You have probably heard the argument about soy and tofu products. You can find as many for soy protein supplementation as you can websites against using it. One of the biggest is that it enhances estrogen levels in men. This is not exactly the whole truth. It’s always a good idea to do a bit of investigative work before implementing any advice in your routine.
Soybeans have many names but can safely be referred to as legumes. They have been a food staple in East Asia for well more than a millennium. Today, of course, they are cultivated in countries around the world.
There are tons of soy products geared toward bodybuilders and vegans available. From meat replacement food to nutritional supplements you can find them in just about everything. There are three top contenders in the soy crop industry.
- The United States contributed about 32% of the world’s production in 2016.
- Brazil fell in just behind at 31%.
- Argentina placed in third for 18% of global production in the same year.
Soybeans have been called fake protein and accused of causing cancer. These myths are general statements taken out of context. They are often quoted to disallow soy as an adequate protein source and sell some other product instead. It is important to be an informed consumer to stay ahead of marketers.
Health Beneficial Beans
Most experts agree that soy can be an effective method of protein supplementation. There are many scientific trials to back this information up. It is essential to evaluate your health goals and get to the heart of the truth before making any decisions. A group from the University of Guelph published an eye-opening report on the health benefits of soy (1).
- Soy is an effective source of high-quality
- It can help protect you from Type II Diabetes.
- Soy can assist in reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It can be used as a co-therapy to improve hypertension.
- Consuming soy offers a certain degree of glycemic control (2).
Another group found that soy is lower than meat in specific aminos. It is also an excellent source of complete protein (3). It also discovered that supplementation with these products can lower cholesterol and breast cancer incidence in women, especially post-menopausal.
The University of Tokushima proved that muscle wasting can be prevented through soy supplementation (4). They also found it can help prevent muscle atrophy in the elderly. While casein was more effective, the results from most forms of soy were extremely positive.
Your body simply doesn’t care where your aminos come from so long as it can create complete proteins from them. It is important to look into nutritional guidelines from specific food if you’re going to veg completely out. Design a dietary plan which includes all the vital nutrients you need to meet your physical goals.
Soy & Estrogen
The myth that soy raises estrogen levels in men is told in just about all health circles. Some say it can, therefore, compromise testoid hormone maintenance as well. A few rumors even claim it will cause you to grow man boobs. There are several variables and not all cases are alike.
PubMed published an update on the effects of soy on your health. The isoflavones from it are similar to the chemical structure of estrogen. They are not, in fact, considered equal. Studies show that soy does not act the same within all men. Many do not demonstrate any effects on testosterone levels at all.
Soy supplementation was found to promote arterial health and improve hot flashes in females experiencing or past menopause. It was shown to reduce both LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. Replacing a certain amount of protein with soy can reduce fat intake while increasing protein (5).
A group form the St. Catherine University evaluated several sets of studies from the NCBI databases. They reviewed all those concerned with guys who consumed soy isolate protein, isoflavone extracts, and/or soy food. They found no noteworthy negative effects from dietary soy intake on bioavailable testosterone concentrations (6).
The University of Australia examined soy consumption on the development of prostate cancer. The men who participated either had an increased risk or had been positively diagnosed with it. The investigation showed that soy intake reduced the risk for prostate cancer (7). This evidence has spurred deep investigation into soy supplementation as a co-therapy.
While soy is an excellent source of protein, it must also high quality. This is greatly dependent on cultivation, harvesting, and processing. Beware of misleading labels and marketing strategies. There are numerous soy and tofu products available. Some are packaged for cooking and others are offered in protein powder form. Know exactly where your product comes from.
- Visit the company website to educate yourself.
- Find out where and how the soy is sourced.
- Check into how it is processed.
- Read the label and take note of the ingredients.
- Regard inflammatory claims with a grain of salt.
You should find soy products which meet your specific dietary and fitness goals. For example, silken tofu may be used to create sweet desserts. On the other hand, the firm style makes an excellent stir-fry. There are soy products for just about any palate.
Don’t count out mixing your protein sources unless you are hardcore vegan. You might drink a soy protein shake with breakfast and eat a flame grilled ribeye for lunch. Your body will break all of it down to bare basic aminos then reconstruct it into lean, mean muscle.