The benefits of soy protein for athletes

Soy protein is sometimes criticized because some countries, such as Brazil, massively deforest to be able to produce more and more soybeans, but it is an excellent plant-based alternative to animal protein. In addition to its pleasant texture, its nutritional qualities and its benefits, this dehydrated food offers many advantages for the body. That’s why one of the two Mulebar protein bars contains 25% soy. Let’s see what are the benefits of soy protein for athletes.

What is soy protein ?

Soy protein is extracted from the soy bean after pressing, during which the oil is separated to leave only a flour. It therefore contains very little saturated fat, is cholesterol-free and rich in protein (50%). In order to transform the powder into small, very crispy balls, it only goes through mechanical processes. No chemicals are added. The flour is mixed with water to obtain a dough that is pressed. This pressure makes the dough swell and gives it volume.

This explains our choice to include this protein in the recipe of our 42g Mulebar chocolate protein bar, which contains 11g of pea protein (25%).

Mulebar chocolate protein bar with soy protein


The nutritional qualities of soy protein

The main advantage of soy protein is its nutritional value. 50% of its weight is protein. This is a high ratio, which makes it a good complete protein.

On average, 350 calories are required for 100 grams of vegetable protein. Soy protein contains an average of 14g of carbohydrates and 1g of fat per 100g.

It is considered to be very easily digestible. Like pea or egg protein, casein or whey protein, it has an excellent PDCAAS score of 1, while wheat is only 0.25 and beef 0.92. This PDCAAS (Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score) makes it possible to define the quality of a protein according to its amino acid content in relation to our physiological needs and our ability to digest them. We can therefore state that pea protein is of very good quality and a perfect substitute for animal proteins.

The benefits of soy protein for athletes

What are the health and sports performance benefits of soy protein?

Muscle mass gain

It allows you to gain muscle mass. In times of muscle gain, it is important to consume protein, without which the muscle cannot develop and maintain itself. The high protein content of soy protein makes it an exceptional choice among vegetable proteins.

Amino acid intake

It contains all the amino acids that our body needs: leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine and histidine. Amino acids are unitary molecules that form proteins when assembled in a certain order. After water, they make up most of our body’s mass.

Reduced risk of cancer

Studies have shown the effectiveness of soy protein in preventing certain cancers such as prostate and breast cancer. These cancers are much less common in Asia, where soya consumption is widespread.

Soy protein against bad cholesterol

Dehydrated soya protein reduces blood lipid levels. 25 grams consumed on a regular basis can reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

Osteoporosis is a disease that mainly affects post-menopausal women by weakening their bones, which increases the risk of fractures, particularly of the wrists, femur, pelvis and even the vertebrae.

Soy has a favourable impact on the loss of bone density by slowing down the decline in oestrogen production. Soy protein is therefore a major alternative to milk proteins, which are responsible for the development and even the aggravation of osteoporosis. Studies show that the isoflavones contained in soya protein help to strengthen bone density.

Less cardiovascular risk with soy protein

Regular consumption of soy protein appears to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This protein helps to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood, but also the level of triglycerides. Many studies show that replacing animal protein with soy protein contributes to a significant reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

How to consume soy protein?

It is advisable to consume between 25 g and 50 g of soya protein per meal.

Be careful not to consume too much protein (of any kind) on a daily basis, otherwise the body will be obliged to eliminate the surplus by producing uric acid and ammonia, putting strain on the kidneys. If the kidneys are overworked, this can lead to disease. Overconsumption of protein increases the acidity of the body and can lead to inflammations such as tendonitis. This is annoying for someone who thinks they are taking it to improve performance!

Disadvantages of soy protein

Some people are intolerant to this protein, although it is a good alternative for people who are intolerant or allergic to lactose and therefore to milk proteins. Certain symptoms (diarrhoea, bloody stools, vomiting, irritability, colic, swelling of the skin) may occur after the consumption of soya or products containing it.

Like most other protein powders, it should be avoided if you have kidney or liver disease.

Soy protein is therefore a vegetable protein with very interesting nutritional values. As a complete vegetable protein source, it remains an ideal alternative to milk proteins. In particular, it allows sportsmen and women to diversify their protein sources, whether or not they are vegetarian or vegan.

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