Bodybuilders have always worked towards achieving the best physique. Besides, celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and a few women have the body of Olympic athletes. Meanwhile, exercise increases muscle mass, promotes a healthy metabolism, reduces vulnerability to diseases, and maintains good quality of life.
While diet alone is not enough, the right one can boost growth. Soy foods are the primary protein for bodybuilders. In many studies, soy is an easy way to gain muscle organically, even for vegans or vegetarians. Many have confirmed the intriguing effect of consuming soy foods to gain body mass. Here are eight ways soy can help in organic muscle gain.
Types Of Soy Protein
While there are three types of soy protein: soy protein concentrate is more effective because it contains less fat. In addition, the process removes the moisture leaving 65% protein and carbohydrates in the soybeans. Textured soy protein combines protein concentrates from different soy products like pork, steak, and chicken.
Soy protein isolate is the purest and most refined protein on the market. The concentrates are extracted from defatted beans leaving more than 90% pure protein. Besides, the isolation process also removes the carbohydrates from losing some of their taste.
Benefits of Soy Protein
1) It is a Complete Protein
Soy is a high-quality protein source. The form benefits vegans and vegetarians because it contains the same nutritional value as meat. Soy foods contains nine essential amino acids: acid-histidine, lysine, methionine, threonine, valine, etc. It is a plant-based protein but contains lower methionine and lysine. The best types are black beans, quinoa, pistachios, and lentils.
2) It is a Lean Protein Source
Soy is a source of lean protein. These proteins are available in soy milk and tofu with amino acids to increase energy and endurance during training. In addition, it contains fewer fats and carbohydrates, unlike animal-based proteins. For example, soy isolates are defatted proteins containing quality flour and less than 1% oil. It also reduces intestinal gas and stomach upsets. Therefore, soy is a good source of calories for gaining weight.
3) Abundant in Nutrition
People aiming at muscle gain need to diet on nutrient-rich foods. And one way to reach your goal is to add soy protein to your diet. Soy protein is a dense nutrient for bodybuilders. However, some may add calories and carbs, which fastens the bulking process with boiled soybeans. The protein contains 300 calories, 29 g of protein, and 17g of carbs. It provides 120 calories, 1g carb, 1.5g fat, and 25g protein to the body.
4) It Reduces Cholesterol
Soybean reduces bad cholesterol by utilizing good cholesterol. It works on the plasma (blood serum) cholesterol level. Essentially, it prevents bad fat from storing in cells, blood, and tissues. In addition, it contains less saturated fat and regulates cholesterol levels, unlike animal protein and vitamins in the body.
However, there is a difference between good and bad cholesterol or the effect of good cholesterol on exercise. An individual can have cardiovascular issues from consuming bad cholesterol, but good cholesterol has benefits, including:
- Cell regeneration
- Production of adrenal hormones.
- Regulation of steroidal hormones like vitamin D and estrogen.
- Boosting brain function.
5) Contain Isoflavones
Isoflavones are an excellent source of muscle gain because they are less estrogen. The body produces estrogens, but excess can cause fatigue or bloat. Soybeans are a rich source of isoflavones. This plant-based protein produces phytoestrogen, or plant hormone, which serves as estrogen. In essence, they are not precisely estrogen but perform the same function.
On the other hand, soybeans produce genistein and daidzein, which reduces human estrogen levels by attacking estrogen receptors, the cells’ site, and restoring them. The process stops the natural growth of human estrogen. However, the benefits are limitless, including:
- High estrogen levels in the body cause breast and prostate cancer, which is altered by isoflavones.
- It aids in bone formation and growth.
- It contains antioxidant properties for fighting bad cholesterol.
6) Contains Arginine
The body produces nitric oxide for muscle gain. However, the consumption of arginine acid increases the production of Nitric Oxide. Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that increases muscle strength and endurance. They also reduce stress by removing oxidation-causing free radicals. Oxidative damage causes abnormal function of the cells, especially the protein and lipid cells of bodybuilders. The level of oxidative stress is affected by exercise intensity or duration and individual diet or nutrition.
Soy protein produces sufficient nitric oxide, essential for muscle gain, and is an antioxidant agent that eliminates oxidation stress. The protein also improves the health of muscle cells. In addition, consuming soy with NO metabolizes fat and regulates salt levels. This effect helps bodybuilders maintain the required salt level, strengthen muscles, and increase anabolism and muscle growth. In addition, it relaxes the muscle, thus improving blood circulation and vessels.
7) Soy Offers Antioxidant Protection
Soy contains nitric oxide and arginine, which are suitable for eliminating oxidation stress. These compounds contain antioxidant properties necessary before and after the workout.
Consuming this source of protein reduces muscle damage since it contains sufficient protein for exercise. It also improves muscle recovery. When combined with other supplements like BCAA, it enhances muscle protein synthesis.
8) Gives a Kick to Your Digestive System
Many people suffer from constipation and limited motion because of a lack of fiber. Dietary fiber is essential for bodybuilders and muscle gain. In addition, it makes fecal waste ejection easy by improving smooth digestion and bowel movement. Soy protein contains fiber to boost peristaltic motion making it easy for the body to push food smoothly through the digestive system. You can add soy to your daily routine to extract fiber properties.
The information above can only be complete if you know the amount of soy sufficient for your body as a fitness-conscious person. Soy is the primary source of protein with benefits, but it reduces biological value. In essence, if you’re aiming at muscle gain and replacing other protein sources with soy, you may start experiencing muscle loss due to its lower-quality value. The reduction will be noticeable because it contains calories.
Therefore, increasing your protein intake to maintain lean body mass is only best if you take lower calories. However, protein sources such as whole eggs, red meat, and whey contain more nitrogen and anti-catabolic for muscle gain, unlike soy protein. A bodybuilder can get the required amount of soy protein by consuming soy isolate products. For example, 10 to 30 grams of high-quality soy isolate protein daily increases body mass. Essentially, you can mix a spoon of soy protein isolate with a scoop of whey in a ratio of 2:1 and consume it 2 to 3 times a day.