Soy Vs Whey Protein: Which Is Right For You?

Proteins are essential nutrients found in some foods, such as soy. Also, they form the basic structure of each cell and perform various activities in the body, such as repairing worn-out cells and making new ones. Furthermore, protein plays a significant role in promoting growth and development in teenagers and children.

One significant way to include proteins in your diet is through protein shakes. There are various protein powders in the market; however, two of the most common forms are soy and whey protein.

Continue reading this article to learn more about soy and whey protein and which is the right one for you.

What Are Soy Protein And Whey Protein?

Yes, there is a big difference between soy and whey protein. Whey protein is a protein that is generated from dairy. First, the milk is pasteurized and separated into proteins; whey and casein. After that, the whey is processed to remove water, fat, and carbs, leaving behind a whey protein powder.

On the other hand, soy protein is derived from soybeans. Thus, it is plant-based. The soybeans are ground and then processed into a powder to derive soy powder. 

Since it is plant-based, soy powder is best suited for vegans, vegetarians, and people who are lactose intolerant. Also, gluten-intolerant people can use soy powder since it is gluten-free.

Considerations When Choosing Between Soy and Whey Protein

Before using any protein powders, it’s crucial to determine whether they will work for you based on your preferences. The following are things to consider before purchasing soy or whey protein.

  1. Flavor

Soy protein tastes nutty, while whey protein is milky or creamy. Nevertheless, there might be a difference in taste based on the brand since some brands may include additives or stabilizers.

Therefore, it all bottles down to your preferences. Some people may find soy protein less palatable due to its strong nutty flavor, while others may find it more palatable since it has a more neutral taste. Also, whey protein comes in various flavors, such as chocolate or vanilla.

Moreover, trying different brands before settling for a particular brand is essential to ensure you don’t pay for a product with an off-putting chalky taste.  

  • Consistency

Regarding consistency, soy protein has a grainy texture and can easily be mixed with water with minimal clumping. On the other hand, whey protein has a smoother and less-earthy texture that creates a creamy consistency when mixed with water or milk to create a protein shake. 

Thus, deciding whether to purchase soy or whey protein should consider whether you prefer a smooth or grainy texture.

  • Shelf Life

It is crucial to check the shelf-life of any protein powder before picking it. Both processed whey and soy protein have a stable shelf-life. Most people worry about whey protein going bad on shelves since it is derived from milk. 

However, a typical protein powder container has an expiration date, also known as a sell-by date which you should look for before purchasing it.

Furthermore, you should not throw away your protein powder jar after the expiry date has reached when it’s still on your shelf. You might experience a change in the taste. However, the nutritional benefits will still be the same. However, you should toss the tub away if you notice a rotten smell, change in color, or clumping.

  • Type Of Protein

Proteins are synthesized from building blocks known as amino acids, which are 22 in total and are used by the human body. However, nine of these essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the body, therefore, are acquired through diet.

Therefore, you should look at the type of protein in protein powders before buying. This is because, although soy and whey are complete proteins, they both differ slightly in amino acid concentration.


For instance, soy proteins are higher in arginine and tryptophan, while whey protein contains more leucine and lysine.

Also, soy and whey proteins differ when it comes to nutrients that are present. For example, soy protein is rich in vitamins such as Vitamin B, while whey protein has minerals such as iron and calcium.

  • Dietary Restrictions

Lastly, your diet restrictions may help you choose whether whey or soy protein is right. For instance, soy protein is the best option for a plant-based diet since it is made from soybean plants. In contrast, whey protein comes from an animal source; hence might not be appropriate for vegans.

Additionally, soy protein is the best for you if you are lactose intolerant. When whey is processed, it is separated into three forms; whey concentrate, isolates, and hydro isolates. The whey concentrate has undergone little processing, while the hydro-isolate is the most processed form. Thus, it contains the least lactose.

Although processed whey might have lactose filtered out, it may still have some small traces that may cause gastrointestinal problems.

Final Thoughts

Both whey and soy protein are commonly used to make protein powders.  However, you should choose one based on protein content, shelf life, and dietary restrictions.  Also, the taste and texture play a significant role in soy and whey protein. Soy has a nutty and grainy texture, while whey has a creamy taste and smooth consistency.

Moreover, if you are a vegan or lactose intolerant, you should go for soy as it is made from the soybean plant and, thus, has no lactose.  Alternatively, if you can handle dairy, you should gravitate towards whey protein.

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