Soy Versus Whey Protein - Soy Vs. Whey Protein - Which is Better?




Soy versus whey protein. The battle between soy protein and whey protein as a muscle building compound has been raging for a few years now.



Here at Middle Management, we lay out the facts so that you can make an informed decision on which protein source, soy protein or whey protein, fits your muscle building and fat burning needs.

Of course, if you are a vegetarian, soy is the best choice. For everyone else, the decision may prove more difficult.

We will examine the following criteria as we examine the soy vs. whey controversy:

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While both types of protein present general health benefits, we want the protein that gives us the largest dose of usable muscle building protein and essential amino acids. This will help increase a maintain lean muscle mass, which will also aid fat burning.

As you know, we are looking for hard facts and data to make decisions about our bodies. Therefore, without further delay, the facts about soy versus whey protein.

 

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A Quick Note - Protein and Nitrogen

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Amino acids consist of four elements - carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen.

All three of the macro nutrients contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Unlike carbohydrates and fats,however, protein also contains nitrogen.

This unique nature of proteins allows us to utilize the measures below to make decisions. Additional Facts About Protein


Soy Versus Whey - Which has a Better Biological Value?

The Biological Value (BV) method uses nitrogen retention quantify protein quality. The Biological Value provides a measure of the amount of nitrogen retained from consumption of protein compared to the amount of nitrogen consumed when a person is in a "fasted" state (the stomach is completely empty).

The Biological Value indicates both how digestible the protein is and how available the protein is for use by the body. Biological value began as a percentage - A whole egg rated at 100% nitrogen absorbed.

As time progressed, protein powders became better sources of protein, exposing a flaw in the BV measurement system. Today, the number is on an adjusted scale such that a whole egg is has a BV of 100. This allows some processed proteins to have biological values greater than 100. Obviously, the higher the number, the better.

How do the BV values compare in the soy versus whey protein debate?

Round 1 - Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy Vs. Whey Protein BV
Soy Protein Concentrate 74
Whey Protein 104

Round 1 of the Soy Protein versus Whey Protein debate goes to...

Whey Protein.


Soy Versus Whey - Which has a Better Net Protein Utilization?

Net Protein Utilization (NPU) is the amount of amino acids converted to protein inside the body versus the amount of amino acids from protein eaten.

The NPU measures the ratio of protein consumed through a person's diet, to the amount of nitrogen emission.

The value varies from 0 to 100 and is often interpreted as a percentage. A value of 100 means that the body uses 100% of the protein provided. Conversely, a value of 0 signifies that none of the nitrogen converts to protein in the body. Therefore, the higher the number, the better the protein.

How do the NPU values compare in the soy versus whey protein debate?

Round 2 - Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy Vs. Whey Protein NPU
Soy Protein Concentrate 61
Whey Protein 92

Round 2 of the Soy Protein versus Whey Protein debate goes to...

Whey Protein.


Soy Versus Whey - Which has a Better Protein Efficiency Ratio?

The protein efficiency ratio measures the gain in body weight divide by the weight of the protein consumed for infant laboratory rats.

The FDA used the protein efficiency ratio to derive the recommended daily allowance of protein seen on food labels.

Some concerns with PER include the fact that rats utilize protein differently than humans, leading into some calculation errors. These errors cause a slight overestimation of animal protein and a slight underestimation of plant protein.

Also, PER measures only growth, and says nothing of maintenance. As a result, it might not be the best measure of the quality of protein for those of us attempting to burn fat.

How do the NPU values compare in the soy versus whey protein debate?

Any protein having greater than a 2.7 PER calculation is considered an excellent source of protein.

Round 3 - Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy Vs. Whey Protein PER
Soy Protein Concentrate 2.2
Whey Protein 3.2

Round 3 of the Soy Protein versus Whey Protein debate goes to...

Whey Protein.


Soy Versus Whey - Which has a Better Amino Acid Score?

The amino acid score (AAS) is fast, consistent, and inexpensive. It measures essential amino acids in a protein compared to a reference protein. The AAS rates the protein on the most limiting amino acid found in the protein under consideration.

One limitation of the AAS is that it does not consider the digestibility of the protein.

A value greater than 1 indicates that the protein being considered contains a greater amount of essential amino acids than humans require.

How do the AAS values compare in the soy versus whey protein debate?

Round 4 - Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy Vs. Whey Protein AAS
Soy Protein Concentrate 0.99
Whey Protein 1.14

Round 4 of the Soy Protein versus Whey Protein debate goes to...

Whey Protein.


Soy Versus Whey - Which has a Better Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score?

The protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) makes a correction for the limitation of the simple amino acid score described above.

Like the AAS, the PDCAAS measures the It measures essential amino acids in a protein compared to a reference protein. The reference protein meets the essential amino acid requirements of humans, and is given a PDCAAS of 1.0.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) set out to address the concerns about some of the measurements above with the PDCAAS measurement. As a result, many health experts recognize PDCAAS as the standard measure of protein quality.

