Do you want to increase muscle mass? Is soy protein enough to gain muscle? Does eating soy bring down testosterone levels? Is there a right way to eat soybean for gaining?This article will answer all your questions. Read up to find out.
It can be pretty tough to find a natural protein source if you don’t eat meat. Whether you have a meat allergy or you are vegetarian or vegan. What can you do in such a situation? It might seem like boosting up supplements is the only option, but that’s far from the truth.
No matter how much protein a supplement might give your body, natural proteins have unique benefits, and supplements alone could never live up to it.
We will explore a new source of protein for you, soybean. Soybean is the only class A kind of plant-based protein. Meaning it contains all essential amino acids required by your body. If your diet is a no-meat one, soybean might as well be a godsend for you.
This article will help you understand why, how, and when to take soybean for muscle gain.
Let’s start with the most asked question about soybean:
Is Soybean Effective As A Whole Protein?
Soybean is a well-known natural protein source. It is also known as a complete protein. Why? Because soybean comes with all the essential amino acids which our body cannot produce.
A whole protein is such a source of protein that provides you with all the essential amino acids required to retain muscle. Most plant sources fail to provide you with all the EAAs. However, soybean is not one of them.
Since soybean is a whole protein, it is the first choice of many vegetarian fitness professionals. However, some people question the efficacy of soybean as a complete protein and the only source of protein for muscle gain.
It is important to note here that most of the claims are nothing but myths spread due to misinformation. It’s time we debunk the myths and develop a thorough understanding.
To sum it up, soybean is rich in all essential amino acids. Meaning, soybean is packed with the nine amino acids that the human body can’t produce. So yes, it IS a complete source of protein.
Why Do Fitness Freaks Have Mixed Thoughts About Soybean?
Simple explanation? Misinformation. The saying, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”, fits perfectly in this scenario.
The problem is, people are aware of some specific concepts, which they keep applying everywhere. Now, this application may or may not be appropriate. In most cases, it isn’t.
There are two main reasons because of which soybeans face harsh backlash in the fitness industry. We have discussed them in detail.
Phytoestrogen can increase feminity.
Soy contains isoflavones, also known as phytoestrogen. They are plant-based biological compounds that are similar to human estrogen in structure and function. The difference is, a phytoestrogen is less potent.
When you consume soy within the recommended dosage, phytoestrogens have little to no effect on your body.
However, bodybuilders claim that consuming soybean every day can lead to increased estrogen levels.
Estrogen is the female sex hormone responsible for fat storage. Consequentially, men may develop man-boobs, low libido, low testosterone, and a high-fat percentage.
Studies show mixed results concerning this claim.
Here’s the catch:
According to a study done on rodents to assess the effect of soybean phytoestrogen, the researchers concluded that a person would need to consume at least a kilogram of soybean every day to see the impact of plant estrogen on their body.
So, it is safe to say that unless you’re consuming soy way above the recommended limit, you’re not going to develop man-boobs.
Low levels of Leucine
Out of the nine amino acids, three are called branched-chain amino acids, Aslo known as BCAA. The BCAAs are essential for bodybuilding.
Leucine is one of the three branched-chain amino acids. It plays a crucial role in muscle formation. Why? Leucine has a direct effect on protein synthesis taking place in muscle tissues.
Leucine acts as a switch that kicks off muscle gain.
The problem with soybean is, it has relatively low levels of BCAAs, especially Leucine.
Bodybuilders theorize that because of the low concentration of Leucine, the soybean doesn’t aid muscle gain.
This statement is partially true. Yes, soybean is low in Leucine compared with other protein sources, and it might affect the muscle gain process.
But, Leucine is not the only factor responsible for muscle formation. You need all the essential amino acids in an adequate amount to build muscle.
You can mix up soybean with high leucine foods like chickpeas and navy beans. It will fill the gaps effectively.
Asian cuisines are incomplete without soy protein. From tofu to tempeh, and from miso to soy sauce, Asians eat soy products in everything. So, does soy give them fat deposits or hormonal problems? No.
The key is, knowing how to eat correctly.
