The Secret of Soy

It's not just for "granola" dudes anymore.
Ismael Roldan


With the overwhelming evidence at your disposal, now is the time to make soy a part of your nutritional regimen. Don’t be one of the misinformed masses when it comes to soy protein. Instead, get an edge on your bodybuilding brethren with what may be the best-kept supplement secret among serious lifters.


Soy protein is similar to whey in rate of digestion and absorption — fast. Like whey, soy boosts protein synthesis and insulin levels, and its amino acid profile enhances whey’s. For maximum benefit, consider taking soy and whey at these times. 

1. First thing in the morning A fast-digesting protein like soy will give your body a source of aminos to burn, therefore sparing your muscles. Soy’s arginine content will also help to raise NO levels. Take 10-20g of soy protein powder mixed with 10-20g of whey protein powder as soon as you wake up.

2. Immediately before workouts Getting in a fast-digesting protein like soy will help to prevent muscle breakdown during training and boost protein synthesis immediately afterward. Since it boosts NO levels, it will maximize blood flow to working muscles. Take about 10g of soy protein powder mixed with 10g of whey protein powder within 30 minutes before workouts.

3. Immediately after workouts Research shows that taking a fast-digesting protein such as soy right after workouts boosts protein synthesis and muscle growth. Plus, soy’s antioxidant properties can enhance recovery. Take 20g of soy protein powder mixed with 20g of whey protein powder soon after training.


Soy protein obviously comes from the soybean. But soybeans aren’t pure protein — they contain a good amount of fat (albeit the healthy kind) and carbs. To produce a concentrated form of soy protein powder, the majority of these fats and carbs must be removed. Soy protein is typically manufactured from defatted soybean flakes or flour. You can find soy protein in powders in one or both of the following forms. 

SOY CONCENTRATE SC is usually about 70% protein, with the rest being carbs and fat. It is manufactured by placing soybean flakes or flour through either a water or alcohol extraction process to remove some of the carbs. Next, a drying and grinding process produces soy protein concentrate powder. It can cause gas in some people, due to the indigestible carbs it often contains.

SOY ISOLATE SI is made from soy concentrate that is further processed to remove most of the fat, carbs and gas-producing factors. It contains more than 90% protein.