This method is not without flaws, however. In particular, in 1990, the FAO/WHO decided that proteins having a PDCAAS higher than 1.0 would be rounded down to 1.0 to indicate that it meets or exceeds the requirements of the average human.

These essential amino acid needs of the average human may be significantly lower than the needs of bodybuilders, weight lifters, and other highly active individuals.

Because of the rounding down of proteins that have scores greater than 1.0, there is no way to discern differences between proteins with a PDCAAS score of 1.0 other than to refer back to the other measures that PDCAAS hoped to eliminate.

As indicated below, this lack of clarity is of particular concern in the soy versus whey protein debate.

How do the PDCAAS values compare in the soy versus whey protein debate?

Round 5 - Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy Vs. Whey Protein PDCAAS
Soy Protein Concentrate 1.00
Whey Protein 1.00

Round 5 of the Soy Protein versus Whey Protein debate goes to...

Push.


Soy Versus Whey - Which has a Better Protein Digestibility Percentage?

The protein digestibility percentage (PD%) measures the percentage of protein eaten that is absorbed in the body.

Protein digestibility is the PD component of the PDCAAS above.

It is interesting to note that, while the FDA is replacing PER as the standard measure of protein quality with PDCAAS due to differences between humans and laboratory rats, the PD% is determined by evaluating laboratory rats.

How do the PD percentages compare in the soy versus whey protein debate?

Round 6 - Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy Vs. Whey Protein PD%
Soy Protein Concentrate 95%
Whey Protein 99%

Round 6 of the Soy Protein versus Whey Protein debate goes to...

Whey Protein.


Soy Versus Whey - Which has More Glutamine?

Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid. Your body uses glutamine to transport nitrogen to your tissues.

Glutamine also increases muscle cell volume through cellular hydration. Glutamine supplementation also increases growth hormone levels, which leads to the muscle using fatty acids for fuel rather than blood sugar.

Those looking to build muscle should consume 3 to 5 grams of glutamine, 3 times per day.

It is obvious that we may prefer the protein that has the highest concentration of glutamine.

How do our contestants stack up in the soy versus whey protein battle?

Round 7 - Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy Vs. Whey Protein Glutamine per 100g of Protein
Soy Protein Concentrate 10.5g
Whey Protein 4.9g

Round 7 of the Soy Protein versus Whey Protein debate goes to...

Soy Protein.


Soy Versus Whey - Which has the Most Essential Amino Acids?

Essential amino acids (EAA) are not produced in the body. You must obtain these essential amino acids through your diet.

You must have the right combination of non-essential and essential amino acids in sufficient quantities in order to build muscle. Therefore, a comparison of the essential amino acid profile is a necessary component in the soy versus whey protein comparison.

This comparison provides additional clarity on the amino acid scores (AAS and PDCAAS) listed above.

How do the essential amino acid profiles compare in the soy versus whey protein comparison?

Round 8 - Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy Vs. Whey Protein mg EAA per g of Protein
Amino Acid Soy Protein Whey Protein
Isoleucine (BCAA) 49mg 54mg
Leucine (BCAA) 82mg 89mg
Valine (BCAA) 48mg 82mg
Histidine 19mg 16mg
Lysine 64mg 88mg
Methionine 26mg 32mg
Phenylalanine 38mg 32mg
Threonine 38mg 65mg
Tryptophan 14mg 22mg
Totals 378mg 480mg

Round 8 of the Soy Protein versus Whey Protein debate goes to...

Whey Protein.


Soy Versus Whey - Which has More Arginine?

Arginine is a non-essential amino acid that helps ward off both mental and physical fatigue.

Arginine also helps to facilitate muscle growth through promoting the release of both growth hormone and insulin in the body during intense exercise such as bodybuilding.

Arginine has become popular recently due to its ability to produce nitric oxide, which increases blood flow, and thus delivers more nutrients to the muscles and promoting growth.

An additional benefit of arginine is that it may lower LDL cholesterol levels in the bloodstream and increases lipid (fat) metabolism.

Who wins the soy versus whey protein battle in Round 9?

Round 9 - Soy vs. Whey Protein

Soy Vs. Whey Protein Arginine per 100g of Protein
Soy Protein 7.6g
Whey Protein 2.9g

Round 9 of the Soy Protein versus Whey Protein debate goes to...

Soy Protein.


Soy Versus Whey Protein - You Be The Judge

We examined several criteria in the soy versus whey protein debate. In general, the facts considered here are in favor of whey protein, especially if you choose to supplement your protein intake with a glutamine supplement and arginine supplement.

However, that is not to say that it is not a good idea to supplement with soy protein. Soy protein is shown to be an excellent source of protein and can be used effectively in bodybuilding supplementation, particularly for those who are vegetarians or lactose intolerant.

Soy Vs. Whey ProteinProtein Type
CriteriaSoy ProteinWhey ProteinBetter Protein
Biological Value (BV)74104Whey Protein
Net Protein Utilization (NPU)6192Whey Protein
Protein Efficiency Ration (PER)2.23.2Whey Protein
Amino Acid Score (AAS)0.991.14Whey Protein
Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS)1.001.00Push
Protein Digestibility Percentage (PD%)95%99%Whey Protein
Glutamine per 100g of Protein10.5g4.9gSoy Protein
mg EAA per g of Protein378mg480mgWhey Protein
Arginine per 100g of Protein7.6g2.9gSoy Protein




Get Involved in the Soy Protein Versus Whey Protein Debate!

