Which Is Better? Soy, Whey or Casein?

If you walk around the nutrition aisle of your favorite supplement store, you are bound to find the three most common protein supplements, which are soy, whey and casein protein.  Each would undoubtedly claim to be the best.  Any vegan would tell you that the world’s strongest man is a vegan, even though the man they meant was Bill Pearl, former champion bodybuilder and powerlifter, who consumed milk and eggs in his prime.  Some manufacturers decided to simply make a blend of all three with their patented mix and claim it to be the best on the market.  However, which is actually the best for you?

The Study

Researchers from Northern Illinois University decided to settle this debate once and for all with a double blind study on a group of young weightlifting athletes.  Multiple different groups were given three different supplements at different times related to their exercise schedule.  Each group would be given enough protein to reach 1.2 – 2 grams of protein consumption per Kg in body weight every day.  Hence there would be no debate after this study that protein A got better results than protein B.

As the study was done for over 2 months, there would also be no debate that protein C got worse results because it takes 1 month of continuous consumption before protein C shows any results.

The Results

Naturally, young people who train with weights consistently over extended periods will get results.  And the results show that all three supplements promote muscle hypertrophy and lean muscle mass when consumed both pre-and post training.  However, for strength improvement specifically, only whey protein supplements show significant increase compared to baseline results.  Both milk derived casein and whey protein were far superior to Soy protein in terms of promoting lean muscle mass growth.

As for timing, casein and soy protein are best consumed pre-training while whey can be consumed on both pre and post-training.  For post workout consumption, the most ideal mix is whey protein with glucose (sugar) for optimum leucine absorption in the body.  This is why we recommend Magnus Whey that has the optimum balance.

Which one should you be consuming? If you are a vegan due to religion or belief that by doing so, it will be better for the environment, then the choice is either soy or pea protein.  However, if your main focus is health and performance, then the scientific evidence in the study points to whey as the clear winner.

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