Whey protein vs. soy protein

There has been many discussions and many opinions as to whether whey or soy protein supplements are better for your body. There are proponents for each type of protein supplement and each have their own reasons for standing behind their favorite product. Here we will discuss the break down of whey versus soy and how they compare to each other nutritionally. Then you, the consumer can decide which product is for you. We will warn you ahead of time. It is going to be a hard decision to make unless you are vegan then of course soy protein is the way to go!

First we will discuss the protein efficiency ratio of both products. This measurement is what the FDA uses to put the amount of protein that is in food on the labels that you see in the stores. The protein efficiency ratio measures how well a food product is used by the human body for muscle building and growth. According to the FDA, any protein that has a ratio over 2.7 is an excellent source of protein. So how did these two products measure up? Whey protein measured at 3.2 and soy protein 2.2 so in this test whey protein definitely wins out.

Next we will look at the biological value of the two proteins. This measurement rates how well each protein is digested by the body and how much of it is available for use. On this scale the higher the number the protein has the better it is for the body. Soy protein came in at 74 while whey protein came in at 104. Protein utilization will be measured next. This measurement takes into consideration how much of the amino acids of the product is available by the body to convert into protein. When these two products were measured Soy protein came in at 61 and whey came in at 92. Whey is the definite winner in this comparison. Now let’s look at the protein digestibility factors. This measurement looks at the amount of protein that is digested and available for use by the body. In this test soy protein was at 95% and whey protein was 99%. In this one, the two proteins are about the same.

Let’s take a look at some other factors here. We need to take a look at which product has more glutamine. Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid. This amino acid is responsible for helping to transport nitrogen to the tissues of the body as well as increase muscle mass. Soy protein won out with 10.5 grams of glutamine while whey protein only had 4.5 grams. Arginine is another non-essential amino acid. It is responsible for building muscle mass and relieving both physical and mental fatigue. There is even some research now that looks like arginine may be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and improving the metabolism of fats in the body. In this comparison soy protein has 7.6 grams and whey protein has 2.9 grams. So soy protein definitely has the edge in both of these factors.

As you can see above both of the proteins have areas where they excel. They also have some areas where they fall a bit short. The most important thing to remember here is that both of these types of protein are excellent sources to use for muscle building. It is up to the consumer or muscle builder to choose as to which protein fits their individual needs. There is no clear winner here while whey does indeed rate higher in several of the comparisons, soy protein has some excellent benefits that makes it a good contender to consider for muscle building and for weight loss programs.

Last updated on Sep 21st, 2009 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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