Soy isolate may well be a substitute for animal protein for athletes and people who want to fight overweight. This supplement «nourishes» muscles, lowers cholesterol levels and has other useful properties. Soy protein is allergen-free and suitable for people with lactose intolerance and is also ideal for vegetarians.
History of appearance
Technical isolate has been available since 1937 as a binder for paper coatings and fire-fighting foams. Around the 1950’s, the production of food concentrates was established. Nowadays, isolate is widely used in nutrition as a complete substitute for the main sources of protein in the diet.
At modern plants it is obtained by various methods, most often by extraction, precipitation or neutralization. At the final stage, the product is finished by spray drying, if necessary enriched with calcium, pelletized, etc.
Chemical properties for the body
The main purpose of soy isolate is to supply the body with protein. As an alternative to animal proteins, this product stands out for a number of unique properties:
- gives the necessary material to the muscles;
- It has anti-catabolic properties (inhibiting the breakdown of protein);
- prevents the destruction of muscle tissue during exercise, as part of a low-calorie diet;
- ensures the growth of «dry» muscle mass during sport activities;
- maintains nitrogen balance in the body by increasing nitric oxide levels;
- Improves circulation and strengthens the immune system;
- Has a fat-burning effect.
Protein isolate perfectly quenches hunger, includesmetabolic processes in the body, maintains energy at high physical stress. For the weaker sex this vegetable protein is of particular importance:
- normalizes the hormonal background;
- minimizes masculinization;
- maintains fluid levels;
- tones the skin and muscles.
It contains fiber, useful for digestion, amino acids — glutamine, arginine, lysine, cysteine. Thyroid gland with the support of the isolate begins to produce more thyroid hormones necessary for the body.
Use as part of sports and dietary nutrition
Isolate is recommended for people actively engaged in sports, practicing low-calorie or other restrictive diets. It completely satisfies the body’s need for protein components.
Important: While most weight loss diets are fully compatible with soy protein, isolate is not a good solution for gaining weight in, for instance, bodybuilding.
In general, soy protein is recommended for restricted diets, avoidance of meat products, weight loss, recovery from exercise, and some digestive problems. It is contraindicated in cases of thyroid disorders, individual intolerance, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Useful and harmful properties
In the digestive system, soy protein isolate is broken down into simple elements that affect the thyroid gland, muscles, liver and other organs:
- The glutamine in its composition has a positive effect on regenerative processes;
- arginine works as a vasodilator, useful for blood circulation;
- lecithin acts as a stabilizer of processes related to fat metabolism in the body, reduces cholesterol.
- Protein contained in soy is able to remove radionuclide elements and particles of heavy metals.
In women, the functioning of the endocrine system is normalized, the symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause are alleviated, and the risk of breast cancer is reduced. In general, the supplement has the following useful properties:
- «fuels» the muscles;
- Supports the digestive, immune and hormonal systems;
- Activates lipid metabolism;
- promotes weight loss;
- Supposedly prevents cancer;
- normalizes hormonal balance;
- Inhibits the process of protein breakdown in the body;
- It improves brain function and concentration.
With the right dosage and absence of contraindications, the negative effects of protein on the human body are minimal. However, according to unconfirmed clinical studies, protein may be very harmful to men because it contains phytoestrogens, which are substances that affect estrogen production. It is believed that regular consumption of isolate significantly reduces testosterone levels in the body.
In addition, some scientific works are of the opinion that soy is bad for human health, because it is poorly digestible and has an inadequate amino acid composition. The given statement is true only for supplements of low quality, while the high-quality soy protein isolate includes a full range of necessary amino acids and is assimilated by almost one hundred percent.
Important: soy isolate contains antinutrients — inhibitors that inhibit protein absorption and impair the absorption of calcium, zinc, and magnesium. On the other hand, it is much safer than similar supplements based on soy, as it is subjected to careful purification during production.
The effective effect of soy protein on fat deposits with minimal harm to the body has been confirmed by several scientific works. For weight loss, low-fat drinks prepared with soy protein are recommended, if possible without any additional ingredients, so as not to increase the caloric content. An increased effect has been noted in the use of soy isolate together with whey protein complexes, amino acid supplements, L-carnitine and other «fat burners».
Important: Do not rely solely on soy protein. A program of weight loss should necessarily include sports activities (running, bicycling, skiing, aerobic exercises) or just physical activity, plus you should not forget about proper nutrition.
How to take it?
A nutritional shake made from soy protein isolate can easily be prepared at home. The powder is simply mixed with liquid in certain proportions. As a base, milk or juice is recommended, the use of water, dairy products (kefir, yogurt) is acceptable. Hot liquids are not suitable for dissolving the powder, the protein will curdle at high temperature. If you exercise a lot, you can add nuts, flakes, or pieces of banana, thus increasing the nutritional value of the drink.
The daily dosage is calculated as follows:
in the absence of physical activity — 1.5 g of powder in 200 ml of liquid per kilogram of body weight;
For athletes: 2 to 3 g (but no more) in 200 ml of fluid per kilogram of body weight.
During the use of soy isolate you should eat right and drink more water. Approximate intake regimen:
- working out body relief in bodybuilding — one shake between meals and after exercise;
- Weight loss — cocktail replaces one meal a day (at most two shakes instead of two meals);
- “Protein supplementation: shakes once or twice a day without foregoing a full breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Soy protein isolate can be used as a sports nutrition, dietary supplement, nutritional support for vegetarians and fasting people. However, you should keep in mind that the supplement is not a complete substitute for traditional foods and you should not completely abandon fats of animal origin in general.