By : Saloni Deshmukh Nutrition and Fitness Blogger

Whey Vs Soy: Which protein is right for you?

Without any doubt, protein is a building block of the human body. But scheduling, preparing, and eating enough protein-loaded foods to achieve the nutritional requirements of our body is not a simple job. Protein supplements such as protein powders and biscuits by reputed brands like GRD by Zydus Nutriva are a boon for us go-getters as they are concentrated with the many nutrients needed for building body mass. They are easy to add to the daily meals you already eat, some are even added with other essential nutrients that you may not be consuming via your meals. Drinking a tasty protein shake or gorging on protein biscuits is the fastest way forward to load your body with the nutrients it needs.

However, there is still some confusion in many minds regarding which protein to choose. Whey and soy protein are the two most common protein powders, you should know the differences between them to get an understanding of which one is best suited for the needs of your body as there is not a one size fits all.



What Is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is an animal-based protein made from dairy. Cow’s milk contains two forms of protein: Whey protein and Casein protein. The pasteurization of milk separates it into two different kinds of proteins casein and whey. In the process of making cheese from milk, the Casein protein gets separated out from the curd and leaves Whey protein with water behind. Then water is further processed to remove carbohydrates, fats, and cholesterol giving concentrated Whey isolate. This is isolate contains a higher percentage of pure Whey.


Benefits of Whey Protein


1. It increases strength and muscle mass.

Whey contains branched chained amino acids. This helps your body in muscle building. Whey protein helps in the recovery and growth of muscles which in turn improves athletic performance and body strength.


2. It aids in fat loss.

Protein helps in improving metabolism and lowering the appetite. With the proper diet and exercise, it can help in fat loss maintain lean muscles.


3. It gets digested quickly.

Whey has a fast absorption rate, which makes it easier for our bodies to digest it quickly.


What Is Soy Protein?

Soy protein is a plant-based protein. As the name suggests it is produced from Soybeans. Soybeans are grounded and processed to give the pure protein isolate. Sometimes other nutrients are added to boost its nutritional benefit.


Benefits of Soy Protein


1.It helps in increasing lean muscle.

Soy protein is the only vegan option to Whey protein to help in increasing lean muscle in a similar way.


2. It is plant-based.

Soy protein is a great option for someone who is on a vegan diet.


3. It is rich in Omega-3 Acids 

Soy is high in carbohydrates and fats but carbohydrates it has, are fibrous and fats are unsaturated and source of Omega-3 fatty acids.


Though both the proteins help in muscle growth, there are many differences between Soy and Whey protein. Besides the basic difference from selecting plant-based protein and animal-based protein, there are many other factors you should take into consideration before making a decision.


Key Difference between Whey and Soy Protein


1. Biological Values

The biological value (BV) of a food is described as the level of its digestion, absorption, and utilization by our body. The higher the BV the better it gets utilized by the body. The biological value of Whey protein ranges between 104 and 110, while BV of Soy protein lies in the 70s. Therefore, Whey has the lead in this aspect.


2. Testosterone Levels

Testosterone hormone is responsible for muscle gain and weight management. Some studies (Journal of the American College of nutrition) show that Soy protein may result in lowered testosterone levels. Whereas no negative impact was found with the consumption of Whey protein.


3. Net Protein Utilization factor

Net protein utilization also referred to as NPU talks about the quality of protein. It is defined as the ratio of amino acids converted into proteins to the amino acids consumed. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. The NPU value of Whey protein lies slightly above 90 while the value for Soy protein ranges in the 60s, meaning Whey is the better-quality protein.


4. Taste and Texture

Whey protein has a creamy texture and mild taste and leaves no after-taste. While Soy protein has a grainier and coarse texture and strong nutty taste. Many complain about the bitter aftertaste of Soy.


5. Dietary Restrictions and Preferences

As Whey is an animal-based protein, people following a vegan diet may opt for Soy protein. Also, Whey is made from dairy which may affect your condition if you are lactose intolerant.


6. Nutritional Additives

Body health requires more than just protein consumption and exercise. When we talk about the overall health of the body many vitamins and minerals come into the picture with an important role to play. Some vitamins help the body to break down protein while minerals like Zinc (Zn) helps in muscle building and growth. Protein supplements are often added with many vitamins and minerals.


While purchasing the supplements do check the nutritional facts of the product. For example, GRD Sugar-free Protein is added with 26 essential nutrients to boost immunity, aid weight loss, fibers to improve digestion, and much more. If you check the nutritional facts of the same. It has various vitamins, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iodine, Iron, and Zinc, which enhance the nutritional value of the product.


The below table is for reference purposes only. For detailed facts check:


Take-Home Message

Both the proteins come with their pro and cons but based on the comparison we did, considering different aspects for Whey protein and Soy protein; one should prefer Whey protein over Soy any day. Whey protein is more effective in building muscles and burning fat than Soy. But if you have a special health condition like lactose intolerance, in that case, you may have to settle for Soy protein.


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