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How do I Choose the Best Soy Protein Drink?

T. E. Snow
T. E. Snow

As one of the most essential elements of human health, an adequate amount of protein is often missing from many people's daily diet. A soy protein drink can be one of the healthiest ways to incorporate supplemental protein. Not only is protein necessary for healthy muscle growth and maintenance, it is highly important as a supplement for bodybuilders, performance and endurance athletes, and anyone on a weight-loss program. Protein drinks and shakes could be an excellent way to add protein to your diet. Choosing the best soy protein drink typically involves understanding the different types of protein drinks and what you may be using them for.

The protein in drinks and shakes typically comes from four sources: milk-derived whey, milk-derived casein, egg, and soy. Soy is one of the best sources of protein because it is a complete protein, contains all the essential amino acids for human nutrition, is one of the least expensive sources, and is also safe for consumption by vegans and vegetarians. While all excellent sources, whey, casein, and egg can occasionally be hard to digest and are all animal-derived, thereby making them unsuitable for people with lactose intolerance or special dietary requirements.

Soy beans.
Soy beans.

Choosing a soy protein drink can be challenging, if only because of the sheer number of products available. A healthy soy protein drink typically contains between 12 and 25 grams of soy protein, which is roughly the recommend amount of protein supplement to be taken on a daily basis. Depending on your needs, drinks can be specially tailored to the needs of athletes, people trying to lose or gain weight, or people looking to simply add protein to their diet. The amount of calories in a drink depends on its use and can range from 100 to 300 calories per serving.

A soy protein drink may be prepared from powdered soy protein.
A soy protein drink may be prepared from powdered soy protein.

Drinks may come premixed in single-serving containers or as a powder, which may be mixed with water or juice, or blended with fruits, yogurt, nuts, and other additions into a healthy shake. Health food stores, vitamin stores, and athletic supplement stores usually carry a soy protein drink or a form of powdered soy protein in a wide variety of flavors.

Some question has been raised regarding the safety of consuming large amounts of soy protein, primarily due to the presence in soy of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogen is a plant compound that mimics human estrogen and may have detrimental effects on the thyroid and on the body's ability to absorb vitamins and enzymes. These studies, however, have usually found that, when consumed in small quantities, a soy protein drink is a safe and healthy food and protein supplement.

Discussion Comments

I'm sorry, but no one should be drinking or eating soy. Firstly, soy is a major GMO crop, so if you are not buying organic, you are absolutely ingesting a highly modified crop. Secondly, organic or not, soy contains phytoestrogens which can lead to an increase risk of cancer and infertility in both men and women, to name only a few possible side effects.
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    • Soy beans.
      By: terumin
      Soy beans.
    • A soy protein drink may be prepared from powdered soy protein.
      By: lculig
      A soy protein drink may be prepared from powdered soy protein.