As a fitness guy of over 10 years, I can say that I know my way around supplements, including soy protein powders.
They are an essential part of anyone's fitness regimen, so I must recommend only the best to my clients.
We scoured the stores for the best soy protein powders and examined their ingredients and benefits as well as their pros and cons with the help of our dietitian.
If you need some help choosing the best soy protein powders for you, check out our detailed guide below.
Best Soy Protein Powders
- Best Overall Soy Protein Powder: Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate
- Cheapest Soy Protein Powder: Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate
- Best Tasting Soy Protein Supplement: Naturade Total Soy Weight Loss Shake
- Best Protein-Rich Soyeban Supplement: Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate
- Best Soy Protein Powder for Weight Loss: Naturade Total Soy Weight Loss Shake
- Best Gluten-Free Protein Powder With Soy: Six Star Pro Nutrition Soy Protein
- Best Unflavored Soy Protein Powder: Bob's Red Mill Soy Protein Powder
Best Soy Protein Powders (March 2024)
1 - Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate (Best. Cheapest & Protein-Rich)
Pros and Cons
- Sourced from soybeans which are naturally rich in protein
- Helps increase lean muscle mass while shredding fat at the same time
- Helps develop stronger bones
- Best taken within 30-minutes after workouts
- Needs to be thoroughly mixed well with any liquid
During a four-week test of Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate Powder, I discovered it's great for post-workout recovery.
Each 30g serving packs 27g of soy-derived protein, making it 90% protein.
It's a top pick for those wanting something straightforward and clean. This unflavored powder's sleek packaging also makes it a budget-friendly option.
At just 112 calories and under 1g of fat per scoop, this vegan and vegetarian-friendly powder was key in boosting my lean muscle growth without the fat.
2 - Naturade Total Soy Weight Loss Shake (Best Tasting & for Weight Loss)
Pros and Cons
- May be used as a gluten-free meal replacement
- Effective for weight loss
- Contains 0 trans fat and cholesterol
- Tastes great with water, skim milk, or almond milk
- Has only 13 grams of protein
- A bit too sweet for some
I'm picky about flavors, and Naturade's weight loss shake really impressed me. It's easily one of the tastiest protein powders I've tried.
A client of mine loves it too, saying it's great for appetite control. But, it's a bit light on protein, offering just 13 grams per serving.
I don't mind its sweetness and flavor variety. However, if you prefer less sugar, you might want to consider other options.
3 - Six Star Pro Nutrition Soy Protein (Best Gluten-Free)
Pros and Cons
- Contains 100% gluten-free soy protein
- Has added B6 and B12 vitamins
- Lactose, cholesterol and transfat-free
- Contains 4g of fiber in every serving
- Can be too sweet for other people
- Made in a factory that also processes peanuts
Six Star Pro Nutrition Elite Series stands out with its 100% soy protein and all nine essential amino acids, proven by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition to boost muscle building and recovery post intense workouts .
It's tailor-made for high-intensity exercise, thanks to added B6 and B12 vitamins.
For endurance athletes like us, these vitamins help maintain optimal blood sugar levels and prevent anemia, a feat not all soy protein powders can claim.
4 - Bob's Red Mill Soy Protein Powder (Best Unflavored)
Pros and Cons
- Only made from two ingredients: isolated soy protein and soy lecithin
- Builds and develops lean muscle growth
- Great-tasting and can be mixed with shakes and snacks
- It gave us a gritty texture when mixed in a smoothie
- There are other brands with higher protein content
Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Soy Protein Powder really stood out in my soy protein hunt, thanks to its natural, clean ingredients. It's a top pick for its simplicity.
This dairy-free, gluten-free, unflavored, and unsweetened isolate is among the purest out there. You're getting a chemical-free protein boost with just 80 calories per scoop.
Though it's not quite a meal replacement, it's still a solid choice for weight loss.
Plus, it's Kosher-certified and millstone-ground slowly, guaranteeing top-notch nutritional quality.
5 - Universal Nutrition Advanced Soy Protein Isolate
Pros and Cons
- Made from 100% water-washed soy protein isolate
- Has essential amino acids that the body needs in building muscles
- Helps boost the immune system, improves bone health, & lowers cholesterol
- Hard to mix with water or milk
- Texture is a bit chalky
Universal Nutrition's Advanced Soy Protein Isolate is a top-notch powder, great for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.
It's packed with essential amino acids for muscle building.
Its 100% water-washed process means no harmful additives, just the natural goodness of soy.
Skipping the common ethanol wash, this powder retains high isoflavone levels, maximizing soy's benefits.
I found it boosted my energy significantly, enhancing my workout performance.
Plus, it sped up my recovery, helping me keep a steady exercise routine.
How We Picked These Products
At Total Shape, we pride ourselves on providing genuine and data-driven recommendations. To ensure the accuracy of our reviews, we test every product we feature.
Our evaluation began with a focus on protein content. We sought products that provided optimal muscle support and recovery, ensuring each serving delivered a substantial amount of high-quality protein.
Next, we scrutinized the ingredient quality. My team and I meticulously examined each product's components for purity and safety, ensuring they met our stringent standards.
Taste and Flavor Options
Understanding the importance of palatability, we explored a variety of taste and flavor options. We aimed to find products that were not only effective but also enjoyable to consume regularly.
Price and Value
We also considered the balance between price and value. It was crucial to find products that were cost-effective without compromising on quality, offering the best value for our readers.
Brand Reputation and Reviews
Lastly, we delved into brand reputation and customer reviews. By analyzing user feedback and expert opinions, we gained insights into the reliability and overall effectiveness of each brand, rounding out our comprehensive evaluation process.
How to Choose the Best Soy Protein Powder?