Based on many of the emails we have received, many of you have strong opinoins on your favorite type of protein. So, if you have an opinion, or think that we are wrong, then let us know!

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What Other Middle Managers™ Have Said

Click below to see the opinions and comments from other Middle Managers™...

Soy protein: cholesterol free! 
When my wife started to take whey protein to help her with her diabetes, the carbs were low, but the cholesterol was 22% of the daily value. When she …

Allergies 
The Soy protein would be less toxic - due to having less allergen specific impact - and befit those who have milk allergies. There is no well specified …

Phytoestrogens 
The problem with worrying about phytoestrogens is that they exist in almost all plants (fruits and veggies), nuts, seeds, beans, etc. Not to mention that …

Which Protein is Good for You and for Earth  
I've been using non-GMO Soy Proteins and like it just as much. Whey protein comes from whey which comes from cows. Cows feed on vegetation. So why not …

The Confusion of Phytoestrogens 
This is to clarify for all that are so worried about phytoestrogens. If your so concerned about estrogen in your body, then you better reduce your body …

The problem with Soy... 
The problem with soy protien is that it has Phyto-estrogens that behave like ESTROGEN in your body, which is cleary the opposite of what anyone trying …

PDCAAS 
As per few documents the PDCAAS value of Whey is 1.15 and PDCAAS of soy is 0.84. But you mention that both have same value of 1. Please confirm it.

Why Not Try This Combination? 
Why not mix your whey powder in soy milk (I can't drink any of the stuff in water), tons of arguments for both but no need to choose one or the other. …

Question for All 
can i post?? i've had the best results with a combination of both whey and soy protein, and some eggs. love eggs. eggs are life. but i noticed that …

Too Much Soy 
Soy protein in the levels that many people injest it is way to much. It has been proven that soy slows the thyroid which can disrupt many body functions …

Whey, All the Way 
While whey and soy are both good as protein sources, soy has a lot of phytoestrogens - plant chemicals that act as estrogens in the body. Some people say …

Soy vs. Whey 
Whey is good for building and bulking. It is hard to find, but soy protein with FIBER is better for losing weight. Soy without fiber? May as well use …

Whey Protein and Fat 
Whey Protein contains fats that have been proven to contribute to heart attacks and strokes. Look at the whey labels and you will see they contain relatively …

Ripped Ralph Not rated yet
The two categories where soy beats whey protein are the most important to me personally. (Fat burning, warding off mental and physical fatigue as well …

Hmmm Not rated yet
Although whey comes out on top, I like the people who posted saying why not have both, or that you should get protein from many sources. Who is to say …

Whats from Nutrilite then? Not rated yet
Hi. I heard that the largest food supplement organisation Nutrilite makes its protein powder from the soy isolates and gets 7 of the 9 essential amino …

Soy Not rated yet
I used to use whey all the time to bulk up, but in 2009, i had a severe intestinal disease, after which whey became a lot more difficult to digest comfortably. …

RLFLINT Not rated yet
Because of the higher amount of glutamine and arginine it sounds as though soy protein would benefit those taking protein during extended workout or endurance …

Bubba Belly Not rated yet
Would the estrogen levels in each of the foods source be interesting to list?

Andrew Not rated yet
Hello I have been taking soy protein for 2 years. I converted to soy from whey after discovering the how bad milk and milk products were for me. …

Soy inhibits your ability to absorb minerals  Not rated yet
There are many more reasons to avoid soy than just the phyto-estrogens... It also inhibits your ability to absorb minerals ... See mercola.com for more …

"The China Study" by Collin Campbell Not rated yet
A very complete book "The China Study" by Collin Campbell is a complete evaluation of animal protein and plant protein. The conclusions are that increased …

Soy is Better Not rated yet
Soy is the healthier approach, notice whey beat soy in most of the building categories and soy beat whey in the healthy categories, soy all the way either …

BV Values Off? Not rated yet
BV value is off--- The +BV value test involved mice and their biological systems need to make fur was involved, Humans don't make fur -- soy scores …

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Both Not rated yet
Supplementing both proteins into my diet have worked much better than either alone, and have given me the best of both and more nutrients.

Does it really matter? Not rated yet
So, if whey is from cows, is it from milk? and if so, wouldn't it be better to get a wide variety of proteins, rather than only one type. if so, then …

New Study 2004 Not rated yet
Greg Paul, Ph.D., director of health and nutrition for The Solae Company says: "The results of this study show that soy protein is just as effective …

The Combo Not rated yet
I've had the best results when consuming large amounts of whey protein in large amounts of soy milk.

Watch Out For Allergies Not rated yet
Many adults are allergic to whey and milk (and may not be aware). Soy may come out ahead for you if it is not taxing your system with an allergic load. …

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