When it comes to recovery from exercise, building lean muscle, and living a strong, healthy lifestyle, getting enough protein is absolutely vital.
And a good protein powder can help you get enough protein powder in your day. But which protein powder is the right one for you?
Your options seem endless. If you walk into a store you’re bound to find 20 different brands with 20 different ingredients. So what’s the best decision to make regarding your protein powder?
Is soy protein isolate or non-soy plant-based protein powder the best buy for your body?
When it comes to living a clean, plant-based diet, these are really the only two choices for you. That by no means is a bad thing. It actually helps you narrow down your decision.
You need to get your protein from somewhere, so it’s best to start looking a little more closely at these two different options.
IdealRaw Protein Powder is a plant-based protein shake that is both delicious and awesome. Each serving gives you 15g of protein, 5g of fat, and only 130 calories!
Why We Need Protein
Proteins are the building blocks of life. They make up everything from our muscles, skin, and even hair. They are so important in the way our bodies work and repair themselves.
Not only does protein play a major role in recovery from exercise, but it also helps facilitate many cellular processes, makes certain enzymes and hormones, and helps our body repair itself from injuries!
Protein is essential to optimal health and wellness.
Proteins can be broken down further into what are known as amino acids. Out of the 20 amino acids found in our bodies, there are nine that our bodies cannot create on their own. We need food to help with that.
Here’s a list of the essential nine:
Soy Protein Isolate
Soy has been such a popular protein option for vegans and vegetarians up until recently. It’s commonly used in many Asian countries and has become a major staple here in the States. You can find it in your meals, various drinks, protein bars, and of course, in your protein powder.
There are so many different soy products out there. One of the most common forms of soy is soy protein isolate. This is what you’ll find in your soy protein powder. It contains about 90 percent of protein from soybeans.
How is it made, though?
How Soy Protein Isolate Is Made
There are actually a few different ways to make soy protein isolate, but the most common way is pretty disturbing.
Through a process called hexane extraction, the fats are separated from the soybean. This hexane bath the soybeans soak in is actually super dangerous.
Hexane is a gasoline byproduct that is extremely explosive. The USDA has also labeled it as a neurotoxin. In fact, the USDA won’t even allow for its use in organic foods. Sadly though, non-organic foods that contain soy still use the hexane extraction method.
Once the fats are removed from the soybean, it’s then soaked in an ethanol or an acidic bath to remove carbohydrates and any lingering flavor.
The final result is the 90 percent soy protein isolate you get in your non-organic protein powders.
Now, I’ll be completely real with you. There are plenty of soy products that don’t allow hexane extraction. If you buy only organic soy products you shouldn’t have to worry about that scary neurotoxin entering your body.
But are there other problems with soy?
Other Health Risks of Soy Protein Isolate
If the way that soy protein isolate is made isn’t scary enough, there are also some other problems you might want to think about before you eat that tofu burger or buy that soy protein powder.
Soy contains high levels of phytoestrogens. They act a lot like estrogen hormones and when consumed in large quantities, can cause major hormone imbalances which result in many other problems.
Both men and women have estrogen; women just have higher levels. Increasing these hormone levels for both genders can cause fertility issues, as well as various cancers.
Soy protein isolate can also cause problems for your thyroid. It contains a chemical known as goitrogen, which can affect the hormones needed to boost your metabolism. This can lead to weight problems and other concerns.
I hope you’re starting to see the effects that soy can have on your health. Since soy is found about 60% of our processed food, you’re probably getting more soy than you think.
Just in case you want more information, here’s a link to other known problems soy can have on your body.
Soy Free Plant-Based Protein
Unlike soy protein isolate, soy free plant-based protein happens to be a lot safer, as long as you are getting everything you need.
Remember those nine essential amino acids you need for your body to work properly? In order to get all nine of them from plants, you need to mix and match different vegetables and grains. This can seem like a hassle, but it actually isn’t too difficult.
Some plant-based protein powders will actually have multiple plant proteins to help you get the full spectrum of essential amino acids. Here are some common plant protein sources:
- Peas and Coconuts
- Hemp and Chia Seeds
- Brown Rice and Quinoa
- Beans and Nuts
Of course, there are other types of plant protein, but these just happen to be commonly used in most plant-based protein powders.
Benefits of Soy Free Plant-Based Protein
If you’re looking for a clean, natural way to incorporate protein into your diet without turning to animal protein, soy free plant-based protein, like IdealRaw, is definitely the way to go.
As long as your protein powder gives you all nine amino acids, your post-workout drinks shouldn’t have a problem helping you recover and build muscle.
A big plus for choosing plant-based protein over other types of protein powder is the added vitamins and minerals you get.
Fruits and vegetables are naturally full of many types of vitamins and minerals that are good for your health.
They’re also rich in antioxidants and fiber. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies can help boost immune health and other necessary functions to keep your body working properly.
If you aren’t a huge fan of fruits or vegetables, plant-based protein powders are a great way to get the nutrients you need.
Plant protein contains much less fat than other forms of protein. Combine that with large amounts of fiber, and your body has a better chance at regulating or losing weight.
Part of weight loss means eating larger amounts of protein. Protein requires more energy to breakdown than other foods, which is why nutritionists and trainers will tell you to up your protein intake.
Of course, all of us need some fat in our diets. Plant protein still contains fat, but it’s much healthier than other forms of protein.
What to Look out for
Like with almost all foods, not all are created equal. If you want to get the best plant-based protein powder (like I recommend you should do), there are a few things that you should watch out for.
If you don’t want to fall into the artificial chemicals and ingredients trap like you would with soy protein isolate, check for plant-based protein that is free from any weird additives.
A good rule of thumb is to check the ingredients on the label. If there are ingredients that you’ve never heard of before or don’t know how to pronounce, there’s a good chance it might contain something artificial.
Look for protein powders that are certified organic. IdealRaw’s protein powder is USDA certified organic, so you know that you’re getting a protein powder that’s natural and artificial free.
Most protein powders have lots of sugar to help with taste. If you’re like me, you want a protein powder that isn’t filled with sugar.
There are also many different types of artificial sweeteners that are placed in your post-workout shakes as well. Although, not all artificial sweeteners are necessarily bad, you may want to try to keep it as natural as possible.
Look for protein powders that have sweeteners like stevia. It’s an all-natural sweetener that goes a long way with just a little amount. You won’t be spiking your blood sugar or adding tons of calories by doing so.
Say No to Soy Protein Isolate
Now that you’re a protein powder guru, you should have no problem picking an option that is best for you.
Soy protein isolate may be a super common choice of protein to buy, but it comes with a lot of downsides. Don’t get caught up in convenience. There are better options!
Make plant-based protein your best friend! Unlike soy protein isolate, it’s all-natural and perfect for gaining muscle, losing weight, and maintaining a healthy diet. You get so many other benefits besides more protein as well.
If you’re looking for the best plant-based protein out there, IdealRaw Protein is the way to go. IdealRaw made sure to give you all essential amino acids, a bunch of health-boosting superfoods, and a completely natural, artificial-free protein. It really is the best protein shake out there! So don’t wait, get yourself some today!