How And Why Soybean Helps To Gain Muscle?
As I have said earlier, soybean is a complete protein. It is rich in all 9 EAAs, which are the core raw materials needed to build muscle.
When you eat soy, your body digests it to form EAAs, blood transports them to the muscle, and your muscle uses them up during protein synthesis to create more proteins and provide energy.
So, essentially consuming soybeans leads to muscle gain. There’s no other catch.
Is Soybean Alone Enough For Muscle Gain?
Not just soybean, no protein source alone is enough for muscle gain. It would be best if you mixed up your proteins for proper amino acid intake and nutrition.
It’s simple: one protein source is rich in some particular amino acids, while the other is rich in different amino acids. Switching between your protein sources will help you to maintain an adequate supply of all amino acids.
If you stick to one type of protein source for all your amino acid requirements, chances are, you will become deficient in some amino acids. And the deficiency will hinder muscle formation.
To sum it up, soybean alone is not enough for muscle formation. You need to incorporate other high-protein foods in your diet for best results.
When Should You Take Soybean?
If you want a buffed body like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you need to consume the appropriate protein at the right time.
Yes, there is a right time for each type of protein.
For example, BCAA supplements are an excellent choice for pre-workout food as they boost instant energy. Similarly, soybean is ideal for a post-workout meal. Since soybean is rich in EAAs, it helps with muscle repair and prevents muscle loss.
To get the best results with soybean, you should take it in intervals instead of gulping down a day’s worth of protein in one go.
Consuming soybean in bulk may cause health problems. Divide your soybean into 4-6 portions and eat it throughout the day.
However, if you take soy supplements, you can take them 30 mins before working out. The high Arginine concentration of soy protein increases blood flow and reaches the muscles faster.
We have seen the why and when of soybean. And we’re back to our initial question, how to eat soybean for bodybuilding? Here’s how:
How To Take Soybean For Bodybuilding?
There are some things you should keep in mind to get the best output from soybean consumption.
For bodybuilding, you need to maintain a caloric surplus. While eating in excess, it becomes difficult to look into the daily intake of protein. As a result, sometimes, you end up overdosing on protein.
Now, if you eat too many proteins, your body wouldn’t know what to do with it. You will undergo gluconeogenesis and increase carbs inside your body. The carbs will eventually get deposited as fat.
We don’t want this, do we?
The key to eating soybean is moderation. The daily recommended dose for protein is .25 grams per kg body weight.
As long as you stay within the recommended dose, you are good to go.
The next thing to keep in mind that I have already said before is to eat soy multiple times a day instead of one large meal. You are likely to do more harm than good if you bulk up on soybean.
The third thing is, mix up soybean with other protein sources. You can’t eat soybean all day, every day and expect to build a bulky body.
As long as you stick to these rules, you’re ready to build your goal body in no time.
Popular foods with soy protein:
Soybean consumption doesn’t have to be boring. There are many food sources rich in soy protein. Let’s have a look at them and see what they have to offer.
- Soya Chunks: Uncooked soya chunks offer a solid 52 grams of protein per 100 grams.
- Soya Beans: Boiled soybean legumes have 16.6 grams of protein per 100 grams.
- Soy Milk: milk derived from soybeans gives 5 grams of protein per 250ml
- Tofu: This low-calorie fermented food provides 8 grams of protein per 100 grams.
- Tempeh: Tempeh gives 19 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Is There Any Such Thing As “too Much Soybean”?
Anything above the recommended dose is harmful to the body, even if it is healthy in small amounts. Soybean is no different. 20-50 grams of protein is sufficient for a person depending upon their body weight.
Consuming too much protein can lead to fat deposition and other side effects that we have already discussed. I won’t go into details. Keeping it short, anything in excess is a cause of problems.
So, it is better to prevent it and keep your intake in check.
Soybean is an excellent plant-based protein. It aids the bodybuilding process significantly. As long as you take it in moderation and mix it up with other proteins, your body goals aren’t far away.
Some myths propagate in the industry about the efficacy of soybean as a protein source. They’re merely myths born out of misinformation.
I have explained all you need to know about soybeans in this article.