contraction. The company also states that its product helps the body repair cells and maintain healthy immune function, which is backed by research on the completeness of soy protein isolate.
A small amount of lecithin, a natural emulsifier with benefits for digestion and memory, is included in Designer Physique soy protein isolate to boost the creaminess of shakes made with it. However, this product can also be used in other ways, such as mixed with hot or cold cereal or blended with fruit or fruit juice. No matter how consumers choose to consume this product, they will benefit from the inclusion of convenient and complete protein in their bodybuilding regimen.
4. P Soy Protein Powder by Musashi
Musashi’s P Soy Protein Powder is totally free of dairy, making it suitable for vegans as well as those who have an allergy or intolerance to milk ingredients. The high-quality soy protein isolate used by Musashi includes the full range of amino acids for which soy is famous, making it perfect for fueling development of lean mass after a training session.
Unlike some other soy protein isolate products, P Soy Protein Powder includes added carbohydrate. Maltodextrin, derived from corn and suitable for those with celiac disease or wheat allergies, adds to creaminess when the protein powder is blended and provides fast-acting glycogen replacement, insulin release and energy. The product is sweetened with fructose, which replenishes liver glycogen and helps prevent excessive blood glucose levels, which have been linked to inflammation and decreased testosterone. Sucralose adds to the sweetness of the product without causing bitter flavors or increasing the glycemic load. The carbohydrate content included by Musashi can be especially beneficial for hardgainers, who will get the insulin boost they need to grow without having to add extra carbohydrates to their shakes.
Available in both chocolate and vanilla versions, P Soy Protein Powder offers something for fans of each of the two most popular protein flavors. Having both flavors available offers more flexibility in terms of what users can blend with the product, and a combination of both can create a particular treat. Whether used as a fast breakfast replacement, post-workout shake, between-meal protein source or all three, Musashi’s P Soy Protein Powder is sure to be a welcome addition to any mass-building routine.
5. Megaburn Mega Soy 480gms Non-GMO
Mega Soy combines soy protein isolate with a variety of other ingredients that improve absorption of amino acids, speed recovery and improve resistance to stress. Although soy protein isolate naturally offers a balanced combination of amino acids, addition of extra amino acids may increase the lean mass developed by bodybuilders who consume it. The ingredients of Mega Soy include arginine, histidine, leucine, methionine and other amino acids known to boost growth and repair.
Lactobacillus, fructo-oligosaccharides and papaya add considerable value to Mega Soy. Good gut bacteria, such as lactobacillus, ensure that protein is properly absorbed, and fructo-oligosaccharides provide extra food for these bacteria so they stay in the gut and deliver their digestive benefits. Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that specifically digests protein. As a result, Mega Soy is unlikely to cause the digestive discomfort or gas that some athletes get from high protein intake.
Vitamin C, panax ginseng and gingko biloba help protect the body from stress so that performance stays strong in the gym and recovery is fast afterwards. Vitamin C is crucial for production of collagen and may reduce risks of joint injuries from lifting. Ginseng has been shown to decrease muscle-wasting cortisol and support levels of muscle-building testosterone in the face of stress. Ginkgo boosts blood flow, which will increase pumps, help the body deliver fuel to tissues and potentially boost athletic ability by promoting alertness.
Phenylalanine is used to sweeten Mega Soy, which means that this product can be used by bodybuilders who are on low-carb diets. Because only non-GMO soy protein isolate is used by Megaburn, those who consume this product do not have to worry about possible dangers associated with genetically modified crops. Mega Soy is adaptable in terms of flavor and can be used enjoyably in combination with juice or other beverages.