Bodybuilders and fitness buffs, intent on building lean body mass, are usually focused on getting enough protein in their diet. Some choose the natural route and get their protein through food sources, while others turn to protein supplements. Traditionally, casein is thought to be the best choice for body builders because it elevates protein levels better than soy. Now, a new study calls this into question. Soy vs. casein – which protein is best for building muscle?
Getting enough Protein: Casein or Soy?
According to a new study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, soy and casein proteins are equal in their effects on muscle protein synthesis. When they tested both forms of protein on a group of 22 young people, they found that casein and soy affected muscle protein synthesis similarly – although levels of some amino acids in the bloodstream varied with each. All in all, both forms of protein should lead to similar muscle growth.
To Build Muscle, It’s Important to Get Enough Protein, but Not Too Much
Some bodybuilders assume if some protein is good, more must be better – and they overdose on protein shakes and supplements. The body can only use so much protein and any excess is converted to fat, which is not what most bodybuilders want. Plus, there’s some concern that too much protein makes the kidneys work too hard – and that a high protein diet could increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Although the RDA for protein is only 0.3 grams per kilogram of body weight, bodybuilders need as much as 1 milligram per kilogram of body weight to build lean body mass. There’s little reason to go beyond this since it won’t build lean body tissue any faster.
To Get Enough Protein Which Type Should You Choose?
Casein or soy? Based on this study, either casein or soy protein is good for building muscle. Soy protein is the perfect choice for vegetarians since it contains no animal products – and it still has all of the necessary amino acids. The only concern about soy is it contains phytoestrogens, which can raise estrogen levels in men and theoretically lead to breast development, although there are no good studies to support this.
Casein protein, derived from milk, is slowly digested which means it supplies the body with a continuous supply of amino acids to prevent muscle breakdown. In this way, it has an anti-catabolic effect. The disadvantage of casein is it can cause bloating and gas in some people.
Get Enough Protein: Other Options
Whey is another form of protein that many bodybuilders use. Whey protein is quickly digested and absorbed so it becomes available to the body for building muscle quickly. It’s a good choice to use immediately after a workout.
Another option for getting enough protein is to get it naturally through foods such as lean beef, turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, and low-fat milk products. This is the least expensive way to go.
Getting Enough Protein: The Bottom Line?
Even if you’re a bodybuilder, you only need so much protein. (about 1 gram per kilogram of body weight). To meet these requirements, you can get your protein naturally through diet or protein supplements. If you choose protein supplements, consider the advantages of each type, but keep in mind that neither casein nor soy is superior in terms of its effects on muscle protein synthesis.
Nutraingredients-USA. “Soy matches casein for muscle protein synthesis: Study”