- Type of soy protein: Concentrate for lower isoflavones, isolate for higher protein and isoflavone levels.
- Flavor and sweetness: Choose based on personal preference for flavor intensity and sweetness.
- Calorie and fat content: Important for those monitoring calorie intake or seeking lean protein.
- Dietary restrictions: Look for gluten-free, lactose-free, or vegan options if needed.
- Additional nutrients: Some powders are enriched with vitamins and minerals for added health benefits.
- Organic vs. non-organic: Organic options typically have fewer GMOs and pesticides.
What Is Soy Protein Powder?
Soy protein powder is simply an isolated protein from soybeans. It's made by removing the hulls and fat from soybean meal, leading to products like soy flour, concentrates, and isolates.
These are protein-packed and used in various health foods.
Soy protein originates from ancient agricultural practices and has been a staple in many cultures for centuries.
"Soy protein isolate is a dry powder food ingredient that has been separated or isolated from the other components of the soybean, making it 90 to 95 percent protein and nearly carbohydrate and fat-free."
- Soyfoods Association of America
It's super versatile for DIY health recipes, from tasty shakes to energy bars.
The 2 Different Types
There are two main ways that soy protein isolate is manufactured and sold:
1. Soy protein concentrate - Here, soybeans lose their fat, leaving white flakes. These flakes undergo ethanol extraction to balance their pH, making them solid enough for food use.
This process cuts down isoflavones (plant estrogens) to about 4%, making it a go-to for guys cautious about estrogen-like effects.
2. Soy Protein Isolate - This takes the concentrate a step further with centrifugation, boosting protein content. Isolates skip ethanol extraction, so isoflavone levels stay higher (35-45%).
Guys worried about estrogen might want to limit this type.
"With soy protein isolate containing as much as 90 percent crude protein, one might be excused to think that, given that the economics are right, a more concentrate source can be used as effectively as soy protein concentrate."
- Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ph.D
For a deeper dive, check out our article; whey protein isolate vs. concentrate for an extensive comparison.
Is Soy Protein Bad for You?
Soy protein is not bad for you. It's an eco-friendly choice with a smaller environmental impact than animal proteins. It's generally safe for most folks and can even help with weight loss.
In recent years, these soy protein isolate products have been getting a bad reputation. Some say its health benefits are just marketing hype. Here's the lowdown on the major concerns:
- GMOs: Most US soy is genetically modified. While some worry about GMOs causing hormone issues or fertility problems, it's not a clear-cut case.
- Sex Drive: Some studies link soy to lower testosterone, but they used unrealistically high soy amounts.
- Estrogen: Soy's isoflavones can mimic estrogen, potentially messing with estrogen levels and fertility in women, according to research published by the National Library of Medicine .
Despite these worries, most soy protein products are safe and nutritious.
Overall, soybeans have an impressive nutritional record. Each bean contains 30% carbohydrates (half of which are from fiber), 18% oil, 14% moisture, and a whopping 38% protein.
Studies in the Journal of Nutrition show soy protein powders can lower LDL cholesterol by about 5% .
That's a small but significant boost for heart health.
Choosing organic soy protein powder can dodge the risks of estrogen-like herbicides. And here's a pro tip: ferment your soy.
Fermentation nixes the harmful stuff, making soy both safe and healthy. It's a trick used by some of the world's healthiest, longest-living folks in Asia.
Other evidence has shown that eating fermented soy can:
- Prevent osteoporosis
- Reduce risk of various cancers
- Prevent the development of dementia
So, eating moderate amounts of soy protein isolate is pretty safe for both men and women, as part of a balanced diet.
It's another tool in your nutrition kit for meeting protein needs and supporting weight loss.
What Is Better Soy or Whey Protein Powder?
It's not a one-size-fits-all deal. Choosing between soy and whey protein powder hinges on your goals, diet, and body's needs.
Whey protein is great for bone health, muscle gain, and recovery post-workout. It's packed with essential amino acids and minerals but comes from dairy. So, if you're lactose intolerant, it might not sit well, possibly causing gas, bloating, or fatigue.
Soy protein is an awesome alternative, especially for the lactose intolerant or those cutting back on animal products. It's been a bodybuilding staple for ages, offering benefits similar to whey. Soy has been around for over 5,000 years, boasting all the essential amino acids for complete health
Concerned about soy's "feminizing" effects? Don't be. It's mostly a myth, especially with high-quality, organic soy.
So, what's the verdict? There's no clear winner. It boils down to what works for you.
But here's a tip: combining whey and soy might just give you the best of both worlds.
Whey's rich in branched-chain amino acids, while soy's got arginine and glutamine, key for muscle formation and recovery.
Recommended post: Whey vs Soy protein
Is Soy Good in Protein Powder?
Yes, soy is good in protein powder; it may help you lose weight, boost energy levels, and increase muscle mass. Soy protein may also help you regulate hormone balance and reduce the risk of conditions such as breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.
Is It OK to Drink Soy Protein Everyday?
Yes, it is OK to drink soy protein everyday. However, it should not be the sole source of protein in your diet, and it should not be consumed in excessive quantities.
When Should I Drink Soy Protein?
You should drink soy protein thirty minutes before your exercise session. It's recommended to aim for a protein intake of around 1 gram per pound of your body weight.
The Best Soy Protein Powder Is?
After thorough testing and evaluation with my team, we unanimously agree that Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate stands out as the top choice.
Its high protein content, purity, and simplicity make it an ideal supplement for post-workout recovery.
During our tests, we experienced significant benefits in muscle recovery and overall fitness.
Considering its effectiveness and value, I confidently recommend Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate as the best soy protein powder on the market.
About The Author
You May Also Like