Soy as an ingredient is quite versatile. Soy milk is a popular alternative to dairy, soybean oil is a common ingredient as well as a popular cooking oil, and even soy protein powder is popular. As a protein powder, it’s also a good alternative to dairy products if for whatever reason you can’t have or don’t want to consume dairy.
Soy itself comes with plenty of health benefits, some being more or less pronounced depending on what form you’re getting it in. Soybeans are a great source of protein themselves, which is why so many protein powders are made with them. You can also use soybeans in your daily life as a natural, whole food protein source.
Soybeans are also a great source of healthy fat which is particularly good for your heart, and they also have no cholesterol. They’re also high in fiber, potassium, and iron. They can ease your blood pressure and help you maintain stronger bones, especially as you age. The list of benefits goes on, but there’s no denying that soybeans are pretty good for you.
In addition to eating them, this makes them a great ingredient for plant-based protein powders. Many protein powders will list soy protein or soy isolate as their only ingredient. These are some of the cleanest formulas out there that still provide a long list of other nutrients and benefits thanks to the soybeans themselves.
The Best Soy Protein Powder Brands
1. Bulk Supplements Soy Protein Isolate
Bulk Proteins Soy Protein Isolate is a complete protein formula that’s made from isolated soybeans. It’s a protein powder rich in BCAAs and is also entirely vegan! It’s also about 90 percent pure protein is a great supplement to aid in muscle support and recovery before, during, and after a workout.
Each serving is only 117 calories which is on the low side of average for a protein powder, but it still has 27 grams of protein! This is impressive and also tells you that there is very little else going on here – no fillers, no artificial additives, nothing undesirable.
The only ingredient on the list is soy protein isolate. The great thing about Bulk Supplements, too, is that they do live up to their name, allowing you to buy in bulk if you which. This protein is available in up to 20 kilograms at a time, or as little as 100 grams if you just want to give it a try before buying more!
2. Now Sports Soy Protein Isolate
Now Sports Soy Protein Isolate is one of many amazing protein products offered by Now Sports and as the name suggests, it’s great for those involved with sports. It offers 25 grams of high-quality protein to help you sustain your workouts and build muscle efficiently. It’s also low in fat and has no cholesterol, making it a great part of a healthy day.
Each serving also contains both essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids to further help with muscle support and recovery. Lastly, it offers small amounts of calcium, potassium, and iron as well to give you even more of a nutrient boost.
It’s gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, keto, and kosher! It’s a versatile supplement that can benefit even those who don’t follow these specific diets or lifestyles. It is a bit higher in calories per serving at 180, but every single calorie is a quality one.
3. Naturade Total Soy
Naturade Total Soy is a protein powder made to help you with your weight loss goals specifically. Some protein is made to support workouts and while this one may definitely help build muscle mass, too, it’s designed for weight loss. It’s also designed to be easy and delicious so taking it every day never becomes a burden.
In addition to its protein content, it also offers 24 different vitamins and minerals, two grams of fiber, and it’s low on sugar. It’s also gluten-free, lactose-free, and non-GMO with 130 calories per serving.
Vanilla is a popular flavor among the loyal customers of this weight loss shake, but there are others you can try, too. This includes chocolate, strawberry, a natural flavor, and even horchata!
4. Puritan’s Pride Soy Protein Isolate Powder
Puritan’s Pride Soy Protein Isolate Powder is a clean, high-quality protein from a company that’s been working hard for over 40 years. Their goal has always been to create premium quality products that are accessible to all and provide great value. Their soy protein isolate offers 24 grams of protein and 110 calories. There is one gram of fat, no carbs, and several other nutrients present such as zinc, phosphorus, calcium iron, copper, and more.
This particular protein is also vegetarian, making it available to many more people. The formula is smooth and tastes great even if all you do is mix it with some milk for a quick snack or protein boost. You can also make great-tasting shakes and smoothies for pre- and post-workout or as a filling, nutritious meal replacement. They keep it simple with the flavors, offering chocolate, vanilla, and natural options.
5. Six Star Pro Nutrition Soy Protein
Six Star Pro Nutrition Soy Protein is a clean, quality product that is about 60 percent protein – a lot higher than much of its competition. This supplement will help keep you full and satisfied while offering support to your muscles both during a workout and after, when they’re repairing.
It has added vitamins like B6 and B12 to support metabolic energy and help nourish your body.
Each serving does come with 190 calories which is higher than average, but you can rest assured that all the calories are quality. It has eight grams of carbs, three grams of fat, two grams of sugar, and an impressive 32 grams of protein. It has a little more of everything than you might be used to, but for someone who lives a highly active lifestyle and/or trains hard in the gym, this is exactly what they need.
It also contains a solid BCAA blend to further help muscle growth and protein synthesis. Unlike many other proteins, it also contains 2.5 grams of creatine. This is often taken as a separate supplement to further support and grow the muscles. This protein powder includes it, making it a great all-rounder for working out and muscle building!
Make Your Own Soy Milk
While soy protein powder is a fantastic way to supplement protein and enjoy the benefits of soy, you should also try and eat some soybeans themselves, too! Doing so comes with its own set of benefits, and they can be quite tasty and versatile once you learn how to work with them. It’s also fairly easy to make your own DIY soymilk.
Non-dairy milks are popular for their many health benefits and, of course, lack of dairy. Milk is so integrated into our society that it can be tough to go without it, which is why non-dairy milks are a lifesaver for some. If you don’t like the store-bought brands though or you just want to keep it as clean and healthy as possible, try making your own!
Blending some soy protein powder into your homemade soy milk will make for double the soy benefits and it’ll be so tasty!
All you need in terms of ingredients are dried soybeans and water. You'll also need some equipment to make the process as easy as possible: a container for soaking the beans, a blender, a strainer, and a heavy bottom pan.
This recipe here is a fantastic guide that walks you through the steps in a way that’s easy to follow and understand. There are many steps to consider so you must keep the process straight. Once you’ve got the soy milk made, the recipe offers a few tips and suggestions on how to use it in a tasty, healthy way!
If you’d prefer a visual guide, this video clearly walks you through the process:
Repurpose the Pulp
Once you make your soy milk, you’ll be left with the “pulp” or the used-up soybeans that don’t actually end up in the milk. Many will simply throw this away, but that’s not necessary! There are still some nutrients in there and it can be surprisingly tasty. If you’d rather repurpose it than let it go to waste, try one of these ideas:
- Add to stir-fries for extra nutrition and texture
- Add to scrambled eggs
- Use it as an ingredient in homemade plant-based patties, meatballs, etc.
- Cook it with hot water to make a kind of porridge. Add spices or fruit to taste.
- Add to granola for extra taste and crunch.
- Use as a substitute for bread crumbs
- Add to baked goods